The Pre-Millennial Predictions Part 7

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jun 1, 2009 - 10:33:54 AM

Portions of the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24
Part VII
We have a window to the future in Matthew Chapter Twenty-four. Through this window, the Lord Jesus gives us a preview of portions of the Great Tribulation. As the reader is well-aware, the Tribulation period encompasses the last seven years of the Day of Christ—the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God. We, as members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head, will have been on the world scene for approximately 700 years. We will have been in the service of the Government of Jesus Christ, the dynamic Universal Monarch, during these many years. We will be, intimately, aware of the many Jewish saints who will be “led away captive into all nations,” and of the fact that Jerusalem will be trodden down (under the heel) of the conquering Gentiles “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). We will know the outcome well in advance. In fact, we even know the outcome NOW. We will, personally, see it played-out in that future day.
Perhaps we have some new subscribers to “Plainer Words Online” who are wondering where and how did we come up with the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God lasting about 700 years. We arrived at this conclusion in our studies on “A Fresh Look at Daniel,    Parts I –XI.” It was developed, further, in “Nebuchadnezzar—God’s Next King” (see Part IV, in which we wrote:
“The five members of the statue are representations of future kings (kingdoms) which will exist during the early years of the Kingdom of God. Each king, beginning with King Nebuchadnezzar, will have a world-wide-rule. Each king succeeds the previous king. None of the five destroys one another. Should each of the five kings reign for 40 years, their span of dominion would be 200 years. They are all living when the Rock smites the image (Dan. 2:34), and the Rock becomes a “GREAT MOUNTAIN” and fills the whole earth (Dan. 2: 35). “Fills the whole earth” refers to the universal dominion of Christ and His Kingdom. A mountain is one of the Biblical symbols of a government, or kingdom. The Stone, or Rock, “cut out of the mountain without hands” (Dan.2: 45), indicates an act of God; it’s not of human origin. Jesus Christ is the Stone, or Rock. He will be the King of His pre-millennial Kingdom—the Kingdom of Christ. His Kingdom will fill the whole earth with His dominion, and He will reign from Heaven for at least 490 years. The estimated span of Gentile rule being 200 years, plus the 490 years (Daniel 9:24) determined on Israel, could, very well, mean the duration of the pre-millennial Kingdom of God to be 690 years, “or thereabouts.”
“The nation of Israel will be the predominant nation on earth during this time, and David will be their earthly king, ruling under the auspices of the King of kings—the Lord Jesus Christ.” (End of quotation).
Moving on in our studies of the “Pre-Millennial Predictions of Matthew 24,” a “problem text” must be addressed. The Matthew 24 Predictions, by the Lord Jesus Christ, are concerned with the future “consummation” of the Kingdom of God (Matt. 24:3). In plainer words, the context is the concluding days of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God.
As the “problem text” is brought forth, Luke 21:31, it is pointed out that the text in question is, intimately, connected with parallel passages in Matthew and Mark.
Matthew 24:30
“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Mark 13:26
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”
Luke 21:27
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”
Now, read the following verses in Luke 21, keeping in mind that the context is the same, the Kingdom of God, as that of Matthew 24 and Mark 13. In other words, the Kingdom of God will, already, be present in the contexts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand” (Luke. 21:28-30).
In Luke, the Disciples are being told that when they see certain things transpire during the latter days of the Kingdom, their redemption “draws near.” Then, the Lord Jesus speaks the parable of the fig tree, and all other trees; when they blossom, “summer is now nigh at hand,” and, then, concludes with:
“So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NIGH AT HAND” (Luke 21:31).
The problem which many Bible students imagine is that if the Dispensation of the Kingdom of God will have been in process for hundreds of years, “How can it be said to be ‘nigh at hand?’” They do err with their question, failing to consider the CONTEXT, both “far” and “near.”
The subject, in this context, is “the Son of man coming in the clouds.” Consider the “Far Contexts”:
“… and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30).
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:26).
The “Near Context” is found in Luke 21:27:
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”
When we consider the Contexts, it becomes apparent to the student, who digs deeper, that there is no discrepancy in Luke’s account of the same prophecy.
Whenever one passage seems to be contrary to other passages pertaining to the same subject, the words of the Dispensational sage, E. W. Bullinger, should be brought to mind. He wrote in 1907; “no one text is repugnant to another …If one passage appears to be repugnant [contrary or inconsistent] to others, then there is something amiss either in the translation of it, or in our understanding of it.” (“How To Enjoy The Bible,” Page 327).
It is suggested, in the case of Luke 21:27,  that the so-called problem is in “our understanding of it.” Because, in checking, we determine that no translation problem exists. The fault, then, is in the failure to recognize the principle that we should not allow ONE DIFFICULT passage to muddle up the other three which are clear. How can this so-called problem be resolved? The answer lies in the fact that the Spirit of Truth employed a Figure of Speech in Luke 21:31.
The Figure of Speech, employed, is that of a Metonymy. An example would be where the “grave” is put for the “dead” in them, or where a “table” is put for the things “on it,” or where a “basket” is put for the “contents in it.” The appellation, “the Kingdom of God,” is the Metonymy, as we shall see. It is put for the One Who Originated, Organized, and Sustained it—the Son of Man.
Common uses of a Metonymy are found in Daniel 4:17, 25, 26 and 32:
“the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men” (Dan.4:17).
“the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men” (Dan. 4:25).
“that the Heavens do rule” (Dan. 4:26).
“the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men” (Dan. 4:32).
Nebuchadnezzar identifies the “Most High” and “the Heavens” as “the King of heaven” in Daniel 4:37. The “Most High” and “the heavens” were Metonymies for the King of Heaven—that is, God Himself.
The prodigal son said, twice, that he “sinned against heaven” (Luke 15:18, & 21). “Heaven” is a Metonymy put for God Himself.
To further understand a Metonymy (of Subject) is when one name, or noun is used instead of another to which it stands in close relationship. The “Kingdom of God” is a Metonymy put for “THE SON OF MAN” in Luke 21:31. This title of Christ is used eighty-eight times in the New Testament. The “Son of Man” is the title given to Him as the One to Whom all dominion in the earth has been given. He will have been exercising this dominion during His Reign from Heaven. Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, is the Originator, Organizer, and Sustainer of the Divine Government in the earth. Therefore, in this context, the Metonymy of the “Kingdom of God” is used and stands for the “Son of Man.”
The imagined problem disappears when we acknowledge that the Figure of Speech was used. The Metonymy of Subject is when the subject is put for something pertaining to it. Therefore, it can be understood that Luke 21:31 could be rendered, as follows:
“So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God [i.e.,THE SON OF MAN] is now nigh at hand” (Luke 21:31).
The apparent “problem” disappears when the student looks below the surface. Humble students of the Word of God have a duty to believe all of His Truth. Superficial reading of the Bible leaves many confused.