Created Sunday, May 9, 2004                updated Sat. Feb. 5, 2005

The Last Days Part 2

The New Testament Visions Of the End


Sub-headings:

Intro
Matthew 13
Matthew 24

Matthew 25
Luke 21
Luke 17

Mark 13
Peter
Paul


Related Articles

Intro

The New Testament has plenty to say in regards to the great day of God's judgment and the so called end of the world. The prophets of old had plenty to say but in the case of Ezekiel or Daniel, it as so veiled in figurative and symbolic visions that no one really knew what it was all about. The few places such as some passages from Isaiah and the Psalms are clear enough but do not give any hint of time as to when it all might happen. And naturally, the disciples of Jesus, like the prophets of old, were curious about it all as any of us would be.

Well, despite their curiosity and desire to know, Jesus knew that only certain things could be revealed to them and that much would have to remain cloaked in that symbolism that would hide his message from his and our enemies. However, Jesus was not going to pass up an opporunity to use their inqusitiveness to pass on more that would be useful to those at the end of time who would need this message and would be able to figure it out in a nick of time to be ready and prepared for the final show down between the forces of good and evil, so to speak.

Jesus allowed his followers a little more understanding of things in general but nothing too specific. Much of what he would pass on to his followers would remain beyond their understanding. It was meant for us near the end of things. Of course, when the Apostles were granted those wonderful and marvelous gifts of the spirit above and beyond, way above and beyond, what was granted to the average follower, they would also understand many specifics of the end times but they would not be allowed to reveal it in anything other than that typical highly symbolic language to keep it secret till the end.

So the obvious place to start when considering this subject of the last days leading up to the great day of judgment of God the almighty would be the ministry of Jesus where it sort of began with his introduction to the people of a new covenant, offering a chance for people to go to heaven to be with him rather than just remain on earth as the prophets of old had offered in my of their prophecies.

And there is no better place to read about Jesus' ministry, in my opinion, than Matthew. Matthew has more teachings of Jesus on this subject than any other gospel writer. And he also recalled times when Jesus taught about many of those subjects at one time such as at Matthew 13, 24, 25. Matthew's gospel is very thorough so we will start there to learn about what Jesus had to say. After, we will consult account of the end from Luke and Mark as a comparison with their accounts will reveal some interesting things.



Matthew 13
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When speaking of things pertaining to the end or judgment day and the like, Jesus refers generally to the subject as "The kingdom of Heaven" or "The kingdom of God." Matthew 13 introduces us to some aspects of that coming kingdom that we are to know about. Notice that Jesus does not speak of the matter directly or plainly, but in an illustration.

The subject might not be that dangerous in the hands of enemies but even simple messages are often cloaked in illustrations and symbolism so as to teach us how to think and speak in symbolic terms so that messages can be sent or relayed to us out in the open and no one else will know what it means, especially God's enemies who also happen to be yours and my enemies as well as we will no doubt see in not many more years if we don't see it already. It is and has been at work already.

Matthew 13:24 He put before them another parable, saying: The kingdom of Heaven is compared to a man sowing good seed in his fields. 25 But while the men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed darnel in the midst of the wheat, and went away.

Matthew 13:26 And when the blade sprouted and produced fruit, then the darnel also appeared. 27 And coming near, the slaves of the housemaster said to him, Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then from where does it have the darnel?

Matthew 13:28 And he said to them, A man, an enemy did this. And the slaves said to him, Do you desire, then, that going out we should gather them? 29 But he said, No, lest gathering the darnel you should uproot the wheat with them. 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest. And in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, First gather the darnel, and bind them into bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.

Matthew 13:36 Then sending away the crowds, Jesus came into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, Explain to us the parable of the darnel of the field.

Matthew 13:37 And answering, He said to them, The one sowing the good seed is the Son of man. 38 And the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; but the darnel are the sons of the evil one. 39 And the enemy who sowed them is the Devil, and the harvest is the end of the age, and the angels are the reapers. 40 Then as the darnel is gathered and is consumed in the fire, so it will be in the end of this age.

Jesus is talking about the end of the age, translated in some bibles as the end of the world. And we read about the good seed that produces wheat and the bad seed that produces darnel, sometimes called weeds in some bibles. The sons of the devil, the weeds, will be consumed in the fire. It does not say preserved in the fire as some imagine happens in a so called hell. They are destroyed by this fire.

Matthew 13:41 The Son of man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all the offenses, and those who practice lawlessness. 42 And they will throw them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine out like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one having ears to hear, let him hear.

You will note that Jesus often uses this phrase that I put in boldface above. But what has been described in this illustration is judgment day where the righteous of God are protected and spared and the wicked are destroyed, with angels carefully overseeing it all and carrying it out so that there are no mix-ups or mistakes wither way. Jesus uses another illustration below.

Matthew 13:47 Again, the kingdom of Heaven is compared to a drag net thrown into the sea, and gathering together of every kind; 48 which, when it was filled, drawing it up on the shore, and sitting down, they gathered the good into containers, and they threw out the rotten. 49 So it will be in the end of the age: the angels will go out and will separate the wicked from the midst of the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth.

Though Jesus uses a different way to describe the coming kingdom, really, he is talking about the very same thing as the wheat and the weeds. You will find this done throughout the Bible. By changing the way it is described, those who do not believe will not discern that the same subject is being discussed in both places, even though they sound different. But we need to understand this so that we, too, do not miss what is being done to communicate with us.



Matthew 24
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This is the "end of the world" chapter, similar to Luke 21 and Mark 13, which all recall the same event with Jesus.

Matthew 24:1 And going out, Jesus left the temple. And His disciples came to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 But Jesus said to them, Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, There will not at all be left one stone on a stone which in no way will not be thrown down. 3 And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? And, What is the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?

