The End of the Age

Gary DeMar's writings are based largely on the Oliviet discourse and his interpretation of the Lord Jesus' answer to His disciple's following question:

"Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?" (Mt. 24:3).

In regard to this verse Gary DeMar correctly writes: "Notice the disciples did not ask about the end of the 'world' (kosmos), as some Bible versions translate the Greek word 'aion'...they asked about the end of the 'age' " (DeMar, Last Days Madness [American Vision, 1999, Fourth Revised Edition], 69).

The Field is the World

Earlier the Lord Jesus spoke the parable of the "tares of the field" where He described what would occur at the "end of the age":

"He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this age. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Mt. 13:37-43).

Here we can see that the Lord Jesus speaks of a harvest that will happen at the "end of the age", the "end of this age." He also makes it clear that the harvest will take place in the field, and He says that the "field is the world" (kosmos).

Kosmos

To quote Gary DeMar,"The first rule of Bible interpretation is understanding a text in terms of its original setting and audience, always asking the question, "How would those who first picked up copies of the gospels and epistles have understood what they were reading?" (DeMar, Limited Geography and Bibical Interpretationhttp://www.preteristsite.com/plain/demargeo.html).

How would those who first picked up copies of the gospels and epistles have understood what they were reading?

The Greek word translated "world" is kosmos and it means "the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human race...Mt. xiii. 38" (Thayer's Greek English Lexicon).

Gary DeMar knows that the word kosmos refers to the whole inhabited earth, as witnessed by his own words:"Earlier in his letter to the Colossians, Paul describes how the gospel was 'constantly bearing fruit and increasing in all the world [kosmos]' (1:6). The faith of the Romans was 'being proclaimed throughout the whole world [kosmos]' (Rom. 1: 8), 'to all nations' (16:26)" [emphasis mine] (DeMar, Last Days Madness, 87-88).

According to him the word kosmos has a "more global meaning" and refers to a "universal fulfillment not bound by geography or time":

"It's significant that Matthew uses oikoumene only in 24:14, while he uses kosmos, a word that can have a more global meaning, nine times. In fact, we read later in Matthew's gospel: 'Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world [kosmos], what this woman has done shall also be spoken of in memory of her' (26:13). The Greek construction in the two verses is identical except that in 2613 kosmos is used for 'world.' Matthew chooses oikoumene over kosmos because he wants to emphasize its local geographical fulfillment within the time frame of 'this generation' in contrast to a universal fulfillment not bound by geography or time as is the obvious case in 26:13" (DeMar,Limited Geography and Bibical Interpretation).

Gary DeMar's understanding of the meaning of the word "kosmos" is the same meaning that those living in the first century would have put on that word. So they would understand that when the Lord Jesus spoke of the "field" to be harvested being the "world" (kosmos) they would have also understood that at the "end of the age" that a harvest would come upon the whole inhabited earth.

Gather Out of the Kingdom

Here we see that the 'tares" will be gathered out of the kingdom:

"As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this age. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Mt. 13:41-43).

Since those who do iniquity will be 'gathered out" of the kingdom then that means that they must first be in the kingdom. It is impossible to "gather out" anyone from the kingdom if they are not already in the kingdom. The only "kingdom" in which unrighteous men can dwell is what many call the "Universal Kingdom," described in the following two verses:

"Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all" (1Chron.29:11).

""The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all" (Ps.103:19).

This Universal Kingdom includes the whole earth. The Lord Jesus' words at Matthew 13:41 state that "all things" which offend will be gathered out of His kingdom so therefore "all things" which offend will be gathered out of the earth. This is in agreement with the Lord's words that "the field is the world."

It is evident that all things which offend were not gathered out of the earth in the first century so the events in regard to the "end of the age" remain in the future. This directly contradicts the teaching of the preterists.

The Sower of the Good Seed is the Son of Man

"He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world" (Mt.13:37).

The preterists argue that since the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus was limited to Israel then the "field" in view can only be "Israel." However, they fail to understand that there are instances in the Bible where the Lord Jesus is said to be doing something and that thing is actually done by His agent. A case in point includes the very parable under discussion. Here "the reapers are the angels" (Mt.13:39). But in a parallel passage it is the Lord Jesus who will reap the earth (Rev.14:14-16). At Exodus 12:29 it is the Lord who is said to smite the first born in the land of Egypt but we know that it was the "destroyer" who actually did that (Ex.21:23).

So just because Matthew 13:37 speaks of the Son of Man sowing the good seed does not mean that the sowing is limited to Him because it can also be speaking of him as well as His agents, those who will preach the gospel in all the world before the end of the age (Mt.24:14).

The Clear Testimony of the Bible

Gary DeMar writes,"Unfortunately, the clear testimony of the Bible does not convince those who are intent on making the Bible fit their preconceived view of prophecy" (Ibid., 402).

We can see that the clear testimony of the Bible does not convince Gary DeMar that his preconceived view of prophecy is in error.

He continues teaching his "fable" that the "end of the age" has already come and in doing so he must turn "away his ears from the truth." The first thing that the Lord Jesus said when answering His Apostle's question concerning what will happen at the "end of the age" was:

"Take heed that no man deceive you" (Mt. 24: 4).