Shalom! My name is Adam Pastor

Welcome to ADONI MESSIAH which means
"My Lord Messiah" -
a fitting epithet to who Jesus (or Yeshua) is!

Here, I attempt to present the Apostolic Truths according to the Scriptures, that there is
One GOD, the Father, namely, YAHWEH,
and One Lord, GOD's only begotten Son,
Yeshua the Messiah.

And that one day YAHWEH will send His Son back to Earth to inaugurate the Everlasting Kingdom of GOD


Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Parousia (Second Coming)

The Parousia (Second Coming)

The reason I think that the second coming of Jesus has not happened is that he is not here!

You can go to Jerusalem and look for him and you will not find him there, nor the throne of David on which he has never sat. The 12 Apostles are not there either, and yet Jesus promised them royal office when he returned (Matt. 19:28).

The internet is full of what is called "preterism." This word means "past-ism" and it assures Christians that the second coming of Jesus happened in AD 70 within 40 years of Jesus' time on earth. Preterism informs its adherents that the Messiah came back at the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Here is my reason for thinking that this is an enormous falsehood: I understand the Kingdom of God, which Jesus made the center of the saving Gospel, to include the reestablishment of David's throne in Jerusalem. If that view of the Kingdom of God is wrong, vast amounts of Scripture would have to be dumped. Jesus promised his close followers that their reward for being Christians would be to sit on 12 thrones administering the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:28-30). Later, based on this information, the Apostles very reasonable inquired just before Jesus left them: "Has the time now come for you to restore the Kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). This would of course be the question. The arrival of Jesus would put an end to the trials, troubles and tragedies of our present experience. It would mean sound government on earth and the end of international strife.

Jesus had told them that "when the Son of Man comes in his glory...then he will sit on the throne of his glory" (Matt. 25:31). His coming will mean the restoration of the presently non-existent throne of David. The Apostles will bless the world on a grand scale as they assist Jesus in the huge task of reorganizing society under a sound government. If Jesus is to sit on his throne when he comes in glory, he is not now sitting on that throne. [1] Moreover since the Apostles are to rule in a restored Israel "when the Son of Man comes," that is, "in the regeneration, when the world is reborn," it follows that this event has not happened. Jesus cannot have come back. If he had, then the Apostles would be here on 12 thrones ruling and administering with Jesus.

If you believe that this is the state of affairs in our world today, you must not be watching the news! Where is the good evidence that Jesus is now on the throne of David in Jerusalem (where it has to be located as much as the throne of the queen of England is in London) and that the Apostles are ruling with him?

Traditional Christianity has not only abandoned Jesus' very Jewish view of God as a single Person, it has abandoned his [Jesus’] Gospel of the Kingdom, which promises that he and all the saints of all the ages will rule together on a renewed earth. Preterism tries to tell you that next week is really this week. It teaches that the coming of Jesus and thus his co-administrative activity with the saints began in AD 70. On this view, the visible second coming is a thing of the past. There never will be a restored Davidic throne.

John Calvin, one of history's most brutal exponents of Christianity as he misunderstood it, was naturally unhappy with the disciples' perceptive question about the Kingdom of God in Acts 1:6: "Is this the time when you are going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?" With characteristic and inflexible dogmatism, he declared,
"There are more errors in that question than words."

Calvin, who was personally responsible for the judicial murder of fellow theologian Michael Servetus (because the latter supported Jesus' view of God in Mark 12:28-34), did not like the idea of a restored Kingdom involving Israel and the Apostles. He ruled it out by accusing the Apostles of blindness. But Jesus did not correct his own students as Calvin would have liked. Jesus had taught them about that restored Kingdom and their place in it.
He merely informed his followers that the time-frame of the coming of the Kingdom was not to be known. The Father kept that fact within His own authority. The Son, being a human being, did not know, despite his unique authority under God.

In Acts 1:5-7 the coming of the spirit in power to mark the Apostles as Jesus' accredited agents on earth, when he had ascended to heaven, was to be within a few days. But the coming of the Kingdom was to be at a time totally unknown. This simple fact needs to be emphasized: The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is not the coming of the Kingdom of God. The coming of the Kingdom of God is to be expected at the future second coming of Jesus: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, then he will sit on his throne of glory" (Matt. 25:31). The timing is quite clear as it is in masses of other passages of both Testaments, especially Daniel 7:14, 18, 22, 27. Jesus in Luke 19 gave the memorable parable of the departing and returning nobleman, to instruct us that the Kingdom of God will arrive only after the return of Jesus in glory to defeat his enemies:
"Bring them before me and slay them" (Luke 19:27).

