What was Jesus referring to specifically regarding "before the son of man comes"? i have often wondered. Was he referring to his appearance post resurrection?
ESV - 23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
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Yes he was a close word and reference study proves this. The cities of Israel will not be "gone over" (Greek teleioo, completely evangelized) before the second advent. This is literally true. They were not b\c of the persecution of early Christians and b\c of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. (LK 21:20-24, ACTS 8:1-4; 9:1-4; 11:19-21; 12:1). They have not been evangelized as yet and will not until the Millennium (ISA 2:1-4; 11:9, ROM 11:25-29, ZECH 12:10-13:1).
He was not. Instead, he was referring to what the disciples would be doing immediately following what I call "the second Jewish resurrection" described in Ezekiel 37. (What I call "the first Jewish resurrection" is described in Matthew 27:51-53.) (I've counted a dozen resurrections of individuals and groups in the Bible, so please don't confuse these two special Jewish resurrections with the later resurrections spoken of (for instance) in Revelation 20:5 and context.) We also have a resurrected Daniel (12:13) standing in his "allotted place at the end of the days." Then there is the resurrected Zerubabbel building that temple as specified through Ezekiel, with a high priest named Joshua at his side. In Ezekiel 37:24, after their resurrection, David becomes their king again. His personal property is specified in Ezekiel 48:21. In 48:11 the resurrected sons of Zadok are ministering in the temple built to the specific dimensions specified in Ezekiel chapters 40, 41, and 42. Then you see those resurrected Apostles prepared by Jesus especially to minister to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" trying to go through the whole land to bring them back to their Shepherd, but they don't get this done in every city before the Lord returns as described in Zechariah 12:10 "so that, when they look on Him Whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over Him, as one weeps over a first-born." (In 12:12-14, the weepers include 4 resurrected families.) Then you have resurrected Elijah in Malachi 4:5-6 restoring the hearts of the children and fathers to each other. It may help you to keep track of these events, as they happen, by remembering 3 crises which restore Israel first to their Country, then to their Covenant, and finally to their Christ: 1. COUNTRY. The first crisis was the Hitler persecution, which led directly to the establishment of Israel as a country in 1948. 2. COVENANT. The second crisis results in the death of "the whole house of Israel" (Ezekiel 37:11). What would kill them all? I don't know. God brings them all back to Israel and an enemy kills them with a single neutron bomb? However it happens, God brings Ezekiel there (like He did with bringing John a couple thousand years into the future in Revelation) to powerfully speak that amazing 3-step resurrection through him (Ezekiel 7-14); then all these people fulfill every last detail of Ezekiel chapters 40-48, restoring their place in His Covenant with them. 3. CHRIST. The third crisis is the Man of Lawlessness invading Jerusalem and taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God (II Thess. 2:4). This crisis is resolved when (2:8) "the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by His appearing and His coming." God warned us through Peter: "Pay attention to the prophetic word, like a light shining in a dark place." Well over 10% of the Scriptures are describing what is happening to the Jews, to the Church, and to the countries surrounding Jerusalem in these times we are living. This is not, as they say, "rocket surgery :)"... so why are so many of us ignorant of these basics? I believe it's the "any minute rapture theory". Some LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH -type eschatology teachings (with a lot of truth) have omitted all these teachings, claiming that there is nothing left to happen before the rapture (ignoring, of course, II Thess. 2:1 specifically.) That's why He asked, "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?" When the terrible Matthew 24:4-8 birth pang signs are ended and the earth is enjoying Antichrist's "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" false peace, and the scoffers are asking "where is the promise of His coming?", will you be the Matthew 25:5 10th virgin to fall asleep because the Bridegroom's coming was so long delayed?
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