Did the disciples knew when Jesus was coming back?


Someone sent me an article called the Menace of Radical Preterism a critique on of course AD70. I will be spending sometime in refuting the article of course. Usually people who write these articles are ignorant. You can view the article here:


He begins his argument and critic by saying this
“There are numerous prophecies of this nature, including passages like James 5:8—“the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James could not have been predicting the literally imminent return of the Savior, for such knowledge was not made available to the Lord’s penmen. Not even Jesus himself knew of the time of his return to earth (Matthew 24:36).”

I am going to take this by piecemeal and slowly. I would like to adopt my friend Paul White‘s approach not to rush this as it takes unlearning of what we think we know.

Firstly, it is ignorance to think James did not know about the timing of the Lord’s coming. This is because the time of his coming and signs of his coming were made very clear by Jesus. He said it was within his generation. 40 years from the Olivet discourse.

Here are some proofs that the New Testament saints knew when he was returning and how it actually points to their life time.

1 Thessalonians 5

The Day of the Lord
5 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Paul begins chapter by saying “about times and sates we do not need to write to you”. He then makes reference to the say of the Lord. This clearly shows that the Thessalonians are very aware when he is coming. This is further made clearer in the further verses.

4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

You can see that from verse 4 “it will not catch them by surprise!”

He then sums up by saying in verse 9 “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This clearly pointing the devastation in AD 70.

A similar position is seen when John writes:

1 John 2:18-22 New International Version (NIV)

18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

You can clearly see that John says “its the last hour”. This clearly points to the fact that he knew very well that Jesus’s coming was around the corner.

So you can see the fallacy and the ignorance of the author to make a presumption like that. The problem here is that the author does not appreciate what “no one knows the hour” means.

Here are 2 links to a blog I wrote earlier as to its meaning.

I trust that you will read them. I just want to leave you this verse.

Luke 21:20-21New International Version (NIV)

20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.

You will see that the tribulation will come when you see Jerusalem surrounded by the armies. He then tells that to leave Judea. This is a local tribulation.

Jesus also said this:

Matthew 24:34-35 New International Version (NIV)

34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

He said these things will happened with the generation where “heaven and earth” will pass away. That we know he means by the temple in Jerusalem which was destroyed by the Roman “armies” 40 years (one generation). So Jesus knew exactly when it will happen. So did the disciples. So did the Thessalonians. So did the many who left Jerusalem when Gaius failed to destroy the temple and many Jews fled Jerusalem sometime in AD66 or 68.

I will continue in my next blog.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s