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MATTHEW CHAPTER 24

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1-3 Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down." 3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Mat 24,1-14

(49l) Judgment >> God judges the world >> Condition of the world in the last days – This passage begs the question: if there is a revival in the last days, when will it occur? The Jewish people will orchestrate a great endtime revival, notably two of them, who will raise up a 144,000, who will organize the gentile church and restore the true doctrines of the faith. Jesus is describing a period when the antichrist comes to power and begins martyring the saints. We know that the Two Witnesses come in Revelation chapter 11; the Bible describes them as adjudicators, who will judge the world for martyring the saints and will put an end to his bloodbath against God’s elect. The question is: why is the antichrist martyring the saints? The only possible answer is that they have become a major threat to his kingdom. The Church today is by no means a threat to Satan’s kingdom; in fact the antichrist will rise to power as a result of the Church's current state of apostasy. These Two Witnesses are depicted in the stories of Joseph and Daniel, making their debut prior to their address in Revelation chapter 11, who will start as benevolent ministers of the gospel. We recall in Scripture that Daniel began his ministry after the Babylonians took Israel captive, King Nebuchadnezzar representing the antichrist. According to the pattern, it suggests that the antichrist has already come to power before the Two Witnesses begin their ministry as adjudicators for the saints and fulfill Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue that was toppled by a rock that was cut from a mountain without human agency. The rock was a conglomeration of smaller stones cemented together in petrified sediment, each pebble representing a member of the body of Christ in a state of unity. The rock is Christ, and it represents a revival that will destroy Satan’s kingdom, and it is for this reason that Satan will go into a rage and have the saints martyred. The first five seals will be in the process of unfolding when the Two Witnesses begin their benevolent ministry to kickoff this revival. It is in the midst of this revival that Satan will go on the defensive and begin martyring the saints; then the Two Witnesses will shift gears from a ministry of benevolence to God’s adjudicators against the antichrist and his kingdom, and Revelation chapter 11 will be fulfilled. In the midst of revival there will be confusion, those who never made a commitment to Christ will fall away during this time. They will attempted to be part of this revival, but they were never born again. Those who fall away will constitute the five foolish virgins, foolish because they fell away and virgins because they didn’t take the mark of the beast. They will abandon this revival that they know is the work of God and run to the antichrist who is telling the world that this Jewish-led revival is the work of the devil. There will be many false prophets, but there will be one who will work side-by-side with the antichrist, the False Prophet, who will prophesy about the world economy coming back on line and life returning to normal, and the five foolish virgins will listen to his message and be deceived. Once they realize that it will never happen they will seek the Church once more, but it will be too late; the door will be shut and they will be left behind. It is ironic that the five foolish virgins are members of the Church today, most of whom believe in the pre-tribulation Rapture, who taught in our churches that there would be those who are left behind, and it turns out that they were prophesying about themselves. See Also: Mat 24,10-14; 21g

 

4-8 And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. 5 "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. 6 "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

 

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Mat 24-4,5

(5h) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your loyalty >> Your commitment to follow Jesus -- These verses go with verse 27. "See to it that no one misleads you," was Jesus' very first response to His disciples' question: "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" How pervasive will deception be in the last days, how large of a role will it play in Satan's phantasm, and what form should our struggle take to conquer it? Whose job is it to keep people from misleading us? Isn't it our job? We cannot say, ‘I was tricked!’ since God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us into all the truth. Those who are misled have veered from the narrow way as a result of having motives other than simply following Jesus. Maybe we are following a false teaching, indicating that we don’t know the word as we should; or maybe we are following a false spirit, indicating that our prayer life is suffering or distorted or even non-existent. Either way, we should know the signs of His coming. Those who would mislead us usually offer a grandiose teaching and fabricate strange activities for us to do (usually involving money) in order to receive from God, but the truth is always greater than what people propose and simpler to receive than what they affirm, and far less expensive. The truth always involves faith and love; stay with these and you will never falter.

(46f) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Fall of Satan >> Resisting Satan’s deception -- These verses go with verses 23-25. How do we resist Satan's deception? How did Jesus, who is the word of God, resist Satan's deception? He prayed. Therefore, to resist Satan we must consume the word of God and pray, pray, pray. Since the recipe for developing a relationship with God consists of the same ingredients we use to resist the devil (the word of God and prayer, the double-edged sword), it is simple to deduce that we resist Satan with our relationship with God. The weapons of our warfare are the instruments we use to communicate with our Lord. 

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Test the spirits -- These verses go with verse 11

(93m) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> Exception >> Following evil along the broad way -- These verses go with verse 11

(160a) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit Christ -- These verses go with verse 11. The antichrist in the last days will be a major deception that will encompass the entire developed world, suggesting that third-world nations will not have His influence to the same degree. The fact that there will be many who will come in Christ’s name claiming to be Him suggests competition between cult leaders, even competition to become the prophesied antichrist. Why anyone would want to be him is incomprehensible after the Bible clearly states his eternal destiny, being thrown into the lake of fire without a trial. Many people in the developed world will follow this man, and he will have the same lingo of all the charlatans, only his deception will be far greater. His greatest deception will be his charismatic personality. Satan will counterfeit the Lord’s charisma, referring to the anointing. He will have a false anointing, which will persuade millions to follow him. He will have penetrating eyes, like Medusa, that when he looks into the camera, half the population of the world will immediately follow him. No matter what he says or does, no matter how he looks, the fact that his coming did not model after the description of Jesus’ second coming makes him a fraud (v27).

(161e) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Wander >> Following the wrong leader -- These verses go with verse 11. If we commit our lives to the knowledge of God, no one will mislead us. Jesus wasn’t talking about people who are committed to the faith but those who would attempt to squeak into heaven on a minimal commitment, who consider themselves Christians but never tend to their faith. He was telling them to be careful, for they are treading on thin ice. They think they cannot be fooled because they hold to the title of Christian, but the only reason we will not be deceived in the last days is that we know and love the truth (2The 2-10). We can’t just read the Bible once and figure we know it. That might work for biology books, but it doesn’t work for the Bible. We study the Bible continually, not because it is difficult material, but because it is spiritual material, and we are of flesh. There are opposing forces at work outside our bodies and darkness within preying on our hearts and leading us from the truth. We are in a spiritual war, and we must fight each battle to win territory in our hearts and to achieve victory by faith in Jesus. We conduct our faith in whatever form, whether it be going to church or reading the Bible or praying, and sometimes we don’t get very far. We feel we are walking against a giant fan blowing us backward, or walking in a marsh waist-deep in mud. We fight the good fight, but some days we get pummeled by an invisible enemy, and we resolve to fight another day. Faith doesn’t come easy in a world of unbelief. Those who give up the good fight to follow the world are not conducting a personal relationship with Jesus, and for this reason they are ripe for deception.

