The End of the Age

Written by Schalk_and_Elsa on. Posted in End Times, False teachings

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There is much speculation regarding the coming of the Messiah Y’shua. Many interpretations and predictions are made. How do we know what is true? What will be the sign of Y’shua’s coming? Y’shua’s disciples were also anxious to know this. The first thing Y’shua said when asked this question was to warn them to see to it that no one deceives them. This warning is for us too. There are so many theories and prophets out there. Some of these theories have been repeated so many times that is has been accepted as truth. It may seem true, but do not be deceived, test everything against YHVH’s word. That is the purpose of this article to see how Y’shua answered this question to His disciples and align it with the rest of scripture in order to give us a clearer perspective on this. We shall use the Olivet disclosure as a framework for this study.

The beginning of the end

In Matthew 24, Y’shua said the beginning of the birth pangs will be wars and rumors of wars. One nation will rise against another. There will be earthquakes and famines in various places. We have seen a marked increase in earthquakes, especially in really big ones when you compare data from the last 30 years. Some say this increase is due to better reporting. However, we have seen a marked increase between 2010 and 2016. This is too short a period to justify a speculation that better reporting is the cause for the increase. The measurement and reporting has stayed relatively consistent over the last six years.

When you search “list of famines“, you would be surprised to see how many people have died as a result of famines. I don’t know if there would even be accurate reporting in the third world countries. The point is, we have seen an increase in famine, earthquakes, wars and rumors of war. Israel is under constant threat from Iran and the terrorism there, is ongoing. Europe is seeing a marked increase in terrorism. But, these are only the birth pangs, the tribulation has not started yet.

After this, the tribulation would come. At this time many believers will be killed and delivered up for the sake of Y’shua’s name. There has been a marked increase of persecution of believers all over the world. Religious freedom is under threat, even in civilized countries. Most governments are attempting to make homeschooling based on religious grounds illegal. What most people don’t realize is that it is not about giving children a “better education” by forcing them to go to public school, but rather about religious freedom going out the window. They are doing the groundwork for later.

Believers will be delivered up by their “friends” and neighbors. Hate will abound, especially for those who are not part of the system. False prophets will deceive many and lawlessness will increase and most people’s love will grow cold. Apostasy will mark the beginning of the end. Good will be called evil and evil good!

Isaiah 5:18–20
18 Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood, And sin as if with cart ropes; 19 Who say, “Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it; And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near And come to pass, that we may know it!20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

According to this verse, even the unrighteous are expecting the end. We see this too, even unbelievers are expecting a messiah. However, only the ones who endure in true righteousness will be saved.

Matthew 24:13
13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

Matthew 10:22
22 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

Y’shua also said that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations. That is interesting wording. The gospel of Y’shua as a witness to all the nations. That means when Y’shua comes again, people of all the nations will know who He is and what He is coming to do. There will be no excuses. On the site gospelmap.com, you can find a video that shows the the spread of Christianity. It charted the geographic progress of the Gospel over the last 2,000 years. Here is a link if you want to see it. http://westernconservatory.com/products/the-spread-of-the-gospel-map. According to this map, we can see that the gospel of Y’shua has been preached in the whole world. I know that mainstream Christianity is a mixed religion, but the basis of Y’shua the Messiah bringing salvation to all people is the same.

From all this we can conclude that we are experiencing the “birth pangs” of His coming. All this has not happened overnight and will continue until the time is right. We don’t know how long this would be. Then comes the great tribulation.

The great tribulation

Y’shua warned of a time of tribulation like the world has never seen before.

Matthew 24:21
21 “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

Jeremiah also referred to the great tribulation.

Jeremiah 30:7
7 ‘Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.

The coming calamity will be so awful that none will be like it in comparison. Jeremiah characterized it as a time of trouble. Yet all will not be lost because God guaranteed that the nation will be saved out of it. God will rescue His people in the midst of their distress.

To what “time of trouble” was Jeremiah referring? Some have felt that he was pointing to the coming fall of Judah to Babylon or to the later fall of Babylon to Medo-Persia. However, in both of these periods the Northern Kingdom of Israel was not affected. It had already gone into captivity (in 722 B.C.). A better solution is to see Jeremiah referring to the still-future Tribulation period when the remnant of Israel and Judah will experience a time of unparalleled persecution (Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Matt. 24:15–22). The period will end when Messiah appears to rescue His elect (Rom. 11:26) and establish His kingdom (Matt. 24:30–31; 25:31–46; Rev. 19:11–21; 20:4–6).2

In Daniel we find a similar prophecy.

