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The Sermon on the Mount of Olives
Let us begin this study in God's word by reading Matthew chapter 24 starting with verse 1 and continue reading all the way through and including verse 31, and then we will go back and take a closer look at what this passage of scripture is teaching us.
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:
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.
Now that we have read this entire passage of scripture
through let us go back to verse 1 and take a close look at what Jesus
is teaching and to WHOM Jesus is speaking and WHERE they are.
Please notice that I have EMPHASIZED some words in this verse, because I want to point out some different things to you from this verse that will help us understand the CONTEXT of WHERE Jesus is, to WHOM Jesus is speaking, and WHAT is Jesus speaking about?
So then, the first thing we see that Jesus WENT OUT. Went out from WHERE? Well the verse goes on to say that Jesus went out and DEPARTED FROM the TEMPLE. So then we can ASSUME that Jesus WAS IN the TEMPLE teaching and then Jesus WENT OUT of CAME OUT of the TEMPLE. And we can KNOW this for certain by reading a BROADER context of scripture.
If we back up a few of charters to Matthew 21:1 we read where Jesus came NEAR to JERUSALEM to a place called Bethphage that was near the mount of OLIVES.
Now I want to take a moment to explain those three DOTS that appear after the word "Olives, ..." These three dots simply mean that that last part of this verse of scripture has been left out for what ever reason. I usually try to include the WHOLE verse whenever I write out a Bible study, but some Christian books that you may read will often just quote PART of a verse of scripture and show this to the reader by placing three dots like so ... either BEFORE the verse they quote to show that they are just quoting only the LAST part of the verse, or they will place three dots ... at the end to show that they are quoting only the FIRST part of this verse of scripture. Another way to show that only PART of a verse is being quotes is by using the lower case letters of "a" or "b" where if the "a" where seen after the verse, then the reader would know that the FIRST part of the verse was OMITTED, and if the lower case "a" were seen after the verse, then the reader would know that the LAST part of the verse was OMITTED. For example using this same verse in Matthew 21:1 you might see in some Christian books something like this:
Matthew 21:1 a
"And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives,"
Now if you did not know these things, then you might THINK that you were reading the WHOLE verse of scripture, which can sometimes lead to misunderstanding the meaning of the scripture. There are many reason why an author will leave out part of a verse. But I think the main reason is that the writer wants the reader to FOCUS on that ONE part of the verse so as NOT to be DISTRACTED by the rest of the verse. It is what is important to the writer at that point in time that he or she wants to draw to your attention. And this is fine in most case, but there are some FALSE teachings out there that only quote PART of a verse, because they do NOT want there readers to read the WHOLE verse or the whole CONTEXT as this would show the reader that what they are teaching is NOT the entire truth of the whole word of God.
With that being said let us continue this study in God's word of Matthew chapter 24:1-31 where we are seeing in verse 1 that Jesus is coming OUT of the TEMPLE that is in JERUSALEM. And again we know this for sure, because if we skip down to Matthew 21:23 we read where Jesus WENT IN to the TEMPLE to teach.
"And when he (speaking of Jesus) was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority do you these things? And who gave you this authority? "
Also notice that I have inserted some emphasis (speaking of Jesus) using parenthesis, which is not actually part of the verse of scripture, but is meant only as a clarification.
Now if you continue to read Matthew charters 21 all the way through to Matthew 24 you will CLEARLY see that Jesus is IN the TEMPLE that is in the city of JERUSALEM and the Jesus is speaking to the JEWS, the scribes, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
So then continuing is verse 1 of Matthew chapter 24 AFTER Jesus CAME OUT of the TEMPLE. we see the DISCIPLES of Jesus SHOWING Jesus the BUILDINGS of the TEMPLE and how magnificent they are.
This is important to take NOTE that the WHO to WHOM Jesus is now speaking to are the DISCIPLES of Jesus and NO LONGING is Jesus speaking and teaching to the JEWS, the SCRIBES, the PHARISEES, and the SADUCEES. This will even become CLEARER in verse 3, but let us take the verses one at a time so as not to rush through and get ahead of ourselves.