(179g) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> False prophets >> False prophets confess to be the Christ -- These verses go with verse 11. Anybody who would follow another man just because he claimed to be the Christ deserves to be misled. He must be totally unschooled in the Scriptures, for Jesus said that He would not return in the flesh, but His coming would be with great power and glory (Vs 26-31). Claiming to be the Christ is not a very effective deception, yet many will fall for it, and the deceptions will just grow from there. There have been a few instances over the centuries of people claiming to be the Christ, and they amazingly received small followings. None of these deceivers were effective, compared to the antichrist that is coming. Desperate times will accompany the antichrist's arrival, when people will be longing for Christ's return, but false christs will expose themselves as frauds to those who know and love the truth by the mere fact that Jesus did not describe His return on their terms. For someone to claim to know the truth could mean a thousand different things, but claiming to be the Christ, the person would have to be mentally ill, and mentally ill people typically are not very persuasive, yet the antichrist will be persuasive. This is not a credit to him but to the naivety of the followers.

(245l) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of the prince of the power of the air -- These verses go with verse 11. The antichrist will capture the minds of the vast majority of the developed world through ignorance of the Scriptures. He was once the prince of the power of the air, and so ever since man fell into sin, Satan has been ruling the skies above him. However, prior to Satan coming in the flesh, he was removed from the atmosphere of social consciousness. Essentially, Satan will be pushed into a corner through spiritual warfare and be forced into the body of a man after being extricated from the spiritual realm. This spiritual realm is called the first heaven, understood as the consensus of society. The mind of the general public has always been the domain of Satan, and the television set has been his favorite human invention, because it made his job so easy. In fact, the airways even resemble how he has communicated with the world, so it is the perfect satanic communication devise that has been beaming his messages for the last hundred years and given him power over the world.

(250hh) Priorities >> God’s prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> Believe the first message; all subsequent messages are meant to dissuade you

Mat 24-6

(24a) Sin >> Poverty (Oppression) >> Fear of hardship (punishment)

Mat 24-7,8

(225j) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables about nurturing the people of God >> Parables about a woman in labor giving birth to a child

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9 "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 

 

Mat 24,9-13

(5f) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your faith through hardship – These verses go with verse 22. The five foolish virgins, as told in Matthew chapter 25, will abandon God’s purpose and betray the five wise virgins to the so-called authorities. Most people’s love will grow cold in the world and even within the Church, particularly with the five foolish virgins, “but the one who endures to the end will be saved.” The five wise virgins will say in their heart that if they must be martyred, then they will be martyred, but they will never fall away from the faith. There will be a period when most martyrs will occur: between the Two Witnesses’ benevolent ministry leading the Church into revival and their ministry as adjudicators when they will judge the world for martyring the saints. The Two Witnesses will protect the Church from any further martyrdom, leading the woman (the 144,000) and her children (the gentile church) into the wilderness, where God will protect them and nourish them for 3½ years. Since humanity has collectively chosen to worship demons, the Two Witnesses will send upon the world demonic plagues, worse than anyone’s nightmares, which will torture mankind. They will be so busy fighting off demonic entities that they will have no time or energy to pursue the saints, until the Two Witnesses are killed, and then the Rapture will occur after the dead are raised.

(103l) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by circumstances >> Purified Through hardship – Why will the world turn on Christians in the last days? The antichrist will convince humanity that all their problems are the result of the Church, and He will turn the whole world against Christians. People will believe whatever he tells them, and they will attempt to round up and destroy all who believe in Jesus. At that time many will fall away from the faith, even born-again Christians, for they must have had faith before they could fall away from it. From jealousy they will betray their brothers and sisters in Christ who remain faithful to the Lord, because in their hearts they will wish they too had remained faithful.

(168c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world’s rejection of God

(242ka) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Reacting to persecution >> Enduring persecution >> Persecution to the death – Will our theology get us through the last day’s tribulation? Some think we serve a God who would not allow us suffer. If we believe a gospel that works only during good times, that gospel is good for nothing. God would not give us a gospel that didn’t work in hard times, because hard times are far too common in this world. If the world were a wonderful place, God might consider a gospel that was suitable only for good times. The problem with the world, it keeps running into snags. Jesus suggested that we need to believe in a gospel that allows us to suffer. God wants to deliver us from stupidity so we don’t have to endure our own suffering, but then there is the suffering we must endure as victims of other people's stupidity, and this is the kind of suffering that the gospel must be able to absorb. God doesn’t want us to drown in the suffering of others, but swim to safety. He doesn’t want us to overcome it with rifles and bombs but by His grace. When Jesus said, “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved,” He didn’t mean, ‘the one who stays alive to the end;’ we could easily be martyred for our faith and still be saved. He who gives up on God is the one who fails to endure and loses everything.

Mat 24,9-11 

(158h) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Divide and conquer >> Division (Cliques) >> Hating your brother -- In the days of the antichrist's reign believing in Jesus Christ will be illegal. Jesus warned that many in the Church will fall away from the faith because of persecution, and they will turn us in for being Christian, being jealous of our faith. It will be a fearful thing to see them relinquish their hope of heaven to ease the circumstances of their temporal lives, turning from God into reprobate monsters. Satan will hope to finally defeat the Church, but as usual he will only succeed in purifying and strengthening it, which in turn will cause it to grow out of control as more and more people join the Church than left it, being attracted to the faith the true believers exhibit in the face of death. This will enrage the reprobates who left the Church, and they will become the Church's greatest adversaries. Nevertheless, Jesus' church will stand victorious over every evil thing the world throws at it.

