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Matthew 24 Intro

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Matthew 24 - Introduction

There are several different ways people interpret this passage. The most common method today is that our present generation is the one to which Jesus was referring. Whenever there is controversy we must be willing to examine the evidence to find the truth and see what God is telling us rather than try to prove what we already want to believe.

Matt. 24 has a message to us today, just as all scripture, but we must make sure we are properly understanding what it is.

(Through continued study, my position on this passage has changed from a premillenial view, to the view that it is about the destruction of Jerusalem plus Second Coming view, and now, to the view that it is all prophesying of the destruction of Jerusalem, but there are shadows of the Second Coming and the destruction of the world)

A simple point that is missed by many: Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple, and the disciples asked when it would happen. The chapter consists of Jesus’ answer.

Matthew 24:1-3

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.” 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?”

Mark 13:1-4

Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

Luke 21:5-7

Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, “These things which you see - the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.” So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?”

The most common modern interpretation is that in Matt. 24, Jesus is predicting the events that will take place just before His Second Coming. This ignores the context of the original statements that led to this prophecy. This view also either ignores or twists Matt. 24:34.

Matthew 24:34

Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

Much of the confusion has been caused by the KJV translation of “Aion” as “world” in Mat. 24:3.

“Aion” has different possible definition, (like English words). It can mean world, but, more often, it has the meaning of time.

a. In the KJV, with the meaning of time, it is translated: “ever” 71 times; “evermore” 4 times; “age” 2 times; “eternal” 2 times  for a total of 79 times. 

b. It is translated “world” 38 times (less than half) and “age” would be a more accurate translation many times (including Matt. 24:3 as is in most newer translations.
There would be no change in the meaning of the great majority of these verses if “aion” was translated “age” instead of “world” (as the newer translations do).

“What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” NKJV

“Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” RSV

“What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? NRSV

“What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” NASV

“What will be the sign that it is time for you to come again and for this age to end?” NCV

“What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” NIV

“What shall be the attesting miracle which will indicate your coming and the consummation of the age?” Kenneth Wuest’s, The New Testament: An Expanded Translation

Examples Of “Aion” In The KJV

Matthew 6:13

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Matthew 13:22

Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

Matthew 21:19

And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.

John 6:51, 58

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.... He who eats this bread will live forever.

Ephesians 2:6-7

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Revelation 1:18

I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

The First Century Was The End Of An Age That Had Continued Since Moses.

The end of this age was made manifest by the destruction of Jerusalem, along with all the Temple and all the genealogical records of the Jews. Their system of animal sacrifice and priesthood was destroyed forever at that time. God made it clear that it is the New, Heavenly Jerusalem, the Church, that now consists of His chosen people (Gal. 4:22-31, Heb. 12:18-22).

The End Of The Age

Matthew 24:3

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? (NKJV)

Acts 2:15-17

For these are not drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh...

Hebrews 1:1-2    

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.

Hebrews 9:26

For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world (kosmos): but now once in the end of the world (aion) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (KJV)

“Kosmos” is translated “world” 186 of the 187 times it is used in the N.T.

1 Peter 1:18-20

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

1 Peter 4:7    

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

1 Corinthians 10:11

Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. “world” - KJV (aion)

The Last Hour

1 John 2:18

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

“Hour” is from “hora” {ho’-rah}. It is used 108 times in the N.T.

It is translated “hour” in NASV, NIV, ASV, NKJV, RSV.   It is translated “Time” the KJV.

In KJV, it is translated “hour” 89 times; “time” 11 times; “season” 3 times.

1.       A certain definite time or season fixed by natural law. 1a) of the seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, winter

2.       The daytime (bounded by the rising and setting of the sun), a day

3.       A twelfth part of the day-time, an hour.

4.       Any definite time, point of time, moment

“Hora” In The KJV

Matthew 9:22

But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Matthew 10:19

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

Matthew 15:28

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Matthew 17:18

And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

Matthew 20:3-6

And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

Matthew 24:36

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Matthew 26:40

And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

Matthew 27:45

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

Matthew 27:46

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

John is not saying that it is the last “age” (Christian age), but that it is the last hour.

Last hour of what? It is the end of the world that the Jews have known since Moses!

The Context of Matthew 24 - Jesus has been continually predicting the destruction of Jerusalem.

Jesus begins His final journey to Jerusalem - Luke 9:51-53

1.       Luke 11:45-51 - In a home of a Pharisee (verse 37)

2.       Luke 13:31-35 - Jesus is getting closer to Jerusalem (verse 22)

3.       Luke 19:41-44 - Jesus makes the final climb to Jerusalem (verse 28)

After the “Triumphal Entry”, Jesus cleanses the Temple (Luke 19:45-48, Matt. 21:12-13).

The next day, He comes to the Temple and the chief priests and elders are upset with Him and confront Him (Matt. 21:18, 23)

1.       .Matt 21:33-45    Parable of the Vineyard. The Kingdom was to be taken from the Jews because they were murderers of the prophets and would kill the Son of God.  They understood He was talking about them.  They were the ones to be brought to a wretched end.

2.       Matt. 22:1-14       Parable of the Wedding Feast. The Jews rejected God’s invitation and killed His servants. They are to be destroyed and their city burned (vs. 7)

3.       .Matt 23:29-38    Jesus rebukes the Pharisees. Judgment was to come for the evil treatment of God’s prophets from Abel to the present. Judgment is to come during that generation.

4.       .Matt. 24:1-2        The Lord leaves the Temple and prophecies of its complete destruction.

