02/06

February 6

Matthew 24:1-22

 

Jesus knows the time is drawing close to His mission of going to the cross to pay for the sin of humanity. Between the Triumphal Entry and the crucifixion, Jesus is very active – openly healing the sick, condemning the religiously proud, teaching and prophesying about what’s yet to come. 

 

In Matthew 24, Jesus left the temple and went up on the Mount of Olives, probably seated and looking at the eastern gate. With the cross in mind, He was most likely contemplating His second return, where He comes down on the Mount of Olives towards the eastern gate. What a moment. 

 

Later, His disciples meet Him on the mountain, looking at the temple in the distance. They asked, “Tell us, when will these things be?” Perhaps Jesus had already started to tell them about His coming, and they ask, 

“When?” 

“What will be the sign of Your coming?” 

“And the end of the age?”

 

God often gave signs to the Jews before He had a better method – the voice of the Holy Spirit. Now the Holy Spirit confirms and speaks messages from God to our spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells. We are not to go by seeing a “sign” anymore. God may CONFIRM His message with a sign, but the Holy Spirit is much more reliable than a sign. Some have gone off track trying to follow a sign. Let’s make sure we are listening to the Holy Spirit!

 

Before getting into the signs that Jesus prophesied, I want to remind the reader that many of these signs are given to Jews; however, the sinful condition of the entire world is such that these signs are going to be seen all over the globe.

 

  1.   The first thing Jesus says is, “Make sure no one deceives you.” 

 

There will be widespread deception in the last days. There will be false christs. I think the false christs will appeal especially to the Jews, who are looking for a Jewish Messiah to come. When Jerry and I were in Israel a few years ago, we were on the temple mount at the western wall, both outside of the wall, and inside of the wall. I can witness that Jews, especially orthodox and elderly Jews were earnestly praying at the wall for the Messiah to come. Their prayer books were worn around the edges, and they were completely ignoring the tourists. Right now the Dome of the Rock is over their holy site. THEY WANT THEIR TEMPLE BACK. To the Jew, the temple is not just a temple, it is the place where God’s glory dwells. It is the place for His Presence. It is the place where God initiated a place of meeting. 

 

We also met Jews at the sites we visited. One group approached us and thanked us for coming to their country. They said, “The world hates us.” They said, “The world wants to take our land away from us.” We have to remember that the land of Israel is not that large. A person can walk its widest width in seven days. It is also surrounded by enemies. The fact they have existed for this long is a miracle itself. The fact they battled for it and won in six days is a miracle. The construction they have built on that land in a short amount of time is amazing. The excavation of their Jewish heritage has moved forward exponentially. Our tour guide said the proof of their history is important in keeping the land. 

 

The Jews want their promised Messiah to come as a military leader, someone who will fight the nations and reign over the world from Jerusalem. If you were not a Jew, can you see why a Jew would be hated? They want world domination. 

 

  1. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. 

 

There is much conflict in the Middle East, and always has been. There is also much conflict between world nations. It will increase.

 

Jesus says, “See that you are not troubled.” He also said, “The end is not yet.” 

 

  1. Rumors of wars.

 

There will be rumors of wars, speculations of weaponry, conspiracy theories, much talk of what people think is going on. 

 

  1. Nation will rise against nation. 

 

There will be wars among different countries. 

 

  1. Kingdom will rise against kingdom. 

 

The Greek word is “ethnos” meaning ethnic group. We will see racism on the rise, and we are. 

 

  1. Famines
  2. Pestilence
  3. Earthquakes in various places

 

ALL THESE ARE THE BEGINNINGS OF SORROWS. 

First of all, this is a term for pregnancy labor pains. With labor pains, we know they will increase in frequency and in intensity. 

Second, this is a time period that happens before another time period to come. 

 

Verse 9 “THEN”…. This next part seems to describes what happens in verse 15, the abomination of desolation. 

 

  1. They will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you. 

 

Tribulation is a word used for difficulty throughout the Bible. This is true of the Jews, but could also be true of her children, the Christians. 

 

  1. You will be hated by all nations for My sake. The Messiah is the promised leader coming to rule over the world. Oh, they are hated. 

 

If you think you are safe because you are a Christian and not a Jew, you are mistaken. There will rise a hatred for the children of the woman, Israel, who are the Christians. 

 

  1. Many will be offended.

 

To be offended is to stumble and hold onto unforgiveness. This can also mean that they will stumble with truth. 

