Conflict in Israel has been a reality whenever Israel has existed as a nation. Whether it was the Egyptians, Amalekites, Midianites, Moabites, Ammonites, Amorites, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, or Romans, the nation of Israel has always been persecuted by its neighbors. Why is this? According to the Bible, it is because God has a special plan for the nation of Israel, and Satan wants to defeat that plan. Satanically influenced hatred of Israel—and especially Israel’s God—is the reason Israel’s neighbors have always wanted to see Israel destroyed. Whether it is Sennacherib, king of Assyria; Haman, official of Persia; Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany; or Rouhani, President of Iran, attempts to completely destroy Israel will always fail. The persecutors of Israel will come and go, but the persecution will remain until the second coming of Christ. As a result, conflict in Israel is not a reliable indicator of the soon arrival of the end times.
However, the Bible does say there will be terrible conflict in Israel during the end times. That is why the time period is known as the Tribulation, the Great Tribulation, and the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). Here is what the Bible says about Israel in the end times:
There will be a mass return of Jews to the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:3; Isaiah 43:6; Ezekiel 34:11-13; 36:24; 37:1-14).
The Antichrist will make a 7-year covenant of "peace" with Israel (Isaiah 28:18; Daniel 9:27).
The temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 11:1).
The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel, and worldwide persecution of Israel will result (Daniel 9:27; 12:1, 11; Zechariah 11:16; Matthew 24:15, 21; Revelation 12:13). Israel will be invaded (Ezekiel chapters 38-39).
Israel will finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10). Israel will be regenerated, restored, and regathered (Jeremiah 33:8; Ezekiel 11:17; Romans 11:26).
There is much turmoil in Israel today. Israel is persecuted, surrounded by enemies—Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, etc. But this hatred and persecution of Israel is only a hint of what will happen in the end times (Matthew 24:15-21). The latest round of persecution began when Israel was reconstituted as a nation in 1948. Many Bible prophecy scholars believed the six-day Arab-Israeli war in 1967 was the "beginning of the end." Could what is taking place in Israel today indicate that the end is near? Yes. Does it necessarily mean the end is near? No. Jesus Himself said it best, "Watch out that no one deceives you. . . . You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come" (Matthew 24:4-6).
Signs of the TimesMost Believers I speak to today firmly believe we are in the Last Days. Many have become almost obsessed with trying to interpret and unravel the Bible’s mysterious End-Time prophecies, and keep a keen eye on politics and world events—especially those that involve Israel or the Middle East. The news is scrupulously analyzed by many watching for specific prophetic signs: a ten-nation confederacy, the Antichrist’s emergence and identity, the mark of the beast, the rebuilding of the Third Temple, the Bear of the North—Russia— and the cataclysmic rise of catastrophes and natural disasters. Although these signs are indeed found in the Scriptures, they are apocalyptic texts—veiled and cryptic. Not even scholars of eschatology can interpret these texts with a great deal of certainty.
While all the above signs are certainly important, there are other clear signs taking place today that are to varying degrees overlooked or ignored. Yet they are some of the clearest signs we have pointing to the end of the age and the soon return of Yeshua. Indeed, God has given us clear signposts, and He desires we be wise as the men of Issachar, who understood the times . . . (1 Chronicles 12:32 NIV).
The term Last Days actually has a dual application, referring first to the time period following the death and resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus), and second to the days immediately preceding His return. Looking at Luke 21, one can clearly see this principle: “And while some were talking about the Temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and offerings, Yeshua said, ‘As for these things you are looking at, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another. Every one will be torn down!’” (Luke 21:5-6). Herod’s Temple was destroyed and Jerusalem sacked in 70 A.D., fulfilling Yeshua’s words. As you continue reading through the terrible warnings of what is to come, much is applicable to the horrific Roman devastation that occurred at that time. However, verse 24b, “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled,” was not fulfilled until 1967 with the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six-Day War. And verses 25-28 are looking forward to a time yet to come, when Yeshua returns: “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars. And upon the earth nations will be confused by the roaring of the sea and its waves. People will lose heart from fear and anticipation of what is overtaking the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, stand straight and lift up your heads, because your salvation is near!”
SIGN 1:A RESTORED ISRAEL AND JEWISH JERUSALEMA predominant prophetic sign that we are in the “Time of the End” is the re-establishment of Israel, and Jerusalem returning to Jewish sovereignty. These major, and seemingly implausible, events for nearly 2,000 years have to occur before Yeshua’s return. According to the Bible, Yeshua is returning to Israel, and specifically to Jerusalem.
The time of His return is near!
SIGN 2:ISRAEL SURROUNDED BY CONFLICT AND THE RISE OF GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITISMAnti-Semitism has existed since the time that Abraham was set apart by God’s call to be a blessing to the families of the earth. There has never been a time when the Jewish people have not been victimized by Satan’s savage attacks against them. Even today in America, the Anti-Defamation League reports the highest level of anti-Semitism since World War II ADL Global 100- Index of anti-Semitism http://www.adl.org).
At its core is Satan fomenting hatred among men against the Children of the God of Israel, generation after generation. He cleverly disguises each campaign with a compelling lie wrapped in a plan designed to rid the world of a perceived ill blamed on the Jews. From the very first attempt to destroy the Jews—Pharaoh’s murder of all the male Hebrew babies—to Herod’s order to kill all male babies under two years old 2,000 years ago, the serpent’s scheme was to defeat God’s plan to bring forth the Messiah of Israel. He failed—miserably!
Yet, the campaign of hatred marches on because the great redemption story is not over. Because the Jewish people and Israel play a major role in Last Days prophecy, Satan is still hard at work opposing God’s plan. The impetus he is using to rally hatred against the Jewish people today is a powerful anti-Israel (and pro-Palestinian) deception, wrapped in false humanitarian claims and causes. Understand: Deception is a hallmark of the Last Days (Matthew 24:11). For the minuscule size of the country, the lack of natural resources, or strategic seaport, one has to question why Israel is always at the center of world controversy—her existence continually hanging in the balance. We see Israel at the epicenter of a boiling cauldron of increasingly violent factions rising up within the vast Arab lands surrounding her. The world has been told, and has almost mindlessly accepted, claims that all unrest in the Middle East is Israel’s fault—that if the Jews would give the Land “back to the Palestinians,” there would be peace in the world, and terrorism would end. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The stage is set to draw all nations into a final cataclysmic showdown in the Middle East; the nations may think it is against Israel, but they will find out it is against her God!