After pronouncing coming judgment on this generation, Jesus leaves the Temple. On the way out, His disciples point out the beautiful structure. Instead of admiring the construction, Jesus told the disciples that it would be completely destroyed.

Nothing could seem more improbable to the disciples than this prediction concerning its total destruction. The world was at peace, the Jewish nation was under Rome so that it was being protected by the strongest earthly power at that time.

Dressed stones have been found that were 43’ x 45’ x 10’ and weighed 570 tons.

The front entrance was covered in gold, the roof was made of cedar and the floors were marble.

The gate called “Beautiful” (Acts 3:2) was made of brass and was 75’ high and was 60’ wide and was kept highly polished. The entire gate was decorated with many precious metals and stones.

Luke 21:5

Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations...

The Temple grounds covered 19 acres and could be seen from anywhere in city.

In the Talmud, the Jews wrote:

“He who has not seen the Temple of Herod, has not seen a beautiful building.”

The disciples were expecting Jesus to restore the kingdom to Israel like it was during the days of Solomon, and that they would rule the world from Jerusalem. Yet, Jesus said that not one stone was to be left on the other. His words were literally fulfilled in 70 A.D. Today, the exact location of Temple is still being debated.

Josephus recorded that when the Romans captured the city of Jerusalem, the Temple was set on fire. The intense heat melted the gold in the Temple and the soldiers saw it running between the blocks that made up the walls. In order to remove this gold, the Romans dismantled every block of stone in order to scrape up the gold that had run between the cracks.

Matthew 24 Was Fulfilled During The First Century

Compare Matt. 24:34 to Matt. 23:34-46:

Matthew 24:34

Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.

Matthew 23:34-36

Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

In order to escape the obvious meaning of these verses, many teach that “generation” refers to the entire Christian age or the generation alive during the restoration of Israel in 1948.

The Use Of “Generation” (Genea) In Matthew.

Matthew 11:16

But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions,

Matthew 12:39

But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Matthew 12:41

The men of Nineveh will rise in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

Matthew 12:42

The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

Matthew 12:45

Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.

Matthew 17:17

Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.

Matthew 23:36

Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Matthew 24:33-34

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.

The Generation Of  The First Century Would See The Destruction Of The Temple!

Luke 23:28-31

But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ‘ For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”

Matthew 27:21-25

The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

The Teaching Of The Apostles

Acts 6:13-14

They also set up false witnesses who said, “This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us.”

Acts 13:40-41

Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: “Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.”

Paul quoted Hab. 1:5 where God warned of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. He is warning them that if they continue in their rebellion, the same thing is going to happen to them.

Acts 21:28

...Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.

The Writers Of The N.T. Understood The Warnings!

Philippians 4:5

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Hebrews 8:13

In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 10:25

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

What day? It is not the last Day. Nearly two thousand years have passed since this was written.

Not the first day of the week. We don’t remain diligent in our assembling when we see Sunday approaching.

Hebrews 10:36-37

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. (Hab. 2:3)

Hab. 2:3 prophesied of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

The Hebrew writer is saying it is going to happen again!

James 5:8

You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

1 Peter 4:7

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

1 John 2:18

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

Matthew 24 - The Text

The context of Matthew 24 is the destruction of the Temple. There is language in the prophecy that causes many to think it is speaking of the destruction of the world at the Second coming.
We need to understand it in the way that Jews who were trained in the O.T. prophets would understand it in the first century. The prophecy was originally given for them, not for 21st century Americans.

Earlier Lessons:

1.       1.             Remember the immediate context - Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple
and the disciples asked Him when that would happen.

2.       2.             The word translated “world” in the KJV is “aion” and means “age” rather than “world”.

3.       3.             Jesus said that everything He said would take place during that generation (24:34).
Everyone can easily understand the meaning of “this generation” every other time it is used in Matthew.
We should be consistent with the meaning in Matthew 24:34.

Matthew 24:4-5 - False Christs

Matthew 24:4-5
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Don’t be deceived! There would be many ideas and much speculation.
This was true then and its still true today.

Writing of the times before the destruction of the Temple:

“These works, that were done by the robbers, filled the city with all sorts of impiety. And now these impostors and deceivers persuaded the multitude to follow them into the wilderness, and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that would be performed by the providence of God, ...Moreover, there came out of Egypt about this time to Jerusalem, one that said he was a prophet, and advised the multitude of the common people to go along with him to the Mount of Olives... he said farther, that he would show the from hence, how, at his command, the walls of Jerusalem would fall down; and he promised them that he would procure them an entrance into the city through those walls, when they were fallen down.”

Josephus, Book XX chp. 8, par. 5, 6

1 John 2:18
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming,
even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

False Messiahs were almost unknown before the first century. During the time between 30 - 70 AD, they proliferated. After the destruction of the Temple, they became scarce again. There are still a few through history, but nothing like during the time before the destruction of the Temple.

Matthew 24:6 - Wars and Rumors of Wars.

Matthew 24:6
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

When Jesus spoke this, the Roman empire was at peace. Soon after Christ rose from the dead, warfare and insurrections erupted throughout Palestine and other parts of the Empire.

The warfare intensified in 65 AD with the Jews constantly fighting the Romans and each other.

According to Josephus:

4.       1.         In 40 AD, 50,000 were killed in fighting in Mesopotamia

5.       2.         In 49 AD, there was trouble at Jerusalem during the Passover in which 10-20,000 died.

6.       3.         In Caesarea, fighting between Jews and Gentiles caused the death of 20,000 Jews.

7.       4.         Over 20,000 Jews were killed by the Syrians.

8.       5.         At Scythopolis, over 13,000 Jews were killed.

