The Second Coming of Christ
The first time I read about the A.D. seventy doctrine, it seemed incredible that anyone could believe the second coming of Christ had already occurred, after all, we are still here! Even in opposition articles and books written by brethren claiming to have studied this seemingly incredulous doctrine, when all their contextual arguments are exhausted, these good brethren cannot resist summing up their study with the remark, “after all, we are still here! “ That was my first reaction, and I understand why others might react in such a manner, but what does that summation say about one’s contextual examination of scripture?
The problem lies with our foundational concept of global destruction. You see, in reference to global destruction, so much of what we know to be true, is in reality not true. From day one we are taught a future second coming of Christ accompanied by global destruction. This concept is held in unquestionable status, thus all our contextual Bible studies are built on and around this mostly unstudied foregone conclusion. However, a true foundational Bible context cannot be developed on preconceived erroneous conclusions.
With that principle in mind, what do the scriptures teach about global destruction? The startling reality is that the scriptures do not teach global destruction! In fact, inspired scripture states, “One generation passes away, and another generation comes, but the earth abides forever . . .“ Eccl 1:4,5 .
Isaiah prophesies the birth of the messiah who was to save Israel, and establish His everlasting kingdom with the last days judgment of old covenant Israel from that generation ( the one He was born into ) onward. Listen to Isaiah, “For unto us a Child is born. Unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. “ Isa 9:6,7.
Redemption and restoration of the kingdom was the messianic hope of Israel, Lk 2:38, 21:28, 24:20, Acts 1:6 . However, the Jews failed to realize that Christ’s redemptive work was spiritual in nature, thus the physical descendants of Abraham, Nicodemus, for example, had to be ‘born again’ Jn 3:1-8 . Unless we observe audience relevance, we will miss the point Jesus is making to the lost sheep of Israel , that being a natural born Jew does not entitle one to citizenship in the new messianic kingdom. Old covenant Israel had to be ‘regenerated’ Matt 19:28. The Greek word for regeneration is, ‘palingensia’ (palin, “again”, genesis, “birth”. Believing Jews baptized into Christ, were baptized into His death and raised up to walk in newness of life. Israel became a new spiritual creation “in Christ Jesus where neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation” Ro 2:28,29, 6:3-6, 2Cor 5:16,17, Gal 6:15 . All Jews baptized into Christ, as Paul said to the Galatians, “through the law died to the law“, Gal 2:19,20 Ro 7:4-6 . Saul died to the Law approximately eleven years after Jesus was crucified. The Law did not die at the cross but the Jews indebtedness to the Law was nailed to the cross through Jesus Who met the required death for sin, Col 2:11-14, Ro. 8:1-4 . It was customary in those days when a Jew was released from his indebtedness, to nail a certificate of release on a tree or post in a prominent place for the viewing public. Paul incorporates that custom in explaining their redemption from the law of sin and death. Those Jews who rejected Jesus of Nazareth as their ‘Messiah’ suffered the judgment penalty of the old covenant law which was death, 1Cor 15:56, Ro 8:2, Acts 3:21-26. The remnant of believing Jews having died to the law of sin and death were delivered from the vengeance of the covenant by faith in Christ, Lev 26:25 Ro 11:1-5, Gal 3:19-29, “for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ”. They became spiritual Israel! Gal. 4:29. Thus Paul states, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love“ Col 1:13. During their last-days transition period, spiritual Israel was receiving the kingdom, and the enemies of Christ were being made His footstool, Acts 2:35, Heb 10:13, 12:28, Dan 7:18. The prophetic ‘stone’ was being cut out of the mountain [of Judaism] and becoming the everlasting kingdom of Christ, “And in the days of these kings, (Roman kingdom), the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, . . . Dan 2:34-45, Psa 110:1-4. [ Psa 110:2, rule:1505, gezar: to carve/cut out ]
In contrast with the everlasting nature of Christ’s spiritual kingdom, the beloved prophet Daniel prophesies the end of old covenant natural born Israel. One has only to observe correct context to see that Daniel does not prophesy the end of time nor global destruction but rather the time of the end of old covenant Israel. Listen carefully to the angel Gabriel as he reveals the future of Daniel’s people to the prophet.
“ Seventy weeks ( see Lev 25:8 ) are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. . . .Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself, and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood. And till the end of the war desolations are determined” Dan 9:20-27. [Note the context of Daniel’s preceding prayer for his people. Dan 9:1-23, esp. vs. 11].