“Moreover, in that day I will make Jerusalem a massive stone for all the people. All who try to lift it will be cut to pieces. Nevertheless, all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against her” (Zechariah 12:3).
SIGN 3:THE REGATHERING OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE PHYSICALLY BACK TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTHIsrael should not exist. She should have disappeared hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago with the rest of the “ites” of the Bible: the Amalekites, the Hittites, the Canaanites, etc. These and all the other great nations mentioned in Scripture, including the mighty Philistines, have vanished, yet Israel remains—against all odds. For two millennia the Land has been overrun by foreign aggressors, and her people scattered to the far reaches of the earth, and threatened with expulsions, persecution, and annihilation.
Without a homeland until 1948, Israel should have assimilated and ceased to be a recognizable people group. That they did not disappear completely into the cultures in which they settled throughout the world stands as evidence for God’s existence and faithfulness. The Scattered Tribes of Israel are a fascinating mystery to the world, but they are not really lost. The Lord knows where they are. He promised to regather them in the Last Days, and He is doing that in our time!
“’Therefore, the days are quickly coming,’ declares ADONAI, ‘when it will no longer be said. “As ADONAI lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.” Rather, “As ADONAI lives, who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.” So I will bring them back into their land that I gave to their fathers’” (Jeremiah 16:14-15).
It will also come about in that day that my Lord will again redeem— a second time with His hand— the remnant of His people who remain from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. He will lift up a banner for the nations, and assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth(Isaiah 11:11-12).
These are the Children of Abraham scattered to Africa, Asia, India, Europe . . . the remote corners of the earth. God is gathering them today, back to Israel—miraculously restored to receive her returning Children: Ethiopian, Chinese, Sephardim, Asian, Russian, and on and on!
Through Jewish Voice you are witnessing this miracle and touching the lives of many of the Remnant of Israel that God is regathering—the Beta Abraham, Beta Israel, and Gefat of Ethiopia; the Yibir Jews of Somaliland; the Lemba Tribe of Zimbabwe; and the Bnei Menashe—the Sons of Manasseh, discovered in far northeastern India!
This aliyah, or return of the Jews to their biblical homeland, is yet another important sign that the Messiah’s return is approaching.
SIGN 4:THE GOSPEL IS PROCLAIMED TO THE NATIONS“This Good News of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
The word used in this passage of Scripture is the Greek term ethnos, which actually means “a race,” “a tribe,” or “a people group.” Modern technology makes it possible for the Gospel to be preached to every ethnos—people in the most remote areas of the planet. This is yet another important sign that the Last Days are upon us.
Today the Gospel is being preached to ethnos throughout the world, yet only a handful of ministries are reaching out to the Jews. This is tragic, not only because the Jewish people need to hear the Good News that Messiah has come, but because God has put a high priority on reaching the Children of Israel with the Gospel. Consider Paul’s commitment to this mandate: “After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was his custom, Paul went to the Jewish people; and for three Shabbatot, he debated the Scriptures with them” (Acts 17:1-2).
Paul not only wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16 NIV), he lived it out on his journeys around the Mediterranean sharing the Gospel. Unfortunately, over the centuries, this mandate to take the Gospel to the Jew first has been lost.
The Gospel is to be preached to the Jew first, and then to the Gentiles. That’s what Paul did, and that’s what we do at Jewish Voice. I believe that every time a Jewish person turns to faith in Yeshua, we move that much closer to Messiah’s return. In fact, Scripture seems to indicate that Jewish people embracing Jesus as Messiah is actually key to His return! “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you [the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem] say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Matthew 23:39 NIV).
SIGN 5:THE BLINDNESS COMING OFF THE EYES OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE“For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant of this mystery—lest you be wise in your own eyes—that a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25).
Another astonishing indicator is the phenomena of Jewish people coming to faith in Yeshua all over the world—in numbers not seen since the book of Acts. Through the ministry of Jewish Voice alone, we have seen some 55,000 Jewish people respond to the Gospel since 1999! For more than nineteen centuries, the number of Jews openly professing faith in Yeshua was extremely small, and most were assimilated into the Church. All that changed after 1967. The miraculous return of Jerusalem to the Jewish people sparked a great revival. Often called “The Jesus Movement,” this revival was unique from all previous revivals, as Jews started coming to faith—in significant numbers. The Jesus Movement gave birth to the modern Messianic Movement. Before 1967 there was not a single Messianic Jewish congregation in the world. Today more than 350 Messianic Jewish congregations—nearly 100 in Israel alone—proclaim Messiah with a visibly Jewish witness. And from a trickle over the past 2,000 years, today there are tens of thousands of Jews in the United States who express some level of faith in Yeshua!
In the same way the miraculously restored State of Israel is a visible declaration of divine fulfillment of physical restoration, the Messianic Jewish community is a visible declaration of divine spiritual restoration to all the world. God always keeps His covenants. Satan would like to eradicate the Jewish people, thereby proving God and the Bible untrustworthy, but it will not happen!
God is opening long-blinded eyes and softening thousands of Jewish hearts just as the Scriptures promised. This is an obvious fulfillment of biblical prophecy—and a clear indication that the Last Days are upon us.
Through Jeremiah, God promised Israel a new covenant: “’No longer will each teach his neighbor or each his brother, saying: “Know ADONAI,” for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.’ It is a declaration of ADONAI. ‘For I will forgive their iniquity, their sin I will remember no more’” (Jeremiah 31:33). At the Last Supper, a Jewish Passover Seder, Yeshua lifted the cup of Redemption and, sharing it, announced it was the cup of the New Covenant in His blood. There is a misconception that all the Jews rejected Jesus. In reality, the entire initial community of faith was Jewish. The Jews took the Gospel to the Gentiles, and eventually the Church became almost entirely Gentile and unrecognizable to the Jewish people. However, we are living in a time of Jewish revival!
IN CONCLUSIONAll around us, there are signs that the world is being made ready for Messiah’s return. The most important of these, as we have seen, is the restoration of the people of Israel to a right relationship with God. Do you want to know what’s next? God has promised a glorious salvation for the remnant of Israel!