(232d) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Seeking the kingdom >> Count the cost >> If Jesus cost too much, then you aren’t worth much

Mat 24-9,10

(243e) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Sources of persecution >> Persecution from jealousy – Those who fall away from the faith will know what they are doing. Their actions will close the doors of heaven and terminate their hope of eternal life, which was once very dear to them. They will know that this will ultimately result in a one-way ticket to the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. Once they receive the mark of the beast, it will embitter their hearts that they have done this. They will become jealous and angry with their former fellow believers who are absolutely determined to go to heaven. The worst thing that could happen to them is that they be killed, which as martyrs will send them straight to heaven and unsure them a better resurrection, which is their ultimate goal. Therefore, one of the main lessons of the last days is the deathtrap of sacrificing all that is good and right for the immediate gratification of a temporal reward.

 

10&11 "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.

 

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Mat 24,10-14

(21g) Sin >> Disobedience is backsliding – Jesus just said two opposing things: apostasy will be present in the Church and a Great Endtime Revival will evangelize the world. If we have spent any time in Christendom, we have heard it said that the Church is attempting to preach the gospel of the kingdom to all nations to precipitate the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is a prophecy that must be fulfilled before His return, but prophecy has a beginning point and an end point in time. For example, the Church has been preaching the gospel to all nations since the age of grace, but it hasn't brought Jesus back. Rather, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations," will occur over a period of only a few years. The obvious question is, who will accomplish this monumental task while the gentile Church is in the bowels of apostasy? The Great Endtime Revival will be led by the 144,000 Jews, two of whom will be the Two Witnesses of Revelation chapter eleven, whose message and ministry will be mostly rejected by the contemporary church. Many people will give up their faith in Jesus in the last days, whose doctrines have become soiled and their love has grown cold. With so much darkness, people will give up believing in Jesus, since the world is no longer conducive for faith. See also: Mat 24,1-14; 49l

Mat 24-10

(204d) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> The apostasy

Mat 24-11

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Test the spirits -- This verse goes with verses 23-27

(93m) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> Exception >> Following evil along the broad way -- This verse goes with verses 23-26

(160a) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit Christ -- This verse goes with verses 15

(161e) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Wander >> Following the wrong leader -- This verse goes with verses 23-26. Throughout the Scriptures God has never written anything to the unbeliever; His intended audience has always been those who believed in Him. When Jesus made this statement, He was looking right at his disciples and those who believed in Him, talking to them, talking to us and saying beware, for these things are coming, and they have the potential to mislead even us. Jesus put it this way in verse 24, “… so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect,” and of course He meant by definition they could not be led astray, but if it were possible, they would be misled. This speaks of the potency of Satan's delusion; it will be so strong that being chosen of God before the foundation of the world is barely enough to keep us in His divine hand. No one can pluck us from his hand, Jesus said in Jn 10-28, yet the delusion will so strong it will threaten the saints. This means we must remain vigilant, dedicated to the truth of God in case we find ourselves constituents of that time. If we suddenly awake and realize we are the generation that sees the return of Christ, it calls for great celebration, but it also calls for great determination of soul and mind in preparation for a deluge of deception to fall upon this world, affecting every person on earth. Someone might say, ‘The devil will mislead many, but not me.’ The moment we say that we make ourselves candidates for deception, because we don’t believe we can be deceived, and thus we will not prepare. The deception will come in a different form than anything we might expect. Satan will pose as a person we should accept, such as the Pope, who has been a figurehead that the world has honored for millennia. They bow before Him and kiss his hand and give him the kind of reverence they should give to God, without suspecting he would ever mislead them. If the antichrist can put himself in position of the Pope, people will bow to him and kiss his hand and listen to every word he says, and he will mislead them, and there will be other deceptions just as intense.

(179g) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> False prophets >> False prophets confess to be the Christ -- This verse goes with verses 23-26. We know the antichrist will be a false prophet who will try to mimic Christ and persuade the world that He is the expected One. Who then is the False Prophet mentioned in Rev 16-13? There will be many false prophets, but there will be one, just like First John says 'there are many antichrists,' but there will be the one. He will be the most malevolent man the world has ever known, completely devoid of mercy. Just as Hitler’s Germany was one big national cult, so the whole world will follow the antichrist. The antichrist will literally be Satan in human flesh (not that Hitler wasn't). Jesus warned that false prophets were coming to mislead many, so what will the antichrist say to mislead the world? Jesus said in Mk 13-6, “Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He!'” Many will claim to be the Messiah finally returned. The leader of the Moonie religion claimed to be Jesus, but we are talking about many false prophets making this claim within a short time; some will be very convincing, but one will persuade the whole world of his false identity through coercion. Many will follow him against their will and against their better judgment, eventually becoming believers in his malevolence. They never worshipped Christ the way they will worship this man. People will obey him for fear of their lives, and over time will become deceived into believing they made the right choice. Atop his fear mongering he will also be very charismatic. People will appear to show a love and adoration for him in that they wouldn’t dare think or say or do anything to offend him, lest they be killed. This alone will convince many to follow him, but there will be others who will not be afraid to die; they will stand before the antichrist and defy him to his face.

(245l) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of the prince of the power of the air -- These verses go with verses 23-26

 

12-14 "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. 13 "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

 

Mat 24-12,13

(98k) Thy kingdom come >> Endurance (Thorn in the flesh) >> Endurance invites the Holy Spirit into your life >> The salvation of God >> Endure to the end – Endurance refers to both our faith and what we believe. Although believing and faith are synonymous according to any reputable thesaurus, yet the Bible teaches they are inherently different. Believing is directly related to obedience in that those who believe obey and those who obey believe, while faith is a substance that comes from heaven (Heb 11-1). God gives us his faith when we believe in His truth by obeying it. When Jesus said that many will fall away from the faith, He was saying that people in the last days will surrender their God-given faith to the antichrist. As in the story of Jacob and Esau, when Esau gave up his birthright for a single meal, God interpreted it as a legitimate transfer. We don’t want to enter into eternity having thrown our faith in the dumpster. The promise of eternal life is based on faith. We who endure to the end will keep the faith even if we must die for it, knowing that our lives are waiting for us in heaven.