First, notice how Jesus tells them that the temple in Jerusalem is going to be destroyed. They are shocked as you might imagine, since it is the temple of God. But later in private, the disciples ask about 2 things, not one. First they ask about the temple and when that will be. Then they ask about Christ's 2nd coming and the end of the age. Only problem is that it is never clear which question Jesus is answering.

My suggestion is that in many cases, he is answering both questions with one description. At times I believe Jesus chooses signs and aspects that both events will have in common and offers it to us. Other times he seems to be addressing perhaps just the temple event or just the end. One has to exercise great discernment when interpreting the signs Jesus gives.

However, in most cases, I believe he chooses signs common to both, but more particularly to the end and his 2nd coming. But he makes it sort of ambiguous and unclear so as to throw his enemies off the trail if they were to try to figure out what he was really saying. But those who study the techniques of Jesus know what he is doing and get the sense of what he is saying to us.

Matthew 24:4 And answering, Jesus said to them, See that not any leads you astray. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ. And they will cause many to be led astray. 6 But you are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See, do not be terrified. For all things must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will be raised against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines and plagues and earthquakes against many places. 8 But all these are a beginning of throes.

This seems like something forecast for the coming temple destruction as these things could all have been fulfilled before that and he makes it clear "the end is not yet." There were many false prophets before the temple fell. But the famines, plagues, and earthquakes could be before or after the temple falls. As the Roman empire collapses, these features do become prominent and are only the beginning of trouble as he states. Jesus also notes the many false shepherds and sects that will come about so that lies shall abound and truth shall be rare. This section parallels with Daniel 11.

Daniel 11:
33 And those who understand among the people will instruct many, yet they will stumble by the sword and by flame, by exile and spoil for days.
34 And when they shall stumble, they will be helped with a little help. But many will join them with hypocrisy.
35 And many of those who understand shall stumble, to refine and to purge them, and to make white to the time of the end. For it is yet for the appointed time.

The next paragraph is where it gets cloudy. Persecution does begin before the fall of the temple and continues long after. But in regards to lawlessness or crime multiplying and the love and trust cooling off in people, that seems more of a 20th century kind of thing. The one enduring to the end could be any time since we all come to an end eventually through death in old age if at no other time. But he could be speaking of the very end for all we know. Jesus also lets us know that the gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the earth before the end will come. This would have to wait for some time.

Matthew 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to affliction, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. 10 And then many will be offended, and they will deliver up one another and will hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will be raised and will cause many to err. 12 And because lawlessness shall have been multiplied, the love of the many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, that one will be kept safe. 14 And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end.

Jesus is here talking about the end in verse 13. In 9-11, he describes the situation that will be just before the end. Crime will have gotten out of control and everyone will fear everyone else and people will be distant from each other with no real bonds or unity as there had been in previous times. Now, while crime is said to be the cause, it is actually the sign that accompanies this separation of people and affection. While crime does cause some fear and withdrawal, the people pull away from each other as much due to being convinced it is crime or terrorists when actually, reality might not be as dangerous as we will be led to believe. It is to the advantage of our leaders that we believe we are in serious trouble and need their draconian laws and surveillance in a thinly veiled police state.

So the media and propaganda tell us there are monsters and boogey men everywhere and we had better watch out for anyone and everyone. Of course, con men and other rip-off artists also make it tough, too. And rather than sincerely and diligently punishing criminals, the justice system slaps them on the wrist and turns them loose again where they can repeat their offenses, thereby giving us good reason to fear, knowing that criminals are not being eliminated from the streets. But Jesus makes it clear that this is a prominent feature just before the end. He also mentions that the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom will be preached in all the earth as a testimony to all the nations and then the end will come. This preaching is absolutely parallel with Revelation 11 & 12 where and great final message/testimony is delivered before the 2 witnesses are "killed," so to speak, for 3.5 years.

This next paragraph is a very important one. I spoke of it in The Last Days Part 1 dealing with Old Testament prophecies linked in Related Articles. But I will repeat it here.

Matthew 24:15 Then when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (the one reading, let him understand), [Dan. 11:31; 12:11] 16 then let those in Judea flee on the mountains; 17 the one on the housetop, let him not come down to take anything out of his house; 18 and the one in the field, let him not turn back to take his garment.

Notice what Mathew writes in parentheses - (the one reading, let him understand)! Revelation says a similar thing when it says, Let the one who has ears listen to what the spirit says to the churches. Jesus would often say, Let he who has ears listen. This was a way of saying what Eric Idle used to say as a character he often played on Monty Python (a British comedy series): Wink, wink; nod, nod; say no more? Know what I mean?!

To spell it out: pay careful attention and read in between the lines here! And this was in regards to Daniel's "abomination of desolation." Many think Matthew is quoting the same words of Jesus written by Luke. I'll get to Luke's account in a minute. But this abomination of desolation is the antichrist, standing where he ought not, in the supposed temple of God as if he was God and Christ, himself.

But notice what follows in Mathew after Jesus speaks of Daniel's phrase, the abomination of desolation. He continues to use words from Daniel in speaking of a great affliction such as has never happened before or would ever happen again. Because of the elect of God, those day that would have ended all flesh will be cut short. This, I assure you, is not speaking of the temple's fall. I don't believe the abomination of desolation in Daniel was speaking of the temple's fall, either. That is why we were told as the ones reading to "understand."

So when Jesus refers to "Judea," he is not referring to literal earthly Judea but the Christians. Further, if the temple's fall was the focus, Christians would not have to worry because they would have fled Judea already as we shall see in Luke's account. There were no Christians in Jerusalem or the temple when Rome attacked and destroyed it in 70 AD. Jesus is clearly talking about the end of the age and his 2nd coming. Of course, as Jesus describes it, it does also apply to Rome planting stakes around Jerusalem to being a siege as well. But Jesus blends the two here so that no one, other than astute students of God's word, the Bible, will understand as meaning anything more than Rome taking Jerusalem.

