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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Church Will Face Tribulation by Zac Poonen

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Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 2278


luke 21 1Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!”

2And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

3Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

5And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines [a]and troubles. These are the beginnings of [b]sorrows.

9“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will [c]be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, [d]or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who [e]endures to the end shall be saved.

14“So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ [f]spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 17But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18And pray that your flight may not be in winter. 19For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. 20And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

21“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the [g]elect. 23But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

24“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27And then He will send His angels, and gather together His [h]elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

 2023/9/1 22:55Profile

Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 2278


If we let the contextual flow on these passages speak for themselves, we see Jesus literally speaking about the destruction of the temple which is connected to the end of the age of the old covenant.

verses 6 and 7 in Luke 21 are tied together to create the context for the rest of the chapter.

Verse three the apostles ask a simple question When will these things be.

An in verse 5 onwards Jesus answers the question and if we look at the other verses in the Bible we see that this is the great tribulation.

For historical context we look at verse 9 and he's literally talking to his disciples about being beaten up in the synagogues which is what happened not long after Jesus spoke his prophecy and to be honest we can't apply this to the Gentiles today who never go in synagogues or get taken into synagogue.

Inverse 14 many people would connect the abomination of desolation with the Antichrist or the man of sin and this is clearly happened around the time of the destruction of the temple.

In verse 21 to. 23 we see the false prophets and false messiah who arose in the first century When we look at the historian's writings from Josephus and other's we clearly see this is taking place with false Christs and prophets and the unimaginable apostasy of the false Christianity called gnosticism. Apostle Paul was clearly teaching about these coming days which were fulfilled.

Verse 24 connected with the same contextual flow Calls this the tribulation and then Jesus talks about the coming judgment and the end of the age of Moses. Three separate historians spoke of this time and that chariots and armies were seen in the clouds. The Old Testament the same language is used for the coming of judgment upon Israel at a different time period

One Thing we can be sure of is nowhere does the contextual flow of this chapter allow for a futuristic interpretation of these verses..

So the idea that comes from reading Luke, Mark and Matthew within this context is that the first resurrection is not a fleshly resurrection. But that resurrection comes at the end of this age with the great white throne judgment and the handing of the millennial kingdom over to the Father. Where death is finally defeated and the merging of the heavens and the earth take place. 😊👋✝️🙏☝️💜

 2023/9/1 23:17Profile

Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1915
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Robert

Yes I agree with you that there are many prophecies that didn’t occur before, during or immediately after the fall of Jerusalem- which is my point-
Yet there is no other rendering for Luke 21 where the fall is clearly prophesied by Jesus Himself 🤷🏽‍♂️
So again, if we consider the possibility that, following after the pattern of John the Baptist, that there is an obvious opportunity to see both being true simultaneously- Much like how Jesus prophesied about the destruction of the temple and rebuilding of it in 3 days, was actually about Himself, and tho they could not have begun to consider that in any meaningful way, yet it was not only true but also true that the physical/literal temple was also destroyed… so it was true both ways you interpreted it. Or as commonly referred to, duel fulfillment-

Notice the margin Jesus inserts in Luke 21:
20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, ((((until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.))))

….then when that has occurred we get

The Return of Christ
(Matt. 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27 )
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
(Matt. 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31 )

It isn’t out of the question that both are true at different times just as it was with the crucifixion and later 70AD -


 2023/9/1 23:22Profile

Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 2278


If anyone is interested in a three three-session sermon related to a similar view. Though I don't agree with every point he makes an exceptional defense regarding a first-century fulfillment of the revelations and the gospel prophecies. Dr Lynne hiles

 2023/9/1 23:30Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4732


Hi Todd (and others),

While I do think that the words spoken by Jesus partially concerned the destruction of the Temple (and its fulfillment in 70 A.D. -- 40 years following the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord), I do agree with Fletcher's point about simultaneity too.