9.       6.         10,000 Jews were killed in an hour in Damascus.

Jesus said this was not the end!

After the death of Nero in 68 AD, there was civil war among the Romans over who would be the next emperor. There were three men claiming to be emperor for a very short time until Vespasian took the throne in 69 AD. During this time, there were revolts in the outer provinces against Rome.

Matthew 24:7 - Famines, Pestilences, And Earthquakes

Matthew 24:7
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

Famine – Around 10 years later: Acts 11:28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Purpose of giving in 1 and 2 Cor., Trip mentioned in Romans 15.

Romans 15:25-26

But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.

Many survived in Palestine because the Roman government brought in shiploads of food from Egypt.
Famines were recorded in Italy during the first year of Claudius.

Pestilence:   A pestilence in Babylon killed many in 40 AD.

                     In 60 AD there was a major pestilence in Rome that killed many.

Earthquakes  occurred in Rome, Crete, Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Colossae, Campania, and Judea. All were all damaged, some severely
(recorded by Josephus).

Luke 21:11 – Signs from heaven - Parallel verse to Matt 24:7 In Luke:

Luke 21:11
And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences;
and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers... while they did not attend, nor give credit, to the signs that were so evident and did so plainly foretell their future desolation; but, like men infatuated, without either eyes to see, or minds to consider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to them. Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole year...

[People argue over whether Josephus meant there were two different signs

or that the sword and the comet were the same event]

Besides these... a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministration, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence.”

Josephus, War of the Jews, Book VI, chap. V, par. 3

Matthew 24:9-10 - Persecution

Matthew 24:9-10
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

Persecution would come, but it would not be the end. Persecution, false teachers, apostasy was all recorded in the epistles of the N.T.

The Apostles were arrested and beaten. Stephen was stoned, the church in Jerusalem was scattered, James was killed by Herod, Paul persecuted the church, Paul and other Christians were continually persecuted by the unbelieving Jews.

Matthew 24:11 - False Teachers

Matthew 24:11
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

1 Timothy 1:3-7
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

1 Timothy 1:19-20
having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

2 Timothy 2:17-18
And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

2 Timothy 3:13
But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Titus 1:10-11
For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.

2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Jude 3-4
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:18
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

1 John  4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Matthew 24:12-13 - The Love of Many Will Grow Cold.

Matthew 24:12-13
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

The fulfillment of this prophesy can be seen in the last book written by the apostle Paul, shortly before his death.

2 Timothy 1:15
This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

2 Timothy 4:10, 16
10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica …
16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.

Hebrews 10:25-26
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Matthew 24:14 - The Gospel Will Be Preached In All The World

Matthew 24:14
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.

This to be a witness to all nations. All would know that Jews had rejected the Christ and now they would see the result when their judgment comes.

Written in 64 AD:

Colossians 1:5-6
because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;

Colossians 1:23
if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

What Does “All the World” Mean?

Luke 2:1
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

Acts 11:28
Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 2:5
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

These passages are referring to their known world in the Roman Empire in the first century, not literally the whole world as we normally think. Instead of interpreting these words like we use them, we need to understand them like those would to whom they were originally spoken to.

Any attempt to place these words in the present or some future time ignores the plain statements in Colossians. It also ignores the fact that all of this was fulfilled before the destruction of the Temple just as Jesus said.

The end is not identical with:

10.    1.             Wars and rumors of wars.

11.    2.             Famines, Pestilences, Earthquakes

12.    3.             False Teachers

13.    4.             Persecution

14.    5.             Preaching the Gospel to all the world.

Matthew 24:15 - The Sign of the End - The Abomination of Desolation

Matthew 24:15
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand).

After talking about the signs that would lead up to the time all the stones would be thrown down, Jesus gives the sign that destruction is imminent, the Abomination of Desolation.

What is the “Abomination of Desolation”?

The phrase comes from the book of Daniel.

Daniel 9:26-27
And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

Daniel 11:30-31
For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.

Daniel 12:11
And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Speaking of the Syrian forces under Antiochus Epiphanes, in 168 BC.

1 Maccabees 1:54
Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleau, in the hundred forty and fifth year they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Judah on every side.

Speaking of the sacrifice of a pig on the altar of Jehovah:

1 Maccabees 1:59
Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idols altar, which was upon the altar of God.

Maccabees was part of the LXX, the Bible from which Jesus and the Apostles quoted. Jesus is using terminology they would understand. They knew what the abomination of desolation was in 168 BC. During this time, circumcision, observing the Sabbath and owning a copy of the Scriptures was punishable by death. Antiochus tried to completely eliminate the Jewish religion.

Jesus is saying more troubled times are coming.

Luke 21:20
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.

The time was coming when pagans would again enter the Temple and offer sacrifices to false gods. This happened when the Romans entered the Temple and offered sacrifices to Caesar by the eastern gate just before they completely destroyed it.

Matthew 24:16-24 - When You See The Armies, Flee!

Matthew 24:16-24
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 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. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

This language speaks of normal warfare. If it is the Second Coming, what good would it do to try to flee? What difference does it make if it is winter or summer, Sabbath or another day?

Where would you go? What could you accomplish by trying to flee from the presence of Christ at the Second Coming?

Eusebius and Josephus recorded that the Roman armies surrounded the city during the Passover week.

15.    1.             The population had grown to 3 million during the feast. Now, during the very week the Jews had earlier rejected Christ, they were being judged by God.

16.    2.             The Temple was burned on August 10, 70 AD, the same day of the year on which, according to Jewish tradition, the first Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.