The public in Jesus’ day knew that the Kingdom of God was destined to arrive in Jerusalem. They needed further light on the stages of God's plan and Jesus opened their minds to know that the Kingdom had to await his future return as the "nobleman," the Messiah.

The prophets of Israel announced the future day of the Lord in a way which attracted maximum attention. They said that the day of God's intervention was "near" and "coming very quickly." This is important background to the study of the New Testament view of the future. I want to quote some translations of Zephaniah 1:14 to make the point clear. I start with the LXX, the translation of the Old Testament into Greek, often used by the New Testament writers:

Zeph. 1:14: "Near is the great day of YAHWEH, near and very swiftly coming. Hark, the day of YAHWEH! Bitter, then, the warrior's cry."

"Near is the great day of YAHWEH, near and coming very quickly. Listen, the day of YAHWEH! In it the warrior cries out bitterly."

The reader is invited to ponder this prophecy with care and examine its context. What event does the prophet have in mind? Here are the obvious clues to the prophet's meaning: "Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day of YAHWEH'S wrath; and all the earth will be devoured in the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end, indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth'' (Zeph. 1:18).

"Therefore wait for Me," declares YAHWEH, "for the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all My burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal. For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of YAHWEH, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, My dispersed ones, will bring My offerings" (Zeph. 3:8-10).

The event in question affects the earth and it will result in a purifying of languages. There is no historical fulfillment of this prophecy. Yet the event is predicted as near and coming quickly. Zephaniah penned his words in the seventh century BC.

John, to whom the book of Revelation was given, announced the coming of Jesus with these urgent words: No less than four times in Revelation Jesus says "I am coming quickly."
John announced the events of his prophecy as "coming shortly and quickly" (1:1) "for the time is near" (1:3). The prophecies of John as we all know include the day of the Lord and the establishment of the Kingdom and the thousand-year reign initiated by the resurrection of dead saints. They include the binding of Satan, who is currently "deceiving the whole world" (12:9). Starting with the prophesied millennium, introduced by the resurrection of the faithful dead, Satan will be bound so that "he can no longer deceive the nations" (Rev. 20:2-3)

All this Jesus and John wrote is "near and coming quickly." That is exactly what Zephaniah had said about the Day of YAHWEH 650 years earlier and over 2500 years ago! He said that the Day of YAHWEH was near and coming quickly. And the Day of YAHWEH has not yet happened.

The data provided by the prophets and by Jesus and John have given the skeptics, as they think, an easy attack on the genuineness of the whole Christian faith. How could these so-called spokesmen for God, Jesus and the prophets, have been so wrong? How could they have spoken of the ultimate intervention of God as "near and coming quickly"?

From this so-called problem Christians have not been in general (there are notable exceptions) persuaded to give up belief in Christ and the Bible. They have pointed out that if  "coming quickly" always means that God must intervene within a chosen (by our reckoning) short span of time, then clearly the prophets were wrong. But Peter tackled the issue when he pointed out that God is able to reckon a thousand years as a day. In this way the urgency of our response to the Day of God's intervention is maintained. Any of us can die at any time, and the next second of our consciousness we face the Lord at his future coming. The Day of the Lord has never been more than about 90 years ahead of any of us living now.
Yet thousands of years of world history have elapsed since the prophets of Israel and finally Jesus spoke of the Day of the Lord as coming quickly.

We need to be very clear here that one cannot escape any perceived problem by saying that the Second Coming of Jesus is all over — past, fulfilled in AD 70. This would just cancel the Kingdom of God and the resurrection. Nor can any theory of cancellation be proposed, since there is no evidence for this in the prophets who prophesied the Day of the Lord. If God has changed His mind about the Second Coming or perhaps cancelled it altogether, He has certainly not told us this in the Bible. Jesus echoes the prophecies of Daniel specifically and adding further detail to them expounds them as certain to be fulfilled.

