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X:2 II Peter 1:16

March 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Faith does not rest upon cleverly devised fables invented by creative minds; it rests upon the testimonies of eyewitnesses who faithfully pass down what they see and hear to others.

For I want to remind you that when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, we were relying on what our eyes had seen of His glorious majesty, not on cleverly told fables (The Voice).

Categories: second coming

X:2 Mark 13:26

March 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Then you will see (as Daniel predicted) “the Son of Man coming in the clouds,” clothed in power and majesty (The Voice).

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More X:2 Passages according to Nave’s

March 21, 2013 Leave a comment
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Mark 13 X:2

March 20, 2013 Leave a comment

As Jesus left the temple later that day, one of the disciples noticed the grandeur of Herod’s temple.

Disciple: Teacher, I can’t believe the size of these stones! Look at these magnificent buildings!

Jesus: Look closely at these magnificent buildings. Someday there won’t be one of these great stones left on another. Everything will be thrown down.

They took a seat on the Mount of Olives, across the valley from the temple; and Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Jesus to explain His statement to them privately.

Peter, James, John, and Andrew: Don’t keep us in the dark. When will the temple be destroyed? What sign will let us know that it’s about to happen?

Jesus: Take care that no one deceives you. Many will come claiming to be Mine, saying, “I am the One,” and they will fool lots of people. You will hear of wars, or that war is coming, but don’t lose heart. These things will have to happen, although it won’t mean the end yet. Tribe will rise up against tribe, nation against nation, and there will be earthquakes in place after place and famines. These are a prelude to “labor pains” that precede the temple’s fall.

Be careful, because you will be delivered to trial and beaten in the places of worship. Kings and governors will stand in judgment over you as you speak in My name. The good news of the coming kingdom of God must be delivered first in every land and every language. When people bring you up on charges and it is your time to defend yourself, don’t worry about what message you’ll deliver. Whatever comes to your mind, speak it, because the Holy Spirit will inspire it.

But it will get worse. Brothers will betray each other to death, and fathers will betray their children. Children will turn against their parents and cause them to be executed. Everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to Me. But if you’re faithful until the end, you will be rescued.

You will see that which desecrates our most holy place [described by Daniel the prophet] out of place.

Let the one who reads and hears understand.

Jesus: On the day you see it, whoever is in Judea should flee for the mountains. The person on the rooftop shouldn’t reenter the house to get anything, and the person working in the field shouldn’t turn back to grab his coat. It will be horrible for women who are pregnant or who are nursing their children when those days come. And pray that you don’t have to run for your lives in the winter. When those days come, there will be suffering like nobody has seen from the beginning of the world that God created until now, and it never will be like this again. And if the Lord didn’t shorten those days for the sake of the ones He has chosen, then nobody would survive them.

If anyone tells you in those days, “Look, there is the Anointed One!” or “Hey, that must be Him!” don’t believe them. False liberators and prophets will pop up like weeds, and they will work signs and perform miracles that would entice even God’s chosen people, if that were possible. So be alert, and remember how I have warned you.

As Isaiah said in the days after that great suffering,

    The sun will refuse to shine,
and the moon will hold back its light.
The stars in heaven will fall,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Then you will see (as Daniel predicted) “the Son of Man coming in the clouds,” clothed in power and majesty. And He will send out His heavenly messengers and gather together to Himself those He has chosen from the four corners of the world, from every direction and every land.

The disciples can’t help but notice that something is in the air during this week between His entry into Jerusalem and His crucifixion. Surely the moment when Jesus is to reveal Himself as the Anointed can’t be far off. By repeatedly calling Himself the Son of Man, Jesus has told people His kingdom will be divinely instituted like the one described in Daniel 7. They are also thinking of promises about the coming Anointed One. But for Jesus, everything now is connected to His imminent death and resurrection. Even as He predicts the temple’s fall—an event that will occur about 40 years later—and speaks of His second coming, He is still thinking about His death. After all, resurrection can’t happen without death. And the old world must die before the world is made new.

