Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral virtue, and in your moral virtue,
knowledge ;

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Matthew Capter 24 part 2

Starting in Matthew chapter 24 with verse 23, Jesus has been telling the disciples about the future. We ended the last study with verses 24:21-22,in these verses Jesus teaches about the great tribulation. In verse 23, He again warns them not to be deceived  by people telling them that they know where the messiah is, or by someone being pointed out in a crowd with someone literally saying "there He is". This is a repeat of what he said to the disciples in verses 4-5 of this same chapter.  He wants to make sure that we  and the disciples ARE NOT FOOLED. We need to know our bibles. Jesus, Himself is warning us. As I said in chapter 24 part 1. If we have read these words or if we have heard these words, we will not be fooled when someone tells us that Jesus is hiding somewhere or that he will be appearing at  a rally in Buffalo, New York.

In verse 24:24 He goes further than He did in His earlier warning. He says "False Christs and False Prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead (with the sole intention to mislead), If possible , even the elect." Jesus is telling them, and us, that these things will happen!! There will be signs and wonders! Visions and miracles are not the proof that Jesus has returned!! . In verse 24:25, He says, "Behold, I have told you in advance." He then goes on to give another scenario that will be used to deceive people into thinking that Jesus has already returned or that He is hiding somewhere. (Just for fun, google, "Jesus has returned", or "has Jesus returned?" and see what you get. It's incredible). 
Read verse 24:27 and remember it!! Who can ignore lightening? Who can mistake what is happening in the sky when a powerful storm moves in. There is no question of what is going on when we are experiencing lightening and thunder.  It is loud and dangerous and cannot be mistaken or ignored. That is what the return of our Lord will be like.  It will be loud, powerful and unmistakable as His return. Tuck this info away in your heart. Remember it. You may save an eternal life one day with this information and you will never be deceived.

This next verse is very interesting. (Matt. 24:28) Jesus says "where ever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather" At first this verse doesn't seem to fit with the previous verses but if we look at what Jesus said in Matt. 8:22, He says " let the dead bury their own dead". This is the reply that Jesus gave to a man who said that he wanted to follow Jesus but asks if he could first bury his father. The man's father wasn't dead yet. What the man was really asking was if he could just wait  until his dad died,  before he devoted his life to the Lord. The man wanted to fulfill his family obligations before he followed Jesus. Jesus's answer to him was "follow me, let the dead bury their own dead" Jesus considers the unbelievers dead. When there are people who would deceive by claiming, to be Jesus or by claiming to know where He is,they are like a dead body that quickly draws vultures. A vulture only has to see the slightest activity from another vulture to be motivated to join the circling of a carcass. They gather in large numbers and quickly and enthusiastically, feed on the dead. Jesus is saying that these deceivers are like a dead body that gathers a large crowd quickly. The crowd is eager to feed on the information presented to them. They quickly digest it and make it part of themselves.  (my brother- in -law actually believes that Jesus never really died. He believes that Jesus was whisked away, still alive, and taken to India and hidden in a Hindu temple until He died of natural causes. A corpse was calling and my brother- in- law fed on it and made it part of himself ) It seems that more and more corpses will be calling to the vultures as time goes on. Do not be deceived. 
 2Tim.4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires and will turn away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
 These deceptions will definitely be of a spiritual nature. It will be an indication of people wanting a "god" but not wanting the truth. Keep your eyes of discernment open. You may be able to see this happening in your community.

 In verses 24:29-31, Jesus returns to talking about the tribulation. He had been talking about it just a few  verses earlier (Matt. 24:21-22) (read Isaiah 13:10-13) Jesus
says "immediately after the tribulation of those days, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE IT'S LIGHT AND THE STARS WILL FALL FROM THE SKY and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, (many commentators, smarter than me, cannot agree on who or what these powers of heaven are) and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory". My favorite commentator, Eerdman, gives many examples of what this "sign" could be, but he believes that the cross is the only universally accepted sign of Jesus Christ that spans all countries, races and cultures. And then,"all the tribes of the earth will mourn". We all know people, that we love, who will mourn when these things take place. Then, Jesus will be coming on the clouds! Incredible.
 And (24:31)He will send forth His angels with a GREAT TRUMPET and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. 
So try to imagine all of this happening in quick succession. The sky will darken, the stars will fall from the sky. The cross will be  shining in the clouds and Jesus will descend from heaven the same way that the disciples watched Him go. (Acts 1:11) A trumpet will sound (In a miraculous way of course because the whole earth will hear it at the same time)And He will send forth His angels, who will gather His beloved from the whole earth.


