Signs Of The Times: Passover Series Part 5

Matthew 24:1-3

“Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them (His disciples), “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

Now as He sat 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?”

After His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, in the days leading up to His death, Jesus spent some of His time in the temple being questioned by the leaders of Israel.  But He spent most of His time with those He loved, answering their questions.  At one point, His disciples brought Him to look at the beautiful temple Herod had built. He then told them that it would be destroyed and not one stone would be left upon another. 😓

Signs Of The Times.

Everywhere you look today, there are definite signs that we are living in the end of the ages.  You and I will most likely see Jesus return in our lifetime. 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 That gives us who believe a lot of hope! 😁 There does, however, seem to be quite a bit of confusion in regard to His second coming and the Rapture of the Church.  Many Christians and preachers often confound the two, making them as appear one and the same.  THEY ARE NOT.

Temple Destroyed.

In the opening passage, the Holy Spirit documents the time where disciples had come to Jesus to show Him the beautiful buildings of the Temple.  This edifice was the second Temple, the first having been constructed on this site by King Solomon.  It was originally a rather modest structure constructed by a number of Jewish exile groups who returned from Babylon under governor Zerubbabel. During the reign of Herod the Great, however, it was completely refurbished and totally overhauled into the large and magnificent edifices and facades with which we are most familiar.  It was, indeed, a very beautiful building. 💖

The Temple refurbishment was one of the larger construction projects of the 1st century.  Josephus records that King Herod was only interested, however, in perpetuating his name through such building projects.  His construction programs were extensive and paid for by the heavy taxes he levied. His crowning achievement was the Temple of Jerusalem.

Curious About The Future.

Just like us, the disciples were curious about future events, too.  I mean, who doesn’t want to know what’s going to happen, right?  In this chapter of Matthew, Jesus gave the longest and most detailed answer to their questions than to any other recorded. He described future events to them and the ultimate fate of this beautiful building.

And just as Jesus said, 40 years after He returned to His Father, that magnificent Temple was completely demolished.  The Romans came in 70 AD and destroyed it so completely that not one stone was left upon another, just as Jesus said.  The stones are still there in the valley below where it once stood, in fact. From that day to this, all that is left is the western wall, which was not part of the actual temple.

Three Questions.
Peter, James, John, and Andrew had come to Jesus, asking about the signs of the end of the age which are recorded here in Matthew 24.  They asked Him three questions:

#1, When will these things be? #2, What will be the sign of Your coming?  And,  #3, What will be the sign of the end of the age? All three are referring to His 2nd coming, not the Rapture, about which they knew nothing.  The rapture is a mystery that was only revealed to the Church through the Apostle Paul, though Jesus did hint about it in the upper room.  (See John 14:1-4)

The first thing they wanted to know was when would Jesus return to set up His earthly kingdom.  They asked, “When will these things be? referring to the events surrounding the destruction of the temple.  He doesn’t say “When” it will happen, only “That.”   They, of course, had no way of knowing that between their first question and the last two would be a gap of 2,000+ years before the “End of the age.” 😮

Their other two questions were about His second coming, which will happen after the seven years of tribulation.  You can see they knew He would return to earth, though all they knew of was the 2nd coming.

Two Phases.

Jesus’ return will be in two phases:  First He will come FOR HIS CHURCH in the Rapture. The world will know that we are gone but they will not see us go up. It will happen in an atomic second or, as the Bible says, “In the twinkling of an eye.”

At the end of the tribulation, He will return WITH HIS CHURCH to rescue Israel before she is annihilated by the nations of the world.  That’s the one EVERY EYE will see.  There will be absolutely NO DOUBT that He has returned! 😲

These are two very different and very distinctive events.  Don’t get them mixed up. In the picture below, you can plainly see they don’t even look alike.

Not About The Church.
It should put your mind at ease to know that Matthew 24 is not written TO or ABOUT the Church.  The Rapture will have already taken place (thank God ☺️) and the Church, comprised of saved Gentiles and Jews, will be in heaven.  This chapter is TO and ABOUT Israel and the Jewish believers who will come to faith after AFTER THE RAPTURE, during the Tribulation period.

These seven years, also known as, “The time of Jacob’s trouble,” are when God will deal with His obstinate children, Israel.  That’s why the last book of the Bible is entitled, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Think about it: Who else needs a revelation of Him, right?  Certainly not the Church.  We already know Him.  It is Israel that needs her eyes opened. 

Only after we are taken out of this world can judgment fall.  Quite literally, all hell will break loose because the Restrainer, the Holy Spirit, will not be holding back the evil that is already quite obviously present in the world. 😲

bright and morning star

The Sun And The Morning Star.

Jesus gives us another clue as to the timing of events at the end of time in the scripture below:

Revelation 22:16-17  “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

Our God LOVES to hide gems and wisdom in His word.  In this verse from the last chapter of the last book of the New Testament, “Revelation,” Jesus calls Himself, “The Bright and Morning star.” In the very next verse He says, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come,’” an obvious reference to the Rapture of the Church.  Of course, only believers will be raptured; unbelievers will be left behind to endure the Tribulation.

Sun of righteousness

Turn with me now to the last book of the Old Testament, “Malachi.” In chapter 4, verse 2, is this declaration: “But to you who fear My name, The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings;”  Notice it doesn’t say, “Son.”  Tell me: What do you see first: The Sun, or the Morning star? The Morning Star, of course!  It shows up somewhere around 3 to 4 o’clock, BEFORE THE SUN RISES.

