BIBLICAL FULFILLMENT
Matthew 24
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EXTANT DOCUMENT. OF FULFILLED PROPHECY

MATTHEW CHAPTER 24

INTRODUCTION:

If it can be proved that, in Matthew 24:34 Jesus is speaking to the Jews of that 1st century generation, then the whole futurist viewpoint crumbles. If it can also be proved that there is no division or transition from one subject to another at verse 29 or verse 36, (they can't seem to make up their mind) meaning that everything up to those verses are speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem and after those verses it is talking about a far future end of the world, (now going on 2000 years) then again, the futurist viewpoint crumbles and they will have to admit (putting aside all pride first) that Matthew 24 had it’s fulfilment in the 1st century. The fact that there is no consensus on this issue between these great premillenial scholars and Bible teachers showes this hypothesis to be in error. This commentary does prove that beyond a doubt. No one can possibly come to a futurist viewpoint of Matthew 24 by reading it for themselves unbiased. The only way to come to the futurist viewpoint is to be taught it. We are told in 1Corinthians 4:6, Not to think beyond what is written . When we do this are we not guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the author of the scriptures not man. If we change, alter, take out of context what the Holy Spirit has expressly written, then we are indeed guilty of blasphemy.

24:1

"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple, and His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple".

"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple" - This temple that Jesus walked out of is the temple that Herod built which was started in the 18th year of his reign and still under construction at the time of Jesus ministry (John 2:20) and completed in 64 AD, and as we know from history, destroyed in 70AD. This is the same temple mentioned in Revelation 11:1, and as this temple was still standing at the time John wrote Revelation, we know then that Revelation was written before 70AD. If any part of ther Bible was written after 70AD, then why does no one mention the destruction of the temple? You would think that this catastrophic event would be mentioned by someone. But there is total silence, why? because the whole Bible as we have it was written BEFORE 70AD. See the parallel passages in Mark 13:1, Luke 21:5.

24:2

"And Jesus said unto them, “see ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.”

"Jesus said unto them" - The, them that Jesus is referring to are His disciples, and clearly not to mean someone in the far future.

“Verily I say unto you” - The word, Verily is “amen” in Greek , and is a transliteration of a Hebrew word, “truth” and is usually translated verily in the four Gospels. What Jesus is about to say is going to shock His disciples, so He is communicating that what He is about to say, they can believe for sure.

“There shall not be left here a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.” - Jesus said that not one stone, here, would be left. This therefore could not mean a futuristic temple. This fulfills the prophecy of Micah 3:12, and Luke 19:41-44. See the parallel passages in Mark 13:2, Luke 21:6.

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 the end of the age?"

“And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives” - Mark 13:3 & Matthew 24:3 say expressly that the discourse was given on the Mount of Olives; but Luke 21:5-8 leaves the impression that it was

spoken while Jesus was yet at the temple, where His attention had been called to the magnificent buildings. ‘ Here however, is no real discrepancy, for Luke 21:7 simply fails to say whether the question of the disciples was asked immediately after His declaration in verse 6'(1). It is interesting that Jesus chose the Mount of Olives to give this discourse. It is no coincidence. Why? Because the mount of Olives is where the Glory of the Lord left, and will return. In Ezekiel chapter 10 we see the Prophet having a vision of the Shekina Glory ( The Glory of the Lord ) leaving the Temple, because of disobedience and idolatry. In Ezekiel 10:18 the Glory departs, and in Ezekiel 11:23, goes to a mountain east of Jerusalem ( Mount of Olives) Then it goes back to Heaven. In Zechariah 14:4 we see the Mount of Olives mentioned. There it signifies God opening the way of salvation to be brought to the Gentiles, and for the institution of the church. God is restoring Zion, the NEW Jerusalem, the church, SPIRITUAL Jerusalem, where God dwells with His people. God never does anything arbitrarily. Everything in the Bible has meaning, purpose and significance.

“The disciples came to Him privately” - Peter, James, John, and Andrew. See Mark 13:3. And they begin to ask Jesus a two part question.

“When shall these things be? - The disciples are asking specifically when the destruction of the temple will take place. This is the first part of the question. The disciples knew it would be in the generation of the scribes and Pharisees ( Matthew 23:36 ) and that their “house” ( temple ) will be left desolate. Not just destroyed, but what is meant is the end of the Jewish dispensation. The disciples wanted to know exactly when. See parallel passages in Mark 13:4, Luke 21:7.

