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The Olivet Discourse

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Olivet Discourse- Matthew 24

The famous Olivet Discourse of our Messiah occurred between two significant events.

Immediately preceding the Olivet Discourse, the Messiah spoke the final words of His public ministry found in Matthew 23:1–39, which contain the denunciation of the leadership, especially for their guilt in leading the nation to reject the Messiahship of Jesus. With these words, the public ministry of the Messiah as a Prophet came to an end.

Immediately after the Olivet Discourse came the preparation of the last Passover and the first Lord’s Supper. These events came just before His death. During the last Passover and the first Lord’s Supper, the famous Upper Room Discourse (John 13-17). It was in John 14 that Jesus spoke of his preparation of a “place” and his subsequent return for his Bride. Matthew 24 deals with the time of the Tribulation; the seven year period that precedes the second coming of Christ. The position of this study is that the Rapture of the Church is spoken of in John 14 and that the Olivet Discourse primarily deals with the events that take place on the earth prior to the second coming. The Dispensational understanding of End-Time chronology is that the second coming of Christ is comprised of two events: the Rapture and the Revelation. Technically, Jesus does not return to the earth at the Rapture and Christ’s words in John 14 closely resemble the ancient Betrothal and Wedding practices of the Jews. He first comes “for” his Bride and then returns “with” his Bride.

Two major reasons for this time known as the Tribulation.

A. To Punish The Gentile Nations - Rom. 1:18; 2 Thes. 2:12-13; Rev. 19:15. During the Tribulation Period, God will visit wicked humanity with the fruits of their sin: divine judgment!

B. To Purge The People Of Israel - Eze. 20:37-38; Zech. 13:8-9; Mal. 3:3. The Nation of Israel is guilty of rejecting the Messiah and of having a part in His death. However, God will use the terrors of the Tribulation to prepare Israel for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus returns to the earth in power and glory, He will be met by a believing remnant of the Jewish people.

I. vs. 1-2 THE TEMPLE AND JERUSALEM DESTROYED (Matt 24:1-2; Luke 21:20-24)

II. vs. 3 THE THREE QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES (Matt 24:3)

III. vs. 4-6 THE SIGNS OF THE CHURCH AGE ARE DECLARED (Matt 24:4-6)

IV. vs. 7-8 THE BIRTH PAINS OF THE TRIBULATION ARE DEFINED (Matt 24:7-8)

V. vs. 9-14 THE FIRST HALF OF THE TRIBULATION DELINIATED (Matt 24:9-14)

VI. vs. 15-26 THE GREAT TRIBULATION DESCRIBED (Matt 24:15-26)

VII. vs. 27-31 THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST DISCLOSED (Matt 24:27-31)

I. vs. 1-2 THE TEMPLE AND JERUSALEM DESTROYED (Matt 24:1-2)

Q#1. “Tell us, when shall these things be?” These things refer to the destruction of the Temple that He had prophesied in the previous two verses. When will the Temple be destroyed, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?

Matthew does not record Jesus’ answer to the first Question, “when shall these things be?” Luke records his answer and as a result NO believing Jew died in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

" “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." (Luke 21:20-24, NKJV).

I. vs. 1-2 THE TEMPLE AND JERUSALEM DESTROYED (Matt 24:1-2)

II. vs. 3 THE THREE QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES (Matt 24:3)

Altogether, three questions were asked which, at the same time, included requests for three signs.

Q#1. “Tell us, when shall these things be?” These things refer to the destruction of the Temple that He had prophesied in the previous two verses. When will the Temple be destroyed, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?

Q#2. “What shall be the sign of your coming?” “What shall be the sign of your coming?” This question does not concern the Rapture of the Church because the Rapture is imminent and can happen at any moment, having no warning sign preceding it.

However, the Second Coming will be preceded by a sign, and the disciples asked what the sign would be.

Q#3. “What shall be the sign of the end of the world?” The Greek word translated world actually means “age.” In rabbinic theology of that day, the rabbis spoke of two ages: “this age,” meaning the age in which we now live, and “the age to come,” meaning the Messianic Age. So the question is, “What is the sign that the last days of this age have begun and will lead to the Messianic Age?”

