24.5 The prophesies of Matthew 24

May 13, 2009 at 3:21 pm 4 comments

I decided a few weeks back that I was going to take the time to study and write about Matthew 24 from a Kingdom perspective in order to cement in my own mind just why I have never been very willing to accept the futurist view of the end times. I call a futurist one who takes the predictions of Matthew 24 and makes them predictions of a time yet in our future but one they are pretty sure is going to happen real soon.  (you might want to scroll down and get some background  before you read the rest of this post)

24:4-28 contains, in addition to the destruction of the temple which we wrote about in 24.4, at least 10 more predictions of events to come during the generation who were listening to Jesus speak, or about 40 years.  I will not refer to all 10 but will touch on a few, including the prediction of a “great tribulation” and an anti-Christ.

vv.4-5 See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will mislead many.

The futurist reads these words of Jesus spoken to His intimate friends and immediately makes the leap over 2000 years and predicts they will happen shortly before the end of the world.  So every person that makes a claim to be the Messiah, both crack pot and zealot causes them to say: “see the end is near”.

If Jesus was predicting false claims of messiahship for the generation of His listeners, did He get it right?  Were there impostors attempting to infiltrate the church in the first century?  The answer of course is yes.  When Jesus died there were many who came out of the dark to clam the hearts of the Jewish people, who had a certain kind of messiah in mind.  They were desperate for someone to come and free them from Roman domination.  Their hope and much of their religious system was based on a coming Messiah.  When Jesus died many followers fell away and began to look for someone else and of course, the false messiahs flourished. There is no question that extra biblical history supports this fact.  (Eusebius, The Venerable Bede and others)

vv.6-7 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars… For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 

When you read these verses don’t you quickly think “that has to be today”?  There is a new war or the rumor of a new war nearly everyday, these days.  But interestingly, that was not the way it was in 1st century Palestine.  There were no signs of war or rumors about war at the time Jesus made this prophesy.  The power of Rome provided a stable and strong environment, even though they made it happen through force.  That period in history is even known as Pax Romana or Roman Peace because no one was even daring to take a run at the Romans.  This is the environment into which Jesus prophesied of coming wars and rumors of wars.

Did the climate around Israel change within the 40 year period after Jesus made this prophesy?  Was Pax Romana interrupted?  In fact wars started erupting all over the Roman Empire and the Jews were forced to live in constant terror.  50,000 Jews were killed in Seleucia and another 20,000 in Caesaria.  in AD 66 50,000 Jews were killed in the city of Alexandria.  Within the span of 18 months, four Roman emperors were violently killed causing civil war to break out all over the empire including in the city of Rome.  It was a time of almost constant rebellion and turmoil in the usually quiet Roman Empire and there was an almost constant flow of rumors of additional outbreaks washing over the Jewish people.

One more for today.  v.7 …in various places there will be famines.

In Acts 11 there is a bold prophesy of severe famine in the region of Judah and in two places in the New Testament we read where Christians took offerings for the believers who were suffering in Judah. (Acts 11:29; 1Corinthians 16:1-3) Obviously this Acts 11 prophesy came true and at the same time Jesus prophetic word as fulfilled.

Knowing of the coming famine and the horrible destruction of Jerusalem on the cross, Jesus said to the women of Israel: Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.  For behold, the days are coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed” (Luke 23:28-29)   Historical writer Eusebius wrote:  Under Claudius the world was visited with a famine, which writers that are entire strangers to our religion have written in their histories.

Every prophesy of Jesus contained in Matthew 24 can be shown to have happened in the 40 years immediately after He made them.  The prophesy about earthquakes 24:7 happened all over the Roman Empire.  I found mention of 11 cities where history records seismic activity, including the moment Jesus died on the cross and again when He rose from the dead.  (Matthew 27, 28)

The evidence is clear.  The prophesies of Matthew 24 have been fulfilled.  I will do the tribulation and anti-Christ ones later.

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Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Bible, Bible topics, Christian, Christianity, Culture, End of the world, End times, Eschatology, Faith, Holy Spirit, How will the world end?, Kingdom, Matthew 24, Revelation, Thoughts.

Monday morning meanderings. Vol.78 The fb on fb and change.

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cbyaruhanga  |  September 8, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Jesus is on the way be ready

  • 2. James H. Lowrance  |  May 14, 2009 at 6:41 am

    thaank you for your time and effort my mind is a lot mor clear about this thank you

  • 3. Amanda  |  May 13, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    ditto, and i LOVE the cartoon!

  • 4. Dennis  |  May 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    good stuff

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