What then did Jesus announce? The answer is simple. He was asked about his "coming [Parousia] and the end of the age" (Matt 24:3). The end of the age he had already defined in Matthew 13:43 as the time of the harvest and the resurrection when the saints will "shine like the sun its strength in the Kingdom of their Father."

Jesus was quoting Daniel 12:3. Daniel's prophecies spoke also of the "time of the end" and the end in question was marked by the resurrection of the dead (Dan. 12:2). By speaking of the glory of the saints in their Father's Kingdom in connection with the harvest, Jesus obviously took Daniel as accurate and inspired.

There will be a resurrection of the dead and there will be glorified saints in the Kingdom which begins at the resurrection.

Back to Jesus' account of the future. "The end is not yet," he replies to the question about his "coming and the end of the age" (Matt. 24:3). And only a few verses later, "then the end will come." The end will come, Jesus said, when the Christian Gospel of the Kingdom will have been preached worldwide as a fair warning to the inhabitants of the earth, all nations (24:14). Following his statement about the end, he immediately gives more detail. With this end of the age in mind, he warns of the Abomination of Desolation standing where he [2] ought not to (Mark 13:14). It is at this point that some unfortunately indulge in a grasshopper method of reading simple words. They say that Jesus is no longer speaking of the end of the age, the only end available so far in the discourse, but that Jesus must have introduced without warning a completely different "end" in AD 70!

Language and communication fail when words are so treated. We are able to follow each other (most of the time!) when the ordinary rules of sense prevail. Jesus is answering a question about the end of the age and the Parousia, which he describes as a visible event "like lightning flashing from east to west."

This did not happen in AD 70. There was no "harvest" resurrection of the dead then, and Jesus did not come back. He did not sit on his throne in Jerusalem, and he is now not there. This means that he did not come back! He is still in heaven.

The Christian Gospel itself is destroyed if it is maintained that the coming and Kingdom of God happened in AD 70. The Gospel would be falsified, since no Kingdom came then and no Jesus returned. And no dead were raised. Since the inheritance of the Kingdom is the Christian hope, the Christian hope is reduced to nothing on the premise that Jesus has already come back!

The Olivet Discourse is based on the outline provided by Daniel. Scholars have shown how hugely indebted Jesus was to the book of Daniel. He saw there a prophecy of himself as Son of Man, destined to rule with the saints in the Kingdom to be established "under the whole heaven" (Dan. 7:27) and destined to crush with a single shattering blow all other nation-states.

Jesus took the prophecy of the resurrection of the dead as literal prophecy. Daniel spoke of the Great Tribulation as an event associated with the death of the final King of the North. The Great Tribulation (of which there can only be one, since it has no equal) is to occur, says Daniel, in close connection with the King of the North who is to come to his end in Israel.
"At that time" the dead will be raised. Jesus said exactly the same thing. He quotes the very words of Daniel about the righteous shining in the Kingdom at the time of the harvest (Matt. 13:41-43; Dan. 12:2-3). Jesus reads Daniel in the only way it can be read as prediction of the great events in God's plan.

Jesus' view of the future is not hard. The end will come when the Kingdom of God Gospel has been preached internationally. The end of the age will come when we see the Abomination of Desolation standing where he ought not to. The chronological sequence is precise: "When you see...then there will be a great tribulation such as has never happened and never will happen...Those days will be days of distress for pregnant women...Unless those days were shortened no flesh would remain alive...Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened...and they will see the Son of Man coming in power and glory, and he will gather his elect from the four corners of the world" (Matt. 24:15-30).

This account matches Daniel's exactly. The final events are closely linked and connected by precise and unambiguous time markers:
"and then...immediately after..."
Jesus will return immediately after the end of the Great Tribulation
— a post-tribulational coming!

[1] Note the deceptive mistranslation of Matt. 25:31 in the NIV which speaks of "heavenly" glory, trying to divert us from Jesus' presence on earth when he comes back. Note also the mischievous mis-rendering of Jesus' words in John 13:3, 16:28 and 20:17 which makes Jesus say what he did not say! Check the Greek and other translations.
[That is, the words in the Greek text of these verses, say nothing about Jesus returning or going back!]

[2] See some translations and good modern commentary for the masculine participle in the Greek here, estekota, indicating in this case a person, not a thing.

Taken from:
June, 2009 edition of Focus on the Kingdom magazine
Editor: Anthony Buzzard

Slightly edited