Harmony of the Gospels

-Tuesday-

Mount of Olives

Jesus Tells of the Future

Scripture: Matthew 24:23-31 (Focal Passage), Mark 13:21-27, Luke 21:25-28

PART 7: Jesus Assures Them Concerning His Coming Again 

Matthew 24:23-31 (Focal Passage)

23 "Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
24 "For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25 "See, I have told you beforehand.
26 "Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.
27 "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
28 "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

Mark 13:21-27

21 "Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.
22 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
23 "But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.
24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
25 "the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27 "And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

 

Luke 21:25-28

25 "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;
26 "men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.
27 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."

23 "Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.

These false Christs and false prophets have their representatives and agents busy everywhere attempting to draw people to them. Then when catastrophe threatens their nation or person, and people are catching at any thing that looks like deliverance, Satan will take advantage of the opportunity by imposing on their vulnerability. They will say, look, here is Christ, or there He is; but do not mind them. In an atmosphere of crisis, reports will circulate that the Messiah is in some secret location. Such reports could be used to trap those who sincerely and lovingly look for Christ. So the Lord warns all disciples not to believe reports of a local, secret arrival of the Savior. Even those who perform miracles are not necessarily from God; miracles can be satanic in origin. The Man of Sin will be given satanic power to perform miracles ([1] 2 Thess 2.9-10).

The true Christ did not struggle to attract people, nor did He make emotional pleas; nor was it said of him, look, here! or look, there!--"You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is among you" ([2]Lk. 17:21)--therefore if anyone claims to be Christ, look upon it as a temptation. The hermits, who consign religion to a monastical life, say, He is in the desert; the priests, who made the consecrated wafer to be Christ, say, "He is in the cupboards, in the secret chambers: lo, he is in this shrine, in that image.’’ Therefore, some say that Christ’s spiritual presence belongs only to their denomination or church, as if they had a monopoly on Christ and Christianity; and the kingdom of Christ must stand and fall, must live and die, with them; "Look, he is in this church.’’ But the truth is, Christ is All in all, not here or there, and He meets his people with a blessing in every place where people receive Him with faith.

Don't miss what he is saying here. The ability to work miracles in our day should be looked upon with suspicion because the next great miracle worker will not be Christ; he will be Antichrist with his false prophets.


24 "For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

The false prophets and false Christs will offer great signs and wonders for evidence to back-up their claims, but they cannot offer any true miracles, because only Christ has that type of power. Therefore, do not be drawn away by signs and wonders, but instead test their claims by the rule given in Deuteronomy 13:1-3--"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, "and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ "you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

They may use signs and wonders that are real enough to draw some away from God to serve other gods. The sign or wonder may come to pass, but do not follow anyone that would draw you into serving other gods. These are lying wonders ([3]2 Th. 2:9), created by Satan (and permitted by God) who is the prince of the power of the air. Again, the verse does not say that they will work miracles, but, they shall show great signs that are only a show. They will either impose upon men’s gullibility with their lies, or deceive them with tricks (slight of hand) and then they will manufacture prophesy and call it truth, as did the magicians of Egypt by their enchantments.

The false Christs and prophets will have great success during this time, for two reasons:

(1) They shall deceive many. Note, The devil and his instruments may deceive many poor souls, for few find the strait gate, but many are drawn into the broad way. Many will be fooled by their signs and wonders, and many drawn in by the hopes of deliverance from their persecution. Note, Neither miracles nor multitudes are certain signs of a true church; for all the world wonders after the beast--"And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast" (Rev. 13:3).

(2) They shall deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. This signifies, First, The potency of the delusion; it is strong enough to carry away many, even those that were expected to stand fast. Men’s knowledge, gifts, learning, high standing, and popularity, will not provide security. The only protection available against it is the almighty grace of God. Secondly, the elect are safe even in the midst of this danger. Those two words, "If possible," plainly implies that it is not possible, for they are kept by the power of God, so that the purpose of God, according to the election, may stand. It is possible for those that have been enlightened to fall away--"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame" (Heb. 6:4-6), but it is not possible for those that were elected. If God’s chosen ones should be deceived, God’s choice would be defeated, which is not to be imagined, for whom he did predestinate, he called, justified, and glorified, Rom. 8:30. They were given to Christ; and of all that were given to him, he will lose none, Jn. 10:28.

Those who have been truly saved cannot be deceived and fall away. For even if it were humanly possible, the Lord will stop it by shortening (hastening) His coming.


25 "See, I have told you beforehand.

