Many theologians refer to the NT’s teaching on the Kingdom in terms of the “already and not yet.” In other words, they see the NT teaching a Kingdom and salvation that had begun at the cross, resurrection and ascension of Jesus (the “already”) but an inheritance of the Kingdom and salvation that arrives at the Second Coming event sometime in our alleged future as the “not yet.”
And if Evangelical or Reformed theologians do admit that Jesus’ Kingdom is to be realized “within” the heart or soul of a person (per Luke 17:20-21), they inevitably connect this to the “already” of Jesus’ Kingdom and salvation promises and not to the very clear and truly imminent “not yet” Kingdom and salvation promises — contextually and inseparably connected to the Second Coming. I will demonstrate that the Church no longer lives in the “already and not yet” period, but post AD 70, we live in the age that was “about to come” at Christ’s genuinely “at hand” “this generation” Second Coming event.
The goal of this article will be to demonstrate the following concerning our Lord’s teaching on the timing and nature of His Kingdom and Second Coming within the immediate context of Luke 17:20—18:1-8:
1. We shall give a brief overview of the various concepts of the kingdom during John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ day, while at the same time give a brief OT summary of the Kingdom promises and why the first century Jew would not be able to “discern” their “end.”
2. We will consider the contextual flow of Luke’s eschatology concerning the eschatological “not yet” of the kingdom’s arrival (not just the “already”) as being fulfilled imminently (“at hand” “soon” “this generation”). Special attention will be given to John the Baptist’s eschatology — especially since John was preparing the eschatological “not yet” “way” of salvation and judgment seen in Malachi 3-4 which is described as the “great and awesome day” or Christ coming as the “Sun of Righteousness” (see #4 below).
3. Jesus and Luke connect the spiritual “within” reception of Jesus’ coming at His Parousia to be fulfilled when the OC kingdom would be put to death as a corporate body at the feet of the swarming Romans pictured as vultures. In other word’s 17:20-37 is a chiasm focusing on the question of the Pharisees and then the disciples on the when and where the kingdom will be manifested. Jesus had predicted elsewhere that the kingdom would be “taken” from OC Jerusalem (Pharisees) and “given” to a “nation” (the Church) bearing the fruits thereof (Mt. 21:43-45). Thus, Luke 17:20-37—18 describes HOW, WHEN and WHERE this transfer of the kingdom will take place – and it is clearly when the Son of Man would be revealed at the Second Coming event.
4. Another focus of this article will be to demonstrate that Christ’s Parousia (Mt. 24:27 a parallel to Lk. 17:24) is better described as Him coming as the “Sun of Righteousness” from the east to the west – burning up the wicked while at the same time filling the Church/New Jerusalem “within” with His resurrection light and life (Rev. 21-22).
5. It will also be demonstrated that the parable of the persistent widow is connected to Luke 17:20-37 and thus gives an AD 70 “quickly” (18:8) time frame for the Second Coming.
6. And lastly, this exegesis will be in harmony with what Jesus teaches in the Olivet Discourse. In Luke 21, it is both the eschatological “not yet” of the Second Coming and arrival of the Kingdom that will be fulfilled in an “at hand” and “this generation” time frame (Lk. 21:27-32 – i.e. AD 70).
7. Therefore, we must conclude that John the Baptist’s eschatology along with Jesus’ teaching in Luke 9:26-27 and Luke 17-18 are snapshots of what Jesus will fully develop in Luke 21 — ALL of which point to an imminent and eschatological “not yet” to the coming of the Second Coming and Kingdom that will not be seen with the physical eye but be realized “within” the Church.
Messianic Kingdom and Eschatological Views of John the Baptist and Jesus’ Day
They considered themselves to be…:
1. the children of light,
2. the fulfillment of the New Covenant promises (being filled with the Holy Spirit),
3. the “way” in the wilderness crying out for apostate Jerusalem and her priesthood to repent, before…
4. …they would both be involved in an imminent end time 40 years holy war (patterned after the reign of David) to be waged with the Romans. They believed Messiah would be in the flesh and with military might destroy both the Romans and apostate Jerusalem while establishing them as the heirs of the Kingdom.
5. The kingdom would be physically seen and would be set up on a geographical location.
6. All of this would be fulfilled during the time of the Roman Empire per Daniel.
They also had a carnal view of the Messianic kingdom which included the following:
1. Messiah would come in the flesh and destroy Rome and the apostate Jewish sects such as the Essenes and establish them as the rightful heirs of the Kingdom.
2. Messiah would destroy all the Gentiles.
3. The OC Mosaic Law of Moses would continue in the age to come.
4. Some believed that when Messiah came, He would recapitulate Israel’s history and thus usher in a second or new exodus by which Messiah would have a 40 years transitionary reign from their “this [OC] age” to the “age [NC or Messianic] about to come.”
5. The kingdom would be physically seen and set up in a geographical location.
6. All of this would be fulfilled during the time of the fourth world Empire (Rome) per the prophecy of Daniel.
The first century Jews understood the imminent timing of the Messianic Kingdom, but not the spiritual nature of it. They also correctly saw a 40 years new exodus generation predicted but failed to see that Messiah would have to suffer and be the Passover Lamb. This and that the nature of the second exodus was a deliverance from spiritual sin/death and slavery and not another political or military exodus and deliverance as previously experienced through Moses and Joshua.
They also viewed the Temple and the Promised Land of Israel to be a city of light shining (through God’s presence in the MHP and through Torah) as a light to the Gentile nations who were in darkness. This imagery is given in Revelation 21-22:17 where it is the Church that emerges as the vindicated and glorified New Jerusalem and New Creation giving light and healing to the nations through the everlasting gospel.
Why did most not “discern” what the Kingdom was to be?
a. God predicted through Moses that in Israel’s “last days” and within a specific “perverse and crooked generation” they would reject their “Rock” and thus their “end” would be “near” (Deut. 31-32). Moses tells Israel that she would not be able to “discern” what Her covenantal “end” would be. Why?
b. One of the reasons is that Messiah would establish a spiritual (“cut without hands”) kingdom or a “new thing” during the time of the fourth or Roman Empire and it would be established when the physical temple and city were destroyed and judged (Dan. 2, 7, 9, 12; Isa. 24-28; 40-66). While they were correct to expect an imminent Messianic Kingdom during the time of Roman dominion, they still wanted another physical geo-political kingdom on earth and didn’t want to believe that God would judge them (not Rome) for rejecting and “cutting off” their own Messiah. The concept of rejecting their own Messiah (their Corner Stone and Rock) and them being the focus of judgment and not the Gentiles, would be and was considered a “strange work” to them (Isa. 28).
c. It pleased God to reveal Himself and His Kingdom to the “babes” and “unlearned” “remnant” and not to the majority – arrogant and apostate establishment. God wanted to work with a believing remnant of which could only come to Him unless He sovereignly drew/drug them to Himself (Jn. 6; 10). This pattern is present in the OT and continues even to today in the New Covenant age.
