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When will these things be?

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When will these things be?

John 1:12 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
At various times in our lives, most of us want a specific time line for future events.
For that reason we double check our calendars and ask questions:
Are we there yet?
When does school end?
When does vacation begin?
How many weeks until Labour Day?
How long do I have before…?
Those whom Jesus discipled had similar questions. Having been reminded multiple times that Jesus would soon die and rise again, some of their questions might have emanated from their misconception that Christ’s rising from the dead, the Messianic kingdom and the end of things as they were then, were immediate and closely linked time wise.
Their lack of understanding gave rise to questions, “When will these things be?” and “What is the sign that all of these things are about to be accomplished?” Those questions are still be asked. With regard to the first question, Jesus explained that when these things would be, there would be:
Deception -
Context
Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem - - coming kingdom of our father David
Mark 11:9–10 ESV
And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
Mk 11:
Jesus cursed the fig tree/lessons from the withered fig tree - , - have faith in God
Mark 11:22 ESV
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.
Mk 11:
Cleansing of the Temple - - My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations
Mark 11:17 ESV
And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”
Mk 11:
Chief priests, scribes and elders challenged Jesus’ authority - - was His authority from man or from heaven - comparable question - was the baptism of John the Baptist from heaven or from man?
Parable of the Tenants & question from the Pharisees and Herodians - do we pay taxes to Caesar? - Jesus turned that around with the question - what do we owe the Son of God and God?
Mark 12:6–10 ESV
He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture: “ ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
Mark 12:6–9 ESV
He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.
Mk 12:
The Sadducees asked about the resurrection - whose wife will she be in the resurrection?
Mark 12:24 ESV
Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?
Mk 12:
Scribes’ question - what it the greatest commandment? - Jesus comment to the one scribe - you are not far from the kingdom of God
Mark 12:34 ESV
And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Mk
Whose son is Jesus, the Christ?
Mark 12:37 ESV
David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
Mk 12:
Beware of the Scribes - they will receive the greater condemnation
Mark 12:40 ESV
who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
Mk
In the wake of that context of encounters and teaching, all of which could have, should have prompted some heart felt discipleship questions from the disciples. Instead, we read Mark’s record of the question from an unnamed disciple.
Teacher, what wonderful stones and what a wonderful building!
Matthew’s parallel account of these same events partially explain the comment with regard to the temple and the subsequent questions.
Matthew’s account - your house will be left desolate, you will not see me again until… quoted Ps 118:26
Matthew 12:38–39 ESV
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
Matthew 23:38–39 ESV
See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
Matt
Jesus withdrew and they would not see Him again until they recognized Him as Messiah!
Matt 23:
Some commentators suggest that when Jesus left, God’s glory departed from the temple. Those commentators refer to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 11:23 ESV
And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city.
Ezek
The time sequence in Ezekiel’s does not so clearly support that - where was God’s glory from the time that Jesus left the temple in Jerusalem until His second coming? - ; ; , 2-12
God’s gathering of a scattered Israel as people to the land that God had promised them.
Remove the heart of stone - give them a heart of flesh
Deal with those whose hearts continue to go after detestable things
The glory of the Lord was over them - where was the glory of the Lord - - had left the Temple
The glory of the Lord went from the city to the east side of the city - the Mount of Olives where the Son of God will return in all of His glory - ; .