Then I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, when they will look toward Me whom they pierced. They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son and grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for a firstborn
- Zechariah 12:10“In that day a spring will be opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and impurity” (Zechariah 13:1).
I’m convinced that we are not very far away from this time.
Revelation 16:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]Revelation 16:12, NIV: The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
Revelation 16:12, ESV: The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.
Revelation 16:12, KJV: And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
Revelation 16:12, NASB: The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.
Revelation 16:12, NLT: Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance.
Revelation 16:12, CSB: The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east.
What does Revelation 16:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]This verse tells us the sixth angel poured his bowl on the river Euphrates. The contents of the bowl caused the river to dry up. Prior bowl judgments have either corrupted or destroyed most of the water on earth (Revelation 16:1–4). This judgment is not about corrupting or removing the use of this water. Rather, it seems to be about removing a barrier used for defensive purposes: preparing the way for invading kings from the east.
The Euphrates is called "the great river" five times in Scripture. It was the eastern boundary of Israel's inheritance (Deuteronomy 1:7; 11:24). To some extent the river provided protection for Israel because it was difficult to cross and a wilderness to the west separated it from Canaan, the Promised Land. It flows almost 2,000 miles toward Palestine before making its way southeast to the Persian Gulf. In the first century, when Revelation was written, the Euphrates divided East from West, and the kingdoms of China and India lay beyond it to the east.
Centuries earlier, the armies of Cyrus of Persia conquered Babylon by diverting the Euphrates that flowed through the city. They were able to march into Babylon on the dry river bed and capture the city. In the great tribulation, the eastern invader will cross the Euphrates, march through Babylon, and enter Palestine.
Revelation 16:8–16 reports what happens when the fourth, fifth, and sixth angels emptied their bowls of God's wrath. It continues the apostle John's description of the bowl judgments which began in Revelation 16:1–7. The fourth and fifth bowl judgments resemble some of the events of the trumpet judgments, but are much more intense. These events occur just prior to the return of Christ to subdue His enemies and establish His kingdom on earth (Revelation 17—19).
This chapter explains the bowl judgments, which are the last and most severe of God's outpouring of wrath on earth. The first three bowls bring sores, seas of blood, and rivers of blood. After a declaration of God's justice come the next three bowl judgments, involving scorching sunlight, darkness, and a drying of the Euphrates to clear the way for an invading army. In the final, seventh bowl judgment, an earthquake tears Jerusalem into three parts, levels cities worldwide, and displaces islands and mountains. Hundred-pound hailstones fall, but unbelievers refuse to repent and instead continue to curse God.
The rabbis and their followers often accuse us, believers in Yeshua the Messiah, of disregarding the Torah while they seemingly live according to its rules.
They claim that the New Testament (NT) is a “poor imitation”, that rabbinical tradition is the original, and that whoever dares to read the NT will immediately stumble over quotations from the Hebrew scriptures (OT).
It’s true that despite its small size (27 books containing 260 chapters) the NT contains almost 1000 quotes from the OT. Frankly, more than 99% of the times that the NT quotes from external texts, those quotes come from the OT. Just like the prophets taught based on the Torah, the NT teaches based on the OT.
Without the Hebrew scriptures there would be no prophecies about a Messiah.
Without messianic prophecies the very messianism of Yeshua is not valid.
Therefore, the theology of the NT is exactly the theology of the OT. Yeshua and his disciples believed in the holiness of the OT, quoted from it and referred to it.
Yeshua and his disciples regarded the Hebrew scriptures as God’s word: written under the supervision and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Concerning the connection between the Mosaic covenant and the New Covenant, we made a separate video which can be seen here.
BUT WHAT IF WE TOLD YOU THAT THE TEACHING FAVORED BY THE RABBINIC TRADITION IS NOT THE TORAH OF MOSES.What if we told you that they just use the term “Torah of Moses” but actually they mean something completely different?
First of all, let no one cheat you. Today it is simply impossible to keep the commandments of the Torah given at Sinai.
Because the commandments of the Torah revolve around the temple, the tabernacle, the priesthood, the altar and at the core of it all are the sacrifices that cover sins.
But these have not existed for 2000 years.
Almost all the commandments that Moses gave are closely tied to the service in the temple. Under the Mosaic covenant, the worship of God was carried out in the temple. Trying to live according to the Mosaic covenant these days without temple, tabernacle, the altar and the sacrifices is like trying to ride a bike without wheels.
Secondly, when the temple was destroyed, 2000 years ago, the rabbis had to invent Judaism anew, so that it would work without the service at the temple and the Holy of Holies.
Though they kept using the terms “Judaism” and “Torah” they changed the definition: no more biblical Judaism based on the Torah, but from then on it was the traditions of the Rabbis.
The temple, the priesthood, the altars, the sacrifices and the tabernacle were replaced by new customs.
Most of Jewish traditions have even been taken from other peoples, among whom our people lived during times of exile: Talismans, the Hamsa (hand-shaped charms), Lag b’Omer, wearing of a kippah / yarmulke, seances, wrapping of tefillin, mezuzahs, lying prostrate on the graves of the famous rabbis, the kashrut laws of separating meat and dairy, magic, Bar Mitzvahs, displaying pictures of famous rabbis, saying mantras and even the tradition of breaking of a wine glass at weddings.
All these beloved traditions are not mentioned once in the Bible. You might wonder now: But wait, doesn’t the Torah mention the tefillin and the mezuzah? Not really. The sages chose one or two words from a verse taken out of its context and by force gave it a new meaning.
NOTE THAT THE NT IN HEBREW IS NOT CALLED “THE NEW TORAH” BUT “THE NEW COVENANT”.This term has its root in an OT-prophecy by Jeremiah about the making of a new covenant.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:31-32)
While the NT is the most natural continuation of the OT namely the fulfillment of OT prophecies about the Messiah, historians admit that between the Judaism of the Rabbis, reflected in the Talmud, and the OT there’s hardly any connection.
