The Greatest Story Ever Told About
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived
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In Matthew 24 Jesus’ disciples ask him about the “sign of his coming and of the end of the age”.  
The first thing he tells them is to watch out for false Christs of which we have seen many since
then.  And that there will be wars and rumors of wars, famines, and earthquakes, of which we have
seen many as well.  He sums this up by saying that this will be the beginning of birth pains.  In other
words, this is not yet the Tribulation, just a warm up to it.

“Then you will be persecuted and put to death and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”   
This we have seen as well, the Jews have been persecuted ever since and today Israel has very
few friends in the world.   We have also seen
“many will turn from the faith and betray and hate each
   And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  This too we have seen
happen as well as
“because of the increase of wickedness the love of most will grow cold”.  “But he
who stands firm to the end will be saved”
is many times misunderstood because it is taken to mean
the end of the Tribulation.  This does not mean that.  It is basically a warning not to turn from the
faith, or listen to the false prophets and so be deceived, or to partake in hating each other as stated
in the previous verses.  In other words, don’t let these things influence you as they will turn you
away from your faith.  Stand strong against them and walk in faith until Jesus comes.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and
then the end will come”.
 We have tried to do this but have not been successful, therefore in
Revelation Chapter 14, God sends an angel to fly over the whole earth to preach the Gospel to all

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of
through the prophet Daniel let the reader understand then let those who are in Judea flee to the
mountains.  Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house.  Let no one in the
field go back to get their cloak.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing
mothers!  Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.  For then there will be
great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now and never to be equaled again.  If
those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will
be shortened.”

These verses do not relate to the end times.   They relate to the destruction of the Temple in
Jerusalem in 70 AD which we can compare with the scriptures from Matthew 23: 37-39.  
Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather
your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.  Look,
your house is left to you desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is
he who comes in the name of the Lord.’

In 70 AD when Titus destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem and killed between 600,000 to 1.1 million
Jews (depending on who’s figures you use) the land was left desolate and the remaining (approx.
97,000) Jews were taken away to slave labour.   
 “For then there will be great distress, unequaled
from the beginning of the world until now and never to be equaled again.  If those days had not been
cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”
verse is many times taken to refer to the Tribulation, but that is not applicable because the
Tribulation is not cut short.  There are 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 vials and they are all fulfilled.   This
refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.   If you read the account you find that the Roman
soldiers were so angry and blood thirsty that they would have killed all the Jews if they were not
held back.  Titus did not even want to destroy the Temple, but they ignored his instructions and did
so anyway.   This is what Jesus meant when he talked about the distress unequalled from the
beginning of the world.  The Roman soldiers were merciless as they slaughtered men, women,
children, the elderly, the defenceless, and everyone else in Jerusalem.  Never before has so much
hatred and anger been the driving force to destroy the Jews which I believe would have succeeded
had God not intervened.  Luke 21 refers to this as
“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by
armies, you will know that its desolation is near.”  He also says “They will fall by the sword and will
be taken as prisoners to all the nations.”
 And that is exactly what happened.   I believe that the
reason this happened was because the Jews rejected the Messiah and refused to accept the new
covenant in his blood.   They continued offering sacrifices on the altar and went back to their old
ways.  God had to get their attention, so he unleashed his anger on them and destroyed their
Temple to show them that it was no longer necessary.  And as always, God preserved a remnant.

"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it  and said, “If you, even you, had only
known on this day what would bring you peace but now it is hidden from your eyes.  The days will
come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem
you in on every side.  They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They
will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
This scripture from Luke 19 also shows us that Jesus knew what was going to happen and tried to
warn them.  It is said that when this happened, the Christians living in Jerusalem remembered what
Jesus had told them and they fled.  Not one Christian was killed when the Roman soldiers
slaughtered the Jews who stayed behind.  

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner
rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will
be the coming of the Son of Man.  Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.”
Jesus is speaking about his second coming which will be as 1 Cor 15:51 says
“Listen I tell you a
mystery.  We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trumpet”
.  Jesus was telling them that the next time he comes (resurrection/rapture) that it will
be like a flash, instantaneously.    He also makes a curious statement about vultures gathering.  That
is easier to understand from the Living Bible
“Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a
carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.”
 Jesus also puts it another way “Now
learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know
that summer is near.  Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the
door.  Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have
 The generation that will not pass away reference could be to the Jews as the Temple
was destroyed 40 years later, and it could also apply to the Tribulation as it is only a 7 year period.  
Because he speaks of both the destruction of the temple and the tribulation in these chapters,
either could apply and be right.  

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will
mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.  
And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four
winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
 This is the verse that post tribulation believers
use to justify their belief.  However it is always risky when you only use one scripture as this could
also mean the gathering of the sheep when he assembles the sheep and the goats.  A study of the
entire Book of Revelations shows us that by the end of the Tribulation there will be very few
Christians left on the earth.  This is why it is very unlikely that the rapture will occur at the end.  In
Chapter 13 when the antichrist erects an image and forces everyone to worship it or be killed,
almost all Christians would be killed at that time as they would never worship that image.    Luke
puts it this way  
“At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great
glory.  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your
redemption is drawing near.”
 This refers to the same event, and post tribulation believers use it to
say that this is when we will be raptured.  However that is not what this scripture says.   It says
“When these things begin to take place…your redemption is drawing near.   In other words, when
you see the signs of the end times, lift up your head because you are about to be raptured out of
here.  It does not refer to the end of the Tribulation period, but to the beginning of it.

Luke sums it up with this  
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing,
drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will
come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth.  Be always on the watch, and pray that you
may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of
 This refers to the Tribulation period because Jesus says that it will come on all those who
live on the whole earth, (not just Jerusalem or Israel).  He also tells us to pray that we will be able to
escape what will happen.  Obviously he would not ask us to pray for something that we can never
get which again indicates that the rapture will happen before the Tribulation.  He also gives us a
…and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”  This relates back to the first
part of the scripture which warns against loose living and not walking close with God.  

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the
 Matthew wraps it up with this verse which ties into the days of Noah reference on which I
have written a separate study.  The point here is that no one knows the day or the hour, but of
what?   Many have used this verse loosely to refer to many things, but according to this scripture
he says
“about that day”.   And that day that he is speaking about is the Day of the Lord which is the
7 year Tribulation period.  And he is right (as always) no one does know when the Tribulation period
will start.   We will know once we are in it, but we will have no advance warning or be able to
pinpoint the day from any other scriptures.  My study on Chapter 6 of Revelation does show when it
will start, but not according to the day or hour, but by the events that will happen when God decides
it’s time to get the show started.   This is what is meant by
‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon
will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”
is Joel’s prophecy and is also described in Revelation Chapter 6 at the opening of the sixth seal.

Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13 are an overview of what will happen not only in the Last Days, but
also at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.  This is a very significant historical
event and a real unfortunate event for the Jews.  The other events such as the “raging and tossing
of the seas” can all happen during the Tribulation as there are no contradictions between these
chapters and the Book of Revelation.  In Matthew 25 Jesus goes on to use other examples of his
coming and warns us of the consequences of not walking by the Spirit until he comes.  Mark 13
does not have anything that is not repeated in Luke 21 or Matthew 24.  The reference to the sheep
and goats is covered in my study on Burn in Hell.
End Times -  Matthew 24