"You will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
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    Matthew 10 has a very interesting evangelistic story.

    You most likely know that story. Jesus tells His disciples to preach to the lost sheep of Israel. They are pointedly sent to them, not to the Gentiles, preaching that the kingdom is "at hand" (That sounds pretty immediate, don't you think?). Authenticating miracles accompany their efforts. But here is the interesting part- vs.23:

    "When they persecute you in this city, I say to you, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes."


    Note:
    The ones being persecuted are the ones who are to flee to another city.
    These ones fleeing will not run out of cities of Israel to go through.
    The reason is that the Son of Man will come before they are able to exhaust all the cities to go to.

    When did this happen?
    Or are they still running?
    Are these persecuting cities of Israel still in existence?
    Where is there room for a gap so as to still salvage this prophecy for the futurist view?
    Or is it a different coming we are looking at here?
     
    #1 asterisktom, Jul 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2010
  2. Humblesmith

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    Matthew never uses this phrase to mean the second coming of Christ. If this were taken to be the second coming, it would be the only instance in Matthew and would be an odd fit, as you have pointed out.

    I think it merely means that Jesus would come and meet them before they finished their journey. He's just saying 'You won't finish going through all the cities before I come to meet you.'
     
  3. sag38

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    Most believe it is alluding to the Transfiguration.
     
  4. asterisktom

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    But I do think it refers to the second coming. I'm sorry but I don't think your solution is probable at all. To refer to himself as Son of Man is to give the promise more weight than
    a casual "I'll see you in a bit."
     
  5. asterisktom

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    Do most believe that? That strikes as strange - and unlikely. Considering the context, is that what you think?
     
  6. Logos1

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    I think when futurists get a statement that puts them in a box they can't scripture their way out of then blaming it on the transfiguration as the last resort. Like Matt 16: 27 - 28

    27 "For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done. 28 I assure you: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

    Instead of letting Jesus speak for himself in simple, straightforward language saying some present won't die till his return they try to say he meant the transfiguration here as well.

    Wee bit of a stretch in my humble estimation.
     
  7. Eagle

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    First of all, it appears deceptive on your part that you left off "of Heaven" to your explanation of what was to be preached as "at hand." It is the Kingdom of Heaven - which is a "mystical," for lack of a better term, entity, that pertains to things of salvation - or Heaven.

    This DOES NOT refer to an "earthly" kingdom. I think you already know this.

    Secondly, you are making a grave mistake that one would not expect from an experienced student of the Bible. You are trying to make rigorous doctrine from an obscure passage - and one that does not say what you imply that it does. These verses immediately precede verse 23 - which you referenced:

    If these things did not happen to the disciples at the very time they were sent out - and we have no record that it did - then Jesus was speaking to a future situation or generation. It could well be us today. As for v. 23, we are still trying to get the gospel to every nation/people under the sun yet today - including the cities of Israel.

    My point is that this passage gives you no more rigor to hold to your position than it does mine - tho frankly, I think mine has more! :thumbs:

    1)We must make our case doctrinally on clear, sound, statements of scripture - not inferences and not obscure passages.
    2)No other scripture can directly refute it.
    3)All scripture must allow it.

    This passage in Matthew 10 could, possibly, "allow" both our interpretations - but there is insufficient rigor to make the case, thru sound exegesis, for either.
     
  8. Tater77

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    For those who are at least partial preterists this passage fits perfectly along with Matthew 24. I think there is a preterism thread going on somewhere here.

    The "end time" event in question being the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.
     
  9. RAdam

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    Here is a big problem: who knows what coming is spoken of here? Really, what evidence is there in the context that definitively states what coming this is? The answer is there is none. This isn't a definitive text from which to build a doctrine, as eagle pointed out.

    Here's what John Gill says about this text, which I quote to show the obscurity of the text to even the most learned and respected of commentators:

    "till the son of man be come; which is not to be understood of his second coming to judgment, but either of his resurrection from the dead, when he was declared to be the Son of God, and when his glorification began; or of the pouring forth of the Spirit at the day of Pentecost, when his kingdom began more visibly to take place, and he was made, or manifested to be the Lord and Christ; or of his coming to take vengeance on his enemies, that would not have him to rule over them, and the persecutors of his ministers, at the destruction of Jerusalem."

