Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In 17:20 the Pharisees questioned the Lord Jesus as to when the kingdom of God comes. He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, Look, here! Or, There! For behold, the kingdom of God is among you” (vv. 20-21). The Lord’s answer indicates that the kingdom of God is not material but spiritual. It is the Savior in His first coming (vv. 21-22), in His second coming (vv. 23-30), in His overcoming believers’ rapture (vv. 31-36), and in His destroying of the Antichrist (v. 37) to recover the earth for His reign (Rev. 11:15).
Luke 17:22-24 proves that the kingdom of God is the Savior Himself who was among the Pharisees when He was asked by them concerning the coming of the kingdom. Wherever the Savior is, there is the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is with Him, and He brings it to His disciples. He is the seed of the kingdom of God to be sown into God’s chosen people to develop into God’s ruling realm.
In 17:23-30 the Lord Jesus indicates that the kingdom of God is He Himself in His second coming. Verse 24 says, “For just as the lightning flashes from one part of heaven and shines to the other part of heaven, so will the Son of Man be in His day.” Concerning this verse we need to realize that the second coming of Christ has two aspects: one is the secret aspect toward His watchful believers; the other is the open aspect toward the unbelieving Jews and Gentiles. The “lightning” here signifies the open aspect of the Lord’s coming. Lightning is concealed in a cloud, waiting for an opportunity to flash forth. Christ will also be clothed with a cloud (Rev. 10:1) in the air for a time, and then He will suddenly appear like a flash to the earth.
In Luke 17:25 the Lord says, “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” Then in verses 26 through 29 He goes on to describe this generation, saying that the days of the Son of Man will be as the days of Noah (vv. 26-27) and the days of Lot (vv. 28-29). In the days of Noah certain conditions existed. People were stupefied by eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage. Furthermore, they did not know until the flood came and took them away. It will be the same in the days of the Son of Man. People will be stupefied by the necessities of this life, not knowing that God’s judgment (signified by the flood) will come upon them by the Lord’s coming. The believers, however, should be dedrugged and soberly know that the Lord is coming to execute God’s judgment upon this corrupted world.
Eating, drinking, and marriage were originally ordained by God for man’s existence. But due to man’s lust, Satan utilizes these necessities of human life to occupy man and keep him from God’s interests. Toward the end of this age, this situation will be intensified and will reach its climax during the days of the Son of Man.
The characteristics of the days of Noah were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage. The characteristics of the days of Lot were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, and building. These last four characteristics indicate business. Consider the characteristics of today’s world. The characteristics of this generation are eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage, buying, selling, planting, and building.
The conditions of evil living that stupefied the generation of Noah before the deluge and the generation of Lot before the destruction of Sodom portray the perilous condition of man’s living before the Lord’s parousia (presence, coming) and the great tribulation (Matt. 24:3, 21). If we would participate in the overcomers’ rapture to enjoy the Lord’s parousia and escape the great tribulation, we must overcome the stupefying effect of man’s living today.
In verse 30 the Lord goes on to say, “It will be in the same way on the day in which the Son of Man is revealed.” The Greek words translated “it will be in the same way” literally mean, “according to the same things it will be.” As indicated by verse 24, at the end of this generation the Man-Savior will be revealed as lightning flashing from one part of heaven and shining to the other part. That flashing light will be the appearing of the kingdom. Actually, that lightning flash will be the appearing of the Man-Savior, the appearing of a Person; yet that appearing will also be the appearing of the kingdom of God.
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