Ecclesiology 012Exodus 4:22 • Dr. Andy Woods • January 28, 2018 • Ecclesiology
1-28-18 Lesson 12
Let’s open in a word of prayer. Father, we’re grateful for this morning and grateful for Your sovereign work in our lives, even some of the surprises that You give us and we thank You that you’re faithful in all of it. So help us this morning as we try to grow in our understanding of the doctrine of the church and later on as we try to grow in our understanding concerning some complicated and misunderstood things about the Book of Daniel. I ask that for the illuminating ministry of the Spirit and I do ask, Father, that You would apply the Word to Your people and we might leave here different, with a different way of thinking, and that we might apply it to our lives. We ask this in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said… Amen!
Good morning everybody. Let’s take our Bibles if we could and open them to John 14:26. As we continue our study on Ecclesiology, which as you know is the doctrine of the church, those are some of the categories that we’ve covered prior to Roman numeral V. And the last few weeks we’ve been in Roman numeral V trying to understand the basic differences between Israel and the church; trying to understand the church compared to Israel as a unique new man for the work of God. We’ve looked at those eight comparisons, we’ve looked at the next eight comparisons; that takes us to about sixteen differences. Anybody remember how many differences we found? At least twenty-four, which is easy to remember because how many elders are there in the Book of Revelation? Twenty-four. I’m not tying the two together, I’m just saying that’s an easy way to remember it. And we’ve looked at numbers 17 and 18 and we come here to number 19, and with any help from God at all maybe we can finish this list today. But I’ve promised that a lot of times haven’t I? And I never seem to be able to deliver.
But one of the big differences between Israel and the church (and if you understand this it will save you so much confusion) is Israel and the church, they have two different farewell addresses. Jesus gave the farewell address to Israel in what is called the Olivet Discourse. And you’ll find that in Matthew 24 and 25. And in that discourse, as I’ll try to show you, He was saying farewell to Israel and outlining her future. And on the same Passion Week, the final week of Christ’s life, He gave a totally different address on a totally different day called the Upper Room Discourse because He gave that address sin the Upper Room. And you’ll find that in John 13:17.
So Olivet Discourse given on the Mount of Olives, Matthew 24 and 25. Upper Room Discourse given in the Upper Room, John 13-17. It’s really John 13-16 and in chapter 17 you have Christ concluding it with this high priestly prayer on behalf of the church that is about to be birthed on the day of Pentecost, following His crucifixion and His resurrection and His ascension.
So I think in your handout, did you all get a handout, just put your hand up and Ron will help you with that, you should have this chart. This chart shows you the basic differences between the Olivet Discourse and the Upper Room Discourse. The scriptural area for the Olivet Discourse is Matthew 24 and 25. The scriptural area where you’re going to find the Upper Room Discourse is basically, as I’ve said before, John 13-17. The location of the Olivet Discourse is on the Mount of Olives. The location for the Upper Room Discourse is in a different place entirely; it’s in the Upper Room. And when you look at the Passion Week, the final week of Christ’s life, He gave the Olivet Discourse on the third day of that week, and He gave the Upper Room Discourse on the sixth day of that week.
And the whole focus of the Olivet Discourse is Israel, Israel’s future. I know I had you open up to John 14:26 but you can just keep your finger there and slip over just for a minute to Matthew 24. What does Jesus say, what are some things He says in the Olivet Discourse. If you look at verse 15, I hope it looks familiar to you as we’ve been studying Daniel in the main service, but He quotes Daniel 9:27. He says, [Matthew 24:15] “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),” so He’s quoting there the 70th week of Daniel. And does anybody remember who the seventy weeks prophecy concerns? Israel, it goes right back to Daniel 9:24 where Gabriel told Daniel that this 490 year clock is given to Daniel’s people and Daniel’s city.
And then if you drop down to verse 16 Jesus says to the Jews living on the earth at this time, He tells them what to do when they see the desecration of the temple in the middle of the tribulation. He says sin verse 16, let those who are in Houston flee to the mountains, I’m sorry, it doesn’t say that. You see how Jewish this is? “Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Now what’s interesting about that prophecy is that’s part of what the world community calls the West Bank, which is better named Judea and Samaria.