I. vs. 1-2 THE TEMPLE AND JERUSALEM DESTROYED (Matt 24:1-2; Luke 21:20-24)

II. vs. 3 THE THREE QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES (Matt 24:3)

III. vs. 4-6 THE SIGNS OF THE CHURCH AGE ARE DECLARED (Matt 24:4-6; Mark

13:6–7; and Luke 21:8–9.)

A. Spiritual Deception “false Messiah’s” The first general characteristic would be the rise of false messiahs. Historically, Jesus was the first Person who claimed to be the Messiah. After Him, many came claiming to be the messiah, even Gentiles.

B. Local Devastation “wars and rumors of wars” (Local Wars) The second general characteristic of the Church Age would be local wars. Jesus stated that when they heard of wars and rumors of wars, these things also would not be signs of the end. The existence of local wars here and there would in no way indicate that the end had begun. Even if such local wars take place in the Middle East, it is not necessarily prophetically significant.

“for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matt. 24:6b)

“for these things must needs come to pass first; but the end is not immediately” (Lk. 21:9).

I. vs. 1-2 THE TEMPLE AND JERUSALEM DESTROYED (Matt 24:1-2; Luke 21:20-24)

II. vs. 3 THE THREE QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES (Matt 24:3)

III. vs. 4-6 THE SIGNS OF THE CHURCH AGE ARE DECLARED (Matt 24:4-6; Mark 13:6–7; and Luke 21:8–9.)

IV. vs. 7-8 THE ‘BIRTH PAINS’ OF THE TRIBULATION ARE DEFINED (Matt 24:7-8)

"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. "All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Matthew 24:7-8, NKJV).

The prophets pictured the last days as a series of birth pangs before the birth of the new Messianic Age.

The phrase “birth pains” had its origin in Old Testament passages that describe the period of distress preceding the messianic age, namely the Tribulation (Isa. 13:8; 26:17; Jer. 4:31; 6:24; Mic. 4:9–10; cf. 1 Thess. 5:3).

The “birth pangs” Jesus spoke about here will be a period seven years long immediately before Messiah returns to establish His kingdom, sometimes called “Daniel’s seventieth week” (Dan. 9:26–27).

The beginning of “birth pangs” is the beginning of this Tribulation. Pentecost, Thy Kingdom

. . ., pp. 250–52; and Bailey, The New . . ., pp. 49–50, believed verses 4–8 describe the first half of the

Tribulation and verses 9–14 the last half.

A. Destitution (Famine) Gk. limos ( λιμός ) – hunger, destitution, as scarcity of food or failure of grain harvests.

B. Disease (Pestilences) Gk. loimos ( λοιμός ) – plague, Metaphorically used of a malignant and mischievous person, a pest. From (λείπω ) leipo to leave, leave behind, forsake, to be left behind, to lag, be inferior, to be destitute of, to lack, to be wanting, to fail.

C. Disaster (Earthquakes) Gk. seismos ( σεισμός ) as a series of violent movements shaking, agitation.

D. Destruction (World War) "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” This expression is a Hebrew idiom for a world war.

“At that time wars shall be stirred up in the world. Nation shall be against nation and city against city; much distress shall be renewed against the enemies of the Israelites.”

Another Jewish source known as the Bereshit Rabbah states: “If you shall see the kingdoms rising against each other in turn, then give heed and note the footsteps of the Messiah (XLII:4).”

World War I, 1914–1918, was the fulfillment of this particular prophecy, for that was the First World War. As virtually all historians agree, World War II was merely a continuation of World War I. Furthermore, both world wars had a decisive impact on Jewish history. World War I gave impetus to the growth of the Zionist movement, and World War II led to the re-establishment of the Jewish State. Since World War I, history has entered the last days of the Church Age. (Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, The Messianic Bible Study Collection (Tustin, Calif.: Ariel Ministries, 1983), 28:8.)

vs. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains

“A prominent feature of Jewish eschatology, as represented especially by the rabbinic literature, was the time of trouble preceding Messiah’s coming. It was called ‘the birth pangs of the Messiah,’ sometimes more briefly translated as ‘the Messianic woes. Millar Burrows, Burrows on the Dead Sea Scrolls, pp. 343–44.