An irony was that so good was this sneaky delivery of 2 prophecies in one, that some who call themselves Christians have even missed this. Called Preterists, meaning ones who believe that everything in prophecy was fulfilled and completed in the 1st century and that there is no latter day or last day left to be completed. How surprised they will be when one comes along, anyway. The most common group of preterists are the independent (supposedly) Churches of Christ, found by a man named Campbell. Some call these Campbellites. But they are not the only preterists by any means. But they do not discern the more important fulfillment, nor do they grasp a judgment day to finally put an end to the madness on earth that was inevitable thanks to Adam.

Matthew 24:19 But woe to the woman having a child in womb, and to those suckling in those days! 20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter nor on a sabbath. 21 For there will be great affliction, such as has not happened from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be. 22 And except those days were shortened, not any flesh would be saved. But on account of the elect, those days will be shortened.

This pretty much compares with Daniel 12: 1-4.
Daniel 12: 1 . . . And there shall be a time of distress, such as has not been from the existence of a nation until that time. And at that time, your people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the Book.

Immediately after warning those living near the end about the end, Jesus follows up with the next paragraph of scriptures. Timing is everything here. Look what happens when the abomination of desolation appears and Judea/Christians flee, so to speak. A false christ appears to deceive and mislead, even some of the elect, if possible. He will perform great signs and wonders jus as Paul indicated about him in 2 Thessalonians 2. But Jesus has warned us so we do not need to be fooled or caught by surprise. So as part of his overall warning, he says, oh, yeah, watch out for this, too!

Matthew 24:23 Then if anyone says to you, Behold, here is the Christ! Or, Here! Do not believe. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise up. And they will give great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I tell you beforehand. 26 Then if they say to you, Behold, He is in the wilderness; do not go out. Behold, He is in the inner rooms; do not believe. 27 For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of man. 28 For wherever the dead body may be, there the eagles will be gathered.

Jesus tells us not to look for him on earth in physical form. He will not be down here in the flesh. His appearance will be from the sky sort of like lightning shining over all parts at the same time. You will perceive his return by what is going on all around you. You won't need any handwriting on the wall for this one. And Jesus mentions the signs and wonders that Paul mentions in Thessalonians and Revelation speaks of in chap. 13. Now for that scripture from Luke so you can understand some of the confusion in wording.

Luke 21:20 And when you see Jerusalem being encircled by armies, then recognize that its destruction has come near. 21 Then let those in Judea flee into the mountains; and those in its midst, let them go out. And those in the open spaces, let them not go into her. 22 For these are days of vengeance when all things that have been written are to be fulfilled.

What is difficult to understand is why the wording is so different in Luke as compared to Matthew. My conclusion is that Jesus said quite a lot about each and each writer focused on a different aspect. Matthew wrote in a way that would convey the greater 2nd meaning. Luke's shows that those fleeing after Rome briefly withdraws need to get out of Jerusalem fast. But this urgency is also important for us in the last days for when we finally see the appearance of the antichrist, we will have 3.5 years to get out a very important message and will do so in sackcloth, a state of mourning or struggle while we do it. Christians were noted to have fled Jerusalem when Rome encircled them and put a fortification of stakes around the city and then withdrew to settle a dispute over who would rule in Rome, only to return a year later to finish what they had started in Jerusalem. But Matthew's account definitely has some peculiar wording, alerting the reader to something out of the ordinary in between the lines, so to speak. We will deal more with Luke's account after Matthew's is all done.

Matthew 24:29 And immediately after the affliction of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens. And then all the tribes of the land will wail. And they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory. [Dan. 7:13] 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens to their ends.

This sounds exactly like the harvest that takes place in Revelation 14:14-16, the same harvest Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13 that we have already considered. This is the very end. This is where the 7 bowls of wrath in Revelation get poured out on God's enemies. This is where the birds of heaven feast on the flesh of all the dead ones who had been enemies of Christ and his Father.

Matthew 24:32 But learn the parable of the fig tree: When its branch becomes tender and it puts out leaves, you know that the summer is near; 33 so also you, when you see all these things, know that it is near at the doors. 34 Truly I say to you, In no way will this generation pass away until all these things have occurred. 35 The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My words will never ever pass away.

Possibly, when you see all the signs fulfilled in this chapter, then you will know Christ is at the doors. Seeing just some of them is not enough. They all have to be fulfilled. But Jesus warns next that no one knows the exact day or hour, not even him, but only the Father. But notice that until all this turmoil and upheaval appears, people would be going about their lives taking no notice of the signs leading up to this crisis. They were asleep while is was building to this event.

Matthew 24:36 But as to that day and that hour, no one knows, neither the angels of Heaven, except My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah, so also will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as they were in the days before the flood: eating, and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark. 39 And they did not know until the flood came and took all away. So also will be the coming of the Son of man. 40 At that time two will be out in the field; the one is taken away, and the one is left; 41 two grinding at the mill; one is taken away, and one is left. 42 Watch, then, for you do not know in what hour your Lord comes.

Of course, when Jesus speaks of the day or the hour, he is referring to the appearance of the antichrist/false prophet, for once that one appears, we got 7 years and then it is all over. So we will know the day and the hour, pretty much, once the antichrist is here; but when he gets here, is the day and hour we do not know. The world will be busy carrying on as it always has, not giving a thought to God's warnings through His prophets.

Jesus stresses alertness to all readers through Matthew because eventually the generation meant to see all this be fulfilled would come along and they needed to be awake and prepared. To mess around and not pay attention could mean you might be found asleep at the wrong time and not doubt some will be so we have been warned so that none die unnecessarily because they did not know. The foolish and the discrete virgins (the ten virgins parable) applies here, with the foolish ones being asleep and not prepared with extra oil to greet the bridegroom. Its coming right up.

Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the housemaster had known in what watch the thief comes, he would have watched and not have allowed his house to be dug through. 44 Because of this, you also be ready, for in that hour you think not, the Son of man comes. 45 Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his lord has set over his household, to give to them the food in season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his lord shall find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly I say to you, He will set him over all his substance.

Yes, if we all knew when Jesus was coming, no one would be caught off guard. We would all be waiting and prepared to behave. But because we do not know, some will be tempted to misbehave a little or a lot until a time they think he might return. Or maybe they do not think it will be in their lifetime since it has been so many lifetimes already.

And some may have misbehaved and then later got control of themselves. It has happened. But someday the generation will come that will see Jesus arrive and if they decided to do as those before them had done in sowing a few wild oats, so to speak, they will get caught by surprise and it will be too late.

This is not the kind of thing we want to gamble with. Some have and they were just lucky and who knows how God may look at that. But some are going to try it at the wrong time and none of us wants to be among that number. So leave the gambling to Las Vegas and take the safe course of obedience and readiness.

Matthew 24:48 But if that wicked servant says in his heart, My lord delays to come, 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and to drink with the ones drinking, 50 the lord of that slave will come in a day in which he does not expect and in an hour which he does not know, 51 and will cut him in two, and will appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth.



Matthew 25
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Matthew 25 in a continuance of Matthew 24. It has some important lessons for us.

Matthew 25:1 Then the kingdom of Heaven shall be compared to ten virgins who taking their lamps, went out to a meeting of the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five foolish. 3 Those being foolish, taking their lamps, did not take oil with them. 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But the bridegroom delaying, all nodded and slept.

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight, a cry occurred: Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose and prepared their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there not be enough for us and you. But rather, go to those who sell and buy for yourselves.

Matthew 25:10 But they going away to buy, the bridegroom came. And those ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. 11 And afterwards, the rest of the virgins also came, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But answering, he said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you. 13 Therefore, watch, for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of man comes.

Are you taking notice of all the warnings Jesus is giving about not being ready and prepared for the critical time? There are obviously going to be those who are going to blow it or Jesus would not have warned so much about it.

This next account is interesting for there are those who have a certain amount of ability or perhaps they end up with people under their care for whatever reason or circumstance. How they care for what came into their charge as their responsibility will be important for Christ is certainly going to judge all who have responsibility for what has been given them or what has been allowed to them to have. If they have mishandled what was left in their care, they shall surely be punished, possibly severely, by experiencing the 2nd death. Let's read now.

Matthew 25:14 For it is as if a man going abroad called his own slaves and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one indeed he gave five talents, and to another, two, and to another, one, to each according to his ability. And he went abroad at once. 16 And going, the one who received the five talents worked with them and made another five talents. 17 In the same way, the one with the two also did; he also gained another two. 18 But going away, the one who received the one dug in the earth and hid his lord's silver.

Matthew 25:19 And after much time, the lord of those slaves came and took account with them. 20 And coming up, the one who received five talents brought another five talents near, saying, Lord, you delivered five talents to me. Behold, I gained another five talents above them. 21 And his lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful over a few things; I will set you over many. Enter into the joy of your lord.

Matthew 25:22 And the one who received two talents also coming up, he said, Lord, you delivered two talents to me. Behold, I have gained two other talents above them. 23 His lord said to him, Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful over a few things, I will set you over many. Enter into the joy of your lord.

Matthew 25:24 And the one who received the one talent also coming up, he said, Lord, I knew you, that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter; 25 and being afraid, going away, I hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have yours. 26 And answering, his lord said to him, Evil and slothful slave! You knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not I scatter. 27 Then you ought to have put my silver to the bankers, and coming I would have received my own with interest. 28 Therefore, take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to each who has, more will be given, and he will abound. But from him who does not have, even that which he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw the worthless slave out into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth.

So those who have been given or left with responsibility must care for it properly. Those who do are rewarded. Those who do not will be punished. Luke's account of this, to me, is even more clear and explanatory. I also get from this that what we do now with what we have, however little or much it might be, will determine the extent of our reward later in God's Kingdom. So we want to do the best job possible so as to get the best reward possible.

Now comes another lesson for us. This one is a lot like the wheat and the weeds but with a slightly different twist. What determines what we are, good or bad, symbolized by sheep or goats, is how we treat Christ's little sheep, which he considers his brothers. Lets have a look.

Matthew 25:31 But when the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 And before Him shall be gathered all the nations; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And indeed He will set the sheep off His right, but the goats off the left hand.

Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on His right, Come, the blessed of My Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I hungered, and you gave Me food to eat; I thirsted, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.

Matthew 25:37 Then the righteous will answer, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You; or thirsting, and gave You drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and took You in; or naked, and clothed You? 39 And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to You? 40 And answering, the King will say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it to one of these, the least of My brothers, you did it to Me.

Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on His left, Go away from Me, cursed ones, into the everlasting fire having been prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42 For I hungered, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I thirsted, and you gave me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not take Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.

Matthew 25:44 Then they also will answer Him, saying, Lord, when did we see You hungering, or thirsting, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You? 45 Then He will answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of these, the least, neither did you do it to Me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life.

Really, the account is pretty simple. The sheep are the good guys who receieve everlasting life for having cared for even the least of Christ's brothers as is it were Christ, himself. The goats are bad because they did not care for their fellow brothers in the faith who are also Christ's brothers. It is as if they neglected Christ, himself, and their reward is everlasting death from which there is no return. To not love our brothers is a serious crime and Jesus is making that quite clear to us. We must love if we are to receive everlasting life.



Luke 21
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Luke 21:5 And as some were speaking about the temple, that it had been adorned with beautiful stones and gifts, He said, 6 As to these things that you see, days will come in which a stone will not be left on a stone, which will not be thrown down. 7 And they asked Him, saying, Teacher, then when will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things are about to happen?