In the next chapter still more visions show Daniel, ‘what will happen to your people in the latter days . . . ‘ Dan 10:14. Thus in the last days of Daniel’s people Israel, ‘when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished ‘, Dan 12:1-7. The word ‘finished’ is translated from ‘Kala’ and denotes fulfillment in answer to the question, ‘How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?’ (vs. 6). The phrase ‘all these things’ must contextually include all of Daniel twelve. This harmonizes with Peter’s letter to the Jewish dispersion where he states, “The end of all things is at hand” 1Pet 1:1, 4:7.
Daniel’s prophesy was in fact pointing toward the end of the Mosaical Age, as Jesus did in the parable of the Tares, which referenced Daniel twelve three, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever; Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. . . .Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father “ Dan 12:1-3, Matt 13:40-43, Matt 3:1-12, 24:1-3.
The Prophet Joel also spoke of the last days of his people Israel. “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. . . . Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord . . . And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved/delivered. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls“ Joel 2:28-32, Ro 11:5.
The apostle Peter cites fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy with a ‘this is that’, announcement saying, “ Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem . . .This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel , ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days says God , that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh, . . . Before the great and awesome day of the Lord, . . . Acts 2:14-21. In this lengthy passage of scripture, Peter describes a last days timeframe beginning on Pentecost with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and ending with the great and awesome day of the Lord. He speaks of various spiritual gifts, signs, and wonders that would be accomplished within that timeframe.
In describing the last days of the house of Israel, Peter uses the Greek words, “ eschatos hemera” Acts 2:17, 36. The word “eschatos”, is defined as the last, the uttermost, and final, while the word, “ hemera “, describes an indefinite period of time of enlightenment. The whole book of Acts records a time of Jewish transition as Jesus said to Saul, “ to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God . . . “ Acts 26:16-18. When the word, “day” is used in conjunction with man, it sometimes speaks of man’s judgment. When joined to the word “Lord” as in “Lords day” or “day of the Lord”, it speaks of the Lords judgment day, therefore Paul says, “judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, Who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.” 1Cor 4:3-5. Jewish eschatology speaks of the end of Judaism and beginning of Christianity, of the end of the then ”present evil age” and beginning of the everlasting messianic kingdom of Christ wherein righteousness dwells Gal 1:4, Matt 13:36-43, 2Pet 3:13.
Now observe that in Peter’s placement of the phrase, “it shall come to pass”, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, signs and wonders shall occur before the day of the Lord while the consummation of the last days leads to salvation for whoever calls on the name of the Lord Acts 2:21. This agrees with what Jesus said, “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when you see these things begin to happen, look up and lift your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Lk 21:27,28. Paul wrote, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.“ Ro 13:11 (written approx. A. D. 58). In this same letter, he prophesies, “the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” Ro 16:20. To the Jewish mindset, salvation was a national deliverance, thus the kingdom was being ‘received’, and the nobleman would return as King and destroy His enemies who did not want Him to reign over them Lk 19:12-27, Heb 12:28. The unbelieving Jews were the enemies of Christ, they were the sons of disobedience and Satan was their prince Eph 2:2, Acts 7:51-53.
Peter writes to Christian Jews of the Jewish dispersion, “. . . coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ – . . . but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light . . .” 1Pet 2:4-9, Acts 26:15-18, Isa 28:16-22. The apostle John refers to this spiritual house as a kingdom of priest. Rev 1:6. All these terms hearken back to O.C. Israel’s beginning as the prophetic type pointing toward N.C. Israel as the fulfilled anti-type in Christ, Ex 19:5, Col 2:17, Heb 8:1-6, 1Pet 3:21,22.
Jesus promises the messianic redemption and salvation of Israel at the destruction of Jerusalem, however, He warned His disciples, “when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, . . . then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.“ This event occurred in A.D. 66 when Cestius Gallus “for no reason in the world” suddenly retreats from certain victory at Jerusalem which allowed Christian Jews to escape the Roman siege, Matt 24:14-16. Again, in reference to the great and awesome day of the Lord, unbelieving Jews would be judged and destroyed from among the people. Listen to Peter as he quotes Moses, “And it shall be that every soul that will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people“ Acts 3:23. The complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. Seventy by the Roman armies as instruments of Gods vengeance marked the fulfillment of “ all things written” Lk 21:20-28.
Now, listen to the opening sentence of the Epistle to the Hebrews, speaking of their last days timeframe, “God, Who at various times and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, through Whom He also made the ages.” Heb 1:1,2. The ends of the ages had come on old covenant Israel 1Cor 10:11.
