Class Notes: 2/4/2015
Mark 13:27; - Mark 13:31; God's immutability backs up His promises to Israel and everyone else
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 13:27; where Jesus gathers Israel from the ends of the earth to the ends of Heaven.
This gathering is the resurrection of the OT and Tribulational Jewish saints along with all who are still alive physically on the earth.
The elect are the born again Jews as in Dan 12:13; and in Isa 26:19-20;
Notice is says "from the ends for the earth to the ends of heaven where the born again Jews along with all other believers who have died presently reside in Jesus' presence.
This brings us to a brief review of the order of the first resurrection. The first resurrection that only involves believers occurs in four phases.
Christ is called "the first fruits.," He is the first person in the history of the human race to be resurrected into an eternal resurrection body.
Some people were brought back from the dead to physical life in what is called resuscitation not resurrection because they subsequently died. For example, Jesus brought Lazarus back to physical life but eventually Lazarus died.
People who are resurrected cannot die because they have a body exactly like that of Jesus that cannot die.
So Jesus Christ is the first member of the human race who was actually resurrected. It was His humanity that made the decision to die on the cross and it was His humanity that actually died on the cross because deity can't die.
It was His humanity that was resurrected and He is the first fruits in resurrection. 1Cor 15:23;
We celebrate this event on Resurrection Sunday aka Easter. This is the same day that the first fruit or wave offering in the Jewish ritual calendar is observed. Lev 23:9-14;
The second phase of the resurrection is the Church, the body of Christ. 1Thes 4:16-18; 1Cor 15:51-58; 1John 3:1,2; Philippians 3:21; John 14:1-3, and other passages.
The Church's resurrection terminates the Church Age. This is the next event that is recorded in prophecy and no one on earth knows when it will occur and if they say they do Jesus personally calls them liars. Mark 13:32;
The third phase of the first resurrection, the resurrection of the Jews, occurs at the Second Advent. This included Israel of the past plus those who were martyred in the Tribulation. This is brought out by Dan 12:13; Isa 26:19,20; Rev 20:4; Mark 13:27;
The reason why the resurrection of the Old Testament saints does not take place until the Second Advent is that the Church is resurrected first.
In his sermon on Pentecost in Acts 2;29; where Peter states that David is David's body was still in his grave. David had not yet been resurrected on the day of Pentecost.
The reason for emphasizing this is that after the resurrection of Christ some of the saints were seen walking in the streets, but 50days later on the day of Pentecost David had not been resurrected because His body was still in the tomb.
David is an Old Testament saint, and a Jew, so obviously they are not resurrected yet.
There is also the identification of the two witnesses of as Moses and Elijah (Mal 4:3;) and they could not die in Jerusalem (Rev 11:7;) if they had resurrection bodies.
If they were in resurrection bodies they could not die in Jerusalem during the Tribulation and then be resuscitated. Once you have a resurrection body it is not subject to corruption so it cannot die.
Because of propitiation, Jesus had to be first so once Jesus was resurrected at the termination of the dispensation of His unglorified humanity, the phases of the first resurrection will occur in succession as each dispensation terminates.
Under this principle, the dispensation of Israel is not terminated until the end of the Tribulation.
Daniel tells us that once they exited the Babylonian captivity Israel would have another 490 years, but the cross was 483 years out and the cross halted the Jewish Age with seven years left to go and the Church Age was inserted.
Once the Church is removed via the exit resurrection the dispensation of the Church will be terminated and the dispensation of Israel will resume for seven more years. The Tribulation is the final seven years of the dispensation of Israel so there is no resurrection of Israel until the Tribulation is over.
People are resurrected when their dispensation is finished. The Church is resurrected at the end of the Church Age; the Israelites will be resurrected at the end of the Age of Israel that is not completed until the end of the Tribulation.
Dan 12:13; and Isa 26:19,20; refer to the resurrection that occurs at the second advent of Jesus Christ.
The unconditional covenants, the Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic, and New covenants, are not fulfilled until the Millennium that comes after the second advent of Jesus Christ.
Matt 27:51,52; is not a resurrection, it is a resuscitation. Eph 4:8; describes the transfer of the souls of the Old Testament saints from Paradise or Abraham's bosom to the third heaven.
The fourth and final phase of the first resurrection occurs at the end of the Millennium with the Millennial saints Jesus has ruled the earth for 1000 years and put down the final satan inspired rebellion.
Mark 13:28; This verse contains a second illustration of the second advent. Our Lord Jesus Christ often used the characteristics of a fig tree to illustrate various principles of doctrine, especially in connection with Israel.
We have already seen one example of the fig tree in Mark 11:20-21; There we had a withered fig tree that depicted Israel's failure as a missionary base in the dispensation of Israel.
There is a missionary base in every dispensation. In the dispensation of the Gentiles the missionary base was the family because nationalism was just being developed.