In short, they failed to understand Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom because
· It was “cut without hands”/spiritual and thus a “new thing” and they wanted the new wine in old wineskins.
· They (not the Romans) were the objects of judgment for rejecting their Messiah and persecuting those NT prophets He would send to them.
· It pleased God to do it this way and to reveal Himself to people He would create to be a humble and persecuted remnant – of which He would show His mercy and be strong on their behalf (vindicate “quickly”).
Imminent “Not Yet” eschatological flow of Luke’s eschatology
The Eschatology of John the Baptist
John is found in the desert & baptizing in the Jordan (Lk. 3:2-3).
This immediately confirms the Jewish expectation of the Second Exodus. In order for the people to inherit the imminent arrival of the Messianic Kingdom and Second Exodus promises, they had to go back out in the wilderness, repent, and thus be rebaptized through the waters of Jordan in order to receive the inheritance. Again, some Jews considered the new or second Messianic exodus to be another 40 years generation period. The NT develops this same time frame everywhere!
John is preparing a smooth way/road for the Messianic King (Lk. 3:4/7:27 = Isa. 40; Ex. 23; Mal. 3-4). We will examine each of these OT passages.
1. Isaiah 40:
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. 3 A voice (John) cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be lifted up (humble exalted), and every mountain and hill be made low (pride abased); the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 6 A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry? (judgment also)” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. 9 …say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him (Isa. 62:11cf. Lk. 9:26-27/Mt. 16:27-28/Rev. 22:10-12), and his recompense before him.”
What John is “crying” and the “way” he is “preparing,” is that of eschatological salvation and comfort for the remnant BUT judgment at His “coming” as well.
2. Exodus 23:20:
20 “Behold,I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. 22 “But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.”
Again, we have the second or new exodus motif. Just as the Second Person of the Godhead protected Israel from the rear against her enemies and then led Her into the Promised Land during the first exodus, so too John the Baptist and Jesus are point to and or leading God’s NC remnant into the “heavenly land” or “city” that was “about to be” inherited at Christ’s “in a very little while” AD 70 coming (Heb. 3-4; 10—13:14YLT).
3. Malachi 3:1—4:1-6:
“Behold, I send my messenger (John as Elijah), and he will prepare the way before me (Christ). And the Lord whom you seek will suddenlycome to his temple (in judgment – at Christ’s S.C.); and the messenger of the [New] covenant (Christ) in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming (Christ S.C.), and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire…”
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name, the SUN of Righteousness shall rise with healing in its rays/wings. You shall go out … leaping like calves from the stall…”5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah (John) the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
Malachi 3-4 predicts TWO messengers: 1. John being the eschatological Elijah preparing the way for 2. the imminent Second Coming Jesus as the Messiah fulfilling and bringing to maturity the New Covenant promises.
“The day” that is “coming” is the Second Coming which is described here as the “Sun of Righteousness” “rising” manifesting Himself as healing raysfor the righteous and yet burning the unrepentant. He would at this time cause His Church to inherit the New Creation described by Peter as “the world of righteousness” (2 Pet. 3).
“SUN of RIGHTEOUSNESS”
“The fathers and early commentators have understood Christ by the Sun of Righteousness, and they are so far right that it is the period of His advent that is referred to…”. “As the rising sun diffuses light and heat, so that all that is healthy in nature revives and lifts up its head, while plants that have no depth of root are scorched up and wither away, so the advent of the reign of righteousness, which will reward the good and the wicked, each according to his deserts…”
“…Christ: and thus it is interpreted of him by the ancient Jews, in one of their Midrashes or expositions (a); they say… until the Messiah comes, as it is said, “unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise”, &c.; and Philo the Jew (b) not only observes, that God, figuratively speaking, is the sun; but the divine “Logos” or Word of God, the image of the heavenly Being, is called the sun; who, coming to our earthly system, helps the kindred and followers of virtue, and affords ample refuge and salvation to them; referring, as it seems; to this passage: indeed, they generally interpret it of the sun, literally taken, which they suppose, at the end of the world, will have different effects on good and bad men; they say (c), “in the world to come, God will bring the sun out of its sheath, and burn the wicked; they will be judged by it, and the righteous will be healed by it:’’
This concept of Christ’s Second Coming being described as the Sun Coming will be picked up later when we discuss Him coming as allegedly “lightning” “from the east to the west” (17:24/Mt. 24:27). I will argue against this translation.
“Leaping like calves from the stall” – Refers to the Christians in Jerusalem that would joyfully flee the city when they saw the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem, right before the Lord’s Second Coming described as the sun shining from the east to the west – in obedience to Jesus’ warning in (Luke 21:20-27, 33; Lk. 17:24-27; and Mt. 24:15-27).
Matthew Poole writes,
Ye shall go forth; go out of harm’s way, out of Jerusalem, before the fatal siege, obeying the call from heaven, Go hence to Pella, and that of Christ, Matthew 24:15,16.
“The great and awesome day of the LORD” – This further clarifies the earlier reference of Christ’s Second described as the “Sun of Righteousness.”
“Strike the land with a decree of utter destruction”– Again, this is consistent with our Lord’s eschatology concerning His Second Coming in Luke 21 which involves bringing “great distress upon the land andwrath against this people (contemporary Jews of Jesus and John’s day). They will fall by the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Lk. 21:23-24). The LORD had uttered this “decree of utter destruction” of OC Jerusalem long ago through the OT prophets, and with John and Jesus confirming it’s “at hand” fulfillment.
The Kingdom is “at hand.” (Mt. 3:2).
MacArthur writes of this verse, “The kingdom is now manifested in heaven’s spiritual rule over the hearts of believers (Lk. 17:21); and one day will be established in a literal earthly kingdom (Rev. 20:4-6). “At hand” [means] in one sense the kingdom is a present reality, but in its fullest sense it awaits a yet-future [literal] fulfillment.”
John is correct to connect the “at hand kingdom” statement (cf. Mt. 3:2) with the “within your heart” kingdom description of Jesus here in our text (Luke 17:20-21). However, MacArthur does not follow sound exegesis or hermeneutics, for if he did, he would see that in BOTH contexts, it is the eschatological “not yet” judgment and salvation that is “at hand” or would be fulfilled in an AD 70 “quickly” time frame.
