Originally posted at: http://gephartr.blogspot.com
“Israel’s deputy prime minister Haim Ramon says the Israeli government would support a division of Jerusalem. This would be a key component of an Israeli-Palestinian declaration to be made at an international peace conference in the U.S. this year.”
“Also Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told parliament that peace would require Israel to make “costly” concessions and that the Palestinians give up part of their dreams.”
“The tiny Palestinian Christian community in Gaza is in shock, and afraid, reports Berger, after the director of the only Bible shop in the territory was murdered. Christians blame Islamic militants, who had bombed the bookstore and demanded that it be shut down. Just 3,000 Christians live among 1½ million Palestinian Muslims in Gaza. Relations have been uneasy since Hamas seized control of Gaza in June, and now Christians fear they’re being pushed out.”
Matt 24:6-8 (NASB)
“You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”
And so it starts. This could certainly be a description of the last decade, and much of the last 2000 years indeed.
Matt 24:9-12 (NASB)
“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”
This has been happening since Christ. Though all of these things are even more so now.
Matt 24:13-14 (NASB)
“But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Endure to the end of your own life – or for those living – to the end of the prophecy. This is the “race” that Paul says we are in. (Are you enduring?) As far as preached to the whole world, I find it hard to imagine that this has not occurred in some form in 2000 years.
“But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
So, some people believe this to have been fulfilled at the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The facts surrounding that event line up (almost) exactly – and certainly it was A fulfillment of this prophecy. BUT, verse 22 declares that it was not THE fulfillment – as much worse has happened since then, and it did not threaten all life on the planet, but only in Israel.
Matt 24:27 “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Here we know without doubt that Jesus is speaking of the day of his return.
“But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 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. And 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.”
One of the clearest statements against a “pre-tribulational rapture.” The “rapture” is when the Son of Man returns to this Earth with all of his angels in judgment. At this point in time he establishes his righteous rule in Jerusalem and we will rule and reign with him in some form.
So, beware the signs that are all around you. Run the race, endure to the end, strive to uphold His Law in both Spirit and letter. Also beware those who would mislead you!
“And Jesus answered and said to them, See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.”
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.”
So do not believe people if they tell you that the Christ is out there somewhere, or that he is within somewhere. Jesus will return quite visibly and the wicked will moan and weep!
“For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be…. 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.”
Praise be to YHWH that he has stated so very clearly what we should watch for and expect. It is because of this warning that we should not go off into the lies that abound regarding where to look for Jesus and how to find him. We know where he is and we know how to find him. We also know how he will return and what to watch for.