So in order for this prophecy to be fulfilled the stage had to be set, the nation of Israel had to win back that territory as part of its own borders because He’s talking about Jews in Judea fleeing and that happened in the Six Day War, June of 1967, and they got back what people flippantly call the West Bank, which is really Judea and Samaria, and so right then and there the Lord, I think, massively set the stage for the fulfillment of these Jews living in Judea to flee to the mountains.
And most people believe, I’ll rely on Arnold Fruchtenbaum for this, in his book, Israelology, The Missing Link in Systematic Theology, he presents a pretty good case that the Jews are probably going to flee to Petra, which is in Jordan when this happens.
And then as you go down to verse 20 it says, “Pray that your flight will not in winter or on a Sabbath.” So obviously there you know He’s talking to Israel because we worship the Lord not on the last day of the week, as the church age, but on the first day of the week because Jesus rose on Sunday. But the Jews going back all the way to the time of Moses worshipped on the Sabbath. So what I’m trying to get at is the language here is Jewish, Jewish, Jewish, Jewish, Jewish.
So the whole focus of the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24 and 25 is the nation of Israel. And a lot of people rush into Matthew 24 and 25 and they’re trying to find church age ideas in there. The reality is if you’re looking for church age ideas in there you’re looking in the wrong place of the Bible because Matthew 24 and 25 is the farewell address to Israel. An awful lot of people are confused on this; they want to see the rapture in here because it talks about one taken and another left.
But when you actually study that out, beginning around verse 39 of Matthew 24, “they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away,” see that? So to be “taken” here is it a good thing or a bad thing? It’s a bad thing, they’re taken away in the flood; that’s the analogy Jesus gives. And “they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away, so will the coming of the Son of Man be,” and here’s where everybody wants to find the rapture, I believe in the rapture, right! I just don’t find it in this part of the Bible. People go to the wrong parts of the Bible to find doctrines. He says there in this verse, “so will the coming of the Son of Man be, then there will be two in the field, one taken, one will be left.”
Now when you keep this in its context what you see with the connection to Noah’s day is to be taken away is a bad thing. So what is this talking about? This is not talking about the rapture of the church; this is talking about the return of the Lord for Israel at the end of the tribulation period. Some people will be believers, other people will be unbelievers. The unbelievers are going to be taken off the earth into judgment. And those that are not taken are believers and they will go into the kingdom in their mortal bodies. See that.
And when you simply cross reference this with Luke 17 beginning in verse 34 Jesus tells the same story and it’s recorded over there. He says beginning in verse 34 in Luke 17, “I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left.  There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left.”  “Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.” And everybody uses that and says that’s the rapture of the church but if you keep reading in verse 37 it says, “And answering they said to Him, ‘Where, Lord?’” In other words, those taken, where do they go? “And He said to them,” look at this, verse 37, Luke 17:37, “‘Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.’” See that? So those taken are taken into judgment, they’re taken into death, their souls are then escorted into hell because they are unbelievers at the end of the tribulation period and the vultures begin to gorge themselves on their corpses. See that?
So when you try to build a doctrine you have to look at all the Scriptures on it. And contextually the people that are taken in the Olivet Discourse are taken into judgment. Being taken, in this sense, at the end of the tribulation period is not a good thing but it’s a bad thing. See that. So those taken it’s a bad thing and those that are left behind is a good thing because they will enter…, they’re believers so they will enter the kingdom in their mortal bodies and they will repopulate the earth. Now compare that to the rapture. It’s the opposite, isn’t it? In the rapture to be taken, is that a bad thing or a good thing? That’s a good thing! And to be left behind, Tim LaHaye wrote a whole series of novels on this, a fiction series. To be left behind is a bad thing. That’s the opposite of what’s happening here in the Olivet Discourse. Being left behind is a good thing, being taken is a bad thing. See that?