"And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the age?” - This is the second part to the disciples question. This is not a three part question as evident by looking at the other parallel passages in Mark 13:4, and Luke 21:7. They knew that the destruction of the temple was connected to the end of the age. In the second question the disciples are asking what will be the sign that they can look for to let them know when the temple will be destroyed before it happens. The thy coming refers to “authority and power”, as is evident and understood by the disciples by Jesus words in Matthew 23:39, in the name of the Lord. ( See also 1 Thessalonians commentary chapter 4 verse 14). Paul also spoke about the end of the age in his letter to the Corinthians. He was clearly talking to a first century audience . See 1 Corinthians 1:20, 1 Corinthians 2:6, and 1 Corinthians 10:11. Some translations translated ,end of the age as “end of the world”. This has caused a lot of confusion. Thankfully we have the Greek to tell us the right wording , which is age (AEON) in Greek, not the word for “world” (KOSMOS) . The, end of the age is the end of the Jewish dispensation, which is why the disciples asked Jesus the question knowing that in Matthew 23:38 Jesus meant the end of the Jewish dispensation by saying that their house is being left to you desolate. Notice what Paul say’s in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, Now we beseech you, brethren, in regards to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him; That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. ‘Now, if the Thessalonians believed that the nature of the second coming was an earth burning, total destruction of planet earth, how could they be deceived about it’s arrival? If the Second coming was, as many view it today, Paul could have written them and said, "Look out the window the earth is still here so the Lord has obviously not come.” They thought it had already happened, so they must have viewed it differently than most folks today do.’ (2)

24:4

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no one deceive you". - The them that Jesus is referring to are the disciples. What Jesus is going to communicate has relevance to the disciples, in their day, not a day far future. The Greek word for deceive (PLANAO) is where we get our English word, planet. Although the Bible is written FOR us, it is not necessarily written TO us.

24:5

"For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many". - What Jesus means by saying that many will come in His name, is not just meant to mean that many individuals will call themselves the Messiah, but they will say that they have the authority and power of God. By using tricks and magic they will deceive many. See Acts 5:36-37, Acts 8:9-11, Acts 13:6-10. 1 John 2:18. Notice in 1 John 2:18 the phrase, It is the last hour is in the present tense. Even Josephus, a non Christian Jewish historian records an event of a false prophet . ‘A Ceryian magician , who’s name was Theudas persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would by his own command, divide the river and afford them an easy passage over it, and many were deluded by his words.’ (3) Of course there have been false messiahs all thru recorded history. But that these things did happen in the fist century is a historical fact. Do you think the readers of the Gospels and Epistles in the first century dismissed it all by interpreting Jesus words as meaning sometime thousands of years into the future?

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". - after Jesus’ prophecy to the apostles which was false Christ’s, He then says another sign would be when they will be hearing of wars and rumours of wars. All through history there have been constant wars and rumours of wars. ‘This prophecy is meaningless unless there has been a relative time of peace first, which there had been during Jesus ministry and continuing for a period after. This was a time of peace known as the , “ Pax Romana” which means ,” The peace of Rome” the last major uprising occurring in 7BC. ‘The Annals of Tacitus’, covers the historical era from AD14 to the death of Nero in AD68, describes the era with phrases as, “disturbances in Germany,” “ commotions in Africa,” commotions in Thrace”, “insurrections in Gaul,” “ intrigues among the Parthians,” “ the war in Britain,” and “ the war in Armenia.” wars were fought from one end of the empire to the other in the days of the apostles.’(4) So this prophesy came true in the first century just as Jesus predicted.

“But the end is not yet” - The end is to mean the Jewish dispensation (The religious and political system).

24:7

"For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places". - ‘This language is in substance a quotation from Isaiah 19:2. Compare also 2 Chronicles 15:6. Such language conveys a vivid impression of national tumult and civil strife, and is in every way appropriate in the lips of Jesus when referring to the seditious, insurrections , revolts and sectional wars which immediately preceded the conquest of Jerusalem, and spread famine, pestilence, and desolation through Palestine and adjacent regions. One has but to read the third and fourth books of Josephus’s War Of The Jews, to find an appalling record of, wars and rumours of wars.’ (5) See Acts 11:27-29 where Luke records a famine. “Earthquakes” were also common in the first century: ‘a staggering number of earthquakes assaulted the Roman empire in the first century. There were earthquakes in Crete, Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Closse, Campania, Rome, and Judea. The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were almost destroyed by an earthquake in AD62.’(6) Three notable earthquakes are recorded in the Bible: Matthew 27:54, Matthew 28:2, and Acts 16:26.

