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Jesus Taught About The End Times

Jesus taught about the end of times. And as I write this the world is in the middle of the corona virus pandemic. As usual there are some that are saying that this is the beginning of the end. Matthew chapter 24 is the most prominent place in the Gospel where Jesus talks about the end times, so I am going skip to the end of Matthew 24 to read this:

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. (Mat 24:36 ESV)

Now, this verse says that no one, not even the Son, knows the day and hour. So no one knows that the coronavirus is the beginning of the end, the middle of the end or the end of the end. Now we do know from the day of Pentecost the Apostles were saying that we are in the last days:

But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days [emphasis added] it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; (Act 2:14-17 ESV)

So, it is the last days, but it has been thousands of years since the apostles and it may be thousands until Jesus comes back. After all. God promised Eve that her offspring would be the redeemer, and she thought that when Seth was born, that Seth was the redeemer, but it was about four thousand years after that Jesus was born. And in that four thousand years you have the covenant with Abraham, and the period of the Patriarchs, and  and the tribes of Israel, and the period of the Judges, and then the Kings. Interspersed in there were prophets and mighty men of God who acted on God’s behalf. It was a couple of thousand years before Abraham came along and God formed a covenant with him. There was a lot of work to do, and there may still be a lot of work to do before Jesus comes back. Now, that’s not to say that we have all the time in the world and can dawdle. He could come right now! And no matter when he comes. we have to walk carefully.

As Paul wrote:

Therefore he says, “Awake, sleeping ones! And arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Eph 5:14-16 MKJV)

Not only that but this race we run isn’t a sprint, its a marathon. It’s not a quick game, it’s a long game. Notwithstanding that any one of us could be gone in an instant, we must run our race with patience:

Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2 MKJV)

Having said all that, Jesus spoke of signs of the end:

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Mat 24:3-14 ESV)

Remember Jesus was sent to Israel and here Jesus is telling  Israel of their future and how things will end. (Remember the mystery that gentiles would be joint heirs was not yet revealed.)  Jesus says that there will be all kinds of bad things happening; wars, rumors of wars, famines, and earthquakes, but that is not the end. There will be persecutions and many false prophets.  And, he warns, that all that bad stuff is just the beginning of the birth pains!

Now, at this point, we’re talking about false prophets. Now, what is a false prophet? Good old Wikipedia says “a false prophet is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or to speak for God, or who makes such claims for evil ends.“ We discussed in The Definition of Prophecy in the Bible   that prophecy is speaking for God.
Whether they are false or not depends on whether what they say is in alignment with the prophets of old and now the apostles doctrine.  If they are in aligmenment they are true.  If prophets after Jesus contradict the old testament prophets or the apostles doctrine, they are false.
Remember how when we talked about the manifestations in Jesus and the Manifestations of the Spirit we said that sometimes more than one manifestation would be manifested in an event? Well, Let’s look at Paul in that light. Look at these declarations about Paul and notice that he is attributed more than one of the gift ministries which include apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists, and teachers:

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, (Rom 1:1 ESV) (Paul is called an apostle here.)

For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (1Ti 2:7 ESV) (Paul is called an apostle and preacher here.)

Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Act 13:1-2 ESV) (Saul (Pauls’s earlier name) is listed among the prophets and teachers.

Paul is called an apostle in the first example. He is called a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher in the second. And he is in the list of prophets and teachers in the third. There are prophecies in his writings. So, while his strong suit appears to be apostleship as he is stated as an apostle most, he had more than one gift ministry.

This is just to say that people can have multiple ministries.   Likewise, on the other side, you can have someone who is a false prophet, a false teacher, and/or a false miracle worker.  Just beware.

Paul reveals what is revealed to him here:

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
(Eph 3:1-10 ESV)

Paul writes here that he received the revelation that the Gentiles were joint heirs of the promise in Christ; “how the mystery was made known to me by revelation”.   We also read that Paul was given the job of declaring this new revelation from God to people.  Besides being an Apostle (one sent, set apart for a mission) that makes Paul a spokesman for God which is the office of a prophet.  As an apostle he was sent to the Gentiles with the message of Christ the Savior that they too were partakers. (We can’t assume when it says apostles and prophets that the term refers to separate people.)

Now, just as we see that Paul speaks for God in the right way, Matthew chapter 24 says that there will be many who speak for God in the wrong way. That is, they will say that God has said things that he did not say. There is going to be a lot of those guys.

A key element in the end times is in verse 14: “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Before the end, the gospel will be proclaimed in every nation as a testimony to all nations.

Next, Jesus taught on the abomination of desolation which is first mentioned in the book of Daniel:

And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. (Dan 12:11 ESV)

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. (Mat 24:15-28 ESV)

With the abomination of Desolation will come the greatest tribulation. Many false Christs and prophets will arise and there will all kinds of false signs and wonders. Christ is saying to not be fooled and follow them.

Then here he comes to collect his people:

“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 heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Mat 24:29-31 ESV)

This is a glorious time when Jesus comes back!   But Jesus warns that no one but the Father knows the timing of this. He warns that he doesn’t know it, the angels don’t know it, only the Father knows. So we must always be ready:

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the myaster of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(Mat 24: 36-51 ESV)

Remember, that Jesus gave some key things to watch for, some warnings for how challenging it will be, and how he will gloriously return, but the biggest points include no one but the Father knows when it will happen, and consequently, we need to be ready all the time.

July 13th, 2020 Posted by | Jesus' Teaching and Miracles | no comments

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