Mat 24-12

(57c) Paradox >> Opposites >> The more you fear the less you love -- It is not too difficult to reduce sin to its most rudimentary principle: fear, which fears only one thing: poverty. The flesh's way of avoiding poverty is through greed, which has a brother and sister manifestation: lust (craving pleasure) and pride (craving authority). There is the fear of not obtaining, and there is the fear of losing what we have gained. If we replace "lawlessness" with fear in Jesus' comment we get, "Because [fear] is increased, most people's love will grow cold." There is a lack of trust in the general public these days regarding people we don't know. He could be a swindler, a thief, a conman or plain violent, all of which seek to take something from us. The lawless fight poverty in the fear of not obtaining, and we struggling in fear to keep what we have obtained, and in our struggle against poverty it is easy to harden our heart against our neighbor. This is what Jesus promised would happen in the last days to many people, and it is our job to keep it from happening to us.

(75a) Thy kingdom come >> Let not your heart be hardened >> Numb from over stimulation

(186i) Works of the devil >> The result of lawlessness >> Man’s role in becoming a reprobate >> Having a perverted sense of justice

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Mat 24-13

(207cb) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> God will accept you into His heaven if you overcome >> Endure to the end

Mat 24-14

(50dc) Judgment >> Last Days >> Jewish Led endtime revival >> Israel prophesied to restore the gentiles to salvation – At the end of the age there will be a crescendo of satanic activity, and literally all hell will break loose. Meanwhile, God will effect a Great Endtime Revival using His Two Witnesses with the 144,000 Jewish people prophesied in revelation, communicating the gospel to the world, saving millions from Satan’s one world government, who are willing to believe in the true doctrines of the faith that were once delivered to the saints during the first century, and then lost to the age of grace. God will create a people to unite around the truth that the Two Witnesses will restore, and they will pray for the return of Christ and for satanic forces of darkness to be suppressed. As a result, Satan will be dethroned as prince of the power of the air and forced to the earth to take on the form of a man. His power of deception will be immense on sinful flesh, such that even the elect will have to pray extra hard to avoid his power of attraction. Satan's greatest influence will be on the developed nations of the world, those with a Bible in every house; and at the same time God will effect His salvation among the undeveloped nations, who are unschooled in the Scriptures, but will learn fast and be taught by evangelists similar to the apostle Paul, a 144,000 of them. See also: 149f

(149f) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Preaching the gospel to the world >> Preach "Thy kingdom come" – Within this period of intense spiritual darkness a light will dawn. We have heard this statement from the Old Testament prophesying about Jesus’ first coming in the flesh, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9-2). This endtime enlightenment will be initiated by the 144,000 in the Great Endtime Revival, who will fulfill the prophecy of preaching to all nations saving billions of people, who will flock to the Lord during this time through an accompaniment of signs and wonders, in which God will reveal Himself in a very powerful way. The rational thought is that the Church caught in apostasy would come to their senses and jump aboard this Great Endtime Revival, but in fact both apostasy and revival will continue side-by-side; many in the Church will consider this Jewish-led revival to be of the devil. They will quote Scripture saying that Satan will call down fire from heaven, but the Two Witnesses are prophesied to do the same. In fact, the one who does it first is from God, and the second is the counterfeiter. The Two Witnesses will call down fire from heaven in front of the apostate church who will think it is a trick of the devil.

(154h) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> God bears witness against the world >> Witness that the world is rebellious against God >> Witness against unbelief

 

15-22 "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 "Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 "Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 "But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 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.

 

Mat 24,15-24

(50a) Judgment >> God judges the world >> Condition of Israel in the last days – This is the purpose of the Two Witnesses: they will protect the holy city from total annihilation, preserving it for Jesus when He takes his seat in Jerusalem as king of the earth during the Millennium. The Jews will continue to demonstrate their unbelief until the antichrist enters the temple, posing as the Jewish Messiah (2The 2-4), and they will extricate him from their temple. We know the inhabitants of Jerusalem will be disobedient, deserving the title of Sodom and Egypt (Rev 11-8), and we know that the antichrist is in Jerusalem posing as the Jewish Messiah, and so we can assume that the Jews received him, but why did they reject him after entering the temple? It is possible the antichrist is Muslim and that he enters the Muslim temple and not the Jewish temple. The Jewish temple theoretically must be built on Mount Mariah, where the Islamic temple is currently standing. Jesus said in His dissertation, “(let the reader understand).” This phrase was never used anywhere else in the whole of Scripture, making it a major heads-up. Let the reader understand what? There is great significance in rebuilding the Jewish temple, according to Amos 9-11,12, "In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name,” declares the LORD who does this." When we look at history, the temple was destroyed in the Babylonian takeover in 587/586 B.C.; it was rebuilt by Herod after the Babylonians allowed the Jews to return to their homeland after seventy years of captivity; Jesus came and brought salvation to all the nations, and so it appears that rebuilding the temple signifies salvation to the gentiles. It was destroyed again in seventy AD, and when it is rebuilt in the last days, it will signify salvation again for the gentiles in a Great Endtime Revival. The rebuilding of the temple doesn't signify salvation for the Jews in that they will have already come to a revelation of Jesus Christ as their Messiah in the last days, which is the cause of the antichrist agreeing to rebuild their temple, as a means of trying to make them believe he is their Messiah. 

(152h) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Prophets >> Jesus is a prophet >> Jesus prophesies about the fulfillment of Scripture – When we look at history and see all the mistakes Israel made, they were arrogant against the Romans, being difficult to govern, giving the Romans no choice. They had tried their patience until their patience wore thin, and they came and destroyed everything. We could say the Romans were like the antichrist, only Jerusalem had it coming. Instead of Nebuchadnezzar who brought the Israelites to Babylon and treated them well for 70 years, the Romans dispersed the people into all the nations, and they have only recently returned to their homeland. Throughout the age of grace they have been persecuted and hunted like animals and systematically murdered. What about the next time when this passage is fulfilled at the end of the age; will Israel taunt their enemies until their patience frays? No, whenever endtime prophecy sees an occurrence, it is fulfilled in different ways and for different reasons and at different times, though the same event occurs; Jerusalem will once again be invaded and its occupants dispersed. The antichrist will setup shop in Jerusalem and declare it the capital city of the world under his control for the purpose of mocking God and counterfeiting His intensions.

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Mat 24-15

(160a) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit Christ -- This verse goes with verses 23-26. Some say the antichrist will be Muslim, which is a sensible and logical deduction, but is it true? They hate Christianity; they would love to murder every confessing Christian, and they love to terrorize the world. Since Islamic terrorism undoubtedly plays a part in the fulfillment of endtime prophecy, it is likely that the antichrist will be Muslim. Some see the Middle East as the full explanation of endtime prophecy, though the antichrist is slated to pose as the Jewish Messiah, which is the virtual opposite of Islamic dogma.

