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Lesson # Matt. 24:4a
Study Material - Matt. 24:4a
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4 And [kai] Jesus [Iesous] answered [apokrinomai] and said [epo] unto them [autos] , Take heed [blepo] that no [me] man [tis] deceive [planao] you [humas] . KJV-Interlinear
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, 'See to it that no one misleads you. NAS
It would be helpful if you read ahead a little in this and the next chapter. These are future events, from the perspective of the disciples, and as we will see (in detail) they are somewhat future for us in our current day as well. But more on that in later.
In verse 8, Jesus refers to birth pains. If we look to 1 Thess 5:1-3, we read, '1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, 'Peace and safety!' then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.' NAS
Times and epochs is a reference to dispensations. We have studied these before and there is a chart on the Index page that you can look at for the timeline for the dispensations of human history. Again, birth pains is referenced.
We all know, or we should know, that birth pains come at the end of a pregnancy, at the time of birth - immediately before it, with increasing occurrence, and at the moments of the actual birth. Birth pains do not occur before pregnancy. They do not occur at the inception of the pregnancy, and they do not occur during the pregnancy (the first eight months or so). They occur at the end of the pregnancy at the end of the ninth month.
Next we need to notice that there will be one generation, verse 34, a single generation who will experience all of the seven signs given in this chapter (Matt. 24). It is that generation which will suffer greatly and party greatly and then they will see Christ's return.
There are seven signs listed for these last days. First, the labor pains. These occur with increasing frequency just prior to birth. Second, there are those who will endure through all of these trials until the end (that single generation). Third, there will be worldwide proclamation of the gospel. Fourth, the abomination of desolation's of Dan. 9, will be revealed. Fifth, there will be the time of the great tribulation. Sixth, then a supernatural darkness will occur just prior to the advent of Christ. We will study why this will occur in a later lesson. And seventh, there will be the sign of the fig tree. The budding of the tree is a sure sign that spring is here and the summer is on the horizon. The fig tree is a comprehensive view of all of these signs. That is, all of these signs when they occur 'together', and not spread out over time, will be the sure sign that the final generation prior to the advent of Christ, has finally arrived.
So we cannot pick and choose of the many signs of the Church Age and then say that this or that generation is the final one. Actually we in the Church Age will not see these events. We will be gone because of the Rapture. Since these events will be seen and experienced by that one final generation, then these events will not occur within the dispensation of the Church Age.
The Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., but that was over 1900 years ago. Not the beginning of a birth pain cycle. Obviously many generations have come and gone since that time, so no one single generation has lived for over 1900 years. That's way beyond retirement age!
So the time of the end is future. Jesus, when He read from Isa. 61, stopped in the middle of the second verse, closed the book and stated that the first part of the prophecy of Isa. 61 has just been fulfilled. Find that reading in Lk. 4:18+. The second part of the prophecy will occur at the second advent. His pause also, suggested that there would be a split between the first coming and a second coming.
So the events of Isaiah and other passages which implied that all of these events would occur in one single and continuous stream, could easily be misinterpreted, but only when you ignore the death, burial, and resurrection prophecies of the Messiah. That was the error of the disciples and that was the error of the Pharisees as well.
I think that we will stop there for today and resume with the first of the birth pains - false christs, in verse 4, tomorrow.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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