SO, I WOULD SUGGEST TO YOU THAT BECAUSE THERE IS NO REFERENCE TO THE SHEKINA GLORY BEING PRESENT IN THE TEMPLE REBUILD UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF EZRA OR IN HEROD’S TEMPLE, THE VISIBLE PRESENCE LEFT WHEN THE ISRAELITES WERE TAKEN INTO CAPTIVITY.
SINCE, PENTECOST AS THE REFORMERS HAVE REMINDED, THE GLORY OF GOD THAT HAD IN CHRIST, IS NOW IN THE IMPACT OF THE GOSPEL:
Sola Scriptura
Solus Christus
Sola Gracia
Sola Gloria
Sola Fide
Sola Gracia
Soli Deo Gloria
Jesus’ answer - temple would be totally destroyed.
Matthew 24:2 ESV
But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
Matt
A complete destruction of such a magnificent building must have been incomprehensible to the disciples - why & how?
“This temple was begun by Herod the Great in 20 B.C. and was still under construction when the Romans destroyed it in 70 A.D. At the time of Jesus’ ministry, the temple was one of the most impressive structures in the world, made of massive blocks of stone bedecked with gold ornamentation. Some of the stones in the temple complex measured 40x12x12 ft or 10mx4mx4m and were expertly quarried to fit perfectly perfectly against each other. The temple buildings were made of gleaming white marble and the whole eastern wall of the large main structure was covered with gold plates that reflected the morning sun, making a spectacle that was visible for miles. The entire temple mound had been enlarged by Herod’s engineers, by means of large retaining walls and vaulted chambers on the south side and southeast corner. By this means the large courtyard area atop the temple mound was effectively doubled. The whole temple complex was magnificent beyond any standard.” (MacArthur Study Bible - Matt 24:1)
Questions - private - Peter and James, John and Andrew
They
When will these things be? - DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE
You
What will be sign of your coming? - recorded by Matthew
Mk 13:26
What will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished? -
“Let the reader understand” - to a future generation
They asked these questions not only because of what Jesus said about the destruction of the Temple for at least 2 reasons:
The destruction of the Temple did not fit into what they envisioned with regard the Messianic Kingdom
They wrongly understood that the Messianic Kingdom would be immediate. Jesus was aware of that and for reason told the disciples the parable of the minas/pounds - a variation of what Matthew recorded as the parable of the talents.. In Luke’s account he recorded.
Luke 19:11 ESV
As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
Luke
Beware/look from
Be on guard not to be lead astray
An imperative - meaning more than see - blepo - blepo apo - look away - don’t focus on
Followers of Jesus are to watch out for false teachers/false teaching so as not to be mislead.
2 Timothy 3:13 ESV
while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Peter 2:1–3 ESV
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
1 John 4:1–3 ESV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
The number of false prophets and messiahs will increase.
Jesus made NO reference here to the ultimate false teacher, the “Antichrist”.
Daniel 7:25 ESV
He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
2 Thessalonians 2:3–8 ESV
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
John 10:3–5 ESV
To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Daniel 8:23 ESV
And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise.
1 John 4:1–6 ESV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Dan
Daniel 11:36 ESV
“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.
Dan 11:
2 Thessalonians 2:3 ESV
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2 Thess
Revelation 11:7 ESV
And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,
Deceptions:
Many will come in Christ’s name claiming to be messiahs, offering solutions to the world’s pressing problem.
Some will claim to be Christ.
1 John 2:18 ESV
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
2 John 7 ESV
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Will lead many astray
Wars and rumors of wars
Do not be alarmed
This must take place, but it is not the end
Nation against nation, earthquakes, famines
Great earthquakes
Luke 21:11 ESV
There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
Lk
Jesus made no reference to the Tribulation.
The end is not yet/BUT the beginning of birth pains
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to Mark Standing Firm despite Infirmities (13:3–13)