Here is what MacArthur fails to exegetically deal with concerning John’s truly imminent eschatological “not yet” kingdom declaration:
1. John was preaching a judgment and wrath that was “about to” or “soon” to come (Lk. 3:7 GNT mello).
The predominant meaning of melloin the NT and in Luke’s writings is “about to be” or “soon” to be fulfilled.
2. John preached that God’s Ax was “alreadyat the root of trees” (Lk. 3:9) —- Again another metaphor for the soon coming judgment.
3. John preached that God’s “Winnowing fork”was also already in His hand” and thus the time of “harvest” separation imminent (Lk. 3:17) —
Again another metaphor for the soon judgment for that first century Jewish audience because this particular tool was used at the end of the harvest process. So John, like Jesus in Matthew 13:39-43, is developing the eschatological “not yet” “end of the age” “harvest” to be “soon” fulfilled for his first century audience. Gill writes of John’s eschatology:
“Christ was just ready to publish; by which he would effectually call his chosen people among the Jews, and so distinguish and separate them from others, as well as purify and cleanse them, or rather the awful judgment of God, which Christ was ready to execute, and in a short time would execute on the unbelieving and impenitent Jews: hence it is said to be “in his hand”; being put there by his Father, who “hath committed all judgment to the Son”. That this is the meaning of the “Baptist,” seems evident, since “fanning” is always, when figuratively taken, used for judgments, #Isa 41:16 Jer 15:7 51:2. By “his floor,” is meant the land of Israel, where he was born, brought up, and lived; of which the Lord says, “O my threshing, and the corn of my floor!” #Isa 21:10.” (Works of John Gill, Online Bible Commentary).
This is the eschatological harvest at the end of the age by which the righteous and wicked are separated and either judged or rewarded.
4. Baptism of Spirit and Fire–
This is again another way of describing the imminent arrival of the end of the age harvest salvation (baptism of the Holy Spirit) and judgment (baptism of fire).
*** It is at this early stage of Luke’s gospel, that we can begin to see Full Preterism developed within the Church. Some see this judgment as truly imminent and fulfilled in AD 70, while others see the language being picked back up in the harvest gathering of Matthew 13 and Matthew 24 as the Second Coming and resurrection event to be fulfilled at the end of the age. While the Partial Preterists affirm the end of the age gathering, coming of Christ and resurrection of Matthew 13 and 24 were fulfilled spiritually in AD 70 and spiritually applied post AD 70. We affirm that BOTH of these orthodox views are true.
While we cannot develop every imminent eschatological passage in Luke, we shall hit a few more on our way or before exegeting Luke 17:20—18:1-6.
The Imminent “Not Yet” Eschatology of Jesus
1. Luke 9:26-27:
26 ”For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comesin his gloryand the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
· “Verily I say unto you” always links what went before with what follows – vss. 26-27 are dealing with the SAME event).
· Thus, to see Christ come in glory is to see the arrival of His kingdom.
And the parallels:
a. Matthew 16:27-28:
‘For, the Son of Man is about to comein the glory of his Father, with his messengers, and then he will reward each, according to his work. Verily I say to you, there are certain of those standing here who shall not taste of death till they may see the Son of Man coming in his reign.’
· “Verily I say unto you” always links what went before with what follows – vss. 27-28 are dealing with the SAME event).
· Thus, since Christ’s Second Coming was “about to” or “soon” (Darby, Weymouth, GNT and YLT) to be fulfilled (v. 27), this answers to the same time frame as Him coming in the lifetime of some of those standing next to Jesus.
b. Mark 8:38—9:1:
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
· “Verily I say unto you” always links what went before with what follows – (vss. 8:39—9:1 are dealing with the SAME event).
· Thus, Christ coming and being ashamed of His contemporary “this generation” is equivalent to His Second Coming being fulfilled within the lifetimes of those He is speaking to.
In Mark’s parallel account, some of the disciples live to see Christ’s return and kingdom coming when he uses the perfect participle while Matthew uses the future tense. In other word’s Mark is saying that some of the disciples would live to be able to look back on this event knowing that the coming of the Lord and His kingdom had already come in power. Kenneth Gentry concedes this point citing J.A Alexander:
“Here “come” is “not, as the English words may seem to mean, in the act of coming (till they see it come), but actually or already come, the only sense that can be put upon the perfect participle here employed.”
Gentry goes on,
“This seems clearly to refer to the A.D. 70 destruction of the temple and removal of the Old Testament means of worship (cf. Heb. 12:25-28; Rev.1:1, 3, 9). This occurred as a direct result of Jesus’ prophecies (John 4:21-23; Matt.21:33ff.; 23:31-34:34).”
· Again, this is another text demonstrating that Full Preterism has been present within the Church for a lot longer than Hyper-Creedal Futurists want to admit:
1. The “Orthodox” Church affirms Full Preterism when out of one side of her mouth She admits a. this imminent coming of Christ was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70and yet out of the other, b. that the coming of the Son of Man here, is 1the NT’s ONE Second Coming event.
2. Not only this, but we can fall back upon the teachings of Jesus Himself to support the fact that some Christians lived on the earth “AFTER” the spiritual Second Coming of the Lord and arrival of His Kingdom was fulfilled in AD 70. Thus, we don’t need any uninspired early church writings to confirm Full Preterism, because we have the testimony of Christ and a combination of what the Church has been teaching on these texts all along to guide our way! If critics of Full Preterism won’t accept what Christ is clearly teaching here, then they wouldn’t accept it if tomorrow we found hundreds of early writings saying that the Second Coming was fulfilled in AD 70. All they would do is say, “Well, the heresy of Full Preterism began much earlier than we thought.” Selah.
2. Luke 9-11:
a. Luke 10:9, 11 – “The kingdom of God is near (Gk. engidzo), “…nearly upon you,” “…fast approaching,” “…is now at your door.”
b. Luke 11:20 – “But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come (Gk. phthano) upon you.” Others, “hascome close upon you” or as “isabout to come down out of heaven upon you.”
Here in Luke 11:20, Jesus is once again developing the second exodus motif (cf. Luke 4) and the immediate context of Luke 9–11 stresses the kingdom, the Parousia, and the judgment as trulyimminent but still future events.
A.J. Mattill, Jr. writes of phthanoin Luke 11:20,
“The Greek word here phthanomeans “todraw near, even to the point of contact.” It appears 26 times in the LXX for the Aramiac metah(reach, attain) or Hebrew nagah (touch, reach, extend to). Without exception phthanois used in the LXX to describe either the action of the approaching or the precise point of contact, but not the participation in some ensuing experience. It describes arrival upon the threshold of fulfillment and accessible experience, not the entrance into that experience. For example,in passages such as Judges 20:34, 42; Dan. 2:28; Eccl. 8:14; 1 Thess. 2:16 the idea is that “disaster or the battle pursued the refugees and was thus about to overtake them,” or God’s “wrath is about to overtake them at last.”(Luke and the Last Things a perspective of the understanding of Lukan Thought, 171, emphasis MJS).