Jesus: Learn this lesson from the fig tree: When its branch is new and tender and begins to put forth leaves, you know that summer must be near. In the same way, when you see and hear the things I’ve described to you taking place, you’ll know the time is drawing near. It’s true—this generation will not pass away before all these things have happened. Heaven and earth may pass away, but these words of Mine will never pass away.

Take heed: no one knows the day or hour when the end is coming. The messengers in heaven don’t know, nor does the Son. Only the Father knows.

So be alert. Watch for it [and pray,] for you never know when that time might approach.

This situation is like a man who went on a journey; when he departed, he left his servants in charge of the house. Each of them had his own job to do; and the man left the porter to stand at the door, watching. So stay awake, because no one knows when the master of the house is coming back. It could be in the evening or at midnight or when the rooster crows or in the morning. Stay awake; be alert so that when he suddenly returns, the master won’t find you sleeping.

The teaching I am giving the four of you now is for everyone who will follow Me: stay awake, and keep your eyes open (The Voice).

Categories: second coming

X:2 Mystery

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: second coming

Hodgepodge X:2

March 18, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: second coming

Nave’s Topical Bible Overview of X:2

March 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Here’s an overview of one Bible’s summary of “Second Coming” passages:

Nave’s Second Coming Notes

Categories: second coming

John 20

March 16, 2013 Leave a comment

As the lifeless body of Jesus is laid into the virgin tomb, those who witnessed the spectacle retreat into the city that has claimed the lives of so many prophets. All are crushed that their teacher and friend has died such a horrible death. Their hopes are dashed against the rocks of Golgotha. In the first hours of grief, Jesus’ followers huddle together in secret in the city, hoping to avoid arrests and executions. They mourn. They grieve. They remember. Three days later, some venture outside the city and return to the place where He was buried. Miraculously, the stone has been rolled back, and the rock-hewn tomb is empty. Has someone taken His body? Are His enemies laying a trap for His followers? Or perhaps—could it be—that the last days have arrived?

Before the sun had risen on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene made a trip to the tomb where His body was laid to rest. In the darkness, she discovered the covering had been rolled away. She darted out of the garden to find Simon Peter and the dearly loved disciple to deliver this startling news.

Mary Magdalene: They have taken the body of our Lord, and we cannot find Him!

Together, they all departed for the tomb to see for themselves. They began to run, and Peter could not keep up. The beloved disciple arrived first but did not go in. There was no corpse in the tomb, only the linens and cloths He was wrapped in. When Simon Peter finally arrived, he went into the tomb and observed the same: the cloth that covered His face appeared to have been folded carefully and placed, not with the linen cloths, but to the side. After Peter pointed this out, the other disciple (who had arrived long before Peter) also entered the tomb; and based on what he saw, faith began to well up inside him! Before this moment, none of them understood the Scriptures and why He must be raised from the dead. Then they all went to their homes.

Mary, however, stood outside the tomb sobbing, crying, and kneeling at its entrance. As she cried, two heavenly messengers appeared before her sitting where Jesus’ head and feet had been laid.

Heavenly Messengers: Dear woman, why are you weeping?

Mary Magdalene: They have taken away my Lord, and I cannot find Him.

After uttering these words, she turned around to see Jesus standing before her, but she did not recognize Him.

Jesus: Dear woman, why are you sobbing? Who is it you are looking for?

She still had no idea who it was before her. Thinking He was the gardener, she muttered:

Mary Magdalene: Sir, if you are the one who carried Him away, then tell me where He is and I will retrieve Him.

Jesus: Mary!

Mary Magdalene (turning to Jesus and speaking in Hebrew): Rabboni, my Teacher!

Jesus: Mary, you cannot hold Me. I must rise above this world to be with My Father, who is also your Father; My God, who is also your God. Go tell this to all My brothers.

