By Bob Barney-The Plain Truth
In Matthew 24 Jesus spoke specifically to His disciples about the very warnings that will point to His second coming. This amazing event of His return will be the end of the age of man and will be the establishment of His Kingdom on earth. He said to them: “Do you see all these buildings? Truly I say to you, they will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another!” As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Be careful that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will lead many astray.” (Mathew 24: 3-5 in The Plain Truth Red Letter “Original Order” Bible by Bob Barney.)
When Jesus said this, He was speaking as prophet knowing all of what the future would hold. He understood that not only false messiahs would appear on the world stage but false religions as well; a good example of this is Islam. Jesus was speaking of a time when many would come to use His name proclaiming that, "Jesus is the Christ", and still manage to deceive many. He also spoke of 'false Christianity' (not to be confused with false pagan religions), when He said they will come in His name. Unfortunately, most Christians mistakenly assume that Jesus was predicting the arrival of impostors claiming to be Him but really posing as the Antichrist, however, that IS NOT the correct warning here! He was warning us and His disciples about FALSE CHRISTIANITY masquerading as the real thing!
Matthew 24 is one of the longest single prophecies in the Bible and is the most important prophecy that Christ ever did make while on Earth. It is about the birth of a new age after an eruption of world crises' that in fact will end the age of man. The seven seals represent the unfolding of such events and here they are in order: false prophets, war, famine, pestilence, tribulation, heavenly signs, and the seven trumpets that will lead directly to Christ’s return; these events are to happen in rapid succession!
History informs us in the first century alone that many had already come in His name, claiming to be from God. This was soon after Christ's ascension to Heaven in 31AD and at the time of the founding of the church. These people even professed Jesus was the Christ and that He rose from the dead. The false Christians at this time were not a part of the true church of God but were actually from Satan! In Galatians 1:6-7, we see they were already preaching a different gospel than Jesus' gospel of the Kingdom of God. The apostle Paul also spoke of these false prophets in II Corinthians, the 11th chapter. To the church in the very first century, he wrote: “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For you happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed."
Do you read what Paul is saying? Already in His day, a false Christian church had emerged claiming that Jesus was the Messiah and were PREACHING A FALSE GOSPEL! Jesus, like Paul, was warning that we are to be on the lookout for false Christians preaching a false gospel in Jesus' name! John tells us “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Jesus Himself makes the same claim that people can worship Christ, LOVE HIM, believe on Him, and yet, be of the Devil! It is right here in Matthew 7:
Again from “The Plain Truth Red Letter Bible”:
Matthew 7:21-27: Not everyone who says to me, 'LORD, LORD,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will tell Me in that day, 'LORD, LORD, didn't we prophesy by Your Name, by Your Name cast out demons, and by Your Name do many mighty works?' Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work iniquity (who practice lawlessness).' Therefore, everyone who hears what I say and obeys it will be like a wise person who built a house on rock. Rain poured, and floods came. Winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not collapse, because its foundation was on rock. Everyone who hears My words and doesn't do them is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell — and great was its fall.”
This is a very tough line by Jesus Himself! Notice that the act of confessing on Jesus and saying that you 'believe on Him' means NOTHING for our salvation! In fact, He goes on to say that many who do miracles and 'love the Lord' will be sent away from Jesus during the first judgment day! Have you ever noticed that churches do not teach this verse very often? Why might this be so? The reason is because Jesus plainly states that one must believe AND OBEY! Obeying means to follow the Law of God!
Jesus goes on to say in verse 7 "Nations will fight against other nations; kingdoms will fight against other kingdoms…" (NCV version). Then concludes, "There will be times when there is no food for people to eat, and there will be earthquakes in different places. 8 These things are like the first pains when something new is about to be born.
9 “Then people will arrest you, hand you over to be hurt, and kill you. They will hate you because you believe in me. 10 At that time, many will lose their faith, and they will turn against each other and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will come and cause many people to believe lies. 12 There will be more and more evil in the world, so most people will stop showing their love for each other. 13 But those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved. 14 The Good News about God’s kingdom will be preached in all the world, to every nation. Then the end will come.
