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Signs of the "Time of the End_A"

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by charlesj, Feb 25, 2002.

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  1. charlesj

    charlesj Member

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    Signs of Impending Destruction
    A VERSE BY VERSE LOOK AT MATTHEW 24 OF THE SIGNS.
    [Matthew 24:5]
    5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
    In Matthew 24 Jesus warned His disciples that false teachers would be numerous, more than ever before. Josephus, the historian, verifies the fact that near the time of the destruction of
    Jerusalem many false Messiahs appeared, claiming to be Christ. He says these became more numerous before the siege of Titus. Luke, the historian, records such pseudo-signs and false
    wonders as the magical deceptions of Simon Magus (Acts 8) which were employed on an accentuated scale before the destruction of Jerusalem by the professional deceivers mentioned
    in the Lord's predictions.

    [Matthew 24:6]
    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. Many smaller nations were at war with the Romans at that time, enemies at war with each other and rumors of war in abundance on every hand, and from every quarter as the destruction of Jerusalem drew near. Josephus verifies the fact
    that from every part of the empire wars followed in succession, and in waves of revolt, like the swells of the ocean, to the final dissolution of the empire.

    [Matthew 24:7]
    7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. In the days of Claudius Caesar, before the destruction of Jerusalem, there was an unparalleled famine – the greatest famine the world ever knew occurred. The
    record of Matthew 24 is corroborated by the Spirit in Agabus, the prophet, as reported by Luke in Acts 11:28 –
    Acts 11:28
    28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
    Again, Josephus testified that the famine actually occurred before the destruction of Jerusalem, and the fulfillment is a matter of historical record.


    [Matthew 24:8]
    8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
    Jesus is not speaking of "El Nino" some 2000 years later, but to His disciples. The great earthquakes occurred during the reign of Nero is a historical fact, and the testimony of Jesus is added to that of Josephus of an unusual number of earthquakes occurring in various countries, before the destruction of Jerusalem.
    Many cities of Asia Minor were destroyed by earthquakes.

    [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.
    Here are some final words for Paul, Peter, and James, and James the Less for they were all put to death before the destruction of Jerusalem.

    [Matthew 24:10]
    10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. This is the Lord's warning of many apostasies, when the faith of the disciples
    would fail, as under pressure of persecution many should become offended. Such apostasies were everywhere in evidence prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, the evidences of which are not only mentioned in the sacred text, but in parallel secular history. The most valuable of such historical evidence is the testimony of Josephus, who was an eyewitness to the destruction of Jerusalem.

    [Matthew 24:14]
    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.
    Within this period of gospel history the sound of the messenger's feet had been heard all over the Roman world -- Romans 10:15
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
    Colossians 1:23
    23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
    Before the death of Paul, this sign had been fulfilled, literally enough, indeed, to satisfy a most exacting literalist.
    Eusebius says "the gospel was like a sun, enlightening the world at once." It was universally published; the Gentile nations were illuminated with Christianity, providing the events to correspond with the prophecies, a fact so striking as to be convincing
    without disputation.

    [Matthew 24:14]
    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.
    Here, at once, with one accord the millennialist jumps to the wrong conclusion that this "end" means the end of the world – "then shall the end come."
    Then end of what??? Is this the end of time, or is it the time of the end? THE END OF THE JEWISH STATE AND THE END OF JUDAISM!

    Matthew 24:15
    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 description refers to the heathen symbols and the Romans standards raised in the temple. Every orthodox Jew looked upon the temple as sacred and holy. When the Romans conquered the city, and entered it, the Romans Soldiers marched into the temple, hauled down the ornaments and images of the temple,
    and raised instead the symbols and standards of paganism and Romanism. That is what was called the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place. The "abomination of desolation" was fulfilled when those Roman standards and
    pagan symbols were seen in the holy place "where they ought not to be." This was a part of the destruction of Jerusalem.

    [Matthew 24:16-18]
    16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

    The destruction of Jerusalem was regarded by all pious Jews as pestilence and desolation and was taken as a sign that the time for them to escape had come – to do what Jesus had warned them to do – to flee to the mountains. The disciples did as Jesus said – they heeded the warnings and fled. From the flat
    roofs of their houses in t he city or from their fields in the country, they saw the Roman army in full march, there was not time to go inside for goods or raiment.
    Life was more than personal property. When they saw the sign of the standards and symbols of the Romans in the temple, they remembered that Jesus had warned them of that very thing, and the news of the Roman approach they fled to Pella, the northern boundary of Perea.
    It a a remarkable fact of history that Cestius Gallius, the Roman general, for some unknown reason, retired when they first marched against the city, suspended the siege, ceased the attack and withdrew his armies for an interval of time after the Romans had occupied the temple, thus giving every believing
    Jew the opportunity to obey the Lord's instruction to flee the city. Josephus, the eyewitness, himself an unbeliever, chronicles this fact, and admitted his inability to account for the cessation of the fighting at the time, after a siege had begun.
    Can we account for it??? We can. The Lord was fighting against Jerusalem --

    Zechariah 14:2
    2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. ------ The Lord was besieging that city! God was bringing these things to pass against the Jewish state and nation. Therefore the opportunity was offered for the disciples to escape the siege, as Jesus had forewarned, and the disciples took it. So said Daniel; so said Jesus; so said Josephus.
    And so it was – it was left for Titus, the Roman general, to execute the siege, after the faithful had fled –[Matthew 24:19-22]
    19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
    20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
    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.
    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.
    These verses (19-22) deal with the hindrances to flight from the besieged city, the tribulation of the siege, and the lifting of the siege for the escape of the
    disciples.

