esus Christ was standing at the mount of Olives
describing to His disciples what was going to come to pass in the future.
Motioning to the great temple in Jerusalem, He stated
"...the days will come, in the which there shall not be
left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Luke 21:6).
Because this was a new, and revolutionary teaching, and
the temple was the center of the national life of Judaea, such a
statement would greatly concern His largely Jewish followers. "But when
shall these things be?" they asked (Luke 21:7). The description that
followed has caused enormous division over the centuries, as some say
these predictions were completely fulfilled when the Romans came and
destroyed the temple 33 years later.
Others vehemently disagree, and believe these
conditions are going to come to pass in our time. They teach that
as soon as the Jewish people rebuild another temple, the
foreordained destruction of that new temple will fulfill these predictions
of Jesus Christ.
The truth is, they're both a little bit right, and
they're both a little bit wrong. As he launched into His vivid description
of wars, famine, pestilence, and "commotions...[and] fearful sights and
great signs...from heaven" (Luke 21:9,11), He also said
"But before all these, they shall lay their
hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and
into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake"
Notice again the geologic and stellar "signs" were
preceded by a great persecution. It is a historical fact the early
Christians were indeed hauled before magistrates, imprisoned, and
frequently put to death.
However, in the book of Revelation, which was
written about 25 years after Jerusalem was destroyed, the 5th seal
is where we find a repetition of the martyrs, and "them that were slain
for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held" (Revelation
Notice how during the seal that follows (the 6th seal),
we see those "fearful sights and great signs...from heaven" when John
"....the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the
moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth..."
This sequence is in precisely the same order that
Jesus Christ described -- "but before all these" (Luke 21:12),
there shall be great persecution. It should be apparent that because
Revelation was written after Jerusalem's destruction, it cannot
be predicting something that has already occurred. However, Luke's
description clearly has portions of the preterist perspective in this
The simple answer is, both timelines are in view. These
are the prophetic parallels, and they run throughout the Biblical
texts. Furthermore, it must be noted that although the preterists
are in error when they say these prophecies were all fulfilled in
the destruction of Judaea and Jerusalem in 70 AD, the futurists
(those that say every portion of these prophecies will literally occur in
the near future) are also in error.
Because the only true temple is now found in the
collective body of Christ (II Corinthians 6:16), our LORD's prediction is
also speaking of a great destruction that will strike the end time's
temple. When Christ states "the days will come, in the which there
shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown
down" (Luke 21:6), he is describing the last day's temple of believers
that will come under a tremendous assault. Peter uses the same picture
when he writes
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a
spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (II Peter 2:5).
Because the New Testament teaches that we are the
temple of God (as opposed to some physical temple built by the Jewish
people), Christ's admonition concerning the devastation to come applies to
the last generation of true believers -- however, the majority of the
"church" is deceived as they follow the "Jewish fables" (Titus 1:14)
taught by the Rapture Cult, even as they seek to support the modern state
of Israel in their misguided efforts to build yet another Christ-rejecting
The bottom line of all of this boils down to a question
we frequently ask during our radio broadcasts: If you don't know who
YOU are in the scriptures, how can you possibly know who JESUS
September 23 2005 -- James Lloyd
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