Now tell me, Church:  Which happens first: The Rapture or the Second Coming?  The Rapture, of course!  The reference in Revelation is about the Church, while the reference in Malachi is about the unsaved Jewish people who will be on earth during the last seven years.    

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled.

Jesus’ admonition to us today is, “Let not your heart be troubled.” Considering all the evil things that are happening today, it sure is a tall order.  This is the darkest and most dangerous of times in history to be alive.  Lawlessness, violence, and destruction are all around us.  The very fabric of society is being torn apart! 😲

Every day in the news you hear of more and more acts of terror, credible threats of nuclear attack, cyber attacks, all kinds of threats to our way of life, and chaos on every side and, of course, the deadly virus that is threatening everyone in the world today.  In the wake of it all, how can we do what Jesus asks?  How can we “Let not” our hearts be troubled?  How can we be at rest?  Jesus Himself gives us the answer. 💖

The Key To Rest.

John 14:1-3
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” 💖

This is the key to having a heart that is not troubled.  He said, “I will come again and receive you to Myself.”  This is a reference to the Rapture.  He will come and receive us to Himself THAT WHERE HE IS, we may be also……in our MANSIONS (not huts) in the sky! This is the knowledge causes our hearts not to be troubled. 💖

The Rapture is nothing more than us receiving our new immortal and incorruptible bodies; and we will be with Him forever! 💖 Our new bodies will never get sick or bored or tired, and there will be NO MORE DEATH!

Grace Teaches Right Living.
Titus 2:11-13 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and glory in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

Did you catch that?  We do not teach people how to live godly lives:  We teach grace.  Grace teaches people how to live holy lives!  The most important part of that grace teaching is reminding our people to look for the blessed hope, which is the glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ.  THIS APPEARING IS THE RAPTURE! 💖

The implication here is that failing to teach about the blessed hope, The Rapture, causes people to lose hope. Why?
 Because they will tend to cling more tightly to the things of this world and forsake reaching the lost.  Those who are robbed of this blessed hope worry about what is going to happen. 😓 They worry about what they hear on the news, they are afraid for their families, about their finances, and so on.

But of all the generations that have come on this earth, ours is the one that saw Israel come back as a nation.  We have seen many prophecies from ages past come to pass right before our eyes in real time.  More than any other, we are the generation most likely to not see death but to be instantly changed to join our Lord in the clouds!  That is GOOD NEWS!!!  That is reason to hope, not to be hopeless.

Reading Hebrew scroll

Secrets In The Hebrew Language.
Pastors are concerned that their people live holy lives in the meantime, understandably.  But how best to do that?  Many go about it by teaching do’s and don’ts; you know, “Law.”  Jesus has a better way! 😍

This is the Hebrew word for, “Righteousness:” Tsadeqah:  (צְדָקָה)

Hebrew reads from right to left and is a form of picture writing, like Chinese.  The letters from right to left are, “Tsade (צ), dalet (ד), koph (ק), and hei (ה).”

Tsade (צ) is a picture of “Trail or journey,” Dalet (ד) is a picture of a “Door,” Koph (ק) “the Back of the head,” and Hei (ה) means, “Grace.”  The word pictures give us a glimpse of God’s perspective on what righteousness means to Him:

“We who have taken the path to Jesus, the Door, have been turned back (from our former life) and into the realm of His marvelous grace!” That is righteousness to God. 😍

Church Not Going Through The Tribuation.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, who He raised from the dead, event Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 🙌🏻

Paul, in writing to the Church at Thessalonica, explained in more detail about the Rapture to reassure the people that they would not be going through that terrible time.  This is one of many comforting words in scripture that the Church will be in heaven during that time.

First, he talks about the Rapture.  That’s the “Waiting for His Son from heaven,” part, Who delivers us from the wrath to come, meaning the Tribulation.  Those years are called “The day of God’s wrath.” Church, you just read that we are NOT appointed to wrath.  Jesus paid for us!  He took it ALL in our stead!   That gives rest, peace, and assurance to our hearts. “Looking for the blessed hope,” helps us “Let not” our hearts be troubled.💖

Ruth at the feet of Boaz

Assurance In Ruth.

We see many other assurances of this fact.  The story of Ruth comes to mind.  Ruth, a type of the Church, came to the threshing floor where Boaz, a type of Christ, was “Winnowing barely.”  This is a reference to the Judgment of the end times.  John the Baptist, in referring to Jesus, said of Him in Luke 3:17, “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

When did Ruth come? “At midnight.” She lay down at the feet of Boaz.  The threshing floor is a depiction of the judgement that will rain down on the earth, and the Church will be where?  AT HIS FEET. 💖

During those seven years, everyone who did not accept Jesus as their Savior, those who are “Professing Christians,” (those who “say” they are and “ARE” not) as opposed to “Possessing Christians,” 👈 (Those who actually are: BIG DIFFERENCE!), everyone who has broken His covenant, who has come against Israel to harm and destroy her, and/or persecuted the Church, will all be the focus of God’s wrath during that time.

But if you’re a believer, you only need to be “Alive and remain,” and you’re going up, even if you don’t agree with me that there is a rapture.  We can discuss it on the way up. 😂 Regardless of how faithful you have or haven’t been, no matter what your position in the Church may be or how many degrees you have, if you know Jesus, YOU ARE GOING UP! 💖

THEREFORE…..comfort one another with these words, and Let not your heart be Troubled. 💖

You may follow the link below to continue this series:

Gethsemane: Passover Series Part 6

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