Monthly Archives: July 2016

Prisoner Of Own Faith

I like to address this article directly to the members of the Church of Christ to reveal to you something that has been kept secret to us, for there is no way we would know this if we are kept prisoner of our own faith. We have to come out of our own comfort, open our minds and think outside the box to learn the true context of the scriptures – something we always believe we have the pristine gospel in our Church.

All members and former members of the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo or INC) went through a series of doctrinal lessons. Because we are not concern of scriptures but to listen and finish the bible studies, we did not know we have gone through a process that in our mind is the security for our salvation. In reality there are techniques behind the process of indoctrination that are kept in secret. These techniques are:

  • Classical or mind conditioning
  • Prevention Technique
  • Sustainment Technique
  • Retention Technique

Classical or mind conditioning

During this process we are taught the bible is the basis of faith, that the words of God contains in the bible, that the First Century of Church was apostatized, through the prophesy of Bro. Felix Y. Manalo as the Messenger of God in these last days, that during the ends of the earth the Church of Christ re-emerged in the Philippines in July 27, 1914, coinciding the outbreak of the first world war 1. It was God’s standing policy that he set aside His own people, like the Jews, the Gentiles and the son’s and daughters of God from the Far east, members of the Church of Christ. That there is no other salvation outside the Church and those who are outside the Church will be condemned come judgment day. That only those who endure until the end will be saved and therefore if you leave the Church you will go to the lake of fire.

Something that I think is part of classical conditioning technique is how INC used the words in the bible. This is now important to understand.

“church” – Whenever a Minister read this word, it is translated or replaced by the proper noun “Church” or more specifically it is read in the bible as if it is referring always to the “Church of Christ“. Noticed even when Romans 16:16 “Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.“. The “churches” is immediately translated to “Church of Christ” by the Minister. If you question then the alibi is that the “churches” refers to the different locales. This “church” in itself is a huge topic that will be uncovered in the future articles. For now let me say that if you understand the Context of Matthew 16, the greetings is for the people from different places, there are no mentions of different locales of Church of Christ but just places. For example Matthew 16:1 “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea”. If you continue reading Matthew 16, never a “locale of ..” is used. The “church” is also used to refer to Church Administration like in Matthew 18:17, “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.“. Again the “church” in that verse is a noun not a proper noun.

“you” – Whenever the Minister read “you” in the bible, it refers it to the members of the Church of Christ. Something we ignore most of the time in the bible is the audience relevance. When Christ speak to the Apostles, He is referring to them as “you“, He is speaking to the Apostles not us people of the 21st century.

“Israel” – In some cases the reference to Israel is referred to the Church of Christ. For example in Isaiah 41:9, “You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,…“, If you read the context of Isaiah 41 He is speaking to the Israelite, the INC translate “Israel” as referring to the people of God in the last days, the members of the Church of Christ.

Other technique used as part of classical conditioning is the used of multiple bible translations. This is something astonishing to me because my mind was conditioned that some bible translations are wrong. Now I realized this selective teaching is wrong. For example the Church used Moffat for Isaiah 43:5-6 for the words “far east” but ignore “end of the earth” in the same verse because the Church want to use NKJV version which is “ends of the earth“. Same verse two translations and of course the alibi is that Moffat is wrong on using the “end of the earth“.

Prevention Technique

In the process of prevention, members of the INC are taught the bible is kept in mystery and only the Ministers have the wisdom to learn and interpret it correctly. There are those who attempted to learn the bible only to end up in destruction.

The Bereans are examples of receiving the teachings with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. I have already covered the theory of equivocations on the mystery of the gospel. I tend to believe now that this INC doctrine is to prevent us from learning the true context of the scriptures and if that is so, we could possibly abandon our faith – and that is what the Church refers to as “destruction” but to us it should be the grace of God. If you have not read the following topics I suggest you read them.

The INC Teachings Regarding The Mystery Of The Bible
Test The Spirits Whether They Are Of God

Sustainment Technique

In this process, the Church must ensure continues supply of offerings and bible students to keep the Church growing. We are taught to be generous in giving for in giving God is well pleased. We are taught as being light of salvation, part of our sworn duty is sharing our faith, by inviting people. We are discourage to teach [which made us no longer read the bible] but to invite only for the Minister have the right knowledge of the gospel.

The Church teach faith without works is dead and so we must work, work, work for the Church. Recruiting of officers is continues on a daily basis, some officers have sworn offices from different departments. Many members goes to the chapel daily and multiple times going back and forth home and chapels during week ends. The truth is Jesus forbids to take oaths in the Christian age.