2. "And Jesus said unto THEM (speaking of the DISCIPLE of Jesus), See YOU not ALL these things (speaking of the BUILDINGS of the TEMPLE that his DISCIPLES are showing to Jesus)? Verily (or TRULY) I say unto you, There shall NOT be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
First notice that Jesus is speaking to his DISCIPLES and they are OUTSIDE of the TEMPLE looking at the beauty of the workmanship of the structure of the temple.
Then notice that Jesus gives his DISCIPLES a PROPHECY of the DESTRUCTION of not only the TEMPLE but of the entire city of JERUSALEM when Jesus said, see you not ALL these things or see you not ALL these BUILDINGS. Jesus was basically saying ALL the buildings shall be DESTROYED where that will not be even one stone left neatly placed on top of another stone as you now see, but ever stone shall be knocked down to the ground.
3. "And as he (speaking of Jesus) sat (sat WHERE? Jesus sat) upon the mount of Olives, the DISCIPLES came unto him (or the DISCIPLES came unto JESUS) PRIVATELY, saying, Tell US, WHEN shall these things be? AND what shall be the sign of your coming, AND of the end of the world?"
Now the very first thing that I want you to noticed and to CONTINUE to stay FOCUSED upon is the FACT that Jesus is now speaking to his DISCIPLES in PRIVATE. This is very important to UNDERSTAND, because there are some FALSE teachers and some FALSE teachings that will try and DECEIVE you into believing the this whole chapter of Matthew 24 has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the CHURCH, but rather that this chapter is speaking about the JEWS in the last days during the time of GREAT tribulation.
I know that I am getting ahead of myself, but I can not stress enough how vitally important it is to keep this entire chapter in the CONTEXT of where it is found and the CONTEXT clearly teaches us that Jesus is speaking DIRECTLY to his DISCIPLES, his CHURCH in PRIVATE.
The next thing that I want you to see from verse 3 is that the disciple of Jesus or the CHURCH of Jesus ask Jesus THREE questions, which are as follows:
Question #1. "...Tell US, WHEN shall these things be?..."
In other words, the DISCIPLES of Jesus, the FOLLOWERS of Jesus, or more PRECISELY the CHURCH of Jesus ask Jesus question number 1 in PRIVATE saying. Tell US, WHEN shall THESE things be? Now the THESE things are referring back to what Jesus just said in the previous verse about the DESTRUCTION of the TEMPLE and the city of JERUSALEM where not one stone will be left upon another.
Question #2. "...AND what shall be the SIGN of your COMING,..."
So here we are given a clue as to the fact that not EVERY thing that Jesus told his disciples is recorded in the Bible. To ME, it appears that when Jesus told US about the destruction of Jerusalem that the disciple of Jesus CONNECTED DESTRUCTING with the COMING of Jesus, because they ALSO ask the question of WHAT shall be the SIGN of your COMING. In other words, the disciples wanted to know is there any thing ELSE other than the DESTRUCTION of the TEMPLE and the city of JERUSALEM that we should be LOOKING for to in order to KNOW when you are COMING?
Question #3. "...AND of the END of the WORLD?"
So then, evidently Jesus talked to his disciple about the END of the WORLD or the end of this PRESENT AGE, and they wanted to know that if WHEN the city of Jerusalem was DESTROYED would this be a SIGN that the END of this present age was near at hand.
Now this phrase "the END of the WORLD" can mean either the end of this present age, or it can mean literally the END of the WORLD. For ME PERSONALLY I see that it means BOTH. But for now I just wanted you to see that THREE questions are asked of Jesus by his DISCIPLES who came to him PRIVATELY. So as we read through the rest of this passage of scripture I will EMPHASIZE the prepositions such as YOU, him, and his even when the YOU speaking of the CHURCH is the UNDERSTOOD subject.
4. "And Jesus answered and said unto THEM (speaking of US the CHURCH), Take HEED that NO man DECEIVE YOU (again still speaking to US the church)."
Here in this verse we see a WARNING that Jesus is giving to US the CHURCH to take HEED so that we are NOT DECEIVED by ANY man or woman, which INCLUDES Christian writers and teachers.
We are to be as the men in Berea that we are told about in the book of Acts chapter 17 and verse 11, who searched the word of God daily in order to find out if what they were being taught was in fact the truth.
