From Plainer Words

The Pre-Millennial Predictions Part 1

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 2, 2009 - 4:39:20 PM

Portions of the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24
Part I
For three and one-half years, the Lord Jesus Christ taught that the Kingdom of Heaven/God was “at hand.” He, constantly, taught things which related to the coming Kingdom. His Jewish audience understood that when the Kingdom would be established on earth, God would rule the world on His righteous terms. They understood that Israel would be reunited as one nation. Bible-believing Hebrews knew that when their Kingdom would be restored, they would become a priestly nation and that, through them, all of the nations would be blessed of God.
The devout Jews were raised on the words of the Prophets. God spoke of the coming Kingdom age and the restoration of the world through the “mouth of all His Holy Prophets” (Acts 3:21). They believed that the Glory of God was going to be revealed, and this would restore the world to its pristine, pre-flood condition. The Day of Jesus Christ (i.e., the Kingdom of God) was to have been the next event on God’s prophetic calendar, but, suddenly, the Mystery burst upon the world-scene as an unannounced dispensation. Everything that pertained to Israel has been held in abeyance.
The Temple Complex in Matthew 24
1. “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.”
The Temple complex [commonly called “Herod’s Temple”] was said to have been a marvelous sight to behold. It had many beautiful buildings, chambers, and courtyards. The limestone walls and buildings sparkled in the sunshine. The disciples were very impressed with the buildings, and they went to Him, wanting to show Him the splendor of the buildings on the Temple grounds. But, He stopped them, dead in-their-tracks.
2.” And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
History informs us that about forty years later, the entire city of Jerusalem was leveled; including all of the buildings which made up the magnificent Temple area. Even though Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., this did not end God’s plan for the City, or for a re-built Temple.
Many believe, and even teach, that the answer Christ gave to His disciples referred to the time in which they were living. In a general sense, it did. But, in a more specific sense, His answer was a reference to the magnificent Temple and Sanctuary Complex which will be standing during the “latter days,” which is to say, during the “Day of Jesus Christ.” When the “Epiphaniea” of Christ’s Kingdom (2 Tim. 4:1) takes place, the nations of the world will be governed by five successive Gentile monarchs, beginning with the resurrected Nebuchadnezzar, while the Lord Jesus is re-gathering Israel. After Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, one of the monarchs who will follow him will be Cyrus the Great. He, too, will be raised out from among the dead. Cyrus will be a monarch who rules under Christ’s authority during this Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. We are not told over which nation he will rule under Christ’s authority. The Lord says of the resurrected Cyrus, “‘He [Cyrus] is My shepherd and will accomplish all that I please;’ he will say of Jerusalem, ‘Let it be rebuilt,’ and of the temple, ‘Let its foundations be laid.’” (Isa. 44:28) NIV.
The destruction of the magnificent City of God and His spectacular Temple will be destroyed, by the forces of anti-Christ, 490 years (Seventy Weeks] after Cyrus announces—“Let it [Jerusalem] be rebuilt and the Temple.” When King Cyrus issues a decree to re-build and lay the “foundations,” the clock of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks begins to run. Not one minute of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks has passed. These 490 years will their course during Kingdom of God.
After the Lord Jesus answered the disciples in Verse 2, He walked out of the Temple Complex through the East Gate crossing over the Brook Kidron and climbed up the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives was situated 2676 feet above sea level, overlooking the Temple. Herod’s Temple was a Sabbath’s Day journey from the Mount of Olives [a distance of about 20 football fields]. Christ sat down. Was He admiring the celebrated Temple? The view must have been spectacular as the sun shone on the glistening white buildings with in-laid gold.
Pre-Millennial Predictions of Matthew 24
The Course of the Next Age
3. “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming (parousia), and of the end [sunetelia] of the world?”
It is important to recognize that the disciples mentioned, here, were Peter, James, John, and Andrew (Mark 13:3). They met, PRIVATELY, with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord’s dialogue was confined to the four Apostles. He was not speaking, or preaching to a large audience. This is pointed out to emphasize that what was transpiring was an intimate huddle on the Mount of Olives, and the words of the Lord were confined to this small circle of four.
Looking back at Verse 3, it is noted that the Lord Jesus did not answer, “When shall these things be?” Meaning, when will the Temple be plowed asunder? He would come to that, later. The word translated as “coming” is “parousia.” The word “parousia” does not, simply, mean “coming.” Jesus was, then, present with them when they asked about His coming. So, how is it they would ask Him when He would be coming to them if He was already with them?  They always seemed very puzzled every time He told them that He was going to leave them. They, obviously, didn’t expect Him to leave, so, they couldn’t have been asking when He would come back.
Many have recognized that “parousia” does not, merely, mean “coming,” so, they have said it means “personal presence.” This is partially correct, but it is not the whole of the matter. The Greeks used the word, “parousia, ” when someone had to be present at an event because of who he was and what official function he was to perform.
If I went to the courthouse to watch a trial, my presence would be a “pareimi.”  That was the Greek word for “personal presence.” I was there to just observe, or be entertained by the court proceedings. The disciples were not asking Jesus when would He be, personally, present (pareimi) with them because He already was. So, they were really asking, when would be His “Parousia?”
