Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Matthew 24 (3) - Earthquakes and Wars

Many Christians believe that earthquakes, wars and famines are a sign that the second coming is close. The belief is incorrectly based on Matthew 24:4-7. In this passage, Jesus was warning his disciples about the destruction of Jerusalem. The disciples had asked for a sign that would indicate that the fall of Jerusalem was near. Before giving that specific sign, Jesus spoke of misleading signs. He warned that some people would be deceived.

Watch out that no one deceives you (Matt 24:4).
Jesus then listed some false signs. These are events that take place before the destruction of Jerusalem, but are not actual signs of that destruction. They are the "birth pangs" and not the death throes. They mark the beginning of a new age, not the end of the old one. They are more connected with the birth of the kingdom of God, than with the end of the Jewish kingdom. They would take place prior to the end of Jerusalem but they are not immediate signs of it. Events of this kind will also take place throughout history. (This is especially true of the persecution.)

The false signs given by Jesus are listed below:

1. False Messiahs
For many will come in my name, claiming, "I am the Christ" (Matt 24:5).
There would be many false messiahs, and many Jews would be deceived. The Jews were looking for a political leader who would overthrow the Romans. This made them vulnerable to false messiahs, who were numerous and often successful. The centurion who arrested Paul in Jerusalem spoke of an Egyptian who started a revolt and led 4000 terrorists out into the desert (Acts 21:38; see also Acts 5:36,37; 8:9,10).

False Messiahs became more common, as the destruction of Jerusalem got closer. Jesus had warned that false messiahs would come giving a false hope to the people. They would even do signs and wonders that would deceive some people. Jesus' warning was proved correct when a great number of false messiahs arose in Jerusalem. Some were in the pay of Rome.

One told the people that if they got into the temple they would be saved. Those who listened were killed when the temple was destroyed. There were a number of strange signs. For half an hour, a bright light covered the temple. For a while, a star resembling a sword hung over the city. These signs were probably performed by false prophets using satanic power. If the Jews had listened to Jesus' warning they would not have been deceived.

2. Wars.
You will hear of wars and rumours of wars.... nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Matt 24:6, 7).

Rome had enjoyed a long period of peace, but not long after the ascension of Jesus, war and strife became widespread in the empire. In Rome four emperors died violently in a space of eighteen months. A war between the Syrians and the Jews led to the death of 20,000 Jews.

3. Famines
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matt 24:7,8).
Acts 11:28 records a famine that occurred during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. This famine spread to many parts of the empire, and was followed by a pestilence in which thousands of people died.

4. Earthquakes
There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matt 24:7,8).
Earthquakes are recorded in a variety of places prior to AD 70. The city of Pompeii was severely damaged by an earthquake in AD 63. Others took place in Crete, Smyrna Miletus, Laodicea, Colossae, Rome and Judea.

5. Persecution and betrayal
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other (Matt 24:9,10)
This persecution began when the gospel was first preached in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Peter and John were put into prison. Later James was put to death. Paul was beaten and imprisoned many times for his faith. Persecution was a normal experience for the early Christians (Acts 9:1). During these times of persecutions, many denied their faith and betrayed their brethren. Many of the Epistles were written to encourage believers who were in danger of losing their faith.

All these false signs took place as Jesus said they would. They were events that could have easily misled the Christians into thinking the destruction of Jerusalem was at hand. Jesus was advising that it would be quite safe to stay in Jerusalem and preach the gospel while they were taking place. The Christians were not to be alarmed by them.

Many Christians believe that these are signs of the second coming of Christ. They spend a lot of time looking for earthquakes, wars and famines. This is foolish. Even if Jesus were talking about the second coming (he was not), he warned that these were false signs. He specifically told Christians not to be deceived when they hear about them (Matt 24:5). Today, despite Jesus’ warning, many Christians are being deceived by these very things.


adam said...

explain this then padre, how do you explain the rebirth of israel in 1948? the most prophetic event of our time ,explain away mr. man.. go ahead.. i'm sure you'll make it all make sense for us. Jesus said the generation to witness this would not pass away. His coming is soon, Paul said He would not come on us as a thief in the night, as We are children of the light, not of the darkness, therefore we would recognize the times.. obviously you don't my friend.. i'd suggest doing some serious soul searching. Jesus said there would also be FALSE TEACHERS... i pray you're not one of them, if you are you better repent.. think long and hard before you reply my friend, Our glorious Father in heaven is watching!! We are to comfort one another wish his imminent coming, you are denying the very signs he said He'd give us in order to know and look up, for our redemption draweth nigh!! Praise Jesus!!

Ron McK said...

Jesus did not say that those who were standing there would see the nation of Israel re-established. That event is not mentioned in Matthew 25.