All these scriptures agree with Isaiah’s prophesy quoted earlier, “ Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. “ Isa 9:7. Jesus clearly identifies the generation He was born into saying, “Assuredly I say to you this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will by no means pass away,“ Lk 21:32-33. Observe that heaven and earth would pass away with that generation and note also that Jesus stated on another occasion, “ till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.“ Matt 5:17,18. The phrase, “heaven and earth” is a Hebraism relating to Gods covenant people. Isa 65:17,18, 66:14-16,22-24, 2Pet 3:13.
The new covenant heaven and earth is in view, but cannot be established without the fulfillment of all things written concerning the old heaven and earth covenant, “In that He says, a new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” Heb 8:13, 10:9. At the writing of Hebrews (approx. A.D. 63), the O.C. had not vanished away but was ready to. The earthly tabernacle’s removal would mark the end of the O.C., and the fulfillment of the promised second appearance of Christ, Heb 9:8-10,28. The context of Hebrews clearly identifies Jesus as the prophetic High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek entering the Most Holy Place at His ascension. He appears before the Father in heaven with His own blood as the atonement for the sins of the people. In keeping with the ceremonial type, Jesus was to return from the Most Holy Place to appear a second time apart from sin, for salvation to those who were eagerly waiting for Him, Acts1:11, Heb 6:19,20, 9:28. A careful study of prophetic types and fulfilled antitypes utilized throughout the scriptures reveal an awesome picture of our heavenly Father’s grand scheme of redemption and reconciliation 2Cor 5:16-18 for all mankind from beginning to completion, from Genesis to The Revelation of Jesus Christ . Old covenant Israel was created by God as the means to restore through Christ that relationship lost in the Garden of Eden. The resurrected Christ became the Firstborn of heaven’s new eschatological creation, Acts 13:22-33, Col 1:15,18, 2Cor 5:21, Mk 15:34, Rev 1:5-8. Global destruction was never a consideration!
A while back, a good brother in Christ had mentioned the end of the world in his sermon without citing any scripture reference (mainly because he didn’t feel the need to) so afterward, I asked him if he could cite any scripture that prophesied global destruction. Without hesitation, he spoke of Peter’s reference to the elements melting with fervent heat, saying, “the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” 2Pet 3:10.
What Peter is saying seems abundantly clear doesn’t it? After all, we are still here. And since we already know what this scripture speaks of, we don’t see a need to study the setting, or the context, much less examine key words translated from Greek to English over fifteen centuries later!
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, the apostle reminds Timothy that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God . . .“ 2Tim 3:16. Peter writes, “ holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.“ 2Pet 1:21. We are to reverence the inspired word absolutely, but to do so is to recognize that Bible translations are not inspired. We believe many Bible translations are provided by divine providence, but they were not given by ‘holy men of God moved by the Holy Spirit’. We have a divinely instilled responsibility and stewardship to diligently and honestly utilize true Bible hermeneutics of which the setting and context are essential. Even the Greek language utilizes correct context, thus we must allow Bible words in Greek and Hebrew to be defined by their usage in harmony with other passages. Familiarity with the whole Bible is important. A strong faith in the truth rather than fear of where it might lead us helps.
Now, according to Webster’s Dictionary, context examines the parts of a written or spoken passage that are near a certain word or group of words and that help explain its meaning. The setting identifies background, environment, time and place. The setting establishes audience relevance. Where context focuses on immediate text, the setting utilizes all related passages. In centuries past, a novelist seeking a proper setting for his book would travel to the appropriate foreign city and live there awhile absorbing as much understanding of that environment as possible. This enabled him to establish a reality based setting and audience relevance.
While listening to a Bible lesson recently, the speaker read the passage where Paul wrote the Thessalonian brethren saying, “ . . . how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven . . . Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. “ 1Thess 1:9,10. Without skipping a beat, the speaker went from that text to, “We are waiting for Jesus to return“.
Over the years, we have been so trained to apply these scriptures to ourselves as if they were written and mailed directly to us, that we failed to observe audience relevance. Recognition of their first century setting provides us with a more accurate understanding of what is being said. It was they, the Thessalonian brethren, who turned from idols, not us. It was they who were patiently waiting for Jesus to return and deliver them from the wrath to come, not us. It was they who were enduring persecution, and it was they who would get relief from that persecution, again, not us! 1Thess. 1&2, – 2Thess 1, Acts17:1-13. It was the unbelieving Jews to whom that retribution, tribulation, and vengeance was appointed in prophesy and fulfilled in A.D. seventy Matt 23:32-38, 24:1-35, 26:64,65, Lk 21. [The setting for both Thessaloinian Epistles is given in Acts 16-18, esp.17:1-13]. Without fail, bible commentators make an inexplicable jump from inspired Hebrew eschatology to a contrived Christian eschatology. They give no explanation. After all, we are still here!