And again, of Luke 11:20 this time on the second exodus motif.,
“This interpretation [and translation of phthano] of the exorcisms is supported by the allusion of the symbol of “finger of God” (11:20) to Exodus 8:19, where the Egyptian magicians describe the plagues as wrought by “the finger of God.” Just as the plagues were preliminary to the exodus, so Jesus’ exorcisms point forward to the final deliverance.”(Ibid., emphasis MJS)
Therefore, the casting out of demons and victory over Satan at the cross was the “already” “finger of God” by which it could be correctly said that Satan was going to be “crushed” “shortly” at the “at hand” “Day” of the Second Coming event (Rms. 13:11-12; 16:20).
3. Luke 12:37-40/ 1-2 Peter / Revelation — Be Watchful for the Thief
They needed to “watch” and “be ready”for Christ to come as a “thief” (Lk. 12:37-40). Why?
Since Jesus was “ready tobe revealed” as a “thief,” they needed to “watch” because “the end of all things was near” (1 Pet. 1:4-5; 4:5-7; 2 Pet. 3:10). The analogy of faith principle of interpretation on the coming of Christ as a thief in Peter’s eschatology and in John’s, teaches us Jesus was coming as a “thief”“soon” to judge “Babylon” or OC Jerusalem (Rev. 3:3, 11:8; 16:15-21).
4. Luke 13:18-20:
The nearness and certainty of the Kingdom’s arrival can be likened to the growth of a tree. When the tree is full grown, it will function as security and safety for the birds of the air to nest in (the Gentiles resting in Christ in the imminent coming NC kingdom/age). The kingdom’s arrival is as certain and confident as the results of a woman putting yeast in the dough (it will quickly come to fruition and fullness).
5. Luke 13:34-35:
As in Matthew 23, Jesus promises to come in judgment to destroy the Temple during one of the three feast days when they would sing upon the walls, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Jesus is using irony here in that when they thought God would be sending Messiah to fight the Romans, Messiah would be “coming” through the Romans and they would be forced to sing a song actually welcoming the Romans to Jerusalem to destroy their Temple.
6. Luke 14:15-24– Parable of the Wedding Banquet
Here the judgment of those that rejected the wedding feast simply will simply “not taste of My banquet.” This I believe is a reference to Isaiah 65 (see below).
Commentators are divided on if Jesus’ teaching on the wedding banquet here and of Matthew 8:10-12; 22:1-14, 25:1-13; Rev. 19-22 was fulfilled spiritually in AD 70, or if it the ONE fulfillment of the resurrection and wedding banquet of Isaiah 25:6-9. Both are true.
Context of Isaiah 25:6-9
“On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine- the best of meats and the finest of wines. 7On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; 8he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. 9In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
In context, the Messianic wedding banquet comes as a result of judgment upon OC Israel for her breaking the old covenant Torah (cf. Isa. 24:5). This makes no sense in the Amillennial paradigm because all the Mosaic Law was supposed to have been fulfilled and passed away at the cross.
The Messianic wedding banquet comes when OC Jerusalem is judged with her city becoming a “heap of rubble” (cf. Isa. 25:2). Again, this points to an “in time” and local event and not an end of time or global destruction and renewal.
Therefore, Jesus is using Isaiah 24-25 consistently and accurately to demonstrate that the Messianic wedding banquet and resurrection would be fulfilled in AD 70 when OC Israel would break Torah, was judged, and her city and Temple were left in a heap of rubble.
Context of Isaiah 65:12-14
12I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will fall in the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me.” 13Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. 14My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.
Here we are told that God was going to judge OC Israel “by the sword” and their fathers “in full” measure. But at the same time would save a remnant along with the Gentiles (cf. Rms. 10:20—chapter 11).
In that day of judgment, the remnant of believing Jews and Gentiles would feast at the wedding supper and be called by a new name (an everlasting NC name – the New Jerusalem) while OC Israel would not feast, starve (“…not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet – Lk. 14:24) and would be remembered no more. This is in line with the “soon” AD 70 coming of the Lord throughout the book of Revelation. In Revelation 19-21, while the Church (the transformed Israel of God) feasts at the wedding feast, OC Israel not only starves, but is actually feasted upon by the birds of the air.
Putting it All Together “Bridging the Gap”
The Analogy of Faith or Analogy of Scripture Hermeneutic: Teaches Scripture interprets Scripture, and Scripture cannot contradict Scripture.
In mathematics and logic: If A bears some relation to B and B bears the same relation to C, then A bears it to C. If A = B and B = C, then A = C. Therefore, things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another. If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal.
A (Mt. 8; 22; 25) = Wedding or wedding feast, end of the age, and Parousia fulfilled by AD 70. B (Isa. 25:6-9) = The wedding feast & resurrection are fulfilled together “in that day” (1 event). C (1 Cor. 15) = The resurrection and end of the age are fulfilled at the Parousia.
If A bears some relation to B…
Jesus in A (Mt. 8; 22; 25) uses B (Isa. 25:6-9) to teach that His eschatological wedding feast would be fulfilled at His parousia to close the end of the OC age in AD 70.
…and B bears the same relation to C,…
Paul uses B (Isa. 25:6-9) in C (1 Cor. 15) to teach that the resurrection would take place at Christ’s parousia and at “the end [of the age].”
…then A bears it to C.
Both Jesus in A (Mt. 8; 22; 25) and Paul in C (1 Cor. 15) use a common source B (Isa. 25:6-9) to teach the resurrection will be fulfilled “at the end [of the OC age]” parousia event.
Therefore, things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another. If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal.
The ONE Parousia/Second Coming, Eschatological Wedding, End of the Age and Resurrection event of A (Mt. 8; 22; 25), B (Isa. 25:6-9) and C (1 Cor. 15) was fulfilled in AD 70.
Premise #1: Since it is true that Jesus taught the wedding feast of (Mt. 8; 22; 25) would be fulfilled at His parousia to close the OC age in AD 70 (Postmillennialists now agree with Full Preterists).
Premise #2: And since it is also true that Jesus in (Mt. 8; 22; 25) came to fulfill (Isa. 25:6-9) (Amillennialists and Full Preterists agree).