Consider what Israel’s greatest expert in the Sages’ literature has to say: Professor Avigdor Shinan from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
A man who wears a Kippah himself:
“Our theology is not the theology of the OT. The tradition that we follow today is not the tradition of the OT, it’s the tradition of the Sages. Shabbat laws, kashrut laws, you name it, it’s not in the Scriptures, not in the OT. In the OT, there is no Synagogue no Kaddish, no Kol Nidre, no Bar Mitzvah, no Tallit. Everything that somebody would define as Jewish and look for its root; it’s not the OT it’s the Sages’ literature. That’s where everything started. Where is Judaism in the OT? Moses was not called a Jew. Abraham, was not called a Jew. David, neither. Only Mordechai, ‘Mordechai the Jew’, and that’s at the end of the OT during the Persian time.” (Prof. A. Shinan)
The famous Jewish orthodox writer Chaim Schimmel writes in his book “The Oral Torah”:
“Jews never lived according to the actual words written in the Torah, but according to the traditions of the rabbis.” (Rabbi Chaim Schimmel)
The great irony here is that while the NT was written by Jews and describes the life of the Jewish Messiah the rabbinic tradition on the other hand – the “Oral Law” is based on a Gentile a descendant of Sisera, that converted: Rabbi Akiva. To debunk the legend of the traditions of the Oral Law, we dedicated a video which can be seen here.
2000 years ago the heroes of faith among Israel were biblical characters like Daniel, Noah,
Deborah, Joseph, Solomon, and many more. However, today these have been replaced with characters like Rabbi Schneerson, Rabbi Akiva, Rabban Gamaliel, Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, Rabbi Pinto, Rabbi Eliezer Berland and so on.
FOR THOSE WHO INSIST THAT THEY STILL KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE MOSAIC COVENANT, HERE’S A LITTLE QUESTIONNAIRE TO EXAMINE YOURSELF.It contains some of the most basic commandments according to which everyone can test if he REALLY keeps the Mosaic covenant.
The NT is the natural continuation of the OT namely the fulfillment of OT prophecies and the descriptions of the Messiah’s life.
But it is the Talmud that abandoned and left the law of Israel and made itself a new way.
The Judaism of rabbinic tradition which comes from the Talmud is not Jewish at all. Original Judaism, the first and true one, is the one described in the writings of the OT and the NT. After the destruction of the 2nd Temple Israel was left with two main options from which only onecould be chosen:
Go for the Judaism of the NT based on the Messiah Yeshua to whom the prophecies of the OT pointed, Or the tradition of the Rabbis based on the sect of the Pharisees… the Rabbis.
Even from a chronological point of view the Judaism of the NT preceded the Judaism of the Talmud, since the writings of the NT were completed already by the first century AD while the writings of the rabbinical tradition, the Talmud, was formulated hundreds of years later. Looking at the content of the first writings of both groups reveals the truth even more clearly:
Chronologically, the last book in the OT is Malachi. It closes the OT.
WHICH IS THE BETTER CONTINUATION OF THE OT? THE NT OR THE TALMUD?The book of Malachi is one of the last books in the OT, chronologically speaking. Interestingly enough, Malachi chapters 3 to 4 start with the hope for a Messiah and end with the hope for a Messiah.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Malachi 4:5-6)
The transition from the Hebrew scriptures to the New Testament is a natural and smooth one. Among the writings of the NT it is known that the gospel of Mark was written first. It starts with the following words:
“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophets
‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” (Mark 1:1-3)
Now, let’s look at the opening words of the sages’ writings: The Mishna starts with the Berakhot, the blessings. It says:
“From when may one recite Shema in the evening? From the time when the priests go in to eat their Terumah, until the end of the first watch – so says Rabbi Eliezer. And the Sages say: Until midnight. Rabban Gamliel says: Until the break of dawn.” (Berakhot 1:1)
Judge for yourselves, which of the two writings is the most natural and and logical continuation of the OT? Which of the two gives an appropriate answer to the messianic hope with which the OT ends?
To sum things up: Don’t let them cheat you! No one really keeps the commandments of the Sinaitic covenant. To us and to the Rabbis a new covenant was given. The new covenant that the Rabbis follow is the rabbinical tradition that they made up themselves. The New Covenant that we follow is grounded in God’s Messiah.
And what about you?
Which covenant do you follow?
One of the most fascinating and significant prophecies recorded in the bible is Daniel’s seventy weeks vision. The Jews had been in exile and Daniel understood from Jeremiah’s prophecy that God would bring them back to the Promised Land after seventy years. As Daniel was deep in prayer, the angel, Gabriel, appeared to him. God had sent Gabriel to give Daniel understanding concerning Israel’s destiny beyond those seventy years in exile. It concerned Israel’s future until the end.
Essentially, God has decreed 70 weeks of years, meaning 490 years (70 times 7) for Israel and the city of Jerusalem before the end will come. Bear in mind that these are lunar years (360 days a year) and not solar years (365.25 days a year), which we are more accustomed to. During these 70 weeks of years, God will deal with Israel’s sin and rebellion against His covenant, and He will turn the nation back to Him. At the same time, all the prophecies pertaining to Israel and the present world will be completely fulfilled.
At the Beginning & End of the First 69 Weeks
Daniel 9:25-26 (NASB) - "So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.26 "Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
The countdown would begin on the day when the decree to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem was issued. This event happened 93 years later after Daniel was given the vision. A Persian king, Artaxerxes Longimanus, issued the decree for the Jews to rebuild the broken walls and their beloved city. Based on the date given in Nehemiah 2:1 (the month of Nisan on the twentieth year of Artaxerxes’ reign and assuming it falls on the first day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar),the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, United Kingdom, computed the date to be 14 March 445 B.C.
According to the prophecy, the 70 weeks of years are divided into 3 periods of 7 weeks, 62 weeks and the final 1 week.
At the end of 7 and 62 weeks, which is essentially 69 weeks, “the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing.” 69 weeks of years equal to 483 years(69 x 7) or 173,880 days (69 x 7 x 360). Using 14 March 445 B.C. as the start date, the date for the end of the 69 weeks of years works out to be 6 April A.D. 32.
Fascinatingly, this was the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and presented Himself to the Jews as their Messiah. However, the political and religious Jewish leaders rejected Jesus as the prophecy has indicated -- “the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing.” They executed Him on a cross. They cut Him down and cut Him off.