5. "For many shall come in my name (in other words, MANY shall come to you saying that they are CHRISTIANS and may even be a true sincere BELIEVER), saying, I am Christ (or saying I am an ANOINTED one of Almighty God, I have been FILLED with the Holy Spirit of God so LISTEN to what I am teaching you); and (these SINCERE believers, but yet none the less FALSE teachers who are SINCERELY believing that they are teaching you the truth) shall DECEIVE many."
I want you to know that the word "CHRIST" here simply means the ANOINTED one or one who is ANOINTED or filled with the Holy Spirit of Almighty God. Now this word can ALSO mean a FALSE Christ who is actually saying that they ARE Jesus who has come again and that these who CLAIM to be Jesus shall convince or DECEIVE MANY into believing that they are the real Jesus who has returned to the earth. So basically we the CHURCH are being WARNED about FALSE teachers and those who will say that they are Jesus, but they are NOT.
You see if I were to ask you that if you had a watch that was just 5 minutes off from being the correct time and you had a watch that was 5 hours of from being the correct time and then where to ask you which watch would get you into TROUBLE, then most of you would say the watch the is 5 hours off. But the truth of the matter is that BOTH watches would give you trouble. The watch that is 5 hours off would be LESS likely to cause you problems, because you would look at your watch and instinctively know that something is OFF or something is not quite right. It would be OBVIOUS to you. However, on the other hand the watch that is only 5 minute off is less noticeable and you may not realize that it does NOT have the CORRECT time.
The SAME is true with TEACHINGS about the word of God. Those teachings that are WAY OFF we can EASILY discern and not pay any attention to. But those teachings that have just a LITTLE ERROR in them seem to get us into trouble and cause us to MISS the TRUE meaning of the word of God in that particular area of study.
This is why I personally believe that the word "CHRIST" here is referring to BOTH those who make the claim to be JESUS and to CHRISTIANS who are truly filled with the Holy Spirit and who SINCERELY believe that what they are teaching is the TRUTH, and do NOT realize that they themselves have been DECEIVED by the enemy Satan and do NOT realize that they are teaching FALSE doctrine. To ME, when Jesus says MANY shall say that they are CHRIST I do not see as meaning ONLY that these people are claim to actually BE Jesus. I see this MORE as meaning that many Christians will say that they are ANOINTED of God and that because of this so called SPECIAL anointing that they believe that they have they will DECEIVE many who TRUST in what they are teaching to be the truth. This is WHY I always try to warn my readers to search the word of God for YOURSELVES to see if what you are being taught is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
Now I ALSO firmly believe that there will be SOME who shall make the CLAIM to be Jesus and MANY shall be DECEIVED by these who SAY that the are JESUS the MESSIAH. So do NOT be DECEIVED by these who make the CLAIM that they are JESUS, because Jesus told us before these false messiahs come that they would come and that the TRUE COMING of Jesus would be like LIGHTNING shining out of the east to the west. In other words, you will KNOW when it is JESUS coming for EVERY eye shall see him. There will be NO DOUBT when Jesus comes again. We will KNOW. Again I am getting a little ahead of myself here, but this is a very important point and it is good to here it more than once.
6. "And YOU shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that YOU be not troubled: for (or because) all these things must come to pass, BUT the END is NOT YET ."
Jesus is still speaking to his DISCIPLES or US the CHURCH and is teaching us NOT to be TROUBLED or concerning about all the WARS and rumors of more wars, because it is necessary that all these thing must come to pass BEFORE the END of the world comes, BUT that the END of the world is NOT YET at this TIME when all these things come to pass.
We see this same kind of exhortation given to the church by Paul is 2 Thessalonians chapters 1 and 2. You see, the church is worried that the DAY of the Lord is at HAND, because they are in much persecution, but Paul ASSURES them that the day of the Lord is NOT at hand and will NOT COME, UNTIL two things happen first, which is, there must be a great falling away from the faith and the antichrist must appear BEFORE that great and notable day of our Lord COME. Please read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.
In other words, do not be worried or fearful over that things that must be that the day of our Lord's coming is at HAND, because that day will NOT come UNTIL there is a great falling away or and apostasy and that man of sin the antichrist will be made known to those who are watching.
7. "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."
The word "NATION" can mean both nationalities as in the DIFFERENT races of people or the different ETHNIC groups fighting amongst each other, AND the literal NATIONS of COUNTRIES of the world going to WAR with each other. There are a lot of racial uprisings and riots in these last days. And there have been many WARS as well where whole NATIONS have fought against each other.
