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14 October 2023
Darkness Before Dawn
Jesus’ return will be as a thief in the night. Nobody knows except Our Lord God above. Even Jesus doesn’t know. However there is a lot of speculation concerning the “End Times Prophecies” and the war in Israel that’s going on at present. I, myself don’t exactly know, what to think or feel about what’s going on. But I’m definitely not happy about what the Hamas has done to Israel. I may not be of Jewish decent, but that doesn’t mean that I am heartless concerning another culture of people…God’s People!
Jesus speaks of “end times” in Matthew 24, when He says in verse 2; “…See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There will not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” The disciples then went to Jesus in private asking Him to tell them of the things to come and what shall be the sign of Jesus’ return and of the end of the world. Starting in verse 4: Jesus answered their questions with…
And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these things are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver up to be afflicted, and they shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then many shall be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 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.” Matthew 24:4-14
Some suggest that this is just Jesus’ “general description” of the events that will mark the end of the world, revealing deceit and rampant sin that will be evident on earth. The Apostle John writes in Revelation 13 of “The Two Beasts”. The beasts represent two key personalities involved in the last days. The first represents the Antichrist, who opposes God and those who follow Him. The second represents the false prophet, a religious leader, who will attempt to force the entirety of the earth’s inhabitants to worship the first beast, and enforcing the acceptance of the “Mark Of The Beast” on their forehead or right hand. John explains, in Revelation Chapter 14, how those who accept this mark will be cast into the lake of fire. (Verses 9-11).
As we return to the book of Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus tells us starting in verse 15 of “The Great Tribulation…”When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should be no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man shall be. For whosoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” Matthew 24:15-28
Finally, for today’s reading and lesson, we continue in Matthew 24:29-31. Where Jesus speaks of His Coming again…”Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.“
I’m not one to put words in the mouth of the Bible. And I’m not going to start now, especially when speaking of the words of Jesus Christ. Further on in Matthew 24 Jesus tells us, Himself, that the time of His return is unknown to all but God. I will not make assumptions or predictions of His return or if this is in fact the “End of Times”. You need to be discerning enough to read and study the Bible for yourself. God will reveal to you what you need to know, when you need to know it.
In the meantime let us all pray for Israel, and all that are affected by what’s happening in the world today. Israel’s people, Religious leaders that they not mislead us, political leaders that they not destroy us, and above all…that God’s Will be done.