The purpose of the litany of woes in 13:8 is not to lure believers into speculations about the end, but to anchor them to watchfulness and faithfulness in the present.

Persecution -
Jesus had warned His disciples that they would face significant opposition.
Matthew 10:16–17 ESV
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,
John 16:2–3 ESV
They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Be on YOUR own guard = be clear in your own minds
Persecution will become the norm
They will deliver you to councils - Gr word sanhedrin - local Jewish courts connected to the neighbourhood synagogue.
Governors and kings to bear witness before them
Instances in Acts
Acts 4:5–13 ESV
On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
Acts 8:35 ESV
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.
Acts 12:1–3 ESV
About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.
Phil 2:
Philippians 2:12–14 ESV
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing,
Acts 23:33 ESV
When they had come to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him.
Acts 25:6 ESV
After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought.
God would empower their witness
Luke 12:11 ESV
And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to Mark Standing Firm despite Infirmities (13:3–13)

Once again the sufferings and persecutions of believers are not signs of the end, but signs that attend authentic preaching of the gospel!

Persecution is recurring reality when those who are salt and light are deemed a threat to those who reject not only the Light but those who have received the light.
Micah foretold this.
Micah 7:6 ESV
for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
Betrayal even by family members
For this to happen, it is obvious that saving faith in Christ will be seen as a act of treason against the family and society deserving betrayal and handing over to death, those who had loved and blood relatives.
In every age and era, for some deviating from the family code has meant death. That has been true in politics, religion, codes of conduct, brother and sisterhood. IN SOME OF THOSE RELATIONSHIPS, SAVING FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST IS NOT ALLOWED.
Protestant & Catholic - Northern Ireland and closer to home
Segregation according to skin colour or ethnic origin
Politics - Communism & revolutions
Civil Rights
Abortion - lives of those who perform abortion versus the life of the unborn child
Gender identity
The Apostle Peter’s response to the leaders of his days, still serves us well.
Acts 4:10–12 ESV
let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts
Beatings, hatred & death
Beaten in the synagogues - 39 stripes so as not to violate
Gospel MUST FIRST be proclaimed to ALL nations
There will be a worldwide proclamation of the Gospel
You will hated by all for My name’s sake
Not until we reread this do the words of Jesus sink in. During the course of continued persecution, many of those who are persecuted will be hated by those who persecute them, but also by fellow believers. In times of persecution, both true and false confessions are publicized with the result that trust is broken and guilt by association happens.
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to Mark Standing Firm despite Infirmities (13:3–13)

A.D. 64, Tacitus writes that those who confessed that they were Christians were first arrested, and then on their disclosures, many Christians were further arrested (Ann. 15:44). A generation later, sometime after A.D. 110, Pliny the Younger testifies to the same method of interrogating Christians “who have been denounced”—presumably by fellow Christians (Letter to the Emperor Trajan 10.96). If v. 12 does include betrayals of Christians by fellow Christians, then the statement in the following verse that “ ‘all men will hate you’ ” includes even those within the church: fallible and false believers within the community of faith will conspire with the world to persecute true disciples. If believers experience the tragic betrayal (Gk. paradidomi) of fellow believers, then they will share the very experience of Jesus, who was betrayed (Gk. paradidomi) by Judas, one of the family of the Twelve (3:19).

Persevere & endure
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to Mark Standing Firm despite Infirmities (13:3–13)

The life of faith is not an exemption from adversity but a reliance on the promise of God to bear witness to the gospel in adversity, and to be saved for eternal life through it.

The disciples and believers of all ages have searched for security in more specifically pinpointing “when”. In answering their questions, Jesus’ answers stressed more how they as believers were to live and process those events.
Watch out that not one of the many who will try, leads you astray.
Meaning and significance of present and future events
Those who do not make the main thing the main thing.
Did our Lord save us to compare history with the latest versions of someone’s charts or to proclaim the Gospel?
2. World conditions and how believers are regarded will cyclically deteriorate, sometimes drastically.
Things will become worse before they become better.
That does not mean that we close the doors and develop a fortress mentality.
God will judge the unrighteous AND more importantly He will rescue the righteous.
Ex of Noah - built the ark as commanded and preached righteousness - 120 years - days of man on the earth - Gen 6:3
2 Peter 2:1–5 ESV
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
1 Peter 3:20 ESV
because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
3. In spite of the ebb and flow of events and at times the undertows and spiritual tsunamis around them, believers are commanded to persevere and endure.
To the end
Keep our eyes on Jesus
Hebrews 12:1–2 ESV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Trust in Christ’s promises and God’s keeping power.
John 10:28–30 ESV
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Time in the Word and with God’s people
Hebrews 13:9 ESV
Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
Heb
Pray for strength and boldness.
Acts 4:29–30 ESV
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
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