Matthew 24:20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

Jesus isn’t claiming any special holiness for the Sabbath any more than He is for the winter.
On the Sabbath, the gates of city would be closed. Christians would possibly meet resistance from Jews for traveling on the Sabbath. The winter would obviously make travel more difficult.

17.    1.             Cestius Gallus began the siege, but left the city for no apparent reason.
[Josephus, Wars, Book II, Chap XIX, par. 6-7].

18.    2.             While Vespasian was marching to Jerusalem from Caesarea to finish the conquest, Nero died and the Roman Empire became very unstable, so Vespasian called off the siege. He traveled back to Rome and became the next emperor. [Josephus, Wars Preface 8-9, Wars, Book IV, Chap. XI, Par. 5.]

19.    3.             After Vespasian was established as emperor, he sent his son Titus to put down the rebellion of the Jews.

20.    4.             It was during this interval, between Cestius and Titus, that the Christians fled from Jerusalem.
[Eusebius Eccl. History, B III, Chap V, Luke 21:28]

21.    5.             They fled across Jordan to a town called Pella, on of the towns of the Decapolis.
It was one of the nearest neutral cities to Jerusalem.

22.    6.             Also, it was during this period that the Jews prepared for further conflict.

23.    7.             The destruction of Jerusalem was the context of Jesus saying to
“Remember Lot’s wife” - Luke 17:32; Genesis 19:17
So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”

They were to get out of town before Luke 19:43 was fulfilled.

Luke 19:43
For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side.

Matthew 24:21 - There Will be Great Tribulation,

First stage of the war, Cestius Gallus came against Jerusalem in Oct. 66 AD.

On Nov. 17, the Romans entered Jerusalem but were pushed back by the Jews.

Josephus claimed the Romans could have taken the city during this time, but Cestius withdrew the army from the area. The Christians fled to the east side of Jordan, to Pella, (later called Petra) during this time, while the Jews prepared for further conflict.

Feb. 67 AD, Nero put Vespasian in charge of the plans for defeating the rebellious Jews.

In the spring of 67 AD, Vespasian advanced with an army of 60,000 to the town of Gadara.

Of the battle at Gadara, Josephus wrote:

He came to it (Gadara), and slew all the youth, the Romans having no mercy on any age whatsoever; and this was done out of hatred they bore the nation.

24.    1.             The next battle was at Jotapata. Here, Josephus, the commander of the Jews was captured.

25.    2.             At Japaha, 15,000 Jews were killed and 2,130 were captured.

26.    3.             The Roman army marched to Mt. Gerizzim, where they killed 11,600 Jews in battle.

27.    4.             At Taricheae, 6,500 were killed.

28.    5.             At Gamala, 9,000 Jews died.

29.    6.             In the town of Gischala, the Romans killed 6,000 women and children when the men had fled to Jerusalem.

Josephus wrote that there were “disorders and civil wars in every city also”.

While the Roman armies were advancing, there were struggles for power
between the Jews in Jerusalem.

30.    1.             Ananus and 6,000 of his followers took control of the Temple from the Zealots.

31.    2.             The Zealots, led by John Levi, sent messengers to the Idumeans to help them against Ananus.
20,000 came to Jerusalem and entered the city at night during a heavy rain.
They began to loot all the houses and killed 8,500, including Ananus.

32.    3.             After the Idumeans left, then the Zealots killed more of the people in Jerusalem.

33.    4.             Dead bodies were piled all over the city and the Zealots would not allow them to be buried.

34.    5.             While this was going on, Vespasian took the city of Gadara and killed more than 15,000 Jews.

Vespasian was ready to march against Jerusalem when he heard that Nero had died (68 AD).
Now there was much turmoil in the Roman government.

35.    1.             Galba, reigned 7 months and 7 days, and then was assassinated.

36.    2.             Otho committed suicide after reigning 3 months and 2 days.

37.    3.             Vitellius reigned for 8 months and 5 days.

38.    4.             Armies from Gaul, and Germany descended on Rome to promote different men as the next emperor.

While this was going on, another faction of Jews led by Simon plundered many towns and villages as he prepared to take Jerusalem.

John Levi and his followers (the Zealots) were in control of Jerusalem at this time.

Vespasian traveled to Rome at the urging of his troops and was declared emperor in July 69 AD.

He then sent his son Titus with an army to destroy Jerusalem.

While Titus and the Roman armies advanced to Jerusalem, the factions led by John Levi and Simon were fighting each other, and the area around the Temple was burned down.

39.    1.             Innocent bystanders were killed, nothing was done for the wounded.

40.    2.             Dead bodies lay unburied all over the city. The Jews fought each other on top of the dead bodies.

41.    3.             There was enough food stored in Jerusalem to supply the city during a siege for several years, but John Levi’s men set on fire the buildings that contained much of the food supplies.

42.    4.             Simon’s troop burned the rest of the food supplies so there were no reserves at all when the Romans arrived.

Titus marched from Caesarea and ordered the armies to meet him at Jerusalem.

There were armies from Italy, Syria, Egypt and Greece. The siege began April 14, 70 AD.

(Passover)

The population of Jerusalem had swollen to 3 million. Many Jews had come for the Passover at the urging of many of the false Messiahs and false prophets. They were claiming that God was going to miraculously deliver the “faithful” who kept the Passover from the Romans and establish the kingdom at that time.

They refused to understand that the reason for the battle was the vengeance of the Lamb of God who was the true Passover Lamb 40 years earlier.

By the 15th day of the siege, the Roman broke through the first wall
and took a section of the city.

Writing of the Jews fleeing Jerusalem and being caught by the Romans:

“...They were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city.