I. vs. 1-2 THE TEMPLE AND JERUSALEM DESTROYED (Matt 24:1-2; Luke 21:20-24)

II. vs. 3 THE THREE QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES (Matt 24:3)

III. vs. 4-6 THE SIGNS OF THE CHURCH AGE ARE DECLARED (Matt 24:4-6; Mark 13:6–7; and Luke 21:8–9.)

IV. vs. 7-8 THE BIRTH PAINS OF THE TRIBULATION ARE DEFINED (Matt 24:7-8)

V. vs. 9-14 THE FIRST HALF OF THE TRIBULATION DELINIATED (Matt 24:9-14)

A. The Messiah’s Pronouncements: Five events that will occur during the first half of the Tribulation.

The word “tribulation” (Gr. thlipsis, or “distress”) is a key word in this passage occurring three times (vv. 9, 21, 29;).

1. The Persecution of the Saints (vs. 9–10) there will be tremendous persecution of the saints, a fact also given in Revelation 6:9–11, the Fifth Seal. The one-world religious system, known as Ecclesiastical Babylon, will be doing the persecuting and will be responsible for the death of the saints during the first half of the Tribulation (Rev. 17:1–6).

2. The False Prophets (vs. 11) the first half of the Tribulation will be characterized by the rise of many false prophets. This point is also brought out in Zechariah 13:2–6.

"“On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. And if anyone still prophesies, his father and mother, to whom he was born, will say to him, ‘You must die, because you have told lies in the Lord’s name.’ When he prophesies, his own parents will stab him. “On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision. He will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive. He will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.’ If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’" (Zechariah 13:2-6, NIV).

3. The Problem of Sin (vs. 12) there will be a tremendous rise of sin and iniquity, because evil will no longer be restrained (2 Thes. 2:6–7).

"And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way." (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7, NKJV).

4. The Preservation of Jews (vs. 13) those Jews who survive to the end of the Tribulation will be saved.

5. The Preaching of the 144,00 (vs. 14) The fifth event of the first half of the Tribulation will be the world-wide preaching of the gospel in verse 14, which will be conducted by the 144,000 Jews of Revelation 7:1–8. The results of the ministry of the 144,000 are recorded in Revelation 7:9–17, where it clearly states that a great multitude of Gentiles will come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus the Messiah.

" After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:" (Revelation 7:1-4, NKJV).

B. The Seal Judgments: The Seal Judgments of the first half of the Tribulation.

1. First Seal: White Horse - The Conqueror (Rev 6:1-2)

A. The announcer (6:1): The first living creature announces this judgment.

B. The action (6:2)

1. John sees a white horse (6:2a).

2. Its rider goes out to conquer with a bow in his hand and a crown on his head (6:2b).

2. Second Seal: Red Horse - Conflict on the Earth (Rev 6:3-4)

A. The announcer (6:3): The second living creature announces this judgment.

B. The action (6:4)

1. John sees a red horse (6:4a).

2. Its rider is given power to take peace from the earth (6:4b).

3. Third Seal: Black Horse - Food Crisis on the Earth (Rev 6:5-6)

A. The announcer (6:5a): The third living creature announces this judgment.

B. The action (6:5b–6)

1. John sees a black horse (6:5b).

2. Its rider is holding a pair of scales, indicating a great famine is at hand (6:5c–6).

4. Fourth Seal: Pale Horse - Carnage on the Earth (Rev 6:7-8)

A. The announcer (6:7): The fourth living creature announces thisjudgment.

B. The action (6:8)

1. John sees a pale green horse (6:8a).

2. Its rider is death and hell (6:8b).

3. Millions will now die by the sword, famine, plagues, and by wildbeasts (6:8c).

5. Fifth Seal: The Cry of the Martyrs (Rev 6:9-11)

A. What John sees (6:9): He sees the souls of the martyred under heaven’s altar.

B. What John hears (6:10–11)

1. The request of the martyrs (6:10) : “When will you avenge our blood?”

2. The reply of the Messiah (6:11) : The martyrs are told to wait a little longer, until “the full number of the servants of Jesus had been martyred.”

