In the example of the widow’s mite, Jesus points out that we are not to judge by the seeing of our eyes, but we are to judge justly according to the truth, since appearances are often deceiving.
Luke 21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 21:2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 21:3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 21:4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
Luke begins a counterpart to Matthew 24 adding to the biblical signs of the coming tribulation and the resurrection.
This chapter speaks of the destruction of the temple which was fulfilled in circa 70 A.D. Revelation 12:1-6 explains the first half of the seventieth week, to be followed by the second half of the 70th week in our day, as explained in the second half of Revelation 12
21:5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 21:6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Christ explains these things to his disciples here, and later explains further with the Revelation to John on the isle of Patmos after Jesus had been resurrected and more had been revealed to the Him by God the Father (Revelation 5)
21:7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
Various wars will come, and even these present Mideast wars are NOT the tribulation.
21:9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. 21:10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
The persecution of Jesus himself was to continue and many of the godly faithful would also be persecuted from both the outside and from within the Assemblies of the spiritual Ekklesia.
21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
These things are an opportunity for us to testify and witness for godliness
21:13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
If we study and meditate on all the ways of God without ceasing, we will be prepared and need not worry about what to say, because God’s Spirit will bring to remembrance those things that we have studied and give us the right words to speak.
21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Whoever betrays us, let us forgive them as Christ forgave those who crucified him.
Zechariah 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
Luke 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
Though we die physically for our zeal and faithfulness for God, we will not perish; for we shall be raised up on that day.
21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
In the flesh we may perish, but in the resurrection to eternal life as spirits we will live forever.
Continue in zealous overcoming and wait patiently for that day.
21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls [lives].
It is by patient endurance and overcoming sin that we will be saved. Those who are NOT zealous to live by every Word of God; who tolerate sin and compromise with God’s Word, shall not be in the resurrection to spirit.
Here is another key sign of the tribulation
Just as Jerusalem was surrounded by the armies of Titus; the city will again be surrounded by armies in this latter day.
Armies of peacekeepers will come to guarantee the peace deal of 1 Thessalonians 5:3, and when the Extremist Jewish Settler Movement [remember Rabin’s assassination?] sabotages the peace; Jerusalem and Judea will be occupied by the surrounding nations and the enraged forces of a Turkish led coalition of Islamic nations (Psalms 83) and these peacekeeper will move in to bring order.
21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Be prepared to leave when you see these things happening, for the desolation of the tribulation will be near (Mat 24:15). The plans for the Roman Pontiff to visit the Holy Mount will be announced weeks ahead of time and that is the signal revealing when the tribulation will begin.
21:21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
People were told to leave Jerusalem and not go into Judea but go to Pella in modern Jordan in the first century; and in this latter day the great tribulation will begin in Jerusalem and will ultimately affect the whole earth.
21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
The Times of the Gentiles is not some complicated hard to understand issue, it simply means the 1,260 days of the tribulation when the Gentiles dominate.
Revelation 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Next the heavenly signs will be seen
Joel 2:30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
The stars of the heavens suddenly disappear as the tremendous light and glory of the risen Christ in his glory is revealed to all nations. Imagine the light of a pinpoint in a dark room and suddenly someone turns on a thousand watt bulb! The pinpoint light would simply disappear in the brightness of the new light!
Even so Jesus Christ will reveal his glory which will make the glory of the heavens disappear in the brightness of Christ’s appearance.
At his appearance the whole earth will shake greatly and many mountains will be moved or brought low. This will happen throughout the whole world not just in Judea; think of the Himalayas and Andes being brought low, completely changing the world’s weather patterns.
6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Consider that this is only an initial appearance in the heavens with many more giant earthquakes to come, at the resurrection and at Christ’s coming with his chosen after the heavenly marriage of the Lamb.
The very next thing that happens is the sealing with God’s Spirit of 12,000 of each of the tribes of Israel, to protect them from the trumpet plagues that are about to blast the rulers and nations of the earth. No doubt they are only a part of the total of those sealed with God’s Spirit, for many others will have repented and been converted and sealed through the ages before that time. See our article explaining the 144,000 Revelation 7 and 14: The 144,000
6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
After the sealing of the 144,000 the seven trumpets are sounded and “when the seventh trump BEGINS to sound” the resurrection will take place.
Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last [seventh] trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed [The faithful and chosen shall be changed from flesh to spirit in composition.].
15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Then the seven viols of wrath will be poured out on the earth during the wedding feast in heaven. At the marriage of the Lamb in heaven (Rev 15, 19) each resurrected person will be assigned his inheritance and given his responsibilities before returning to the earth.
Luke 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
When you see the tribulation and the Kingdom of God nearing; rejoice that your deliverance from the flesh and all sin is at hand!
Those who diligently seek God in obedience to live by every Word of God and who are eagerly looking forward to the resurrection and Kingdom of God, may rejoice at these events; not rejoicing over the suffering, but rejoicing over the coming END of SUFFERING, for they will KNOW that God’s deliverance is at hand.
The wicked who tolerate sin and compromise with the Word of God should fear the judgment that is at hand for them.
21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
When you see the biblical signs beginning as we see today; then we can know that our redemption is close at hand!
21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 21:30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 21:31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation [the generation in which these things begin with the setting up of the man of sin] shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
It will take a maximum of 1,335 days from the empowerment to do miracles of the final abomination, until his destruction by Christ at Christ’s coming (Dan 12)!
These things are true and WILL come very soon now
21:33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Take heed not to focus on worldliness and the pleasures of this world, but be always focused on the riches of spiritual unity with God the Father!
Those who are not focused on zealously LEARNING and KEEPING the whole Word of God will not understand the signs of the times and shall be taken by surprise. They will be caught NOT doing their Master’s will and will be rejected by God the Father and Jesus Christ; unless they quickly repent, and then prove their repentance by being faithful.
21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth [except that the diligent elect are the children of light who will be looking for the coming of our Lord].
We are NOT worthy to escape these things; yet we can be accounted worthy through enthusiastic faithfulness to live by every Word of God; and if we are so doing, the worthiness of Christ will be applied to us.
21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Between his Friday entry into Jerusalem until the Wednesday Passover [beginning Tuesday evening after sunset until Wednesday sunset] crucifixion, Jesus spent the evenings with his apostles on the Mount of Olives and by day he taught in the temple.
21:37 And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.
21:38 And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.