Mat 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
The Temple was the pride of the Jewish people, so Jesus saying it would be destroyed would definitely pique their curiosity.
The disciples ask when the temple would be destroyed, but then they ask two other questions.
- What shall be the sign of they presence (Parousia means presence and not the act of coming)
- When is the end of the age (aion—means age and not the destruction of the earth)
Looking at these questions we see that the disciples were given a lot more information than we have. They understood that Jesus’ Parousia would require signs because it would not be seen or understood by the world at large.
They understood the Jewish Age, which they were at the end of, and the Gospel Age that was just beginning were just stepping stones to the Messianic Age (aion). They had great interest when the present evil world would end.
Mar_10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Luk_18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
2Pe 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
The disciples ask Jesus three questions: 1) destruction of the temple 2) sign of his Parousia and 3) end of the age.
Jesus starts by answering their last question first. He gives them things to look for so that we are not deceived.
- Many false Christs
- Wars and rumors of wars
- Nation against nation—since this is not a war—perhaps referring to non-military conflicts between hostile nations (i.e. the “Cold War”)
- Famines, pestilences, earthquakes all over the place
Are we in those days? If we are we’re only in the beginning of sorrows. “See that ye be not troubled”.
Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
These verses seem future. While Christians have suffered all through the age, here at the end there seems to be a relaxing of that persecution because of the death wound the Catholic Church suffered at the end of the French Revolution. That wound is being healed. Starting with the Lateran Treaty in 1929. The Vatican has an embassy in the U.S. beginning in 1984, then just this year (2015) the Pope addressed congress. The beast is arising out of the abyss and we know its chief purpose is to “wear out the saints.” –Dan 7:25, Rev 13:7
Some of our brethren are experiencing these things in Muslim lands, but this seems to be talking world-wide extermination of the true saints.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The false prophets are different than the false Christs.
The iniquity abounding and waxing cold is in the church and not the world as it has always been in the world. Jesus is describing conditions among the professed Christians as signs of the times.
We see iniquity beginning to abound in the churches. We see fornication running rampant and now the acceptance of practicing homosexuals even ordaining them to the ministry as elders and pastors. Iniquity also in coveting and thieving. The preachers who get people to send them large donations with the promise of blessing from the Lord or healings. The Prosperity ministry deceives many as well. Most sincere and studied Christians recognize these false prophets.
2Ti_3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
What is a false prophet? I have heard people called false prophets because they came up with a date or something and it didn’t pan out. But is that a false prophet or an honest Christian who is mistaken? There is a difference. A false prophet’s teachings are not consistent with scripture on a fundamental level and can lead others astray.
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
This is not a past event. Daniel gives us all the clues on who the abomination of desolation is. Understanding Daniel we find it having to do with the feet of the image—Rome.
All through the period of the Reformation and even before, our pillars in the church the Fathers of the Reformation identified Catholicism and the Pope as the Antichrist and man of sin.
More recently we see that the doctrine of the “Mass” is the abomination that makes desolate—that is it makes Jesus ransom sacrifice desolate.
What does it mean to “stand in the holy place”?
Stand means to set up. When Michael stands up in Daniel 12 it is to reign. When God rises up it is to reign. This standing up is the hour of power of the Beast in Revelation. Zechariah 5 talks about the woman (Catholic Church) in the ephah being brought to Shinar and set up (stand) on her own base.
Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Mat 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Mat 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
Get out! This hour of power of the Beast is the reign of the Antichrist. Get out!
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice out of Heaven saying, My people, come out of her, that you may not share in her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues;
Don’t take anything with you when you come out---like her false doctrines or hopes. Everything she has is tainted—leave it.
Mat 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
Those that don’t come out as they see these things come to pass will have to be yanked out like Lot was, just before the destruction of Sodom. (Gen. 19:16)
Woe to the them that are with child—pregnant and those with suckling infants.
You can look at this in two ways. When this trouble hits that last thing you want to be is a mother with infants or expecting.
The other way to look at it is that these children are describing Christian maturity. You are fleeing and dragging along a babe in Christ. Could these babes be the Foolish Virgins who don’t have sufficient oil and want some of yours, but you can’t afford to give it to them lest you not have enough?
Mat 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
The Wheat Class of one Parable, the Wise Virgins of another parable, the Little Flock, the Elect, the Bride of Christ are taken in the Harvest.
When Jesus is saying “pray that your flight be not in the winter” he is in essence saying pray that your flight be in the harvest. Pray that you are worthy to escape. (Luke 21:36)
The times Jesus is describing up to this verse are not the Great Tribulation—but the Harvest. The Winter and the Sabbath day are the Great Tribulation. Revelation tells us that the Great Multitude goes through the Great Tribulation to wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
The Great Multitude miss out on being the Bride of Christ who are Kings and Priests, but end up being like the Levites—servants of those that sit on the throne. (Rev. 7)
They did not come out in time, they did not have enough oil, they took the mark or number of the Beast, they were deceived for a time by Satan—they missed out.
Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Daniel also talks about this Great Tribulation. Daniel talks about the end of the Great Tribulation which is Jacob’s Trouble. The days are shortened else no flesh would be saved, and in Daniel we see some of who are saved. The Holy Remnant.
Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Isa 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. 3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
There are two groups of true Christians: the Little Flock (or the Elect) and the Great Multitude. Both running for the heavenly calling, but one class does not achieve their goals, and as we saw earlier their flight is not in the harvest, but the winter and Sabbath day.
We also see from this verse that only the Elect are not deceived, which would imply the Great Multitude is deceived for a time.
Why would the Great Multitude be deceived about false Christs and false prophets who are able to show great signs and wonders?
Much like the magicians that Moses had to deal with, they can duplicate the signs and wonders Moses and Aaron performed before Pharaoh for the most part.
Exo 7:11-12 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
One of the reasons for the Great Multitude being able to be deceived is that they are not good students of the Word. They may go to church and pay attention, but they do not rightly divide the Truth by studying and proving it for themselves. Or they are so sure of themselves that they are not willing to consider that they might be wrong or have a wrong slant on things and so are resistant to anyone interpreting something a little different than they have always known. Not that we accept everything that is put before us, but if there seems to be some merit in it—we have the duty to search it out.
There are certain fundamental doctrines that there is no wiggle room on, but certainly on our prophetic understanding of the Lord’s Word there is and we should be willing to openly discuss prophetic matters without stirring up strife.
Mat 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
Mat 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
We know when the Two Horned Beast (Rev. 13—Anglican Church) gives power to the Ten Horned Beast (Papacy) and then the Ten Kings give their power to the Beast for the space of an hour (Rev. 17:12)—this will be a major deception. We know all will be deceived except the Elect in spite of Jesus warning over and over again that this deception is coming. We need to “watch and pray” as Jesus commanded us as well as study God’s Word.
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Usually this scripture is used to show the gradualness of the Parousia. Lightning doesn’t go from east to west as all know—it goes whichever way it wants. So, the thought is this is referring to the rising of the sun. It is imperceptive in the beginning (like when Jesus came at his first advent), but unmistakable at the end when we get to the Apokalupsis stage of the Parousia.
Young’s Literal Translation is as follows:
(YLT) for as the lightning doth come forth from the east, and doth appear unto the west, so shall be also the presence of the Son of Man;
I am going to offer an alternate thought.
The verses before are a warning to the consecrated Christian not to be deceived and I believe the warning is about the Antichrist’s hour of power when all but the elect will take either the name, number or mark of that Papal Beast.
Jesus’ Parousia began before this incident and once we get to this incident we are in what Jesus termed “the night wherein no man can work" The classes (Little Flock and Great Multitude) are complete as we see them in the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins in the next chapter.
This light is the separating light—the bright shining if you will. The word “epiphania” is only used about six times, and depicts the time when the Bride goes to be with the Lord and the Marriage of the Lamb.
I am offering the thought that this scriptures has more to do with the epiphania stage of the Parousia rather than the beginning of the Parousia.
Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
The word “gathered together” (Strongs 4863) is used 62 times and is pretty generic in that it just means to gather together or assemble. But we also see that “gathering” in some of the End Times parables.
Wheat is “gathered into my barn” in Matt. 3:12; 13:30—this is the same as the Wise going through the door.
Keeping in the time frame of the context—could this show the completion of the Church?
Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
After the Church is complete then comes the Great Tribulation not before. This signs in the heavens that are being described here occurred when Jesus died—perhaps something similar will happen when his body members are changed in a twinkling of an eye to meet him in the sky.
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
This is just another way of saying what he said in the previous verses showing the completion of the Church.
The sign of Son of man in the heaven is the same as the “lightning” shining from east to west. And again the gathering, but this time it is a different word (Strong’s 1996) and the thought of this word is to gather to the same place. This word is used only 7 times.
Something will happen like when Jesus died, that the centurion can say, “Truly this was the son of God.” In the End Times type of Elijah and Elisha, Elisha recognized when Elijah was taken. (Elijah said he would get the blessing if he saw him go), and we have another scripture that shows the Great Multitude will recognize when the Little Flock is taken and winter has begun.
Jer 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
These verses are not sequential to the ones before. The word, “Now” changes the timeframe to before the events just listed.
This event is the focal point, the one thing we can identify and be sure of. It is this event that marks the beginning of a lot of these events. Notice it says when summer is near—that is the time of harvest is near.
So, what is this event?
What does the fig tree represent?
Mat 21:19-20 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
Jesus cursed the fig tree. The fig tree represents the nation of Israel and it now being cast off. It quickly withered away, became very dry (Ez. 37).
This analogy isn’t about a literal tree putting leaves on—everything Jesus said was parabolic in nature. Summer isn’t the summer that happens every year any more than the winter he was talking about earlier wasn’t a literal cold time of the year. It is symbolic of events to take place.
When we see Israel put forth leaves—that is show signs of life. Israel budded in 1878 with Petatikvah, which corresponds to the bones coming together in Ezekiel 37. But the putting forth leaves is synonymous to Israel becoming a nation in 1948. This would be when the flesh comes on the bones, but is just waiting for the breath.
