In Matthew 24:3, the disciples ask Yeshua Jesus two questions…
1. Yeshua had just prophesied the destruction of the temple, so they asked wen that would happen.
2. They also asked about the signs of His coming and the end of the age.
Yeshua’s answer has been difficult to separate which part of His answer corresponds to which question. So, my thought is that it is the same answer for both! God and His Word are full of foreshadowing and patterns! Possibly, the same way Jerusalem and traditional religious Judaism falls in 70AD to the Roman Empire, is the same way it will be in the days before His coming at the end of the age (with the falling of the One World Antichrist government and the false religious prophet).
So, what are the signs mentioned in Matthew 24?
1. Deception…misusing His name as representing Him, deception misleading people to follow another “savior”…and false prophets.
2. Wars and rumors of wars to insight violence and fear, increase in lawlessness.
4. Persecution and martyrdom, with some falling away when pressured.
6. The abomination of desolation, an appalling sacrilege in the holy temple that makes God’s presence desolate.
7. Flee from Judea and run immediately to the mountainous wilderness for great tribulation is at your door.
8. If anyone comes claiming to be Me, the true Messiah, do not believe them. They are antichrist and false prophets.
These things happened in Jerusalem from the time of Jesus ascension until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. The Roman General Titus was standing in the Holy of Holies place where he should not be. We see this same pattern in Revelation. The first five seals opened concern fighting deception, war and violence, famine and poverty, with resulting death to kill evil, with persecution and martyrdom. Notice that the 6th seal brings a great earth shaking event! We are also told about a huge earthshaking event when Yeshua Jesus comes to earth again. Recall, that the Bible tells us about a great earthquake in 33AD at the crucifixion of Yeshua Jesus. The pattern is the same for both the seals of Revelation and Yeshua’s prophesy in Matthew 24. There is more….
Josephus, a Jewish historian of that time, wrote in his first hand account that while 1-1 million Jews died in the siege of Jerusalem, Christian Jews escaped Judea before destruction due to fleeing to the wilderness immediately as Yeshua warned. In Revelation 12:14, we read how God preserves His people in the wilderness to save them from destruction and tribulation. Like those ancient Christian Jews in Jerusalem, we also need to be alert and know His prophetic signs for our times!
Notice Matthew 24:8, where Yeshua Jesus says these are just the beginning of birth pains. The events of the previous 40 years, from the beginning of Yeshua’s ministry until the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD was just the beginning of birth pains. Remember, 40 is the time allowed for repentance before judgment comes. Now, in Revelation, John is seeing and hearing revelation from Yeshua Jesus of what is quickly/shortly to happen….at the beginning of the church age.
These birth pains not only reference the increasing intensity and frequency of the troubles, but also the birth pains of the church. The birth pains, being “born again’ would increate in intensity and frequency throughout the whole earth, when people became “born again”. In Matthew 24:14, Yeshua tells them the good news gospel message of salvation will be preached in all the earth, to all nations…and then the end, the last days before his return, will come. Yeshua Jesus opens the seals to release heavenly forces to aid His people in all these things so that they might prevail against evil. The church age ahs seen continual increase of these things on a global level!
We can know that beginning in Matthew 24:21, Yeshua Jesus is now speaking specifically about the Last Days before His return. Why? Because He says no such tribulation has ever been or will ever be as in that end time tribulation. It is so bad that God must cut the days short or all human flesh would die, but for the sake of His elect, the days are shortened. (Notice, that must means His elect are still on earth during this great tribulation.)
Yeshua warns that false christs (self proclaimed anointed ones and saviors, antichrists) and false prophet will come. (Revelation says the same things.) He says do not listen to them or go to check them out. They will have signs and wonders and even try to deceive the elect, God’s people, In verse 27, He says…you will know when I come…it will not be a secret coming! When He comes, the lightening will come in the east and streak all the way to far west! He is going to come in glory and everyone will see Him and know He is the Savior, the Son of Man and Son of God!
To my way of thinking, this does NOT sound like a secret rapture. It will surprise those not expecting Him, like a thief at night is a surprise to those in the dark. But, in 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11, we read how His children of light will not be blind in darkness, but will know the times and not be surprised. We are also told we will not see His wrath. That is why I believe we are caught up together with Yeshua Jesus at His second coming after the trumpet warnings and judgments of Revelation, but before the bowls of wrath. We will learn more as we go on. It is important to know the Truth and the truth in His Word!
Should you desire to check this out now, go to Revelation and read it through. You will find that the 7 trumpets are prior to the vision that gives more specific information about the very last days, and then the Day of the Lord comes to judge Babylon in the earth. Yeshua Jesus comes to earth and catches away His people, the dead first and then the living, in the twinkling of an eye. And then the bowls of wrath are poured out. I believe these 7 bowls will be quick judgements coming close together. Yeshua will put away all evil and become King of Kings and Lord of Lords for 1000 years.