Some related topics you can read regarding the process of sustainment:

The Many Different Offerings Inside The Church of Christ
Are Offerings In The Church Shoddy?
The Danger of Taking An Oath

Retention Technique

In the process of retention we are taught to obey our leaders, for they have been given the authority on earth for our own salvation. We are then reminded that if we do not obey, we can be expelled from the Church. Expulsion is the worst case scenario for members for it means you are no longer of God but of the devil, you are destine to go to the hell, the lake of fire.

The Church doctrines made this technique sound truthful, scriptural and pristine gospel by using the gospel itself. I posted articles regarding obeying the leaders and identify some theories of equivocations:

Should We Obey Our Leaders and Submit To Them Without Questions?
Submit To God, Obey Your Leaders.
The Fear of Death.

The Church doctrines implement registration of members which is the “Book of Life” on earth. The Church also implements expulsion process, exercising the authority given to the Church leaders on earth.

What are the basis of the INC doctrines for implementing the Registration Book which is the “Book of Life” on earth?

Daniel 12:1, NKJV – 1
“At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.


What is the theory of equivocation on Daniel 12:1?

There is nothing in the verse referring to a regulation of a registry book on earth. The book of Daniel is know for its apocalyptic language. “At that time“, is a time in the future [future from the time of the Jews while in Babylonia, this future is also possible as our future or it could also be a part of history in our time already] many considered a tribulation day that in that time, the
people of God will be delivered to be watched by angel Michael everyone whose name is written in the book.

What other INC doctrine relates to Daniel 12:1?

Revelation 20:12

Revelation 20:12, NKJV – 3 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

This verse is talking about “books” and “Book of Life“. Notice “..And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.“. Let us say there really is “Book of Life” written by men on earth, to believe it, we have to have “books” of those who will be judged and their works should have been written to that books. Who is then responsible to writing the works “the things” for those who will be judged?


Who is responsible for creating the Book of Life?

The Church is using Matthew 16:19, 18:18 giving the Church Administration the authority on earth to write the names of those who will be saved.

Matthew 16:19, NKJV – 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 18:18, NKJV – 18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Notice the “you” is translated by the Minister to “Church Administration” when reading this verse in bible studies and worship services. If we understand the context of Matthew 18, Jesus is talking to the “you“, the Apostles. This is part of mind conditioning, word translation technique. Using Matthew 18:18, the Church elevated itself having the authority of God on earth by being able to identify people who will be registered or remove from the book of life. In INC context, “binding” is the writing of name in the registry book and “loosing” is equivalent to removing name from the registry book, or expulsion. The registration book is the Book of Life on earth which is also the Book of Life in heaven [ “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, what ever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven“]. What if the devil made one of the secretary in the church to forget to write somebody’s name? Don’t be naive, it happens. Poor member he/she is not going to be saved just like that!

The true meaning of “binding” and “loosing”

There are many articles regarding the bible meaning of binding and loosing although they do not have the same explanation, almost all refers to application of the law of God which are within the rules by the words of God written in the scriptures – remember it is a sin to add or remove what is written in the bible. Binding refers to “prohibiting” and loosing refers to “permitting“. Its quite the opposite of “registering” [to be saved] and “expulsion” [to be condemned]. It has nothing to do with registration and expulsion nor anything to do with Book of Life on earth which is going to be the Book of Life in heaven.

It is a known fact that the true meaning of bind and loose was originally a Jewish Hebrew phrase. It is the authority to carry out the will and decisions of God upon earth as they had already been established in heaven. To bind means to forbid or be unlawful and to loose means to allow or be lawful. The future tense (shall having been bound or loose) shows that this authority is only valid when used in submission to Christ’s word or teaching. It does not give any Church, the authority to make up new teachings such as a church registration book on earth becomes the Book of Life in heaven.

How do the Church exercise its power of “loosing”?

Using 1 Cor.5:13, the Church given itself the authority to expel members.

1 Corinthians 5:13, NKJV – 3 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

In most cases, INC Ministers use selective technique using TEV

1 Corinthians 5:13, TEV – 3 But should you not judge the members of your own fellowship? As the Scripture says “Remove the evil person from your group.”.”

Let us learn a lessons from the Old Testament. The entire Israel suffers from God’s punishment because of the mistake of David just for numbering the Jews. In 1 Chronicle 21:1-7.

1 Chronicle 21:1-7, NKJV –
1 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.”3 And Joab answered, “May the Lord make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?”4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem. 5 Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword. 6 But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel.

From this experience of King David, numbering of people, which is, listing of people or taking census is detestable to God. Listing of His people is only the province of God. Only God decides who should or should not be saved.

