Matthew 24-25



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We come now to Matthew's record of Jesus' teaching about the coming Tribulation on earth and his Second Coming. The other gospels that contain his words on this subject are found in Mark 13, and Luke 17 and 21. The information that Jesus gives us on these coming days exactly parallel his much more detailed description he gives us in Revelation 6 through 19. These coming days of earth's great trial (The Tribulation) are spoken of in the Bible by:

                                               Daniel, as the 70th week (Daniel 9:27)

                                               Jeremiah, as the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)

                                               Joel, as the great and terrible day of the Lord (Joel 2:31)
                                               Jesus (here, in or text), as great tribulation (Matthew 24:21)

                                               Paul, as the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God (Romans 2:5)



"Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'"

Fascinating words, are they not?  The disciples were greatly impressed with Herod's remodeled Temple. So, on their way out, they pointed out the beauty of it to Jesus. It was a very impressive construction to see. Jesus, however, was not impressed. He replied,
Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down. Doubtless, these were shocking words to their ears.  Say what?! This beautiful temple, one of the great architectural wonders of its day was going to be destroyed? Exactly. Most commentators feel this prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled by the Roman general Titus when he utter destroyed Jerusalem and its temple in AD 70. But ... were they?

...not one stone shall be left here upon another ... Jesus said. What about the Wailing Wall then ... the foundation of that very temple ... that is still standing today? Those stones are still on top of one another. My thinking is that Jesus' prophetic words here in our text were only partially fulfilled by the destruction of the temple in AD 70. Their final fulfillment is yet still to come. They await the day when every stone of that temple ... foundation and all ... is toppled. I believe this will occur at the pouring out of the 7th Bowl Judgment found in Revelation 16:17-21. When the 7th angel poured out his Bowl, we read it resulted in such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.

In the "for what it's worth department", there are four earthquakes due on planet earth that are foretold in the book of Revelation. They are as follows:

1.      The earthquake that will occur at the breaking of the sixth Seal (Rev. 6:12)

2.      The earthquake that will occur at the breaking of the seventh Seal (when the angel took fire from the brazen altar and cast it down upon the earth ... Rev. 8:5).
3.      The earthquake that will occur at the resurrection of the two witnesses. It will knock down a tenth part of the city of Jerusalem (Rev. 11:13).

4.      And, the granddaddy of them all,  the great earthquake that will occur at the pouring out of the seventh Bowl (Rev. 16:18).

No Richter Scale will be able to measure this final earthquake on planet earth. The Revelation text says the cities of the nations fell and great Babylon was remembered before God. The pouring out of the seventh Bowl is the coup de grace for Antichrist's Babylon and his dictatorial world system. Babylon, along with all the rest of the cities of Earth, will be smashed to piles of rubble by the earthquake of the seventh Bowl judgment. The devastation at this time will be almost unimaginable. We read there that the islands will sink and every mountain on the face of the earth will be leveled. As I see it, this is when the final stones of Herod's Temple, the Wailing Wall's stones, will be toppled from atop of one another and Jesus' prophecy here in Matthew 24 will be finally fulfilled.



"Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?' And Jesus answered and said to them: 'Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for [NU omits: all] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, [NU omits: pestilences] and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.  Then (NOTE: Timewise, Jesus' words, from this point on in the text relate to the second half of the Tribulation known as The Great Tribulation) they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.'"

Jesus' words here are in answer to his disciples questions of
when will these things occur and, specifically, what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age ... Jesus begins by stating that the
greatest issue for the individual Jew during those coming difficult days will be to see that no one deceives them. He then proceeds with a thumbnail sketch of the events of the yet future Tribulation period.

First, he outlines the beginning of sorrows. The events he described relate to the first half of the seven year Tribulation period. His descriptions can be easily correlated with their much more fleshed-out versions in Revelation 6 by the first 6 Seal Judgments. When you compare the events Jesus describes here with the events described by the Seal Judgments in Revelation 6, you will quickly see they are the same.

Second, Jesus continues his thumbnail scetch with some of the specifics of the second half of the Tribulation (the Great Tribulation period). The hallmarks of those days on earth will be marked by:
    a.  the Jews will be hounded, hated and murdered
    b.  offenses and betrayals will be rampant
    c.  lawlessness will abound 
    d.  false prophets will rise up and deceive many
e.  the love of many will grow cold
    f.  the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all the world

...then the end will come.



"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened."



"Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together." 



"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."



"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near --at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, [NU adds: nor the Son] but My Father only."



"But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. (HINT: those taken will be the unrighteous Jews who will be taken away to judgment; those left will be the righteous Jews who will welcome their Lord and proceed with him on into his kingdom). Watch therefore, for you do not know what [NU reads: day instead of hour] your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." 



"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying [NU omits: his coming],' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 



"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom [NU omits: is coming]; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [NU omits: in which the Son of Man is coming]. 



"For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.' His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord'"



"Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."



"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the [NU omits: holy] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'"



"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer [NU omits: Him], saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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