Let’s say, for example, I was appointed the Executor of my deceased aunt’s estate. And, I had to make a court appearance before the Probate Judge to sign documents which, only, the Executor could sign. My appearance in court would be a “parousia.” In other words, I had to make a “parousia” at the courthouse. I, alone, was the only one able to do what had to be done.  The official office I held was that of the Executor of the estate and, as the Executor, I was the only one who could execute the official probate documents. My court appearance was more than just a “pareimi;” it was a “parousia.” My appearance would be a “Parousia” because of an official capacity I held as the Executor.
When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he said, “That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming [parousia] to you again” (Phil. 1:26). Paul’s visit to them would be a “parousia” because his presence was to be that of an ordained Apostle, and his visit was to be in an official capacity. Thus, a “parousia.”
So, the disciples, privately, asked the Lord Jesus; “What will be the sign of your Parousia?” He was, personally (pareimi ), present with them in a private conversation. But, His presence with them was not in a “Parousia.” His “Parousia” would have to wait until He was, officially, present on the earth to fulfill the office which, only, He could fill as the King of His 1000 year reign on earth, sitting on David’s Throne.
The disciples knew they were asking about the future age of the coming Kingdom. What would be the sign of His “parousia” and the end of the Kingdom age?
The “end,” in Matthew 24:3, does not mean end in the sense of the end of a game, the end of a movie, or the end of a war. The word for the actual “end” of something is “telos.” The word employed for “end,” here, is “sunteleia,” in Greek. The word, “sunteleia,” is the word used for the consummation of something. When something is consummated, that doesn’t mean the end of it, but it is the point at which something, which has been aimed for, is finally reached, or attained, or achieved.
The word, “consummation,” means, the completion of a process, or “The end or completion of the present system of things; … the consummation of marriage, the most intimate union of the sexes, which completes the connubial relation” (Webster’s Dictionary of 1828).
There can be no doubt that the word, “sunteleia,” means a coming together of all actions that have been working toward a desired goal, result, or consummation. The Pre-Millennial Kingdom is the Divine process which culminates in the Reign and Personal Presence of Christ on the earth for 1000 years.
What the disciples were really asking was; “What would be the sign of the consummation of the eon (age)― the grand Parousia of Jesus Christ?” They knew Christ was not to be in His Parousia during “the times of refreshing” (Acts 3:19). They knew He was not to be in His Parousia on the earth until all things were restored (Acts 3:21). The consummation of the Day of Jesus Christ will be when He returns to earth with great fanfare, and mighty power (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and have rule and dominion over the heavens and earth from David’s Throne in Jerusalem. He will be in His Parousia for a thousand years. In plainer words, the disciples wanted Him to tell them, privately, when will His “Parousia” be, and what will be the “sign” announcing it?
4. “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”
The Lord Jesus issued a very solemn warning to His disciples. We should not be careless students of the Word by expanding the use of the pronoun, “you.” Very often, the pronouns which God uses are misused with no thought being given to the antecedents of them. Unless an idiomatic expression is used, every pronoun must have its antecedent in the context. Without a doubt, the pronoun, “you” in the context, has as its antecedent, the words, “His disciples.” We are not to read “us” into this as many do. This passage tells us that these disciples will have been raised from the dead in order for the warning; “Take heed that no man deceive you,” to be meaningful to them. And that’s not all; this will be hundreds of years before the consummation of the age with the Parousia of the Lord Jesus Christ. For this warning to be applicable to the disciples to whom Christ was speaking, it necessitates that they be raised from the dead and live throughout the Kingdom Age; anticipating the Glory of His Parousia.
5. “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
The disciples, all of whom died, will be alive on earth and will, personally, witness the claims of the “deceivers”who show up in the “latter days” of the Kingdom. These “liars” will show up in the Jerusalem of the new earth as described in Isaiah 65 & 66; not in the U.S.A., nor in Great Britain, nor in the Jerusalem that now is, but in a new Jerusalem as found in Isaiah 65:18; not the one of Revelation 21 and 22.
“But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy” (Isa. 65:18).
The answer Christ gave the Apostles was that of the Jerusalem and the Temple which is to be re-built in response to the God-generated words of Cyrus; “to build, … and lay the foundation” (Isa.44:28). It is here that the false ministers will be. They will be skilled in deception. Those who will come in “Christ’s Name” will not claim to be Christ. The way for the deception to work is for them to acknowledge the real Jesus Christ and pretend to be one of His ministers. Christ said, concerning them, they will “shall say to you, Behold, He is in the desert, …He is in secret chambers; believe it not” (Matt. 24:26). With skill, and cunning, and craftiness, they will be able to deceive many. If they were to claim that they were the real Jesus Christ, they would have a difficult time deceiving the believers. But, if they were to claim to be His anointed ones in the “Latter Days” and speak lies and work wonders, all “in His Name,” then the deception would lead the ungrounded astray. The Lord Jesus warned Peter, James, John, and Andrew to beware. The deception will be so great that these Apostles are warned to be “on their toes” and don’t fall prey to lies of the false ministers.

© Copyright 2009 by Plainer Words