The Church doctrines further threaten those who will be loosed using 1 Timothy 1:19-20.

1 Timothy 1:19-20, NKJV – 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Firstly, being delivered to Satan in one’s life does not mean you do not have the chance to be saved. According to Romans 11:29, God’s gift is irrevocable – cannot be changed especially by a human being. Secondly, If we believe the experience of Hymenaeus and Alexdander applies to all man kind, then we must believe the experience of the thief who was nailed on the cross with Jesus was saved can be applied to anyone, regardless of Christian religion or denomination, can be saved by repenting even for the last moment of your life. This forfeit the claim that only INC members will be saved.


Who goes to Lake of Fire?

The Church use John 15:6 to explain further that those who are “loose” are burned in the lake of fire.

John 15:6, NKJV – 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Does the verse talking about “lake of fire“? Absolutely not. The verse does not speak of abiding in the Church Administration, it is referring to abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me be straight who does not abide in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, Jesus forbids oaths and yet, we, INC member, keep violating Jesus for doing oath taking.

Matthew 5:33-37, NKJV – 33Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

Jesus is talking that oath taking is the thing of the past in Old Testament. Jesus changed this as per His instructions. If you believe in the gospel, if you believe in the words of Lord Jesus Christ, then you must believe Matthew 5:33-37. If you do not believe it, are you with our Lord Jesus Christ? It is unfortunate, we never knew this verse before, we took oath by accepting our membership, we took oath when we accept our different offices, we took oath when there is new Minister assigned and out of his effort to gain our obedience, we are asked to repeat our oath – all is against the teaching of our Lord Jesus. Now how do we explain John 15:6 “if anyone does not abide ….“? Are we the one going to the lake of fire then? Scary, that is why we need to learn the scriptures.

One day I saw a church building with a banner in front that says “WE ARE FULL GOSPEL CHURCH“. For a moment I laugh, is there a “HALF GOSPEL CHURCH”? Now, having learned more of scriptures that I never heard before,  I am beginning to think that the Church of Christ is possibly one of those considered not a full gospel Church. Truth hurts when you think you have the truth but then you realized you are wrong.

-Cornelius

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Part 3: The End Of The Age – The Questions

This is the third part of the “End of The Age” series. If time permits, the following articles will be posted.

Part 1: End Of The Age – Introduction
Part 2: End Of The Age – The INC Doctrines
Part 3: End Of The Age – The Questions
Part 4: End Of The Age – The Answers
Part 5: End Of The Age – Historical Events

In part 2, we reviewed the INC doctrines on Matthew 24:3,6-8,33. We then learned the context of Matthew 24 understanding of the Jews expectation on the Messiah based on their knowledge of Old Testament that the Messiah will bring the Kingdom of God to them. While Jesus was inside the Herod’s Temple, He spoke of the temple going into desolation. The Temple is a dwelling place of God how can such a magnificent structures turn into rubble; the Apostles are thinking. From the Temple they went to the Mount of Olives and that is where Apostles asked their questions. In this article, we will explore what led the Apostles asking the questions. These questions are relevant to the INC doctrines because INC used the answers to relate them to the first world war of 1914.

The Olivet discourse, is regarded by far the fullest and explicit of our Lord’s prophetic utterances regarding His second coming. Verse 3 is the most important questions asked by the Apostles in this chapter. We need to understand their questions, or we will never understand what Jesus’ answer really meant. Let us test the spirit  again by reviewing the context of the Apostles’ questions in detail. We will review the parallel verses for comparison:

Matthew 24:3, NKJV – 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Mark 13:4, NKJV – 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
Luke 21:7, NKJV – 7 So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

There are fundamentally two questions asked in all three gospels but Matthew’s version maybe argued with a third question.

Question #1

Matthew 24:3, NKJV – 3 …. “Tell us, when will these things be? ….”
Mark 13:4, NKJV – 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? …”
Luke 21:7, NKJV – 7 … “Teacher, but when will these things be? …”

Recall that the context why these questions were asked is because what Christ spoke about the Temple going into desolation in Matthew 23:38 and in Matthew 24:2 He kind of said the Temple will be reduced to rubble. So the “these things” refers to the temple’s destruction in verse 2. Jesus says, “All’ these things‘ shall be destroyed”. It should be clear now it means the same thing as “WHEN will the temple be destroyed? When will our house be left desolate?“.

Matthew 23:38, NKJV – 3 See! Your house is left to you desolate;
Matthew 24:2, NKJV – 3 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

So the questions “when will these things” refers to the Temple destruction. The disciples had one thing, and only one thing, on their mind and that was the destruction of the temple.

