OF THE END-TIMES
An End Time Overview:
Matthew 24 as an overview of the End-Time given by Jesus to
His disciples. In Matthew 24:1,2
NKJV “Then Jesus went out and departed from the
temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings
of the temple.
And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you see all these things?
Assuredly, I say to you,
not one stone shall
be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
V.3: Now 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?”
It is at this point, beginning in
verse 4 that Jesus begins to answer these three questions
posed by his disciples.
The three questions:
When will these things be?
What will be the sign of Your coming?
What will be the sign of the end of the age?
Some equate question 2 and 3 as one
but we will address them as three questions.
It is of great interest that Chapter
24 of Matthew’s gospel parallels Revelation chapter 6 and
the breaking of the seven seals.
And why not,
1) Jesus is the one quoted in both accounts.
(Matthew 24 gives the
words of Jesus as recorded by the Apostle Matthew.
Revelation is recorded by the apostle John but is
according to Revelation 1:1, “The
Revelation of Jesus Christ,…”)
2) Jesus is giving a panoramic view of the entire end-time in both
believe this to be further evidence that The Seven Seals give us a
panoramic view of the Last Days from the Cross-Resurrection
Event until the end of the age as this period of time
relates to followers of the Lamb of God.)
3) Jesus is
speaking to believers in both accounts.
(In Matt. 24,
responding to their specific questions.)
Question # 1. When
will these things be?
Obviously from the context, this first question is:
Lord, When will this happen, that
not one stone shall
be left upon another?
It is in answer to this question that
Jesus launches into language that may be compared to the
four horsemen of the apocalypse; so what does that have to
do with “when will this temple be destroyed?”
Hold on – we’re getting there!
vs.4-8: “And Jesus answered and
said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the
Christ,’ and will deceive many.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.
See that you are not troubled; for all these things
must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom
And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in
various places. (Pale
Horse) All these things are the beginning of sorrows.”
and permeates all)
Jesus continues in verses 9 – 35 of
Matthew 24 to explain the terrible times to come.
In fact, He gives an overview of the
coming age. He
covers the entire 2000 plus years in these verses.
Now, in verse 8 above, Jesus ends that section
saying, “all these
things are the beginning of sorrows.”
language speaks of ‘birth pains’.
This is not
In fact, the NIV renders this verse:
“All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
So, this synopsis of the age to come is likened to
That is to say, the described events typify the whole age to
come and yet as a woman in labor; these events will grow in
intensity and frequency until all is fulfilled.
This is why in our day, we seem to see these signs
screaming at us; for they are indeed growing in intensity
I am personally a pre-tribulation
rapture, pre-millennialist, which is the most common view
taken by Baptist.
I take this position because I believe it to be more
scripturally accurate, not just because it is main stream
studied Revelation in the early 1970’s under Dr. Douglas
Ezell, who was a New Testament professor at Southwestern
Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Ezell did his doctoral dissertation on
Revelations and much of my own Revelation and eschatological
views are rooted in Dr. Ezell’s book,
Revelations on Revelation: New Sounds from Old Symbols
by Douglas Ezell
Ezell’s overview of Revelation is anything but mainstream,
and my own view as I indicated above is rooted in his views.
Once you accept this thesis everything seems to fall
With that said,
Allow me to also say that I believe that Prophetic scripture
is so rich in meaning that it had a specific meaning for
those people to whom it was specifically written and yet has
a literal fulfillment for those living in the time periods
Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, this
generation will by no means pass away till all these things
Well, the generation he was speaking to literally saw the
beginning of the end –time prophecies fulfilled with the
destruction of the temple in AD 70.
They also saw
tribulation begin typified by false Christs’, war, famine,
pestilence and death.
generation has observed these same events with growing
intensity and frequency allowing them to live in
expectation; being ready for the literal return of Christ.
(Again, I believe that it is God’s will that each
generation live in expectation that Christ could return at
any moment. In
Acts 1:10 “And while they looked steadfastly toward
heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white
apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand
gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into
heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into
Jesus had just told them in Acts 1:7 in answer to their
question, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom
to Israel?” “It
is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has
put in His own authority.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has
come upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me…”
In Luke 21:36, Jesus says,
“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted
worthy to escape all these thing that will come to pass and
to stand before the Son of Man.”
belief is that Jesus is here speaking of the rapture of His
Bride. But it is
God’s intention that we be ever praying and watching for His
what makes us any different from our fathers who have
observed, wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, plagues,
famine and death while Anti-Christs (plural) have sought to
usurp God’s eternal plan?
says, “Now, learn this parable from the fig tree: When
its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves,
you know that summer is near.
