Thursday, September 6, 2012

(Jesus) Matthew 24:1-14, Christ Predicts 2nd Temple Destruction, End of the World, Beginning of Sorrows, Deception

(This is a general interpretation of Holy Scripture. Please read the word for yourself, pray and ask G-D for knowledge and he will give it to you. Do not take our word as law.)

DISCLAIMER: Interpreting end of days prophecy is just that, an interpretation. We have the ability to be open minded with regard to end of days prophecy because your personal, theological and or spiritual interpretation does not effect your Salvation through the Blood of Yeshua the Christ.

I must admit I have struggled to provide a lesson for Matthew Chapter 24 because of the multitude of interpretations. Many denominations of the Christian Church are divided on the proper interpretation of this chapter. However, the interpretations I will provide are just one of many that I have considered.

Matthew 24

1. And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

2 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.

3 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?

Some of the division begins here, in verse 3 with the interpretation of the word, or phrase, end of the world. Many believe that Yeshua actually meant to say "end of age" and not end of the world. We must however go back as far as we can to re-discover the true meaning behind this statement.

To start we must advise the reader that there are NO surviving ancient Greek texts of this particular Chapter of Matthew. So we must go to the next best thing; Jerome's Vulgate. We must trust Jerome's veracity to the Greek texts in which he used in his translations. According to the Blue Letter Bible website the Greek word used in this verse for "world" is αἰών , Which means of course, World, Forever or Eternity. This particular word was used 9 different times in the Book of Matthew. We will compare a few of the Greek instances of the use of this word, of course as cited by Blue Letter Bible, and compare it to Jerome's Vulgate to see if they match.

Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Matthew 12:32 - King James Version - English - World

Matthew 12:32 - Blue Letter Bible - Greek - αἰών - (World)

Matthew 12:32 - Jerome's Vulgate - Latin Word - saeculo (Century, World, Age)

Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Matthew 13:22 - King James Version - English - World

Matthew 13:22 - Blue Letter Bible - Greek - αἰών - (World)

Matthew 13:22 - Jerome's Vulgate - Latin - saeculi istius - (This World, Of This World)

Matthew 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

Matthew 13:39 - King James Version - English - World

Matthew 13:39 - Blue Letter Bible - Greek - αἰών - (World)

Matthew 13:39 - Jerome's Vulgate - Latin - consummatio saeculi - (End of the World)

Matthew 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

Matthew 13:40 - King James Version - English - World

Matthew 13:40 - Blue Letter Bible - Greek - αἰών - (World)

Matthew 13:40 - Jerome's Vulgate - Latin - consummatione saeculi - (End of the World)

Matthew 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,

Matthew 13:49 - King James Version - English - World

Matthew 13:49 - Blue Letter Bible - Greek - αἰών - (World)

Matthew 13:49 - Jerome's Vulgate - Latin - consummatione saeculi - (End of the World)

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:20 - King James Version - English - World

Matthew 28:20 - Blue Letter Bible - Greek - αἰών - (World)

Matthew 28:20 - Jerome's Vulgate - Latin - consummationem saeculi (Primary Usage - END) (Secondary usage - End of the World)

Now we must examine the usage of the Latin in Matthew 24 Verse 3 and compare it to the verses in the examples above. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that in Matthew 13 that Yeshua is speaking specifically about the End of the World and not the end of a certain age.

Matthew 24:3 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?

Matthew 24:3 - King James Version - English - World

Matthew 24:3 - Blue Letter Bible - Greek - αἰών - (World)

Matthew 24:3 - Jerome's Vulgate - Latin - consummationis saeculi - (End of the World)

The confusion over this phrase is derived from the isolation of the Latin word saeculi and the fact that the primary usage of saeculi is indeed the term "age" as in a period of time. But you cannot translate the Latin texts in this particular verse by isolating saeculi, in my humble opinion. But I guess it could be argued that it could be isolated. We came to the conclusion that Matthew 24:3 speaks of the end of the world, in this particular interpretation of Matthew 24, because of how this same Latin phrase was used to clearly describe the End of the World in Matthew 13.

Even though we have certainly considered the latter, isolating saeculi, we will continue with the most common interpretation for Matthew 24:3 that Yeshua was speaking of the End of the World.

We must add that Yeshua prophesied the destruction of the 2nd Temple is verse 2. But there is something real interesting in his prophecy that most theologians miss. Yeshua said specifically that "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." This is extremely important as Yeshua not only predicted the destruction of the Temple but the TOTAL destruction of the Temple. Total meaning; that not one remnant of the Temple will survive. So while many believe that Yeshua's prophecy came to pass in 70 A.D when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple it truly came to pass when the Muslims constructed the Dome of the Rock, in our opinion, because all remnants of the 2nd Temple would have been removed then, around 688 A.D.

Continuing on;

Matthew 24

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 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.

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

We continue with verses 4 through 8, or the Beginning of Sorrows. Many theological, or evangelical, interpretations place these events in the last 7 years before the return of Christ. However, we simply dismiss that interpretation because of how the evangelical community came to that conclusion. And that was the complete misinterpretation of the latter verses in Daniel Chapter 9 and the whole gap in Daniel's 70 week prophecy. Many believe that the last 7 years of this prophecy of Daniel will come to pass in the last 7 years. But in any event we continue to keep an open mind.

In simple terms we believe that Yeshua is speaking of the time period between his Resurrection leading up to his return. There have been many false Christs throughout history, many false prophets and false teachers. Then we arrive at verse 6 when super war is achieved, or mechanized war. The people of Europe must have certainly believed Hitler was the Antichrist and must have certainly believed the end was nigh. Then verse 7 is leading up to the age we live in today where disease runs rampant, natural disasters are becoming more and more deadly. But this is a simple interpretation, a common sense interpretation.

Matthew 24

9 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.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 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.

Verses 9 through 14 may or may not be speaking of final age, or the final years. These verses seem to adhere to the common theological teaching of the of days Tribulation of Christians. But it could simply be yet a continuation, or another dimension, of the age between Christ's Resurrection and Return, a spiritual dimension, with Verses 4 through 8 being more natural or earthly and verses 9 through 14 being more spiritual. We sort of have proof of this by examining the history of the Church. Almost immediately after the Resurrection Christian ministers of the Gospel were persecuted and tortured in an unspeakable manner.

But yet again, this is a very simple, common sense, interpretation of the scripture. And yet again we keep a complete open mind with regard to the subject.

We do have one of the most important statements of human history in verse 14. That statement being the verse itself. Yeshua spoke in very few absolutes with regard to the end of the world, not saying Yeshua's prophecies are ambiguous, but simple. Yeshua's statement in verse 14 is an absolute and it pertains to the end of the world. Many Christians interpret, or misinterpret, this verse and say "the word of G-D will be preached" but that is not what Yeshua said, he said the "Gospel of the Kingdom" or the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven will be preached worldwide.

I sometimes get frustrated at many in the Church. I am confused as to why they do not teach, as a primary doctrine of faith, the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. Most respond to me by saying "oh you are mistaken, we do preach it". My response to them is this; "I have proof that you do not teach it or use it as your primary statement of faith". They almost always look at me in confusion and say "proof you say?". I say "yes, PROOF". "If the Church's primary doctrine of faith had indeed historically been the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven the end of the world would have already came and went because the Church has indeed preached in all nations on earth". Then most respond by saying "you have a point"...

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