02/07

February 7

Matthew 24:23-51

 

In verse 23, Jesus warns of deception, telling them NOT to believe news of the christ showing up here and there. Jesus makes it clear how He will gather His saints in the SKY in verse 29. He makes it clear how He will return to the EARTH, on the Mount of Olives. There is a distinction between the rapture and the Second Coming. 

 

His coming to gather us in recorded in verses 27-31. The word rapture means, “caught up.” The word rapture is not in the Bible, but the phrase “caught up” is. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

 

Let’s look at the description:

  • As lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. He will come from the east and begin to gather us up as the earth rotates beneath Him. 
  • There is a carcass that is left behind after the gathering. This carcass describes Israel, the place where the nations will come together for the Day of the Lord and the battle of Armageddon. 
  • Verse 29 “Immediately after the tribulation” describes the 1260 days, the time following the middle of the 7 years, the abomination of the desolation. The rapture is after the great tribulation and before the wrath of God, the bowls of wrath. By the way, the only way you can dismiss this obvious placement of the rapture as post-tribulation is to say that there are two raptures, which is not supported by Scripture, or it is to say that this portion of Scripture describes the Second Coming, not the rapture. However, the Second Coming is when Jesus comes to the earth. This is an event happening in the clouds, the sky. 
  • The celestial bodies (sun, moon, stars) are shaken and darkened, stars are falling from the sky. This is an event mentioned several times in both testaments, an end of the tribulation. 
  • THEN the Jesus appears in the sky, heaven. 
  • The people of the earth are mourning, all watching Jesus coming in the clouds with power and glory. If you ever were taught that the rapture is a quiet, hidden event, you were taught wrong. 
  • He sends His angels.
  • There is a trumpet sound.
  • Jesus gathers His elect (His chosen ones) from the four winds. When the term four winds or four corners is ever used, it is used to describe the entire globe. 

 

In verses 32-35, Jesus gives the parable of the fig tree. You know summer is near when you see the tree budding in the spring. The illustration is that when you see these signs, you know the time is near. That generation will experience the end times. 

 

Some have tried to read into this portion of Scripture, comparing Israel to the fig tree becoming a nation; however, we can plainly see that the meaning of the parable is simply to recognize the last few years before Christ’s return. 

 

In verses 38-44, Jesus says no one knows the day or the hour of His return, but only the Father in heaven. In context, Jesus is saying that His return will catch some by surprise, so be ready. There is a day. There is an hour. It is an appointed, set time. This verse does not that some will no know that it’s close. It doesn’t say that someone won’t know the year, the month, or the week. It says no one knows the day or the hour. 

 

Jesus compares the days of Noah to this generation. How? While they were living their lives – marrying, eating, drinking. Then judgment came on them suddenly. In the last days, people will be living their lives. Yes, there will be difficulty on the earth, in some places more than others, but many are simply marrying, eating, and drinking, without any clue of what is coming. This tells me a couple of things. One, people are not discerning the times they are living in. Two, it will come suddenly. 

 

In verses 45-51, Jesus tells the parable of the faithful servant and the evil servant. The main meaning of this parable is to reiterate that His coming will be at a time when many do not expect. 

 

Live ready!

 

Leviticus 1-3

 

Leviticus is the third book ascribed to Moses. Leviticus is a book about matters that pertain to the Levites, which we can see in the name, Levi-ticus. These instructions came to Moses from the Lord at the tabernacle of meeting. The book concerns the Levitical priesthood, but it also gives instruction on morality that involved the ministry of the Levites. The word “holy” appears 80 times in this book. When reading Leviticus, remember we are reading information for Jews under the Law. If what we read is a moral principle, it still applies to today. If what we read is a regulation or ritual, that does not necessarily apply to today. 

 

In chapter one, Moses instructs about the burnt offering. In chapter two, it is about the grain offering. In chapter three, it is about the peace offering. 

 

God was very specific on how He wanted the Levites to perform offerings. The Levites were the Lord’s servants for the tabernacle, set apart for ministry to the Lord. 

 

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