Barely 40 years later, “the people of the prince who is to come,” that is, the Roman armies under the command of Titus Vespasianus destroyed the temple and Jerusalem. The formidable Roman military force literally came in like a flood. As Jesus had also prophesied, “not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down” (Matthew 24:2). During the next few decades, the Romans continued to put down guerrilla attempts by small Jewish rebel groups until they banished all the Jews from the land.
The Church Age
After 69 weeks of years, the prophetic clock for Israel stopped ticking. The final one week of Daniel’s 70 weeks was suspended indefinitely. In a sense and prophetically speaking, Israel disappeared from the scene and the church emerged and took centre-stage since then until today. This period is known as the church age. It is also known as the time of the Gentiles. We are living in the church age.
The church is a mystery (Ephesians 5:32). The entity of the church was unknown to the Old Testament saints. No rabbis or scholars anticipated the emergence of the church.
The Final One Week
Daniel 9:27 (NASB) - "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
The church age straddles between verse 26 and verse 27. It will come to an end when God decides to rapture the church. On that day, our Lord Jesus will appear in the sky. There will be an element of surprise to it. it will be sudden and unexpected. Suddenly all the faithful Christians will be snatched up by Jesus and caught up to be with Him, and then brought to heaven (I Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4;15-17).
When this happens, the last one week (7 years) of Daniel’s 70 weeks of years will kick in. The prophetic clock for Israel, which has stopped for more than 2,000 years, will start ticking again. This is the 7-year tribulation period, which we read in the book of Revelation when God unleashes His wrath and judgement on the inhabitants of the earth.
God will finish His dealing with Israel in this last 7 years and then the end will come. It will be a terrible time of severe judgement for Israel. There will be wars and catastrophic disasters in Israel. This is the consequence of their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah some 2,000 years ago.
Besides the rapture, another political event will also mark the beginning of the final one week of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy. The Anti-Christ will make a covenant with Israel and her enemies guaranteeing her peace and security. However, he will break the covenant and turn against Israel at the 3.5-year mark (“in the middle of the weeks”). He will also set up something sacrilegious, described as “the abomination of desolation” by Jesus (Matthew 24:15)in the rebuilt Jewish temple.
The good news is that finally all the remnants of Israel will be saved (Zechariah 12;10, 13:8-9; Romans 11:26).
At the end of 7 years of Tribulation, Christ Jesus will return to the earth with the armies of heaven, which includes the church (Revelation 19:7-8, 14). He will fight and utterly defeat the Anti-Christ (the beast) and the kings of the earth and all their armies that are gathered to fight Him and Israel (Revelation 19:19-21).
Notice that the church is not present during the 7-year Tribulation period. It is God’s appointed time to deal with Israel and the city of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the church, which has been raptured 7 years earlier, will return to the earth with Christ Jesus. The church will return as the Bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7-8, 14, 17-18).
This amazing prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks points to the existence as well as the sovereignty of God over human affairs. God is in absolute control over the world and everything that is happening. He has sovereignly decreed the times for both Israel and the church, and the Jews and the Gentiles. He alone determines how this present age will end. Jesus is the Lord of history and the future.
Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ!
Pastors Leslie & Adeline Chua
Mark 13:7-9 ESV / 409 helpful votes And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.
Isaiah 45:7 ESV / 328 helpful votes I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
Matthew 24:7 ESV / 238 helpful votes For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Luke 21:11 ESV / 197 helpful votes There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
Luke 13:1-5 ESV / 167 helpful votes There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
Luke 21:25 ESV / 162 helpful votes “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 ESV / 144 helpful votes When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Corinthians 5:1 ESV / 141 helpful votes For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Romans 12:12 ESV / 141 helpful votes Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
John 16:33 ESV / 121 helpful votes I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 54:11 ESV / 112 helpful votes “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.
Psalm 18:6-7 ESV / 94 helpful votes In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.
Romans 8:28 ESV / 84 helpful votes And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Job 1:8-22 ESV / 82 helpful votes And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. ...
Romans 8:19-21 ESV / 69 helpful votes For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
Zephaniah 1:2-3 ESV / 64 helpful votes “I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. “I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and the rubble with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.
Isaiah 54:10 ESV / 63 helpful votes For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Genesis 6:6-7 ESV / 58 helpful votes And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Haggai 1:9 ESV / 56 helpful votes You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
Revelation 16:18 ESV / 52 helpful votes And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.
Matthew 24:1-51 ESV / 51 helpful votes Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. ...
Nahum 1:1-15 ESV / 50 helpful votes An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh. The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. ...
Revelation 6:12 ESV / 47 helpful votes When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,
Job 1:21-22 ESV / 47 helpful votes And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Revelation 11:19 ESV / 45 helpful votes Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
Revelation 11:13 ESV / 45 helpful votes And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV / 45 helpful votes The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Psalm 57:1-2 ESV / 45 helpful votes To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave. Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
Revelation 21:4 ESV / 42 helpful votes He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 16:21 ESV / 42 helpful votes And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.
Philippians 4:13 ESV / 42 helpful votes I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Psalm 57:1 ESV / 42 helpful votes To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave. Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
Amos 6:8 ESV / 41 helpful votes The Lord God has sworn by himself, declares the Lord, the God of hosts: “I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds, and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”
Revelation 20:11-15 ESV / 40 helpful votes Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV / 40 helpful votes In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Proverbs 3:25 ESV / 40 helpful votes Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes,
Genesis 19:24 ESV / 40 helpful votes Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.
John 1:1-51 ESV / 38 helpful votes In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ...
Amos 3:6 ESV / 38 helpful votes Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?
Psalm 97:1-12 ESV / 38 helpful votes The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. ...
Amos 8:7-8 ESV / 36 helpful votes The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”
Amos 4:2 ESV / 36 helpful votes The Lord God has sworn by his holiness that, behold, the days are coming upon you, when they shall take you away with hooks, even the last of you with fishhooks.
Psalm 46:1-11 ESV / 36 helpful votes To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. ...
Job 2:7-10 ESV / 36 helpful votes So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Exodus 9:22-27 ESV / 36 helpful votes Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, so that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on man and beast and every plant of the field, in the land of Egypt.” Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. There was hail and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very heavy hail, such as had never been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. The hail struck down everything that was in the field in all the land of Egypt, both man and beast. And the hail struck down every plant of the field and broke every tree of the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail. ...