    [Matthew 24:23-26]
    23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
    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.
    25 Behold, I have told you befor.
    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.

    Here was the Lord's warning against deceivers, fake prophets, false alarms and fraudulent signs – the forewarnings to enable the disciples to discriminate between the spurious and the genuine.

    [Matthew 24:27-28]
    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. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
    The "coming" here refers to the approach of the Roman armies. The Jewish nation was the "carcass' which the Roman eagles were sent to devour.
    These verses describe the swiftness of the events and the suddenness of all the occurrences connected with the siege of Jerusalem. The illustration of the eagles gathering where the carcass is found, is a figurative description of the
    Romans as the eagles swarming over Jerusalem and Judea as the carcass, to loot and spoil the city and all of the land of Judea.

    Due to the length of this, I am making a "B" to follow this writing.
     
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  2. charlesj

    charlesj Member

    78
    +0
    Matthew24B-

    Matthew 24:29
    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:
    Now here is where most “Gentiles” get into trouble. They see these Hebrewisms used here about the sun, moon and stars and they immediately think of the physical elements you look up and see in the heavens at certain times. Let the bible define these. They are used in prophetic scripture elsewhere. Take a look at Genesis 37:9 where Joseph dreamed a dream and saw the sun, moon and stars bowing down to him. Later he told the story to his father and he was rebuked. His father told him, “shall I, thy mother and brothers bow down on the earth to you?(Gen 37:9,10) Also, take a look at Isaiah 13 and Joel 2 where the same phrases are used to describe the ruin of the Babylon government and Jerusalem ommonwelth. The signs in the heavens, the darkening sun and falling stars, refer to the falling of the Jewish dignitaries, casting down of authorities and powers, long established, and signified the darkness that settled upon the Jewish State.
    The sun of the Hebrew temple was darkened, the moon of the Jewish commonwealth was as blood, and the stars of the Sanhedrin fell from their high seats of authority. A true picture of doom and gloom for the Jewish nation.

    [Matthew 24:30]
    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.
    The sign of the Son of man in the heaven was a signal, the evidence of divine visitation and intervention in the downfall of the Jewish authorities and in all the transpiring events. The mourning of all the tribes of the earth refers to the lamentation of the Jewish families all over the world because of the destruction of the city and their temple and their state. The coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven is not a reference to the 2nd coming of Christ, but to the coming foretold by Jesus to Caiaphas
    in Matt 26:64:
    Matthew 26:64
    64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
    Jesus told Caiaphas that he would see it, he would be a living witness to these events. The reference to the Son of man coming “with power and great glory” and “sitting on the right hand of power” is emphasis on the magnitude of the things that occurred. The Son of man came in power in the transpiring events.
    [Matthew 24:31]
    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.

    Here in verse 31 is the grand announcement of the world-wide success of the gospel, the universal expansion of Christianity after the destruction of Jerusalem. The angels of this verse were messangers, emissaries of the gospel. The gathering of the elect from the four winds meant that these messangers would carry the gospel to every corner of the inhabited world. With the downfall of Judaism the greatest foe of the church (made up of Jews at this time) was removed, the path cleared of the chief obstacle, resulting in the universal sweep of Christianity. The knowledge of God covered the earth as the waters cover the sea.
    VERSES 32-33 ARE SIGNS THAT IT IS NEAR!
    Matthew 24:32-33
    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.
    The signs of the approaching events would serve as portents to all faithful disciples that the things of which they were being warned would be near. he disciples would recognize these signs up to the time of the siege, and would know that it was “near, even at the doors.” It is here that Luke says, “ When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Lk 21:28). The providenial means for the escape of the faithful was divinely prearranged and when they should see these things “begin to come to pass” they were told to “look up” and “lift up” their heads in full confidence that their redemption, their deliverance, was at hand. This redemption extended beyond the mere escape from t he siege – it was a greater deliverance from the persecutions of the Jewish authorities and the oppositions of Judaism, brought to an end by the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish state.
    To say that the expression “it is near” refers to the end of the world, the end of time, or a “rapture” theory is contrary to the context of Matthew 24. When these signs appeared the Lord said, “Let them which are in Judea flee” – and they did! Luke 21:20
    20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.

    When the disciples saw the armies of Titus coming and surrounding Jerusalem, they obeyed the Lord and fled. If this passage meant the “end of the world” why would Jesus tell them to flee to the mountains?? And why say, “let not them that are in the country enter thereunto” –into Jerusalem? These sayings show clearly that the whole thing is a discription of the destruction of Jerusalem. Reverting in verses 41, 42:
    [Matthew 24:41-42]
    41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
    42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
    The believing disciple would recognize the signs and take flight, while the unbelieving companion would remain and perish in the siege.
    Matthew 24:34
    34 I tell you the truth, [this generation] will certainly NOT PASS AWAY until all these things have happened.
    All these signs mentioned above would come to pass before these Jews died off. They would see them says Jesus! All the things mentioned above verse 34. Notice Jesus said “this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
    From Matthew 24:36-51 we have the 2nd coming of Christ, but before verse 36, you have a picture of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

    Sometime back I wrote a small article titled "Some tools to dig with." I show in this article such things as "the Lord coming in the clouds, prophecy that deals with sun, moon and stars and other prophetic phrases." If you would like a copy, email me
    at [email protected]

    Your servant in Christ,
    Shalom,
    charlesj
     
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