The nation of Israel came into existence in the same was as Kosovo and Croatia. Through UN resolution and military struggle. It does not need to be explained.

adam said...

The fig tree Jesus refers to is Israel. It’s been six decades since Israel was once again declared a nation against all worldly odds. Jesus promised that the generation which witnessed fulfillment of this prophecy would not die off until all the things of which he spoke came to pass. Given the past credibility of the Bible and God’s Son Jesus Christ, we should fully expect these events to come to pass. What this means is that Jesus is going to return soon, within this generation. A wise person will prepare accordingly.

should i give you some verses for your reading pleasure?

who said anything about matthew 25 friend? check out the previous chapter.. i suggest you study more.. and stop trying to explain your scientific theories, you will be judged harshly!!

The scriptures prophesied that Israel would be dispersed among the nations then brought out from among them in a gradual process that would culminate in the establishment of Israel as a nation in a single day. And that’s exactly what happened. The Bible also foretold the exact year in which this would happen. Those who study the Word of God recognize the restoration of Israel as the primary sign of the end of the age. Jesus promised the generation that witnessed this event would also witness His return. Matthew 24:34 (NLT)

Israel Becomes a Nation in a Single Day

God foretold long ago that after He brought His scattered people out from among the nations, He would declare them to be a nation in a single day:

“‘Who has ever seen or heard of anything as strange as this? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, the baby will be born; the nation will come forth. Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it?’ asks the Lord. ‘No! I would never keep this nation from being born,’ says your God.” Isaiah 66:8-9 (NLT)

i can go on forever with more and more bible verses to back this up....

This is exactly what happened on May 14, 1948. Having been brought to the brink of extinction by the horrors of the Holocaust, facing persecution around the world, and surrounded by their enemies, the Jewish people gathered together in Israel and declared themselves a nation in a single day. The United States recognized Israel as a nation on that same day, and Israel’s victories in the wars since have solidified their place among the nations of the world.

The rebirth of Israel in 1948 has been accompanied by constant war and conflict with surrounding Muslim nations. The main focus of world attention today concerns Israel’s relationship with its neighbors. Just as God foretold, Israel has become a “burdensome stone” for the world’s political leaders. The majority of the Islamic countries surrounding Israel have made it clear their primary goal is the destruction of Israel. However, God has made it clear that Israel is here to stay.

Why All This is Important

Jesus told his disciples the primary sign of His soon return would be the restoration of Israel:

“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know without being told that summer is near. Just so, when you see the events I’ve described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I assure you, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.” Matthew 24:32-35 (NLT)

amen and amen and amen and i'll give you hundreds more.. keep posting i triple dog dare you... Chris is on my side.. certainly He would not side with a false teacher, i suggest you join the team friend, stop with your heretical teaching, your punishment could be severe, i don't want to see that happen to you!!

adam said...

i swear with my last dying breath everytime you try to explain away His imminent coming i will respond with a verse from the bible pointing to this time, that we are the generation that will see His coming.... I am a servant of Christ, who are you a servant of?? yourself? you had better drop your pride and admit the bible is 100 percent true, otherwise you will be in danger of hellfire, stop being a false teacher!!! ...

Ron McK said...

Adam, why are you so angry? How long have you been waiting for Jesus coming, but being disappointed?

You wrote, "Jesus told his disciples the primary sign of His soon return would be the restoration of Israel." Jesus did not say that. That is your interpretation of what he said. You should be careful about confusing your interpretations and Jesus words.

adam said...

who said i was angry? i'm upset that you are twisting the gospels.. there is so much evidence of his imminent return, yet you deny the very prophetic words Jesus said... even the old testament prophets.. what about Daniel's prophetic words, what about john when he was on patmos.. do you just chalk it up to heresay? .. do you believe there is going to be a 1,000 yr millenial kingdom.. do you remember when jesus said " there will be scoffers in the last days, men who will say " where is this God of yours " ... are you reading anything i'm putting on here ? all the verses etc, i will give you one last one and then i'll leave it up to you to continue yours blasphemous denials, woe to you!! i honestly have to question do you know your eschatology at all? have you read any books by john hagee grant jeffrey's ? ... or much less the living and true BIBLE!!?? ... man you have got some soul searching to do .... blessed economist? whats the deal are you so rich that you don't want him to come back yet? you're not ready ? having too much fun spending money and flying on your private jet? or maybe you have grandkids that you want to see get old and you'll not see that because Christ is coming soon... hey did you happen to see the massive EARTHQUAKE today? ... just a coincidence huH ? you'll say " well there's been all sorts of earthquakes " etc etc etc..i say to you this is just the tip of the iceberg friend.. more are coming.. soon and with more severity , then you shall know that the Son of Man is on the Horizon, " even at the door " !!!