John 10:32 ESV / 34 helpful votes Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”
Leviticus 18:24-28 ESV / 34 helpful votes “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean), lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.
1 Samuel 12:18 ESV / 32 helpful votes So Samuel called upon the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
Genesis 7:17-20 ESV / 32 helpful votes The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.
Genesis 7:11-13 ESV / 32 helpful votes In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark,
1 Peter 3:15 ESV / 28 helpful votes But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
John 8:44 ESV / 28 helpful votes You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Haggai 2:6 ESV / 28 helpful votes For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.
Haggai 1:1-15 ESV / 28 helpful votes In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. ...
Psalm 93:1-5 ESV / 28 helpful votes The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty! Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.
Philippians 4:19 ESV / 25 helpful votes And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV / 25 helpful votes The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Daniel 4:35 ESV / 25 helpful votes All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
Isaiah 41:10 ESV / 25 helpful votes Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2 Chronicles 6:26-31 ESV / 25 helpful votes “When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them, then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance. “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways, for you, you only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, ...
Exodus 14:28 ESV / 25 helpful votes The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained.
Galatians 2:20 ESV / 22 helpful votes I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Matthew 27:45-54 ESV / 22 helpful votes Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” ...
Isaiah 54:1-17 ESV / 22 helpful votes “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. ...
2 Chronicles 7:21-22 ESV / 22 helpful votes And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’”
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV / 22 helpful votes Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Isaiah 32:19-20 ESV / 18 helpful votes And it will hail when the forest falls down, and the city will be utterly laid low. Happy are you who sow beside all waters, who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.
Isaiah 14:16-17 ESV / 18 helpful votes Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’
Proverbs 3:5 ESV / 18 helpful votes Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Revelation 1:1 ESV / 16 helpful votes The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
Exodus 4:18-31 ESV / 16 helpful votes Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, “Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” And the Lord said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.” So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand. And the Lord said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son, ...
Revelation 16:17-21 ESV / 14 helpful votes The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.
Lamentations 1:8 ESV / 14 helpful votes Jerusalem sinned grievously; therefore she became filthy; all who honored her despise her, for they have seen her nakedness; she herself groans and turns her face away.
Jeremiah 34:1-22 ESV / 14 helpful votes The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion and all the peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and all of its cities: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. You shall not escape from his hand but shall surely be captured and delivered into his hand. You shall see the king of Babylon eye to eye and speak with him face to face. And you shall go to Babylon.’ Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says the Lord concerning you: ‘You shall not die by the sword. You shall die in peace. And as spices were burned for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so people shall burn spices for you and lament for you, saying, “Alas, lord!”’ For I have spoken the word, declares the Lord.” ...
Jeremiah 21:1-14 ESV / 14 helpful votes This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when King Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchiah and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, saying, “Inquire of the Lord for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.” Then Jeremiah said to them: “Thus you shall say to Zedekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands and with which you are fighting against the king of Babylon and against the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the walls. And I will bring them together into the midst of this city. I myself will fight against you with outstretched hand and strong arm, in anger and in fury and in great wrath. ...
Isaiah 1:1-31 ESV / 14 helpful votes The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. ...
Psalm 143:1-12 ESV / 14 helpful votes A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you. For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead. Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. ...
Psalm 30:1-12 ESV / 14 helpful votes A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple. I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. ...
2 Chronicles 33:1-35:27 ESV / 14 helpful votes Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had broken down, and he erected altars to the Baals, and made Asherahs, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. ...
2 Chronicles 7:1-22 ESV / 14 helpful votes As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. ...
1 Kings 17:1-19:21 ESV / 14 helpful votes Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. ...
2 Samuel 21:1-22 ESV / 14 helpful votes Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah. And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the heritage of the Lord?” The Gibeonites said to him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “What do you say that I shall do for you?” They said to the king, “The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel, ...
Exodus 10:1-29 ESV / 14 helpful votes Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord.” So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me. For if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country, and they shall cover the face of the land, so that no one can see the land. And they shall eat what is left to you after the hail, and they shall eat every tree of yours that grows in the field, ...
Exodus 5:1-23 ESV / 14 helpful votes Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.” But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.” And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!” ...
1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 ESV / 12 helpful votes Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. ...
Colossians 1:17-3:10 ESV / 12 helpful votes And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, ...
Zephaniah 1:1-3:20 ESV / 12 helpful votes The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah. “I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. “I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and the rubble with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. “I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests, those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens, those who bow down and swear to the Lord and yet swear by Milcom, ...
Amos 8:1-9:15 ESV / 12 helpful votes This is what the Lord God showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lordsaid to me, “The end has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass by them. The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,” declares the Lord God. “So many dead bodies!” “They are thrown everywhere!” “Silence!” Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, ...
Joel 1:1-3:21 ESV / 12 helpful votes The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers? Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. What the cutting locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the hopping locust has eaten, and what the hopping locust left, the destroying locust has eaten. Awake, you drunkards, and weep, and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth. ...
Ezekiel 13:9-14 ESV / 12 helpful votes My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God. Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. ...
Jeremiah 51:1-64 ESV / 12 helpful votes Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will stir up the spirit of a destroyer against Babylon, against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai, and I will send to Babylon winnowers, and they shall winnow her, and they shall empty her land, when they come against her from every side on the day of trouble. Let not the archer bend his bow, and let him not stand up in his armor. Spare not her young men; devote to destruction all her army. They shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans, and wounded in her streets. For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the Lord of hosts, but the land of the Chaldeans is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel. ...
Jeremiah 26:1-24 ESV / 12 helpful votes In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the Lord: “Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word. It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds. You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened, ...
Jeremiah 22:1-30 ESV / 12 helpful votes Thus says the Lord: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation. ...
Isaiah 41:1-29 ESV / 12 helpful votes Listen to me in silence, O coastlands; let the peoples renew their strength; let them approach, then let them speak; let us together draw near for judgment. Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he. The coastlands have seen and are afraid; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and come. ...
Isaiah 38:1-22 ESV / 12 helpful votes In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Please, O Lord, remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Then the word of the Lordcame to Isaiah: “Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. ...