So you also, when you see all these things, know that
it is near – at the doors!
This speaks to
us because we are the generation that has seen the fig tree
The fig tree
(prophetically) is Israel.
There had not been a nation of Israel for more
than 2000 years.
It depends on how you date it.
The kingdom of Israel
divided in Northern and Southern kingdoms after the death of
One of his sons reigned in Israel – the Northern kingdom; the other over Judah (formerly
– the Southern kingdom)
The Northern kingdom was taken into captivity in 722 -21 BC.
The Southern kingdom was taken into captivity in
587-86 BC At the
time of Christ, there was NO ISRAEL.
It was Judea! Using
this dating until May 14, 1948 there had not been a nation
of Israel for over twenty-five hundred years.
Even if you
consider Judea as synonymous with
Israel, then from AD70
until 1948 there was NO NATION OF ISRAEL!
That would be over eighteen hundred years.
This is of particular significance to us because
until our lifetime, THERE WAS NO ISRAEL. (I was born in 1948)
So, if we are the generation that sees the fig tree
leaf; then we are the last generation who will see THE END
OF THE END TIMES.
generation to whom Jesus was speaking saw the beginning of
the end times with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Roman
General Titus in AD70.
Israel was no
more! Also the
temple was destroyed literally as Jesus predicted.
We, who see the
restoration of Israel; our
generation will not pass away until the end of the end times
comes to pass.
Exciting isn’t it!
That’s just one
sign demonstrating that
the END TIME covers the whole period of time from Jesus’
Cross-Resurrection Event until His Second Coming.
scripturally justify this?
In Revelation Chapter 1, verse 9; John addresses his
“I, John, both your brother and companion in the
scripturally, tribulation is not something coming at the end
of the age but is current and being suffered by Christians
then as now. In
the 20th century more Christians were martyred
for their faith than all previous 1900 years combined!!!
it? We are IN
tribulation as was John the Apostle.
There are other
names given for this same period of time.
Let’s consider a few.
Age of Grace began at the Cross-Resurrection Event and
concludes with the Rapture of the Church.
Church Age began on the Day of Pentecost and concludes
with the Rapture of the Church.
of the Gentiles began in AD 70 with the destruction of
the temple and concluded with Jerusalem being returned to
the Jews (1967 or 1978 according to how you reckon it)
Days and The End
Time began with the Cross-Resurrection Event and
concludes with the Second Coming of Christ to rule and reign
Parenthesis began when Messiah was cut off
(Cross-Resurrection Event) and concludes with the rapture of
the church which signals the 70th week of Jewish
history or The Great Tribulation which will last seven
Another scripture demonstrating that the Last Days refers
to the whole period of time from the Cross-Resurrection
Event until Christ Second Coming is
found in Joel 2:28-32.
This scripture speaks of the Last Days as beginning
when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh, (as opposed
to the Holy Spirit being for specific people and tasks as in
the O.T.) This
happened on the Day of Pentecost. The passage concludes with
descriptions of the wrath at the end of the age associated
with the Wrath of God and judgement on Earth that has not
Peter in Acts
2:17-21 quotes Joel and claims fulfillment of the first part
of scripture on that very day of Pentecost.
Peter quotes Joel 2:28; “And it shall come to
pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out my
Spirit on all flesh;…”
Peter says in Acts 2:16, "This is what was spoken by
the prophet Joel:..."
to the prophet Joel and the apostle Peter, the Last Days
began on or at least was heralded by the Day of Pentecost.
According the Joel 2:28 ff and Acts 2:14 ff, the Last
Days have not yet concluded thus we are in the Last Days!
According to Revelation 1:9 we are indeed in
I believe a
correct and scriptural view of this period of time is
essential to a correct interpretation of the other events in
are NOT awaiting tribulation,;
we are in it!
We are not awaiting the end-time; we are in it!
The tribulation is NOT seven years, but has already
has compassed 1976 + years since the Cross-Resurrection
There is, however, 'Great Tribulation'
that will define the final seven years before Christ