There are well over a score of biblical passages that indicate that the return of Jesus for the Church is imminent. An imminent return is quite impossible if the tribulation has to happen first. Why would Jesus direct his people to be always ready and watching for His coming if they were meant to go through the tribulation and thus would be aware of His coming as much as seven years before He actually came?

i am curious do you believe in the book of Revelation ? if so tehn why are you denying that these are the last days? .. i don't get it... pls continue to explain away...

adam said...

Finally, the Lord had a promise for us who look for His coming again, a sign which is to mark the end of the age. He said, "Behold the fig tree...when his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand" (Luke 21:29,30 and Matt. 24:32). This was the sign of the end, the sign of the fig tree--not the sign of the vineyard nor yet the sign of the olive. The promise of national renewal with the coming of the Lord is in the Old Testament. Joel 2:18-32 is a prophetic statement dealing with the end of the present age: in verse 22 the fig tree and the vine both are to bear their fruit again, and there will follow a time (v. 28) when the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon the sons and daughters of Israel. This was the time of blessing which Peter in Acts 2:17ff assured the people could follow only when Israel as a nation accepted Jesus Christ as their Messiah.

Jesus used alot of parables in case you havent figured that out by now.. i'm sure He wasn't going to say " look man when you see israel getting ganged up and ahmadinejad getting ready to shoot a nuke at tel aviv i'll be back about 2 days before that happens " ... we are supposed to have good discernment and know the times... remember what he told the two men that we know the weather patterns and can figure out if its going to rain or not but we cannot figure out when the son of man is coming ? helloooo.... look at the middle east my friend.. look at the establishment of the new world order.. its coming... all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together, yet you deny it ? i don't understand and i am hurt, as a fellow christian, that you'd talk heretical damnable heresies against the holy bible... woe to you... WOE TO YOU!!!! ...
wars,earthquakes, famines,pestilences,
do you think we're getting ready to have a big birthday peaceful party over in israel or something.. that its just all going to get better soon? take your blinders off!!!

in the last 50 years we've had 3 weeks where there has not been a war, thousands of earthquakes, the most devastating ones in the last 25 years, AIDS, POLIO, FLU, EBOLA, SWINE FLU.

look if i'm not right i'll eat my words.. watch and see if something big.. even bigger than this haiti earthquake happen SOON. this is just the tip of the iceberg... look at the mass killing in sudan, darfur, the holocaust!!... God is fed up with our sin and wicked ways... YOU are in danger of hellfire if you are suggesting these are not the last times, then you are questioning his very existence and questioning what he said and prophesied!
Twenty well-known infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and cholera have reemerged or spread since 1973, some appearing in "deadlier, drug-resistant forms". Less than 20 years ago the medical profession claimed victory over a wide array of bacterial and viral killers. But instead of fading, the cases of infectious diseases have skyrocketed throughout the 90's. Doctors now warn that the current resurgence of drug-resistant bacteria strains could prove to be more deadly than AIDS. Drug-resistant strains of microbes are having a deadly impact on the fight against tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia which together kill more than 10 million people worldwide each year.

AIDS is the fourth leading global cause of death, acoording to UNAIDS. At the end of 1999, 34.3 million adults and children worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS More than five million people are newly infected each year. There are now 16 countries in which more than one tenth of the adult population aged 15-49 is infected with HIV.

In Africa, AIDS now kills 2 million people a year. At least one of every two 15-year old boys in Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana is on track to die of AIDS. Half of all babies in Africa are born infected with HIV.

In 1993 AIDS became the leading cause of death of US males between the ages of
cancer.. the list goes on and on

adam said...

in case you're not aware of gog and magog.. good luck to yourself, no hard feelings, its pretty clear you have a hard heart and are unable to see the times.. good luck to you, i pray your heretical teachings don't damn too many souls.. May God have mercy on you, amen.

adam said... this is about gog and magog read it pls will exlplain end times!!!

Ron McK said...

The wars and diseases that you see as signs, all happened last century. They are not relevant to now. Time has left them behind.

Your problem is that most of what you believe about the end-times is from the scriptures. This stuff comes from men like Lindsay, Hagee and Jeffreys, not the scriptures. These guys believed that Jesus was coming thirty years ago, but they were wrong (but they still fly in their private jets).

I do take the scriptures seriously, but I have no faith in authors who add their own end-time ideas to the scriptures.

adam said...