...They caught every day five hundred Jews; nay, some days they caught more; yet did it not appear to be safe for him [Titus] to let those that were taken by force go their way; and to set a guard over so many, he saw would be to make such as guarded them useless to him... So the soldiers out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest; when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies.”

Josephus, War of the Jews, Book V, Chap. XI, Par. 1

This was part of the punishment inflicted for crucifying the Son of God.

A total of 30,000 Jews were crucified around Jerusalem.

When the stench of dead bodies could not be endured within Jerusalem, the Jews started throwing the bodies over the wall to the Romans.

Some try to escape from the city. They swallowed gold pieces to take with them.

The Arabians, with the Syrians, cut up those that came as supplicants, and searched their bellies. Nor does it seem to me that any misery befell the Jews that was more terrible than this, since in one night’s time about two thousand of the deserters were thus dissected.

Josephus

“It appears to me that the misfortunes of all men from the beginning of the world, if they were compared to those of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were.”

Josephus, Preface to Wars of the Jews, Par. 4. (see Wars of the Jews, Books iv., v., vi.)

The siege lasted five months. By then, the Jews were killing each other and stealing food from each other. Starvation was so great that the Jews began eating dead bodies that had not begun to rot.

Writing Of The Famine;

...children pulled the very morsels that their fathers were eating out of their very mouths, and, what was still more to be pitied, so did the mothers do as there their infants; and when those that were most dear were perishing under their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very last drops that might preserve their lives; and while they ate after this manner, yet were they not concealed in so doing: but the seditious every- where came upon them immediately, and snatched away from them what they had gotten from others; for when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a signal that the people within had gotten some food, whereupon they broke open the doors, and ran in and took pieces of what they were eating, almost up out of their very throats, and this by force. The old men, who held their food fast, were beaten; and if the women hid what they had within their hands, their hair was torn for do doing, nor was there any commiseration shown either to the aged or to infants, but they lifted up children from the ground as they hung upon the morsels they had gotten, and shook them down upon the floor...

Josephus, War of the Jews, Book V, chap. X, par. 3

Now of those that perished by famine in the city, the number was prodigious, and the miseries they underwent were unspeakable; for if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did anywhere appear, a war was commenced presently; and the dearest friends fell a fighting one with another about it, snatching from each other the most miserable supports of life. Nor would men believe that those who were dying had no food; but the robbers would search them when they were expiring, lest any one should have concealed food in their bosoms, and counterfeited dying: nay, these robbers gaped for want, and ran about stumbling and staggering along like mad dogs, and reeling against the doors of the houses like drunken men; they would also, in the great distress they were in, rush into the very same houses two or three times in one... day. Moreover, their hunger was so intolerable, that it obliged them to chew everything, while they gathered such things as the most sordid animals would not touch, and endured to eat them; nor did they at length abstain from girdles and shoes; and the very leather which belonged to their shields they pulled off and gnawed: the very wisps of old hay became food to some...

Josephus, War of the Jews, Book VI, Chap III, Par. 3

Josephus, Describing the Capture of the Temple:

While the holy house was on fire, every thing was plundered that came to hand, and ten thousand of those that were caught were slain; nor was there a commiseration of any age, or any reverence of gravity; but children and old men, and profane persons, and priests, were all slain in the same manner; so that this war went round all sorts of men and brought them to destruction, and as well those that made supplication for their lives as those that defended themselves by fighting. The flame was also carried a long way, and made an echo, together with the groans of those that were slain; and because this hill was high, and the works at the temple were very great, one would have thought the whole city had been on fire....

Yet was the misery itself more terrible than this disorder; for one would have thought that... the blood was larger in quantity than the fire, and those that were slain more in number than those that slew them; for the ground did nowhere appear visible for the dead bodies that lay on it; but the soldiers went over heaps of these bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them...

The soldiers also came to the rest of the cloisters that were in the outer [court of the] temple, whither the women and children, and great mixed multitude of the people fled, in number about six thousand... The soldiers were in such a rage, that they set the cloister on fire; by which means it came to pass that some of these were destroyed by throwing themselves down headlong, and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Nor did any one of them escape with his life.

A false prophet was the occasion of these people’s destruction, who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God commanded them to get up upon the temple and that there they should receive miraculous signs of there deliverance. Now, there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God: and this was in order to keep them from deserting...

Josephus, War of the Jews, Book VI, Chap V, Par. 1, 2.

When the city was finally taken, the Roman soldiers:

“...slew those whom they overtook without mercy, and set fire to the houses wither the Jews fled, and burnt every soul in them, and laid waste a great many of the rest; and when they were come to the houses to plunder them, they found in them entire families of dead men, and the upper rooms full of dead corpses, that is of such as died by the famine; they then stood in horror of this sight, and went without touching anything.

But although they had this commiseration for such as were destroyed in that manner, they had not the same for these that were still alive, but they ran everyone through whom they met with, and obstructed the very lanes with their dead bodies, and made the whole city run down with blood, to such a degree indeed that the fire of many of the houses were quenched with these men’s blood.”

Josephus, War of the Jews, Book VI, Chap. VIII, Par. 5.

The Temple was burned August 10, the same day of the year that Nebuchadnezzar burned Solomon’s Temple because of the sins of the Jews in that generation. .

After the battle, the rest of the Jews were captured.

43.    1.             All of the elderly and sick were killed by the Roman soldiers.

44.    2.             Those in the best physical shape were saved for the triumphal march of Titus in Rome.

45.    3.             Most who were over 17 were sent to work the salt mines in Egypt.