Isaiah 4:1-6 ESV / 12 helpful votes And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.” In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. ...
Psalm 18:1-50 ESV / 12 helpful votes To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. ...
Psalm 9:1-20 ESV / 12 helpful votes To the choirmaster: according to Muth-labben. A Psalm of David. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence. For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment. You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. ...
2 Chronicles 32:25 ESV / 12 helpful votes But Hezekiah did not make return according to the benefit done to him, for his heart was proud. Therefore wrath came upon him and Judah and Jerusalem.
1 Samuel 2:6-8 ESV / 12 helpful votes The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and on them he has set the world.
The Olivet Discourse is the name given to the orderly and extended teaching given by Jesus Christ on the Mount of Olives. His subject is the end times. This discourse is recorded in Matthew 24:1 – 25:46. Parallel passages are found in Mark 13:1-37 and Luke 21:5-36. The record in Matthew is the most extensive, so reference here will be to Matthew’s Gospel.
It is important to recognize that Jesus’ teaching in this discourse is in reference to Israel and not the Church. Christ was speaking of God’s future program for Israel. Other passages to consider when studying the Olivet Discourse are Daniel 9:24-27 and Revelation 6:1–19:21, which refer to the future seven-year period called the tribulation. God’s program for the Church concludes with the rapture, which is not taught in the Olivet Discourse. The rapture of the Church is found in John 14:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
In Matthew 23, Jesus had spoken to the Pharisees concerning judgment. This can be seen in the "woe" statements in that chapter. In 24:1, Jesus was leaving the temple when the disciples called His attention to the magnificent buildings on the temple mount. Jesus then tells the disciples that “not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” (verse 2). This prophecy was literally fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. The temple was burned. The gold in the temple melted in the fire and ran down into the cracks between the stones. As people later searched for the gold, they toppled every stone from its place. This destruction of Jerusalem was but a foreshadowing of what is yet to come.
Jesus’ prophecy of doom got the disciples curious, and probably more than a little concerned. When they were alone with Jesus on the Mount of Olives, they asked Him, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (verse 3). What follows in Matthew 24–25 refers to the future, seven-year tribulation period and the second coming of Christ at the end of the tribulation. During that time, God will complete His chastisement and purification of Israel and judge the whole world (Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation 6–19).
Daniel 9:27 indicates that the tribulation will be divided into two equal parts. Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24:4-8 refers to the first half. The “birth pangs” (verse 8) refer to the sufferings that Israel will experience during the first 3 1/2 years. The signs with reference to the end of the age are the coming of false messiahs (verse 5), the threat of wars and widespread conflict (verses 6-7), and various natural catastrophes (verse 7).
Revelation 6 is a parallel passage. The apostle John writes of the seal judgments. Revelation 6:2 speaks of a rider on a white horse, which refers to a false messiah called elsewhere the Antichrist and the Beast. Revelation 6:4 says that peace is taken from the earth. Revelation 6:6-8 speaks of famine and death. Jesus said these things are only the “beginning of birth pangs” (Matthew 24:8). Worse is yet to come.
In Revelation 13, the second half of the tribulation begins when the Beast, or Antichrist, sets up his rule for 42 months (cf. Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15).
In the Olivet Discourse, the second half of the tribulation is described in Matthew 24:9-14. Persecution of the Jews and death (verse 9) will be the result of the Beast’s rise to power. The Antichrist will also persecute anyone who refuses to follow him (Revelation 13:1-18). The salvation promised in Matthew 24:13 is deliverance from the Beast’s persecution. The one who endures until Christ returns will be saved from the Beast. Jesus says that “this gospel of the kingdom” will be preached worldwide before the end comes. In other words, the good news (gospel) will be available during the tribulation; the message will be that Christ will soon return in judgment to set up His earthly kingdom (Revelation 20:4-6). This message will cause many people to realize their sinful state and receive the Savior during the tribulation.
Matthew 24:15-26 gives further details concerning the tribulation. Jesus refers to an “abomination” and desolation of a future temple in Matthew 24:15-22; this is more clearly spoken of in Luke 21:20-24. The Beast will take authority and set up an image of himself in the future temple (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; Revelation 13:1-18). When this happens, Jesus says, head for the hills. Those in Jerusalem are advised to flee for their lives when they see that the Beast has taken his seat of authority (Matthew 24:16-20). The Antichrist will rule from Jerusalem for 42 months (3 1/2 years), the latter half of the tribulation, called the “great tribulation” in verse 21.
Jesus warns that the great tribulation will be the worst time ever seen on earth (verse 21). In fact, if those days were not cut short by the return of Christ, no one would survive (compare the bowl judgments in Revelation 16).
Jesus again gives a warning of false prophets in the last days (Matthew 24:23-28). At the end of the tribulation, there will be astronomical upheaval (verse 29), and the nations of the world will see the Christ “coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” (verses 29-30). Those who were saved during the tribulation will be gathered out of the world by the angels (verse 31).
Jesus emphasizes the facts that there will be signs leading up to the day of judgment (Matthew 24:32-34) and that His Word is sure (verse 35). Jesus says that no one knows the timing of these events and that those upon whom judgment is coming will be caught unawares (verses 36-44).
Jesus ends the Olivet Discourse with four parables. The first one concerns a wicked servant whose master punishes him upon his return home (Matthew 24:45-51). The next, the Parable of the Ten Virgins, encourages readiness and watchfulness (25:1-13). The third parable, relating the story of three servants and their use (or misuse) of finances, teaches faithfulness in view of the fact that God’s servants must give an account of themselves one day (25:14-30). Jesus ends His discourse by telling the Parable of the Sheep and Goats, which pictures the dividing of the saved from the unsaved at the end of the tribulation before the commencement of Christ’s millennial reign (25:31-46).
Within days of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus was betrayed into the hands of unbelievers and crucified for sinners. The Holy One of God will one day return in glory to judge the world, but first He had to provide the way of salvation for all who would trust in Him.
-The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times-
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?”
he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
------- 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. ---------
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death,and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand-- 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]
30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Day and Hour Unknown36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
During the time the Bible was written, several numbers had significant symbolism of deeper meaning. Scripture is filled with symbols, from the Ark of the Covenant to the tzitzit on the Israelites garment, down to the number of the Beast recorded in the Book of Revelation. God uses symbols to communicate spiritual truths to mankind, including numbers.