24:8

"But all these are the beginning of sorrows". - It is interesting that Jesus uses this word sorrows: The Greek word is “ODIN” and it refers to the pain a woman feels in childbirth, or birth pangs as some translations have it. Interesting because the birth pangs a woman suffers in childbirth are temporary and do not last. Although some want to interpret birth pangs as increasing in frequency and intensity, the passage in no way communicates this. It just says there will be earthquakes, with no mention of increasing with intensity . See Luke 21:11. It cannot be justified that Jesus meant that these birth pangs would last for centuries.’It was more than three years from the time when Vespasian marched to conquer and bring under control the Jews and ruin Jerusalem by Titus, a period more than sufficient for all that the words of Jesus imply’.(7)

24:9

"Then shall they deliver you up to tribulation, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated by all nations on account of my name". - It is clear from this passage that Jesus was talking directly to the Apostles by the usage of the words YOU and YE. If he wanted to refer to people in the future , he would have used the word,” them”. Clearly from scripture we see the followers of Christ persecuted and even killed. Christ warned them in Matthew 10:17 that they would be beaten. Peter and John were thrown into prison and beaten for speaking about Christ and the resurrection (Acts 4:1-3, Acts 5:40) Stephen was murdered by stoning (Acts 7:54-60). Peter again was thrown into prison and James the brother of John was killed by a sword (Acts 12:1-5). Paul was stoned (Acts 14:19) as well as having many close calls with death (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). John was sent to Patmos, an island prison (Revelation 1:9). See also Matthew 10:16-18, Mark 13:9.These words of Jesus have their fulfilment in the book of Acts. (Acts 4:1-22; 5:17-40; 8:1-3; 12:1-10; 14:19-20; 16:22-24; 22:22-30.) See parallel verses in Mark 13:9, Luke 21:12.

24:10

"And then many shall be caused to stumble, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another". - They shall be caused to stumble, meaning “enticed to sin.” This prophecy was fulfilled in the first century. See also Micah 7:6, Matthew 10:22, Luke 12:52-53.

24:11

"And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many". -There were many false prophets in the early church just as Jesus predicted. Paul warned the early church to watch out for, savage wolves who would come in to destroy the church as well as ones within the church (Acts 20: 29-30) he continued his warning to the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 11:12-15). In 2 Timothy 2:16-18 Paul warned of those who have gone astray from the truth and began teaching false doctrine. The apostle John also warned of false prophets in 1 John 4:1 when he wrote that many false prophets have gone out into the world. (Past tense).John didn’t say “ a few” or indicate that this was an isolated incident, but said, many. This was a serious problem in the first century early church. See also Acts 13:6. 1 John 2:19, 2 John 7 all in the past tense.

24:12

"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold". - Christianity was seen as a betrayal and abomination to the Jewish religion. Jews had their own family members and relatives arrested and sent to prison for execution because they believed they were doing God’s will. Paul himself was guilty of persecuting the Church with a passion before he became a Christian. See Acts 8:1-3. Paul also wrote to the Corinthian church about the increase of immorality and worldliness. See 1 Corinthians 5:1-2.

24:13

"But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved". - This does not mean saved from eternal damnation but saved from the judgement to come with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem.

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". Notice the words of Jesus: shall be preached (future tense) Did this happen in the future from when these words were spoken by our Lord? The answer is yes.....but when? See Colossians 1:6 where Paul says the Gospel HAS COME ( past tense ) Which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and spreading, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth. And continuing on to Colossians 1:23 Paul says,.....the Gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under Heaven.... Notice the word WAS is in the past tense. Paul says that the Gospel WAS proclaimed, to the ones he was writing to, and, ALL creation under Heaven. This prophecy has been fulfilled in Paul’s day. It cannot be any more clear. The word world, in the Greek is OIKOUMENE, and means the “inhabited earth” or the known world at that time which was considered the Roman Empire. See Acts 11:28, and Acts 17:6, where the word world is OIKOUMENE , meaning “inhabited earth.” If the whole world as we know it was meant, then the word would be KOSMOS. In Luke 2:1 a census was ordered to be carried out by Caesar Augustus in all the world obviously meant to be the Roman empire. So in fact this prophesy came true. The gospel was preached throughout the world which meant the known world or Roman empire before the destruction and judgement of Jerusalem. See other examples in Romans 1:8, Romans 10:18. So, if the end is going to come when the gospel has been fully preached, and Paul say’s that the gospel HAS been preached, then when did the end come? The end came in AD70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple which was the end of the Jewish dispensation.