46.    4.             Most who were under 17 were sold as slaves.

47.    5.             Many were sent to arenas to be killed in the gladiator games.

48.    6.             While everyone’s fate was being decided, 11,000 more died for lack of food.

49.    7.             At Caesarea, in honor of his brother Domitian’s birthday,
Titus had more than 2,500 Jews killed by wild animals or burning.

50.    8.             Titus did the same in Berytus, in honor of his father’s birthday.

Total casualties given by Josephus: 101,700 captured, 1,337,490 dead.

This does not take into account many smaller battles, disease and famine throughout the land.

Location of Many Jewish Casualties

Caesarea........... 20,000                           Scythopolis....... 13,000

Ascalon............... 2,500                           Ptolemais............ 2,000

Alexandria........ 50,000                           Joppa.................. 8,400

Mt. Asamon ..... 18,000                           Japha................. 15,000

Mt. Gerizim...... 11,600                           Jotapa............... 40,000

Joppa.................. 4,200                           Tarechea............. 7,700

Gamala............... 9,000                           Gadarenes......... 15,000

Idumea............. 10,000                           Gerasa................. 1,000

Machaerus.......... 1,700                           Jardes.................. 3,000

Cyrene................ 3,000                           Jerusalem..... 1,100,000

Everything was gone. The Temple, genealogical records, priesthood, sacrifices.

Luke 23:28
But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me,
but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

The words of Titus as he looked upon the defenses of Jerusalem:

Now, when Titus was come into this [upper] city, he admired not only some other places of strength in it, but particularly those strong towers which the tyrants, in their mad conduct, had relinquished; for when he saw their solid altitude, and the largeness of their several stones, and the exactness of their joints, as also how great was their breadth, and how extensive their length, he expressed himself after the manner following: “We have certainly had God for our assistant in this war, and it was not other than God who ejected the Jews out of these fortifications; for what could the hands of men, or any machines, do towards overthrowing these towers!”

Josephus, War of the Jews, Book VI, Chap. IX, Par. 1

Matthew 24:22 - Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved

51.    1.             It seems that Jesus is not referring to spiritual salvation but physical, when He says “flesh.”
Forgiven souls can be saved whether there is warfare or not.

52.    2.             The slaughter was so great that if continued, all would be destroyed, but for the elect’s sake they were shortened (see casualty list). Romans wouldn’t make any difference between Jew and Christians. They would kill any they found of Jewish descent. The Christians had fled, and after Jerusalem fell, the fighting stopped.
The Jewish Christians were not pursued.

53.    3.             Eusebius wrote that the whole body of the church at Jerusalem fled the city before the final siege began (Ecclesiastical History, Book iii. chp v.)

Matthew 24:25 - See, I have told you beforehand.

God always warns of coming judgment.

54.    1.             God warned the world of the coming flood.

55.    2.             God warned Israel of the Assyrians

56.    3.             God warned Jerusalem of the Babylonians.

57.    4.             God is warning us of the judgment to come.

Hebrews 1:1-2
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
has in these last days spoken to us by His Son...

Hebrews 10:28-29
Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

The Jews of the first century “trampled the Son of God underfoot.”
What happened to them is a warning to all who would follow in their footsteps.

Matthew 24:27 - As lightning comes, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Matthew 24:27
For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

The Roman Armies approached from the east and advanced westward.

Most likely, Jesus is simply using figurative language in the style of the OT prophets to teach that the coming judgment will not be done in secret, but would be as obvious as lightning across the sky. Jesus used the Roman armies to bring judgment on the wicked just as He used pagan armies in the past many times to bring judgment.

a. Judgment on Jerusalem

Ezekiel 21:9-10
Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ Say: ‘A sword, a sword is sharpened and also polished! Sharpened to make a dreadful slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! Should we then make mirth?...

b. Judgment on Nineveh

Nahum 2:4
The chariots rage in the streets, they jostle one another in the broad roads; they seem like torches, they run like lightning.

c. Conflict between the Jews (Maccabees) and Greeks

Zechariah 9:13-14
For I have bent Judah, My bow, fitted the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and made you like the sword of a mighty man. Then the Lord will be seen over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord God will blow the trumpet, And go with whirlwinds from the south.

“So will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

When many read this, they think of the final return of Christ. God has come many times in judgment through the armies of men. God does not personally and literally appear, but He acts through the men He is using for His purpose.

Examples of God coming in judgment in the Old Testament

Psalms 50:3
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; A fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.

Psalm 96:13
For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth.

Hosea 8:1
Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed My covenant and rebelled against My law.

Micah 1:3-6
For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place; He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. The mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place. All this is for the transgression of Jacob And for the sins of the house of Israel... Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the field, places for planting a vineyard; I will pour down her stones into the valley, and I will uncover her foundations.

Examples of God coming in judgment through armies of men

Jeremiah 27:5-8
And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son’s son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them. And it shall be, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish,’ says the Lord, ‘with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.

Isaiah 10:5-6, 12
Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation. I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath I will give him charge, to seize the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets... Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord has performed all His work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, that He will say, “I will punish the fruit of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his haughty looks.”

Ezekiel 17:19-20
Therefore thus says the Lord God: “As I live, surely My oath which he [Zedekiah] despised, and My covenant which he broke, I will recompense on his own head. I will spread My net over him, and he shall be taken in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon and try him there for the treason which he committed against Me.

Jeremiah 18:6-10
O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

Amos 3:6
If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?

Matthew 24:28 - The Carcass and Eagles

Matthew 24:28
For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

Jerusalem is the carcass, and the eagles are coming to eat it up. Many newer translations say “vultures”. The word is “aetos” and means “birds who ride the wind.” It is a general term that can apply to different types of birds, both eagles and vultures.

