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Lesson # Matt. 24:3
Study Material - Matt. 24:3
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
3 And [de] as he [autos] sat [kathemai] upon [epi] the mount [oros] of Olives [elaia] , the disciples [mathetes] came [proserchomai] unto him [autos] privately [kata] [idios] , saying [lego] , Tell [epo] us [hemin] , when [pote] shall [esomai] these things [tauta] be [esomai] ? and [kai] what [tis] shall be the sign [semeion] of thy [sos] coming [parousia] , and [kai] of the end [sunteleia] of the world [aion] ? KJV-Interlinear
3 And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?' NAS
They left the Temple, crossed the Kidron valley and went up the Mount of Olives to the east. There they sat down and could look back to the west and see the skyline or Jerusalem. Jesus stated that the Temple was coming down. It would not come done by some natural event like an earthquake, but would be torn down in a violent manner.
No doubt the disciples were thinking of this statement as they walked to the top of the ridge. And they are still expecting a lot of events to occur, but they are expecting them all to occur now rather than in the distant future. How do we know this? They ask the question of Jesus in Acts 1, 'Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?' The Cross has occurred. He has risen. He is about to ascend into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father, 'Sit thou at my right hand,' to be glorified in His strategic victory from the Cross, in the angelic conflict.
'Is it now?' They ask. And 'No' is the answer. They still remain clueless for a little while longer and until after the giving of the Holy Spirit (unique to the Church Age) at Pentecost, fifty days after the Cross.
If you will go to the Index page (unless you have already downloaded the charts and images), and print out the Calendar and Feasts chart. Then you will see the timing of the feasts. After Pentecost when the Church Age begins, then the next feast is not until the fall, the Feast of Trumpets which is representative of the Rapture (the trumpet call) of the Church. That is followed by the Day of Atonement representative of the Judgment Seat of Christ. Still a Church Age related event. Then the Feast of the Tabernacles, or the regathering of the nation of Israel (the Second Advent of Christ). You'll need to print off the chart or at least view it in order to see the relationship of the Feasts and history.
The Israelites have been celebrating these feasts since the time of Moses when they were initially begun. But they thought they all related to themselves, and when the end time came these events would all occur in one stream of continuous events.
But from Pentecost until Trumpets, there is a definite division of time divided by a whole summer growing season. A definite break in the stream of events.
The disciples still thought that the end time was happening now, or was very close at hand. Jesus has just walked away from the Pharisees and the other leadership of Judea. He has given them their final condemnation preview (so long as anyone remains alive with even a single breath in their body, they can change their life). He has stated that the Temple was going to come down violently. What were the disciples to think? Well of course, Jesus was going to meet His enemies once again. The nations would come together against Him. He would swiftly defeat them, purify Jerusalem, regather the Jews from around the world (they were still scattered in Babylon and elsewhere), and establish His kingdom. What else could there be?
Their use of the word for 'coming' infers not a second coming which implies leaving then coming back, but the disciples here are asking what was the timing of this stream of events. 'When are you going to be transformed into your glory, and kick some Roman ***?' Or something like that. The disciples were filled with excitement and just itching to get things underway.
Similar references to the coming of Christ, 1 Thess. 3:13, 2 Thess. 2:8, 1 John 2:28, are references to a return after His going away - a second coming.
The disciples reference to the end times is not a reference to the end of an era, where there are more era's to come, but they are asking when the end to the ages is to be. The final period of human history, the end of the present world system where darkness and sin are defeated and replaced with Gods new Kingdom. They thought that it was then in their time.
Jesus is about to explain, but His explanation will be with references to historical trends rather than specific events.
The Church Age has not yet been revealed, and still remains a mystery. The Church Age is not an age of prophecy, for we have only one prophetical event within our Age, and that is the Rapture of the Church at the close of our era. All other prophecies with reference to the kings of the north, south, east and west, the anti-christ, and so forth are Age of Israel prophecies, and they will occur during the last seven years of that Age, which we call the Tribulation. Actually there are a ton of prophecies which have not yet come to pass for the final seven years of the Tribulation.
The present day nation of Israel was not prophesied no matter what you want to think, but it is obviously a part to the alignment of powers and nations which has occurred during the last 1970 plus yeas of our Church Age which will place all nations where God wants them to be when the rapture occurs, and positions them all for the beginning of the Tribulation. Our Age among other things, is a positioning age.
We can of course guess who the players will be, and if the rapture occurs soon then we would not be too far off in our guesses, but we won't see the identity of the anti-christ, or the over throw of the three nations by the little nation rising up out of, and after, the chaos of the Rapture.
Personally I do not believe that the rapture will occur for another century. I have explained this before but briefly my opinion (and it is only my opinion of course), I believe that the world is involved in the demise of many terrorists groups now, because it is not yet their time. Otherwise we would not be enjoying so much success in defeating and dismantling the various terror groups at the current time. They won't all be defeated of course, because there is far too much support for lawlessness in that part of the world, but their outreach will be stymied for a couple of generations. So that means that the world population will grow to monstrous proportions over the next century.
If the terrorists groups continued to grow out of control then there would be major world chaos earlier rather than later in the century. Second, we know through historical records that the population of the world will double about every 33 years. If so, then we will see nearly 50 billion people on planet earth near the year 2100, a century from now. Our grandchildren will live to see this. Very crowded! Or, lots of customers, depending on your point of view.
Again if this scenario plays out, then there will be far more trouble for the world, employment problems, food problems, housing, transportation, public services, that list goes on forever. History just cannot go on much longer before we bankrupt our resources completely. Man will be in a total state of helplessness. Why else would you think that those who remain behind following the rapture, would embrace an anti-christ as their leader, regardless of who he is. Our lesson in history is Hitler. A bankrupt Germany looked to whomever made the best promises. Again, this whole scheme is pure speculation, but I think it is a sound one.
God does not do things arbitrarily. God follows a set plan and has given Satan an opportunity to see all the possible scenarios in history (book of Job), except for world over population, and ruling it all by himself (believers removed). No extra charge for this opinion of course!
So the disciples ask the question, 'When?' And they ask expecting it all to occur today, tomorrow, next week, etc. People today wonder when these things will occur. What about the Middle East? What about this or that? But the real questions (two of them) people should be asking and answering are, 'What think ye of Christ?' And, 'What think ye of daily Bible study?'
History will take care of itself. We, each one of us, need to take care of our individual spiritual lives. Whether the Rapture occurs tonight or next century is irrelevant. Better that it occurs later so that we can have an opportunity to grow up spiritually and be better prepared for the Judgment Seat of Christ when it does occur.
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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