Our Savior repeatedly told His disciples to be on guard against false prophets and those who claim to be Him.; therefore he gave them warning, so that they might watch; Behold, I have told you before. He warned them to be cautious and watchful. Note, Christ’s warnings are designed to encourage us to be watchful; and though the elect shall be kept from delusion through giving due regard to God’s word; we are kept through faith, faith in Christ’s word, which he has told us before.

We must not believe those who say, Look, here is Christ; or, Look, he is there. We believe that the true Christ is at the right hand of God, and that his spiritual presence is where two or three are gathered together in his name. Do not believe those who would draw you away from Christ by telling you he is any where on earth. Note, There is not a greater enemy to true faith than gullibility. The simple believe every word—Beware of believing.

26 "Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

We must not go seeking our Savior just because someone says they saw Him in the desert or in some secrete place. We must not listen to every charlatan and pretender, who attempts to convince us that there is a new Christ, and a new gospel. The danger in following them is that you might be taken over by them. The best thing to do is to stay out of harm’s way--look to the word and pray for strength and grace to resist vain curiosity that has led others into fatal apostasy.

27 "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Our Lord is saying that His Second Coming will be unmistakable—it will be sudden, public, universal, and glorious. Like the lightning, it will be instantly and clearly visible to all. It will be so greatly different than the first time He came, when only a few shepherds were there to greet Him.

He foretells the sudden spreading of the gospel in the world, about the time of these great events; As the lightning comes out of the east, so shall the coming of the Son of man be. It comes as a remedy for the poison spread by those seducers, that said, Lo, here is Christ, or, Lo, He is there. Do not listen to them, for the coming of the Son of man will be like the lightning.

Compare how Christ came into the world to set up His spiritual Kingdom with how the false Christs came. The Son of man came, and He came in a way quite contrary to the fashion of the seducers and false Christs, who came creeping in the desert, or the secret chambers (2 Tim. 3:6). However, Christ comes not with a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The gospel is remarkable for two things.

1. It spreads swiftly; it flies like the lightning. The gospel is light--[4]"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (Jn. 3:19); but it is not like lightning in the sense that there is a sudden flash and then it is gone. Instead, it is sun-light, and day-light. But it is like lightning in these respects:

1) It is light from heaven. It is God, not man, that sends the lightning, and commands it where to go. It is God that directs it (Job 37:3).

2) It is visible and conspicuous like the lightening. The false Christs honor Satan, but they do it in the desert and the secret chambers, and while barring the light. Christ preached his gospel openly (Jn. 18:20), and his apostles preached it from the housetops (ch. 10:27), not in a corner, Acts 26:26. See Ps. 98:2.

3) It was sudden and surprising to the world like the lightning. The Jews had predictions of it, but the Gentiles were not looking for it, and therefore it came upon them when they were not expecting it. It was light out of darkness, ch. 4:16; 2 Co. 4:6. The powers of darkness were dispersed and vanquished by the gospel lightning.

4) It quickly spread far and wide, and men could not control it, like the lightning, which comes, sometimes, out of the east (Christ is said to ascend from the east, ([5]Isa. 41:2), and spreads to the west. The spread of Christianity to so many distant countries, with different languages, by such unlikely men, and in the face of so much opposition, and in so short a time, was one of the greatest miracles that was ever produced to confirm that Christ was indeed the Son of God. Christ speaks of shining into the west, because the Gospel was more effective as it spread into those countries which lay west from Jerusalem.

2. Another remarkable thing concerning the gospel, was, the great success it had in those places where it was spread. It brought in multitudes, not by external compulsion, but by something akin to natural instinct and predisposition, like the mysterious force that brings the birds of prey to their prey; "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together" (v. 28). Where Christ is preached, souls will be gathered to him. The lifting up of Christ from the earth, that is, the preaching of Christ crucified, will draw all men to him ([6]Jn. 12:32). Eagles are said to have a strange perceptiveness and keen scent to find their prey, and then they fly swiftly to it, Job 9:26. So those whose spirits God stirs up, will be effectually drawn to Jesus Christ, to feed upon him; where should the eagle go but to the prey? Where should the soul go but to Jesus Christ, who has the words of eternal life? Saints will be where the true Christ is, not the false Christs. A living principle of grace is a kind of natural instinct in all the saints, drawing them to Christ to live upon him.


28 "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

And no moral corruption will escape God’s fury and judgment. "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together." The carcass pictures apostate Judaism, Christendom, and the whole world system that is working together against God and His Christ. The eagles or vultures typify the judgments of God which will be unleashed in connection with the Messiah’s appearing.

