"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 24 – The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

The LORD, after His triumphant entry into the City of Peace, riding humbly on a donkey left the people of Jerusalem with a solemn warning. They would not see Him again (once His mission of atoning for the sins of the world was completed), until His return to Earth, greeted by their worshipful hails of “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”. He spoke of His protective guard over His people being removed, and the desolation of the land.

Immediately afterwards, we come to chapter 24 in the Gospel account, and it seems that the LORD and His disciples are departing from the Temple, and He Who build all of creation both the seen and the unseen is given a tour by them of the constructed monument built by Herod the Great. I would presume He wasn’t all that impressed . . . 

Again, the LORD issues another solemn warning which entails the destruction of the Temple – and this happened in 70 AD by order of Caesar, which was carried out by General Titus Vespasian.  

This stunning declaration prompted the disciples to ask three questions: When will these things be (the destruction of the Temple)? What shall be the sign of the LORD’s coming (The LORD’s return which He spoke of previously in Chapter 23), and of the end of the world (age)?



He answers them all – with details that are very specific in this chapter. There are these signs demonstrably clear and unmistakable. 
One point I’d like to focus on before we proceed is the difference between this prophetic account, which is mirrored in MARK 13 and the account that is found in LUKE 21. At the outset, they all seem fairly the same, but there is a distinction in LUKE that makes it different than MATTHEW.

In MATTHEW’s Gospel we read in vs. 8:

MATTHEW 24:8
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows

Sorrows here signifies ‘birth pangs’ and this characteristic is how these prophetic signs would occur: at first somewhat lesser in intensity and frequency, but later increasing in both – just as a pregnant woman’s contractions.

Then in vs. 9 we read:

MATTHEW 24:9
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.

Note that word “then” – that is, that which proceeds after vs. 8. In LUKE’s Gospel, the LORD’s listing of prophetic events is practically identical to MATTHEW’s up to vs. 8. In LUKE’s Gospel account however, it states in verse 12:

LUKE 21:12
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.

See how these are different? From vs. 12 in LUKE’s account and onward, the LORD is speaking of evens that occur “…before these things…”, that is those things which have already occurred in history – from the destruction of Jerusalem, to rampant persecution, betrayal by family and friends, violent bloodshed of Jews by her enemies, and the treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles until “. . .  the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled . . .” that is, the oppressive rule of Gentile powers over the nation.

Then from vs. 25, the prophetic clock is sped up, passed the history, both ancient and recent, to that time commonly referred to as the Great Tribulation period. The following articles deal with the prophecies as given by our LORD in this chapter. However, there is still more to exposit in this chapter (vs. 36-51), and we shall pick up there, once you the reader have finished reading what’s contained at the links below.


We have gone over all of them in a previous TTUF article, the link for which we will post here:
TWENTY-FOUR SIGNS of The LORD’s RETURN - A ‘Snap Shot’ of The Last Days



We have also written another article based on MATTHEW Ch. 24, but addressing it from a different perspective:


The LAST DAYS of LAWLESSNESS – TIME of the SIGNS


So, let’s wrap up the rest of this chapter, beginning in verses 36-37:

MATTHEW 24:36-37
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

One can safely assume that “day” and “hour” mean simply that, however the Greek words, while defining these words as such, can also mean “age” and “season” respectively. We know that the meaning cannot be the latter definitions however, because the saints will in fact, know the season of the LORD’s return (1 THESS 5:1-3). The LORD Himself told us a parable regarding the fig tree:

MATTHEW 24:32-34
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:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

We at present cannot know the LORD’s return down to the day and hour however, but those who will endure the time of tribulation, Jacob’s Trouble (JER 30:7) will know His return will be seven years after the Beast enforces the covenant with the nation for seven years (DAN 9:27; “one week” referred to in this verse is shabuwah in the Hebrew, and it can mean a ‘week of years’ or a period of seven years). They will know the LORD’s return will arrive three and a half years once the image of the Beast is erected in the Holy of Holies in the rebuilt Temple (DANIEL 12:11). 

They will know this time, but for those of us in the church, during this age, we cannot know such things and I believe we never will, because we shall escape, as our LORD admonished us to pray, from this terrible time (LUKE 21:36). As well as this, the Beast cannot even be revealed while the Holy Spirit restrains him, and since He indwells us, neither can the church be here once he is manifested (2 THESS. 2:7).


The LORD told us that the generation that sees these things shall not pass away until these things are fulfilled. Thus, we know that we must be “in season” because Israel, the primary prophetic element is back in the land, and we as a generation will not pass before all is fulfilled.

“. . . as the days of Noah were . . .” Obviously the implication of wickedness is here referred to, but there could be an insinuation about something more than simply this. Regarding Noah, it was stated:

GENESIS 6:9 
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God

Tamim is the Hebrew word for “perfect” and it refers to being without blemish, much in the way that a Levitical priest would declare an offering being free of blemish, physically speaking. What would Noah’s physical condition have to do with anything? 
There is strong reason to believe that because he was untainted by the foul interbreeding with “the angels that sinned” (2 PETER 2:4) that was apparently rampant at the time, he was considered acceptable to the LORD, as was his family. Yet the LORD is stating that a similar state will occur in the days of the Son of Man’s return!

MATTHEW 24:38-42
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,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

The people during the times of Noah were unaware of their impending doom; they carried out their routines as they always had, without a moment’s hesitation that something tremendous would happen at any moment – even in “the twinkling of an eye” (1 THESS 4:16-18). The coming of the LORD will be just like that, He indicated, a sudden, unexpected event. And once He does come – that will trigger the commencement of this terrible time known as Daniel’s 70th week.

One cannot imagine the horrors as foretold in the book of Revelation happening, and not a single person suspects that this could be the end of the world, and be completely careless and blasé about the return of the LORD. However, if the rapture happens on a day when “we think not” – when times are routinely ordinary and relatively uneventful, at an hour when we are not looking – that would explain how so many would be caught off guard.  

The LORD tells us to not be deceived into thinking others who will come impersonating Him (vs. 4-5; 23-26), are the Christ, but to be looking for the genuine and true Christ, Jesus our LORD! Note the following verses: vs. 36, 42, 44, 50 – they all address the idea that we will not know the time of the LORD’s arrival specifically, only generally in the “times and seasons”.

Both examples of the intruding thief (vs. 43) and the wicked servant who believes His LORD won’t be coming any time soon or “later, not now” (vs. 48-50) are illustrations of those who aren’t intently looking for and expecting His arrival (2 TIM 4:8; HEB 9:28), just as the faithful servant was also intently looking for the LORD’s return, and was faithful in service because of that expectation (MATT 24:45-47).

For a brief video (9 min 50 sec) on Why Can’t The Rapture Be Post-Trib? watch this from The BEREAN CALL:




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