24:15

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place, ( whoso readeth, let him understand )". - Here it is clear that Jesus is talking to His disciples from the word ye. If Jesus meant this to be a prophecy of thousands of years yet future, then He would have used “they” meaning people in the far future. This passage is a reference to Daniel 12:11. This prophesy was fulfilled with the siege of the Romans in AD70. Jesus was comparing this prophecy to the desecration of the second temple in 167BC by Antiochus Epiphanes where he instituted pagan sacrifices like sacrificing a pig on the alter. ‘It is simply an appropriate phrase employed to denote here in a general way the same idea that it conveys in the book of Daniel, namely, a presence of something abominable to Jewish thought.’ (8) See also Daniel 8:13, Daniel 9:27, Daniel 11:31. In his work,” The Wars of the Jews”, Josephus records the event this way: ‘and now the Romans...brought their ensigns to the temple and set them over against the eastern gate, and there did they offer sacrifices to them and their did they make Titus Imperator...and now all the soldiers had such quantities of the spoils which they had gotten by plunder...’(9)

"Standing in the Holy place" - Refers to Jerusalem itself, ‘for by the time the Romans had actually desecrated the temple in AD70, it was to late for anyone in the city to flee. The exhortation to flee is given to those in the adjacent country as well as to those in the city.’ (10)

24:16-20

"Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes: And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that are nursing babies in those days: But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the sabbath day" . -The Christian Jews were able to, flee into the mountains when Cestius Gallus, for no apparent reason pulled back from his attack and gave the believers time to get out. This is recorded by Josephus, ‘a resolution was now taken by Titus to relax the siege for a little while..’ (11) See also parallel account in Luke 21:20-23.

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". - the great tribulation mentioned here is a local first century event, not a world wide catastrophe . After the events in Matthew 24:15-20, then there will be great tribulation. Notice the parallel passages in Luke 21:20-24. Luke 21:20 says, But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that her desolation is near. The armies ( plural ) is including armies that are part of the Roman Empire.' When Rome brought a nation under it's rule, the men were called into military service by Rome, so that when Rome had conquered the known world, it had men from all nations in it's armies.' (12) Now look at Luke 21:22, because these are the days of vengeance , so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. The these are the things previously spoken about. The vengeance is upon Jerusalem and specifically the corrupt Jewish leaders who Jesus spoke about in Matthew chapter 23. So why does all this have to happen? So all things which are written will be fulfilled. It is not “some” things but ALL THINGS will be fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. That means everything in the book of Revelation had it’s fulfillment in AD70. There are no prophecies in the Bible yet unfulfilled. Now look at Luke 21:23, there will be great distress upon the land. This word land is the Greek word "GE", and means soil or region . It can be stretched to mean “earth”, but when you look at the context of the passage and the ones preceding, it is impossible to mean anything else but the land of Judea.. So, with an understanding of the horrific events of that time, the destruction of the most magnificent building to exist, the murder of over a million Jews, the total elimination of the Jewish dispensation, and where Christ say’s in Revelation 21:5, Behold, I make all things new. Notice what it says at the end of Revelation 21:5, .....these words are true and faithful. Do you really want to change God's truth ? This was truely a tribulation that has not been seen, since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. This happened just as Jesus predicted. It is hard to imagine knowing you are in the presence of God and still reject him. Therefore the judgement was great. See also, lamentations 4:6, 1Corinthians 2:8, Luke 24:20, Luke 11:49-51, Acts 3:13-15. See the parallel passage in Luke 21:20-24.

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". - The elect here were mostly Jewish Christians. Obviously if this was a world wide tribulation instead of a local one, then fleeing to the mountains would be useless.