Premise #3: And since it is also true that Paul teaches Jesus’ parousia would fulfill the resurrection of (1 Cor. 15) (all agree).
Premise #4: And since it is also true that the end of the age, the end, parousia and resurrection of (Mt. 8; 22; 25) and (1 Cor. 15) are the same event (Amillennialists and Full Preterists agree).
Conclusion: Then it is also true that the wedding feast, parousia, the end of the OC age and resurrection of (Mt. 8; 22; 25), (Isa. 25:6-9) and (1 Cor. 15) were fulfilled in AD 70. (Full Preterism Synthesis)
When we harmonize what Postmillennialists are teaching when it comes to the eschatological wedding feast and a spiritual resurrection taking place in AD 70 at Christ’s parousia, with what other Futurists are teaching on this being THE ONE consummative event for the Second Coming, resurrection and wedding to occur at the end of the age —- we get Full Preterism.
7. Luke 15:11-31:
The lost son welcomed back into the Father’s house in the parable is referring the gathering in again of the nations of the world and reversal of the Tower of Babel (cf. Genesis 10-12) and the gathering in of the 10 Norther Tribes of Israel that had also at one time been cast out of God’s house due to sin (cf. Hosea) – and thus back into the family/kingdom of God.
An Exegesis of Luke 17:20—18:1-6
In my exegesis of Luke 17:20—18:1-6 I will be arguing the following:
a. There is a chiastic and eschatological structure and context connecting the question of the Pharisees about the kingdom and the disciples – to the arrival of the kingdom at Christ’s imminent “not yet” Parousia.
b. The Parousia should be viewed here as Christ coming as the Sun and not lightning.
c. The parable of the persistent widow is connected with Luke 17:20-37 and thus gives an imminent AD 70 “quickly” time frame to the Parousia of Christ.
Some may not know what a chiasm is. So let me give you a brief example of one:
A No one can serve two masters, B for either he will hate the one C and love the other, C′ or he will be devoted to the one B′ and despise the other. A′ You cannot serve God and money.
Usually in a chiasm the beginning and end (as well as the middle) are the important points and each correspond or parallel with each other. In ancient Hebrew and Biblical times this form of teaching was popular because the parallel structure made it easy to memorize the teaching.
Now notice the chiasm structure in our text centered around two questions:
A – Question by the Pharisees – Has to do with when and where the kingdom will be found or realized (17:20-21).
B– Is a reference to the coming of the Son of Man revealed as the Sun (17:22-25).
C — As in the days of Noah (17:26-27).
C. – As in the days of Lot (17:28-29).
B– On the day the Son of Man is revealed (17:30)
A. – Question by the disciples – Where, Lord? “Where the dead body is.”
Luke 17:20-37 is a chiasm centered around two questions (the Pharisees and then the disciples) about when and where the kingdom will be realized (which Jesus will identify as at His Parousia). The answer is that the NC Kingdom will be realized “within” when the OC kingdom lays as a dead carcass at the foot of the Romans in the events of AD 66 – 70. Remember, Jesus taught elsewhere that the kingdom would be “taken” from the Pharisees and “given” to the Church or “Nation” bearing the fruits thereof (Mt. 21:43-45). Our text here in Luke 17 DESCRIBES HOW and WHEN that transfer would be accomplished.
It is ironic that Jesus answer’s the Pharisees question about the kingdom by pointing to them not being able to see it, because it will be “within” the remnant believers (the disciples He is just about ready to teach about the kingdom’s arrival). Then in answering the question of the disciples about the kingdom, he points to the dead body of corporate Jerusalem (the Pharisees) as a sign that the kingdom will have come.
- – Question by the Pharisees – Has to do with whenand wherethe kingdomwill be found or realized (17:20-21).
20. Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21. Nor will they say, ‘here it [or He] is!’ or ‘there it [or He] is!’ –for the Kingdom of God [when it comes] is within you [a person].”
Some modern translators translate entosas “among you” or “in your midst” without any linguistic justification. They appear to do this for two reasons. First, they can’t have Jesus’ spiritual “within” kingdom associated with the eschatological “not yet” or at Christ’s Parousia, so “among you” or currently “in your midst” places the phrase comfortably in the “already.” And secondly, they think that if you translate the passage as “within you” this would have Jesus saying the unbelieving Pharisees had the kingdom within them.
Therefore, let’s consider the linguistic evidence for “within you” or “within your heart” and also to whom is Jesus referring when He says within “you.”
Strong’s Concordance pretty much nails the definition of entosas “within you”:
1787. ἐντός entós; adv. from en(1722), in. Within. Used also as a prep. with the gen. (Luke 17:21, “the kingdom of God is within you,” meaning it is located in your heart and affections, not external). With the neut. def. art., tó entós, the inside (Matt. 23:26;Sept.: Ps. 39:4; 109:22). Zodhiates, S. (2000).
Consider the following arguments that prove with 100% certainty that entos should be translated as “within you”:
1. The context of Luke 17:21 is giving a contrast between something that is outward and physically seen – “lo here or lo there” as opposed to something that is spiritual and “within.”
2. Entos is only used one other time in the NT and it is located in Matthew 23:26, where again there is a contrast being made between what the hypocritical Pharisees do outwardly – sitting in Moses seat and doing their deeds to be “SEEN by men,” dress to be SEEN by men, and love the best seats so as to be SEEN by men. But Jesus drives the point home when He addresses they are overly concerned about outward washings and cleanliness, not realizing that they are unclean and spiritually dead from the “inside” (entos) – (23:25-28).
There are also some other parallels between Matthew 23 and Luke 17-18. Christ’s Second Coming will fall upon them “quickly” or within their “this generation” for persecuting the Messiah and killing the OT prophets and those Jesus will send to them – and thus both passages deal with the vindication of the first century persecuted church at the hands of the Pharisees (Mt. 23:29-39 / Lk. 17-18).
3. Strong’s also appeals to the LXX which universallytranslates the OT Hebrew being “within” a building such as the temple or something taking place “within” a persons “inward parts” or within thespiritual nature of man as contrasted with the outward – see also the LXX. in Psalm 103:1; Psalm 109:22; Isaiah 16:11.
4. Outside the NT, entosnever means “among.”
5. In order to express “among, amidst,” or “in the middle of,” the New Testament always uses mesosalready employed in the Old Testament 307 times, and in the New Testament there are 27 occurrences with Luke, often using mesosmuch more than any of the other gospel writers. This clearly implies that Luke would certainly have used mesosin 17:21 if the meaning were “among you.”
6. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us that in Liddell-Scott, (p. 577), gives Luke 17:21 the translation of entosas “in your hearts.”