Mat 24-21,22

(49c) Judgment >> Enemies of God’s righteousness are destroyed -- These verses go with verses 37-39

(49k) Judgment >> Judgment day >> God judges the world >> The great tribulation – We hear about the Tribulation whenever endtime prophecy is discussed. How many of us understand that it refers to the tribulation of the saints? Jesus said that if God didn’t step-in, all life would have been destroyed. Neither world wars were the Tribulation; not even Hitler’s holocaust was the Tribulation. The most succinct definition of the Tribulation is not murdering unbelievers, but martyring the saints. Actually, there have been many tribulations that have occurred, involving martyrdom of the saints, but the Bible recognizes only one, because of the sheer number of Christians who will die at the hand of the antichrist and His New World Order. A little head’s up for those pre-tribulation Rapture advocates: more Christians will lose their lives during the Great Tribulation than the speculative numbers they claim will be left behind. When we think of those who get saved after the Rapture, their numbers will be miniscule because of the pressures imposed on them to conform to the antichrist and take the Mark of the Beast. If they couldn’t believe in Jesus during good times, how will they believe at the threat of their lives? Jesus often talked about martyrs as something endtime believers will have to endure, but we shouldn’t take it too hard, since it will act as a free pass to heaven with a better resurrection.

Mat 24-22

(5f) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your faith through hardship – This verse goes with verses 9-13

(28e) Gift of God >> God is our advocate >> God protects the world through the Church

(75d) Thy kingdom come >> Motives of the heart >> God’s motives

(219f) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God transforms the world into the Church >> God works in the world for the sake of the elect – One difference between the Bible’s Great Tribulation and the many wars that have been fought is that none of them encompassed the entire world. The two world wars encompassed all the developed nations, but the undeveloped nations were not involved, whereas in the Great Tribulation, even they will be included, though not to the extent of developed nations. The antichrist’s money system, alluding to the Mark of the Beast, will be electronically based, and many undeveloped nations won’t have the infrastructure to support it. Although there are computer networks in undeveloped countries, they do not incorporate rural areas, where people still live primitively. So there will be giant holes in the antichrist’s system that Christians will be able to exploit; there just won’t be a practical way to manage large wilderness spaces. The question is, will Christians have enough faith to go there before it is too late? The antichrist will hear of revival and try to stop it, though in places that are protected and parented by God that will be difficult if not impossible for the antichrist to manage. These places are where “Camps of the Saints” will be established. If someone of this region took the Mark, they still wouldn’t be able to buy or sell anything with it, because there is no computer system in place to make the transaction. For this reason, the antichrist will discount large landmasses between big cities of undeveloped countries, which the Bible describes as "the wilderness". That is where God will send His people, and there He will nourish them for 3½ years during the trumpet judgments, and their numbers will range into the hundreds of millions.

 

23 "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him.

 

Mat 24,23-27

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Test the spirits -- These verses go with verses 4&5

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Mat 24,23-26

(75j) Thy kingdom come >> Motives >> Being manipulative >> Controlling people by abusing authority – There is such a thing as spiritual authority, which has been terribly abused throughout the age of grace but especially within the last few decades. Most of the abuse stems from a lack of understanding or just plain ignorance regarding how the Church should operate. What are the true principles of God’s Kingdom? Most people don’t know! The primary principles are humility and submission; therefore, if we see a pastor or any spiritual leader abusing the flock, he is basically making others submit to his authority and not to God’s authority, and is unwilling to personally submit to the authority of Christ, denoting a double standard. Submitting to a person who would do that has no benefit. We will only waste our faith and lose our trust in the Church. So when we see someone abusing spiritual authority, run from that ministry and don’t look back, because we don’t want to waste the faith that God has given us.

(93m) Thy kingdom come >> Following Jesus >> Exception >> Following evil along the broad way -- These verses go with verses 4&5

(160a) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit God >> Counterfeit Christ -- These verses go with verses 4&5. Satan has spent the better part of two millennia developing his apostasy in the Church; he has worked tirelessly to get the Church in a position where he can personally deal with man. Satan will not create a new deception but will use the old one and all the false doctrines that go with it. Remember that Satan, the antichrist and the demons of hell are all counterfeiters. They counterfeit God because it is an effective way to deceive people, and also because Satan doesn’t really have a creative mind outside the powers of deception. For example, the Two Witnesses will come and show great signs and wonders (Revelation chapter 11), making fire fall from heaven to devour their enemies, and so the antichrist will learn how to do the same to make these special powers from God seem ordinary in the eyes of the people. The whole world will believe that the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 are doing the works of God, so if the antichrist can do the same things, he can draw the people after him.

(161e) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Wander >> Following the wrong leader – These verses go with verses 4&5

(168e) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world who did not recognize Jesus – The worst thing we could do is follow the crowd when it comes to spiritual matters. Jesus warned in Mat 7-13,14 that the majority will be wrong, and they will lead us astray if we follow them. The world uses a faulty set of criteria to measure credibility. We are too susceptible to the glitter and glamour that effervesces from certain persuasive individuals. We must listen to their words and compare them to what they do to determine whether someone is telling the truth. Even if they are telling the truth, we should not trust what the crowd believes about Jesus. 

(179g) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> False prophets >> False prophets confess to be the Christ -- These verses go with verses 4&5. This did not happen in the days of the apostles, and it still hasn’t fully happened, but it will in the last days. 2The 2,3-10 speaks about a man of lawlessness, “coming in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” Paul said that many will be persuaded by the antichrist, who did not cultivate love of the truth. Jesus said in Jn 8-32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” and here He said that if possible this man will deceive even the elect. When we put these two verses together, the phrase “if possible” comes better into focus. What it means is that it is not actually possible to dissuade the elect. He will have such a draw on man’s sinful flesh that if it weren’t for the indwelling Holy Spirit and our knowledge of the truth, we would unquestionably follow this man with the rest of the world.