24:23-26

"Then if anyone shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets , and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, behold, He is in the desert ; go not forth: behold, He is in the inner rooms; believe it not". - In Josephus’ account of that time he records, ‘a false prophet was the occasion of these peoples destruction, who had made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that god commanded them to get upon the temple , and that their they would receive miraculous signs of their deliverance . Now there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose upon the people...thus were the miserable people persuaded by these deceivers’ (13) See also 1John 4:1. All these signs that Jesus talked about in verses 5-26 were the beginning of birth pangs. The false Christ’s, the wars and rumours of wars, nation against nation, famines , earthquakes, that believers in Christ will be hated, the abomination of desolation, all were fulfilled in the first century, as is clear from the text that Jesus was addressing a first century audience . Why would Jesus say in verse 25, Behold, I have told you in advance, if He meant thousands of years in the future? If that’s what Jesus meant then He would have used the word “them” and not, you.

24:27

"For just as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall the coming of the Son of man be". - Lightning describes God’s power and judgement. (See Psalm 18:14, Daniel 10:6, Zechariah 9:14) It is quick and without warning. It is also interesting that Jesus uses lightning to describe His judgement because when lightning comes, it is a localized thing. It cannot be seen by the whole world at once. The word, coming is the Greek word " PAROUSIA". It is used here four times in Matthew 24 and no where else. The Disciples connected the end of the age with Jesus’ coming at the destruction of Jerusalem. The coming of Christ will be seen (not physically) in the judgement of Jerusalem. For Jesus says in Luke 17:20, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation.

24:28

"For wheresoever the carcase is, there will be eagles gathered together". The word For connects verse 27 to 28 and is clear to mean judgement upon a nation. The carcase represents Jerusalem and the corrupt Jews, and the eagles represent the Roman armies who destroyed them.

See Jeremiah 7:33.

24:29

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give it’s light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken". - The words: immediately after the tribulation of those days show’s that Jesus is not speaking of any far future event, but of something immediately following the tribulation just mentioned, and that must be the destruction of Jerusalem. The word immediately is the Greek word" EUTHEOS", it means directly, at once or soon, as soon as, immediately, shortly. Notice carefully when this takes place: immediately after the tribulation of THOSE days. Here in verse 29, some commentators say this is a “transitional verse”, meaning up tp verse 29 the subject is the destruction of the Temple and verse 29 onward the subject as well as the time frame are changed. The first 28 verses are in the first century and verses 29 and on are talking about a far future coming of Christ. Of course this is not possible because of the use of the word immediately . The context in no way allows for a gap of any kind. Especially a gap of 2000 years or more. Some commentators put the “transition” at verse 29, some at verse 36 (discussed in detail there ) some at verse 14,33, and 35. But verses 29 and 36 are the main ones . There is an obvious answer to why theologians and commentators are so divided on this subject- it is because there is NO TRANSITION. It doesn’t exist.

"The sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give it’s light, and the stars shall fall from heaven" - This is judgmental apocalyptic language, and to find out exactly what this means we look to the Old Testament. This language is not to be taken in a literal sense, but in the sense in which it was intended. This kind of language represents nations, rulers and political systems. In this case , it is symbolic of Israel’s coming judgment. See Isaiah 13:10, Ezekiel 32:7, Joel 2:10,31, Joel 3:15, Amos 5:20.

The powers of the heavens shall be shaken - Refers to a dramatic change of things. This is of course the end of the Jewish dispensation, which is the temple and all the burden of the law. Christ will then make all things new (Revelation 21:5 )

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 sign appears in heaven not in the sky, as if someone on the earth could look up and see it. The sign in heaven comes after the “shaking of the powers”.The sign of the Son of man is the Glory that He will come with...the Glory of the Father. (See Matthew 16:27) “coming in the clouds of heaven” is an interesting phrase. We see in Acts 1:9 that Jesus was, taken up, and a cloud received Him out if their site. In Acts 1:11 the Apostles are told that Jesus will COME BACK in, like manner, (hon tropon) in Greek, meaning in NOT exactly the same way. The like manner refers to "the Glory of God" and is associated with the clouds. Ascending (going up) in clouds refers to Glory (Daniel 7:13, Revalation 11:12) Descending (going down ) is associated with Judgement (Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62, Revelation 1:7) See also commentary on 1Thessalonians 4:13-18.