Wherever there is a carcass (physical corruption), vultures will go there to eat it. Similarly, where there is spiritual corruption judgment will follow. The world will have become the domain of Satan’s man, the Antichrist, the lawless one ([7]2 Th. 2:8), and many people will have been corrupted by false prophets ([8]Mt. 24:24). But the Son of man will come quickly in judgment.


29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

At the close of the Great Tribulation there will be terrifying disturbances in the heavens. The sun will be darkened, and since the moon’s light is only a reflection of the sun’s, the moon will also withhold its light. The stars will plunge from heaven and planets will be moved out of their orbits. Needless to say, such vast cosmic upheavals will affect the weather, tides, and seasons on earth.

A faint idea of what it will be like is given in Velikovsky’s description of what would happen if a heavenly body came close to the earth and caused it to tilt on its axis: "At that moment an earthquake would make the earth shudder. Air and water would continue to move through inertia; hurricanes would sweep the earth and the seas would rush over continents, carrying gravel and sand and marine animals, and casting them on the land. Heat would be developed, rocks would melt, volcanoes would erupt, lava would flow from fissures in the ruptured ground and cover vast areas. Mountains would spring up from the plains and would travel and climb on the shoulders of other mountains, causing faults and rifts. Lakes would be tilted and emptied, rivers would change their beds; large land areas with all their inhabitants would slip under the sea. Forests would burn and the hurricane and wild seas would wrest them from the ground on which they grew and pile them, branch and root, in huge heaps. Seas would turn into deserts, their waters flowing away."

We need to remember that these predictions concern Christ’s Second Coming, not the Rapture of the Church which will occur seven years prior. It is foretold here that there will be some great and amazing changes to creation, and particularly the heavenly bodies. The sun will be darkened, and the moon can not give her light. The moon shines with a borrowed light, and therefore if the sun, from whom she borrows her light, is turned into darkness, she must fail to give off light. The stars will lose their light, and disappear; and the powers of heaven will be shaken. This suggests:

First, That there will be a great change, in order to make all things new. They will pass away with a great noise, and there will be new heavens, [9]2 Pet. 3:10-13.

Secondly, It will be a visible change that all the world must take notice of.

Thirdly, It will be a universal change. If the sun is turned into darkness, and the powers of heaven are shaken, the earth cannot avoid being turned into a dungeon, and its foundation made to tremble. When the stars of heaven drop from the skies, the everlasting mountains melt, and the perpetual hills bow it should not be a surprise, because Jesus said it would happen.

Fourthly, The darkening of the sun, moon, and stars, which were made to rule over the day, and over the night, signifies the putting down of all rule, authority, and power, so that the kingdom may be delivered up to God, and he may be All in all, [10]1 Co. 15:24, 28.

Fifthly, The glorious appearance of our Lord Jesus, who will then show himself as the Brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express Image of his person.

Sixthly, The sun and moon will be darkened, because there will be no need for them; God Himself will become the light. Those sinners, that choose their portion in this life, will be eternally denied all comfort ; they will not have a drop of water or a ray of light. Now God causes His sun to rise on the earth, and the moon to reflect its light. But darkness must be their portion. To the saints that had their treasure above, the light of joy and comfort will be given. What need is there of heavenly light, when we come to the Fountain and Father of light? ([11]Rev. 22:5).

He foretells His Second Coming which will occur immediately after the Tribulation, at the end of time. The sun will be darkened, etc. The sign of the Son of man means there will be a notable appearance of the Lord Jesus. He will at that time avenge his own blood and gather his elect thus delivering a remnant from this death and destruction.


30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven." We are not told what this sign will be. His First Advent was accompanied by a sign in heaven—the star. Perhaps a miracle star will also announce His Second Coming. Some believe the Son of Man is Himself the sign. Others say that there will be a giant cross appear in the sky, while some say the sign will be the shekinah glory of Christ Himself. Whatever is meant, it will be clear to all when it appears. All the tribes of the earth will mourn—no doubt because of their rejection of Him. But primarily the tribes of the land will mourn—the twelve tribes of Israel. "... then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn" (Zech. 12:10). The appearance of the sign will cause all the nation's to morn ([12]Rev. 1:7), probably because they will realize that the time of their judgment has come.