There are prophecies in the Old Testament that seemingly refer to something in the past as well as something in the future. They could be one of those "types" and "shadows" found in Scripture.

As Paul wrote in Colossians: "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17).


This phrase appears in two of the Gospels (Matthew 24:15-16 and Mark 13:14) pertaining to this message from the Lord regarding future events. They both specify the same event (although Matthew includes one more referential phrase spoken by the Lord for clarity):

"So when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Matthew 24:15-16 (ESV)

Here, we read this reference of the "abomination of desolation" (or, as Mark words it, the "abomination that CAUSES desolation"). Matthew includes the reference to the prophet Daniel. This is from Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11.

Many scholars -- as well as early Jewish rabbis and writers -- point to this specific "abomination" prophesied of by Daniel as referring to ANTIOCHUS IV EPIPHANES. He was the Greek emperor in 167 B.C. who marched into Jerusalem and slaughtered tens of thousands (including women and children) before going into the Temple and sacrificing a pig. He rededicated the Temple to a false god (likely Zeus or Baal-Shamin being identified as the same).

Yet, in the context of what Jesus was telling his disciples, he was referring to a FUTURE event.

Like you have said, it was likely referring to the events of 70 A.D. -- just 40 years after the Lord's sacrificial death and resurrection. During that time, there was a Jewish revolt against Roman occupation. Romans marched into Israel and began quelling that revolt. It eventually led to Titus (the future Roman emperor) breaking through the walls of Jerusalem and devastating the city (burning much of it) and utterly destroying the Temple. Most of the remaining treasure were carried off to Rome.

The "Arch of Titus" was erected just 11 years later in Rome (in 81 A.D.). On the arch's side, sculptures depict the Roman soldiers returning with the spoils plundered from the Temple (including one of the earliest depictions of the Temple's menorah, trumpets and Table of Showbread).

So, yes, it seems like this phrase from Daniel about an "abomination of desolation" and spoken by Jesus can refer to Antiochus Epiphanes (in 167 B.C.) as well as Titus (70 A.D.).

Yet, what if it doesn't just mean these two men?

What if it also refers to an individual -- the Antichrist -- mentioned in Revelation. After all, John had this revelation more than 60 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus and around 25-35 years after the destruction of the Temple. The same term -- abomination -- is used to describe "Babylon" in Revelation 17.

Obviously, the Babylon mentioned in Revelation (as well as I Peter) wasn't the old city-kingdom of Babylon. It was seemingly referring to Rome -- the "city of seven hills" (likely referred to in Revelation 17:9). Yet, even in this passage of Revelation, the term about the "seven heads" refers to both the location of the city (again, likely meaning Rome) AND ALSO the kings who ruled from it (see Revelation 17:10).

It's interesting to me that this goes back to the prophet Daniel -- who interpreted the dream of the statue for Nebuchadnezzar. That statue included the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. Perhaps the "abomination that causes desolation" could refer to all of those who would attempt to conquer and subjugate Jerusalem and/or God's people? It might make sense as we consider the events mentioned in Revelation too -- as armies are seen ready to attack Jerusalem.

I've often pondered if the "partly iron, partly clay" toes at the base of that statue might represent the final "empire" -- one that is somehow both iron and clay (possibly referring to governments of the people). Of course, this is just conjecture too. All of the empires mentioned by Daniel conquered and subjugated Jerusalem and the Temple.

Still, I believe that it is worth noting that a single prophecy -- like the one spoken of by Daniel and cited by Jesus in the Gospels -- can simultaneously refer to more than one instance, event or person. Is this a possibility that you would consider?


 2023/9/2 2:02Profile

Joined: 2020/2/12
Posts: 319


My understanding is different, will try and keep it short and simple:
I believe we have discussed this so many times that we can't see the wood for the trees anymore
We quote other Christians, post links, refer to well know teachers etc.
By this we are missing some basic teachings from Scripture, like the goodness of God and the severity of God or blessings and judgement.