The use of “eagle” for vultures also appears in the O.T. Micah 1:16 is not speaking about the American bald eagle, but probably the Griffon vulture that has very short light colored feathers on its head like the bald eagle.

Micah 1:16
Make yourself bald and cut off your hair, Because of your precious children; enlarge your baldness like an eagle, for they shall go from you into captivity.

Some uses of “aetos” in the N.T. strongly suggest an eagle.

Revelation 4:7
The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

Revelation 12:14
But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

Many think Jesus used this term because the eagle was the ensignia of the Roman Armies.

This type of language was not be new to the Jews to whom it was given.

Examples from the O.T.

a. The Eagle

Isaiah 46:10-11 (Cyrus)
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’ Calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it.

Hosea 8:1
Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law.

b. The Vulture With The First Destruction of Jerusalem

Jeremiah 7:33-34
The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away. Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate.

Jeremiah 12:7-9
I have forsaken My house, I have left My heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies. My heritage is to Me like a lion in the forest; It cries out against Me; Therefore I have hated it. My heritage is to Me like a speckled vulture; The vultures all around are against her. Come, assemble all the beasts of the field, Bring them to devour!

Jeremiah 16:1-4
The word of the Lord also came to me, saying, “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.” For thus says the Lord concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in this land: They shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their corpses shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.

Jeremiah 19:3, 7
...Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will bring such a catastrophe on this place, that whoever hears of it, his ears will tingle... And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives; their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth.

Jeremiah 34:18-20
And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me... the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land... I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. Their dead bodies shall be for meat for the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the earth.

God Told Israel From the Beginning What Would Happen If They Rebelled

Deuteronomy 28:25-26
The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away.

Matthew 24:29-31 - The powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Matthew 24:29-31
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. 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.

This is symbolic language that the Jews were accustomed to. We need to remember that these words were delivered to first century Jews, not 20th century Americans. These words symbolized a great destruction but not necessarily events before the end of the world.

Similar symbolism is used to describe past judgments.

This type of language indicates a terrible catastrophe coming on the people. The light and glory of the nations under judgment are to be extinguished.

1. The Destruction Of Babylon

Isaiah 13:1, 9-10, 17
The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw... Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine... Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, who will not regard silver; and as for gold, they will not delight in it.

2. The Destruction Of Edom

Isaiah 34:4-6, 8
All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; all their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree. For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; indeed it shall come down on Edom, and on the people of My curse, for judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made overflowing with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom... For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance...

3. The Destruction Of Egypt

Ezekiel 32:2, 7-8, 11
Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt... When I put out your light, I will cover the heavens, and make its stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of the heavens I will make dark over you, and bring darkness upon your land,’ says the Lord God... For thus says the Lord God: `The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you.

4. Destruction Of The Northern Kingdom Of Israel

Amos 8:9
And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight;

5. Destruction Of The Southern Kingdom Of Judah

Joel 2:1-2, 10-11
Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations...
The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness. The Lord gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great...

“Coming in the Clouds” is symbolic language for God coming in judgment.

The clouds are storm clouds. God is bringing a storm over the land.

1. The Destruction of Egypt by the Babylonians

Isaiah 19:1
The burden against Egypt. Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst.

Ezekiel 30:1-4, 18-19
The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, Son of man, prophesy and say, `Thus says the Lord God: “Wail, `Woe to the day!’ For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles. The sword shall come upon Egypt, and great anguish shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain fall in Egypt, and they take away her wealth, and her foundations are broken down.

At Tehaphnehes the day shall also be darkened, when I break the yokes of Egypt there. And her arrogant strength shall cease in her; as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity. Thus I will execute judgments on Egypt, Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”

2. Judgment On Jerusalem

Lamentations 2:1
How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger! He cast down from heaven to the earth The beauty of Israel, And did not remember His footstool In the day of His anger.

Joel 2:1-2
Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, For it is at hand: A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations.

Zephaniah 1:14-15, 17
The great day of the Lord is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness... Because they have sinned against the Lord; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like refuse.”

3. Judgment on Nineveh

Nahum 1:2-3
God is jealous, and the Lord avenges; the Lord avenges and is furious. The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies; The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.

4. Judgment And Clouds In Psalms

Psalm 97:2-3
Clouds and darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about.

Psalm 104:3
He... makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind.

5. Judgment On Jerusalem In 70 AD

Matthew 24:30
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.

Matthew 26:64
Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Here He is sitting and the right hand of Power, and coming at the same time.

This is apocalyptic language indicating His rule being made manifest to all.

Revelation 1:7
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

Matthew 24:29-30 is referring to the Lord coming in judgment, and the light of Judaism going out.

Matthew 24:30 – The sign of the Son of Man in heaven

There are two different ways translations render this passage.

1. Some read that a sign will appear in heaven.

Matthew 24:30
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. (NKJV, NIV, NASV, NRSV)

2. Other translations indicates the Son of Man is the one in Heaven.

Matthew 24:30
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. (KJV, ASV)

The newer translations were all done after the premillenial view became predominant.

The ASV is the most literal of the English translations.

The phrase “in heaven” signifies where the Son of man is, not the sign.

It is not the sign which is in heaven, but the sign to show that the Son of man is in Heaven.

The Judgment On Jerusalem Was Evidence That Jesus Was Reigning In Heaven

Daniel 7:13-14
I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.