(245l) Kingdom of God >> Spirit realm imposed on the natural realm >> Literal manifestations >> Manifestation of the prince of the power of the air -- These verses go with verses 4&5

Mat 24,23-25 

(46f) Judgment >> Spiritual warfare >> Fall of Satan >> Resisting Satan’s deception -- These verses go with verses 4&5. Those who resist Satan's deception are a threat to him. The chosen and faithful will ultimately be the ones that God uses to bring Him down. However, it is not as easy to resist him as it may seem, any more than it is to plan a picnic during a rainstorm. Satan can make our world overcast from horizon to horizon with no breaks in the clouds and make us think that he owns this world and everyone in it, including us, and that there is no point in resisting him, since there is no way to stop him, any more than we can stop the rain. If we don't watch out, he can make us forget that there is a God. If we don't cave to his pressure, a few of us can tear big holes in his charade through the word of God and prayer to reveal bright, warm sunlight above us that he wants us to forget. 

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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.

 

Mat 24-24,25 

(160j) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satan’s attitude determines our direction >> Temptation to walk in unbelief >> Tempted to abandon your convictions – When Jesus said, “if possible even the elect,” He was talking about the gray area in the Church in the last days who are straddling the fence. There are many people whom we have always thought were blood-bought, born-again, well-grounded brothers in the faith, who attended church every week and with whom we praised and worshipped God side-by-side, only later to discover they weren’t even Christians, and when the antichrist comes, they will be deceived, because they do not know the truth. It is not good enough to follow our spiritual leaders. That won’t work in the last days with the antichrist prowling as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1Pet 5-8). The antichrist will establish two roads: the easy road and the hard road. This will be the core of His deception. It will be a difficult decision to take the hard road. It will be enough to convince unbelievers and those straddling the fence to follow him. They somewhat know what the Bible says and will know that the antichrist really fits his description, but fear will make them doubt and the temptation of the easier road will seal their fate. Meanwhile the true Christian has been following God on the narrow way since his salvation, which has never been an easy road to follow. It will get harder in the last days, but he has already resolved in his heart to pay the ultimate price if necessary for the hope of eternal life.

Mat 24-24

(204b) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Back-slider >> Practicing sin >> Going astray

(207a) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> Perish By Losing Your Faith >> The apostasy (walking out the same door you came in) We know that well over half of Christian marriages end in divorce, and if people can separate in the flesh, they can also separate in the Spirit. For someone who is born-again to change his mind and want to abandon His marriage to God, a person would not be able to make this decision on his own, but would need God’s affirmation in a spiritual divorce at the request of the absconder. Of course the question is why would anyone change his mind about spending eternity with God and with the angels and with the saints in heaven? It is the very mystery of lawlessness! There are things that happen in this life that are unimaginably evil. To be indifferent to God throughout life and then die without Him and go to hell is bad enough, but to be born-again and then abandon the divine relationship calls for the stiffest of eternal penalties.

(219h) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> The elect >> God chooses us as we choose ourselves >> God chooses us through our faithfulness It is useless that God should choose us if we resist His will, and it is useless that we should choose ourselves for God's purpose if He has not chosen us. Salvation is then balanced in the middle between God's choice and man's willingness. That is, God chooses us as we ourselves. For example, what good is it if God should choose that we escape the deception of the antichrist if we step headway into it? God could give us the power to overcome, but if we do not walk in that power, we are not benefited. Conversely, what good is it if we should determine not to be ensnared in the devils temptations without the help of God. We are little ants who have no power over demonic entities, except for what God gives through His Spirit. Jesus is raising a very controversial point when He said, "mislead, If possible, even the elect." If the elect allow it, then it is possible they can be misled, but if they allow God to reign in their lives, then it is not possible to be deceived. If it were not possible for the elect to be misled, He would have told us; instead, he told us very sternly not to be misled. 

 

25-31 "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. 29 "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.

 

Mat 24,25-41

(50b) Judgment >> God judges the world >> The second coming of Christ

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Mat 24-27

(5h) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your loyalty >> Your commitment to follow Jesus -- This verse goes with verses 4,5

Mat 24,29-51

(40a) Judgment >> Jesus is the judge >> Jesus judges the world’s unbelief

(236l) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The Rapture >> The day of the Lord

Mat 24,29-31

(66l) Authority >> Lordship of Christ >> Jesus’ authority >> The authority of His second coming

(213d) Sovereignty >> God is infinite >> God is all powerful >> Christ subjects the creation to Himself

(237b) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Last trumpet -- These verses speak of a post-tribulation Rapture when it says, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days." The "Tribulation" refers to the tribulation of the saints, not of the world, and by definition, once the Rapture occurs the Tribulation of the saints has ceased. Note that in this verse there is no mention of God's people trailing behind Christ (because they haven't yet been raptured), but in a sister verse we are all following behind Jesus riding on white horses (Rev 19-14). We are not riding behind Him in this verse because it is depicting Jesus coming for us in the advent of the First Resurrection/Rapture. However, the Church in today's loose-living world is preparing for a pre-tribulation rapture (there is no reason to prepare; that's why the theory is so popular) under the false premise that God will rescue us from the tribulation, so let's eat, drink and be raptured. Nothing could be further from the truth. Paraphrasing, it simply says, 'After the tribulation, God will gather together His elect.' This signifies a post-tribulation event, unless we think there will be two raptures, one for us and one for tribulation converts, but that would be quite a stretch. Take closer look at this passage. Many instances of the Bible seem to describe the earth experiencing a direct hit from a very large asteroid. Jesus may in fact be describing this very thing. He said, "The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light." This could well be from a great plume of dust resulting from an asteroid hit. He continues, "And the stars will fall from the sky." The stars would seem to be whirling around, because the earth will have been rocked. Therefore, the sign of the son of man refers to this plume of smoke and dust. Jesus said that He will be coming on the clouds of the sky; those clouds could be the cloud of an asteroid plume, not the white puffy kind.

(237c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Transferring the kingdom >> The Church is transferred to the kingdom >> The rapture >> Rapture is delayed

Mat 24-31

(15i) Servant >> Angels execute Judgment >> For the sake of the Church

 

32-36 "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 

 

Mat 24,32-41

(225i) Kingdom of God >> Illustrating the kingdom >> Parables >> Parables about the garden of the kingdom >> Parables about plants

Mat 24,32-36

(214i) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> God’s time is soon >> Evidently soon

Mat 24-34

(214g) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing >> Dispensation of God’s revelations >> Dispensation of the last days -- When Jesus used the words, "this generation", He was referring to the generation in which these things will take place. That is, all the last-days events He mentioned will happen within the time span of a single generation; that's about 30 years. He has given us a timeframe by which we may gauge the circumstances occurring in our own generation to help determine whether we are living in the days of His return. It is also a useful verse to help interpret other passages pertaining to the same topic, such as the entire book of Revelation.