You should already be saying yeah, that makes sense because of verse 15 of Matthew 24, verse 16 of Matthew 24, verse 20 of Matthew 24, which seem to indicate that this is not speaking of the age of the church at all. It’s speaking of God’s future plans for Israel in the 70th week of Daniel, really at the end of the 70th week of Daniel after the church is gone. But I can’t tell you how many conferences I go to where people want to use these verses to teach the doctrine of the rapture, which of course I believe in the rapture, I just don’t go here to find it because this is Israel’s material. Do you see that?
In fact one guy, he was driving me back to the airport and I got into this conversation with him and he said well, if you’re right on this I’ll have to change all my ministry literature and posters and everything and I can’t do that. So to this day he still holds to… he’s got Matthew 24 all over everything and he just doesn’t want to buckle on this. But I say let’s go with the Word of God and just redo the ministry literature. Amen!
I mean, the website we can change that, I don’t want to go around changing the Scripture. So the general focus of the Olivet Discourse is God’s farewell address to Israel. It is totally different in the Upper Room Discourse where Jesus is saying hello to the church. The church doesn’t exist yet. And if you want to find the rapture teachings in the teachings of Christ I wouldn’t go to Matthew 24 and 25 to do that. I think the first time Jesus ever makes reference to the rapture of the church is not in the Olivet Discourse but it’s in the Upper Room Discourse and I think it’s right there in John 14:2-3, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
There’s been a lot of commentators, the first commentator I ever saw do this was a guy named J.B. Smith (if I have that right) and he showed a one to one conceptual parallel. He’s got the eight parallels and they come exactly in the same order. And I wish I’d brought my chart in to show you but he shows how conceptually the ideas line up exactly point by point, eight or so in a row, with first Thessalonians 4:13-18, right down to words of comfort, and so it would make sense to me that that’s what’s happening in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 since the apostles, whom Jesus is addressing, are going to become the primary authors of Scripture. And so their job is going to be to expand in the kernel truths that Jesus planted in the Upper Room Discourse. That’s why he keeps saying all the way through this discourse, “I have many things to tell you but you cannot” what? “bear them now.  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth….” [John 16:12-13a]
So the way it works is Jesus is talking to the disciples and He’s making a prediction and He’s giving them information about the church; the church hasn’t been revealed yet so He’s giving them kernel truths and He’s basically explaining to them that they’re the ones that are going to take these kernel truths be seeds and expand them into what we call the epistles.
So the focus of the Olivet Discourse is Israel, the focus, farewell to Israel. The focus of the Upper Room is hello to the church. The specific focus though, what I just gave you there was the general focus, the specific focus of the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 14 and 15 is Israel’s future. Now that they have rejected their King how in the world is God going to get them into compliance by faith with His covenants so he can bring His kingdom in and through them to the earth? That’s what’s being explained in Matthew 24 and 25.
And we learn there that He’s going to use a horrific event called the great tribulation period to accomplish it. That’s the tool that God will use to bring tiny Israel to faith. She’s in unbelief today but one of these days she will be in faith and it will be through the fires of the tribulation period that God will accomplish this. That’s why you see so much tribulation language in Matthew 24. For example, if you look at Matthew 24:21-22, not only will there be the desecration of the temple but
He says in verse 21, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.  Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect….” Now don’t get your Reformed theology out and read our personal election into that because you go all the way through the Old Testament Israel is called the elect nation over and over again. It’s not talking about us, elect individual Christians in the body of Christ. It’s talking about God’s chosen choice nation. The disciples all being Jewish would understand this. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved, bur for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
In other words He’s saying if I allowed the seven year tribulation period to go a week over its allotted time frame or a month over or a year over all the Jews would be dead because they’re going to go through this incredible purging process where we learn from the prophet Zechariah that two-thirds of them will be broken off in unbelief and God will preserve a remnant of one-third. And Jesus says if this period goes any longer all the Jews would be dead and God can’t allow that to happen because He’s got to fulfill His covenant through Israel. Right! Which means there’s got to be at least a handful of them left on the earth by the time the tribulation period is over.