7. All the early church fathers who were closer to koine Greek than we are, universally understood entosas “within you.”
8. It has only been in recent times that some translations have rendered entos as “among you” in the fear that Jesus is teaching the kingdom of God would be “within” the unbelieving Pharisees. But as William Hendriksen points out,
9. “The pronoun you (whether singular or plural) has more than one meaning such as “a person” or “one.” (Gospel of Luke, p. 805). Therefore, I conclude Jesus is teaching that when the kingdom of God comes you will not be able to physically see it, because it will be realized and fulfilled “within the heart of a person.”
***Jesus has elsewhere taught that in the consummation or eschatological “not yet” of John 14 that the Father and the Son would come and make their “home” within believers and dine with them. He says that when He and the Father come and dine withinthem spiritually, it would be something that would require faith and belief in (Jn. 14:29).
I will now demonstrate HOW the Kingdom would be revealed “within the heart” of God’s people at the Parousia.
B. — Is a reference to the coming of the Son of Man revealed as the “great light” of the Sun and not lightning (17:24).
22 ”And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.”
“The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. “And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them.”(vss. 22-23).
Due to the coming Messianic birth pains and persecutions coming at the hand of Nero (AD 64), just prior to the days in which the Son of Man would be revealed (AD 66 – AD 70), Jesus informs the disciples that they will be tempted to want the kind of kingdom the Pharisees want and of which the false prophets will be predicting had come. They would be tempted to think or hear reports that Jesus had come back in the flesh and was mounting a secret army in the desert or in a secret chamber in the Temple preparing to fight and overthrow the Romans. But Jesus informs them (and the early Church through them), that they would “not see it” – that is again, this is not the kind of Kingdom Jesus came to establish.
JFB Commentary see’s these “days” as referring to the time of the Second Coming,
“22. The days—rather “Days.”will come—as in Lu 19:43, when, amidst calamities, etc., you will anxiously look for a deliverer, and deceivers will put themselves forward in this character.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible hits the nail on the head as well,
“(The days will come He here takes occasion to direct the minds of his disciples to the days of vengeance which were about to fall on the Jewish nation. Heavy calamities will befall the Jewish people, and you will desire a deliverer.
Ye shall desire – You who now number yourselves among my disciples.
One of the days of the Son of man – The Son of man here means “the Messiah,” without affirming that “he” was the Messiah. Such will be the calamities of those times, so great will be the afflictions and persecutions, that you will greatly desire “a deliverer” – one who shall come to you in the character in which “you have expected” the Messiah would come, and who would deliver you from the power of your enemies; and at that time, in the midst of these calamities, people shall rise up pretending “to be” the Messiah, and to be able to deliver you. In view of this, he takes occasion to caution them against being led astray by them.
Ye shall not see it – You shall not see such a day of deliverance – such a Messiah as the nation has expected, and such an interposition as you would desire.”
“For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.” (v. 24)
Max King writes of this and Christ coming from the east to the west in Matthew 24:27,
“The word lightning is translated from the Greek word astrapewhich properly means ‘a bright shining.’ Evidently most translators, being influenced by a concept that Christ’s coming would be sudden or brief, give the meaning of lightning to the meaning of the word astrape. But lightning is against the meaning of the text for two reasons. First, it seldom comes out of the east and second, its brief flash penetrates the darkness for only a moment only. But when the sun is made the source of the bright shining, the meaning of the text is clear. First, because the sun comes out of the east and shines unto the west, and second, the rising of the sun is the dawning of a new day that dispels the darkness of the night period (Rms. 13:11). The coming (or parousia) of Christ was the dawning of a new day (2 Pet. 1:19), in which all things were to be made plain (1 Cor. 13:12). The object of Christ was to warn against false concepts of his coming. Some, having a fleshly concept of his coming or presence, would say He is in the desert or in the secret chambers [“lo he is here or lo he is there”], But Christ warned his disciples to believe them not. But the bright shining that came out of the east, revealing the hidden divinity of Christ, had its fulfillment in the dawning of the new day or era of Christianity wherein the wisdom, power, and true nature of Christ were fully revealed, even until day. Until them that feared his name, the Sun of Righteousness arose with healing in his wings (Mal. 3:2). The carcass and the eagles identify this event with Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 24:28 – and I would add Lk. 17:37).” (Max King, The Spirit of Prophecy, p. 252).
The Greek word for “shine” is phaino which according to the Greek English Online Bible Greek Lexicon can mean, “of growing vegetation, to come to light.” The sun not only comes from the east to the west, but it is the source of light by which plant life grows. The Second Coming of Christ is referred to as being “high time” and “the night [of the OC age] is far spent and the day [of the Second Coming and NC age) is at hand” (Rms. 13:11-12). The prophetic message concerning Christ’s Parousia is described as “…a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet. 1:19).
In the early chapters of the book of Revelation the seven churches in Asia Minor are promised various rewards that are linked to the arrival of the New Creation at the end of the book. Both at the beginning and the end Christ is described as coming “soon” to grant these rewards if they persevere and are watchful. Jesus is described in Revelation both as the morning star and to given Himself as the bright and morning star” (Rev. 2:28; 22:16). The idea here is that Christ’s presence and His righteousness is in and of itself, the chief reward and joy for His Church at His “soon” coming. If this isn’t exciting enough for you, go get a Hal Lindsey book at a garage sale for a twenty-five cents and read some fiction!
A type of eternal life can be found in Josh. 10:12-14 when God listened to Joshua and the sun stood still. Every day in the new creation is a day without darkness or bearing the reproach of our sins. In Joshua’s day this miracle was a sign to all that Jehovah was fighting for Israel. When those who are in darkness outside the gates of the City look at your life and see the joy, light, and warmth of God’s presence radiating from your inner being, God uses this to cause His elect to crave this enduring light and righteousness that can only come from your Lord. This also serves to harden the reprobate – as the sun melts the wax and hardens the clay. In Joshuah’s day this was a sign that the Lord was fighting for Israel and today Christ’s presence and eternal Day within His church demonstrates that nothing will ever be able to withstand her. The gates are always open which not only indicates evangelism for those outside, but that she is completely secure from any attack and invasion (unlike OC Israel).
As plants receive life from the sun’s light and energy through photosynthesis, so the Church receives eternal life from Christ alone. In union with Christ, the Church becomes the leaves on the Tree of Life and the light of the New Jerusalem/Creation brings healing to the nations of the world. It is the light and living waters of the gospel preached to sinners that serves as “special revelation” to a thirsty sinner’s soul. No luminary lights of the physical creation can fully demonstrate the righteous ways of God! Only Christ and His Church serving as a heavenly Kingdom can bring the revelation needed for sinners to be saved. Without the “Sun of Righteousness” the light and glory of God’s imputed righteousness beaming in upon the heart and mind of man, all is lost. The world truly does revolve around the “Sun/Son of Righteousness.”