Note that the wording of the question from the disciples is different in Luke than in Matthew. Luke's question seems to only deal with the temple, so perhaps that is more of his focus in writing. But there is enough to indicate the Jesus return has not been neglected, either as we shall see.

Luke 21:8 And He said, Watch that you not be led astray. For many will come on My name, saying, I AM! Also, The time has come! Do not go after them. 9 And when you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be afraid. For these things must first occur, but the end is not at once.

Luke 21:10 Then He said to them, Nation will be lifted up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 Also there will be great earthquakes from place to place, and famines, and plagues. And also there will be terrors and great signs from Heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you, and will persecute you, delivering you into the synagogues and prisons, being led away before kings and governors on account of My name. 13 But it will return to you for a testimony. 14 Then put into your hearts not to premeditate to make a defense. 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all those opposing you will not be able to withstand or contradict.

Luke 21:16 But you will be betrayed also by parents, and brothers, and relatives, and friends. And they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all because of My name. 18 And a hair of your head shall in no way perish. 19 By your patience you will gain your souls.

You will note that many will come in the name of Jesus or as Jesus and saying "the time has come!" Lots of false shepherds will come along. We certainly saw that after the Apostles had all died and even just before the last of them died. And Persecution is is quite the feature. We saw plenty of that in the first 3 centuries after Christ, as well. Only by patience and endurance do we secure our souls and everlasting life. But the end is not yet!

Luke 21:20 And when you see Jerusalem being encircled by armies, then recognize that its destruction has come near. 21 Then let those in Judea flee into the mountains; and those in its midst, let them go out. And those in the open spaces, let them not go into her. 22 For these are days of vengeance when all things that have been written are to be fulfilled.

Luke 21:23 But woe to the pregnant women, and the ones suckling in those days; for great distress will be on the earth and wrath on this people. 24 And they will fall by the mouth of the sword and will be led captive to all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by nations, until the times of the nations are fulfilled.

As we can see to this point, it could and likely all does apply to Jerusalem and its temple being destroyed. But what I wonder is, when Jesus says "Jerusalem" will be trodden down by the nations until their times are fulfilled, is this the Jerusalem destroyed by Rome, or the one, the only one, that shall rise again, spiritual Jerusalem above, God's Kingdom? I suspect God's Kingdom. But for sure, literal Jerusalem was destroyed and it was not pretty and the Jews were all taken away. The next verses take a different turn.

Luke 21:25 And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And on the earth will be anxiety of nations with bewilderment, roaring of sea and of surf, 26 men fainting from fear, and expectation of the things coming on the earth. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and much glory. [Dan. 7:13] 28 But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.

We are definitely dealing with Jesus coming again, now. the signs in sun, moon, and stars is a common reference in the Old Testament which I deal with in "The Symbols of Revelation." And since Daniel is mentioned, it is likely that his prophecies were somehow alluded to which Matthew included but Luke has not. They see the son of Man coming and dread it. So we are within the 7 year period of the antichrist, the week of years of Daniel 9 as well.

Luke 21:29 And He spoke a parable to them: You see the fig tree and all the trees. 30 Now when they sprout leaves, seeing it, you will know from yourselves that now the summer is near. 31 So also when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I say to you, In no way will this generation pass away until all these things shall occur. 33 The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My words in no way will pass away.

People of various times in history have seen political and military upheavals and seen changes in their world. But these in themselves were not the end. Jesus basically says that ALL the signs must come about before we know the end is just about here. We need all the trees with all their leaves sprouting to be sure that summer is near. The key to all this, as I see it, would be the appearance of the antichrist. So we have all seen a lot but there are a few things we have yet to see and need to see. Fear not! We will see them shortly! There is so much written about this False Messiah and his B*!!S#!+ that neither we, nor anyone in the world will be able to ignore him.

By his appearance and the stern strong message Christians will deliver, warning about this one, it will receive the attention of everyone everywhere, which is exactly what God has intended. This "sign" will galvanized and polarize the entire world. You can't miss it! And we will be able to smell this circumstance coming, even before it gets here. I think the current world wide economic collapse, engineered though it may be, is the big signal, that a new form of government and economics is coming, as well as perhaps some major military actions to subdue some problem areas from the viewpoint of those who want to restore a temple to Jerusalem so that they may welcome the King of the Jews, so called. It would appear that the birth pangs of distress are nearly upon us, but also our deliverance and rescue.

Luke 21:34 But take heed to yourselves that your hearts not be loaded down with headaches, and drinking, and anxieties of life, and that day come suddenly upon you 35 as a snare, for it will come in on all those sitting on the face of all the earth. [Isa. 24:17] 36 Then be watchful at every time, begging that you be counted worthy to escape all these things which are about to happen, and to stand before the Son of man.

Luke addresses a different concern than Matthew did. Luke's account warns us not to get loaded down with every day cares and anxiety about life's daily concerns so that God's day arrives as a snare. And this would be so easy to do. More concern about one's marriage, their job, their house and car payments, the kid's problems. People can find all and too many reasons why they can find no time to read the Bible. I have head many silly and stupid excuses from people who were too obvious and looking for a way out from under the burdens of God, which are no burden except to gutless wonders. We always find time for what we really care about.

Most don't see the Bible as being all that important. Do they see their lives as important? I wonder. But trust me, you have to get this one right this time with no mistakes. If you blow it, you really blow it. Your life will be gone for good, forever. Don't screw around with this one this time. So don't let any excuse over stupid trivial stuff cause you to miss out on this. And its all stupid and trivial compared to God's kingdom and your everlasting life. Don't be like those those foolish virgins who let themselves run out of oil and be unprepared when the bridegroom returned. Don't be like those who begged off when invited to the feast. This is the only chance you will have. Make it count.



Luke 17
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Even though Luke 17 comes before 21, I thought it was better addressed after, as it is a complicated and misunderstood account that deserves careful consideration. Luke's account covers things that Matthew also covered in chapter 24.