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". - the word, angels is translated , “ messenger” and is translated from the Greek word, “angelos.”It can be translated angels as in heavenly beings or earthly messengers, “ angelos” is used of John the Baptist in Matthew 11:10. Trumpet is used in the Old Testament in a military function of coming armies and judgement. It was also used in a worship function. In Revelation it is used symbolically of warning and divine action. . The phrase, four winds refers to the whole known inhabited world or Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was considered “the ends of the earth.” Winds are a symbol of divine judgement ( see Ezekiel 1:4, and Jeremiah 22:22 , Revelation 7:1 ).The elect will be gathered, both Jew and gentile.

24:32

"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When it’s branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near". - Jesus analogy is clear: just as you know when a tree puts for it’s leaves you know that summer is near, you will also know the sign of the Son of man coming in judgement by certain events : The destruction of the temple and the of armies by Rome coming against Jerusalem .

24:33

"So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors!" - Near even at the doors ! means on the generation in Jesus time. Near does not mean two thousand years and counting.

24:34

"Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled". - This generation that Jesus is referring to is the generation to whom he was speaking at that time. His contemporaries. It is impossible for the word , generation here to mean the “Jewish race.” The word for generation is the word GENEA in the Greek, NOT GENOS. This word GENOS (a people) is used in 1 Peter 2:9, which reads, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people..... In EVERY INSTANCE where GENEA is used in the New Testament it means exactly what it is supposed to mean: All the people born or living at about the same time. About a 40 year span. Futurists back themselves into a corner with this one if they believe that the word generation means the "Jewish race", as they will have to admit that at some point the Jewish race will disappear after the fulfillment of all these things. Here are all the instances in the New Testament for GENEA:

Matthew 1:17

Matthew 11:16

Matthew 12:39,41,42,45

Matthew 16:4

Matthew 17:17

Matthew 23:36

Matthew 24:34

Mark 8:12,38

Mark 9:19

Mark 13:30

Luke 1:48,50

Luke 7:31

Luke 9:41

Luke 11:29,30,31,32,50,51

Luke 17:25

Luke 21:32.

‘The texts that govern the timing of the Olivet discourse prophesy - Matthew 23:36 and Matthew 24:34 - make it clear that Jesus was speaking of the events leading up to and including the fall of Jerusalem in A.D70. If we abandon the clear time texts , then these signs can be applied to any generation..... as history attests, it’s been done before. There has always been wars, false prophets , famines, tribulations , lawlessness, and persecution. If people fail to recognize the timing of these events set by scripture and the historical context of Jesus words, they will always be led astray by those who keep insisting that it’s our generation that’s living in the end time.’ (14). So, the question must be asked: Why do Bible teachers deliberately change the Greek word GENEA to GENOS ? The answer is that their whole Escatological theory will completely fall apart, and they will have to admit a first century fulfillment of Matthew 24. This is a VERY SERIOUS matter, to change the meaning of Scripture as Revelation 22:18-19 warns us, For I testify unto everyone that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone shall add unto these things, God shall add unto them the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the Holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. See this warning also in Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:6. It’s a sad thing when pride comes before truth.

24:35

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away". - Jesus words, heaven and Earth passing is to be understood in light of Old Testament Scriptures. The old order of things now replaced by the new covenant. ‘The passing away of heaven and earth is the passing away of the old covenant world of Judaism. In Deuteronomy 31:30 we read of the ‘song of Moses’, where God is speaking to Israel. In the next verse, Deuteronomy 32:1, God clearly calls Israel, O heavens and O earth. Now, if you go further down to Deuteronomy 32:22, God tells Israel what will happen to them if they continue in disobedience, For a fire is kindled in My anger, and burns to the lowest part of hell, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains. God is not talking about burning up the physical earth. God is using apocalyptic language to warn Israel of judgement. Heavens refer to governments and rulers and earth refers to the nation of people. This can be seen in Isaiah 1:2.