Question #2

Focusing now on the second question

Matthew 24:3, NKJV – 3 …. And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Mark 13:4, NKJV – 4 “… And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
Luke 21:7, NKJV – 7 … And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

It would not make a lot of sense to point the second half of the question to another topic [that is to ask signs for some 2000+ years ago for the end of the world while they are talking about the Temple destruction].  What is logical to the second part is that the “these things“, still refer to the temple, or the destruction of the temple. The destruction of the temple appear to connect with the “end of the age“. Notice that the gospel of Matthew also associated the destruction of the temple with the end of age. The disciples could not have been asking about a future return of Christ, because at this time they had no idea that he was leaving, that he will die on the cross and resurrect. They believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The Jews believed that Messiah would come and rule, they had no idea of Him coming, then leaving, then coming again as evident in John 12:34.

John 12:34, NKJV – 34 The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

David B. Curtis explained, “some translations render the “age” as “world.” That is very confusing. The Greek word used here is aeon which means, “age.” It is not the Greek word “kosmos” or “oikoumene,” which mean the world and its inhabitants. It is not talking about the end of the physical world; the word aeon means age, era, or a period of time. The expression “end of the age” refers to “the end of the Jewish age.” The disciples knew that the fall of the temple and the destruction of the city meant the end of the Old Covenant age and the inauguration of a new age”. William Barclay says, “Time was divided by the Jews into two great periods– this present age, and the age to come. The present age is wholly bad and beyond all hope of human reformation. If can be mended only by the direct intervention of God. When God does intervene the golden age, the age to come, will arrive. But in between the two ages there will come the Day of the Lord, which will be a time of terrible and fearful upheaval, like the birth-pangs of a new age.“. In Zechariah 14, the “Day of the Lord” and the destruction of Jerusalem were connected.

Zechariah 14:1-5, NKJV –
1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
And your spoil will be divided in your midst.2For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The city shall be taken,
The houses rifled,
And the women ravished.
Half of the city shall go into captivity,
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.3Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.4And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley,
For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.
Yes, you shall flee
As you fled from the earthquake
In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.Thus the Lord my God will come,
And all the saints with You.

Jesus told the disciples that all the things they asked about would be fulfilled in their life time.

Matthew 24:34, NKJV – 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. ”

Other religions consider “this generation” to be a race which is a generation that include us in our time. But understanding the context of Matthew 24 and parallel gospels, the topic is about the the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple – not the judgement day that we expect as the end of the earth. Therefore the “this generation” refers to the generation of the disciples who are the ones spoken to by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Understanding the context of the questions can now help us understand Jesus’ answers in Matthew 24:6-8 which we will review in detail in the next article.

Matthew 24:6-8, NKJV – 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Hope you enjoy reading and that you are learning something relevant to your knowledge of scriptures.

-Cornelius

Part 2: The End Of The Age – The INC Doctrines

This is the second part of the “End of The Age” series. If time permits, the following articles will be posted.

Part 1: End Of The Age – Introduction
Part 2: End Of The Age – The INC Doctrines
Part 3: End Of The Age – The Questions
Part 4: End Of The Age – The Answers
Part 5: End Of The Age – Historical Events

I embarked on these topics and take the challenge of learning the bible. Each post will be a bit long so I hope you will spare the time to read.

The INC Doctrines on Ends of The Earth

The teaching of the INC on the “Ends of the earth” starts on Isaiah 41:9-10 which was discussed in previous article. This doctrine of the Church is followed by the teachings of Matthew 24:3,33 and the visible signs of the “Ends of the earth” are the wars mentioned in Matthew 24:6-8.

Matthew 24:33, NKJV – 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!
Matthew 24:3, NKJV – 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Matthew 24:6-8, NKJV – 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

We always believe the “war” mentioned was the first world war which broke up on July 27, 1914 [modern history is July 28, 1914].

The Church teaching on “wars” is the first world war of 1914 between nations and between kingdoms, it is followed by famines, pestilences, and earthquakes occurring at the same time or successively after one another, which is the beginning of sorrows. The Church then able to connect these verses making it sounds logical, real and pristine.

There are now questions of this doctrine. Firstly, the theory of equivocation on the “ends of the earth” here that the “ends of the earth” is not time but place. Secondly, almost all signs mentioned in Matthew 24:6-8 are still happening in our time. Now the verse says it is the beginning of sorrows, so when is the end of the beginning on the INC context of the “ends of the earth”? Also if all the signs in Matthew 24:6-8 are the events in our time, yes many people feel sorrows these days but would you not believe me that there are still many happy people in our time? Do you think the sorrows of a few in our time is the biblical beginning of sorrows? If not so when is the real sorrows? If not, then is it correct to interpret the first world war as the war mentioned in Matthew 24:6?