(GLT) Luke 17:20 And being questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God comes, He answered them and said, The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, Lo, here! Or, Lo, there! For behold the kingdom of God is in your midst.

Luke 17:22 And He said to the disciples, Days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of man, and will not see. 23 And they will say to you, Lo, here! Or, Lo, there! Do not go away, nor follow. 24 For as the lightning which lights up, flashing from the one part under heaven and shines to the other part under heaven, so also will the Son of man be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected from this generation.

Verse 21 is an important point. "The kingdom of God does not come with observation." What does he mean? You mean we won't be able to see it? Well, not directly. You won't actually see Jesus in bodily form. He won't be in some physical location where you can shake hands or bow in worship. This is what the antichrist, the false Christ, false prophet, will do. His followers will say to you, "behold the kingdom of God is in your midst." Don't believe them! We and the world will "see" Jesus, but not literally. We will perceive him, we will understand from the circumstances around us that he is behind what is going on. We figuratively "see." Jesus called some people who could see physically, blind. Blind in that they could not understand or recognize what they witnessed and saw.

Notice, too, how this account sounds almost identical to Matthew 24:23-28 that I discussed earlier. Matthew put all relevant subject matter in the same place. Luke tends to put each piece of information into the context of where the eye witness recalled it being spoken by Jesus. It is also likely that Jesus spoke of similar things in more than one place, given that he spoke in many places with pretty much the same message.

Matthew 24:23 Then if anyone says to you, Behold, here is the Christ! Or, Here! Do not believe. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise up. And they will give great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Behold, I tell you beforehand. 26 Then if they say to you, Behold, He is in the wilderness; do not go out. Behold, He is in the inner rooms; do not believe. 27 For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of man. 28 For wherever the dead body may be, there the eagles will be gathered.

Jesus was addressing the Pharisees about when the kingdom of God was coming. Jesus spoke of a time, an event, that would stand out. A time when people would proclaim that Jesus had returned to earth, in bodily form, and that, in essence, the kingdom of God had come to earth, Jesus representing that kingdom, of course. But Jesus made it clear that we should not believe such a proclamation and that it would be a lie because Jesus' return was not going to be in physical bodily fleshly form. Jesus would return in the clouds, so to speak, out of sight directly but detectable through what was going on.

It would not be clear from this account that this is the antichrist or false Christ that Paul speaks of as the man of sin in 2Thessalonians 2 and that John sort of alludes to in 1 John and 2 John and that Daniel refers to through different symbols as well. I cover this more in my article on the Antichrist I link to in Related Articles. Some confuse what Jesus says in Luke 17:21 so I will deal with that in a minute.

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so also it will be in the days of the Son of man. 27 They were eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage, until the day Noah went into the ark. And the flood came and destroyed all. 28 And likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; 29 but on the day Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the heaven and destroyed all. 30 Even so it will be in the day the Son of man is revealed.

Luke 17:31 In that day, he who will be on the housetop, let him not come down to take his goods from the house. And likewise, he in the field, let him not return to the things behind. 32 Remember Lot's wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life, he will lose it. And whoever will lose it, he will preserve it. 34 I say to you, In that night two will be on one bed; the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two will be grinding together; one will be taken and the other will be left. 36 Two will be in the field; the one will be taken and the other will be left.

37 And answering, they said to Him, Where, Lord? And He said to them, Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

Also notice how verse 37 is nearly identical to Matthew 24:28 just above. Now let's talk about verse 21 from Luke 17. Most people are familiar with the KJV of Luke 17:21:

(KJV) Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Pay careful attention that this is the King James Authorized Version which most people are the most familiar with as regards wording. Most people think that Jesus is saying to the Pharisees that the kingdom of God is within you, as in Jesus was representing the kingdom of God and they were not recognizing him as such. While this was true of Jesus in general, this was not what Jesus was talking about.

As I pointed out earlier, he was pretending to speak as those in the last days who were proclaiming a false messiah, a false christ, an imposter. These announcers were saying that the kingdom of God had come to earth in the Jesus had returned. But as I pointed out earlier, Jesus would not come again in physical form. So we should not get fooled by this liar /imposter who claims to be Jesus. He will not be Jesus! But when he appears, then we know that end is about to come. This is what Jesus was indicating. Paul also taught the same thing as does also Daniel.

I have supplied the original Greek word that is translated as "within you" in the KJV to show that it is more properly translated as "among you" or "in your midst" as the GLT does. I bring this up because some think that Jesus was also saying that the kingdom of God is actually inside each one of us. While we do have God's spirit and could therefore be said to sort of have the kingdom of God inside us, that was not the message Jesus was preaching in this instance. Besides, we will live in the kingdom of God and be a part of that kingdom, but it is not inside us in the most technical legalistic sense. We are inside it as subjects of it.

As well, the antichrist is inside a room or temple, therefore, "within" you (you being pural) as in: you all) or "among" you, in the "midst" of you, to behold, but not inside your body, I hope, unless it is spiritually as the spirit of God might be.

within:

Thayer's Greek English Lexicon
1787 entov entos en-tos' from 1722;; prep

KJV - within 2; 2
1) within, inside
1a) within you i.e. in the midst of you
1b) within you i.e. your soul

Strong's Greek Dictionary
1787. entov entos en-tos'; from 1722; inside (adverb or noun):-- within.

1722. en en en; a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537); "in," at, (up-)on, by, etc.:-- about, after, against, + almost, X altogether, among, X as, at, before, between, (here-)by (+ all means), for (...sake of), + give self wholly to, (here-)in(-to, -wardly), X mightily, (because) of, (up-)on, [open-]ly, X outwardly, one, X quickly, X shortly, [speedi-]ly, X that, X there(-in, -on), through(-out), (un-)to(-ward), under, when, where(-with), while, with(-in). Often used in compounds, with substantially the same import; rarely with verbs of motion, and then not to indicate direction, except (elliptically) by a separate (and different) preposition.

