Olivet Discourse – Matthew 24:3-5 – The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Olivet Discourse – Matthew 24:3-5

Mark 13:3-13; Luke 21:7-19

Matthew 24:3 (KJV)  “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? (the destruction of the Temple) and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (His second advent, to redeem Israel, restore the Davidic Kingdom, and Judge the nations—Daniel 7).

Naturally, His curious disciples inquired of Jesus as to the timing of these events and the establishment of His Kingdom.  After all, who better to ask than Jesus Himself?  His disciples gathered together with Him, without the crowds, for a private lesson.  Of the two very specific questions they asked, at the 4th verse Jesus immediately skips over their first question and begins by answering the second  – “.  .  .  what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” –  Jesus sits, looking forward through time He begins His answer.  In verses 5-14 Jesus gives an overview of conditions in the world from Christ to Christ—that is, form His crucifixion to His second advent; from His rejection by Israel until Israel turns to Him and proclaim, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” Matthew 23:39 (KJV).  A survey of scripture irrefutably and undeniably confirms that Israel is God’s people, His timepiece, and His calendar of events.  You could say Israel is God’s Daytimer.  For us to understand these events as they are unfolding today before our very eyes, we must keep an eye on Israel.  Jesus warns those in future generations to beware, to watch, and to hold fast—by keeping our eyes on the people of Israel as they proceed through the pages of prophecy, we will know where we are standing in the passage of time.

We do not want to be ignorant of the times like Israel was at Christ’s first advent.  All the sings were there for them to know – All the signs are there for us to see – Even the Maji knew the time when Israel’s king would come.  Daniel 9:26 terminates at Matthew 21:9 & Luke 19:38.

End-Time Prophecy – Don’t Be Deceived
Times of the Gentiles*
Times of the Gentiles began in 586 BC when the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians.  In 607 Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem and carried many of the inhabitants away into captivity and in 537 Cyrus, who conquered Babylon, granted the Jews permission to return to Judea, but under rule of his empire.  Even today the Temple mount and most of the land of Judea is occupied by enemies of God.  Israel won’t be completely restored until Messiah comes to redeem her.   

Matthew 24:4 (KJV) “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you”

Scripture gives specific instruction on how to not be deceived:

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day .  .  .  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth .  .  .  the breastplate of righteousness .  .  .  the gospel of peace .  .  .  the shield of faith .  .  .  the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”Ephesians 6:13-18 (KJV)

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15 (KJV)

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”John 17:17

As children of God, we need to arm ourselves with His Holy Word.  His Word is our protection and our guide: “Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”Psalm 119:105 (KJV)

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16 (KJV)

Jesus is saying to anyone who will listen, “pay attention, be alert, beware, keep watching, be grounded in the Word.”  This warning is a personal invitation to all who are listening and is repeated over and over again throughout the New Testament.  His disciples had intimate knowledge of Jesus and His Words and were not misled.  At Pentecost they were filled with the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the living God.  Being filled with the Spirit they were not likely to be fooled.  His words are a warning as well to all future generations…like the world today…who may not be intimately involved with our Lord and do not live with Him through the scriptures on a daily basis.  When we choose to accept Jesus as the Christ, that same Holy Spirit descended to seal us and abide in us.  That is what makes us the body of Christ, the Church, the Temple of God, built upon solid Rock.  The Holy Spirit is our guide and teacher (1 John 2:27) and leads us in truth through the scriptures (Read the Book!).  When our lives are focused on Christ (in Christ), the indwelling Spirit makes it impossible for us to be deceived.

False Prophets

Matthew 24:5 (KJV)“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
.  .  .  “Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.”
Luke 21:8 (KJV)

“Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” Jeremiah 14:14 (KJV)

“For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (KJV)

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”  2 Timothy 3:13

Many teach that these men will say they “are the Christ,” but that isn’t consistent with the context of the text.  Not until verse 24 do we find false Christs arising.  These deceivers come “in His name.”  They claim to represent Him and preach in His name…just like the Judaizers did in Galatians who also taught false doctrine in Christ’s name.  These deceivers, ungodly men and women arise for evil gain.  They proclaim that Jesus is the Christ but then deny Him in their teachings and their wicked ways.  Apostates, they claim power and authority in Christ.  Some deny the power of the resurrection and even the truth that He is the Messiah.

“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Tit 1:16 KJV).

 Many seminaries, churches, and preachers today are denying Biblical truths.  They invoke the name of Christ yet deny Him through their preaching and doctrines.  They deny the inerrancy of Holy Scripture.  They appoint deviants to leadership positions in the ministry.  Some reject the miracles of scripture, reject Israel, and promote themselves and their ministries.  Others profess that they too can work miracles through the Holy Spirit.  And still, others preach prosperity – all for the money it pays!

These apostates have been around throughout time.  In 3 John 1:9 John gives an example of apostasy in the Church.  This is where Diotrephes rejected John and his teaching and forbade the congregation to fellowship with him.  Can you imagine such a thing?  Rejecting an Apostle of our Lord and forbidding disciples to meet with him?  In Philippians 1:15 the Apostle Paul gives another example.  He tells us of malefactors preaching Christ, not out of love and truth, but out of envy and strife.  Then, as today, some preach Christ simply for monetary gain.  To them preaching is just an occupation that pays a good wage (as evidenced by many so-called “Christian” radio and television evangelists).  In the end, only destruction and damnation can come from their pulpits.  Jesus said simply, Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Mt 7:20 KJV).

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth [them] out of the church.”3 John 9-10 (KJV)

Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will”Philippians 1:15

The Living Bible expresses this deception quite well:

“And remember why he [Jesus] is waiting.  He is giving us time to get his message of salvation out to others.  Our wise and beloved brother Paul has talked about these same things in many of his letters.  Some of his comments are not easy to understand, and there are people who are deliberately stupid, and always demand some unusual interpretation-they have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of the Scripture-and the result is disaster for them” (2 Peter 3:15-16 TLB).

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8 KJV).

Exploring Scripture~because it matters-it really does!

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