Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 2

April 28, 2014 at 1:59 PM 5 comments

This chart outlines the birth pangs, which we will deal with individually

This chart outlines the birth pangs leading up to the Tribulation

We began this series with a brief overview of Matthew 23 where Jesus called out the Scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites and He did so publicly. From there, we began to break down Matthew 24 into small sections that help us understand the scene when Jesus, along with His disciples, sat across from the Temple on the Mount of Olives as He explained what would happen within the next 40 years and ultimately, at the end of the age, prior to His physical return.

We left off with Matthew 24:3 where Jesus’ disciples asked Him three questions:

  1. When will these things happen (regarding the Temple’s destruction)?
  2. What will be the sign of Jesus’ return to earth?
  3. What will be the sign of the end of the age?

Again, the verse we’re referring to is Matthew 24:3: “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?

The first thing the disciples wanted to know was when the destruction of the Temple would occur (that Jesus foretold; Matthew 24:1-2)? We must pay attention to Jesus’ response here, because even though they asked this question first, Jesus does not answer it first. He actually answers the second and third questions first, then He comes back to deal with their first question. Let’s take a look.

And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many,” (Matthew 24:4-5).

Jesus is answering the second question here regarding the sign of His return. He strictly warns His disciples to be on the alert that people will come saying they are the Christ. They will mislead many people because of the fact that many will not be well-versed in Scriptural truth. They will go by what they hear from theses false christs and what they see. Since they don’t really understand what God’s Word says, they will be easily deceived. Paul battled against error the remainder of his life once he became a Christian. Satan wasted no time introducing error into the newly born Church. How much worse is it today?

Since Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension have occurred, many individuals have claimed to be the Christ. There are numerous individuals alive now who believe (or at least, want you to believe) that they are Jesus come in the flesh again. Many people end up following them because of their lack of knowledge and spiritual discernment. Jesus is simply saying that this will happen and He has told His disciples (and us) before it started so that we would be forewarned. In spite of that, people continue to be deceived.

In verses six through nine, Jesus answers the disciples’ third question about the end of the age.

You will be hearing 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. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

In the above verses – Matthew 24:6-8, Jesus explains what those living toward the end of the first age will see and experience. He says simply that “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” According to Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, this phrase is a Jewish idiom that means war in the area that is defined. In other words, this is the Jewish way of saying that when world war occurs, it is one of the pangs of the birth pangs signalling the beginning of the end.

In a normal birth, these birth pangs – or contractions – occur when the baby is full-term and is getting ready to be born. It signals to the mother that the child is on its way and she needs to make preparations for it.

As the birth pangs/contractions occur with more frequency (and closer together), and intensity, the mother knows that time is moving quickly to the end of the pregnancy. In essence then, birth pangs signal the end of the pregnancy with the birth of the child.

This is the example that Jesus chose to use to let us know that the end of this age will come through the “birth” of the Tribulation. The beginning of birth pangs happen to help us know where we are in the process. Overall, Jesus lists nine birth pangs that must occur that lead up to and then include the Tribulation. This period of time will be the most dreadful period in the entire history of the world, but fortunately, will never be seen again.

The first war that actually involved the entire world was WWI in 1914 and progressed until 1918. The second world war took place from 1939 to 1945 and most historians believe that WWII was a continuation of WWI. WWI was the first conflict that literally included the entire world on every continent. Interestingly enough, it also gave rise to the Zionist movement and because of the Holocaust that occurred with WWII, Jewish people began a major push to go back to their homeland and bring the dead nation of Israel back from the dead. This occurred in 1948 with the approval of the United Nations. This also ties in with Ezekiel’s “dry bones” vision, which we will try to include in this series as well.

Jesus also said that not only would “world war” occur, but famines and earthquakes would happen as well during this time. Remember, these are/were the beginning of birth pangs. The following information was taken from the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, Earthquakes with 1,000 or more deaths from 1900 (May 12, 2000):

  • First 1,000 years after Jesus, there were approximately 5 recorded earthquakes
  • 14th Century  157 major earthquakes
  • 15th Century  174 major earthquakes
  • 16th Century  253 major earthquakes
  • 17th Century  278 major earthquakes
  • 18th Century  640 major earthquakes
  • 19th Century  2,119 major earthquakes
  • 20th Century  over 900,000 earthquakes

Regarding famines, here are just a few that speak to point Jesus was making:

  • 1918-1919 (during war years) – 23 million people killed because of pestilence
  • 1920 – Great Chinese Famine – more than 15 million dead
  • 1921 – Great Russian Famine – roughly 5 million dead

It is safe to say that these birth pangs have occurred. But please notice that Jesus said we are not to be frightened and the end has not yet come. These terrible events simply signal the fact that the birth pangs themselves have begun.

We will continue with this next time, but note there is one very specific event that signals the actual beginning of the coming Tribulation. According to my understanding of the Bible, that one event has not yet occurred, which means the Tribulation has definitely not started. However, we are moving toward that one event that kicks off the Tribulation. We will discuss it soon.

Please also note we will take a quick side road when we get into Daniel 9 to discuss the 70 “weeks” thoroughly. Next up, the Lord provides an overview of the coming Tribulation and afterwards.

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation.

Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 1 Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 3

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