Then Jesus says KINGDOMS shall rise against KINGDOM, and to ME, this speaks of different countries rise up in WAR against other countries.
Jesus warns us that in the last days there shall be FAMINES, which we have seen throughout HISTORY, but I believe we are seeing MORE starvation that ever before and it only seems to be getting WORSE as we are experiencing more and more droughts that seem to be lasting longer and longer.
Jesus also said that there would be PESTILENCES. This word "pestilence" means fatal or deadly infectious diseases or plagues that are epidemic. This word also means a pernicious evil influence, which means a violent spirit that tends to cause death. and again we have seen an increase in both areas in these latter days.
Then Jesus said that there would be EARTHQUAKES in DIVERS or DIFFERENT places, which to ME, can mean in many different places near or at this same time, or in place where earthquakes are not common and perhaps have never occur before. It could mean both at the same time. And again there has been a rise in the number, in the frequency and in the intensity of earthquakes in the past fifty years.
8. "All these (speaking of the things that Jesus just said) are the beginning of sorrows."
There word "SORROWS" here is the Greek word "ODIN" and means labor, birth pains, travail in birth, agony of death. In other words, these things as the intensify will bring on the birth pain of Israel. I also believe that these things will bring forth the travailing and prayers of the church for the whole world. Any one who has ever prayer for another knows the pain that they were or are going through. Another study and perhaps we will do a study on praying as the Holy Spirit gives us the words to pray, but for now let us continue with Matthew 24:9.
I want you to notice that not only has the focus of WHO is being spoke to here in Matthew chapter 24 REMAINED to be the CHURCH, because of the preposition YOU all the way through this charter meaning that Jesus is STILL speaking to his DISCIPLES PRIVATELY, But I also want you to notice that those who are being persecuted are being killed for the NAME of JESUS, and the JEWS do NOT teach or preach the name of JESUS.
I point this out, because those who teach the pre-tribulation rapture point of view DEMAND that this whole chapter of Matthew 24 does NOT refer to the CHURCH, but rather is speaking to the JEWS. But to ME, verse 9 further solidifies the truth that this whole chapter is speaking to US the CHURCH. They Jews are going to be hear as well, so YES this word of God ALSO applies to the JEW as well as the Gentile and US the CHURCH once we receive the word of truth and become a follower of Jesus.
Also notice the even BEFORE the time of GREAT tribulation the CHURCH has gone through MUCH tribulation and persecution. We will talk about this is greater detail when we get to the verse by verse study in the book of Revelation. Just know that Jesus said in the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.
Certainly through the history of the church we can see brothers and sisters taking offense with each other otherwise there would not be so many DIFFERENT denominations in the church.
But I personally believe that this has a great significance in these last days when a fellow brother or sister will sell you or I out for a meal to eat. In the book of Daniel we read about those who will cause some of us to fall by FLATTERIES. Please read Daniel 11:21-34.
"And in his estate shall stand up a vile person (speaking of the antichrist), to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by FLATTERIES.
24. He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
25. And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
30. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
In other words, many shall try to CONVINCE you to take the MARK of the beast and deny your belief in Jesus as the Son of Almighty God the Father who as died for your sins and who God raised from the dead on the third day.
To ME, verse 13 is one of the most important verses in the whole word of God, because it opens our eyes to the TRUTH that if we DENY our Lord and savior, then he will also DENY us. Therefore we are strengthen by word of truth to ENDURE unto the END in order to receive the promise of eternal life in the world to come. For a deeper understanding of what is means to ENDURE unto the END please read the study, "Does the Bible teach that once a person accepts Jesus as their savior, then the are always saved?", but for now let us continue with our study in Matthew 24. Please read Matthew 24:14.
The gospel means good news. And this good news that Jesus died for the sins of the whole whole will be preached to all nations so that no nation will be without excuse on the day of judgment.
To ME, I see that we very well could be that generation that reaches the entire world to preach the gospel to every nation. We have mass media in which to preach the gospel. Our generation and the one before us has seen the radio and television come into the world. Travel has increased beyond what our great grandparents could have imagined. We have the Internet today which can preach the gospel around the world 24 hours a day 7 days a week, while we are busy preaching the gospel in person to others.