Soooo you're saying you don't believe in the battle of armageddon? then you don't believe in the second coming... if you don't BELIEVE one prophetic word about the bible.. how can you believe the bible... have you even read ezekiel 38-39 and let me get this straight you're saying this has already happened then ? that russia and many hundreds of millions of other troops are not going to gang up on Israel? is that what you're saying ? .. let me ask you a question and answer me yes or no ok ? .... have you confessed with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is the one and only True God and that he died for our sins and that he was resurrected on the 3rd day and that His blood washed away our sins, for those of us who believe that we are eternally saved.... have you been baptized ? .. what is your major malfunction? what is your name ? you are really starting to scare me... take a look at this.. and tell me.. why do prophets and jesus keep saying " in the last days " " in the time of the end ? " hellooo you have got some serious rose colored glasses on or are blind and have not read the bible and just saying you have... there's reading and there's listening, are you really a believer ? answer all those questions please, we'll see how much you've read of my comment, to see if you're just skipping over and reading what you wish and believing what you wish. and look here.. doesnt matter if you believe it or not, it's going to happen ( whether you like it or not ) and hey guess what else i'm not dissapointed that He hasn't come yet.. thats my eternal hope, i know one thing for sure.. today He's one day closer to coming back to get us who REALLY believe in him...

adam said...

check out this website mr Weisenheimer...

25) God calls this Armageddon day in which He will fight against the enemies of His as ‘The Day of His Wrath or Fury’ in all scriptures (Ps 110:5; Is 13: 9, 13; Zeph 1:18; 3:8; Rev 6:17). In the Gog-Magog war God says, "For in My jealousy [and] in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: 'Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel" (Ezekiel 38:19). God calls the day of Armageddon battle in the Book of Revelation as the “wrath of Almighty God” and “fierceness of His wrath” (Ezek 38:18; Rev 16:19; 19:15). In Ezekiel 38:19, we first see God speaking about the battle, in the fire of His wrath and then predicting an unprecedented earthquake as the result of His wrath. This is the same scenario that is also described in the Book of Revelation on the Armageddon day of battle (Matt 24:29; Rev 6:12-17; 16:18-21).

The battle of Armageddon is the only war predicted by the prophets that could possibly be referred to in these chapters (Ezek. 38:17). Armageddon is mentioned many times by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and other prophets before the days of Ezekiel (Isa. 1:25-31; 3:25-26; 13:1-16; 24:21; 63:1-6; Jer. 25:30-33; 30:11,20-24; Joel 2-3; Oba. 1:15-21; Mic. 1:3-4; 2:12-13; 5:5-15; etc.). There is not a single war in the whole Bible that does fit a scenario other than the Armageddon which has the accompanying signs of God’s wrath and earth quake in it.

Gog will not fall upon the open field until Armageddon (Ezek. 39:3-5; Rev. 19:11-21). There are no other battle in the Bible which points to an open field battle in rebellion against God and His land of Israel directly except this one battle of all battles which is Armageddon. Clearly this is one battle that the Bible describes that the blood of God’s enemies will come upto the height of horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs (Rev 14:17-20).

The supernatural destruction of Gog and his armies (as described in Ezek. 38:21-23) will not be until Armageddon (Isa. 63:1-6; Joel 2-3; Zech. 14; Rev. 19:11-21). In no other scripture during the LATTER DAYS ( thats the end of times in case you still don't believe Mr Blessed economist ) has God told us about a supernatural direct intervention to rescue the nation of Israel except at the time of the battle of Armageddon (Rom 11:26-27; 9:25-29; Isa 59:20; Zech 14:1-5).

i suggest you read these verses and get back to me then.. i don't think you've read the entire bible have you ? if you have and you don't believe even one verse of the prophetic nature of God's words then you are a Liar and unbeliever, tell me.. do you believe in the millenial kingdom? yes or no? if you do and yet don't believe these prophecies you are warped my friend, WARPED. REPENT!!

Ron McK said...

I have not got the time or energy for further debate.

We are saved by faith in Jesus, not by belief in Gog and Magog.

Time will tell, which of us is right.
If we get to 2020 and Jesus has not returned, you will have been proved wrong.
If Jesus returns before 2020, I will be proved wrong. I can cope with that.

adam said...

ok its obvious we both have a strong belief in Jesus Christ and that's all that should matter.i will not continue to badger you for your different beliefs regarding end times, and will happily call a truce, however let's wager 5 dollars that is Jesus raptures us outta here before 2025 i win.. if not, you win... if we are in heaven and i meet you you can give me some of your manna as payment.... Peace to you, God bless, Shalom

Ron McK said...

Blessings to you to.

adam said...

For anyone who is reading, some Christians will have different views than others, even some of Jesus' own disciples argued amongst each other.. but what i say to you. i say to all.. to become saved and obtain eternal salvation you can pray this prayer...

Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always."