In Isaiah 1:10 God is still talking to Israel, and He calls them, ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’. The literal Sodom and Gomorrah had been destroyed for some time. Here in Isaiah 1:2 we see rulers used for heavens and people used for earth. So the term, heaven and earth, are used to speak of rulers and people and nations. In another example we find in Isaiah 34:4-5 the destruction of Edom. Here Biblical apocalyptic language is used to describe the fall of a nation. God refers to Edom as the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll. When God took the children of Israel out of Egypt, and formed them in the wilderness into a covenant nation, He planted the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth, that is, brought forth order, and government. If the destruction of heaven and earth were to be taken literally in all the Old Testament passages, it would mean that heaven and earth were destroyed many times already. We must keep in mind that, the Bible is not a history of the planet from it’s creation to it’s ultimate destruction. The Bible is about SPIRITUAL TRUTHS made known through PHYSICAL THINGS. Genesis introduces SPIRITUAL DEATH. Revelation tells us how death is conquered. The theme of the Bible is the redemption of mankind, not the history of the planet.’(15) We are not looking for a physical fulfilment of 2Peter chapter 3, but a SPIRITUAL one. When you apply the physical to where the spiritual is intended, you make grave errors , and come up with a complete misunderstanding of escatology.

24:36

"But of that day and hour knoweth no one, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only". - This is another verse that is called by many a “transitional verse” meaning Jesus was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in verses 1-35, but here in verse 36 an on He has changed the subject to the future end of the world and second coming of Christ ( now going on 2000 years and counting ). This is clearly NOT the case as can be proved by scripture itself. The word, but is a connective word, a conjunction NOT a preposition. It connects the second thought with the first thought, or what Jesus has just said with what is about to be said. What has been said is: The destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. What is about to be said is: The end of the Jewish dispensation or old covenant Judaism. This is not two different subjects but one subject or thought all through Matthew 24. If the word but is used as a subject change then futurists will have to admit that there are seven ( but ) transitional changes: Matthew 24:6,8,13,20,36,43,48. Now we come to the terms: those days and that day. We see in Matthew 24:19,22,29, that Jesus uses the term: those days, plural. But here in verse 36 Jesus uses: that day, singular. Luke 17:31 uses That day, and this verse is parallel to Matthew 24:17, which is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem. These two verses are clearly talking about the same subject. You cannot have Luke17:31 a past event and Matthew 24:36 a 2000 year or more future event. ‘A simple reading of Luke 17 will reveal that, according to Luke’s arrangement of the signs and symbols, he only understood Christ to be referring to ONE event; the full coming of the Kingdom in AD70. No distinction is possible when examining Luke’s context. He describes these events in an intermingled fashion compared to Matthew in his account. If we divide up Matthew 24 into two sections as the futurist , we have verses 1-35 in one section and verses 36-41 in the second. Notice the following comparison:

Matthew 24,

SECTION ONE VERSES 1-35

1) Matthew 24:17-18

2) Matthew 24:26-27

3) Matthew 24:28

SECTION TWO VERSES 36-51

4) Matthew 24:37-39

5) Matthew 24:40-41

Now notice how Luke mixes up the order:

Luke 17

2)Luke 17:23-24

4) Luke 17:26-27

1) Luke 17:31

5) Luke 17:35-36

3) Luke 17: 37

Luke records the same events as Matthew, but in different order. Matthew’s order is: 1,2,3,4,5, but Luke’s order is : 2,4,1,5,3. Luke has an event from section one of Matthew followed by one from section two of Matthew, then another from section one followed by one from section two, and finally one from section one. If Matthew really deals with two different comings, that happen thousands of years apart, then you have to admit that Luke made a mistake. He mixes Matthew’s events up and makes them ALL HAPPEN AT ONE TIME. You now have two choices: You can either say that Luke is wrong, thus denying inspiration, or you can conclude that Matthew 24 all speaks of ONE EVENT.’ (16)

That day and hour that Jesus is speaking about is not a literal day, or specific hour, but refers to a prophetic time frame.

24:37

"But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be". - Jesus parallel’s the judgment of Jerusalem in the first century with Genesis chapters 6&7. Notice the similarities: Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth.

And in Matthew 16:4 calls the Pharisees and Sadducees, A wicked and adulterous generation.

24:38-39

"For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. And they did not realize until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be". - We see here more parallels. Before the flood, will be like the days before the great and terrible day of the Lord. They will not heed the warning signs.Compare also Luke 17:28-30

24:40-41

"Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two woman shall be grinding at the mill; one shall be taken, and the other left". - These verses cannot refer to the so called “ rapture” as promoted by futurists . In there viewpoint it is the sinners who are “left behind”, and the “believers” are the ones “taken” to be with Christ. But from the context of the flood in Noah’s time (Genesis 6:13 to Genesis 7:24) it is clear that the ones who are “left behind” are really the ones saved ie: Noah and his sons and their wives. The ones “taken” are the ones who drowned in the flood. Compare Luke 17:34-37.