Just think if every Christian were to have a website, a blog, a community site were we reached out to people with our personal testimony of haw we came to the Lord and how he has blessed our lives as a witness to other that what God did for us he will do for them as well, just think of the impact that would have on reaching the world for Jesus Christ. The website that I have is a beta site and only cost me $10.00 per year. Just go to daddy.com and purchase a domain name for your website and then go to Google apps to create your website to preach the gospel even while you sleep at night. I can not tell you what a blessing it has been to me. If I can do it then so can you, so I encourage you to step out in faith and get the gospel out to all the world while you also reach out to your neighbors and co workers.
I want you to notice and pay very close attention to the FACT that all the way through Matthew 24:1-15 that Jesus is speaking PRIVATELY to US his DISCIPLES and he is warning US, the CHURCH, to WATCH for the ABOMINATION of DESOLATION that is spoken of by the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament and foe US to UNDERSTAND what Daniel is teaching. Jesus says, when YOU shall SEE the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place. THEN... THEN WHAT? In Matthew 24:16-20 we see the answer to this question as to what we are to do WHEN we SEE the abomination of desolation.
So then, WHEN WE, the CHURCH SEE that abomination of desolation stand in the holy place, then those Christians AND Jews, who are living in Judea of Israel at this time, are to FLEE into the mountains. Those who are in Judea and the surrounding countries are NOT to look back or think about their possessions, but rather they are to FLEE for their lives as fast as they can and get out of that area of Judea and the surrounding countries.
Now those that teach the pre-tribulation point of view about the rapture of the church use verse 16 and 20 here to DEMAND that the time of GREAT tribulation has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the CHURCH, but rather is speaking of ISRAEL or the Jews, because these verses mention Judea and the SABBATH day.
Keep in mind what we have already learned about WHO Jesus is speaking to PRIVATELY who are being persecuted for the NAME of Jesus and also keep in mind that this GOSPEL is to be preached to the JEW first and then to all the Gentiles. Somehow we in the west have lost sight of this commission to preach to the gospel to the JEWS. I myself believe that there will come a revival in this area and the church will once again reach out to the Jews in these last days.
The Bible speaks of an EARLY and a LATER RAIN. I see the early rain or the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the early church and I see that is the last days that God will pour his Holy Spirit out upon not only the church but also upon his people Israel and there will be a great witness for the one true God by the Jews and the church throughout all the world. More on this when we get to the verse by verse study in the book of Revelation.
Matthew 24: 21
So then, now ask yourself the question THEN WHEN? The answer is WHEN WE the CHURCH SEE the ABOMINATION of DESOLATION spoken of by Daniel the prophet.
This is WHY Jesus WARNS us that read to UNDERSTAND WHAT the ABOMINATION of DESOLATION standing in the holy place where it ought not to stand IS!
Here are some passages of scripture where we can KNOW what the abomination of desolation is according to the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible. There have been a lot of speculations, but these verses I am convinced CLEARLY teach us plainly what to be looking for in these last days.
First I would like you to read Mark 13:13-19.
14. But when YOU (speaking of US the CHURCH) shall SEE the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that reads understand,) THEN (speaking of WHEN we the church, who are in Judea, SEE the abomination of desolation) let them that be in Judea FLEE to the mountains:
16. And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.
So here in the gospel of Mark we see almost the same wording as we read in Matthew with the exception of the praying that you flight be not on the Sabbath day.
Now let us read this same account from Luke 21:16-24.
20. And when YOU shall SEE (SEE WHAT? Right here in both Matthew and Mark it is written when YOU shall SEE the ABOMINATION of DESOLATION, but here in Luke we now see WHAT this abomination of desolation IS, so keep reading, WHEN YOU shall SEE...) Jerusalem compassed (or SURROUNDED) with armies, then know that the DESOLATION thereof is nigh.
What I want you to notice it that right were the words abomination of desolation are found in Matthew and Mark we see the words Jerusalem compassed or surround by ARMIES that is immediately follow in ALL three account with the WARNING for those Christians and Jews who are in Judea when Israel becomes surrounded by ARMIES to FLEE out of this region into the mountains, which could literally mean mountains or it could mean countries or kingdoms that are not raising ARMS against Israel.
