JESUS SPOKE ABOUT THE END TIMES AS AN APOCALYPTIC PREACHER OF JUDGMENT WOULD. Jesus Told Everybody That Judgment Would Come And The Evil One Was To Be Judged. The judgment of which Jesus spoke applied not only to his day and was coming for Jerusalem when it was sacked by Rome but also to the present age.
To suggest that Jesus was not an apocalyptic preacher is to ignore His message. To suggest that there are other writings that influenced what Jesus had to say is fiction. Humans love fiction. The truth, when told, seems like hell to those who hate it. But if the revelation of being placed in Hell is not an end-time message, then what is an end-time message? This is assuming that by the word “apocalypse” one is referring to the end times and not possessing revelation.
The revelation of the end is what the apocalypse encompasses. Reading the last book of the Bible that was given to the Apostle John is not quite the same as the message declared by Jesus. Nevertheless, Jesus gave warnings concerning the end. Jesus warned that the last days would be as the days of Noah, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. These warnings form part of the eternal gospel (Revelation 14:6).
In the days of Noah, every person was destroyed on this Earth, except for the family of the righteous man himself. In the days of Abraham, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are just piles of ash. In the days to come, total destruction would occur if it were not for the sake of the elect. Hence, a New World Order will be ushered in when Lord Jesus Christ returns, a New World Order where righteousness reigns, and those who delight in situational ethics and relative morality will have no reign. The rule of law will be the rule of sharpened consciences; politically determined regulations and legislated statutes will not be required to administer justice and the legal profession will be obsolete.
The Maccabean revolt was nationalistic and inconsequential in comparison to the same global order Lord Jesus is going to execute. The idea that Jesus’ message is watered down is piffle—if in doubt, read Matthew chapter twenty-three—there was no watering down because of Rome subjugating Judea. Jesus simply was not seeking to overthrow the Rome at the time.
Jesus’ concern was with the Evil One and he was the one who was to be judged. When on the cross, Jesus was heard to say that it is finished, this encompassed the fact that He is the Alpha and the Omega, and that the work of redemption had been completed and judgment could be made, because the Innocent One had been judged as unworthy. Yet having been unjustly judged, Jesus bequeathed the judgment he received as a reprieve for all who were willing to acknowledge the truth about themselves and accept by faith the olive branch that has been offered to them through goodwill.
The Jews handed Jesus to the Romans and requested Barabbas be released, so Rome could crucify the Son of God on their behalf. The Jews were not guilty because they did not murder the Innocent One. The Roman Pilate washed his hands because He did not make the decision to release a murderer to murder the Innocent One, he gave that to the Jews to make. This is the way people operate in the world today. Nothing has changed. When the New World Order comes in, everything will change. Evil will be no more.
The Apostle Peter tells how Jesus not only taught them concerning end-times but also demonstrated the power of the glory that is to come.
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain
Some might think that revealing the majesty of the Creator’s power is watering down the apocalyptic message; but think of a room filled with roaches being cleared because someone turned on the light. This is what real power does: obtains results with minimal effort. That example might not seem apocalyptic; but it was as far as the roaches were concerned.
What Lord Jesus Christ introduced, after His resurrection from the dead, was the New Age of the Spirit of God working in the hearts of men and women who accept His message. Jesus’ message is He has brought an end to the futility of the ways of the world, the destruction that is caused by sin, and the hope of eternal life being possible and confirmed by the assurance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But like a seed that is planted in the ground, the tree has to grow to mature. Likewise, Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God, implying that this is how He is going to take over the world.
Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31–32)
This is not so much that the Age of the Spirit is the Babylonian Christendom that was forced upon the Roman Empire by Constantine in 325 AD, when he became sole emperor of Rome; rather it is the number of people who will be raised from the dead at the Second Coming of Lord Jesus Christ. The fact that the Roman Catholic Church was able to consolidate its power as a result of Constantine’s acclaimed conversion is not what Jesus was speaking about when talking of the Kingdom of Heaven (God) becomes the greatest of kingdoms (shrubs).
The history of the church from a spiritual point of view, as written to the seven churches in the book of Revelation (chapters two and three) portrays a body of believers within different historical contexts and how they fare. Interestingly, we see the second church (Smyrna) subject to much persecution and victorious, as an assembly of martyrs, because rather than succumbing to compromise, absolute trust God’s promise was taken seriously. Consequently, the ruler of the world saw fit to infiltrate the church and inspired Constantine to adapt it to Babylonian practices, so that the influence of the called out ones can be weakened and thereby controlled.
The apocalyptic message permeates the gospels. This is a message to individuals and for the world at large. The disciples are to preach the gospel to the ends of the Earth. Flat-earth connotations do not apply to the idea “ends of the Earth”, because the ancients understood the global nature of the planet. Rather, Jesus was speaking in terms of the last days when all the tribes of the world will have heard the gospel.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
The Greek word translated “nations” is ἔθνεσιν (ethnesin), which is derived from ἔθνος (ethnos) from whence the English word “ethnic” originates. Once every ethnic group has heard the gospel, then we are at the time of the end. This time is merely a matter of years now, as the current world political climate indicates.
To some it may appear that the message of the coming of the Kingdom of God was watered down during the days of Jesus. However, Rome felt threatened by the message and feeding Christians to lions and burning them alive was often the preferred method of enjoyment rather than beheadings. All who hear the gospel message, especially when it is spoken in the full conviction and power of the Holy Spirit, sense the inherent apocalyptic thunder within their empty spirits. Naturally, those who love evil, rather than the truth, always seek to quash it by any means possible, beginning with Jesus of Nazareth—or was it with the head of John the Baptist.