 

  1. They will betray one another.

 

The times will be difficult. People often show their true colors under pressure. 

 

  1. They will hate one another. 

 

There is already a great hatred among people in the Middle east already, and it is intensifying. When we were on the temple mount, a man spoke to me, instructing me to do what he said. The atmosphere was so thick with tension. I told Jerry, “This is a powder keg ready to go off over here.”

 

  1. False prophets will rise up. 

 

This is happening already. There are people who are saying “God said” when God never said. They are saying these false prophecies about politics over the internet and television, causing a more widespread deception than would be possible before these tools were available. Why would there be a false prophecy? One, maybe the false prophet is deceived, thinking these things are true. Two, maybe the prophet is seeking gain or influence and is intentionally telling people what they want to hear in order to grow a following. 

 

Many not only have been believing false prophecies, but I have been surprised at how many will turn away from a pastor who is speaking truth in order to listen to someone online or on tv who is spouting untruths. Even more so, it is shocking to see how many try to explain away their false prophecies and then to watch the number of people that continue to follow them. 

 

  1. Lawlessness will abound. 

 

Sinful actions will increase. We are already seeing worldwide sin on the rise, partially because of generations of dysfunction and pain of sin, and it is partially because of the increase in demonic activity. Demons know their time is limited and short. However, it will continue to increase as times get worse. 

 

  1. The love of many will grow cold. 

 

More people will lose value for human life.

 

  1. Some will endure to the end. 

 

There is going to be a time on the earth like has never been known before, especially in the Middle East. 

 

  1. The Gospel will be preached in all the world before the appointed time. 

 

Jesus is NOT waiting on us to come back. His return is for a SET time. God knows exactly when this time will be. This Scripture isn’t saying “When you get the job done, then I’ll come back.” This Scripture is saying that the Gospel will get preached before Jesus comes back. 

 

In verse 15, Jesus speaks of Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation when the Antichrist turns on the Jews in the middle of the last 7 years, “the seventieth week” (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). 

 

At this point, Jesus tells the Jews they need to run for the mountains to escape, and they are to do it quickly. Verse 21 calls this last half a great tribulation, a tribulation that can’t be compared to any other difficulty. If this time were not shortened, no flesh would survive it. God will keep it to the 1260 days so that we don’t all kill each other and destroy the planet. God’s purpose in cutting it short is so that the elect will survive. 

 

At this point, I would like to remind you that God is in control. He gave us prophecy to prepare us, not to scare us. In the end, we win!

 

Exodus 39-40

 

The artisans finalize the building of the temple and the articles by making the priestly garments. In chapter 40, the people erect the tabernacle, “according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.” Again, their obedience to God, their submission to Moses, and their worship shows us the beginning of faith at work in the people of Israel. 

 

In verses 34-38, we read about the glory that filled the tabernacle once the construction was completed. Even Moses could not enter the tabernacle. 

 

God put a pillar of cloud by day and a fire by night over the tabernacle, a pillar that was constantly there, a miracle, reminding the people that God was with them. When the pillar lifted, the people knew God was leading them onward in their journey. When it stopped, they set up camp. 

 

This journey was not meant to be long. It could have taken place in 11 days. The tabernacle would then be set up in Canaan as their place of worship. However, the tabernacle was designed by God to be portable. I believe God knew the people would sin and refuse to rely on Him to take Canaan. I believe God knew it would take a generation to raise up children of faith who could get the job done. God knew what He was getting into when He chose to redeem slaves and use them for His redemption story. 

 

#covertocoverwithmelanie #covertocover #growchurches #bible #biblecommentary #melaniestone #readthebible #readingthroughthebible #biblereadingplan

 

Cover-to-Cover

Cover

July 23

Acts 23:12-35 Have you ever had a Christian brother or sister to discourage you from doing what you knew God was telling you to do? Paul did, and he chose to obey God. Has God...
Read More

July 22

Acts 23:1-11 The commander that arrested Paul doesn’t understand what Paul has done wrong. He doesn’t want to interrogate a fellow Roman, so he decides to release Paul to the Sanhedrin. The commander does not...
Read More

July 21

Acts 22 Paul has been arrested, saved from an angry, Jewish mob. He requests to speak to his haters, and the commander gives permission. We find what Paul says in Acts 22, speaking in Hebrew,...
Read More