lots of figs, not so many leaves
Verse 24:32, Jesus says "now learn from the fig tree"... this is very interesting. Fig trees get there fruit on old leaves or bare branches. In this verse Jesus speaks of the summer leaves that start to sprout in the spring. The fruit of a fig tree is ripe or well on its way to being ripe before the full leaves of summer are out on it's branches. (Does this mean that our "fruit" as a believers will be ripe and completed?) In verse 24:33, Jesus tells us when we see all these "things", know that He is near, right at the door. (we are to know, but the rest of the world will pay no 24:37-39.)

This next verse is very interesting. Matt. 24:34 says "Truly I say to you this generation will not pass away until all these "things" take place." The generation Jesus is speaking of is the generation in which all of these "things" take place. Remember in verse 24:33, He says "when you see all these things." THIS WAS ONE THOUGHT THAT JESUS WAS EXPRESSING HERE. THERE WERE NO CHAPTER BREAKS. HE WAS HAVING A NORMAL CONVERSATION WITH THE DISCIPLES. REMEMBER, CHAPTER 21 THROUGH THE END OF THE BOOK OF MATTHEW, REFLECTS APPROXIMATELY ONE WEEK IN THE LIFE OF JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES. Of course, it's taking us much longer than that to study it, but it is important not to loose our perspective of the time frame in which these things took place. 

Now on to verse 24:36. This is the verse we will use to remember what is in this chapter!!!!Jesus says " no one knows the day or the hour"  NO MAN, NO ANGEL, NOT EVEN JESUS HIMSELF KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR. ONLY GOD THE FATHER KNOWS!!!
Many people in my lifetime have claimed to have been given the privilege of knowing the day when the Lord would return. There is a man right now claiming to have seen miraculous signs and being told by an apparition of the Lord Himself, that JESUS will return on 7-11-2018 . He professes to being very humbled and says that he alone carries the heavy burden of telling the world of the Lord's return.!!!YIKES!!!We all suffer and the world suffers when people don't know their bibles. PRAY TO COMMIT THIS TO YOUR MEMORY.  Chapter 24...there are 24 hours in a day. NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR.  IF YOU CAN REMEMBER THIS SIMPLE PHRASE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO QUICKLY TURN TO MATTHEW 24 AND FIND THIS IMPORTANT SUBJECT THE NEXT TIME THERE IS A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE LORD COMING BACK. AS WE GET CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THE LORD'S RETURN, THERE WILL BE MORE AND MORE CORPSES CALLING.
                                                                             BE READY

In verses 24:37-39, Jesus explains that the rest of the world, who have not accepted His plan for redemption, will not be ready. It will be life as usual for them. They will see the return of the Lord as we will, and will then be accountable for their unbelief. 
VERSES 24:40-41, have been analyze, debated and elevated above other texts and used to prove the rapture. I have read different commentaries and I do think that this is a scripture that supports the timing of the rapture, but people who are far more educated than myself think that it could be that the people being taken, are the wicked being taken to judgement. So, pray over it and make your own decision. These verses can be a distraction from what Jesus was truly trying to convey to us in this chapter. DO NOT BE DECEIVED, BE READY.

Sangha River, Congo
In the remaining verses of this chapter (24:42-51) Jesus again uses parables to call us to be ready for His return. I now see this entire chapter as His attempt to ready His disciples (and us) for the events that will unfold before us . It is not His intention that we should understand all of the details of His return, He knows that we are incapable of that.  His intention is that we live our lives knowing that He is coming and that our world needs Him. Pray for an eternal perspective........

So, we will use , chapter 24, 24 HOURS IN A DAY. "NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR" to remember this chapter. Keep reading your bible. Go on to chapter 25. You will see that it is a continuation of the conversation that the Lord was having with the disciples. 
Hong Kong
God bless you ladies! I am praying for every one of you! Do not forget the impact that your knowledge of the word of God can have on your children, your husband, your community and your own relationship with our amazing incredible Lord.

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