Now I would like you to keep focused on the truth that ARMIES are what cause this destructive abomination of Jerusalem. Please read Daniel 9:27
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
Please read Daniel 11:21-35
"And in his estate shall stand up a vile person (speaking if the antichrist), to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in PEACEABLY,(which is exactly what the ISLAMIC empire is doing in this present day claiming that they are a PEACEFUL religion, but to a Muslim there can only be peace when ALL people are MUSLIMS) and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
22. And with the ARMS of a flood (which means a great AMRY of people, which is exactly what the Islamic empire will be when the UNITE as one people and quit fighting among themselves) shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
23. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.(Islam may seem SMALL to those who do not UNDERSTAND, but after this league or unity is achieved, then Islam will seen for what it truly is)
24. He shall enter PEACEABLY even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time (or he shall boast and foretell of what he is going to do for a long period of time, which is exactly what we are seeing today with Islam boasting of one day dominating the entire world).
25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. (a nuclear device in the hands of radical Muslims who will not care who they kill will cause even a great army to back down and let them proceed with their plan to destroy Israel).
30. For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
31. And ARMS shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall PLACE the ABOMINATION that makes DESOLATE. (to ME, this could be a nuclear weapon that is place in Jerusalem by these ARMIES that surround Jerusalem)
So to ME, it is CLEAR that the abomination of desolation that we the church are to be watch for is Israel being surrounded by ARMIES. And for ME PERSONALLY, I believe that this ARMY will be an ISLAMIC army of united Muslim nation, which to ME the Bible clearly prophesies will make a league together to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Please read Psalm 83.
5. For THEY (speaking of these following TEN Muslim countries who want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth so that Israel will no longer be remembered) have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: 6 The tabernacles of EDOM, and the ISHMAELITES; of MOAB, and the HAGARENES;
For a deeper understanding of who the antichrist is and what the MARK of the beast will be please read the study called "ISLAM IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST!", but for now let us continue this study in God's word by reading Matthew 24:22.
Now this may mean that the literal day is SHORTENED by having fewer hours of daylight. Or this may mean that the number of days be shortened as in having FEWER days than originally planned. We will take a closer look at both of these possibilities as to HOW these days are SHORTENED when we get into the verse by verse study of the book of Revelation, but for now let us continue with Matthew chapter 24 verse 23-38 where Jesus warns us ahead of time NOT to be DECEIVED!
26. Wherefore (or for this reason) 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. (WHY? Why are we NOT to believe these FALSE prophets and workers of FALSE miraculous signs and wonders?)
Jesus PLAINLY and CLEARLY teaches us that his COMING will NOT be SECRET. Every eye shall SEE him when he comes again. No one will have to tell anyone that Jesus has COME, because just as the lightning SHINES out of the EAST to the west so ALSO shall it be when the Son of man COMES.
I also want you to notice that Jesus has emphasized several time for US his church NOT to be DECEIVED. Here in verse 24 Jesus warns us that if it were possible that EVEN the very ELECT would be DECEIVED. Not some take these words to mean that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the ELECT to be deceived because Jesus says IF it were POSSIBLE, thus showing us that it will not be possible for the ELECT to be DECEIVED.
So is this INTERPRETATION a correct line of reasoning and conclusion? First of all WHY say anything at all if it were IMPOSSIBLE for the ELECT to be DECEIVED. Then let us compare scripture with scripture and take a close look at some other passages of scripture that have this same phrase "IF it were POSSIBLE" in them. Please read Mark 14:32-36.
It was given to Jesus the freedom to lay down his life or to call a legion of angels to rescue him, so it was definitely POSSIBLE for Jesus to have not died on the cross that day if he so chose not to do his Father's will. And certain Almighty God could have chosen another way if Jesus decided not to lay down his life.
So to ME, these words, "IF it be POSSIBLE" does NOT mean that it is IMPOSSIBLE as some false teach.
Also please look at Acts 27:39 where we read that a great storm is threatening the lives of everyone on a ship.
Now if you finish this account given to us you will clearly see that not only was it POSSIBLE, but they did in fact land the ship in the shore and escaped with their lives.
So again, clearly to ME, these words, IF it be POSSIBLE do NOT mean that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the ELECT to be DECEIVED. To ME, there would be no point for Jesus even to bring it up if it was NOT possible for US the CHURCH to be DECEIVED.