15 “Daniel the prophet spoke about ‘a blasphemous object that brings destruction. ’You will see this standing in the holy place.” (You who read this should understand what it means.) 16 “At that time, the people in Judea should run away to the mountains. 17 If people are on the roofs of their houses, they must not go down to get anything out of their houses. 18 If people are in the fields, they must not go back to get their coats. 19 At that time, how terrible it will be for women who are pregnant or have nursing babies! 20 Pray that it will not be winter or a Sabbath day when these things happen and you have to run away, 21 because at that time there will be much trouble. There will be more trouble than there has ever been since the beginning of the world until now, and nothing as bad will ever happen again. 22 God has decided to make that terrible time short. Otherwise, no one would go on living. But God will make that time short to help the people he has chosen" (NCV Version)
Notice that Jesus gives the same order of End Time events in Matthew that are also given in Revelation:6. The first event He said was The White Horse of False Christianity, He then warned about Wars and Rumors of War called The Second Red Horse of war. The third event is one of famine and disease and is called The Black Horse. Finally, we have The Pale Horse which is death to everyone but the 'elect'. In summary, both books show the same story; Matthew 24 is a description of the tribulation time as future events to come, whereas Revelation:6 is the actual prediction being revealed in present-day orientation. For the Church, it shows promise and hope rather than sufferings.
When comparing scripture to scripture, the general chronology of Revelation is not confined to the book of Revelation alone. It has long been recognized that the prophetic forecast Jesus gave in Matthew 24 not only compares exactly to what is prophesized in Revelation chapters 6-19 but is also Jesus' expansion/interpretation of Daniel 9:27! It actually describes what is called, Daniel's "seventieth week prophecy." What Daniel describes; Jesus expands on in Matthew 24. It goes from one chapter to John enlarging it to fourteen chapters! The Book of Revelation and Jesus' predictions in Matthew are not just an isolated Christian apocalypse, it is the consummation of all the prophecies throughout the Word of God. The seven-year period of Revelation 6-19 is Daniel's "seventieth week" of seven years. The last half of three-and-one half years of Revelation corresponds to the three-and-one-half year period of Daniel 7:25. This period is called in Jeremiah 30:7 "Jacob's trouble." This period is forty-two months or in days, it is twelve-hundred-and-sixty days long. Many refuse to see this simple explanation of prophecy.
When Matthew chapter 24 and Revelation chapters 6-19 are compared, we find many remarkable comparisons. There will be false christ's (Matt. 24:4-5; Rev. 6:1-2), wars (Matt. 24:6; Rev. 6:3-4), famines (Matt. 24:7a; Rev. 6:5-6), death (Matt. 24:7b-8; Rev. 6:7-8), martyrs (Matt. 24:9; Rev. 6:9-11), worldwide chaos (Matt. 24:10-13; Rev. 6:12-17), and the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom preceded by the sealing of the 144,000 (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:1-8).
There will be the desecration of the Temple and its worship (Matt. 24:15; Rev. 13:1-10), while persecution by the Antichrist will cause Israel to flee into the wilderness (Matt. 24:16-20; Rev. 12:6, 12-17). There will be deception by the false prophet (Matt. 24:11-12; Rev. 13:11-18), with the Second Advent terminating the seven-year period (Matt. 24:27-30; Rev. 19:11-21). Therefore, Matthew 24 is a prophetic forecast of the seven-year period of Revelation chapters 6-19, which once again is once again, Daniel's "Seventieth Week" (Dan. 9:27).
People often say we are in the Tribulation, but this is how we know for a fact that we are not YET in the Tribulation! The Bible states plainly and simply that there must be a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, so a word of caution is to not listen to those holy rollers telling this falsity and who frighten little old ladies out of their money at church on Sunday. Over and over again, predictions are being made by the 'false ministers of Christ' who state that we are presently living in the days right before the Tribulation. We simply do not know the time as Jesus told us in Matthew 24 that it could happen in the next few years, or maybe even longer. We should live like it may happen in five years but plan our lives around the simple fact that we may not actually be alive to see it. Living within this mindset can help us to not become despondent and can help us to avoid falling away from God when His timeline does not coincide with ours.
The true Church of God, the one that Jesus founded upon Himself, follows the Laws of God. Those Laws are The Ten Commandments, and they include the Sabbath Day. False Christianity wants you to believe the 4th Commandment is not what it says it is and that it can be dismissed. The true Church of God rejects Sunday worship and rejects the false gospel that Jesus somehow came to take away the Law; He did nothing of the sort! Jesus said Himself that He did NOT come to abolish the Law.
Friends, these are quotes from the Bible. Yes, they are in my translated words, but look up the same verses in your Bible. Take a look and see if my modern English translation varies much from what all experts agree are the words Jesus and the New Testament writers chronicled in the first century. It is time that you begin to read the words ON THE PAGE and not listen to the words from some theologian or minister – these very people could be the same ones Jesus was warning you about in Matthew 24!