Daniel 12:1–2
1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2 “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

The context of this prophecy is the great tribulation. Michael, who guards YHVH’s people, will arise. There will be a time of great distress. However, everyone written in the book will be rescued and those who sleep in the ground will awake. This is referring to Y’shua’s return. The rescue takes place after the tribulation and occurs at the time those who are dead are resurrected. We will see later how this ties in perfectly with Y’shua’s words.

The beginning of the tribulation

We have seen what the birth pangs of the tribulation are: earthquakes, famine, war, rumors of war, persecution of believers and apostasy. Apostasy is general lawlessness, meaning a total turning away from YHVH’s instructions. Then comes the abomination of desolation.

Matthew 24:15
15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

What is this abomination of desolation? There is much speculation about what this could be. We don’t know what it will be, but to me it seems to be an object of worship. We do know that sacrifices will be done away with. For sacrifices, we need an altar. There is currently no temple or even an altar for sacrifices. The Temple Institute claims to have built an altar, but they have not yet made any sacrifices. They have attempted a few times and have enacted some temple rituals in Jerusalem over the feasts, like the water libation ceremony at Sukkot, but have not started regular sacrifices.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about this time. It seems to me from this passage, and what is written in Daniel, that a man will come to power, the lawless one, and he will exalt himself as god, enforce lawlessness and persecute believers. He will set up the abomination of desolation and that will mark the beginning of the tribulation.

2 Thessalonians 2:3–4
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of Elohim, displaying himself as being Elohim.

Daniel 8:23–24
23 “In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue. 24His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree And prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.

This “king” will receive his power from other nations and /or from satan.

Daniel 9:27
27 “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.”

Daniel 11:31–32
31 “Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation. 32 “By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their Elohim will display strength and take action.

These passages confirm what Y’shua has said. Daniel then wanted to know for how long this would be, and the angel answered him.

For how long will this be?

It would be for a time, times and half a time until they finish shattering the power of the holy people.

Daniel 12:6–12
6 And one said to the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be until the end of these wonders?” 7 I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed. 8 As for me, I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what will be the outcome of these events?9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. 10 “Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. 11 “From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!

He continued to explain the purpose of this, to purge, purify and refine the righteous. The wicked will act wickedly and will not understand, but the believers will. From the time the abomination of desolation is set up till the completion of these events will be 1290 days. Then comes a period of 45 days, those who keep waiting for the lenght of the period will be called blessed. This equates to a total period of approximately 3 years, 8 and a half months.

The question has often been asked if we as believers will have to endure this tribulation or will we be taken away prior to this terrible time? This scripture and many others confirm that we will have to endure this. This specific scripture in Daniel tells us the purpose of this time: purging, purification and refinement.

The rapture?

However, in Christianity, it is believed by the majority that the righteous would be raptured prior to the great tribulation. Let’s look at the scripture often used to prove this theory.

In Matthew 24, Y’shua explains about His coming. He explains this mostly in parables.

Gathered together after the tribulation

After the tribulation, the elect will be gathered together from the four winds, at the coming of Y’shua.

Matthew 24:29–31
29But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

A few verses on, Y’shua describes this in more detail.

Matthew 24:40–41
40 “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 “Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

1 Thessalonians confirms this to be after the tribulation.

1 Thessalonians 4:16–17
16 For the Master Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of Elohim, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Master in the air, and so we shall always be with the Master.

Here we read again that at Y’shua’s coming the dead in Messiah will rise first, then these and those alive will be caught up to meet the Master in the air. In 1 Corinthians 15, we read the following:

1 Corinthians 15:51–52
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

The passage in Daniel 12 also aligns with these passages.

Daniel 12:1–2
1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2 “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

The dead in Messiah referred to here are believers who have died before or during the great tribulation.

Revelation 6:9–11
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of Elohim, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O YHVH, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

Revelation 7:13–16
13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” 14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 “For this reason, they are before the throne of Elohim; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. 16They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;

From this description in Revelation 6 and 7, we confirm that believers will go through the great tribulation. Some will be killed and some will suffer hunger, thirst and severe heat. Those killed were killed by the great harlot, the anti-messiah system.

