Be ready! We are told how to understand the mystery of “the sign of Your coming”, and “the end of the age”.
Jesus and Paul solve the mystery for us. Let’s examine (1) the words of Jesus in Matthew 24, and then (2) the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 2. The mystery is not all that complicated now that we are seeing all these signs given to us by God in these end days.
The mystery is this: Jesus was asked by His disciples (v3), “…What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end (completion, consummation) of the age?”
3 While Jesus was seated on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, and said, “Tell us, when will this [destruction of the temple] take place, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end (completion, consummation) of the age?” – Matthew 24 verse 3
So Jesus answered them through Matthew 24. Lets start with verses 4-8:
4 Jesus answered, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. 5 For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. 6 You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars.
See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age]. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble].
Jesus said, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]” (v4). In these days of the Apostasy, the bogus, false prophets (pastors and teachers in local churches) “will mislead many“. Some will even say about themselves, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).’ (v5)
Others will dilute the Gospel (add to it/subtract from it), and dilute and dilute, until those listening cannot be saved by such a lukewarm message. Folks are listening to “another gospel“, exciting and pleasant words of mere men, not even realizing it is not really the Gospel of Jesus. Unbelievable!
That is why I often mumble to myself when a pastor says anything that is not confirmed, merely giving his opinion without giving us Scripture to back up his statement. This happens on the radio time and time again – not giving us the Scripture. I mumble to myself, “I don’t care what YOU think. (You shouldn’t care what I think either.) I am listening for Scripture! Tell me what God Himself has told us. What is… according to the Bible.
Don’t be a fool. Don’t be fooled. Don’t fool yourself. Don’t let some false religion fool you into following another gospel. This is not a mistake to take lightly. It will affect your life to come. It will be an eternal mistake… rejecting Christ and His gospel. Jesus Himself said,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
– John 14:6
Source: Vortex of Good & Evil
The Preterist view is one of those not-true propositions by false teachers that “misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]” (v2). Preterists teach that Christ already came in 7oAD, that we need not be looking for a Rapture now, nor a Second Coming. What preterists teach — is misleading, but an easily denounced interpretation. See: 2 Thessalonians 2 verses 1-3.
Quite simply: Preterists do what the Apostle Paul said NOT to do. They teach (v2) “…to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] come” (in 70AD). Well, sorry guys, but that is totally bogus and Paul spoke right out against it! He said,
“Now in regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our [a]gathering together to meet Him, we ask you, [b]brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly unsettled or alarmed either by a [so-called prophetic revelation of a] spirit or a message or a letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless….” – 2 Thessalonians 2 verses 1-3
Jesus foretells that false teachers would be saying ‘listen to me’, just as Satan tempted Eve saying, “God did not say that, did He?” They will falsely claim to be prophecying some message from God, or something secretly told to them by some spirit, or say here is another letter from the Apostle. They in fact have seen nothing. Unbelievable.
Fake profetic gifts are: (per Ezekiel 13:1-9)
self-inspired, false claims, lying about visions, hoping – not actually hearing from God, “their word” – not God’s, false visions, lying about hidden knowledge given, saying “God says” – when He did not, falsehood. FOR MORE, see: They in fact have seen nothing.
We need to know the Bible well enough to recognize error when it comes at us in church, via internet or person-to-person! Examine sermons and compare with Scripture. “Every jot and tittle” must agree with God’s message in the Bible.
The prophetic words of Jesus say that right during these times…
6 You will continually
hear of wars and rumors of wars…”,
” 7 …nation will rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom,
and there will be famines
and earthquakes in various places.”
– Matthew 24:verses 6 + 7
Knowing our natural fears, Jesus warns us, we who are right now living in those future troubling times (now actually our present times). He says for us,
“See that you are not frightened”.
God is in control of events. For example: I am in control of my soft boiled eggs in the mornings (that’s about all I can control these days!): I put the timer on 4.5 minutes of boiling, and take the eggs out exactly when the dinger goes off (if I hear the dinger ding!), so that my eggs are not too gooey, not too hard, but, just right, as I determine them to be.
The chronology of history
God is also a timer of events (but He leaves the eggs to us!). He needs no timer, and is not hard-of-hearing. He has been, and will later, and is now… planning and timing earth’s events (better than quantum computers can, and much better than my dinger!), so that they occur at just the precise moment in time that He Himself has decided to place them in the chronology of history.
Believe it. He prepares things to boil for …months and years and decades and centuries. He puts to boil any prepared future event as He deems it fit to be, and then takes the planned event out of the boiling pot, into reality – just at His predetermined, precise, hour of the correct day in earth time.
I am not surprised that our Awesome Creator of all that is, continues to be involved with one of His planets and the peoples He watches over. He is that big a God.
Fear not “the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble” (Matthew 24 verse 8)
Not to worry, Jesus has it all under control. Really and truly.
That is what he said to the disciples over 2000 years ago, and that is what He is saying to us now (August 2020) through Matthew 24. Mere humans think they are big shots, but, even in league with Satan, their plans will be foiled. The greatest despot of all earth’s history will meet his demise after only a short reign of seven years. God will allow that. God has His plans boiling in the pot.
Put your faith where it belongs during fear times: in God, your loving Heavenly Father. So what if you die. To die is gain! After they kill you, what are they going to do with you? Nothing. They can’t get ahold of you then! So don’t be afraid of them, Jesus says.
28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:28
4 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will point out to you whom you should fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority and power to hurl [you] into hell; 1 yes, I say to you, [stand in great awe of God and] fear Him! – Luke 12:4-5
Jesus wants us to look up and see the signs happening. You don’t have to become a scholar… but Jesus basically says to us:
Make sure you know your Bible prophecies well enough so that your faith is able to keep you from being frightened by the current events of your day – violence, mayhem and crazy idiots in the streets (in 2020), “7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.”