6. Sixth Seal: Cosmic Disturbances (Rev 6:12-17)

A. What John feels (6:12a): A great earthquake strikes.

B. What John sees (6:12b–14)

1. The sun turns black, and the moon turns blood red (6:12b).

2. The stars fall (6:13) .

3. The sky rolls up like a scroll (6:14a).

4. Every mountain and island is removed from its place (6:14b).

C. What John hears (6:15–17)

1. The place (6:15b): The sound comes from the caves and among the rocks of the mountains.

2. The persons (6:15a): They include kings, warriors, rich and poor, slaves and free men.

3. The prayer (6:16–17): They all cry to be hidden from the wrath of the Lamb.

7. Sealed of Israel: 144,000 Conserved (Rev 7:1-8)

A. The sealers (7:1–3)

1. What John sees (7:1–2a)

a. He sees four angels holding back the four winds of the earth (7:1) .

b. He sees another angel carrying the seal of God (7:2a).

2. What John hears (7:2b–3): The fifth angel instructs the four not to harm the earth or sea until God’s servants have been sealed.

B. The sealed (7:4–8)

1. The total (7:4) : One hundred forty-four thousand are sealed.

2. The tribes (7:5–8): Twelve thousand from each of Israel’s twelve tribes are sealed.

8. Seventh Seal: Calm in Heaven (Rev 8:1-5)

A. The pause (8:1): There is a 30-minute silence in heaven at the opening of the seventh seal.

B. The prayers (8:2–4): An angel offers up much incense on the golden altar to represent the prayers of the saints.

C. The preview (8:5): A sample of the frightful punishment to come is seen as the angel casts fire from his censer upon the earth.

I. vs. 1-2 THE TEMPLE AND JERUSALEM DESTROYED (Matt 24:1-2; Luke 21:20-24)

II. vs. 3 THE THREE QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES (Matt 24:3)

III. vs. 4-6 THE SIGNS OF THE CHURCH AGE ARE DECLARED (Matt 24:4-6; Mark 13:6–7; and Luke 21:8–9.)

IV. vs. 7-8 THE BIRTH PAINS OF THE TRIBULATION ARE DEFINED (Matt 24:7-8)

V. vs. 9-14 THE FIRST HALF OF THE TRIBULATION DELINIATED (Matt 24:9-14)

VI. vs. 15-26 THE GREAT TRIBULATION DESCRIBED (Matt 24:15-26)

“Therefore” or “So” (Gr. οὖν oun) ties this pericope very closely to the preceding one.

A. The Days of the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:15-20) (1260 days- 42 months: Rev

12:6; 13:5; Dan 9:27)

Seven Years of tribulation to precede the coming of Messiah. The term, “Great Tribulation” is the description of the second 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.

The Jews believed that a seven-year period of time will immediately precede Messiah’s coming to rule the world.

? “The Great Tribulation will begin in the middle of the seven-year 70th week. We know this because Jesus indicated that the Great Tribulation will begin with the abomination of desolation (Mt. 24:15–21), which will take place in the middle of the 70th week (Dan. 9:27). . . .

? “Since the Great Tribulation will begin in the middle and terminate at the end of the 70th week and will cover the same time period as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Time of

Jacob’s Trouble will also cover the entire second half of the 70th week. Tom Constable,

Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003; 2003), Mt 24:7.

? “Our Rabbis taught: In the seven-year cycle at the end of which the son of David will come . . . at the conclusion of the seven years the son of David will come.” The Babylonian Talmud, p. 654.

