TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

Matthew 24

Matthew 24

Jesus and his disciples were very familiar with the temple and all its buildings; yet these buildings were so magnificent that as they strolled along on this occasion the conversation turned to how magnificent the temple and its buildings were. 

Taking advantage of his disciples awe of the temple Jesus used this “teachable moment” opportunity to begin a discourse on prophecy.

Matthew 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

Jesus warned them that as Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed Solomon’s temple; so the Romans would destroy the temple built by Zerubbabel and beautified by Herod.  The Romans totally destroyed all of the buildings of the Temple c 70 A.D.  

Before starting to build the temple, Solomon had built a retaining wall around the Mount and filled it in, to make a large flat area at the top of the Mount upon which to build the temple buildings.   The Wailing Wall revered by many today is not a part of any temple building; it is a part of the retaining wall.

24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

NOTE:  The present day Wailing Wall was never a part of the temple; it is a retaining wall built outside of the actual temple compound.

These prophecies were for the faithful disciples of Christ only.  Only the zealous to keep God’s Word can understand these things. 

Those who reject the scriptures for their own false traditions are not wise; and only the wise who are zealous to learn and to keep the whole Word of God; accepting and following all scripture; are the wise and will understand.   Those who reject the scriptures for their idols of men; are the wicked and will not understand godly things.

Daniel 12:10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The words recorded by Daniel were still sealed at that time, and these disciples knew nothing about any great tribulation. They were NOT asking about any great tribulation. They thought that the Kingdom would come in their lifetimes.

The question here was a most pertinent one for them; they wanted to know when the Kingdom would be established and when they would receive their kingdoms with Christ.  The very first thing that Jesus said to HIS disciples then and for today; is that MANY false leaders, elders and teachers will come into the Ekklesia and would lead many astray! 

Brethren, Jesus is not warning the world or the Jews; He is warning HIS OWN FOLLOWERS of the Called Out Ekklesia; about what is coming upon them!  Coming through history and most especially at the end of the age! 

Jude warns us that at the end time there will be elders in the Ekklesia that will use the mercy [grace] of Christ as a license to tolerate sin.  These warnings are about and to the Ekklesia, not about the unconverted.

Paul warns us through his letter to Timothy of the same end time departure from any zeal for sound doctrine and a wholesale falling away of today’s Ekklesia into fables and the false traditions of men. 

2 Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4:4  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Paul warns us again in:

2 Timothy 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,

Peter also warns us: 

2 Peter 2:1  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily [secretly shall subtly insert false teachings] shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord [denying the authority of God’s Word for their own traditions] that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction [the now imminent tribulation].

God’s Word makes it very clear that the latter day  Ekklesia would be full of false teachers who reject scripture and entice or try to bully the brethren to follow themselves and their false ways away from the Word of God; and that this condition will climax in the last days when the scriptures are unsealed (Dan 12). 

Jesus told us how to discern between true men of God and false teachers in Matthew 7.  We can discern a man by his fruits:  is he zealously faithful to live by every word of God, Mat 4:4; or does he depart from the scriptures to lead people to follow himself as an idol? 

Because of their rejection of scripture to suite their own preconceptions and traditions, they have no understanding!  They think they are rich and full of knowledge and understanding; not realizing how spiritually ignorant and wretched they really are (Rev 3:15) 

The vast majority of today’s Ekklesia are scripture rejecters and NOT true faithful followers of the whole Word of God. 

As time passes; be very careful.  Control is the issue, not necessarily the leadership position.  Up front leaders are very often manipulated from behind the scenes. 

Apostate leaders and elders will say that we need to keep the commandments; and then they condemn those who are zealous to keep the commandments!  Rejecting much scripture for heir own false ways, they use the bestial abomination false “Primacy of Peter ” teaching to exalt themselves above the Word of God.

Like the Pharisees, when they say “commandments” they mean their own false traditions, the commandments of men, and not a zeal to live by every Word of Almighty God!

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Today’s Ekklesia is deceiving many into spiritual adultery and idolatry; to follow idols of men contrary to the Word of God; to reject scriptures and to follow every false way; while CLAIMING to be of God and CLAIMING to follow Christ. 

The first Matthew 24 prophecy from Christ is that the buildings of the Temple will be broken down.  The second prophecy of Christ is that the majority of the Ekklesia will fall away.  This is further revealed in Revelation 3,:13-22 and warned of throughout the New Testament. 

