Matthew 24, Part Eight

BY PGF
8 months, 1 week ago

Here is Part One. All of the parts of this series are linked in that one place.

No marks, no comments, no verse or chapter markings, no headings; read this, read it five times if you must:

“Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 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. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

In Matthew 23:33, here is yet another direct assault on this generation by our Lord.

“Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” – Matthew 23:33

“34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” – Matthew 23:34-35

Verse 34: Jesus tells the Jews that they will kill, crucify, and scourge the teachers and preachers (Prophets and wise men and scribes) of the now coming New Covenant. This indicates that Jews will be persecutors of the disciples in a significant way. They followed the disciples around Judeaizing them (Acts 15:1), and when that didn’t work, they simply killed them or, more often, did what they did to Jesus, got Rome to do their dirty work for them. This was all fulfilled in the first century as the siege 67-70AD approached. Jesus is in the temple proclaiming these things while looking real people in the eye; Pharisees, Herodians, Sadducees, scribes, civil and religious leaders, and other people of all ranges. These things are not said in some mystical or strange manner that needs to be decrypted. These are direct prophetic threats against that generation from God Almighty; you are guilty!

Verse 35: all the righteous blood shed upon the earth (Land or Judea), from the first murder after the fall of man right up to the last murder (Zacharias son of Barachias) that took place in the temple as the Roman armies approached. This generation was to pay for it all. This is horrifying; the holy righteous, just lawgiver determining the wrath of all those sins upon that generation. Of course, the threat is not idle; verses 34 and 35 are one sentence, there is payment for persecuting God’s men.

“Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” – Matthew 23:36

How could this be anything other than the very people Jesus is speaking with as He accuses them in the most public manner? The temple was not only a worship center; life in Jerusalem revolved around it. It was a meeting place and social center. This isn’t a private conversation that’s taking place. It’s hard to know how many hundreds or thousands may have heard this.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” – Matthew 23:37

Verse 37 is beautiful in showing God’s longsuffering, but He is holy, and we see God’s wrath in judgment as patience runs out. Here too, is His abiding desire for mercy and reconciliation with those that seek Him. It pricks the heart to consider God’s mercy on our despicable country if only we would come to Him acknowledging His authority and our need for reconciliation; we, too, are a wicked and perverse generation. Don’t be deceived; there is no reason to celebrate what will come upon that generation; God’s judgments are sure and continue today. This verse also offers excellent instruction in righteousness for believers; that they falter not. Stay steadfast to the end, enduring in the hope of the knowledge that we will see Him as He is and will be like Him.

“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” – Matthew 23:38

Daniel 9:26 says in part, “…and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (See Luke 21:20)

The word prince is lower case. However, Daniel likely did not know that those people would be the Roman armies of the first century. And see Daniel 9:27, in which “that determined” is the judgment of God upon that generation; the 70 weeks was drawing to a close in the first century.

Some say in verse 38, Jesus may be referring to His (for He is God) absence from the temple. As we’ve explained, there is no need for a temple because the body of Christ is the temple of a new and better covenant with all men.

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