I Saw the Sign

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- Must remember the setting... Jesus was clear in his judgement concerning the temple and its destruction... like Babylon before ... Rome would be His tool of judgement
- The Disciples marvel at this and they ask one question in three parts
- The “When and What” the “when will the temple be destroyed and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age”?
- The Key to this interpretation - “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place”. This generation meaning the present generation
- He warned us to understand that many will come to deceive you... there will be birth pains, wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes, persecution, apostasy, false prophets, and lawlessness... the tribulations that lead to the great one
- It will begin when you see the abomination that leads to desolation... Daniel 12 and 9. Defined by Luke’s gospel of the armies surrounding Jerusalem
- You had better dig out... get out of here... run as fast as you can. Don’t go back to your house to pack... go to the shelter in the mountains
- Woe to the pregnant or nursing mothers and pray that your don’t have to do this in the winter or the Sabbath
- And now I see that he is still hammering away with judgement with poetic imagery
Text - Matthew 24:29-35 This is the glorious and inspired Word of God, may He bless us with the understanding and keeping in our hearts ... e pule ka kou. Lets Pray
I. Quick Preface
A. There are a ton of debate on this passage of scripture as to how it can be placed before 70 AD. Some will say ... No way can it be taken to mean AD 70
B. This is why it should be taken as way later to be fulfilled right, but instead of having an issue here now you have an issue with everything else
C. We should see this as his coming, but understand that it points back to AD 70 right before v. 34. Just seems like way too much to make it fit
D. We should just follow the flow of what the text is giving... lets not switch until it is the time to switch. Again, these are difficult scriptures to understand, but these concerns do not require a change
E. At first, we see that it has got to be the second coming... but in our western scientific mindset we miss something. How would they understand this
II. Immediately after the tribulation of those days
A. How are we first of all to understand “immediately”?
1. Eutheos - meaning at once or right away. There would be no delay after the events take place... does not mean after the destruction
2. The direction (those days) carries the sense... after you see all the famines, earthquakes, and the armies surrounding the city and you have fled to the mountains......
B. The Sun will be darkened and the moon will not give light... this has been and still is a poetic picture of the Judgement or God’s wrath being poured out. Jesus could be using OT imagery for the destruction
C. This is how we see judgement on a nation or to a smaller extent, a city in the Old Testament it would trigger these scriptures
1. Isaiah 13:10-13 - For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.
2. Isaiah 13:13 - Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.
D. But if this is not convincing enough this kind of language was used to describe the fall of the Canaanite king in Deborah and Barak’s song in Judges 4:24-5:1
E. Isaiah uses this type of language when describing the fall of Edom and even uses the picture of the fig tree - Isaiah 34:4 All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.
F. Ezekiel does the same with the fall of Egypt - Ezekiel 32:7-8 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD.
G. Jeremiah also uses this language with the fall of Babylon - Jeremiah 4:23-24 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. - Probably so much smoke from the destruction that there will be no light
H. These scriptures would be known very well by the disciples and telling of what Jesus was saying in their hearing... this was their deliverance this was victory
I. So it seems very plausible to see that this is the poetic imagery given of a cosmic calamity to pronounce and describe God’s Judgement and is being used by the Lord himself to describe the Judgement coming on Jerusalem. The very way their enemies were judged ... this would be devastating to them
J. It would be like me say to all of you ... if we were engulfed with problems as a nation. Look all of you do not fret do not worry. We will pull through. I am confident that we will make it through this trying time. Though the sky is dim and the clouds roll in... though we see the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air ... we will see and know that that our flag is there... our star spangled banner will yet again wave in this land of the free and the home of the brave... Do not worry America. I am wanting you to remember the war of 1812 and Victory
III. But doesn't it say that Jesus will appear in the sky? How do you figure? It has to be the 2nd coming
A. At first it is easy to see it that way, but when we look a little closer... hmmmm
B. We must see here that it is the “sign” that will appear... not the Son of Man. The sign of the the Son of Man ... not in the sky but in heaven
C. Heaven is a better translation of ouranos - and then will appear the sign of the son of man in heaven.... the sign... is that Jesus is in heaven (whatever that is) this is what is signifies - this is awesome
1. Despite all that happened with the rulers in Jerusalem, his beating and His killing ... He is in heaven
2. Despite your efforts of sealing the tomb and accusing the disciples of stealing the body... He is in heaven
3. Despite you emphatic denial of the resurrection over and over again killing even his followers for preaching it... He is in heaven
4. And despite the mockery ... making fun of him as the one who thought he was going to destroy the temple this everlasting indestructible building protected by God while he was on the cross ...he is in heaven, and he is bringing it all down
D. NT Scholar Jeffery A. Gibbs - That the sign will be the destruction of Jerusalem, for in that event the implied reader perceives the truth that God has vindicated Jesus over His enemies, the religious leaders of Israel
E. The Jews all throughout the world will be mourning because of this judgement of the destruction of Jerusalem and judgement of their judgement on Jesus
F. And they will see him coming in the clouds
1. This is an important passage that seems to break away, but yet again we will let scripture work it out
2. Simply - Matthew 26:63-64 But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
G. This was an important scripture for me... they gotta see. And they did. Those sitting in judgement over him and condemning him. They would see him coming in the clouds... judgement. Just like he did with Egypt - Isaiah 19:1 An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
H. Lastly, this is a picture of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father... what happens there?
- Acts 2:32-36 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
I. They would know for certain at AD 70... Jerusalem and its leaders were the very first footstool
IV. The Trumpet Blast - The Year of Jubilee
A. For those that were here on Wednesday... here it is the ultimate Jubilee talked about in Daniel 9
B. The huge obstacle of the Gospel of the Kingdom was, believe it or not,... the temple. This is why the book of Hebrews had to be written
C. All of the sacrifices, ceremonies, sabbaths, feasts were all fulfilled in Christ.
D. It is gone... our only hope and salvation is found in Christ alone. We have been set free. The captives are free. The debts are paid. What was taken is now returned ... now all the elect, those called by His name has been gathered, are being gathered, and will be gathered. The stumbling block for the Jews is gone... salvation is here for both Jew and Gentile
E. The walls that separate are gone... we do not call unclean what God calls clean. All Israel will be saved
F. All of us with faith in Christ are sons and daughters of Abraham. This is the good news today. Jesus has come into this world to save us from the real enemy... not the romans, not oppressing countries, not lack of identity, and not lack of prosperity.... But SIN
G. It is clear here in scripture.... that Gods judgement is real. And all of us are deserving of his Wrath. All have sinned and fallen short.
H. If He didn’t spare his natural branches, the Jews. You better believe that we will not escape his wrath. It is the real deal
I. But the trumpet has sounded and Jubilee has come... salvation is here for us
J. Jesus paid the price... he died for our sins according to the scriptures
K. What we have done only brought Death, but what Jesus has done brought life
L. Now when God looks at you and me... he sees the blood of Christ and the righteousness of Christ all over us
M. We will not be destroyed .... We will be glorified one day with Jesus
N. We have been adopted by God and are now co-heirs with Christ
O. No weapon formed against us shall prosper and all who arise against us shall fall... this is the inheritance of the servants of God
P. Today... if you are not a Christian, one born again in Spirit, and Disciple of Christ... repent of your sins and you will find forgiveness, call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved
Q. This is the wonderful grace of God by which we all stand. Rejoice today for the steps of righteous men and women are order of God
R. Rejoice... he is the King and the Lord. He is the Messiah
Because of what he has done... we can sing
How marvelous How wonderful and my song shall ever be
How marvelous How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me
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