Today the vast majority of the spiritual Ekklesia HAS fallen away and is falling further and further, faster and faster away from any zeal tor the scriptures and keeping God’s Word and towards rejecting God’s holy scripture to follow idols of false teachers.

What Paul wrote to Timothy is fulfilled today.  Today in the Ekklesia the vast majority of the people reject the scriptures to follow the false traditions of apostate men.

2 Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

While there have always been wars and rumors of wars, it was not until the miracle of modern communications that news and rumors have spread so quickly and so widely.  It is also understood that these wars and rumors of wars were to escalate and to climax just before the tribulation. 

Today this has come to pass; and is about to climax in a deadly regional war involving Israel against Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria/Iran and organized Islamic Extremism.  Iran will very probably be involved and Russia could react in Ukraine or Georgia or both. 

After these wars reset the regional conditions towards a genuine dialogue for peace; a genuine peace deal will be concluded.  This coming war is NOT the tribulation, but sets the conditions for a peace deal, that will then trigger the tribulation when the Jewish Extremists sabotage the deal.

The tribulation will begin in a time of peace! 

Daniel 8:23 (Masoretic Text) And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

8:24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by [in a time of] peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

1 Thessalonians 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

As Daniel was told in Dan 12; the wise shall understand, but the wicked who reject scripture and zeal for keeping God’s Word, will NOT understand.

5:4 But ye, brethren [Who are zealous to learn and to keep the whole Word of God], are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 

As Daniel recorded in Daniel 12:  The wise [Those who cleave to the scriptures] WILL understand and this will not overtake them by surprise.  The wicked [Those who reject any scripture] will NOT understand and WILL be taken by surprise. 

There have also been famines and earthquakes through the ages, but famines, earthquakes [including volcanic eruptions] and weather disturbances will continue to increase until Christ comes.

Matthew 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

The climaxing of these things is only a warning before the unspeakable sorrows of the tribulation.

24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The Great Falling Away and the infighting in today’s Ekklesia, and the persecution of the zealous for God brethren is again prophesied. 

The called out were persecuted through the ages, but in the Ekklesia this persecution of the zealous by their brethren, [because of the overwhelming number of false leaders, false prophets and false teachers and the present great apostasy] will reach a climax just before the tribulation. 

This is still just before the tribulation begins.

24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

This has been happening through the ages and is now happening in now escalating, as many fall away and persecute the godly among them.  

Today the spiritual Ekklesia is full of false prophets, false teachers, false leaders and false elders; who actively reject scripture and persecute the faithful.  This is the condition of the Ekklesia today, as prophesied by Jesus Christ, just prior to the beginning of the tribulation

24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Today’s false leaders teach men to follow themselves as idols and to reject any zeal to keep the scriptures.  When they say keep the commandments they really mean to obey them and not the scriptures. They make the scriptures of no practical effect by their false traditions and commandments of men. 

The love of the brethren for God and God’s Word has gone cold as they have departed from a zeal for the scriptures; and fallen away into a zeal for idols of men; they have become spiritual adulterers against the Husband of their baptismal commitment. 

Today’s Ekklesia has become idolaters against the God of our baptismal commitment!  This great sin has caused the love of the brethren for keeping the whole Word of God to go cold. 

Only those that overcome this spiritual adultery and idolatry to remain passionately faithful to God and zealous to keep the whole Word of God without rejecting any scripture will be saved.

24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Now we are coming up to the tribulation.

Because of the overspreading of our abominations in the Ekklesia, and the pressures and temptations of this world; the love of many for the commandments and things of God has grown cold.

Today the spiritual Ekklesia is a mixture of a certain coldness for God and his commandments; coupled with a certain heat and zeal for our false traditions and our own physical organizations and leaders.

There is a zeal for men and organizations and their “work”; and no zeal for God and his ways. They equate loyalty to their leaders and groups as loyalty to God; they equate their traditions as equal to or greater than God’s commandments.

We call such a mixture of cold and hot: lukewarm!

Only those who do NOT grow cold for the things of God; only those who continue in enthusiastic zeal for God and his commandments, with an enduring HOT love for God and his ways to the very end; shall be saved in the resurrection of first fruits.

Jesus now jumps ahead in his narrative to speak of his actual coming.  

The true Gospel being preached, is NOT the sign of the beginning of any great tribulation; it is the sign of the actual coming of Christ to rule this earth..

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.

The Gospel being preached is NOT the sign of the beginning of any great tribulation; indeed the true Gospel is not, and has not been preached for decades.