    In other words, Gill says I'm not sure what coming is spoken of in that text. Matthew Henry views it as the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost, and Jamieson Faussett and Brown view it as AD 70. The point is, that is anything but a definitive text.
     
  10. asterisktom

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    "Deceptive"? Now you are making this an attack on my motives, as if I am purposely trying to deceive. Oh well, I expect as much from most of you Dispies. Uncharitable accusations make weak arguments.

    No, I am not being deceptive. I am thinking as a non-Dispie. I see one kingdom. The kingdom of God = the kingdom of heaven = the kingdom.
    Christ does not concern himself with earthly kingdoms, either here or in the future. He said, "My kingdom is not of this world." You are lacking a better term because you are trying to scratch out your own definition of "kingdom". Why not just say "spiritual kingdom"? What other kind does Christ speak of?
    And here is the second recourse of Dispies against Preterism. The first is - sooner or later - some snide attack (in your case, implying that I am "deceptive"). The second recourse is to classify verses that just will not fit into your system as obscure. Swaimj did the same thing.

    That is your grave mistake: You see a red flag and treat it as a red herring.


    Other than Christ's inspired assurance.

    He was talking to them

    about cities of that time

    about persecution that will soon happen to them then.

    Their going from city to city is not a result of worldwide spreading of the gospel. It is fleeing from Jewish persecution from Jewish people in Jewish cities.

    Maybe if I space it out like that you will treat the actual text with more care.

    You people are very keen to insist on, for instance, a 1000 year millennium, but when it serves your purpose - as here - you drop all that literality.
    You don't sound very sure. That often happens when we wander from the text. Come on! Think about it. What would Christ's hearers have understood - the ones going on a mission? What a dirty trick if He was just leading them on, not even talking to them, about them? What kind of weird assurance is that?

    The rigor is not lacking on this side. BTW, I understand totally your position. I believed and taught it for almost 30 years. This was one of those passages that just would not stay down in the place where I tried to keep it - the position you now hold. I am thankful now that I finally understand this verse.
     
    #10 asterisktom, Jul 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
  11. Winman

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    The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. does not fit what Jesus said in Matthew 24 at all.

    Matt 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

    This is speaking of a world war like we had in WWI and WWII. The phrase "in divers places" shows this will not be a local event. Did that happen in 70 A.D.? No.

    Matt 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

    Did all nations hate Israel for Jesus's sake in 70 A.D.? No.

    Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    Had the gospel been preached in all the world to all nations by 70 A.D.? No.

    Matt 24: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.


    Were the events of 70 A.D. the greatest tribulation from the beginning of the world until the end of time? No. While 70 A.D. was a terrible time for the Jews and about one million were killed, in WWII over six million Jews were killed, much worse.

    Matt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
    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.


    Is there any record of these astronomical signs in 70 A.D.? No. Did all the tribes of the earth mourn and see Jesus coming in the clouds? No.

    Matt 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

    Was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. a worldwide event as Noah's flood was? No.

    Matt 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.


    Did the Romans take one man in the field and leave the other in 70 A.D.? Did the Romans take one woman grinding at the mill and leave the other in 70 A.D.? No.

    So, the events of 70 A.D. do not match up with Jesus's prophesy whatsoever, not even close.
     
    #11 Winman, Jul 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
  12. asterisktom

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    Yes, it did. Just read the histories (Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, etc.) - almost all parts of the Roman Empire were in upheaval: Civil war on the home front, England, Spain (to use all modern names), Dacia, Gaul, Parthia, Cyrene - these places and a few others were up in arms.
    You are asking the wrong question. Read the context. He is speaking of the elect of Israel as well as believing Gentiles. And yes, that did happen. Just read the book of Acts. Read Eusebius, even Josephus.