In Revelation the great harlot is also described as drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Y’shua.

Revelation 17:6
6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Y’shua. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.

From these verses, it is quite clear that there will be no rapture prior to the great tribulation. The tribulation is part of the final refinement prior to Y’shua’s coming. It will be used to separate the sheep from the goats. It will be a terrible time of great distress. Our only change of survival is to know and follow our sheperd’s voice. He will lead us and protect us, and even if we have to die, we will be resurrected when Y’shua comes, if we continue to follow Him to the end.

There will be many false prophets during this time and many false messiahs who will even do signs and wonders. They will proclaim that Y’shua has come in secret, but Y’shua tells us that all will see Him when He comes.

Matthew 24:23–27
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. 24 “For false Messiahs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. 25 “Behold, I have told you in advance. 26 “So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. 27 “For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Y’shua gives us more detail after this.

The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light

There will be signs in the sun and the moon. The sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. When will this be? Y’shua tells us

Matthew 24:29
29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Immediately after this, Y’shua would come on the clouds.

Matthew 24:30
30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

We have a clear time indication here. The signs in the sun and moon will take place immediately after the tribulation, but before the return of Y’shua and the day of YHVH or judgment. After this, in Matthew 24, Y’shua tells a few parables on readiness, whereafter He tells about judgment, the day of YHVH. Before we go further into that, let us first look at these signs in heaven.

There are many references to signs in heaven in scripture. Many of these references are used to prove certain theories. One of these is the theory of the blood moons being an omen. Our first concern with this is that we are instructed in scripture, not to interpret omens. We have written about this practice previously, you can go to the article by clicking on the link above. We read in Deuteronomy:

Deuteronomy 18:10–12
10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 “For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you.

What are omens? The Hebrew word for omens is “nā∙ḥǎš”

5727 נָחַשׁ (nā∙ḥǎš): v.; ≡ Str 5172; TWOT 1348—1. LN 53.96–53.101 (piel) practice divination, i.e.,interpret omens and signs, as a way to learn the will of God, or the gods, known for future contingencies (Ge 30:27; 44:5,15; Lev 19:26; Dt 18:10; 2Ki 17:17; 21:6; 2Ch 33:6+), see also domain LN 27.34–27.47; 2. LN 53.96–53.101 (piel) take something as an omen or sign (1Ki 20:33+)3

Our second concern with using these scriptures to prove these theories, is that the references are used out of context. Let us look at a few of these.

Isaiah 13:9–10
9 Behold, the day of YHVH is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light.

Isaiah 24:23
23 Then the moon will be abashed and the sun ashamed, For YHVH of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, And His glory will be before His elders.

Joel 2:10–11
10 Before them the earth quakes, The heavens tremble, The sun and the moon grow dark And the stars lose their brightness. 11 YHVH utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of YHVH is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?

Joel 2:30–31
30 “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of YHVH comes.

The word “before” literally means “to face” or means to “turn towards.” This implies shortly after. It is also important not to take a part of a verse out of context and make a whole theory around it. In each of these references we see the sun, moon and stars affected.

This is confirmed by the prophet Amos. He asks: “Will not the day of YHVH be a day of darkness?

Amos 5:20
20 Will not the day of YHVH be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?

We also have references in the book of Revelation

Revelation 6:12–17
12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

In Revelation a scene is described of a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth and the moon like blood and the stars fell to the earth. This is the sixth seal. This takes place before the coming of Y’shua and the final judgment. The seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls are not three sets of judgments following one another consecutively , but rather three different points of view of the same set of judgments, before the coming of Y’shua. In each set we have four judgments that are related, then two that are different, more spiritual, then a pause or interlude and then the final judgment.

The description of the breaking of the sixth seal alludes to descriptions of the end of the world found in Isaiah 2:10–12, 2:19, 13:10, 34:4, 50:3; Jeremiah 4:23–29; Joel 3:4(2:31), 4:15(3:15); Nahum 1:5–6; Haggai 2:6 (compare Mt 24:29, Lk 23:30).4

Let’s look at the seventh trumpet and the seventh bowl for comparison.