The preaching of the true Gospel will be continued by God’s two prophets and by God’s mighty angels; until the very coming of Christ with his saints!

This will take place DURING the tribulation as well as before it, and is NOT a sign of the beginning of the tribulation. 

The sign of the beginning of the tribulation is the setting up of the final miracle working man of sin in the Vatican and his visit to the holy place 75 days later.

24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

This abomination is set up as pope in Rome and then goes to the Holy Place [the whole Mount is Holy] about 75 days later, triggering the tribulation.

When the abomination [the final false prophet] is set up in Rome, he has only a total of 1,335 days before he is destroyed (Dan 12; Rev 19:20).

1,335 minus 1,260 for the tribulation, begins the tribulation about 75 days after the final abomination is set up in the papacy in Rome.

When you see the abomination set up in Rome, and recognize him by his miracles and his call for a New Europe; then know that the tribulation is imminent and will begin when he goes to the Mount. 

When we see that some leave the land to run to safety and some do not, it should be self evident that a split between the zealous for godliness, and the lukewarm [Cold for God, hot for men]  of Revelation 3:14-22; is inevitable.

It should also be self evident from the obvious apostasy in the Ekklesia today; that the prophesied falling away of many from any zeal for God, has and is taking place.

The spiritually wise will know that the tribulation will begin in about 75 days, when they see this abomination set up in Rome.  God will send his Two Servants who will take the zealous to God’s refuge as one of their first acts.

The scripture rejecting wicked in the Ekklesia will not understand until the tribulation begins with the defeat of Israel/Judah and the occupation of Judea/Jerusalem.

Then many of them will see their error and sincerely repent, only to be forced to prove the sincerity of their repentance by persevering in great tribulation.  The great tribulation will begin when the miracle working false prophet visits the holy place 75 days after being set up as pope in the Vatican.

24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

It is when this final false prophet is set up in Rome and then goes to the Holy Place about 75 days later; that the great tribulation will begin: Immediately, at that time, so quickly that one should not even go home to fetch his coat! This we have on the direct authority of Jesus Christ.

This statement is repeated in a slightly different context by the apostle Paul.

1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden [unexpected] destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

If we add Christ’s words to Paul’s we can see that the proclamation that peace has been achieved and the abomination going to the Holy Place; both happen at almost the same time.

Matthew 24 like nearly all prophecy is dual. 

Jesus was referring to the conditions surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple and Judea by the Romans in the first century; as a fore-type of the final events coming up to the latter days great tribulation, which will try the whole earth. 

In the first century Jesus warned those who were in Judea to flee immediately for their lives, and the faithful did flee from Judea to Pella; while in this end of the age immediately before the tribulation we need to flee from around the whole earth to God’s prepared refuge.  Rev 12 explains the two flights of the woman [the faithfully obedient in the Ekklesia]

Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened [this violence will be stopped, because unless this violence is stopped it will end all life n the earth].

This simply means that if God did not intervene then all life would be destroyed.

When the new Europe attacks Asia early in the third year, the Asian nations will counter attack destroying much of Europe; and then vast Asian armies will sweep through the Middle East to Jerusalem. They will gather there against the false prophet and the political leader making a last stand at Jerusalem, and this final battle would result in the destruction of all life if Christ did not return and intervene at that moment. 

This is far more than a battle over one city.  When Europe attacks many Asian countries, and Asia counterattacks against Europe devastating the major cities of the New Europe with nuclear retaliation; Asia is also likely to attack Europe’s allies as well.

In other words with Europe attacking most of Asia, and the Asians counterattacking Europe and her allies possibly including Latin America; this will be a worldwide conflagration which will be existential for humanity.   All the world’s nations will know this and will therefore be glad and receive the Kingdom of God as a great deliverance; AFTER these armies are destroyed, and Satan the arch deceiver is removed and the earth is saved from complete destruction.

24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

This is a warning to the disciples as an expansion of verse 4.  The proof of a godly man is not miracles; it is his zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God!

24:25 Behold, I have told you before. 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

There will be NO secret about his coming!  When the chosen are resurrected to spirit and after the wedding feast in heaven, Christ will come WITH his saints, everyone will know it!

24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

This is an illustrative statement; meaning that the intelligent false teachers, sent by Satan; will congregate about the saints and being full of guile and sly deceit; will seek to gain personal advantage and feed upon and make merchandise of God’s Ekklesia.