By matching up the account of Matthew with Luke and understanding the context of this all being a sign that would occur near the very end, I hope I have made it clear what the meaning of this is and how it matches up with other accounts about a false messiah who will claim to be the Christ returned. What ever you do, don't fall for it!



Mark 13
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Mark was commissioned by Peter to write this gospel and Peter approved it. In reading this gospel, one can see some of that inside information that could only have come from maybe 3 or 4 people, Peter being one of them. This is one of those accounts. While Matthew and Luke note that the disciples asked Jesus about the temple being destroyed and the end, Mark tells us it was 4 specific apostles that asked Jesus about this.

Mark 13:1 And as He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, Teacher, Behold! What kind of stones and what kind of buildings! 2 And answering, Jesus said to him, Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon a stone which shall not be thrown down. 3 And as He was sitting in the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew questioned Him privately: 4 Tell us when these things shall be? And what is the sign when all these things are about to be done?

It is not entirely clear in this account, as in Luke's, whether they had asked about the end of the age/world or not. But as we read it, we will see it does, even as we saw in Luke.

Mark 13:5 And answering, Jesus began to say to them, Be careful that no one lead you astray. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, I AM! And they will lead many astray. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be disturbed, for it must occur; but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will be raised against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there shall be earthquakes in many places. And there shall be famines and troubles. These things are the beginnings of anguishes.

Mark 13:9 But you yourselves be careful, for they will deliver you up to sanhedrins and to synagogues. You will be beaten, and you will be led before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11 But whenever they lead you away, delivering you, do not be anxious beforehand, what you should say, nor meditate. But whatever may be given to you in that hour, speak that. For you are not those speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

Mark 13:12 And a brother will deliver up a brother to death, and a father the child. And children will rise up on parents and will put them to death. 13 And you will be hated by all on account of My name. But the one enduring to the end, that one will be kept safe.

Mark 13:14 But when you see "the abomination of desolation," the one spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (he reading, let him understand), then let those in Judea flee into the mountains. [Dan. 11:31; 12:11] 15 And he on the housetop, let him not go down into the house, nor go in to take anything out of his house. 16 And the one in the field, let him not return to the things behind to take his garment. 17 But woe to those with babe in womb, and to those giving suck in those days! 18 And pray that your flight will not be in winter; 19 for there will be affliction in those days, such as has not been the like from the beginning of creation which God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not shortened the days, not any flesh would be saved; but because of the elect whom He chose, He has shortened the days.

Mark, more than the other 2 accounts, sounds like Jesus is addressing persecution to follow after he is gone. But then there is a break in verse 14, warning about a prophecy from Daniel. Now this account sounds nearly identical to Matthew's. They both likely got their information from the same source, that being Peter in all likelihood. So Mark also has "an understanding" in regards to the things mentioned in Daniel referring to a time near the end as Daniel did.

Mark 13:21 And then if anyone says to you, Behold, here is the Christ! Or, Behold, there! You shall not believe. 22 For false christs and false prophets will be raised, and they will give signs and wonders in order to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 23 But you be careful. Behold, I have foretold you all things.

Notice how much more detailed the quote in Mark (as it was in Matthew) is compared to Luke's about the signs in the sun, moon, and stars. Mark quotes from the Old Testament whereas Luke just refers to them in general without a specific quote.

Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that affliction, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light; 25 and the stars of the heaven will be falling, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with much power and glory. [Dan. 7:13] 27 And then He will send His angels and will gather His elect from the four winds, from the end of earth to the end of heaven.

Again, we are talking about the very end here above.

Mark 13:28 And from the fig tree learn the parable: When its branch becomes tender and puts out leaves, you know the summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near, at the doors. 30 Truly I say to you, Not at all will this generation pass away until all these things occur. 31 The heaven and the earth will pass away, but My words will not at all pass away.

Mark 13:32 But concerning that day and the hour, no one knows, not the angels, those in Heaven, nor the Son, except the Father. 33 Watch! Be wakeful, and pray. For you do not know when the time is.

Mark 13:34 As a man going away, leaving his house, and giving his slaves authority, and to each his work (and he commanded the doorkeeper, that he watch), 35 then you watch, for you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, at evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or early; 36 so that he may not come suddenly and find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all. Watch!

What a great ending! Mark's is the best in this illustration.



Peter
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Peter notes how God's salvation would be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:5 by the power of God, having been guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time;

I quote this passage from Peter not because it deals with the very end but a sooner end from the standpoint of those in his day. but his counsel would be equally relevant to us in the very last days near the very end.

1 Peter 4:6 For to this end also the gospel was preached to the dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but might live according to God in the Spirit. 7 But the end of all things has drawn near. Be of sound mind, then, and be sensible to prayers; 8 and above all things having fervent love to yourselves, "because love will cover a multitude of sins." [Prov. 10:12]

Peter's 2nd letter has the most on the subject we have been discussing.

2 Peter 3:1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle, in which by reminder I stir up your sincere mind to remember 2 the words having been spoken before by the holy prophets, and the command of the Lord and Savior by us, the apostles;

2 Peter 3:3 first, knowing this, that during the last days scoffers will come walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue this way from the beginning of creation.

This is intended more for those few who do not believe in a 2nd coming of Christ or who apply it to the destruction of Jerusalem. Peter speaks of the last days as if they were some distance off and when they arrive would bring the coming of Christ. Well, Christ had already come, died, was resurrected and went back to heaven in Peter's time. Yet Peter speaks of another coming and it does not have to do with the temple.

As regards skeptics who do not believe in Christ or any coming, Peter says they are those who walk in their own lusts, basically wanting to justify their own lusts and actions. We don't even need to pay attention to those blowhards. It is obvious where they are coming from. And part of their claim is that things have never changed and never will. But Peter, in behalf of Christ, says that things will be different in the last days and that the nay say'ers would be a part of those final days. See, you have been told beforehand.