So, whose eschatological end time was Peter writing about? Who were his Epistles written to? Were they written to us? Follow the setting back to the promise and prophesies made by Jesus as Peter walked with Him. Experience his rebirth of hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ 1Pet 1:3. Note that Peter is writing to Jewish Christians of the Dispersion, many of which were in Jerusalem on that awesome Day of Pentecost when the apostle Peter enabled by the Holy Spirit began proclaiming the gospel to the last days house of Israel, Acts 2:14-17, 20-24, 32-33, 36-40. Compare his remarks about “these last (eschatos) times, . . . salvation ready to be revealed in the (eschatos) time at the revelation of Jesus Christ, . . . that the end of all things is at hand . . . because the time had come for judgment to begin at the house of God “ and yes, the end goal of all things relevant to the old covenant house of Israel was at hand (approx. A.D. 63-64), 1Pet 1:5,20,21, 4:7,17. All things written would soon be fulfilled Lk 21:22. All the prophets, from Samuel and those who followed, as many as had spoken, foretold those last days, Acts3:24. Peter points to a last days transition from the end of all things to the restoration of all things at the return and revelation of Jesus Christ the Lord, Acts3:20-23, 1Pet 1:5.
In speaking of this transition, it is interesting to note the charges brought against Stephen were that, “we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us” Acts 6:14. Stephen confirms that aspect of their charges by saying, ”the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands . . .” Acts 7:48. Stephen was in reality pointing to the new age to come in which God the Father, and God the Son would dwell in His people through the Holy Spirit Jn 14:3,20, Eph 2:19-22, 2Cor 6:16-7:1, 1Pet 2:1-9, Rev 21:1-3. To the Jew, the “Presence” of God dwelt in their Jerusalem Temple, in the Most Holy Place, Ex 33:16, 40:34, 1Kin 8:10-11, 27-32. The unbelieving Jews failed to understand prophetic types and antitypes because these were spiritually discerned, and the veil of Moses lay on their evil hearts, 1Cor 2:14, 2Cor 3:15,16, Heb 8:1-6, thus Stephen’s remark both shocked and outraged the disbelieving Jews.
Throughout both Epistles, the apostle Peter discusses the longsuffering of God, how that Jewish Christians were to imitate Christ while suffering persecution. He reasons, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind . . .”. Peter gives as an example of Divine longsuffering, God’s waiting in the days of Noah. The Spirit of Christ was in Noah preaching the righteousness of God to the disobedient ones while the ark was being prepared 1Pet 1:11, 3:18-22, 4:1, 2Pet 2:5. Peter reminds his Jewish brethren that in like manner, the Lord is not slack concerning His promise to their generation but is longsuffering toward them, not willing that any should perish, but desiring that all should come to repentance. 2Pet.3:1-9, Matt 16:27,28. Just as there were scoffers in Noah’s day, there were scoffers in Peter’s day also. Jesus had said with respect to the hour of His coming, and the scoffers, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of man be, for as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of man be” Matt 24:36-39. These scoffers were also willfully ignorant of the fast approaching judgment day, saying, “where is the promise of His coming?” Indeed, It was the time of the end of O.C. Israel, and of the Jewish world, Dan 12:1-4, 1Pet 1:10-23, 3:18-21, 4:13, 2Pet 3:1-9.
Peter states, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. . . “ 2Pet 3:10. Paul made the same statement, 1Thess 5:2, 4. Jesus Himself likened His coming in judgment to that of a thief, Rev 3:3, 16:15, Matt 24:32-44. We don’t have to wonder what He meant. The context identifies the one and only second coming of Christ, not multiple comings, not a so called rapture, but the last days great and awesome day of the Lord, Acts2:16-21. The children of light are given various signs to watch for. “But you, brethren are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief, 1Thess 5:4, Matt 24:1-44. Quite often, you will hear someone speak of those signs and not have a clue as to where in scripture they are listed much less their setting and context. A blind eye is turned toward Jesus where He explains, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains . . . “Lk 21:20,21. The question must be asked, in the event of global destruction, why flee to the mountains? Or in the case of a rapture, (which the Bible doesn’t speak of), why should Christians flee to the mountains? If on the other hand, God is taking vengeance on old covenant Israel , the sons of disobedience, for rejecting and murdering His Son, and at the same time, making a way of escape to preserve the faithful remnant, Psa 31:23, 1Cor 10:1-13, believing Jews would be watching, and would give heed to Christ’s prophetic warning signs.
