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LastDaze

Matthew 24, FULFILLED!

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LastDaze

The following is a COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 24 deomnstrating it's then contemporary fulfillment in the apostles generation.

 

We need look no further than the apostles own generation for the fulfillment of every aspect of the Olivet Discourse.

 

Matt 24:1-3 -- The Temple, God's dwelling place among mankind for 1500 years, is going to be destroyed. The Age of the Law of Moses will soon end. In 70 AD the Roman armies literally took apart the once-holy Temple stone by stone to get at the gold that had melted down between the cracks from the heat of the fires, and to remove the Jewish headquarters. Temple vessels taken to Rome by Titus (Josephus, Wars, 7:5:5-7). The Jews had at first set fire to the Holy Temple (Josephus, Wars, 6:2:9; 6:3:5; 6:4:5; 6:6:2).

 

24:4 -- Apostles ask, WHEN WILL THESE THINGS BE? What sign signifies thy coming at end of the Mosaic age? (for this must be discerned by signs)

 

24:4-5 -- False messianic movements. Dositheus the Samaritan, Simon Magus deified in Rome, Theudas (Acts 5:36-37), Manahem and, under the government of Felix, "deceivers rose up daily in Judea, and persuaded the people to follow them into the wilderness, assuring them that they should there behold conspicuous signs and wonders performed by the ALMIGHTY" (Josephus). Felix, from time to time, apprehended many and put them to death. About this period (A.D. 55) arose another Felix, the celebrated Egyptian impostor, who collected thirty-thousand followers, and persuaded them to accompany him to the Mount of Olives, telling, them that from thence they should see the walls of Jerusalem fall down at his command as a prelude to the capture of the Roman garrison, and to their obtaining the sovereignty of the city. Partial list: Judas, son of Hezekiah (4 BCE); Simon of Peraea (4 BCE); Athronges, the shepherd (4 BCE); Judas, the Galilean (6 CE); The Samaritan prophet (36 CE); King Herod Agrippa (44 CE); Theudas (? CE); The Egyptian prophet (52-58 CE); Menahem, the son of Judas the Galilean (66 CE); John of Gischala (67-70 CE); Vespasian (67 CE); Simon bar Giora (69-70 CE)

 

Matt 24:6-7 -- Claudius' Roman war with Britain/East Anglia, at least three Jewish insurrections against Rome prior to the 60s AD -- one was violently put down by Cuspius Fadus. The Jewish/Alexandrian revolt upon Caligula's death, Claudius' martial law declared in Palestine after the jewish insurrection at the death of Agrippa I. The Germanic tribes in present-day Belgium and Germany made perpetual trouble for the legions throughout the reign. A smouldering Balkan war was in continuous progress. All this, of course only escalated, and Rome in 68-70 began its own Civil Wars that nearly toppled the empire. As Tacitus wrote, " Four princes [Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Domitian] killed by the sword; three civil wars, several foreign wars; and mostly raging at the same time. Favorable events in the East [the subjection of the Jews], unfortunate ones in the West. Illyria disturbed, Gaul uneasy; Britain conquered and soon relinquished; the nations of Sarmatia and Suevia rising against us; the Parthians excited by the deception of a pseudo-Nero." Acts 11:28 records the worldwide famine. Josephus reports the famine in Jerusalem in the 60s AD which killed hundreds of thousands during the Jewish War (AD 66-70). Accounts of infanticide and cannibalism as foretold in Deuteronomy 28:53,57 -- women cooked and ate their babies (Josephus; Wars 6:3:3-4; Wars 5:1:4). Read more on wars of this time and false prophets -- (Josephus: Antiq. 20:5:1-4; 20:8:5-10; Wars 2:10:1; 2:13:4-7; 6:5:2)

 

24:9-10 -- persecution of the early church by the Jews and later by Nero as he blames the Christian sect for the burning of Rome. This went on the entire AD 30-66 by the Jews, and Nero's persecution was 3.5 years from 64-68AD. Matthew 24:9-13 is exactly parallel to Matthew 10:16-23 which all scholars assign to a 1st century fulfillment. Also the Jewish Civil War occurred in 66-69AD (Josephus; Wars, 2:17:1-10; 2:18:1-11; 4:6:2-3; 5:1:2-5; 5:6:1; 5:13:6; 6:2:1)

 

24:11 -- more false prophets. these are mentioned by Josephus as being related to the messianic movment of the seditious Zealots that promised the redemption at the Temple for the rebels, yet the Romans brought total destruction. Believers trapped in the city of Jerusalem endure to the end and are spared.