Notice what Peter next says. It is hidden because they desire it to be hidden. They do not want to see so they don't. This is partly why they can not see prophecies spoken in symbolic ways because they do not want to see so they don't. Pretty cool, wouldn't you say?

2 Peter 3:5 For this is hidden from them by their willing it so, that heavens were of old, and earth by water, and through water, being held together by the word of God, 6 through which the world which then was, being flooded by water, perished. 7 But the heavens and the earth now, having been stored up by the same word, are being kept for fire to a day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

There are a heavens and an earth also now stored up and kept for a day of judgment. Not the literal heavens or earth but symbolic ones where sinful man reigns for but a short while longer. The judgment and destruction are of ungodly men, not of the planet or stars in space.

Peter next reminds us that God's time scale is far different from our own.

2 Peter 3:8 But let not this one thing be hidden from you, beloved, that one day with the Lord is "as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." [Psa. 90:4] 9 The Lord of the promise is not slow, as some deem slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not having purposed any of us to perish, but all of us to come to repentance.

Note how Peter sort of quotes Psalm 90.
Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in Your eyes are as yesterday when it passes, and as a watch in the night.
5 You flooded them away; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass growing;
6 in the morning it sprouts and shoots up; in the evening it withers and dries up.

Though God is long-suffering and patient toward the human race, there is another reason why He seems to delay. He wants to show us how far those who stray from God's law will go. It goes from eating a piece of forbidden fruit to destroying the world. It takes man a while to reach the point where he will destroy himself but we are almost there. And hopefully, we will never forget that lesson once it has been shown to us.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up.

Indeed, Jesus likened his coming/return as being like a thief in the night and Peter did not forget that apt illustration. Man's devices, plans, and schemes will all be burned up, so to speak.

2 Peter 3:11 Then all these being about to be dissolved, what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the Day of God, through which the heavens having been set afire will be dissolved; and burning, the elements will melt? 13 But according to His promise, we look for "new heavens and a new earth," in which righteousness dwells. [Isa. 65:17]

First, the heavens and earth are to be dissolved and destroyed so don't tell me this is merely foretelling the temple being destroyed. A lot more than that is happening. But Peter does speak of this dissolving and a new heavens and new earth from Isaiah 65 coming into being. Isaiah was not talking about the temple being destroyed or the Jews being punished, either. And Isaiah will be fulfilled as Peter is certainly indicating. The temple of Jerusalem is not the Day of God, by any means. Something more is indicated here.

But Peter asks a good question of us all. Since this is all to be so, what sort of persons ought we to be in behavior and godliness. Too many people are concerned with having a nice life in this world and time, a world alienated from God and full of misery. Better to turn our backs on having much this time around and awaiting for the new heavens and new earth where righteousness will dwell, thereby letting us have all the nice things that it is only right to want and receive, even as it was God's will from the beginning.



Paul
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Paul speaks of the last days to Timothy and how people would be different or more extreme than in former times.

2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days grievous times will be upon us. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, braggarts, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural feeling, unyielding, slanderers, without self-control, savage, haters of good, 4 betrayers, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it; even turn away from these. 6 For of these are those creeping into houses and leading silly women captive, the ones having been heaped with sins, being led away by various lusts, 7 always learning, but never being able to come to a full knowledge of the truth.

Paul next reveals some things to us that sound a lot like Revelation. for those who doubt the Bible and it real author in the heavens above, Paul reveals things that will only be understood when John is Given Revelation by Jesus at least 35 to 40 years later. It has to do with the archangel's call and sound of the trumpet of God.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Paul refers to the time when the dead in Christ rise to heaven in a heavenly resurrection and then those deserving who are still alive at that time are also brought into the spirit realm where God and Christ exist to meet the Lord in the air, so to speak. This harvest is pinpointed as to the time it happens in Revelation 14:14-16. This is pretty much the last day, the sounding of the 7th and final trumpet mentioned in Revelation 10:7. Paul's words here kind of clear up what could be considered a mystery spoken to the church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3.

Revelation 3:10 Because you kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you out of the hour of trial which is going to come on all the habitable world in order to try those dwelling on the earth.
11 Behold, I am coming quickly. Hold what you have that no one take your crown.

So there is hardly a word spoken by any of the Bible writers that is not very important somewhere.

2 Thessalonians 1:5 a clear token of the just judgment of God, for you to be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you indeed suffer; 6 since it is a just thing with God to pay back tribulation to the ones troubling you, 7 and to give you, those being troubled, relief with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from Heaven with angels of His power, 8 in flaming fire giving full vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, [Isa. 66:15; Jer. 10:25] 9 who will pay the penalty: everlasting destruction from the face of the Lord, "and from the glory of His strength," [Isa. 2:20] 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all those who believe in that Day, because our testimony to you was believed.

Most of what Paul says here is so identical to things written in Revelation. Again, we note the judgment of the wicked and believers rewarded in the kingdom of God. I am going to revert back to black letters since I am finished quoting scriptures in this article.



So far we have examined 2 parts, the Old Testament visions of the end and the New Testament visions of the end. We see how they interconnect with each other and reinforce each other. The new comes out of the old. Next to be considered are the symbols of Revelation and then Revelation Revealed, itself. Revelation Revealed is broken down into a verse by verse consideration of Revelation. I wonder if it is not better to read that article first and then read it again last. Much of it might not seem acceptable the first time but after having read Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the Last Days, I believe reading Revelation again will suddenly make it much more clear and acceptable.

One needs a thorough background of scriptural information and symbolism before the symbols and terms of Revelation can be clear and meaningful. So consider the Symbols of Revelation next in Part 3 and then on to Revelation Revealed!


Related Articles

All articles dealing with Prophecies concerning the End Times, Last Days, and Final Judgment



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