? “The idea became entrenched that the coming of the Messiah will be preceded by greatly increased suffering . . . This will last seven years. And then, unexpectedly, the Messiah will come. Raphael Patai, The Messianic Texts, pp. 95–96

1. The Mark of the Middle of the Tribulation (Matt 24:15) “Abomination of Desolation” (2 Thess. 2:3-4) (Dan 11:31; 12:11-12 Antiochus Epiphanes 168 BC) Daniel 9:24–27 predicted that from the time Artaxerxes issued his decree allowing the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem under Nehemiah’s leadership until the coming of Israel’s Messiah 69 weeks (lit. sevens) of years would elapse. This 483 year period ended when Jesus entered Jerusalem in the Triumphal Entry (21:8–11). Because Israel refused to accept Jesus as her King, the events that Daniel prophesied would happen in the seventieth week (i.e., the remaining seven years in his prophecy) would not ollow immediately. What Daniel predicted would happen in those seven years was unique

national distress for Israel (Dan. 12:1). It would commence when a wicked ruler would sign a covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27). After three and a half years, the ruler would break the covenant and terminate worship in the temple. He would end temple worship by setting up an abominable idol there (cf. 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:14–15). Tom Constable, Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003; 2003), Mt 24:15.

"He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”" (Daniel 9:27, NIV).

? A Historical Type (Dan 11:31; 12:11-12): Antiochus ordered his general, Apollonius, and a contingent of 22,000 soldiers into Jerusalem on what he claimed was a peaceful mission. However when they were inside the city, they attacked the Jews on a sabbath, when the Jews were reluctant to exert themselves. Apollonius killed many Jews, took many Jewish women and children captive as slaves, plundered the temple, and burned the city. Antiochus’ objective was to exterminate Judaism and to Hellenize the Jews. Consequently he forbade them to follow the Mosaic Law and did away with the Jewish sacrifices, festivals, and circumcision (1 Macc.1:44–54).

44Furthermore, the king sent lettersg by the hand of messengers to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah (to the effect that) they should practise customs hforeigni to (the traditions of) the landh, 45and that they should cease the (sacrificing of) whole burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and drink offerings in the sanctuary, and that they should profane the sabbaths and feasts, 46and pollute the sanctuary and kthose who had been sanctifiedk; 47that they should (moreover) build high places, and sacred groves, and lshrines for idolsl, and that they should sacrifice swine and (other) uncleanm animals; 48and that they should leave their sons uncircumcized, and make themselves abominable

by means of (practising) everything that was unclean and profane, 49so that they might forget the Law, and change all the (traditional) ordinances. 50And whosoever should not act according to the word of the king, should die. 51In this manner did he write unto the wholen of his kingdom; and he appointed overseerso over all the people; and he

commanded the cities of Judah to sacrifice, every one of them. 52And many of the people joined themselves unto them, allp those [namely] who had forsaken the Law; 53these did evilq in the land, and caused Israel to hide in all manner of hiding-places. 54 And on the fifteenthr days of Chislev in the one hundred and forty-fiftht year they set up upon the altar an ‘abomination of desolation’, and in the cities of Judah on every side they established high-places;

He even burned copies of their law. As a culminating measure, he installed an image of Zeus, his Greek god, in the temple and erected an altar to Zeus on the altar of burnt offerings (cf. 2 Macc. 6:2).

2further, the sanctuary in Jerusalem was to be polluted and called after Zeus Olympius, while the sanctuary at Gerizim was also to be called after Zeus Xenius, in keeping with the hospitable character of the inhabitants. 3Now this proved a sore and altogether crushing visitation of evil. 4For the heathen filled the temple with riot and revelling, dallying with harlots and lying with women inside the sacred precincts, besides bringing in what was forbidden, while the altar was filled with abominable sacrifices which the law prohibited. 5And a man could neither keep the sabbath, 6nor celebrate the feasts of the fathers, nor so much as confess himself to be a Jew.

Then he sacrificed a pig, an unclean animal to the Jews, on it. This happened on December 16, 168 B.C. The Jews referred to this act as “the abomination that caused desolation” (cf. 12:11) since it polluted their altar and made sacrifices to Yahweh on it impossible (cf. 8:23–25). Antiochus further ordered his Jewish subjects to celebrate his subsequent birthdays by offering a pig to Zeus on this altar.