Let’s not forget the message of John as Elijah predicting Christ coming as the “Sunrise”:
76 And you, child (John), will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give knowledge of salvationto his people in the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunriseshall visit us from on high 79 to give light to those who sit in darknessand in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Lk. 1:76-79).
G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson write of this passage:
“In the LXX the cognate verb anatellōis also used to refer to sunrise or the imagery of light (Num. 24:17; Mal. 3:20 [4:2 ET]). This “light” imagery seems to fit the Lukan context better. First, the phrase “from on high” (ex hypsous) fits well with the imagery of the rising sun. Second, the theme of light and darkness in its immediate context (1:79) also favors this reading. Third, in Isaiah the verb anatellōfrequently appears in contexts of …God’s eschatological restoration (Isa. 42:9; 43:19; 44:4, 26; 45:8; 60:1; 61:11; 66:14; cf. 2 Pet. 1:19;…and this may have also contributed to the use of this imagery of dawn here. This “light” imagery also survives in Jewish traditions that point to the eschatological hope of Israel (see Schlier 1964: 353; Bock 1994–1996: 192). (G.K. Beale, D.A. Carson, COMMENTARY on the NEW TESTAMENT Use of the OLD TESTAMENT, p. 265).
And as Beale and Carson note above, John (as Elijah) had come to prepare the way of “His coming” — “the great and awesome day of the Lord” — “Sun of Righteousness” would come to be revealed in healing or a burning judgment. This also fits with Jewish sources of the day that saw Messiah coming in the “age to come” as the “Sun” to burn the wicked and bring life to the righteous.
Since Luke was a companion to Paul and wrote the book of Acts, we should note here when he believed the resurrection of Daniel 12:2-3 would be fulfilled:
Acts 24:15 YLT:
“‘And I confess this to thee, that, according to the way (Christ of the Second Exodus Ex. 23/Is. 40/Mal. 3-4/) that they call a sect, so serve I the God of the fathers, believing all things that in the law and the prophets (Dan. 12:2-3) have been written, 15having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for, thatthere is about to be a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous;”
Why is this? Is it not because Jesus identified this “time of the end” or “end of the age” gathering resurrection of Daniel 12:1-4 to take place at the end of His Old Covenant age and within His “this generation” (Mt. 13:39-43; Mt. 24:1-34)?!? And let’s take note how Jesus describes His people at His Parousia or in the resurrection at the end of the Old Covenant age:
Daniel 12:3 / Matthew 13:43:
“Then (at the end of the OC “this age”) the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdomof their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
They “shine like the SUN in the kingdom…,” because Christ comes as the “Sun of Righteousness” shining from the east to the west – giving them resurrection light and eternal life “within their hearts/souls/innermost parts.”
Paul in developing Jesus’ eschatology of Matthew 24 in 1 Thessalonians 4-5 describes the watchful Christians at Christ’s Parousia as being “Sons of the Day.”
This is when Christ as the “Day Star” or “Sun of Righteousness” places His glory within the New Jerusalem — at His “soon” coming in AD 70:
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will come quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.” (Isa. 58:8)
“No longer will the sun be your light by day, and the brightness of the moon will not shine on you; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your splendor. Your sun will no longer set, and your moon will not wane; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your sorrow will be over.” (Isa. 60:19-20)
“The city does not need the sunor the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” (Rev. 21:23)
“Its gates will never be shut at the end of the day, because there will be no night there.” (Rev. 21:25).
“There will be no more night in the city, and they will have no need for the light of a lamp or of the sun. For the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 22:5)
Here we have descriptions of both John 14 and Luke 17, in that Christ’s Second Coming is described as God filling His people with His full presence — the Church / New Jerusalem / His Kingdom / Most Holy Place dwelling. And that full presence is described in Malachi 3-4 and the book of Revelation as Christ coming as the “Sun of Righteousness” and or the “Day Star” as the Churches Chief reward.
C — As in the days of Noah (17:26-27).
C — As in the days of Lot (17:28-29).
We now reach the mid-section of the chiasm. Jesus instructs the disciples that between His death and His Parousia, there will be those who reject their message of impending judgment upon Jerusalem and go on as if nothing is going to happen, and therefore their destruction will be certain and overtake them as God had in the days of Noah and Lot.
B– On the day the Son of Man is revealed (17:30)
It is during the events of AD 66 – AD 70 that Christ is “revealed” to be very God and to be the Churches true Prophet, Priest and King.
Notice this is not an end of world history or earth burning event, in that they are exhorted to flee from their first century “roofs” and escape the city (v. 31; cf. Lk. 21:20-24/Mt. 24:15-23) as they did – fleeing to Pella.
A. – Question by the disciples – Where, Lord? “Where the dead body is.”
This question brings the chiasm to an end. The chiasm begins with a question from the Pharisees and ends with a question from the disciples. Both questions revolve around when, where and how will the kingdom be manifested in the eschatological imminent “not yet” of Messiah’s kingdom. The answer in the development of the chiasm is very clear. The kingdom would come at Christ’s Second Coming – when He is revealed as the “Sun of Righteousness” (the eschatological “way” John as Elijah came to prepare Lk. 1:17, 76-79; 3:4-17; 7:27/Mal. 3-4/Isa. 40/Ex. 23) that would give eternal life to His people “within” and burn up the wicked and leave their bodies as a corporate and OC dead “body” at the feet of the Roman vultures.
For the Christians, the kingdom and Parousia of Christ would be revealed “within” them, and for the Pharisees, their carnal kingdom hopes would be realized when they lay dead or “gathered” and scattered off into the slavery of the Romans.
Climax to Luke 17:20-37 is the Parable of the Persistent Widow of 18:1-8
We cannot close an exegesis of Luke 17:20-37 without briefly covering its unbreakable exclamation mark — the parable of persistent widow 18:1-8.
Luke’s account of Jesus’ teachings often times closes a discourse with a parable (6:20-49; 10:1-37; 11:14-36; 11:37-12:21; 12:22-48; 16:9-31; 17:20-18:8). Thus the “day(s) of the Son of Man” will include: inheritance of the kingdom & Parousia, but also severe persecution requiring vindicationof which Jesus now turns His attention to. While the disciples may be tempted to want the kind of kingdom the Pharisees wanted (a violent vindication from their enemies) due to the coming persecutions, Jesus does assure them that His Parousia would include an aspect of physical deliverance and vindication. This would occur “quickly” (Lk. 18:8) at His Second Coming and not thousands of years in the future.
