Dialogue On Matthew24
tomi: Reading the Bible according to the historical context is a basic of Bible explication. John wrote the Revelation for the people who lived in Asia Minor in the 1st century. They were waiting for the end of the Old Testament World, of which Jesus in Matthew 23 warned the people at that time. Actually the end came in 70AD. All the prophecies of Matt24 were fulfilled. Confirm the principle: "Read the Bible by the Bible", because the Bible is the ultimate authority.
tomi: The Bible is full of prophetical expressions. Joel 2:31 "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood" was fulfilled in Act 2:20. Isaiah34:4 "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll" was fulfilled with Edomites of era of BC. The stars were not dissolved at that time. And heavens were not rolled together literally. So we don't have to interpret Matt24 prophecy literally. Let the Bible speak when difficult to interpret.
Jesus actually came again to Israel in AD70, because Matt24:34 says "this generation(γενεα) will not pass away until all these things take place". "γενεα" means "a length of time equal to one generation, 30-33 years"(See G-E Lexs). So we MUST take those signs as fulfilled within the generation of people living with Jesus. Matt24 shows the judgment of OT Israel.
The "tribes" of "all the tribes of the earth" of Matt24:30 was "φυ λαι", which means "all the persons descended from the twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob (Gr-Eng Lex of NT, Baker)", not "all the persons living in the world".
""And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven" was originally "Και τοτε φανησεται το σημειον του υιου του αν θρωπου εν ουρανω", which should be translated as KJV: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven"
The way of interpretation regarding Matt24 to be fulfilled in the future is based on the unbiblical premise of dispensational premillennialism. A top promulgator of dispensationalism, Scofield was thrown into jail for railroad swindle, discarded his wife and children, took a girl of mission as a concubine, and married another woman. He found his living place in N.Y. by the assistance of Zionists and Socialists, including Jacob Schiff, Illuminati.
Samuel Untermeyer, who later became chairman of the American Jewish Committee, president of the American League of Jewish Patriots, and chairman of the Non-sectarian Anti-Nazi League, introduced Scofield to numerous Zionist and socialist leaders, including Samuel Gompers, Fiorello LaGuardia, Abraham Straus, Bernard Baruch and Jacob Schiff. These were the people who financed Scofield 's research trips to Oxford and arranged the publication and distribution of his concordance.
tomi: "If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven"(Col1:23) and "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world."(Rom1:8) and "But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."(Rom10:18)
When reading the Bible, we must refer to the Bible, because this is God's Word and ultimate authority. The Bible itself says, "the gospel reached the end of the world in the first century."
tomi: The end of the world came in AD70. The "world" of Matt24:1 is originally "του αιωνοs", which means "age" not "world". As we know from the context from Matt23, Jesus refers here to the end of the age of the OT, that is, the age of ethnic Israel or Jews. AD70 was the year of the end of age of OT. Temple was destroyed and converted into the body of Christ, which means "the change of the ages from type to essence".
After the end of the OT age, the new age came, where various types shown in OT laws changed into the essence, i.e., Christ, so we can call the new age "international or trans-ethnic dispensation". Every Christian from every nation of the world is called "spiritual Israelite". OT laws were changed into Christ laws, in the system of which Christ and Christians are priests (Rev1:6). If priest changed, laws must change (Heb7:12), so today OT laws changed into new laws.
We live in the new age and new world, where we must obey the laws of new world, i.e., internationalized OT laws. Through faith, OT laws were established (Rom3:31), not abolished (Matt5:17). The history is a process of broadening the kingdom of God, applying these laws to various fields of our lives, including politics, economics, and so on. The process will continue till the end of the World. In the new world Christ is the King of the world, so we can carry out the plan IN HIS NAME.
The world history is in the process of being conquered by the gospel. Because nothing can resist the power of the word of God, which is called "Holy Spirit's sword" in Eph6:17. Through dispensationalism, Satan infused us with the belief that Christians cannot overcome him and his kingdom. This belief is an egregious lie, because the Bible repeatedly says, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world"(1john4:4).
tomi: The angel of Matt24:31 is "αγγελουs", which means "angel, messenger, envoy". Sending αγγε λοs means sending messengers of the gospel. And gathering together his elect means saving the elect people, i.e., Israelites Diaspora, who lived in various parts of the world. Actually, Peter, Jacob and other disciples were sent to various parts, including Babylonia, India and China, to preach the gospel of Jesus by 70AD. Sheep and goats were divided as in Matt.25.
tomi: Yours is not historical explication. 1Thess4:16 was given to the readers of this letter written by Paul, as in 4:10, where Paul mentioned the Thessalonians' loving deeds toward brothers in Macedonia. Why did he suddenly change readers from Thessalonians to us, who live in the 21st century? It is illegitimate to apply it to our future. We have to remember the principle of interpretation of the Bible: "There are no words written in the Bible that the direct readers cannot understand."