So, now looking at this statement with the understanding of the fig tree putting forth leaves in 1948, what does the rest of it mean?
You know that summer is nigh. That is the harvest cannot begin till after 1948.
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
When we see all what things?
Jesus starts the clock ticking with Israel becoming a nation—so everything else he describes happens will be fulfilled in that generation. All these End Times events will happen in the span of a generation.
How long is a generation?
Psa 90:10 (BBE) The measure of our life is seventy years; and if through strength it may be eighty years, its pride is only trouble and sorrow, for it comes to an end and we are quickly gone.
In the past we have used the 120 years of Noah to justify a time frame for a generation, but I don’t believe we were justified to do so.
Gen 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
This verse is basically saying, man’s days are numbered, time is up. God isn’t giving the length of a generation. We are told Shem lived to 630 years old. Abraham was 175, Isaac was 180, Jacob was 147. Yes the lifespans decreased after the flood, but not to 120 years until much later.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Going back to Psalm 90 we are given two timeframes: 70 and 80 years.
While we cannot know the day nor the hour when all these things will happen, God saw fit to give us a window of 10 years. He also informed us of all the events to take place in the span of a generation. It is only by studying all End Times events and putting them in their proper order that once we see things happening we should be getting excited because everything will be wrapping up and it is in our lifetime.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
Mat 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Jesus is here telling us to consider those 120 years of Noah and more specifically the flood as typical of the End Times.
The emphasis in these verses is not the violence caused by man or fallen angels that was continually on their mind, but their lack of concern and awareness in spite of Noah warning everyone and his building a huge ark right in front of them.
The day Noah entered the ark was not seven days before the flood. He spent the seven days stocking the ark and then the animals came and he spent the time situating them. The day Noah entered the ark for good is the same day the door was shut and the waters starting falling.
Gen 7:12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
There was no one knocking on the ark to get in once the door was shut. The floods came so quick that it took them all away. It was not a gradual rising of water, but cataclysmic.
Noah and his family entering the ark is the same as the wheat being taken into the barn in the parable of the wheat and tares as well as the wise virgins going through the door. It is God that shuts the door to the ark as well in the parable. That is the completion of the Church.
Mat 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
These verses also are explained in the parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. While the mathematics of those who make the Wise and the Foolish are not equal and one for one, the lesson we get is that from our perspectives we can’t tell the difference.
In the parable all ten (which pictures completeness) were virgins (pure). All ten had lamps, went out to meet the Lord, all slumbered and slept and all were awakened by the midnight cry. It was not until the very end that it was evident that the foolish didn’t have enough oil to complete the course or journey.
In the type of the Lord’s goat and the goat for Azazel, both looked the same, but it was not until lots were cast that one was selected to be the Lord’s and the other left (in the wilderness).
The lesson of these verses is that as Christians we can be doing all the right things, but it isn’t works that will make us Little Flock or Wise Virgins. It is the sufficiency of oil. Part of the oil is defined in verse 42—“watch”
Watch the signs of the time. Watch the prophecies in scripture. You won’t know what to watch for unless you are diligently seeking the Word and Truth.
This is pictured in the End Times type of Gideon and the 300. The three hundred were selected because they were watching as they were drinking the water. Both groups drank the water, both groups were anticipating the coming confrontation with the Midianites, but only one group was “watching”
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
This is again another admonition to “watch” lest we be taken unawares. Jesus is giving example after example about being ready and then in the next chapter he gives the parable. Apparently this is a much needed admonition. We tend to be caught up with our houses or living and not with the spiritual matters. It is this that will separate the men from the boys as it were. The Little Flock from the Great Multitude.
He tells us what to watch for, but like the three apostles we are too sleepy to watch. If we knew someone was coming to rob our house, we would stay awake and keep the thief at bay, why is it we can’t stay awake on these spiritual matters?
Mat 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
This is still in the context with the one taken and the other left. The one taken is the faithful and wise servant. Like in the parable of the “wise” virgins. Blessed is that servant who the Lord finds doing what? “Watching”
Sometimes we get hung up on preconceptions and are afraid to look beyond those explanations. But we have to be honest and say is that what it is really teaching? If we can’t move past some past interpretations then we will miss out on what is really being said. It doesn’t mean that past interpretation is wrong, but perhaps this verse isn’t a proof of that interpretation but is speaking of something completely different.
Whether you like to call it a class or individual, whatever it be. Q355:5 Let each reach his own conclusions and act accordingly. R4483:3, 1946:2; Q644:4
Mat 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
This whole context is about watching and being ready. Jesus says he will make him ruler over all his goods.
Sounds like a parable doesn’t it?
Luk 19:17-19 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
Mat 24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
Mat 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
An evil servant is still a servant. That is this evil servant class are professed Christians. This event takes place from now to the completion of the Church—this class will deny his coming. This word is not “Parousia”
2Pe 3:3-5 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming [Parousia]? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Mat 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Mat 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This class is willingly ignorant of the truth and will attack their fellow brethren. This is a second death class, a Judas class who betrays their brethren, their friends.