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Mat 24-35

(244g) Kingdom of God >> The eternal kingdom >> The word of God is eternal >> The word of God will outlast the creation -- Some say that faith is too nebulous and intangible to contemplate, yet these so-called intangibles will outlast the world. Jesus was saying that if we do not believe in Him, just remember that not only will these things take place exactly as He said, the words themselves will outlive His skeptics. God’s Truth is the only real Truth, because it is eternal; man has his truth, but it soon expires. For example, people go to college for years and study a certain field, and then ten years later nobody values his education. It is better to seek God’s Truth, for it has no expiration date. The knowledge we obtain about Him will not grow obsolete. 

 

37-41 "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 "Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 "Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

 

Mat 24,37-39

(49c) Judgment >> Enemies of God’s righteousness are destroyed -- These verses go with verses 48-51

(167g) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Carnality/Secularism (mindset of the world) >> The carnal mind does not receive the things of God >> It does not understand the word of God -- These verses emphasize the fact that people don't understand the Scriptures because they have no regard for God's word. In today's world people are completely oblivious to the things of God. Jesus is describing a generation who have been so desensitized and inoculated through brainwashing techniques and so psychologically manipulated that they have replaced a healthy sense of reality with the love of money, which is the root of all evil. That is, the root of all evil has become the root of society's mindset, and for that reason they cannot understand the Scriptures.

(168d) Works of the devil >> Do not conform to the world and meet God’s judgment – This passage dispels the idea of people turning into monsters before Jesus’ return; instead, the world will have a persona of normalcy, as in the days of Noah. If Noah's generation didn’t wax into madness or act like wild animals, or murder their fellow man, or become homosexual perverts, what did they do to precipitate the judgment of God? Genesis 6-5 says, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis six before this verse talked about the fact that man was fixated on sex. “The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose” (Genesis 6-2). America is fixated on sex! God’s complaint against mankind in the days of Noah was that men cared more about women than they did about God, which is exactly what Adam did to get expelled from the Garden of Eden. Eve had taken the forbidden fruit before she offered it to her husband, so in his mind he had already lost his wife. He was forced to make a decision, either to stay with God and lose his wife or follow his wife into disobedience and lose His relationship with God. He chose is wife over God, which is idolatry, and this was also the sin of Noah’s day, and it is America’s sin today, splashed on TV day and night. Genesis 6-5 equates the wickedness of man and his evil thoughts to idolatry, the fact that man never gave God a thought, and this is why He sent a flood on the ancient world. Therefore, to the degree that our generation has forgotten God is the degree to which judgment is looming over mankind in the last days.

(182e) Works of the devil >> Deception >> Three causes of interpreting Scripture falsely >> Because they have no regard for God’s word -- There are some who think that the great tribulation is regional, that it only pertains to Israel and the surrounding area, the Middle East, but Jesus didn’t say that. They liken it to Noah’s flood, claiming that it too was regional, but Jesus used Noah’s flood as a description of the last days, and said in Lk 21,34-36 that it would come upon those who dwell on the face of all the earth; therefore, so did Noah’s flood.

(195g) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping men >> Worshipping the idol of pleasure – God’s complaint about the days of Noah was their idolatry. People in Noah’s day never thought about God; they became secular like us. We too are a generation of idolaters. God made man to worship Him; He freely admitted that He is a very jealous God, making no qualms about it. If we think this is wrong, try to change Him; we would have more luck moving to the Andromeda Galaxy. God has an everlasting love for us, so are we going to deny Him our fellowship, just because we think His jealousy is trifle? There are many sides to God; love is just one of them; there are other sides just as intrinsic to His divinity, such as His sovereign authority over His creation, and His jealousy stems from that. As God, He must subject His creation to His authority, so His creation knows who is in charge. He becomes jealous when we don’t submit to His authority. To worship God is to willingly submit to his Lordship, but if we deny Him this, He will Lord Himself over us against our will, so either we give His Lordship or He will take it. The very mention of hell helps us understand God’s sovereign authority over His creation.

(215g) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> Suddenly >> The judgments of God come suddenly >> Without warning – It says they did not understand; they were completely without knowledge; they were totally ignorant of God until the flood came and took them all away. When the flood came, then they understood that there was a God and that He was sovereign, but then it was too late. Many people say it’s God’s will that man should exist apart from Him, as though God made us solely to enjoy our lives as pleasure-seeking heathens. This is the most pervasive deception in the world, and it comes straight from the mouth of Satan. Man in the last days will be eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage in total ignorance of God, and then suddenly from seeming nowhere everything will change as it did in the days of Noah. Something will suddenly happen to simultaneously affect mankind in every corner of the globe. The first seal speaks thus in Rev 6-1,2, “Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” Ask a thousand people what this means and we would get a thousand different answers, but what the first seal most likely depicts is the total collapse of the global economy. The question is: what is the trigger that causes this global collapse? We know now that it is the Corona Virus Pandemic. It would have the destructive power of simultaneously affecting every person in the developed world, just as the flood did to the people in Noah’s day. Nothing will have physically changed. Everything will appear to be the same, except that the entire monetary system will have collapsed and now there is no medium of exchange. No one can buy or sell until a new monetary system can be erected in its place. However, the human governmental powers will not act immediately. They will let people starve to death; people will riot in the streets and kill each other; disease, famine and pestilence will wipe out a forth of the population of the earth by the time the fifth seal is broken. Meanwhile, the forces of evil will have established the mark of the beast, precipitating the rest of endtime prophecy, based on martyrdom of the saints.

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42-44 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

 

Mat 24,42-51

(5k) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your strength through perseverance

(49i) Judgment >> Judgment day >> It will come like a thief in the night – The day of the Lord is indeed a specific day, but oftentimes the Scriptures do not speak about it as a day but as a period of days when endtime prophecy is fulfilled, particularly in terms of the Book of Revelation starting in chapter six, the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The first is a white horse with a rider carrying a bow with no mention of any arrows, meaning that he will not be responsible for a conventional war with bullets, but it will be a war of economics. Therefore, the first horse of the apocalypse represents the total collapse of the global economy. This will happen while preachers like this have turned their backs on God, who don't realize that all hell is about to befall him and his congregation, and that day come on him suddenly like a thief in the night. 