 

24:14 -- Gospel to the "oikoumene" -- Roman Empire. Fulfilled rapidly in the apostles' generation -- Col 1:23, Col 1:5-6, Romans 10:14-18, Romans 16:26, 1 Tim 3:16. Early Church Fathers all viewed this passage as fulfilled (See Clement of Rome, Chrysostom, Eusebius) -- gospel went even to Spain and Gaul. The immediate rapid spread of the Christian faith throughout the entire empire was a sign. The "whole world" spoken of in the Bible pertained to the extent of the Roman Empire, and the Bible is consistent on this (compare the "whole world" of Matt 24:14 with the "whole world" of Luke 2:1, Acts 11:28, Acts 2:5, Romans 1:8 and and 2 Chronicles 36:23). The scriptures even used a special greek word in Matt 24:14, OIKOUMENE (strong's #3625), which means the Roman Empire -- the "whole world" (OIKOUMENE) in the scriptures was contextually centered in the area of the Ancient Roman Empire (Luke 2:1). The "whole world" in the scriptures is mapped out by a careful reading of these passages.

 

24:15-20 -- This famous historic account is recorded in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History , iii.v. -- the Judean remnant saw armies of Cestius Gallus in 66AD (and Vespasian's later) surrounding Jerusalem (compare to Luke 21:20-24). At the same time, The Temple was captured by the Jewish Zealots (2 Thess 2:4-7) that turned the temple into a camp, defiled it with blood, and made evil of their own high priest. During this time the daily sacrifices to Rome were ended, which was a Declaration of War against the Empire. These events signalled the faithful remnant to flee according to our Lord's commands to them. Just after they escaped the city, the Zealots seized the Temple and the city, guarded the gates, and prevented all escape. Eusebius records, "But the members of the Church in Jerusalem, having been commanded before the war in accordance with a certain oracle given by revelation to the men of repute there, to depart from Jerusalem, and to inhabit a certain city of Peraea called Pella, all the believers in Christ in Jerusalem went thither, and when now the saints had abandoned both the royal metropolis itself and the whole land of Judaea, the vengeance of God finally overtook the lawless persecutors of Christ and His apostles." At the end the Romans sacrificed to their standards at the Temple (Josephus, Wars, 4:5:1; 5:1:2,3,5).

 

Matt. 24: 21-24 -- The Great Tribulation (also Luke 21:20-24). Read Josephus, Wars of the Jews -- entire. The Roman Jewish war is the documented history of the great tribulation. Josephus declares the war with the Romans was "the greatest of all ever heard of" (as Christ said in Matthew 24:21). "Whereas the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that were ever heard of" -- Josephus -- Preface to Wars of the Jews, Section 1 (see also: Wars, 5:10:5). Jesus calls this time the "Days of Vengeance" (Luke 21:20-22; Isaiah 61:2; Matt 23:31-38; Luke 19:40-44; Matt 21:40-22:7), and "wrath and distress to come upon this people" (Luke 21:23 -- see also Josephus, Wars, 2:10:1; 2:22;1; 6:3:3-4; 6:9:2-4; 7:1:1). Lakes of blood and fires (Josephus, Wars, 2:18: 4:5:1; 5:1:2-5; :6:4:6; 6:5:1,2; 6:8:5). Jerusalem divided into three (Rev 16:19 -- see also Wars, 5:1:1,4). Genealogical records destroyed (Josephus, Wars, 6:6:3; 6:9:1). God took the Kingdom away from them (Matt 21:40-45; see also Josephus, Wars, 6:8:4:; 6:9:1,4). Jerusalem called "That Great City" and "Sodom" (Rev 11:8; Rev 18:21-24; -- see also Josephus, Wars, 5:10:5; 5:13:6; 7:8:7). Jews sold into slavery (Luke 21:24 -- see also Josephus, Wars, preface section 11; Wars 6:8:2; 6:9:2-4). City of Jerusalem is leveled (Matt 24:2 and Luke 19:40-44 -- see also Josephus, Wars, 7:1:1; 7:8:7). Jesus warns his generation: "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of gehenna? Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate (Matt 23:33-38).

 

Matt 24:25 -- Jesus here tells the apostles that these dire events will be experienced by them (also Matt 24:33-34). They will be the generation to see these things that Jesus is describing (and not some distant future generation). Compare Matt 24:25 with similar statments in John 14:28, John 13:19 and John 16:4that all signal events in the apostles' own near future. Christ always told his apostles things they would need to know beforehand, that it would be to their benefit when the things came to pass before their eyes.

 

Matt 24:26-28 -- don't fall for the false messianic claims. The true desolation is like lightning over the whole land and, where the carcasses are strewn, there too will be the Roman Eagles (i.e, the infamous Eagle Ensigns of the Roman armies that were planted all over Jerusalem during the Roman Jewish war). The Eagle Ensigns served as a symbol of the Jews' defeat at the hand of their enemies. Most commentators believe this war and passage also was the fulfillment of Moses' predictions in Deuteronomy 28:49 and following verses. All this literally came to pass in 66-70AD. See also: (Josephus, Wars, 4:5:1; 5:1:2,3,5)

 

