The Ancient Biblical teaching of the Ages Part 2Sep 07, 2021
Part 2 – Jesus Prophecy
The ONLY extended prophecy that Jesus gave is the one we find in Matthew 24-25. His prophecy follows a three-part model:
- Things which will be fulfilled within one generation (mainly in Judea)
- Followed by a long period of time when believers are to discover and use their God-given talents & gifts, and remain filled with the fresh oil of the Spirit (in order to see God’s Kingdom continue to advance – both in our lives and through our lives).
- Followed by the Final return of Christ, final resurrection, final judgment.
That SAME prophecy is given again by Jesus in symbol-form in the book of Revelation; we see the same three-part model:
- Things which will be fulfilled within “very soon” within a few years (including in Asia Minor – where the churches were that Revelation was written to)
- Followed by a long period of time when believers are to reign in life through Christ, as seated in heavenly places far above a defeated and restricted foe.
- Followed by the Final return of Christ, final resurrection, final judgment, and New Creation.
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the Age?” (Matthew 24:3)
Because one or two English translations incorrectly say “end of the world” there, many people presume that they are asking about Jesus second coming and the final judgment. However, Jesus had not even indicated anything about his second coming to them. Instead, Jesus lays out a threepart plan:
- Within one generation, the Romans would invade Jerusalem and destroy the city and the Temple. There would be warning signs before this happened – small nations would begin to rebel against the Roman empire and there would be wars and rumours of wars; there would be earthquakes and famines (all of which happened during that 40 year period around the Mediterranean area – some of the earthquakes and famines are even mentioned in the New Testament – Matthew 28:2 and Acts 11:28) and finally they would see “eagles” surrounding the city (the Romans eagle banners). At that point they were to flee the city to the mountains – and so they did. History tells us that the believers in Jesus fled Jerusalem when they saw the fulfillment of Jesus prophecies and went to the mountain area of Pella. (Matthew 24)
- Then, there would be a long period of time when the gospel is going forth and (it seems) that the Bridegroom is delayed in his coming, and during that period of time our job is to discover our God-given gifts and put them to fruitful use, as we will be called upon to give an account of what we have done with our life, one day. (Matthew 25:1-30)
- Then, there will be a final return of Christ and a final judgment (but with no warning signs, unlike the tribulation that would happen within a generation). (Matthew 25:31-46).
The “Apocalypse of Jesus Christ” simply means “an unveiling of the prophecy of Jesus Christ explained in the language of well known prophetic symbols”.
The beginning of Revelation – “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.” (1:1)
The end of Revelation – “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.” (22:10)
The structure of Revelation follows Jesus Olivet prophecy very closely. Very soon they would see the fulfillment of the first part of Jesus prophecy – what was still a generation away when Jesus spoke it (around 30AD) was now only a few years away (around 64AD) and would “happen soon”:
- Within a few years, the Romans would invade Jerusalem and destroy the city and the Temple. There would also be persecution of the new faith throughout the Empire, especially in Asia Minor. Believers were to flee Jerusalem (called “Babylon” in Revelation) as the Romans would burn it to the ground. This is depicted as Jesus and heavens armies riding on horseback in the sky over the city, and he has “a sharp two-edged sword in his mouth” – a creepy image if you take it literally, it means that the prophetic word in his mouth is now being fulfilled. (Revelation 4-19).
- Then, there would be a long period of time when the gospel is going forth and believers in Christ are seated in heavenly thrones (which Ephesians 2:6-7 says is our current reality). This is the time we now live in, AFTER the tribulation of AD66-70 but BEFORE the final return of Christ. During this time, “satan is bound” in a particular way, “that me may no longer deceive the nations”. (Remember, Jesus came to “bind the strong man” Mark 3:11). The message of the gospel is going forth in all the world unhindered and there is nothing the devil can do to stop it. This long period of time is figuratively give the number “1,000 years” because in Jewish symbolism, 1,000 = “everything” (Psalm 50:10 – the cattle on a thousand hills belongs to God – that means all cattle in all hills belong to God etc). (Revelation 20).
- Then, there will be a final return of Christ, the final judgment, and the renewed creation (Revelation 21-22).
For more information on this topic, see here*”
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