The Bible was given with predictions of all these things. So trust God. His plan has been set in motion for “the end”.
Merely Birth Pangs
“these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble]” v8.
These ending pangs include the horrible treatment of Christians: (Matthew 24:verse 9)
“they will deliver you to tribulation,
and will kill you,
and you will be hated….” (verse 9)
The sufferings of persecuted Christians has been happening for years. Ask any Christians in North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria — if they are in tribulations! Yes, the tribulations of verse 9 – not The Great Tribulation period.
Repeat that again: Followers of Christ in many areas have been suffering horrible tribulations – for years now. But this is not The Great Tribulation period of verse 21. These are the tribulations of right now (verse 9), before that culmination of the end times called The Great Tribulation.
All these frightening events around us these days…? They are not “the end”, Jesus said.
“But all these things are
merely the beginning of birth pangs
[of the intolerable anguish
and the time of unprecedented trouble]” v8.
Like in a pregnancy, the birth pangs are not “the end” of the pregnancy. They are mere “pangs” right before the actual birth.
And so it is with the “End Times”: birth pangs immediately precede what is coming soon. We have been seeing and experiencing these “pangs” for years in these modern days: persecution and the tribulations of Christians, myriads of wars and earthquakes.
We will see the persecution of us Christians more and more, here in the USA even, as evil waxes even more evil. Signs indicate this is the period that we are now in. We need to be wise in these end time days.
- verses 1-14, about the birth pangs of sufferings,
- and the Rapture.
- And then the next verses, the passage of Matthew 24:15-31, refer to The Great Tribulation period;
- and then we will be ecstatic with The Second Coming of Christ when we saints return with Him in the air. Those grounded on earth?… “they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory”. Note: Jesus Returns to Earth – Twice in the End Times
- It is then that Jesus puts an end to The Great Tribulation and to the Antichrist with the Battle of Armegedon,
- and on That Day He judges all sinners not born again,
- And then Christ sets-up His Millennium on earth, with the saints ruling with Christ for 1,000 years. Wow!
Now in regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our [a the rapture of believers] gathering together to meet Him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly unsettled or alarmed either by a [so-called prophetic revelation of a] spirit or a message or a letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless… – 2 Thessalonians 2 verses 1-3
Paul is saying about the Rapture,
“that day will not come…” — “unless” and until:
 the [c]apostasy comes first… and
 the man of lawlessness is revealed,
the son of destruction [the Antichrist….”
– 2 Thessalonians 2 verse 3
The “Revealing” is an event in and of itself
To my understanding, Paul separates (a) the introduction of the Antichrist, from (b) the Great Tribulation period during which the wrath of God is poured down. Paul calls this introduction – “the revealing”. He makes it an event in and of itself: “and the man of lawlessness is revealed”. When he is “revealed” to us… then look up! The Rapture will then be next.
So, to my understanding this is the chronology of “the end”:
- Apostasy: the apostasy comes first; then –
- The Revealing: the man of lawlessness is revealed (the introduction of the Antichrist); then –
- The Rapture: “our [a the rapture of believers] gathering together to meet Him“; then –
- The Great Tribulation of seven years where the Antichrist, after being revealed, begins his work
“and we fly away”.
Very interesting wording of Psalm 90:10, the Parable of the Fig Tree. The Psalmist (Moses apparently wrote this one), himself apparently not knowing what the prophecy was actually predicting, inspired by God as all authors of the Bible books were, gives a prophecy in Psalm 90:10 — connected by three other passages (Matthew 24:32-36; Mark 13:28-37; Luke 21:29-36).
He actually tells us the number of years in the time period between the formation of Israel in 1948 – and the Rapture, “and we fly away”. When that determined time is completed, then “we fly away”. I doubt Moses knew we would literally “fly away” to meet the Lord in the air!
Parable of the Fig Tree
32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, [a]recognize that [b]He is near, right at the [c]door. 34 Truly I say to you, this [d]generation will not pass away until all these things take place.– Matthew 24:32-34
Via Moses, now that Israel was created in 1948, we now understand that it could be 70-80 years from 1948 to when we are raptured. Wow. According to our understanding of this, that makes the Rapture happening somewhere between 2018 to 2028!
In the natural, the human lifespan of 70-80 is full of “labor and sorrow” (Jeremiah 20:18)… and then all of a sudden (“like a thief in the night”) life is over. As with the lifetime of a generation so will be the Rapture. The waiting “…is soon gone [those 70-80 years] and we fly away“.
The days of our life are [a]seventy years—
Or even, if because of strength, eighty years;
Yet their pride [in additional years] is only labor and sorrow,
For it is soon gone and we fly away. – Psalm 90:10
BibleGateway Footnote: [a]The ancient rabbis taught that by the time of David, 70 was the age of death for an old man and 80 for a vigorous old man.
Are you ready?
Hell in the Bible …read the list of references to Hell in the Bible
Preterists need to review the evidences. Study these:
1- Preterist view – Dallas Theological Seminary *Now not a Free PDF Download
4 Jesus answered, “Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. 5 For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. 6 You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age].
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble].
9 “Then they will hand you over to [endure] tribulation, and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved. 14 This good news of the kingdom [the gospel] will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end [of the age] will come.
- BibleGateway Footnote:
- Matthew 5:22 Gr Gehenna, a Greek version of the Hebrew for Valley of Hinnom, a ravine where garbage was burned continuously, located just south of Jerusalem. Often regarded in ancient times as symbolic of hell (the lake of fire), a realm reserved for the wicked. Mentioned in Matt 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6.