Luke 21 Confirms our exegesis of Luke 17:20—18:1-8
If your dull and didn’t understand that the eschatological “not yet” of the kingdom included the “great and awesome day of the Lord” or when Jesus would come in judgment and salvation as the “Sun of Righteousness” in John’s eschatology, and if you didn’t get what Jesus was teaching in Luke 9:26-27 or in our text – Luke 17:20—18:1-8, Jesus once again teaches that the arrival of His eschatological “not yet” Second Coming and arrival of the Kingdom would indeed be fulfilled in an AD 70 “at hand” and “this generation” time frame (Lk. 21:27-32). The eschatology of John the Baptist and Jesus in the gospels form the inspired teaching of the NT authors concerning a TRULY imminent “not yet” Second Coming and consummation of the Kingdom.
A brief survey and contextual flow of eschatology within Luke’s gospel along with our exegesis of Luke 17:20—18:1-8 have demonstrated that Jesus’ teaching of a future coming of His spiritual “within” Kingdom is inseparably connected to His teaching of an eschatologically imminent “not yet” Second Coming event. As Full Preterists we can only smile when our opponents say, “If the Second Coming and New Covenant Kingdom have arrived, I sure don’t see it. ‘Look here– the graves are still full,’ or ‘look there– we are still here and so is the earth.’” The fact of the matter is Jesus never said you would be able to physically see His Kingdom when it arrived at His Parousia. The only thing that would be physically seen was Jesus coming through the Roman armies and the destruction of the OC kingdom laying as a dead corpse in AD 70.
Many of these New Covenant spiritual promises that constitute Christ’s Kingdom are inseparably connected to Christ’s truly imminent Second Coming promises.
A). Physical OC Heavens and Earthor “World passing away”(Isa. 51:15-16; Mt. 5:17-18; 24:35; 1 Jn. 2:17-18; Rev. 21:1ff.; 1 Cor. 7:31)
A). Spiritual NC New Heavens and Earth“soon” to come or World/Age “about to Come”(Isa. 65-66; Rev. 21-22; Heb. 2:5 – Greek mello “about to”)
B). Physical OC Seed/Birth(Gen. 12:1-3; Jn. 8:33-39)
B). Spiritual NC Seed/Birth(Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3ff.; Gal. 3:16-29/Gen. 12:1-3)
C). Physical OC Tabernacle / Temple(Amos 9:11-12; Ezek. 37:26, 27 / 2 Sam. 7:4, 5; 2 Chron. 22:6-10; Heb. 7-9)
C). Spiritual NC Tabernacle / Temple(Acts 15:6-21; Heb. 8:1-3; 9:23-24/ 2 Cor. 6:16; Ephs. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:5; Rev. 3:12NIV; 21:16)
D). Physical OC Priesthood(Heb. 9:6-8; 7:11-12)
D). Spiritual NC Priesthood(1 Pet. 2:5-9; Heb. 7:11-12; Rms. 15:16; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6)
E). Physical OC Sacrifices(Heb. 10:1-6; 9:9-10)
E). Spiritual NC Sacrifices(1 Pet. 2:5; Heb. 13:15-16; Rms. 12:1; 15:16)
F). Physical OC Mountain / Sinai(Heb. 12:18; Gal. 4:25)
F). Spiritual NC Mountain/ Zion(Heb. 12:22; Rms. 11:26)
G). Physical OC Land (Gen. 13:14-15; 15:18)
G). Spiritual NC Land(Mt. 5:5; Heb. 12:22-28)
H). Physical OC Resurrection from the Graves and Slavery of Babylon – Back “in the Land” (Ezek. 37:12). Through Elijah, the Father (the great “I Am”) in the OC raised a dead boy and spiritually raised corporately and covenantally Israel “in the land” (Jn. 5:21).
H). Spiritual NC Resurrection from the Graves and Slavery of Sin & Death Are Realized “In Christ”the “I AM” and “Better Resurrection” (Jn. 5:22-29; 11:25-26; 2 Cor. 1:20; Heb. 10:37—11).
I). Physical OC Jerusalem / Israel (Gal. 4:25 / Rms. 9:6-8)
I). Spiritual NC Jerusalem / Israel/ “City About to Come”(Heb. 12:22; 13:14YLT; Gal. 4:26; 6:16-29; Rev. 3:12NIV; 21:2ff.; Rms. 9:6-8)
J). Physical OC Throne / Kingdom(1 Kings 2:12; Ezek. 21:27 / Mt. 21:43-45)
J). Spiritual NC Throne / Kingdom(Heb. 1:1-3; Acts 2:25-36; 7:49-50 / Heb. 12:28; Mt. 21:43-45; Lk. 17:20-37; Lk. 21:30-32; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 11:15)
K). Physical OC “This Age”/ “This Present Evil Age”/ Christ Appeared at the End of the [OC] Age(s)(Mt. 13:39-43; 24:3; Gal. 1:4; Heb. 9:26-28)
K). Spiritual NC “Age About to Come” & “Without End”(Mt. 12:32 – Greek mello“about to”; Eph. 3:20-21; Heb. 6:5 – Greek mello “about to come”WUESTNT)
L). Physical OC Kingly Rule – Davidic Covenant “Anointed One” / “Messiah” & 40 year reigns of David and Solomon as Types: (cf. 1 Sam. 16:1, 12-13; 2 Sam. 7; 23:5; Isa. 7:14-16; 9:1-7; 11:1-16; 1 Kings 2:11; 11:42.
L). Spiritual NC Kingly Rule – Ascended ruling from throne in spiritual realm (Acts 2:34-35); built a spiritual “house / tabernacle / temple” forever (Acts 15:6-21). Reigned over fleshly Israel for 40 years putting them “under His feet” and judging them with fire at His Second Appearing (Heb. 10).
Redemptive history moves from physical to spiritual (within the two covenant ages) and all the “better” promises are spiritual and thus would be realized “within the heart” at Christ’s Parousia. The physical and typological Old Covenant Heavens and Earth / Kingdom was restored, transformed, and raised into a spiritual and glorified New Covenant Heavens and Earth / Kingdom at Christ’s “this generation” “at hand” “in a very little while” Second Coming event – that would “not be delayed.” The Church can look back on this historical event and know that the Second Coming and Kingdom have come in glory and power and prove Jesus is a faithful Prophet, Priest, King and very God as he claimed.
Sermon on Luke 17:20–18:1-8: https://livestream.com/accounts/1438738/july12018/videos/177123975 Study on the Son of Man Coming as the Sun from the east to the west (Mt. 24:27):