(49m) Judgment >> God judges the world >> Condition of the Church in the last days – Jesus is depicting a pastor of a church who is unprepared for when these things happen. The days prior to the fulfillment of endtime prophecy will act as a training period, so when these days befall the world, we will be spiritually prepared, which will prove to be our greatest asset. God will speak into our hearts and tell us what we need to do to escape all these things and to stand before the son of man (Lk 21-36). Preachers like this, however, will not survive the last days, nor will many in his congregation, whom he has failed to prepare. They will become completely lost without a clue, yet many will be saved in the last days.

(84cb) Thy kingdom come >> Be on the alert >> Be faithful until Jesus comes >> Prepare others for His return

Mat 24,42-44

(214b) Sovereignty >> God controls time >> God’s timing transcends our comprehension >> God’s time does not make sense to the natural mind -- Jesus promised He would return on a day when we were not expecting Him; He also promised His return would be delayed. Therefore, He will come only after we have given up hope that He will ever return. His delay will act as a weeding-out process. He knows His faithful ones will wait for Him till the end of time, but there are others riding on their shirttails who are not faithful in their hearts to Christ, who are trying to avoid hell but know nothing about faith. These will fall to the wayside as God purifies His church through His delay, "That He might present to Himself the Church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless."

Mat 24-42 

(83k) Be on the Alert (Key verse)

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45-51 "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 "Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 47 "Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 "But if that evil slave says in his heart, 'My master is not coming for a long time,' 49 and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; 50 the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, 51 and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 

Mat 24,45-51

(206k) Salvation >> God makes promises on His terms >> Eternal security? >> Perish in your sin >> Perish in your omission of righteousness – There are some things, pertaining to God’s will that we want to do but don’t know how, and there are other things we know how but don’t want to do. Most of us have an evil conscience about sin, but we don’t necessarily have an evil conscience about omitting the good works that God had prepared for us. Omitting righteousness is actually more evil than the sins we commit; in fact, omitting righteousness is the very cause of our sin. When we see the man in this verse backsliding, we begin to realize that it is because of the righteousness he omitted that he finds himself in trouble with God. If this goes on long enough, eventually his evil conscience will begin to erode his good faith, and it will become an inroad for the devil to introduce discouragement, which acts as a dark cloud over his head, similar to depression, and if that goes on long enough, eventually his faith won't be strong enough to overcome the temptations of the world.

Mat 24,45-47

(5m) Responsibility >> Jesus’ yoke of obedience >> Our obligation to shepherd the flock – Jesus was talking about getting ready for His return. His admonishment was to be faithful, sensible slaves, tending to the needs of the saints, and warned us not to develop an evil heart that mistreats our fellow servants. Moreover, though these parables apply to everyone, they are concisely directed to church leadership. Furthermore, Being that Jesus is addressing these statements to the end times, He is suggesting that there will be many evil shepherds in charge of the Church in the last days.

(87g) Thy kingdom come >> Obedience is logical to your spirit >> It makes sense to your spirit to obey God

(99m) Thy kingdom come >> Persevere in ministering to the body of Christ

(129c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Bearing the fruit of evangelism >> Feed the people with the fruit of your walk

Mat 24,48-51

(21b) Sin >> Disobedient to the call – Jesus was not referring to His own time but a time when church leaders would mistreat their parishioners prior to His return. Therefore, He was not talking about physical abuse. Rather, this kind of abuse involves spiritual abuse with respect to money, suggesting that many pastors will verbally and emotionally assail their church members trying to jingle money from their pockets. In the last days there will be many pastors who will misuse their positions and abuse the people of God for the sake of sordid gain. Their aim is to become wealthy and live lavish lifestyles, instead of worshipping God and serving the saints.

(47f) Judgment >> God Judges the world >> Hell is a place of torment – False shepherds of the Church in the last days will be completely incognizant of the fact that God is about to pounce on them with sword drawn and cut them in pieces and assign them a place in hell with the hypocrites. Jesus is saying that the afterlife for those in hell is such that he can be cut to pieces and still live. Hell is a place of the dead where horrible things happen to people who know pain and suffering far beyond anything we could experience in the flesh, who seek death to rid themselves of that place but death never comes to them, for they are already dead. It is a place where people are assigned to the catacombs according to their category of sin. 

(49c) Judgment >> Enemies of God’s righteousness are destroyed -- These verses go with verses 21&22

(49d) Judgment >> Those who are unfruitful in His kingdom are destroyed

(168a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Do not conform to the world >> Do not let the world’s approval form you to itself

(179c) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> Hypocrisy >> Jesus rebukes the Pharisees >> The world runs into the Church to escape God’s judgment – In the first century everything was well defined; all the expectations were understood; the way of salvation was unclouded by obtuse doctrines; people could not run into the Church to hide from God’s judgment, since that is where judgment began. The saints judged themselves daily in hope of perfecting their ministries toward God and man, but in the second century things began to muddle; the way of salvation became less clear, and then grew fuzzy. The teachings of Christ started moving downhill in favor of man’s sinful flesh, making it easier to be saved, their debt to God less severe and their accountability to Him cheap. Church leaders introduced heresies; surmising that Jesus was not coming any time soon, they began to beat their fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards and entertained false spirits. The Bible teaches that the return of Christ will be glorious, but there is nothing glorious about the people in charge of the Church in the last days. Christ will effect a Great Endtime Revival that will welcome His return, but the false shepherds will not take part in it and they will hinder those who were entering (Lk 11-52). Note that nothing is said about the sheep, except that leadership in the last days mistreated them.

(184g) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Abusing the grace of God >> Spending His grace on your pleasures >> Abusing your position -- There has been an epidemic of spiritual abuse, emotionally, and psychologically since the 1980's that has been tolerated and thus spread to many church leaders throughout the world. They want tall, beautiful buildings, so they bleed the flock of every available dime. They raise their titles and positions above the Biblical description of a pastor and demand respect from the sheep. Then they lead a life of wanton pleasure above the means of the sheep, who finance their worldly appetites, all from a spirit of unbelief in the coming Christ, about whom they preach every Sunday.

(243d) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Sources of persecution >> Persecution from within the body

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