“Hanukkah (Dedication) is the eight-day festival that begins on the 25th of Kislev (December) and commemorates the victory of Judah Maccabee and his followers over the army of the Syrian ruler, Antiochus Epiphanes… Only later in the Talmud is there the first mention of the legend that, when the Maccabees entered the Temple, they discovered that the Syrian-Greeks had defiled all the jugs of oil for lighting the menorah (Shab 21b). After much searching, they found a single small cruse of oil still bearing the unbroken seal of the Kohen Gadol. However, this cruse contained only enough oil to keep the menorah burning for a single day. Miraculously, the menorah flame continued to burn for eight days until new pure oil could be prepared. To commemorate this event, the Rabbis

decreed that the holiday would be observed annually by kindling lights for eight days, and Hanukkah became known as the Festival of Lights.”

“Antiochus thus becomes a type of the future man of sin and his activities foreshadow the ultimate blasphemous persecution of Israel and the desecration of their temple.” Walvoord, Daniel . . ., p. 268.

“Just as the Saviour had Solomon and the other saints as types of His advent, so also we should believe that the Antichrist very properly had as a type of himself the utterly wicked king, Antiochus, who persecuted the saints and defiled the Temple.” Jerome, p. 130.

There are several reasons why the abomination of desolation must be a future event in God’s eschatological program. First, verse 15 is in a context of verses that describes events that have not yet happened (vv. 14–21; cf. v. 29). Second, Daniel’s seventieth week with its unique tribulation has not yet happened. Third, Mark described Jesus saying that the abomination of desolation would stand (masculine participle estekota) as a person who set himself up as God in the temple (Mark 13:14). This has never happened since Jesus made this prophecy. Fourth, other later revelation points to the future Antichrist as the abomination of desolation (2 Thess. 2:3–4; Rev. 13:11–18). Toussaint, Behold the . . ., pp. 274–75.

2. The Mandate of the Messiah to survive the Tribulation (Matt 24:16-20)

When the abomination of desolation appears, the Jews living in Jerusalem and Judea should flee immediately. They must seek refuge in places where they can escape his persecution. They must not even take time to retrieve possessions from their houses as they flee. Pregnant women and nursing mothers will have a hard time because their physical conditions will limit their mobility. Weather would make flight harder in the winter (floods), and observant Jews would seek to discourage travel on the Sabbath.

B. The Distress of the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord (Matt 24:21; Joel 2:2)

This Day is seven years long and we are at the 3 and ½ year mark.

"For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again." (Matthew 24:21, NIV).

“Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ (Matthew 24:29, NIV) .

" Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand— a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come." (Joel 2:1-2, NIV).

1. The Trumpet Judgments (Rev 8-9)

a. First Trumpet: The Vegetation Struck – (Rev. 8:7) One-third of the trees and grass are burned by hail and fire mixed with blood..

b. Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck - Rev. (8:8-9) - One-third of the marine life and ships are destroyed by a burning object that falls into the waters.

According to NASA scientists, an asteroid of four kilometers (2.5 miles) broad could wipe out half the world’s population. Tidal waves will do further damage. The shock waves of this mountain-like ball of fire will destroy one-third of all the sea creatures and ships on the sea. (1 kilometer = .62 mile)

c. Third Trumpet: The Waters Struck – (Rev. 8:10-11) - One-third of the fresh waters are poisoned, killing many people by a falling object known as Bitterness. Perhaps this refers to a meteor that falls into the water supplies and pollute 1/3 of the freshwater of the world. This poison the water and many more people perish in this plague.

d. Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck – (Rev. 8:12) - Some even takes place in the heavens and the sun's light is diminished by one-third. Also, one-third of the light of the other heavenly bodies is destroyed.