So by the time the whole thing is over He’s got believing Jews and unbelieving Jews; the unbelieving Jews are taken off the earth into judgment. The believing Jews are left behind and they go into the kingdom and they repopulate the earth in the millennial kingdom, not at all to be confused with the rapture of the church which precedes this whole time period. So basic knowledge of the Israel/church distinction will save you so much utter confusion which is so rampant today in the area of eschatology.
The specific focus, therefore, of the Olivet Discourse is Israel’s future; the specific focus of the Upper Room Discourse is the divine provisions that are going to be made available to the church because Jesus starts to tell them that He’s going away and they start to push the panic button, which you can imagine they would they’ve been with him for three years. He had mentored them over three years, they loved Him and all of a sudden He says oh, by the way, I’m leaving. And most of them didn’t even understand the crucifixion and the resurrection which is right around the corner and the ascension. So those events are imminent and He starts to tell them I’m leaving and they’re panicking and this is where He says it is to your advantage that I go away. [John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”]
Well why is that? Because when I go, He, the Spirit, will come, the Spirit is, in these verses the paraclete. The paraclete is the one who comes alongside and assists. If you look at John 16:7 he says, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away;” that had to have blown their mind, they’re with him for three years and He says actually you guys, it would be better for you if I left. Why is that? Because “for if I do not go away, the Helper” that’s the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, the one who comes alongside to assist, “the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” In other words what’s going to happen is the paraclete is going to be dispatched by Jesus the moment He ascends, Acts 1, and takes His seat in His high priestly ministry at the right hand of the Father. His first order of business is going to be to send to the church, which will just be forming, it forms on the day of Pentecost, He’s going to send them the Holy Spirit, the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit is going to start. And so He says things like I in you and you in Me. I’m in you through the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit; you in Me through the Spirit’s baptizing ministry which identifies us with Christ’s body. That is all stuff that they knew nothing about. They had a knowledge of the Spirit but all of these things that He’s talking about are brand new and the Upper Room Discourse is unfolding these things.
So Jesus is on the earth and He could really be intimate with twelve people; and actually within the twelve there’s even a smaller, more intimate group, as you study the Gospels, consisting of Peter, James and John. And this is why He says it’s to your advantage that I’m going because once I go the Holy Spirit will be in every single one of you. And therefore I can be intimate with all of My children, not just a select or an elite few. See that? So that’s sort of the tone and the tenure, if you will, of the Upper Room Discourse. It’s all about these divine provisions that the church is going to have. You don’t have that kind of teaching in the Olivet Discourse which concerns the nation of Israel.
And one other quick thing, the birth pangs, earth quakes, famine, pestilence, nations at war with each other, when you study those birth pangs they line up perfectly with the seal judgments in the exact order in Revelation 6 and Revelation 7. So to me that’s further evidence that Jesus in the Olivet Discourse is outlining the tribulation period. And that’s a difference of opinion I have with one of my mentors, Dr. John Walvoord, who influenced Hal Lindsay. Walvoord influencing Hal Lindsay basically took those birth pangs as signs in the interadvent age that are happening now. And I like Walvoord and I like Hal Lindsay but almost every time you turn on Hal Lindsay’s program he’s always talking about the increase of earthquakes because he believes that these birth pangs are part of the interadvent age.
Dr. Pentecost came along and he said no, (and this is who I was persuaded by) the birth pangs are not part of the interadvent age, they’re the actual seal judgments of the tribulation period, which to my mind has always made an awful lot of sense once I heard it because Jesus is talking about events of the tribulation period. Certainly He’s talking about that in verse 15 with the desecration of the temple. Certainly He’s talking about that in verses 21 and 22 which is talking about a time of unparalleled distress unequalled from the beginning of the world.
So part of the issue with Hal Lindsay is he makes these claims that earthquakes are increasing and what that does it opens the debate, because other people come along and say earthquakes aren’t increasing. So one camp presents their evidence that earthquakes are increasing; another camp presents their evidence that earthquakes aren’t increasing. Are earth quakes increasing or not? I really don’t know, I don’t even know if I care that much because it doesn’t affect my interpretation. See, Lindsay has to expend all of his time and energy proving that earthquakes are increasing because he bought into the Walvoord idea that this is talking about the interadvent age. So for his end time scenario to work he’s got to prove that they are increasing and growing.
