14 April 2007

Matthew 24, Part 7

The Tribulation

But pray that your flight may not be in winter, or on the Sabbath; for then there will be great tribulation, such as has not occured since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. Matthew 24:20-21.

The dispensationalist attemps to fit the tribulation into his future-oriented paradigm as well. Comparisons are often made between WWI or II and the idea of the Roman invasion fulfilling that prophecy in A.D. 70 is then dismissed. However, if we investigate history we'll see that the invasion of Jerusalem is the most devastating event in history as the text claims.

Referring back to the time text, Christ did say all these things would happen within the time frame of this generation. The history of the Roman invasion of Jerusalem does record the events as Jesus predicted them. Josephus documents many of the events that transpired. Within his writings we find that over one million Jews lost their lives and manu thousands more were forced into bondage. The Romans literally razed the city to the ground so that Jesus' words of vs. 2 were completely fulfilled. Josephus recounts numerous episodes of horror, too many to repeat in this short article, that vividly display the horrible anguish endured by the people within the city. Ample support of Christ's prophecy is given within Josephus' pages to the horrible tribulation the Romans wrought upon the city and the temple. (See Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Books 4-7, Grand Rapids; Kregal Publications, 1981).

Next, we find that from Christ's words in chapter 23, vss. 37 & 38, punishment was being placed on the apostate nation of Israel. The most significant outcome was the end of Old Covenant Judaism. Ken Gentry summed up the matter well when he wrote that as awful as the Jewish loss of life was, the utter devastationof Jersalem, the final destruction of the temple, and the conclusive cessation of the sacrificial system were lamented even more. The covenantal significance of the loss of the temple stands as the most dramatic outcome of the war. Hence, any Jewish calamity after A.D. 70 would pale in comparison to the redemptive-historical significance of the loss of the temple. (Ken Gentry, Dispensationalism in Transition, Ice, November 1991.) Hence, the real tribulation was not the human misery but the end of the Old Covenant.

more to come...

Eschatology of Victory


Looney said...

I have a lot of problems with this.

First, the "abomination that causes desolation" occurs at the beginning of the events according to Matthew 24, whereas Josephus is quite clear that the destruction of the temple is at the end of the seige of Jerusalem and the Romans took every precaution against the religious sites of the Jews. The reason the temple was destroyed was due to the Jews using it as their last fort when everything else collapsed.

Second, verses 24:4-8 imply a long history before all of the events are fulfilled.

Verse 34 is there because these symptoms are repetitive. For example, the "abomination that causes desolation" refers to Daniel which clearly points to Antiochus IV, but Jesus refers to another who will come afterwards.

This chapter is for our generation too.

Reformed Renegade said...

Thanks for the comment. I have to ask, have you read the previous 6 installments and are you prepared to read the balance of posts? Have you thouroughly studied any other viewpoint beside your own? If not, then be prepared to do so. What I read here is nothing based on fact but on presupposition. If you're ready to drop those we could share some interesting dialogue. I was once where you are. I finally took off the boxing gloves and took a hard look at the evidence. Of course, your eschatological view may be integral to your base theology which then may make all this difficult for you.
Besides, if you're unwilling to reveal your name and only want to show your feet, well..... :-)

Looney said...

Well, I will slow down and read your earlier posts. My dispensationalist viewpoint collapsed long ago, so I am still trying to figure out where to go next.

I did read Josephus (although it has been awhile). Which means that I get really annoyed when people invoke Josephus to support a viewpoint that isn't in Josephus.

As for my feet, I have left enough info for someone to easily track me down, but there are plenty of reasons to keep a little secrecy. For example, I would be very happy to dialog with Christian Missionaries in the Islamic world, but they would necessarily do this under another name.

Reformed Renegade said...

Are you saying Josephus did not say these things? I believe I sited all quotes.

Guess I'm not understanding. You say you've left enough for someone to track you down but you need secrecy. So be it. I don't believe the blogoshere is where you need to be if you need secrecy. Holding back always leaves dougbt. Are you afraid of someone in the Islamic world coming to find you?

Looney said...

OK, I read some of your other posts, but need to hunt back to the earlier ones. The Luke passage seems to fit better with Josephus and I must admit that I hadn't given that much attention compared to the Matthew one.

My problem still is that I believe that the "abomination that causes desolation" referred to in Daniel is a recurring event. It points just as well to Antiochus IV. There are anti-Christs today and there will be more in the future. Thus, a match for the events of 70AD doesn't exclude future matches.

BTW: I enjoy going through your posts and will do this more as I get time.

Reformed Renegade said...

Thanks. This has to be taken as a whole, not in bits and pieces. We don't believe that there are anti-christs today as the anti-christ referred to in Scripture is (was) Nero. There is much compelling evidence for this. My suggestion is, since you are looking into this again after dropping dispensationalism, would be to spend the $10 and purchase Kik's book on this. It changed my whole way of thinking and opened new doors forme in this area.

Looney said...

Is the book "Eschatology of Victory" by J. Marcellus Kik? Just checking Amazon.com to see if I can get it.

Reformed Renegade said...

Yes, my friend, that is the title
and there is link for it to Amazon on my blog.