1. The action (8:12) : One third of the sun, moon, and stars are darkened.

2. The aftermath (8:13) : An angel now warns the earth in regard to the final three trumpet judgments (three woes).

e. Fifth Trumpet: The Scorpion Strike –THE FIRST DEMONIC INVASION (Rev. 9:1-12)

A. The home of these demons (9:1–2): Their abode is in the smoke-filled bottomless pit.

B. The horror of these demons (9:3–12)

1. Their appearance (9:3, 7–10a)

a. They look like locusts and horses armored for battle (9:3a).

b. They wear golden crowns, and they have men’s faces, women’s hair, and lions’ teeth (9:7–8).

c. They are protected by iron breastplates (9:9).

d. They have stinging tails like scorpions (9:3b, 10a).

2. Their administrator (9:11–12): Their king is named Abaddon (in the Hebrew) and Apollyon (in the Greek), meaning “destroyer.”

3. Their assignment (9:4–6, 10b)

a. Negative (9:4a): They are not to harm the grass or trees.

b. Positive (9:4b–6, 10b): They are to torture (but not kill) the unsaved for five months.

f. Sixth Trumpet: The Euphrates Struck – (Rev. 9:13-21) – THE SECOND DEMONIC INVASION

A. The action (9:13–19)

1. The home of these demons (9:13–14)

a. Their location (9:13, 14b): They are now bound in an area near the Euphrates River.

b. Their leaders (9:14a): They are led by four special demons.

2. The hostility of these demons (9:15)

a. Their preparation (9:15a): They have been kept in readiness for a particular year, month, day, and hour.

b. Their purpose (9:15b): Upon being released, they kill a third of all mankind.

3. The horror of these demons (9:16–19)

1. Their number (9:16) : The army numbers 200 million warriors.

2. Their nature (9:17–19): They have the appearance of horses and riders.

a. The horses have heads like lions and tails like deadly serpents, and they breathe out smoke and flaming sulphur (9:17b–19).

b. The riders wear brightly colored breastplates (9:17a).

B. The reaction (9:20–21): How do the survivors of this horrible invasion respond after witnessing the death of untold millions?

1. They refuse to repent (9:20a).

2. They continue to rebel (9:20b–21).

g. Seventh Trumpet: The Kingdom Stated – (Rev. 11:15-19) – This trumpet announces the soon return of the Lord Jesus. It also introduces the seven Bowl Judgments.

A. The Testimony of heaven (11:15–18): All heaven praises and worships God at the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

1. For his universal reign (11:15–16)

2. Thanking him for his great power (11:17)

3. For his righteous judgments (11:18)

a. In rewarding the saints (11:18b)

b. In punishing sinners (11:18a, c)

B. The Temple in heaven (11:19): John sees the Temple and the Ark of the Covenant.

2. The Bowl Judgments (Rev 16)

I. First Bowl: Malignant Sores (16:1–2)

A. The place (16:1–2a): It is poured out on the earth.

B. The punishment (16:2b): Horrible malignant sores break out on those who have received the mark of the beast.

II. Second Bowl: The Sea Turns to Blood (16:3)

A. The place (16:3a): It is poured out upon the seas.

B. The punishment (16:3b): The waters become as blood, killing all life in them.

III. Third Bowl: The Waters Turn to Blood (16:4–7)

A. The place (16:4a): It is poured out on the rivers and springs.

B. The punishment (16:4b): These fresh water sources also become as blood.

C. The proclamation (16:5–7): The angel now announces the reason for this, namely to avenge the blood of the martyrs.

IV. Fourth Bowl: Men Are Scorched (16:8–9)

A. The place (16:8a): It is poured out on the sun.

B. The punishment (16:8b): The sun now scorches all people with its fire.

C. The perversion (16:9): Everyone responds to this plague by cursing God and refusing to repent.

V. Fifth Bowl: Darkness and Pain (16:10–11)

A. The place (16:10a): It is poured out upon the throne of the beast.

B. The punishment (16:10b): His entire kingdom is plunged into darkness.

C. The perversion (16:11): Once again people refuse to repent.

VI. Sixth Bowl: Euphrates Dried Up (16:12–16)

A. The place (16:12a): It is poured out upon the great river Euphrates, and its waters dry up.

B. The punishment (16:12b–14, 16): Demons deceive the kings of the east to march their armies westward across the Euphrates to prepare for Armageddon.