Revelation 11:15–19
15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our YHVH and of His Messiah; and He will reign forever and ever.16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before Elohim, fell on their faces and worshiped Elohim, 17 saying, “We give You thanks, O YHVH Elohim, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. 18 “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” 19 And the temple of Elohim which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

Here is what David Stern has to say in his commentory:

15-17 When the seventh angel sounds his shofar, then The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and his Messiah, and Adonai has begun to rule. The active reign of God on earth, the Messianic Kingdom, promised at 1:5–8 and 6:10, now begins to become real. Between these verses and chapter 19 are the various judgments and other events associated with the overthrow of the system of this world and the inauguration of the Messiah’s rulership. This is why essentially the same cry is heard again at 19:6: “Halleluyah! Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, has begun his reign!” 4

Let’s look at the seventh bowl

Revelation 16:17–21
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before Elohim, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed Elohim because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.

After this the writer is shown a vision of the judgement of the great harlot.

After each of these judgments, there is a great, devastating earthquake and hail. The text alludes to the rulership of YHVH and Messiah Y’shua and judgment. This confirms that these three sets of judgments take place at the same time. We will do a more detailed study on this in future as this is not our primary focus here.

After Y’shua told His disciples how the elect will be gathered together, He then proceeded to speak of the events that will precede this. He did this to show His disciples that they are to be ready. He also uses parables to illustrate this.

The parable of the fig tree, like a thief in the night

Y’shua tells this parable to illustrate that the season can be known by those who are ready.

Matthew 24:32–33
32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.

Y’shua has described this season for us, however, of the day and hour no one knows.

Matthew 24:36
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

It is not for us to know the exact time of Y’shua’s return. We can speculate all we like, but we will be surprised. When Y’shua was asked if He will be restoring the kingdom to Israel, He answered as follows:

Acts 1:7
7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

1 Thessalonians 5:1–6
1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of YHVH will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.

Paul is not contradicting what Y’shua said, he confirms that Y’shua’s coming would be like a thief in the night, but those who believe will not be overcome by it. They will be ready.

2 Peter 3:10–15
10 But the day of YHVH will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of Elohim, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Master as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,

Mark 13:33 and Luke 12:40 also echo the aspect of being ready and so does the following few verses.

Luke 21:34–36
34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Revelation 3:3
3 ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.

Revelation 16:15
15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”)

How are we to be ready?

We are to be in peace, spotless and blameless according to 2 Peter 3 :15. Our hearts, not weighted down with dissipation, drunkenness and the worries of life. We are to remember what we have learned and live repentant lives. We are to be awake and alert, on guard and aware of what is happening around us. Y’shua goes further to tell that it would be as in the days of Noah.

As in the days of Noah

Matthew 24:37–39
37 “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Noah and his family were obedient and prepared. Noah had a relationship with YHVH, he was a righteous man and obedient. The rest of the people were not and were focusing on their fleshly desires: eating drinking and marrying. Noah and his family went into the ark and the rest of humankind were left and drowned in the waters. Y’shua said it will again be as in the days of Noah. Most people will be so focused on living life and their fleshly desires, that they will not be aware that the coming of Y’shua is imminent and will be overtaken by it.

Y’shua warns: be on the alert for you do not know the day your Master is coming. This also is as in the days of Noah. Noah and his family were preparing, they did according to all YHVH had commanded them. They did however know what was coming and waited patiently for YHVH’s instruction.

Genesis 6:22
22 Thus Noah did; according to all that Elohim had commanded him, so he did.

Noah and his family did not know the day they were to enter the ark until YHVH told them.

Genesis 7:1
1 Then YHVH said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.

Genesis 7:4
4 “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.”

After seven days YHVH closed the door of the ark and the fountains of the deep opened up.

Genesis 7:16
16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as Elohim had commanded him; and YHVH closed it behind him.

Again Y’shua repeats that we are to be on the alert, ready.

Matthew 24:42
42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Master is coming.

Matthew 24:44
44 “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Y’shua then spoke of the faithful servant who was doing what was expected of him, ready for his master’s return at any moment. The evil slave said to himself “my master is not coming for a long time” and decided as a result of this thought to indulge in sin. Many people do this, even believers. Y’shua said there would be a great falling away. This may be a part of it. Believers wanting to maintain, or go back to, their sinful life because, they believe there is still plenty of time before Y’shua comes.

After this, we find the parable of the ten young maidens. All ten were expecting the bridegroom, but only five were ready. The five who were not ready, were left outside. They were sent away with these words:

Matthew 25:12–13
12 “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Once again, the central message is to be ready. To be ready is to be found doing what you are supposed to be doing. We find the instructions in His word. We have previously written on what does YHVH require of us.