Just one example from Scripture
Israel had the Promised Land with milk and honey
Later on the Northern and Southern Kingdoms experienced God's judgement.
Jeremiah tried to warn Judea, without success.

I believe we are no better than them, we turned our backs on God.
We are facing the same judgement.
Most western countries have open borders, the "Assyriens" and "Babyloniens" have been invading us for a long time.
New laws will make us more and more "captives"

The Church will have to endure a lot of heat to be purified, to become a "glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish"(from Eph 5:27)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.(Proverbs 9:10)


 2023/9/2 6:11Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 6475


The end part of the Olivet Discourse may pertain to the Second Coming but it may not. I certainly believe in a yet future Second Coming. But the reason folks say that the last part of the OD cannot be about 70 Ad is because of the imagery- the Son coming on the clouds and various astronomical phenomenon.

My point about apocalyptic language is that OT writers used very similar imagery( see below). We don’t take those literally. So there is no *necessity* that this portion of the OD be yet future. Besides, as Gary pointed out, there *were* signs in the heavens during the destruction of Jerusalem.

The LORD of hosts is mustering
a host for battle.
5 They come from a distant land,
from the end of the heavens,
the LORD and the weapons of his indignation,
to destroy the whole land.fn
6 ¶ Wail, for the day of the LORD is near;
as destruction from the Almightyfn it will come!
7 Therefore all hands will be feeble,
and every human heart will melt.
8 They will be dismayed:
pangs and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look aghast at one another;
their faces will be aflame.
9 ¶ Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the land a desolation
and to destroy its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
will not give their light;
the sun will be dark at its rising,
and the moon will not shed its light. Isaiah 13

An oracle concerning Egypt.
Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud
and comes to Egypt;
and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. Is. 19:1


 2023/9/2 9:01Profile

Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 700


As in many examples from the OT, the fruition of prophesies in the end times will be the fullest realities of what occurred temporally in the OT. It happened over and over. For example, There was a real Emmanuel born in the time of Isaiah but it was a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah. This is most likely true with the judgment on Israel in 70AD. Makes sense given Revelation was written after the destruction of Jerusalem. The only reason I engage in these debates which will have no resolution ultimately is because I truly want my brothers and sisters to be ready if indeed we have to get through a great and final tribulation. It is a family responsibility to see to it that the whole family conquers, overcomes, endures and makes it to the finish line of our race. The family has a responsibility to get us all ready for Him, not just securely but also worthily. I hope and pray that all these debates and strivings are to this end.


 2023/9/2 10:11Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2636

 Re: Good bro ccchhhrrriiisss

/This is why I mentioned people who are "dogmatic" about certain issues that aren't absolutely clear from Scripture./

/If the Scriptures were undeniably clear about the entire timeline of the Lord's return, then I would joyfully accept it with all grace./

How clear could Christ have been? After the events of the final tribulation of this age have transpired, then He comes again.

Question: Why would God purposefully make the subject of the timing of His Son's return difficult and unclear? What purpose would that serve? Why would He vex and confuse the saints in such a manner? In keeping, there is an aspect and practice in the modern study of eschatology that assumes from the get go that the timing of the second coming is veiled in mystery and nothing certain can be ascertained fron scripture. Therefore, people balk and turn away from
the uncomplicatedpassages like Matthew 24:29-31.

Good bro, I'm for sured not trying to be a smart aleck or know it all. I'm just pointing to Jesus' own words. But again, my question is, how clear and uncomplicated could Christ have been? It seems impossible to read this passage and state things like, "If only scripture were clear." It's a very curious phenomenon when this happen in my opinion. Meanwhile, the answer you can accept with all grace is right there looking at you and all of us. And it was Jesus who stated it.

Blessings good man.

David Winter

 2023/9/2 12:00Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 6475


Amen to that Robert.


 2023/9/2 12:01Profile

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