Matthew 24, Part Four, Definition of Terms Primer

BY PGF
10 months, 3 weeks ago

Part One  Part Two  Part Three

As background to Matthew 24, we’re going to see how the word of God employs certain words. To rightly understand prophetic language, you must know these terms. These words are used in prophecy throughout the Scriptures, including some in Matthew 24 and Revelation. We’ll look at Cloud(s), Host, LORD of Hosts, and Flood.

A cloud can be a large body of people, and in the context of the judgment of God, it’s specific to armies of warfare. And this usually indicates the movement (maneuvers) of armies. The word cloud appears many times in the bible in several contexts. A very clear example of a cloud for our purposes is here in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

In verse 3 of Ezekiel 38, below, we see that Jehovah is preparing judgment. He says: “I am against thee” This is a threat. He goes on in verse 4 to explain His design upon this army and what nations these armies are of in verse 5. In verse 4, again, He uses the word company. This is a group of people, and since He just described a military outfit, we must conclude that He’s speaking of a military company of soldiers. In verse 6, He uses the word bands to describe these armies. Both company and band(s) are still used today, indicating military troops. Now read verse 9; cloud and band are used together with a band of soldiers covering the earth as a cloud moving with purpose at the direction of the LORD of Hosts.

“1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. 7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. 9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.” Ezekiel 38:1-9

(Note: The readership here doesn’t watch TV preachers, but just to be sure, Ezekiel 38 already happened and has nothing to do with Russia.)

See also Ezekiel 39:4

A host is also a large body of people, and in the context of the judgment of God, it too is specific to armies of warfare or invading peoples.

The Lord of hosts is most often cited as Jehovah. The Captain of the host of the LORD in the book of Joshua is the Christ of God, acting as the head of Joshua’s armies to effect God’s judgments upon the earth against His enemies in the taking of the promised land. (Note: This is the land promise made to Abram that was fulfilled under David when his kingdom attained to the Euphrates River.)

“13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? 15 And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:13-15

Another clear example is 1 Samuel 17:45

One more example, this one from Isaiah Chapter 19:1 “Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt…” In context, this refers to God using armies to judge Egypt. God is not literally riding a cloud into Egypt. At least we doubt that.

These terms are essential in both Matthew 24 and Revelation. And note much of the language between Isaiah 19 and Matthew 24. The Lord let loose the spirits of hell in each situation to confuse the judged during these separate incidents.

Clouds mean hosts, although not interchangeably. The Lord of hosts comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory in Matthew 24:30 and similarly in Revelation 1:7 and other places in Revelation; this is Jesus. There is no real break in the consistency of these uses from the earliest mentions in Scripture through to Revelation.

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” – Matthew 24:30

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” – Revelation 1:7

Also, the use of the word Flood by God is a purposeful alarm to get you to remember that great judgment. A flood is not by water anymore; it’s used to describe the overflowing of God’s will by implementing His great purposes in judgment at the hands of human instrumentation. See these verses and read their context: Isaiah 28:2, Isaiah 59:19, Jeremiah 46:8, Nahum 1:8, and Matthew 24:39.


Comments

  1. On March 19, 2022 at 9:33 am, blake said:

    One of my favorite verses in the OT is in the Book of Joshua:

    14 “Now, therefore, [a]fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and [b]truth; and do away with the gods which your fathers served beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

    Joshua 24:14-15 NASB

    The last part, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

  2. On March 20, 2022 at 8:17 pm, GWheels said:

    Unfortunately, for many in the Evangelical church in America, the John Darby and CI Scoffield premilenial dispensationalism has caused a Zionist focused modern state of Israel to dominate the object of what Revelations, Daniel and Ezekiel refer to in prophecy. The land promises to the nation of Israel have already been fulfilled in David as you had referred to in your article. The true focus of these prophecies are Jesus Christ and his church. The latter days are the church age and not the days which are yet to be fulfilled after the so called rapture. Most of the prophecies have already been fulfilled! There is a great exposing of these heresies by Pastor Chuck Baldwin in his recent series which I would recommend to Evangelical Christians such as myself who were blinded by the teachings of Scoffield for years to listen to with a humble, open heart. https://libertyfellowshipmt.com/News/tabid/56/ID/4242/Jesus-Based-Prophecy-Vs-Israel-Based-Prophecy.aspx

  3. On March 20, 2022 at 8:47 pm, PGF said:

    Thank you @GWheels for reading and commenting. I just linked a Baldwin sermon last week as “An Interesting Dismantling of Dispensationalism” here: https://www.captainsjournal.com/2022/03/15/the-antichrist-and-the-law/

    His Israel Package is required study for any serious student of the New Testament.

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