Then "they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." What a wonderful moment! The One who was spit upon and crucified will be vindicated as the Lord of life and glory. The meek and lowly Jesus will appear as Jehovah Himself. The sacrificial Lamb will descend as the conquering Lion. The despised Carpenter of Nazareth will come as King of kings and Lord of lords. His chariots will be the clouds of heaven. He will come in regal power and splendor—the moment for which creation has groaned for thousands of years.

As all this takes place, all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, except for the chosen remnant. Those who do not have their faith in Him will morn, but they will not repent, but the elect will lift up their heads with joy, knowing that their redemption draws nigh, and His name is Jesus, Redeemer. Note, Sooner or later, all sinners will be mourners; repentant sinners look to Christ, and mourn in a godly way; unrepentant sinners will look unto him whom they have pierced, and, though they laugh now, they will surely mourn and weep in a devilish way, in endless horror and despair.

All the world will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. Christ went to heaven in a cloud, and will in like manner come again, [13]Acts 1:9, 11. He will come with power and great glory: his first coming was in weakness and great poverty ([14]2 C. 13:4), but his second coming will be with power and glory. He will be seen with bodily eyes when He comes. It added to the torment of that damned sinner, when he saw Abraham afar off. "Is this he whom we have slighted, and rejected, and rebelled against; whom we have crucified to ourselves afresh; who might have been our Saviour, but is our Judge, and will be our enemy for ever?’’


31 "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

When He descends, He will send His angels throughout the earth to gather together His elect people. From all the earth they will gather to greet their Messiah and to enjoy His glorious reign. Note, The elect are the saved who have come to faith in Christ by the grace of God. This gathering together involves the assembly of those who will have become believers during the final days of the Tribulation period, and who will have been scattered into various parts of the world because of persecution ([15]Mt. 24:16). This gathering will probably also involve all the Old Testament saints, whose resurrection will occur at this time, so that they may share in Messiahs kingdom ([16]Dan. 12:2-3, 13).

When Jesus returns, you will know it because heaven will resound with the sound of trumpets; "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet." Note how God calls to His children:

First, The angels will accompany Christ at his second coming. They are called "His angels", which proves that He is God, and Lord of the angels; they will be obliged to wait upon him, as a servant waits upon his master.

Secondly, These attendants will be employed by him as officers of the court on the judgment day. Now, they are ministering spirits sent forth by him (Heb. 1:14), and that is what they will be then.

Thirdly, Their ministration will be ushered in with a great sound of a trumpet, to awaken and sound the alarm to a sleeping world. This trumpet is spoken of in 1 Co. 15:52, and [17]1 Th. 4:16. When the law was given to Moses on mount Sinai, the sound of the trumpet was extremely terrible (Ex. 19:13, 16), but it will be even more terrible on this great day. By the law, trumpets were to be sounded for the calling of assemblies (Num. 10:2), in praising God (Ps. 81:3), in offering sacrifices (Num. 10:10), and in proclaiming the year of jubilee (Lev. 25:9). Therefore, it is fitting for the sound of a trumpet to announce the last day, when the general assembly will be called, when God shall be gloriously celebrated, when sinners shall fall as sacrifices to divine justice, and when the saints shall enter upon their eternal jubilee.

The angels "will gather together His elect from the four winds." Note, At the second coming of Jesus Christ, there will be a general meeting of all the saints.

First, Only the elect will be gathered. They are only a few in comparison with the many that are only called; the Lord knows them that are his.

Secondly, The angels will be employed as Christ’s servants to bring them together. Israel has been a scattered people for many centuries. The angels will gather Israel with trumpets just as the priests did in Old Testament times (Leviticus 23:23). We have the commission that was given to them; [18]Ps. 50:5.

Thirdly, They shall be gathered from one end of heaven to the other; the elect of God are scattered abroad ([19]Jn. 11:52), there are some in all places, in all nations (Rev. 7:9); but when that great gathering day comes, there shall not one of them be missing; distance will keep none out of heaven—Heaven is equally accessible from every place. See ch. 8:11; Isa. 43:6; 49:12.

Scholars of prophecy do not agree on all the details of future events. But the following summary is a fair representation of what many prophetic scholars believe as to the order of events:

1) The Rapture of the church (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Thess. 4:13-18). This can occur at any time.

2) The leader of the 10 European nations makes a seven-year agreement with Israel (Daniel 9:27).

3) After three-and-one-half years, he breaks the agreement (Daniel nine: 27).

4) He moves to Jerusalem and sets up his image in the temple (2 Thess. 2:3-4; Revelations 13).

5) The Antichrist begins to control the world and forces all people to worship and obey him. At this time God sends great tribulation upon the earth (Matthew 24:21).