Also when Christ says “you will hear …”, he was speaking to the Apostles, It is the Apostles who should be hearing the wars otherwise Christ should have used “they will hear …”.

The True Context Of Matthew 24:6-8

The Olivet Discourse is actually deals with the study of Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, which are known to be a parallel accounts of the apocalyptic words of our Lord Jesus Christ. I encourage you to read Matthew chapter 24 but try to understand every words by heart.

Many religions are known to have disagreement on their interpretations of Matthew 24 and its parallels in Mark 13 and Luke 21. My view may not be different from many and it may also contradict other interpretations but see for yourself if we can agree on the logic that I will present here and next articles. If we do not study the context of Matthew 24:6-8, we will never ever come to the true understanding of which wars and rumors of wars the verse is referring to. Also in my next articles we need to understand the questions or we will not understand the answers.

Matthew was the gospel that was written for the Jews. It was written by a Jew in order to convince Jews. One of the great objects of Matthew is to demonstrate that all the prophecies of the Old Testament regarding the Messiah are fulfilled in Jesus.

Matthew 1:21-23, NKJV – 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

There are many other proof in Matthew to tell the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah. Herod’s slaughter of all the young children in an attempt to kill Jesus in Matthew 2:16-18. He shall be called Nazarene in Matthew 2:23. Jesus’ healing of sick in Matthew 8:16-17. The crucifixions of Jesus in Matthew 27:35. This should have made it clear to the Jews who he was. Who else could do this but the promised Messiah of Israel in Isaiah 35:4-6? Jesus warns that those who reject him as Messiah and his kingdom will suffer judgement, Matthew 8:11-12.

It is Matthew’s primary purpose to show that the Old Testament prophecies received their fulfillment in Jesus; how every detail of Jesus’ life was foreshadowed in the prophets; and thus to compel the Jews to admit that Jesus is indeed the long awaited Messiah of the Hebrew Scriptures. The Jews knew very well the Old Testament teaching that Messiah would bring in the promised Kingdom of Heaven. However, Jesus was speaking of destruction in chapter 23 and 24.

Before we go back to Olivet Discourse or Matthew chapter 24, in chapter 23 Jesus actually told the Pharisees that the “house is left to you desolate”.

Matthew 23:37-38, NKJV – 23 37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate;

The Oxford definition of desolate is a place deserted of people and in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness.

Now in the beginning of chapter 24, Jesus and the Apostles departed the Temple to go to the mountain. While leaving the Apostles are wondering why Christ say “desolate” the fact that the Temple is a huge structures. Here is now the beginning of the Olivet Discourse.

Matthew 24:1-2, NKJV – 24 1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Mark 13:1-2, NKJV – 131 Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!”

2 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Luke 21:5-6, NKJV – 21 5 Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, 6 “These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

Now, as they depart from the Temple the words of Jesus from chapter 23, “Your house shall be left to you desolate,” still burned in their ears. They point out the buildings of the Temple and their magnificence. Mark says that they particularly pointed out the stones of the temple. What could possibly happen to such a massive edifice? There was nothing quite like the Temple in the ancient world. There was such a reverence for the temple, even in distant parts, that one would scarcely dare to imagine that it could ever be destroyed.

Jesus warns his disciples that the destruction of Jerusalem would be soon. In fact it would occur in their generation (Matthew 23:36; 24:34). The words translated “this generation” refers to the people living at the time Jesus was speaking.

Matthew 23:36, NKJV – 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
Matthew 24:34, NKJV – 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

In the next article we will review the Apostles questions that led to what Christ says “you will hear wars …”.

“Many Will Come In My Name”

Before Christ talked about “wars” in Matthew 24:6-8, he was talking of those who will deceive many under his name.

Matthew 24:4-5, NKJV – 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Do INC not teach the Church of Christ is the body of Christ (Col. 1:18) and Christ is the head of His body and He created his body, the Church, and Himself as one new man? In short the Church is presenting itself as Christ is in it? Having the name of Christ does not necessarily mean it is for Christ for many will be deceived under His name.
If we follow the Futurist view of Olivet Discourse it is logical to be skeptical on the doctrine of the INC. In Preterist view of Olivet Discourse, we will learn that the entire Matthew chapter 24 is not applicable to INC at all. We will cover those topics soon.