Seth's family became a family of missionaries that continued down to Noah who was the last recorded family missionary who lived until the nations were established after the tower of Babel. Gen 11:9;
Then when you get over to the Age of Israel, Israel is the missionary base. They were custodians of the Word and responsible to disseminate it, but they failed so they were disciplined under the 5th cycle of discipline several times.
In 70 AD Israel was placed under the 5th cycle of discipline and will remain there until the Jesus returns so we are now in the Church Age where the Church is the missionary base, and every believer is responsible for witnessing.
In our study we have seen that there are four different groups responsible for witnessing during the Tribulation.
First the 144,000 Jewish evangelists of Rev 7:4;
Second, the Tribulational saints of Rev 14:12,13;
Third, the two witnesses will evangelize all the nations through some system of worldwide media. Rev 11:3-6;
Just before Jesus returns the angels will evangelize all the nations. Rev 14:6-10;
In the Millennium, the Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the missionary. This idea is presented in Isa 11:9b; NASB, Net note 25, "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters that cover the sea," So the Lord Jesus Christ is Himself the last missionary before eternity begins.
During the 1900 years of the Church Age the local assembly has been and presently is the basis for missionary activity and it will be until we are evacuated and then the responsibility will return to the Jews during the Tribulation.
In Mark 12:28; Jesus uses the fig tree to illustrate the success of the Jews as missionaries in the Tribulation.
"Now learn this parable." The word translated "learn" is the plural active imperative of "manthano" that means to learn from a teacher. In this case Jesus is the teacher.
A new believer is called a baby in Christ because He has to grow up, and this means that he cannot sit down and learn the Bible by reading it for himself and understand it properly any more than a baby can sit down with a book and learn to read it properly by himself.
Someone has to teach the new baby and that is why we have the gift of pastor teacher in the local church. The gift of pastor teacher is designed so that the first things that you learn, if you are to get them right, will be from a pastor teacher via some system of communication.
Everyone starts out by being taught by someone. The word "learn" here means to learn from a teacher, to learn through instruction, and it is an aorist active imperative, so it is a command.
The Jews are commanded to learn this parable and it isn't going to be hard because a parable is always a short narrative. Remember, parables illustrate doctrine. Do not try to get your doctrine from parables, the parables illustrate the doctrine.
"from the fig tree." The word "from" is the Greek word "apo" that is a preposition of ultimate source. In this case It means to learn from the ultimate source of the fig tree.
The very fact that He would use "apo" with the fig tree indicates that the fig tree represents more than just a fig tree it represents something much more important. It represents Israel in the Tribulation.
"When this branch." This is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. One of His messianic titles is the Branch as in Isa 11:1; Zech 3:8; and Zech 6:12;
The sprouting of the branch refers to the second advent of Jesus Christ; "and puts out its leaves." The putting out of the leaves is an illustration of Israel's evangelism in the Tribulation. It is the result of the evangelistic production of the Jews.
Mark 13:28b; "You know that summer is near." Summer represents the Second Advent and the Millennium.
In other words, this parable of the fig tree indicates that the Jews succeeded in doing during in the last seven years of the Age of Israel what they failed to do after their Babylonian captivity for the previous 483 years that is illustrated by the first parable of the fig tree. Mark 11:20-21;
Mark 13:29; So also you, when you see these things happening, know that it is near, right at the door.
"So also, when you see all these things," the things that He has told them; "know." The principle is that the greatest thing you can do is to be oriented to the plan of God and only knowing God's Word can do this.
You know this because you have learned it. "That it is near" refers to the second advent of Jesus Christ that is "right at the door."
Mark 13:30; I tell you the truth (Amen) this generation will not pass away until all these thing take place. Net notes 38 and 39
In this verse the Greek word "gena" that is translated "generation" can refer to those who live at the same time or to a group of people who have descended from a common ancestor in this case the Jewish people.
Since the word "gena" can be understood both ways in this context we should view it as having a double reference and incorporating both perspectives.
If it is understood this way "this generation" means that the Jews who are living at the time of the Great Tribulation will see the all of the events fulfilled and they will survive to see Jesus return.
This is therefore a challenge to Satan and one of the reasons we have anti-Semitism. God makes a promise that the race of the Jews will not pass from the earth and will still be on the earth when He returns in His second advent.
Satan attempts to meet that challenge and destroy all Jews but fails. The fulfilling here is the fulfilling of the unconditional covenants to Israel. Eternal security for Israel is in the Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic and New covenants.
Mark 13:31; Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Even if heaven and earth were to pass away the Words of the Lord will never pass away. Heaven and earth will be destroyed before eternity begins but God's word will eternally exist. 2Peter 3:10;
You can count on God's Word because God keeps His word. God keeps His word to Israel and although these unconditional covenants have not yet been fulfilled they will be and their fulfillment is more sure than the existence of heaven and earth. God's word is Immutable.
This brings us to a discussion of the Doctrine of Immutability.
God is immutable, Psa 102:27; Mal 3:6; James 1:17. Jesus Christ is immutable, Heb 13:8;
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