Understanding the meanings behind these numbers in the Bible can help you understand the self-revelation of God a little better. Let's do a brief overview of Biblical numerology before diving into the meaning behind specific numbers found in Scripture.
Why Is Biblical Numerology Important?It is important at the outset that we make it very clear that while God did inspire the use of specific numbers for symbolic reasons, we have to be careful not to place too much emphasis on numbers.
Such exaggerated emphasis can and has led to dangerous mystical ideas, bad theology, fringe eschatological approaches, and even outright occultism — believing that numbers hold a mystical power that can be tapped into for divination purposes.
Scripture forbids and condemns all such divinatory practices (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). The Church Fathers were also unanimous in their condemnation of using numbers for divination, or foretelling future events, etc.
They noted that the practice originated in Babylonian paganism, as well as Pythagorean mystery teachings and Gnosticism. For example, St. Ambrose wrote:
“The number seven is good, but we do not explain it after the doctrine of Pythagoras and the other philosophers, but rather according to the manifestation and division of the grace of the Spirit; for the prophet Isaiah has enumerated the principle gifts of the Holy Spirit as seven” (Epistle to Horontianus).
Likewise, Anatolius wrote: “Pythagoras was not the only one who duly honored arithmetic (numbers). His best-known disciples did so too.”
The Church Fathers wrote prolifically condemning all forms of divination and mystery cults, such as those which employ numerology.
“The wisdom of the princes of the world...we understand to be things like the secret and occult philosophy (as they call it) of the Egyptians and the astrology of the Chaldeans and Indians” (Origen).
All such “philosophies,” practices, rites, rituals, and even seemingly harmless party games stand condemned by both Scripture and the various great theologians of the Christian faith throughout history.
That said, they clearly recognized that the Word of God does contain a divinely inspired system of numbers. Two excellent examples of biblical books containing such number references are Daniel (Daniel 7:3) and Revelation (Revelation 13:15-18).
Meaning of Numbers in the BibleLet’s take a brief look at the most common numbers and their biblical meanings.
Number 1: Symbolic of unity (Deuteronomy 6:4). God is one, Jesus and the Father are one, etc.
Number 2: Symbolic of a witness (Exodus 25:22; Matthew 26:60; Luke 10:1). Christ sent his disciples out two by two, and wherever two are gathered in His name He is present, etc.
Number 3: Symbolic of perfection and completion (John 2:19; Matthew 12:40; Luke 13:7). The three Persons of the Holy Trinity is the best example of this.
Number 4: Symbolic of the Earth (Daniel 7:3; Matthew 13: Isaiah 11:12). Four directions, four seasons.
Number 5: Symbolic of grace (Leviticus 1-5; Genesis 43:34; Matthew 14:17). Five types of offering in Leviticus, the Book of Psalms is divided into five sections, five books of the Law.
The Tabernacle contained five curtains, five pillars, five sockets, five bars, and the altar was five cubits by five cubits, etc.
Number 6: Symbolic of humanity (Genesis 1:31; Revelation 13:15-18). Man was created on the sixth day, man labors six days, slaves served only for six years, etc.
Number 7: Symbolic of spiritual perfection (Genesis 2:2; Psalm 12:6; Matthew 18:22). Thus, we see seven churches, seven spirits, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc.
Number 8: Symbolic of a new beginning (Genesis 17:2; Mark 16:9-11; Genesis 7:13).Christ appeared eight times after His resurrection, God saved eight people from the Flood, newborns were circumcised on the eighth day.
Number 10: symbolizes earthly government (Ruth 4:2; Exodus 20:1-17; 1 Kings 11:31-35). Ten lost tribes, ten commandments, and a tithe being a tenth of our earnings.
Number 12: symbolizes spiritual authority (Matthew 10:2-4; Revelation 7; 10:2-4).Twelve tribes, twelve apostles, Jacob had twelve sons, God ordered that twelve loaves of unleavened bread be present in the temple each week, etc.
Number 30: symbolizes dedication to a calling (Numbers 4:3; Luke 3:23; 2 Samuel 5:4). Aaronic priests were initially dedicated at 30 years old. Christ began His public ministry at 30 years of age, David was 30 years old when he began his reign over Israel.
Number 40: Symbolic of trials (Genesis 7:4; Exodus 24:18; Numbers 14:33; Matthew 4:2). Moses lived 40 years in the desert, 40 years in Egypt, and was on Mount Sinai for 40 days, Jonah preached in Nineveh for 40 days, Ezekiel slept on his right side for 40 days, etc.
Number 70: Symbolic of judgment (Numbers 11:16; Ezekiel 8:11; Jeremiah 29:10). God provided 70 priests for Moses in passing judgment. For seventy years, the Israelites were kept in Babylonian captivity.
Perhaps the most notorious number found in Scripture is that associated with the Anti-Christ: 666.
The Church Fathers noted several other instances wherein the number six featured prominently.
“Fittingly, therefore, will his name possess the number six hundred and sixty-six, since the Anti-Christ sums up in his own person all the mixture of wickedness that took place previous to the deluge, due to the apostasy of the angels. For Noah was six hundred years old when the deluge came upon the earth...Furthermore, that image which was set up by Nebuchadnezzar had indeed a height of sixty cubits, while the breadth was six cubits...This, then, the six hundred years of Noah...indicate the number of the name of that man in whom is concentrated the whole apostasy of six thousand years” (Irenaeus).
Why Does Biblical Numerology Matter Today?The Word of God is indeed a fascinating study, filled with many mysteries for the diligent disciple of Christ to explore.
However, as was cautioned at the start of this article, some of these mysteries require discernment and the guidance of a seasoned theologian, pastor, or student of Scripture if we are to avoid the pitfalls that come from poor sources.
Few people make a study of such things as biblical numerology, and fewer still correctly comprehend the information available.
While the internet has placed many excellent sources at our easy disposal, it must be said that it also provides far more sources that are nothing less than false teaching, heresy, and outright occultism.
The second coming of Christ is a major tenet of Christian theology, and we eagerly look forward to our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). But the knowledge that the Messiah would have two comings came to humanity gradually, as God’s revelation to mankind was progressive.