24:42

"Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come". - What would be the purpose of Jesus telling His disciples to watch if He really meant 2000 years or more into the future? It does not make sense. If Jesus meant 2000 years or more into the future He would have used the word “they” meaning future people, not “ye” present people. We also know that this could not be meant to mean 2000 years or more into the future , for Jesus said in Matthew 16:28, Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in His Kingdom. And we know that John the Apostle was one of those alive at the second coming from the Gospel of John 21:22, Jesus said unto him, if I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me. Here, Peter is asking Jesus what is going to happen to John. If all this was meant to mean the far future, then we have some , now over 2000 years old, still around waiting for the second coming! Notice also in the book of James chapter 5 verses 7-9. In the first part of verse 7 it reads, Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord..... In the second part of verse 8 it reads, for the coming of the Lord draweth near. And the last part of verse 9 reads, behold, the judge standeth at the door. What would be the point of James telling his first century readers these things if Jesus was not going to come for another 2000 years or more? See also Mark 13:33-37.

24:43-44

"But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what time the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh." - Jesus does not give them an exact time, because the warning that He is coming soon should be enough. James 5:7 tells them to be patient. And Paul tells them ( believers ) in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night. In 1 Thessalonians 5:6 Paul tells the believers to watch. Peter tells them in 2 Peter 3:10 that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. John tells them in Revealation 3:2 quoting Jesus to be watchful. All these warnings are meaningless if not meant for them.

24:45

"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?" - The wise servant is not an organization, or denomination, but anyone who is a true believer.

24:46-51

"Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards; 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, and shall cut him in two, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth".

- The main point in Jesus’ parable in verses 45-51 is to watch. If they do they will be blessed. To watch is to be faithful to the word of God. But on the opposite side, those who ignore the word of God are called evil, and hypocrites. They may call themselves believers but are really hypocrites, they have the outward appearance of a believer but in their heart they are not. These will not be able to understand the signs of the times. The Gospel of Matthew was written around AD50. The Jewish War started in AD67. That is 17 years. Some were like this evil servant who thought the coming of Christ was taking to long or that He was never going to come. In 1 Timothy 4:1 we read, Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons. The, weeping and gnashing of teeth, was the result of suffering and torment they received in this war with Rome.

CONCLUSION:

It seems to me that if anyone were to read Matthew chapter 24 without any pre-conceived ideas, then they would come to the conclusion that Matthew 24 had it’s fulfillment in the 1st century. In fact, even a fifth grader can understand that Matthew 24 is not a far future event still waiting to happen, now going on 2000 years. If you really want to know how a fifth grader views Matthew 24, then you can go to:

www.biblicalfulfillment.org , Articles -series 4 number 19, “Matthew 24:1-34" By Jessie Mills, Ph. D. Then you can see if you too are AS smart as a fifth grader.

Bibliography:

1) Biblical Apocalyptics Page 218, By Milton S. Terry

2) David B. Curtis. Adapted from sermon December 7th 1997 www.worldwithoutend.info

3) Flavious Josephas, Antiquities of the Jews. Book 20 chapter 5 paragraph 1.

4) End Times Fiction By Gary Demar Page 77

5) Biblical Apocalyptics Page 77, By Milton S. Terry

6) End Times Fiction By Gary Demar Page 77

7) Adapted from Biblical Apocalyptics Page 229, By Milton S. Terry

8) Biblical Apocalyptics Page 235, By Milton S. Terry

9) Josephas War of the Jews, Book 6, Chapter 6, Paragraph 1.

10) David B.Curtis sermon. December 12 1997

11) Josephas War of the Jews, Book 5, Chapter 9, Paragraph 1

12) Correspondence with Jessie Mills, Ph.D. July 2008. www.biblicalfulfilment.org

13) Josephas War of the Jews, Book 6, Chapter 5, Paragraphs 2and 3.

14) End Times Fiction By Gary Demar Page 114

15) Adapted from sermon by David B.Curtis February 15 1998

16) Adapted from sermon by David B. Curtis. February 22 1998

Scripture verses are taken from the King James Version , with the NU-Text, M-Text, New American Standard and Syriac Peshito consulted for best wording.

Copyright 2008 by Rick Rapanos

All rights reserved. No part of this lesson may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise-without the written permission of the author.


 

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.