    It most certainly has, according to Paul:

    "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;", Col. 1:23

    The word "world" is a different word than, say, in John 3:16. In the Matt. verse it is "oikoumene", which very often means inhabited world, that is, the Roman Empire.

    This is all I have time for now. If no one else answers the rest, it too is easily rebutted. All it requires is for a person to - if only for a second - consider the possibility that they may be wrong and then examine the passages objectively.
     
  13. Winman

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    You didn't rebut anything, you quoted men, not the scriptures. It is a known fact that Preterism relies heavily on the writings of fallible men like Josephus. Without them, your doctrine would have almost no support.

    Rome did not come against Israel for Jesus's sake in 70 A.D..

    You are correct, when Jesus said world he meant inhabited world, and then you limit it only to the Roman Empire. That is non-sensical, there were millions of people who lived outside the Roman Empire in Asia, Africa, and even the Americas at this time. The gospel had not reached many of these areas by 70 A.D..

    Amazing how you can twist a word that means the whole inhabited world to only mean a portion of mankind.
     
  14. asterisktom

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    I had to chuckle at this, a typical Winmanism. I quoted men because we were dealing with a matter of history. If it was so wrong for me then why did you turn around and quote one of those same men back at me?

    And I also quoted scripture which you didn't deal with.

    Oh well. I should have known better.
     
  15. Winman

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    You quoted men because that is all you've got.

    And I went through many of the verses in Matthew 24 and showed they clearly do not match the events that happened in 70 A.D..
     
  16. asterisktom

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    Well, in a narrow sense, you are right. Since I believe that the last inspired book of the Bible, Revelation, was written in the late 60s AD, and since the fall of Jerusalem was after the canon of Scripture was closed then, yes, we have to turn to writing after the Bible if we want to read further history.

    Of course, we also have inspired prophecy, written before this. But it is precise that inspired prophecy that you are mistaken on. Either way, I am done with this topic as far as you are concerned. Not interested in your usual shoot from the hip methods.
     
  17. Eagle

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    First of all, let me apologize for my "kingdom" comments. We perhaps agree pretty closely on this one. The kingdom of heaven is spiritual - which was my point - and probably is a better term for it. My bigger problem with it is that so many confuse it for Christ's church - also spiritual - but very different.

    I hold however to the fact that you should have included "of heaven" because it does help with good exegesis - whether yours, or your opponents, in debate. It does smack of deception, or 'trying to pull one over' on someone.

    Secondly, you must not have noticed from my many other related postings, that I hold to a simple post-millennial eschatology. I am not a pre-millenialist - and I am far from dispensational. Ergo, I am not a "dispie".

    Say, that brings up a point. You talk big about others giving you "snide" remarks - which I have not - while at the same time freely calling those you disagree with, and apparently disrespect - "dispies"...go figger!

    Thirdly, as RAdam has also pointed out, many agree with me that Matthew 10 is not a rigorous/definitive passage from which to formulate or prove doctrine. It is obscure in this sense.
     
    #17 Eagle, Jul 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
  18. asterisktom

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    Thank you for your comments. And I, for my part, am sorry for some of my unwise and hasty comments.

    BTW, to my thinking "Dispie" is not meant to be disparaging. I don't mind if someone shortens my Preterism to Pretty - no, wait, that won't work! I just needed a short term for those who believe in any of the paradigms that still have a large degree of future fulfillments. I guess futurist would be best.

    I believe that Matt. 10 is not so much an obscure as an obscured passage. But I will leave that as it is.


    Have a good evening. I'll tie a knot on this one.
     
  19. Grasshopper

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  20. Robert Snow

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    If you want a thread on preterism, just look for asterisktom. It seems to be his favorite topic.

    I believe that many of the verses the preterist alludes to are partially fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. However, I also believe the complete fulfillment is found in the futurist, dispensational belief.

    I don't see how a bible believer can see the scripture concerning Israel and the miraculous intervention of God on behalf of His choses people, both past and present and not see that God is not through with Israel.
     

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