Matthew 26:63-64
But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

The word “hereafter” or “this time” is translated from indicates from that time on, they would see evidence that Jesus is ruling at the right hand of God.

The Apostles bore witness through their teaching and miracles, but the judgment on Jerusalem was the greatest evidence. It came just as Jesus prophesied.

The Coming Of God In The Old Testament

1. Coming At Sinai

Deuteronomy 33:2
And he said: “The Lord came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints; From His right hand came a fiery law for them.

2. Coming For Protection During The Reign Of Hezekiah

Isaiah 31:4-5
...the Lord of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill. Like birds flying about, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it.

3. Coming Against Judah

Hosea 8:1
Set the trumpet to your mouth! He shall come like an eagle against the house of the Lord, Because they have transgressed My covenant and rebelled against My law.

Micah 1:3-4
For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place; He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. The mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.

If the Scriptures talked of God coming in judgment in the past, why should we be surprised if Jesus uses similar language?

Matthew 24:30 – “All the tribes of the earth will mourn”

The siege by the Roman army began at Pentecost when Jews from all over the world were in Jerusalem. Families from all over the world would lose family members from the siege.

Gentiles were not called “tribes”. Tribes refer to the 12 tribes of Israel.

Matthew 24:31 – “He Will Send His Angels”

His power and glory would further be seen as He would send His angels, or messengers to the four winds, preachers and teachers of the Gospel. Many from throughout the world would enter into the kingdom, or body of Christ.

Aggelos {ang’-el-os} translated “Angels”

1. John The Baptist

Matthew 11:10, Mark 1:2, Luke 7:27
For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’

2. Messengers Of John

Luke 7:24
When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

3. Disciples Of Jesus

Luke 9:52
and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.

4. Messenger of Satan

2 Corinthians 12:7
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

5. Israelite Spies

James 2:25
Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

How The Elect Were To Be Gathered

Matthew 23:37
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Prophecy of Caiaphas

John 11:49-52
And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

It is not a physical gathering but a spiritual one.

The gathering began on Pentecost, and increased with the Gentiles in Acts 10.

The purpose of the teaching of God’s messengers was to gather all of God’s people together.

Paul was God’s messenger to Corinth to gather God’s people together

Acts 18:9-10
Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.”

The tabernacle of David was restored so all might be gathered.

Acts 15:14-17
Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: ‘After this I will return and will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, says the Lord who does all these things.’

The Physical Temple Was Destroyed So All Might Be Gathered.

Ephesians 1:7-10
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth -- in Him.

Physical Jerusalem was an obstacle to the world wide spread of Christianity. Up to 70 AD, the world looked upon Christianity as a sect of Judaism. After the destruction of Jerusalem, it was made manifest that the two are distinct. After this time, the gospel spread even further throughout the nations.

The language of Matthew 24:31 is similar to what was said concerning the Jew’s return from physical captivity.

Matthew 24:31
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.

Isaiah 27:12-13
And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord will thresh, from the channel of the River to the Brook of Egypt; and you will be gathered one by one, O you children of Israel. So it shall be in that day: the great trumpet will be blown; they will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria, and they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.

Instead of saving from physical captivity of Assyria and Egypt, this ingathering is to save the new Israel from their sins.

From one end of heaven to another

The phrase is an expression that means the furthermost areas on earth.

This language was also used in the restoration of Israel from physical captivity.

Deuteronomy 30:1-5
Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

Matthew 24:31
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.

If the Jews were scattered because of sin, God promised He would restore them from the
farthest parts under heaven”.

Today, wherever God’s people are scattered because of sin, God is working to restore them into fellowship.

The Jews were cast out, and all of mankind was brought in

Matthew 8:11-12
And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 13:28-29
There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.

Romans 11:13-15
For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Colossians 3:10-11
...put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

The physical Temple was removed to make manifest the truth that there is no need of a physical Temple.

John 4:21-23
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

After revealing the destruction of the harlot (Jerusalem)

Revelation 21:3
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

Revelation 21:22
But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

This was true even before Jerusalem was destroyed. The church was established at Pentecost in Acts 2, but it took the complete destruction of the Jewish system to make it clear that God does not dwell in Temples made with hands.

Acts 7:48
However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:

The Temple Today

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

2 Corinthians 6:16
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”

Ephesians 2:19-21
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.

                       “It took 40 years for Israel to get to the promised land,
                       and it took spiritual Israel forty years to get to the new Jerusalem.”

Matthew 24:32-34 - This generation.

Matthew 24:32-34
 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. 34 Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Jesus taught by the parable of fig tree that even as they can know when summer comes they could know when these things would happen and this desolation would come. No Christian died in Jerusalem during the siege even though many lived there at that time because of this warning.

After the withdrawal of the Roman army, the Christians fled, while the other Jews remained.

It was a common belief among the Jews that the Messiah would come and deliver them during the battle. This is what caused the Jews to fight to the end.

This whole prophecy refers to Christ coming in judgment upon Jerusalem and the Jewish nation.

“All these things” were fulfilled 70 A.D.

Matthew 24:36-44 - As the days of Noah were...

Matthew 24:36-44
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Life will go on till the end. Most will ignore the warnings just as in Noah’s time. When God sent the Flood, it was not without warning, but most ignored the warnings. The destruction of Jerusalem was not without warnings, but most of the Jews will ignore the warnings.

We too are being warned, but many are not listening!

2 Peter 3:1-13
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Matthew 24 reveals the judgment that came on a people who rejected the Son of God.

God is patient and longsuffering, but the time will come when justice must prevail.

Matthew 27:22-25
Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Luke 23:28-31
But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ‘ For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”

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