I don’t have to spend any time doing that. It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that earthquakes are increasing but it’s immaterial, irrelevant because I’m understanding these birth pangs the way Dr. Pentecost taught it, that these are actually concerning the tribulation period itself. Are earthquakes increasing or decreasing or staying the same doesn’t affect my view at all because he’s talking here about the actual tribulation period. And what he’s actually talking about is the seal judgments because they line up so perfectly.
So the specific focus of the Olivet Discourse is Israel’s future. The specific focus of the Upper Room Discourse are divine provisions. Now what prompted the Olivet Discourse? If you go back to Matthew 24:1-3 you’ll see the question that set the whole thing up. It says: “Jesus came out from the temple” doesn’t that sound kind of Jewish to you, “Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.” Why is that? Because the Jews have always made the mistake of looking at the temple as a good luck charm.
I mean, this goes back to the error they made, you can read about this in the Book of Jeremiah, with the first temple. They always thought as long as this temple is here we have the favor of God. And that’s why Stephen got himself stoned, and when I say stoned I’m not talking about what they do in Colorado. He got himself stoned to death, and they probably do that too in Colorado, he got himself stoned to death literally because he started talking about, in that sermon, you can read about it in Acts 7, he started talking about how God doesn’t permanently dwell in the temple. And that totally countervailed Jewish opinion because they always looked at the temple as the good luck charm.
So the temple, as you know, was destroyed by Babylonians, the majesty of the Solomonic temple, it was rebuilt by the returnees from the exile after 70 years and there’s a reference in John 2:20 to the fact that Herod took the temple and expanded it and beautified it over a period of about 46 years. [John 2:20, “The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’”] So this temple was really something to look at. That’s why the disciples are so impressed with it.
“Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. [Matthew 24:1] And I love how direct Christ is. He wouldn’t be a good politician. He just gives direct answers to issues. “And He said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.’” You’re so impressed with this building you think it’s some kind of good luck charm of God’s favor. Let me tell you a little something; this whole thing is about to be torn apart.
And we know that happened about 40 years later by the Romans in the events of A.D. 70. And Josephus tells us that the temple caught on fire and the gold in the temple melted between the bricks and dried there and what did the Roman soldiers do to get their hands on that gold? They took the temple apart brick by brick, exactly what Jesus said. And you go to Jerusalem today, and we’ve been there, and you can see the temple building torn apart brick by brick, no brick or stone on another, it’s just what Jesus said. And if that prophecy was literally fulfilled, my goodness, shouldn’t we take the rest of this chapter as literal as well, when he jumps into the future and starts outlining Israel’s future program.
And in verse 3 it says, “As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately,” I mean, you’ve got to talk to Him privately after a stunning statement like that, what did You mean by that kind of thing; they “came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things happen,” watch this, “and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” In their minds they connected the destruction of the temple with the return of Christ. And so Jesus says okay, I’ll answer your question. I’ll talk about My return. So He leaps forward into the distant future, at least 2,000 years, beginning probably right there in verse 4 and starts outlining Israel’s program for the future and how she will be brought to faith under duress and how God ultimately will fulfill His covenants to them.
And the whole thing ends with Matthew 25:31 where He’s actually going to sit on David’s throne at the end of this time of duress and orchestrate His kingdom. It says, “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.” Any guesses as to which throne we’re talking about here? David’s throne, the fulfillment of 2 Samuel 7:12-16 which is part of the Davidic Covenant, which is the idea that through David would come an eternal dynasty and so all of those millennial prophecies will be fulfilled. [2 Samuel 7:12, ““When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,  but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.  Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”]
And then you drop down to verse 34 of Matthew 25, “Then the King will say to those on His right,” because some are believers and some are unbelievers when He returns so He’s got to separate the two as a shepherd separates sheep from the goats, “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom [prepared for you from the foundation of the world.]” The kingdom is going now, so the end product is a repentant Israeli remnant through a time of distress thereby allowing Jesus Christ to come back to the earth to rescue them to begin the long awaited millennial kingdom which He will at that point begin or inaugurate through the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
And what prompted this whole discussion, right there in verse 3 of Matthew 24, He had just talked about the destruction of the temple, they connected that with the end of the age and they said tell us about the end of the age. So he goes, okay, I’ll tell you. And so He gives this very Jewish address. See that?