In Peter’s reference to the elements melting with fervent heat, 2Pet 3:10-13, he uses the Greek word, “stoicheion” , literally, rudiments; used in the plural, primarily signifies any first things from which others in a series or a composite whole, take their rise. The English word, “element” denotes a beginning or first principle. We use it in speaking of elementary schools etc.
The apostle Paul used stoicheion in speaking of his previous life under the old covenant Law of Moses. He wrote, “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. . . How is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage, Gal 4:3,9? Paul continues, “For these are the two covenants; the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage . . . and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is (approx. A.D. 50), and is in bondage with her children but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all . . . but as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born of the Spirit even so, it is now” Gal.4:21-31, 5:1, Rev 21:3. “Stoicheion” is also used in the Hebrew Epistle to speak of the first principles of the oracles of God, Heb 5:12. Two other Bible verses use stoicheion to speak of rudiments of the world, making reference to philosophy and empty deceit according to the traditions of men, Col 2:8,20, 1Pet 1:18,19.
The idea that Peter is, in the first century, writing about molecular elements of the earth melting with fervent heat is totally without scriptural plausibility. Farther-more, the Greek word translated earth, literally means dirt. A more contextually appropriate translation is land. Consider Joel’s prophesy for example, “ Blow the trumpet in Zion. And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all of the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand. . . A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness . . . The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness. The Lord gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; For strong is the one who executes his word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; Who can endure it ” Joel 2:1,3,10,11, Dan 9:26?
Peter wrote to Jewish Christians of the Jewish Dispersion whose citizenship was in the heavenly Jerusalem. They were being built up a spiritual house 1Pet 2:5. He encourages them to put on the mind of Christ, to endure persecution, to be longsuffering, reminding them that those who suffered with Christ would also partake of the glories that would follow at the revelation of Jesus Christ 1Pet 1:11. These were promises made to their last day’s generation. No doubt, Peter remembered Jesus saying, “ the Son of man will come in the glory of the Father with His angels, and He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom,” Matt 16:27,28, Lk 21:32,33. This passage sheds light on what Jesus meant in his reply to Peter prior to His ascension, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”
It is worthy of note that Peter’s apostleship was to the Jews, Gal 2:7,8, thus when Peter wrote Jewish believers that “the end of all things is at hand”, they knew he was speaking of the end of Judaism, the Mosaical age, and old covenant Israel. The term “at hand” denotes closeness. But eschatology is not just about end things, it is about a new beginning!
Peter spoke of the end of all things at the second coming of Christ yet he also spoke of the restoration of all things in reference to the redemption of Israel as the new covenant spiritually regenerated Israel that would abide forever. Isaiah prophesied, “ Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” [The second “ coming ” is often translated from the Greek word “ parousia ” (3952), lit. “A presence ” that denotes an arrival and a consequent “ presence with ”. The term was used by Paul, Phil 2:12, by Jesus, Matt 24:3,27,37,39, and in several other significant passages of scripture.]
The prophet Daniel wrote of the time of the end and the consummation poured out on the desolate, the final destruction of the city and the sanctuary. He wrote about the sealing up of vision and prophecy, and about the atonement and reconciliation which would fulfill all things written. The seventy Sabbath years of Daniel nine, twenty-four point to Peter’s last days time-frame. Both agree with Paul’s remarks about the temporary nature of the spiritual gifts of prophecy, knowledge, and tongues and their removal when that which is perfect (complete) is come 1Cor 13:8-10. God’s grand scheme of redemption for all mankind was completely revealed, and all prophesy fulfilled including the book of prophesy, the Revelation of Jesus Christ!
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. . . Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ” Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God, Rev 21:1-3, 2Cor 6:16-18, 7:1. “At that day you will know that I am in My Father and you in Me, and I in you, Jn 14:20.
“Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold I make all things new. . . . It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” . . . “And he said unto me, Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.” Rev 21:5,6, 22:10. (The “Revelation of Jesus Christ” was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.)
“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers, sexually immoral and murderers, and idolators, and whoever loves and practices a lie Rev 22:14,15.
“ The Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely “ Rev 22:17, Jn 7:37-39.
Scripture References taken from NKJV. Modified for website compatibility. Jay Massingill 7/25/2020