The Bible is very plain that during this time of GREAT tribulation that there will be a great deception or a great apostasy, or a great falling away from the faith and we are warned NOT to be DECEIVED.
"Immediately AFTER the TRIBULATION of those days (speaking of the time of GREAT tribulation that shall be when WE the CHURCH SEE Jerusalem SURROUNDED by ARMIES) 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:"
This verse is a very important CLUE or piece of the PUZZLE that connects every thing together and gives us a really clear PICTURE of the SIGNS that shall usher in the SECOND coming of Jesus, when he come in a flaming fire and a great army of angel to execute the vengeance and WRATH of Almighty God.
This verse along with Acts 2:19,20 ALSO clearly teaches us that the time of GREAT tribulation is NOT the WRATH of Almighty God as some FALSELY teach.
Please read Acts 2:19,20.
Please notice that these SIGNS in the SUN, and in the MOON, and in the STARS take place BEFORE the great and notable DAY of the Lord come, which the word of TRUTH the Holy Bible clearly teaches is the WRATH of Almighty God.
And in Matthew 24:29 we see that these SAME SIGNS in the SUN and in the MOON and in the STARS take place IMMEDIATELY AFTER the time of GREAT tribulation, which CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaches us that the time if GREAT tribulation is NOT the WRATH of Almighty God.
Now to some of you this may mean absolutely nothing at the moment, but to others of you your eyes of understanding are being opened to the TRUTH of the whole word of God.
You see, some believe and teach that the CHURCH will NOT go through this time of GREAT tribulation and one of the main point of their line of reasoning is that the CHURCH is NOT APPOINTED to the WRATH of God. Therefore since the church is NOT appointed to the WRATH of God, then according to those who teach the pre-tribulation view FALSELY conclude that the church will NOT go through the time of GREAT tribulation, because they FALSELY make the assumption that the time of GREAT tribulation IS the WRATH of God.
However, you can see from the word of TRUTH that these SIGNS in the SUN and the MOON and the STARS appear BETWEEN the time of GREAT tribulation and the WRATH of God, which clearly show us that they are TWO completely DIFFERENT and SEPARATE events take place close to the same time. Where the wrath of God follows close after the time of great tribulation, but they are definitely NOT the SAME event.
These SIGNS usher in the SECOND coming of Jesus and the WRATH of God and WE the CHURCH will be here to SEE at least when these signs of things in the SUN, MOON and STARS shall BEGIN to take place. Please read Luke 21:25
28. And when these things (speaking of the SIGNS in the SUN and in the MOON and in the STARS and the powers of heaven being shaken) BEGIN to come to pass, THEN look up, and lift up your heads (that are hanging low thinking that Jesus is not coming); for your redemption draws nigh.
32. Verily I say unto you, This generation (speaking of the generation that SEES the fig tree shorting forth, which to most Bible scholars is referring to Israel becoming a nation in 1948) shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
34. And take HEED to YOURSELVES, lest at ANY time your hearts be over charged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that DAY (speaking of the DAY of the Lord coming as a THIEF in the night to execute the WRATH of Almighty God) come upon you unawares.
36. Watch YOU therefore, and pray always, that YOU may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass (speaking of the WRATH of God that is just about to take place right AFTER these SIGNS in the SUN and in the MOON and in the STARS), and to stand before the Son of man."
Jesus WARNS US the CHURCH in Revelation 3:1-6 to WATCH for his coming and if we the church do NOT watch then he will come upon those who are NOT watching as a THIEF to pour out the WRATH of God upon them.
3. Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and REPENT. If therefore you shall NOT watch, I will come on YOU (speaking of those who are NOT watching and keep sin out of their lives) as a THIEF, and you shall NOT KNOW what hour I will come upon you. (but at the same time if you ARE being faithful and watching then you will KNOW the hour when I come and you will NOT be caught unaware and be found naked or have sin in your life)
4. You have a few names even in Sardis which have NOT defiled their garments; and THEY (speaking of ONLY those of us who do NOT have SIN in our lives) shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
I pray that you are seeing the vital importance of living a holy life before God. Some in the church today teach that once you have accepted Jesus as you savior, then you are ETERNALLY SAVED and therefore can NEVER ever LOSE your salvation.