Mary Magdalene obeyed and went directly to His disciples.

The hope of resurrection has often been a topic on the lips of Jesus. Now it is taking shape. Confusion gives way to conviction as Jesus appears alive over the next few Sundays. One by one He convinces His followers that God has raised Him from the dead.

Mary Magdalene (announcing to the disciples): I have seen the Lord, and this is what He said to me . . .

On that same evening (Resurrection Sunday), the followers gathered together behind locked doors in fear that some of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were still searching for them. Out of nowhere, Jesus appeared in the center of the room.

Jesus: May each one of you be at peace.

As He was speaking, He revealed the wounds in His hands and side. The disciples began to celebrate as it sank in that they were really seeing the Lord.

Jesus: I give you the gift of peace. In the same way the Father sent Me, I am now sending you.

Now He drew close enough to each of them that they could feel His breath. He breathed on them:

Jesus: Welcome the Holy Spirit of the living God. You now have the mantle of God’s forgiveness. As you go, you are able to share the life-giving power to forgive sins, or to withhold forgiveness.

All of the eleven were present with the exception of Thomas. He heard the accounts of each brother’s interaction with the Lord.

The Other Disciples: We have seen the Lord!

Thomas: Until I see His hands, feel the wounds of the nails, and put my hand to His side, I won’t believe what you are saying.

Eight days later, they gathered again behind locked doors; and Jesus reappeared. This time Thomas was with them.

Jesus: May each one of you be at peace.

He drew close to Thomas.

Jesus: Reach out and touch Me. See the punctures in My hands; reach out your hand, and put it to My side; leave behind your faithlessness, and believe.

Thomas (filled with emotion): You are the one True God and Lord of my life.

Jesus: Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.

Jesus performed many other wondrous signs that are not written in this book. These accounts are recorded so that you, too, might believe that Jesus is the Anointed, the Liberating King, the Son of God, because believing grants you the life He came to share (The Voice).

Categories: john, second coming

Luke 24

March 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Early on Sunday morning, even before the sun had fully risen, these women made their way back to the tomb with the spices and ointments they had prepared. When they arrived, they found the stone was rolled away from the tomb entrance, and when they looked inside, the body of the Lord Jesus was nowhere to be seen. They didn’t know what to think. As they stood there in confusion, two men suddenly appeared standing beside them. These men seemed to glow with light. The women were so terrified that they fell to the ground facedown.

This phrase, “Son of Man,” is very important in Luke’s story and may have many layers of meaning. It may mean “epitome of humanity” or “prime example of what a human can be.” But it also evokes a specific passage of Scripture that is very important to Jewish people, Daniel 7:13-27. There the phrase “Son of Man” refers to a king who receives an eternal and universal kingdom, and it also represents “the saints of the Most High”—the people of God. In light of Jesus’ central message about the kingdom of God, it is likely that the phrase suggests Jesus is the long-awaited Anointed One who launches a new era in human history and who creates a community of people who represent the eternal and universal kingdom of God. In this way, “Son of” suggests “new generation of,” and “Man” suggests “humanity.” Jesus is Himself the new generation of humanity (a second Adam, a new beginning), and the community He creates shares this identity (a new creation, a new humanity in Jesus). The two messengers here use this pregnant phrase in a way that shocks everyone: The way this long-awaited Anointed One receives His kingdom is not through conventional military victory where enemies are defeated and killed. No, this King receives His kingdom by suffering, dying, and rising again Himself. Amazing news—good news!

Two Men: Why are you seeking the living One in the place of the dead? He is not here. He has risen from the dead. Don’t you remember what He told you way back in Galilee? He told you that the Son of Man must be handed over to wicked men, He must be crucified, and then on the third day He must rise.

