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MATTHEW 24 AND THE JEWISH
“…Do You See All These?...” (Matt. 24:2a, Amplified Bible)
To properly understand the Lord’s question in verse 2 we
must look at the context in which it was asked. Many of His disciples were from
the region known as
What they obviously did not realize is that because of His deity the Lord knew the tragic fate that awaited those “pretty buildings” in the future. That is why He asked the rhetorical question, “Do you (really) see all these?” And then He then made this prophetical statement:
“Truly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” Matthew 24:2 (Amplified Bible).
In A.D.70 the Roman general Titus besieged
The following pictorial depiction and excerpt are from “Wikipedia the free encyclopedia,” on the Internet:
(Frontal view of
the model of Herod's
The statement concerning the
“last remnants of the Temple” being taken down in A.D. 687-691 is emphasized
because I am convinced the Lord’s comment “there shall not be left here one stone upon another that
will not be thrown down” anticipates a total fulfillment of which the destruction
of A.D.70 was only a precursor! The reason I believe this is because the
emphasis appears to be upon the place (“here”)—which of course is the
However, at some point in the
“And after the sixty-two weeks [of years] shall the Anointed One be cut off or killed and shall have nothing [and no one] belonging to [and defending] Him. And the people of the [other] prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood; and even to the end there shall be war, and desolations are decreed” Daniel 9:26 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
I realize that most commentaries attribute this destruction to the Roman general Titus in A.D.70, but the phrase “Its end shall come with a flood” appears to tie in with a similar statement in the Book of Revelation:
“But the woman was supplied with the two wings of a giant eagle, so that she might fly from the presence of the serpent into the desert (wilderness), to the retreat where she is to be kept safe and fed for a time, and times, and half a time (three and one-half years, or 1,260 days). 15 Then out of his mouth the serpent spouted forth water like a flood after the woman, that she might be carried off with the torrent. 16 But the earth came to the rescue of the woman, and the ground opened its mouth and swallowed up the stream of water which the dragon had spouted from his mouth” Revelation 12:14-16 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
The “flood” of Daniel 9:26
could be a figurative description of the Roman army sweeping over
That there will be a rebuilt
“Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition), 4 Who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
“A reed [as a measuring rod] was then given to me, [shaped] like a staff, and I was told: Rise up and measure the sanctuary of God and the altar [of incense], and [number] those who worship there” Revelation 11:1 (Amplified Bible).
But getting back to the subject
of a flood destroying
The New Schaff-Herzog
Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc06/htm/TOC.htm
) has this to say about the topography of
“The ground upon which
Then from the web site “Torah on the web” we have the
following comments about the topography of the
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash (http://vbm-torah.org/archive/yeru/13yeru.htm )
This valley emerges from the north
Plus we find
this description of the
“An ephemeral stream flows through it with
occasional flash floods in the rainy winter months… The
So it is
fairly reasonable to conclude that
And I am of the opinion that all the events recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 take place during the Tribulation Period—even though verses 4 through 7 of Matthew 24 and verses 8 through 11 of Luke 21 are clearly true of the days in which we now live. But all of them are the inevitable result of sinful human nature and will continue to exist after the Church is removed at the Rapture. Plus the Lord says of them that they are “the beginning of sorrows” (Matt.24:8). The Greek word translated “sorrows” is odin and can refer to the labor pains experienced by a woman giving birth. The pains begin slowly and then become more frequent and more painful in intensity as things progress. And we see the same type of frequency and intensity demonstrated in the Book of Revelation as God’s judgments are poured out upon the world.
Attributing at least some of Matthew 24, Luke 21, etc, to the times in which we now live has caused some doctrinal misinterpretations.
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” Matthew 24:13 (KJV).
This refers to those who manage to survive the Tribulation Period and includes both saved and lost as evidenced by the fact that the Lord will separate the sheep from the goats prior to the Millennial Kingdom (Matt.25:33). But many have stumbled over this verse because they think they must “hold out until the end” to be sure of God’s salvation. Even though believers must persevere in the faith (and if they are genuine, they will), our salvation does not depend in any way upon our “holding on” to it. The Lord holds on to us and not vice versa!
“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. Matthew 24:14 (KJV)
Some still take this to refer to the gospel of God’s grace
that is being preached today, but such is not the case. Note that the Lord said
“this gospel of the kingdom”
will be preached. In other words it was the same gospel He and the disciples
preached prior to His crucifixion and resurrection: “Repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” Matthew 24:36 (KJV).
People still interpret this verse to mean that no one can know the “day and hour” of the Rapture. But taken in context this is clearly a reference to the Second Coming of Christ. And the reason no one can know it is because God is going to shorten the last days of the Great Tribulation (Matt.24:22) and only He knows exactly how many days will be involved. Also the Jews will be so busy trying to run for their lives that they will not be expecting their Messiah to come:
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened” Matthew 24:22 (KJV).
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” Matthew 24:44 (KJV).
Can believers know the “day and hour” (but maybe not the exact year) of the Rapture? You be the judge:
“But you are not in [given up to the power of] darkness, brethren, for that day to overtake you by surprise like a thief. 1 Thessalonians 5:4 (Amplified Bible).
Each year in September/October I really get excited as the Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah—the “Feast of Trumpets”—approaches. Why? Because I am convinced that whenever the Rapture occurs, it will be on the last day of that celebration as Jewish Rabbis all over the world blow a final, long and distinctive blast on their “shofar” ram’s horn trumpets.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (KJV, emphasis mine).
And by the way—Rosh Hashanah falls on September 30th this year. Will I “see you in the air” then? Oh I hope so!!!!
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
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