Somewhat like the American gangster who said; “I rob banks because that’s where the money is”. Many false teachers will gather around the flock to feed themselves on the Father’s sheep. Using them, taking advantage of them, and leading them astray like wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing. 

Jesus and the apostles warn repeatedly of the latter day church of God groups falling away from any zeal to keep God’s Word, because they are being led astray by false ungodly leaders.  The ONLY protection the sheep have; is to prove all things by the Word of God, and cleave to that Good Shepherd with all their strength.

24:29 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: 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.

This refers to the sixth seal as the Trumpet plagues are about to fall on the earth causing suffering and mourning around the world.  

24:31 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 happens when the seventh trump of Revelation BEGINS to sound.

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.

Now the final answer to the question being asked: When are you setting up the Kingdom?

Parables of the Kingdom

Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

The term “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” has been taken out of context and attacked. I have put it into its paragraphic context above. The statement says that when these signs, the tribulation and the resurrection to spirit take place; the Kingdom of God will be set up [immediately after the wedding feast in heaven, without any further delay.

24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. The prophecy of Mat 24 is sure. 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Nothing can change these signs or warnings; this WILL happen at the appointed time! No one except God the Father knew the timing of these things at the time that Christ was speaking. However as we approach that appointed time and the abomination is set up, God the Father reveals the timing by unsealing and giving understanding of the book of Daniel and the prophets to the wise [God’s faithful].

The wicked, compromising and faithless shall NOT understand; they shall reject the warnings and they shall fall into great tribulation; taken by surprise in the snare of their great pride. 

Yet, this is no longer about the tribulation it is about the actual resurrection to spirit!

Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Matthew 24:38 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, 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Even in the tribulation very many of the called out will be in denial, thinking that this is not the real tribulation at all; or they shall cleave to the false teaching and lies of today’s apostate Ekklesia that Christ will understand how hard it is and will wink at their unrepentant sins. 

Many will sincerely repent and prove their repentance by suffering and dying for their new found zeal.

Many others will believe the lies that they are currently being taught and will continue to disobey God’s Word for the sake of avoiding persecution, thinking that Christ will still accept them.  Such people will have failed to overcome and will NOT be among the chosen at the first main resurrection to spirit.  Jesus Christ now strongly indicates here and elsewhere in the parable of the Ten Virgins that only about half of the called out will ultimately overcome and be among the chosen.

24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Those wicked rebels against any zeal to learn and to keep the Word of God; who reject scriptures to follow their idols of men and every false way:  Will NOT understand like the wise who are zealous to learn and to keep the whole Word of God (Dan 12).

24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

This is not a reference to half the world being saved in the resurrection; or even to half of the Ekklesia being in the resurrection to spirit. This is a simple illustration that the resurrection will take the vast majority of people by complete surprise even though God’s two servants will have been warning them:  They will simply not believe and will be taken by complete surprise.

As in the days of Noah, those doing their own thing, focusing on worldly matters and not living by every Word of God will be caught totally unawares. 

It is very important that we are always ready; for who is certain that he will be alive tomorrow.  Those who think that “I will repent later” are foolish for they may die tonight,

Luke 12:16   And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

12:20  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

12:21  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Matthew 24:43 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.

We must always be zealous to keep God’s Word, so that we are always ready to meet our LORD.

24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Every person should always be diligently watchful and properly prepared; armed with the full armour of God; and diligently seeking God and fully passionately faithful to all of God’s commandments, putting our trust in the ONLY God who can save us.

24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

If, when death overtakes us, or Christ when he comes he finds us diligent servants; DOING as he has commanded without compromise in Christ-like zeal for God the Father and his commandments; he will make us stewards in God’s Kingdom.

24:48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Those who compromise and refuse to preach the outreach message of Warning and Repentance, of the WAY INTO the Kingdom; who teach tolerance for sin; who compromise with the commandments of God and reject the scriptures; who are focused on this world and personal advantage instead of on how to please God; those who idolize men and organizations: Will NOT be in the resurrection to spirit; and will NOT be among the chosen:

They will be caught by surprise; and will not be ready nor found DOING the things of God; instead being caught in their evil deeds! 

Brethren, we do NOT have it made because we are baptized or associate with a particular corporate church group!  Those things mean nothing if we are not faithfully zealous to follow all of the holy scriptures. 

Indeed Jesus makes it very clear that only about one half of the truly called out, if that many, will be chosen.

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