The women did remember Jesus’ words about this, so they returned from the tomb and found the eleven and recounted for them—and others with them—everything they had experienced. The Lord’s emissaries heard their stories as fiction, a lie; they didn’t believe a word of it. (By the way, this group of women included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, along with a number of others.) Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he reached the opening, he bent down, looked inside, and saw the linen burial cloths lying there. But the body was gone. He walked away, full of wonder about what had happened.

Picture this:

That same day, two other disciples (not of the eleven) are traveling the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they walk along, they talk back and forth about all that has transpired during recent days. While they’re talking, discussing, and conversing, Jesus catches up to them and begins walking with them, but for some reason they don’t recognize Him.

Jesus: You two seem deeply engrossed in conversation. What are you talking about as you walk along this road?

They stop walking and just stand there, looking sad. One of them—Cleopas is his name—speaks up.

Cleopas: You must be the only visitor in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about what’s been going on over the last few days.

Jesus: What are you talking about?

Two Disciples: It’s all about the man named Jesus of Nazareth. He was a mighty prophet who did amazing miracles and preached powerful messages in the sight of God and everyone around. Our chief priests and authorities handed Him over to be executed—crucified, in fact.

We had been hoping that He was the One—you know, the One who would liberate all Israel and bring God’s promises. Anyway, on top of all this, just this morning—the third day after the execution— some women in our group really shocked us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but they didn’t see His body anywhere. Then they came back and told us they did see something—a vision of heavenly messengers—and these messengers said that Jesus was alive. Some people in our group went to the tomb to check it out, and just as the women had said, it was empty. But they didn’t see Jesus.

Jesus: Come on, men! Why are you being so foolish? Why are your hearts so sluggish when it comes to believing what the prophets have been saying all along? Didn’t it have to be this way? Didn’t the Anointed One have to experience these sufferings in order to come into His glory?

Luke has told his story. It ends with joy and praise. The crucified Jesus has been resurrected and has ascended to heaven to take His place at God’s right hand just as the ancient prophets predicted. For the band of disciples, Easter joy has eclipsed Good Friday sorrow.

This ending point becomes the starting point for Luke’s sequel, known as the Acts of the Apostles. The story isn’t really over; it’s just begun. The life and ministry of Jesus that Luke has just recounted is the mustard-seed stage of the kingdom of God that continues to grow and grow and grow. Now it’s time for this Kingdom to fill the world. If Luke’s Gospel is about what Jesus began to do and teach, then Luke’s sequel is about what the risen Jesus continues to do and teach through His followers for millennia. Luke writes in hope that future believers will be taken up into this beautiful story that will never, ever end.

Then He begins with Moses and continues, prophet by prophet, explaining the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures, showing how they were talking about the very things that had happened to Jesus.

About this time, they are nearing their destination. Jesus keeps walking ahead as if He has no plans to stop there, but they convince Him to join them.

Two Disciples: Please, be our guest. It’s getting late, and soon it will be too dark to walk.

So He accompanies them to their home. When they sit down at the table for dinner, He takes the bread in His hands, He gives thanks for it, and then He breaks it and hands it to them. At that instant, two things happen simultaneously: their eyes are suddenly opened so they recognize Him, and He instantly vanishes—just disappears before their eyes.

Two Disciples (to each other): Amazing! Weren’t our hearts on fire within us while He was talking to us on the road? Didn’t you feel it all coming clear as He explained the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures?

So they get up immediately and rush back to Jerusalem—all seven miles—where they find the eleven gathered together—the eleven plus a number of others. Before Cleopas and his companion can tell their story, the others have their own story to tell.

Other Disciples: The Lord has risen indeed! It’s true! He appeared to Simon!

Then the two men report their own experience—their conversation along the road, their moment of realization and recognition as He broke the bread. At that very instant, as they’re still telling the story, Jesus is there, standing among them!

Jesus: May you have peace!

You might expect them to be overjoyed, but they aren’t.

They’re startled and terrified; they think they’re seeing a ghost.