Now compare that to the Upper Room Discourse, what prompted the Upper Room Discourse. If you go to John 13 and take a look around verse 1, given as we see here from this chart a totally different day of the Passion Week, it says in chapter 13, the beginning of it, beginning of the Upper Room Discourse, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would” what? “depart out of this world to the Father,” and then it says “having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”
He’s going around saying I’m leaving, I’m leaving, I’m leaving. And that really bothered them because as I said before He was their mentor, He was their friend, they’d been with Him over three years, He had taught them, you can imagine the insurmountable things, they had watched His miracles so that the thought of Him leaving was time for them to push the panic button. So to allay that fear He begins to talk about divine provisions, i.e. the Paraclete, the coming of the Holy Spirit, who will be with you and in you forever, John 14:16-17. [John 14:16-17, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”]
And that’s why He says it’s actually… when He gets to the whole point of this is you all, speaking a little Texan here, it’s actually a good thing that I’m going, and in the process He begins to plant the seed truths concerning the coming church, which they knew nothing about. There’s no prior revelation on the church except for a few hints of it that Christ has made. And the Spirit is going to come upon these people listening to this and they’re going to pen the New Testament. And as Peter tells us, 2 Peter 1:19-20, they’re going to be carried along by the Spirit as the Spirit is going to bring to remembrance the things that Jesus taught them. [2 Peter 1:19-20, “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.  But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,  for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”]
And they’re going to take these seed truths and water them into the full-fledged New Testament epistles that we have today. So my point is the Olivet Discourse is prompted by a totally different set of circumstances than is the Upper Room Discourse. What is the Olivet Discourse doing? It is explaining prewritten Old Testament information. I’m sorry to have to have you keep jumping back and forth but we’ve already looked at Matthew 24:15 which is an exposition or a further explanation of Daniel 9:27. See that? He is explaining and giving greater understanding to prophecies that had already been given concerning Israel, because this business about the restoration of Israel is not a new teaching. You’re going to find that in the Old Testament and what I believe is this: the key verse that Jesus is probably thinking about here… can I prove this? Not necessarily but I plan on asking Him when I get to see Him face to face, which is what the Bible says will happen… Amen! I’m going to ask Him in Matthew 24 and 25 were You thinking about Jeremiah 30:7? I think He’s going to answer yes because Jeremiah 30:7 is basically the Olivet Discourse in microcosm form.
It says, “Alas! for that day is great, there is none like it;” gosh, that kind of sounds like Matthew 24:21-22, doesn’t it, “Alas! For that day is great, there is none like it, and it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.” It’s not a time distress for Sugar Land Bible Church, or First Baptist of Houston, but it’s a time of Jacob’s distress. “But he,” who’s the “he”? Jacob, “he will be saved out of it.” Isn’t that what Jesus is explaining in Matthew 24 and 25, how Israel is going to come to faith via the events of the tribulation period, be saved, at least a third of them, and the kingdom is going to start through the nation of Israel. What is Jesus doing in the Olivet Discourse? He is expanding on Old Testament passages.
Well, what’s He doing in the Upper Room Discourse? He is talking about a New Testament which wasn’t even a New Testament yet. He’s doesn’t quote Scriptures in the Upper Room Discourse in the same way He does quote some Old Testament Scriptures but not the same way He quotes them in the Olivet Discourse because He’s talking about and predicting a New Testament which will consist of the kernel truths He’s laying down that the recipients or the hearers are going to water and bring into full bloom in what we call the New Testament epistles because John was listening to this thing. John is going to write 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation. Peter was listening to this thing. Peter is going to write 1 Peter and 2 Peter.