C. The promise (16:15): A blessing is promised to those who prepare their hearts for Christ’s return.

VII. Seventh Bowl: The Earth Utterly Shaken (16:17–21)

A. The place (16:17a): It is poured out into the air.

B. The proclamation (16:17b): There comes a voice from the Temple, saying, “It is finished!”

C. The punishment (16:18–21a)

1. History’s greatest earthquake now occurs (16:18) .

2. It splits Babylon into three parts (16:19a).

3. The great cities of the world collapse (16:19b).

4. Islands vanish, and mountains are flattened (16:20) .

5. Hailstones weighing seventy-five pounds fall from the sky

(16:21a).

D. The perversion (16:21b): Unrepentant people continue to curse God.

C. The Duration of the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:22)

"If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." (Matthew 24:22, NIV).

Unless God ends (Gk. ekolobothesan, ἐκολοβώθησαν (aor. pass) κολοβόω “to terminate or cut off”) the Tribulation, no living thing will remain alive.

“This does not mean that the period will be less than three-and-a-half years, but that it will be definitely terminated suddenly by the second coming of Christ.” Walvoord, Matthew: . . ., p. 188

This is not a prove text for the pre-wrath rapture view that sees the last 18 months of the tribulation as the Day of the Lord, the out-pouring of wrath.

D. The Deception of the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:23-26)

"At that time 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 appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it." (Matthew 24:23-26, NIV).

The true Messiah’s coming will not be secret or hidden. It will not be to a select group but visible to all (v. 27).

"Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”" (Revelation 1:7-8, NIV).

1. The Signs of the False Teachers “perform great signs and miracles”

"“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (Matthew 7:21-23, NIV).

2. The Seduction of the False Teachers “to deceive even the elect”

Deceive - πλανάω – (planao) 39 occurrences; KJV translates as “deceive” 24 times, “err” six times, “go astray” five times, “seduce” twice, “wander” once, and “be out of the way” once. 1 to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way. 1A to go astray, wander, roam about. 2 metaph. 2A to lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive. 2B to be led into error. 2C to be led aside from the path of virtue, to go astray, sin. 2D to sever or fall away from the truth. 2D1 of heretics. 2E to be led away into error and sin.

πλανήτης – (planetes) planet, wanderer Confusion (spiritual wandering) brought about by the perceived “fruit” and “power” of false prophets and teachers to seduce and bewitch (cf. Gal. 3:1) even believers. Satan is very religious!

VII. vs. 27-31 THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST DISCLOSED (Matt 24:27-31)

"For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." (Matthew 24:27-31, NIV).

A. The Swiftness of the Second Coming (24:27): As the lightning flashes across the sky.

" Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south," (Zechariah 9:14, NIV).

B. The Site of the Second Coming (24:28): “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

The “corpse” or “body” refers to Israel while the “vultures” refer to the Gentile nations coming against the body of Israel. The place of the Second Coming of the Messiah will be in that place where the body of Israel is located, and where the Gentile nations are gathered together. The exact place is known in Hebrew as Bozrah or as Petra in Greek. " Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.”" (Isaiah 63:1-6, NIV).

C. The Signal of the Second Coming (24:30): the Shechinah Glory. The Son of Man will appear in the heavens. But immediately after the tribulation of those days, there will be a total blackout with no light penetrating at all, followed by a sudden, glorious, tremendous light that will penetrate through the blackout. This Shechinah light will be the sign of the Second Coming of the Messiah. The light will be followed by the return of the Messiah Himself. The sign of the Second Coming would be the Shechinah Glory light breaking through the worldwide blackout.

"“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14, NIV).

D. The Summons of the Second Coming (24:31): Angels will be sent forth with a mighty trumpet blast to gather the people of Israel from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

"In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the

Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem." (Isaiah 27:12-13, NIV).

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