Today’s reading is: Mt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21:5-38
Matthew Chapter Twenty-Four
- Matthew chapters 24 & 25 form the Mt. Olivet Discourse—a private series of messages by the Lord for His disciples.
- As they departed Jerusalem, the disciples were highlighting features of the temple complex (Matt. 24:1). The Lord simply stated that it was all destined to come down (Matt. 24:2).
- The disciples privately asked Jesus to plainly explain what He was talking about (Matt. 24:3). It is a threefold question that requires careful study in examining the Lord’s answers (particularly in the various written accounts).
- Question #1: “When will these things happen?” is in reference to the desolate house (Matt. 23:38) and the torn down temple (Matt. 24:2). Matthew’s account of this discourse does not include the Lord’s answer to this question, but Luke’s account does (Lk. 21:20-22).
- Question #2: “What will be the sign of your coming?” is not answered first, but answered second in Matt. 24:29-31.
- Question #3: (What will be the sign) “of the end of the age?” is answered first in Matt. 24:4-28. Jesus’ answer begins by describing what is not yet the end (Mt. 24:4-14) and then by describing the great signs they were asking about (Mt. 24:15-28).
- All of these questions, and the Lord’s reply focus on God’s dealings with Israel, and do not relate to the Church in any manner.
- “Not yet the end” is illustrated via beginning of birth pangs false-labor imagery (Mt. 24:4-14). These verses have a remarkable parallel to the Seal Judgments of Revelation 6 (Rev. 6:2-12).
- The Lord conclusively indicates Daniel’s Abomination of Desolation prophecy (Dan. 9:27) was not fulfilled by the shadow typology Antiochus Epiphanes in the intertestamental period (Dan. 11:31), as He speaks prophetically of the end of the age (Matt. 24:15-28).
- The Parable of the Fig Tree teaches that the Tribulation and 2nd Advent generation will know it when they see it (Matt. 24:32-35).
- The timing for these events is entirely within the Sovereignty of God the Father to determine, and not revealed to the humanity of the Son of Man (Matt. 24:36).
- The blindness of the world at that time will be like the days of Noah in which the world-wide judgment was not understood until it arrived (Matt. 24:37-41).
- In the days of Noah, wicked world was “taken” in judgment while Noah and his family were “left” to repopulate the post-flood world.
- In the 2nd Advent of Jesus Christ, the unbelievers will be “taken” in judgment while only born-again believers will be “left” to repopulate the post-Armageddon Millennial earth.
- This is NOT A RAPTURE PASSAGE. Quite the opposite: it is an anti-rapture.
- The application for this message is an urgency for watchful readiness (Matt. 24:42-51).
Mark Chapter Thirteen
- Mark 13 consists of the Mt. Olivet discourse, and parallels Matt. 24&25; and Lk. 21. This passage is the longest discourse recorded by Mark.
- The disciples were impressed by the beauty of the temple (Mk. 13:1).
- The Lord prophesied the destruction of that very temple (Mk. 13:2), and prompted the disciples to ask for a timetable for the end times (Mk. 13:3-4).
- The Mt. Olivet Discourse refers to the end of the Dispensation of Israel (age of Tribulation), and has no reference to the Church at all.
- General signs of the times are indicated as being a prelude to the Great Tribulation (Mk. 13:5-13).
- False Christs giving Israel false hope (vv.5-6).
- Hot & cold war conditions (v.7).
- Multinational warfare, & natural disasters (v.8).
- International judicial persecution of Jews by Gentiles and a corresponding witness for the Lord by believing Jews to their Gentile prosecutors (vv.9-12).
- International opposition to Israel because of their continued reliance upon the Lord (v.13).
- A specific sign is given: “when” or “whenever” the Abomination of Desolation stands in the temple (Mk. 13:14-23). The Jews must immediately flee, and the Great Tribulation is unleashed.
- The Second Advent of Jesus Christ will be announced by heavenly warnings (Mk. 13:24-31).
- Only the Father knows the timetable for all these events (Mk. 13:32). God the Father’s wisdom in reserving particular revelation until specific and appropriate times and recipients is a tremendous blessing worthy of praise (Mt. 11:25; 1st Cor. 2:7-9).
- Because of the imminency of the 2nd Advent, the Tribulation generation of Israel is admonished to be on the alert (Mk. 13:33-37).
Luke Chapter Twenty-One
(Outline continues from yesterday)
- The disciples were impressed with the temple’s beauty, but the Lord prophesied the temple’s destruction (Lk. 21:5-6). This prompted the disciples to ask for more instruction concerning coming events (Lk. 21:7).
- The Lord’s prophecies concerning things to come (Lk. 21:8-36 || Mt. 24; Mk. 13) spell out the events in store for Jerusalem throughout the times of the Gentiles (Lk. 21:24).
- Luke’s narrative includes a particular focus for 70AD (Lk. 21:20-22) that is not presented in the Matthew or Mark accounts.