But to ME the word of God clearly teaching us that we must ENDURE unto the END and OVERCOME or we will NOT receive ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. To ME, your very eternal life if worth YOU looking very CLOSELY at the WHOLE word of God to see if what you have been TAUGHT is in fact the TRUTH.
For those of you who desire to take a CLOSER look at what the WHOLE word of God teaches and weigh ALL the evidence for YOURSELF please read the studies that deal with the subject of SALVATION that I have written over the years. I implore you to hear the WHOLE matter BEFORE you make you judgment.
Let us now take a look at the final two verses in this study of Matthew 24:1-31.
"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 (speaking of all the tribes of the earth, but NOT the CHURCH) shall SEE the Son of man COMING in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Now the reason that I say that the CHURCH will NOT actually SEE the COMING of Jesus, is because the Bible teaches us that Jesus will come QUICKLY like a FLASH of LIGHTNING.
We read in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 that at the LAST trumpet the trumpet shall sound and the DEAD in Christ shall be raised and we all shall be CHANGED in a MOMENT and in a TWINKLING of and eye, which is pretty QUICK.
1 Corinthians 15:51-55
52 In a MOMENT, in the TWINKLING of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be CHANGED (so FAST and so QUICK that no one will have time to REPENT).
I say that the coming of Jesus is so fast that there will NOT be time to REPENT BEFORE the resurrection of the dead IN Christ and the CHANGE of the FAITHFUL believers that takes place AT the SECOND coming of Jesus.
Once this CHANGE take place, THEN we the faithful believers will be CAUGHT UP into the AIR where we will all be GATHERED TOGETHER from one end of the earth to the other and then taken to MEET Jesus in the CLOUDS over this place called ARMAGEDDON where we will be WITH Jesus as the WRATH of God is poured out upon the disobedient of the gospel and the ungodly.
Please read Revelation 16:15,16, which teaches us that we, the FAITHFUL believers will be GATHERED TOGETHER at this place called ARMAGEDDON.
"Behold, I come as a THIEF (which is speaking of the SECOND coming of Jesus where he comes as a THIEF in the night to execute the WRATH of Almighty God). Blessed is he that WATCHES, and KEEPS his garments, lest (or for FEAR that) he walk naked, and they (speaking of the angels that Jesus sends to gather us together) see his shame.
This concludes this study of Matthew chapter 24 verses 1 through 31. Next week we will draw the time line showing the WHEN of all the events that we have discuss here in Matthew charter 24. You will not want to miss next weeks class for sure. See you all next week. If you want to read ahead please read the study "THE GREAT TRIBULATION".
Here is a drawing that I made to teach a Bible study on the end times at church. I could not find one anywhere on the Internet at the time so I improvised and made my own drawing. It is a drawing showing what the Bible itself teaches will take place it the ORDER that they will occur.
Keep in mind the the church age CONTINUES right on THROUGH the ENTIRE period of Great tribulation right up to the SECOND COMING of Jesus. The above drawing does not make this clear, but the word of TRUTH clearly teaches that from the day of Pentecost to the SECOND COMING of Jesus is the church age.
In truth there has been great tribulation pretty much all throughout the entire church age, but in the last 3 1/2 years there will again be Great tribulation in the Middle East such has never before. The Bible say that those in Judea and surrounding countries should FLEE to the mountains for safety. The word "mountain" is also used to speak of kingdoms, so this verse could mean for those Israel and surrounding countries to FLEE to other more distant countries for refuge and safety when they see Jerusalem SURROUNDED by ARMIES.
To me there is no doubt that these ARMIES will be MUSLIM armies seeking the wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Please read the study "ISLAM IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST!". So when you SEE Jerusalem SURROUNDED by Muslim ARMIES then look up forth your redemption draws near. According to what I myself have come to understand this war against Jerusalem when she is SURROUNDED by ARMIES will last for 3 1/2 years, which in the time of GREAT TRIBULATION spoken of by Jesus in Matthew chapter 24 referring back to Daniel the prophet.
And here are some links to other related studies on WHEN the RAPTURE of the church will take places. The word of TRUTH clearly and plainly teaches us that the rapture of the church will take place AT the SECOND coming of Jesus. For SOUND BIBLICAL PROOF please read the following studies.
Then the following studies will also help you overcome the time of great tribulation.
Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,
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