I am sure we can all identify with this. We are often drawn away by the world, worldly things and people. This is compared to getting drowsy. If we allow it, we will fall asleep spiritually and not be ready.

Y’shua then told the parable of the talents. Those who were entrusted with five and two talents respectively, got to work and gained double of what they had. The one who received one buried it in the ground. Those who put effort in were praised, the other one who didn’t, was thrown into the outer darkness. This parable teaches us that we will have to give an account of what has been entrusted to us. We will be judged at the end, our works will be judged.

Judgment

The next description is judgment. Y’shua separated the sheep (righteous) to His right and the goats (unrighteous) to His left. The goats (unrighteous) were told to depart into the eternal fire. The central message of this entire passage is to be ready and doing what YHVH expects of us, obedience. This obedience includes serving and loving one another.

2 John 5–6
5 Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.

Those who are not ready, will go away into eternal punishment.

Matthew 25:46
46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Y’shua said this to the righteous:

Matthew 25:34–40
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Master, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

What’s very interesting about this passage, is that Y’shua commended them for the love they showed to others, not their correct doctrine. YHVH’s Kingdom is about love for YHVH, first and love for others, second. This is how we store up treasures in heaven (Matt 6:20-21). We are to consider this and focus on doing good and to love others. If we do this now, we will be prepared for what is coming, it will be our nature to do good and help others. If we now only focus on having the correct doctrine or calendar, for example, we will not be prepared. We are not negating the importance of being obedient to YHVH, but we are not to hate and fight over different interpretations of YHVH’s commandments.

This is not all doom and gloom. YHVH promised He will protect His people. There will be a remnant.

YHVH’s protection

There are many examples in Scripture of how YHVH protected His people while judging the unbelievers. Noah and his family, Lot and his daughters are two good examples. The Israelites who had blood on the lintel and doorposts firstborn were spared while the firstborn of Egypt were slain.

Exodus 12:22–23
22 “You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning. 23 “For YHVH will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, YHVH will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.

We read about special protection in the future in Isaiah. I understand the context to be judgment.

Isaiah 26:20–21
20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms And close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while Until indignation runs its course. 21 For behold, YHVH is about to come out from His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; And the earth will reveal her bloodshed And will no longer cover her slain.

Psalm 91 is all about YHVH’s protection and again the context is judgment.

Psalm 91:1–16
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to YHVH, “My refuge and my fortress, My Elohim, in whom I trust!” 3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; 6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. 7 A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. 8 You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. 9 For you have made YHVH, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place. 10 No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. 11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. 12 They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. 14Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 “With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.”

All of these passages have as context YHVH’s judgement. The way I understand it, is that at Y’shua’s coming, the righteous would be gathered together to be with Him and then He will judge those who rejected His truth.

Psalm 27:5
5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.

Psalm 50:4–5
4 He summons the heavens above, And the earth, to judge His people: 5 “Gather My godly ones to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”

Zephaniah 2:3
3 Seek YHVH, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the YHVH’s anger.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article was to go through the Olivet discourse and see what we can learn about it and to link Y’shua’s words to what have been said by the prophets. From this we can conclude that Y’shua didn’t bring a new message, but explained what has been prophesied. He makes it easier for us to understand what would take place in order for us not to be completely in the dark. This gives us the discernment we need to know what is truth and what is error in what is being taught.

We can understand from this that there will be no rapture prior to the tribulation. We will have to go through this and this too is part of YHVH’s plan. He wants to purify and refine His people. Some will be killed, some will die of hunger or thirst, and some will survive. It will be a terrible time of great distress. Then after the tribulation, we will see the sign of Y’shua’s coming. The sun will be darkened, the moon will turn to blood, and the stars will not give their light. Then Y’shua will come, the righteous who are dead will be resurrected and will meet Him with those who have survived.We will be with Him, but the nations who rejected Him will be judged.

We hope this inspires you to work on your relationship with YHVH, to repent of every time you have missed the mark and to be strengthened in your faith. YHVH is in control and He has a plan and if we believe in Him, we are part of that glorious plan. If not, destruction awaits us.

Habakkuk 2:3
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

References

  1. All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Y’shua for Jesus.
  2. Dyer, C. H. (1985). Jeremiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1168). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  3. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  4. Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary : a companion volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed., Re 6:12). Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications.
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