6) The nations gather at Armageddon to fight the Antichrist and Israel, but see Christ coming and unite to fight Him (Zech. 12; Rev. 13:13-14; 19:11).

7) Jesus returns to the earth, defeats his enemies, is received by the Jews, and establishes his kingdom on earth (Rev. 19:11; Zechariah 12:7-13:1). He will reign on earth for 1000 years (Rev. 20: 1-5).

The purpose of prophecy is not to entertain the curious, but to encourage the consecrated.  [20]Matthew24: 36 makes it clear that no one will know that day or the hour of the Lord's coming. But they can be aware of the movements of events and not be caught by surprise.

 

                                                                             SummaryWhen you listen to the news and see the tensions and troubles in today’s world, keep in mind the warnings that the Lord gave.

Do not be deceived. People will make extravagant claims and promises and will deceive many. You have the Word of God to enlighten you (Isa. 8:20) and the Holy Spirit to teach you (John 16:13–15), so you should not go astray (1 John 2:18–29).

Do not be discouraged. Political and natural disturbances have always been a part of world history, so do not allow them to discourage you. They are "the beginning of sorrows." The word translated "sorrows" means "birth-pangs." The world’s troubles are pregnant with possibilities! God is still on the throne!

Do not be defeated. This has to do with faithfulness under testing until the Lord returns. Do not let the lawlessness around you rob you of your passion. A lost world around you needs to hear the gospel, so get busy!

Do not be doubtful. Religious leaders will come and go, stand and fall; but the Word will not change. Believe it, obey it, and hold to it—no matter what others may say or do. Your Bible is God’s light in this dark world (2 Pet. 1:19–21).

Do not be distracted. We "watch" when we stay alert and remind ourselves that our Lord may come at any time. If we fail to watch, we delay His coming and we start to lose our effectiveness and witness. Keep watching and working!

Special Notes

1 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 "nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."

3 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,

4 Christ as the Light is rejected by a dark world because their deeds were evil. Those who reject the Light also hateth (detest, abhor) that Light, lest their deeds be exposed. In contrast to those who abhor the Light, he that doeth truth gravitates toward the Light to show that his deeds are wrought in God

5 "Who raised up one from the east? Who in righteousness called him to His feet? Who gave the nations before him, And made him rule over kings? Who gave them as the dust to his sword, As driven stubble to his bow?"

6 "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." Christ would draw all men to Himself through the cross (be lifted up). Christ would die on a cross lifted up.

7 "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming."

8 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."

9 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

10 "Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power."

11 "There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever."

12 "Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen." The second coming of Christ to earth in fulfillment of Old Testament prediction (cf. Dan 7:13) will be seen by all kindreds of the earth at the time, Israel and the nations. The time is that spoken of in Zechariah 12:10. But believers also now long for that coming.

13 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight...also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." Jesus ascended back to the Father from the Mount of Olives. Having commissioned His disciples, the Lord was now prepared to disappear from their sight and make no further resurrection appearances. As the cloud received Him out of their sight, the Lord was once again restored to the glory which He had with the Father before the world began (Jn 17:4–5). As those gathered looked steadfastly toward heaven, two men in white appeared, whom Luke obviously intends his readers to understand as angelic messengers (cf. Mt 28:3; Jn 20:12). They gave to the followers of the Lord Jesus the tremendous promise, this same Jesus … shall so come in like manner. Not another and in a different way, but this same Jesus in the same way, would descend for believers as they had seen Him ascend from them. Between ascension and His return for them, however, would be an interval of time in which the Holy Spirit would empower His church to carry on the ministry of worldwide evangelization.

14 "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you." Paul’s experience was much like that of our Lord, not only in that "He came unto his own and his own received him not." But especially here, that as Christ endured suffering and weakness, He thereby demonstrated the power of God and the wisdom of God. Even so, the weakness of the apostle would serve as a catalyst to demonstrate the power of God toward you.

15 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."

16 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. "But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days."

17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

18 "Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."

19 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

20 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."

Do you have any questions or comments?

 After a very severe ice storm, an atheist called his insurance agent about a fallen tree. The ice-laden tree toppled over onto his neighbor’s house and he wanted to make sure he was covered. The insurance agent thrust the hardened atheist on the sharp horns of a dilemma and said, “If the tree was dead prior to the storm, we cannot cover the damages and you will have to pay for the repairs. If the tree fell due to ‘an act of God’ then your policy will take care of all expenses.” On that cold day the old atheist embraced temporal faith.

 

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