Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 5

April 29, 2014 at 7:22 PM 1 comment

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

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

We discussed the abomination of desolation that Jesus (and Paul) refers to in Matthew 24:15, in our last article of this series. We are moving ahead to deal with Matthew 24:21-31 in this article.

21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. 27 For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

We stated that the future “abomination of desolation” would be a redo of what Antiochus IV (Epiphanes) did in 168 BC when he went into the Holy of Holies, defiled the Temple and essentially set himself up as God. Both Jesus and Paul (in 2 Thessalonians 2) point to this future event (based on the past historical event) that has not yet occurred. In fact, this event will not occur until the middle of the Tribulation. I’ll explain that as soon as I can, but we need to get into Daniel 9 first.

Notice here in Matthew 24, starting with verse 21, Jesus says that immediately after the Antichrist (“man of lawlessness”) goes into defile the Temple and declares himself to be God, “there will be a great tribulation.” But from other areas of Scripture, we learn that Antichrist is already ruling at this future point. In fact, the Tribulation has already been in place for three and a half years (again, we learn this from Daniel 9 and other areas). Right smack in the middle of the Tribulation, Antichrist defiles the rebuilt Temple, declares himself God and decides that everyone will worship him.

When the Jews run for the hills (a repeat of what happened during the AD 70 rampage by Roman armies against Jerusalem), God will protect them. At that point, Antichrist will turn his attention to Christians. Martyrdom will become the norm. People who worship Jesus will be sought out and turned in as “traitors” because they would not worship the Antichrist.

It even gets worse because Antichrist will make it impossible to buy or sell without the mark of his name. This is outlined in Revelation for us and we’ll get to that too. For now, let’s understand that as things get really bad, notice again that Jesus warns that false Christs and false prophets will rise up and convince people they are someone to be noticed. Jesus even tells us that they “will show great signs and wonders” in order to mislead even the elect (if it were possible).

Think about that. In today’s technological world, people are jaded. Years ago, when I watched a Superman movie and saw the “special effects,” it was fascinating. Now, digital effects can accomplish anything, blending in seamlessly with live actors. Yet, the signs and wonders these false Christs and prophets will accomplish will likely be far better than the special/digital effects technology we have today because they will be used to deceive people!

Jesus is saying that when He returns for the second time to earth, it will not be secretly or hidden from public view as when He was born in a manger among farm animals. When He returns, it will be visible by all! Just as lightning strikes from the east to the west (and lights up the sky as it strikes), so will be Jesus’ Second Coming. In other words, Jesus’ return will be obvious, so don’t waste time believing in those who claim to have supernatural ability but no one knows who they are or from where they came. In fact, Jesus pointedly states, “don’t believe them.” Ignore them. Shun them. Jesus will return in splendor and glory and every eye will see Him. Make no mistake.

Matthew 24:29-31 tells us what we need to know about His return.

But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Notice just before Jesus physically returns, the sky goes dark. Neither the sun will shine or the moon reflect the sun’s light. Stars will fall from the sky. The heavens themselves will be shaken. This reminds me of what it’s like before a concert or play. People are lively and animated while they wait for the show to begin. They’re talking, chatting, laughing, but they know that any moment the show will start. Then, the lights go down, people stop talking, the music begins with a low hum that grows until the curtain opens, the spotlights shine forth, the light show begins and the music blares!

Just before Jesus returns, all nature will grow quiet before Him. If you don’t think that the sun no longer shining will get the world’s attention, think again. The lights in the heavens will literally go off. The stars fall, the heavens shake, then the “sign” of the Son of Man will appear in that darkened sky. What is that sign? It is Jesus Himself lighting up the sky as He returns! The people of the earth will mourn. They will know that if they have not received Him to that point, it’s too late.

Notice that as Jesus returns, He sends His angels to gather the elect from the four “winds” (corners of the earth). Judgment is going to happen and Jesus wants the elect out of the way.

Look back at verse 28. “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” Judgment will result in deaths of many, many people. They will die where they stand in judgment. The bodies will gather and will be eaten by vultures and other birds of prey. This will take place at the very end of the Tribulation/Great Tribulation. In fact, the physical return of Jesus is what ends that period of time.

Next time, we will move into Daniel 9 and begin unpacking everything in that chapter because it is the only place in the entire Bible that speaks of the 70 “weeks” and what it means for the world.

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

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

Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 4 Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 6

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