So if you take a look at John 14:26, which is the verse I had you open up to, so we’re finally getting to the key passage 45 minutes later. Look at John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will” what’s the tense of that verb, past, present or future? Future. “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” Now what are the things that the Spirit, the Paraclete, is going to bring to their remembrance? Do you know what it is? It’s Matthew, Mark, Luke and John because those books were written decades after Christ left the earth. And how did these books… you know John didn’t write His gospel probably until about A.D. 90, how in the world could John, as an old man, probably going senile, how could he remember all that stuff that happened sixty years earlier? Well, here’s the answer right here in verse 26, the Spirit will “bring all things to their remembrance.” Everything that you need to remember will be brought back to your remembrance because you’re going to pen John, The Gospel of John.
And then He also says, “He,” the Spirit “will teach you all things.” That’s the epistles. What are the epistles? The epistles some people think are the lives of the apostles. No, epistles are letters so Paul, who would receive a personal revelation from Christ, Acts 9, is going to write 13 epistles. And then we have 8 general epistles, you have Hebrews, you have James, you have 1 Peter, 2 Peter, you have Jude, you have 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, did I get them all? Those are the eight epistles either written by these guys of people that knew these guys and they are, those epistles, 13 written by Paul and then 8 general letters, are the fulfillment of what Jesus is saying here, “He” the paraclete, “will teach you all things.”
So when He says He will bring all things to your remembrance, [John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”] that’s Matthew Mark, Luke and John. When it says He will teach you all things, those are the letters or the epistles which are binding for the church age believer, 13 Paul wrote and then 8 general letters, which only leaves one book of the Bible left, the Book of Revelation. Notice what Jesus says in John 16:12-13, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” Why is that? Because the Spirit, the Paraclete hadn’t been given yet in the way He would be given in Acts 2. “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you” what’s the rest of that verse say, “what is to come.”
Dwight Pentecost wrote a book called Things to Come. Where do you think he got that title from? Right here, John 16:13. So the Spirit is going to disclose to you things to come—that’s the Book of Revelation. Now certainly there are prophecies in the Gospels and prophecies in the epistles but you find your greatest treatment of prophecy in the Book of Revelation. So you see what Jesus is doing here is He is predicting unwritten New Testament material. The Spirit, when He comes, will bring all things to your remembrance. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. He will teach you all things, the epistolary literature, and He will disclose to you things to come, that’s the Book of Revelation. So you see the difference here? In the Olivet Discourse he’s amplifying prewritten Old Testament concepts like Daniel 9:27, like Jeremiah 30:7. That is not what He’s doing in the Upper Room Discourse. He is making bold predictions about the 27 New Testament books that are yet to come.
So the whole explanation of the Upper Room Discourse is totally different than the Olivet Discourse; different names, different Scriptural addresses, different locations, delivered at different times than the Passion Week, two totally different focuses, one Israel, one the church, two completely different specific focuses, two promptings that prompted these conversations that are totally different. And by the way, it’s best to look at these as conversations, you know, we throw in the word discourse and we think He’s giving some kind of sermon, like the Sermon on the Mount. The Olivet Discourse and the Upper Room Discourse really aren’t sermons, they’re not public addresses like you have with the Sermon on the Mount where He’s speaking in front of a great throng of people and they’re kind of sitting there passively listening to Him. These are conversations. The Olivet Discourse is a conversation just with the handful of disciples that came to Him privately and said what’s going to happen to temple in the end of the age? So I think there’s a lot of back and forth going on.
And it’s the same thing with the Upper Room Discourse, He’s only speaking these things to eleven men; the twelfth, Judas, the only unbeliever had left the Upper Room in John 13 so He’s just got eleven left who are very panicked about His departure from the world and He begins to unfold these truths to them. So the promptings are different and the explanations are different. He’s not dealing with written Old Testament material in the Upper Room Discourse but He is dealing with that in the Olivet Discourse. But in the Upper Room Discourse He’s revealing the Books of the Bible yet to come. Do you guys at least feel comfortable with the differences.
And most teaching that you get it’s just a bunch of grab a verse here, grab a verse there and there’s not a lot of thought today (for whatever reason) distinguishing these discourses. You go to the right Scripture for the right points. Just like I don’t go to the Law of Moses today to discover what’s binding on the church age believer. That would be a waste of my time because a lot of Moses is not set up to do that, and we understand that.