Jesus: Why are you upset? Why are your hearts churning with questions? Look—look at My hands and My feet! See that it’s Me! Come on; touch Me; see for yourselves. A ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you can see that I have!

[Then He shows them His hands and His feet.]

Now their fear gives way to joy; but it seems too good to be true, and they’re still unsure.

Jesus: Do you have anything here to eat?

They hand Him a piece of broiled fish, and He takes it and eats it in front of them.

Jesus: I’ve been telling you this all along, that everything written about Me in the Hebrew Scriptures must be fulfilled—everything from the law of Moses to the prophets to the psalms.

Then He opens their minds so they can comprehend the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Jesus: This is what the Scriptures said: that the promised Anointed One should suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, that in His name a radical change of thought and life should be preached, and that in His name the forgiveness of sins should be preached, beginning in Jerusalem and extending to all nations. You have witnessed the fulfillment of these things. So I am sending My Father’s promise to you. Stay in the city until you receive it—until power from heaven comes upon you.

Then He leads them out to Bethany. He lifts up His hands and blesses them, and at that moment, with His hands raised in blessing, He leaves them and is carried up into heaven. They worship Him, then they return to Jerusalem, filled with intense joy, and they return again and again to the temple to celebrate God (The Voice).

Categories: luke, second coming

Mark 16

March 14, 2013 Leave a comment

At the rising of the sun, after the Sabbath on the first day of the week, the two Marys and Salome brought sweet-smelling spices they had purchased to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. Along the way, they wondered to themselves how they would roll the heavy stone away from the opening. But when they arrived, the stone was already rolled away in spite of its weight and size.

Stepping through the opening, they were startled to see a young man in a white robe seated inside and to the right.

Man in White: Don’t be afraid. You came seeking Jesus of Nazareth, the One who was crucified. He is gone. He has risen. See the place where His body was laid. Go back, and tell Peter and His disciples that He goes before you into Galilee, just as He said. You will see Him there when you arrive.

The women went out quickly; and when they were outside the tomb, they ran away trembling and astonished. Along their way, they didn’t stop to say anything to anyone because they were too afraid.

Mark finishes his Gospel in the same way he begins it—quickly, without commentary or explanation. He also finishes it in a humble way: it is the lowly women who take center stage in this greatest miracle of Jesus. The heavenly messenger sends the women with a commission to tell the disciples what has happened, making them the first preachers of the resurrection.

[After He rose from the dead early on Sunday, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, a woman out of whom He had cast seven demons. She brought this news back to all those who had followed Him and were still mourning and weeping, but they refused to believe she had seen Jesus alive.

After that, Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them as they walked through the countryside, and again the others did not believe it.

The eleven did not believe until Jesus appeared to them all as they sat at dinner. He rebuked them for their hard hearts—for their lack of faith—because they had failed to believe those witnesses who had seen Him after He had risen.

Jesus: Go out into the world and share the good news with all of creation. Anyone who believes this good news and is ceremonially washed will be rescued, but anyone who does not believe it will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: they will be able to cast out demons in My name, speak with new tongues, take up serpents, drink poison without being harmed, and lay their hands on the sick to heal them.

After the Lord Jesus had charged the disciples in this way, He was taken up into heaven and seated at the right hand of God. The disciples went out proclaiming the good news; and the risen Lord continued working through them, confirming every word they spoke with the signs He performed through them.]

[And the women did everything they had been told to do, speaking to Peter and the other disciples. Later Jesus Himself commissioned the disciples to take this sacred and eternal message of salvation far to the East and the West.]

The remaining eleven disciples take this command as their life’s mission. According to tradition, all but one of them (John) will be killed for their refusals to stop proclaiming the truth that Jesus is the Anointed One who has been crucified and who has arisen from the dead. They dedicate their lives—and their deaths—to the proclamation of this reality. If they are not absolutely certain of the truth of Jesus’ resurrection, then why dedicate their lives to announcing it to the world (The Voice)?

Categories: mark, second coming
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