Matt 24:29-31 -- Christ speaks of the end signs. This passage is using the apocalyptic language of the great prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, David etc in exactly the same way they used it for God's judgments against nations and individuals in their own times. Compare with God's coming to O.T. Babylon in 539BC (Isa 13:10-13, 13:1, and 13:17), OR God's coming to Edom in 703BC (Isa 34:3-5), OR God's coming to Egypt in 572BC (Ez 32:7-11) OR God's coming to Nineveh in 612BC (Nahum 1). Jesus Christ is now also seen as coming in that same glory of the Father (cf. Matt 16:27; John 17:5). Jesus came to 1st century Israel and demolished it in the same glory of the Father's cloud-comings in the O.T. Age (Isaiah 19:1-2). This passage speaks of Christ's full equality and oneness with Jehovah. The Parousia of Christ is signified by the fall of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. Many cosmic signs were also witnessed in that period. The angels and glorious light of Christ are witnessed at the temple and around the cities of Jerusalem (Jude 14; Rev 1:7 -- See also Josephus; Wars 6:5:3; 2:22:1-2; 4:4:5; 6:5:2-3 -- also Tacitus and Midrash). The unfaithful jews were gathered from all over the world at Passover Feast in 66AD and they sealed in by the Roman armies. They were now in the furnace of the City and were destroyed (see: Matt 13:40-43, Luke 19:43-44, Matt 23:33-38, Luke 23:28-31). Rabbis call 70AD the "end of biblical judaism." The Church is also gathered and spared God's desolations and wrath. The Church is at this time after the death of the apostles built, established, never to be destroyed. The Church becomes the eternal Temple and Priesthood of God (2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:9). Christianity emerges distinct from Judaism and becomes the universal and one true faith of God. Christ's followers destined to occupy all nations, teaching them to obey Jesus. The teachings of Christ and the apostles are fully and historically vindicated in this historic destruction of Jerusalem.

 

Matt 24:32-33 -- parable of all the trees (Luke 21:29-31). When trees shoot forth leaves it signals that summer is now near at hand. "So likewise YOU too [the apostles], when YOU shall see all these things know that it is near, even at the door" (see also James 5:8-9; Rev 3:20). In Luke's account Jesus promises the apostles: "So also you, when you see these things come to pass know that the kingdom of God is near at hand" (Lk 21:31).

 

 

MATT 24:34 -- VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS UNTIL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED

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theophilus
MATT 24:34 -- VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS UNTIL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED

 

You need to consider the context of this verse.

 

From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Matthew 24:32-34 ESV

 

The generation that would see the fulfillment would be the one that would see the things he had previously told them about, not the one that was listening to him. Look at what he said immediately before.

 

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31 ESV

 

This hasn't happened yet.

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LastDaze

 

You need to consider the context of this verse.

 

From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Matthew 24:32-34 ESV

 

The generation that would see the fulfillment would be the one that would see the things he had previously told them about, not the one that was listening to him.

 

They are one in the same, as my OP demonstrates.

THAT generation did in fact SEE "all those things take place"

 

James Confirms this in James 5:8-9:

 

8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned.Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!

 

James is Quoting Jesus in Matt 24 when Jesus said:

"So likewise YOU too [the apostles], when YOU [apostles] shall see all these things know that it is near, even at the door"

 

James KNEW that ONLY after the signs were seen would Jesus be "Near and at the Door" Not before the signs were seen.

 

James was not wrong.

 

Look at what he said immediately before.

 

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31 ESV

 

This hasn't happened yet.

 

Of course it has, as again my OP demonstrates:

 

Matt 24:29-31 -- Christ speaks of the end signs. This passage is using the apocalyptic language of the great prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, David etc in exactly the same way they used it for God's judgments against nations and individuals in their own times. Compare with God's coming to O.T. Babylon in 539BC (Isa 13:10-13, 13:1, and 13:17), OR God's coming to Edom in 703BC (Isa 34:3-5), OR God's coming to Egypt in 572BC (Ez 32:7-11) OR God's coming to Nineveh in 612BC (Nahum 1). Jesus Christ is now also seen as coming in that same glory of the Father (cf. Matt 16:27; John 17:5). Jesus came to 1st century Israel and demolished it in the same glory of the Father's cloud-comings in the O.T. Age (Isaiah 19:1-2). This passage speaks of Christ's full equality and oneness with Jehovah. The Parousia of Christ is signified by the fall of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. Many cosmic signs were also witnessed in that period. The angels and glorious light of Christ are witnessed at the temple and around the cities of Jerusalem (Jude 14; Rev 1:7 -- See also Josephus; Wars 6:5:3; 2:22:1-2; 4:4:5; 6:5:2-3 -- also Tacitus and Midrash). The unfaithful jews were gathered from all over the world at Passover Feast in 66AD and they sealed in by the Roman armies. They were now in the furnace of the City and were destroyed (see: Matt 13:40-43, Luke 19:43-44, Matt 23:33-38, Luke 23:28-31). Rabbis call 70AD the "end of biblical judaism." The Church is also gathered and spared God's desolations and wrath. The Church is at this time after the death of the apostles built, established, never to be destroyed. The Church becomes the eternal Temple and Priesthood of God (2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:9). Christianity emerges distinct from Judaism and becomes the universal and one true faith of God. Christ's followers destined to occupy all nations, teaching them to obey Jesus. The teachings of Christ and the apostles are fully and historically vindicated in this historic destruction of Jerusalem.

 

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