For whatever reason we don’t really get it with these two discourses. For whatever reason we don’t really get it with these two discourses and I see a lot of mistakes that folks make. I myself made a lot of mistakes early on trying to understand the Bible because no one really explained to me these differences. So we have two farewell addresses. I can do these next three in about 30 seconds. You say yeah, right, because the one you just gave us took almost an hour.
How about designation? Israel is God’s firstborn Son, Exodus 4:22. [Exodus 4:22, “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn.’”] By the way, have you ever wondered why God killed the firstborn in Egypt in plague ten? Why did God just target the firstborn all over Egypt? What does Genesis 12:3 says? “The one who curses you I will” what? “curse.” Is that literal? Well, my goodness, you took My firstborn into captivity Egypt, so I’m going after your firstborn. See that? By the way, have you ever wondered why God drowned the Egyptians. I mean, He could have saved Israel by sending a plague on them, He could have opened up the desert like He did in Numbers 16 and swallowed up the inhabitants. I mean, why did He drown them? Why did He drown them in the Red Sea? You’ll find the answer to that in Exodus 1:22, where Pharaoh… what was Pharaoh doing early on? Drowning the Hebrew males in the Nile. [Exodus 1:22, “Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, ‘Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.’”] So God says, Genesis 12:3, you drown all My people I’m going to drown you. There’s a reason why things in the Bible are happening the way they are; it’s related to statements that God makes in the Abrahamic promises.
I said I would do this in 30 seconds… Israel is God’s firstborn son; the church is never called God’s firstborn son. We’re given a totally different designation, the bride of Christ, etc. Israel is revealed in the Old Testament and a lot of people want the New Testament to read just like the Old Testament. Well if the New Testament read just like the Old Testament we wouldn’t need an Old Testament. Right! The case for Israel is already established. There’s a few hints of Israel here and there in the New Testament but the focus of salvation history primarily, not completely, in the New Testament is the church. We have Romans 11 and Matthew 24 and 25 which indicates Israel will be brought back to faith, repeating Old Testament material. But Israel is revealed in the Old Testament and you’ll also find references to Israel in a minor sense in the New Testament. So Israel is a two-Testament doctrine. Okay. The foundation is laid in the Old Testament, you get a little bit of a review course in the New Testament concerning Israel. So you’re going to find Israel in both Testaments.
How about the church? Do you find the church in the Old Testament? You do not; that’s why Jesus said, “I will build,” what tense is that verb? Future! In other words, it didn’t exist yet, it didn’t even exist when Christ made that statement, “I will build My church.” So the future tense indicates you’re not going to find the church in the Gospels, except for a few hints that it’s coming. And you don’t find it at all in the Old Testament. And this is why the church, Ephesians 3:3-6, is called a mystery. And there it is in Ephesians 3:9.
[Ephesians 3:3-6, “that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.  By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,  which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;  to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,  of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.  To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,  and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;”]
A “mystery,” what is a mystery? It is something that is totally hidden but now disclosed. Israel is not a mystery; we know all about Israel in the Old Testament and the information is repeated to some extent in the New Testament. But that’s not the church at all. The church does not exist in the Old Testament. The church is completely a New Testament doctrine because the church is a mystery; a mystery is something hidden but now made manifest, Colossians 1:26. [Colossians 1:26, “that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints.”]
So you find Israel in the Old Testament and some in the New Testament but not so the church. The church is not a two Testament doctrine; it is a New Testament doctrine completely and even in the Gospels them self the church doesn’t even exist yet. We have hints it’s coming but it’s not yet in existence because Jesus is functioning under that prior dispensation of the Law. He is the last man of the Dispensation of the Law. Why is that? Because He’s the only one that could live it out perfectly so God had to keep that dispensation going until at least someone could live it out. And God says well no one can live it out so I’ll become a man and live it out. Galatians 4:4, Jesus was born under woman, under Law. [Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.”]
So I think I’ll stop there; next time we’re together I’ll show you the evangelistic strategy is different between the two. The blessings are different and the composition is different. Any questions.