Wars and Rumors of Wars – “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (Matthew 24:6-7a)
Jesus was speaking during the period of history known as Pax Romana (Latin for Roman peace). This was a prolonged period of relative peace and minimal military expansion that was experienced during the Roman Empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Continue reading “Wars & Rumors of Wars”
Deception – Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)
Jewish historian Josephus tells us that the land was filled with anti-Christs between Nero’s accession in 54 AD and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. (1) So, while this prophecy was literally fulfilled in the generation of Jesus’ prophecy, it has continued throughout history until the present age. Yet the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy (The anti-Christ) remains to be seen. Paul picks up on Jesus’ warning against being deceived and tells his readers: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). This is, presumably, the last abomination that causes desolation.
Up Next – Wars and Rumors of War.
- Mills, M. S. (1999). The Life of Christ: A Study Guide to the Gospel Record (Lk 21:7–11). Dallas, TX: 3E Ministries
THE DISCIPLES’ QUESTIONS(S) – As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)
Rather than one question, there could be as many as three separate questions.
- When Will This Happen – This appears to relate directly to Jesus’ comment about the destruction of the temple (see previous musing).
- What Will Be the Sign of Your Coming – This may be asking about the Rapture.
- What Will Be the Signs of the End of the Age – This could be asking about the Parousia.
It is highly unlikely at this point that the disciples would have grasped any distinction between the Rapture and the Parousia. It appears as though the disciples believed that all of these would take place simultaneously (or at least in close proximity to one another), although there is no way to know this for sure. At any rate, Continue reading “The Disciples’ Questions”
Today’s musing begins Chapter 2 of “Studies In Revelation,” which is called “Signs of the Times: Olivet Discourse,” Jesus’ famous discussion of future events.
NOT ONE STONE LEFT ON ANOTHER – Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1-2)
Impressed by the magnificence of Herod’s temple (actually the restoration of Zerubbabel’s Temple), the disciples were likely startled to hear Jesus prophesy the destruction of such a massive structure, or that God would permit it. Yet Jesus was emphatic: “not one stone would be left on top of another.” (1) Continue reading “Not One Stone Left On Another”
PUTTING IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE – Putting some of the things we learned from “Taming The Terminology” into perspective might look something like Figure 1.10.
Next Up – As Figure 1.10 suggests, there will be a variety of signs, or “birth pains” leading up to the tribulation and Jesus’ return. Many of these signs were shared by Christ in His Olivet discourse. In chapter 2 we will study these signs, before “officially” beginning our Studies in Revelation in chapter 3. As we do, periodically you may want to refer back to Chapter 1, “Taming The Terminology,” as we dig deeper into our “Studies In Revelation.” Continue reading “Last Days And End Of the Age”
ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION – “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand” (Matthew 24:15). The word abomination is typically associated with pagan idolatry and its detestable practices (Deuteronomy 29:16–18; 2 Kings 16:3–4; 23:12–14; Ezekiel 8:9–18). The phrase “the abomination of desolation” likely refers to Continue reading “Abomination Of Desolation”
DISPENSATION – In its verb form the word dispensation means to manage, administer, regulate, or plan. The Biblical usage of this concept, however, has a deeper theological sense, in which certain responsibilities are placed on mankind by God during different ages. In Ephesians 3:2 and 3:9 Paul indicates that the current dispensation (age of grace) has been extended to the Gentiles, a mystery revealed by Christ that was kept hidden in past ages (dispensations – e.g. age of the law). Paul indicates earlier in the epistle that there is a coming future end time dispensation “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment” in order to “bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:10). This is something that will not happen during the age of grace. See also Colossians 1:25–29. This seems to suggest that Paul believed Continue reading “Dispensation”