Temple Destruction Foretold
(Mark 13:1-9; Luke 21:5-9)
1As Jesus left the temple and was walking away, His disciples came up to Him to point out its buildings. 2“Do you see all these things?” He replied. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be toppled.”
Signs of the End of the Age
3While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will all this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”
4Jesus answered, “See to it that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Witnessing to All Nations
(Mark 13:10-13; Luke 21:10-19)
9Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. 10At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, 11and many false prophets will arise and mislead many.
12Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. 13But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
The Abomination of Desolation
(Mark 13:14-23; Luke 21:20-24)
15So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’a described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), 16then let those in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve anything from his house. 18And let no one in the field return for his cloak.
19How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not occur in the winter or on the Sabbath. 21For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. 22If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened.
23At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe it. 24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. 25See, I have told you in advance.
The Return of the Son of Man
(Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28)
26So if they tell you, ‘There He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
29Immediately after the tribulation 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 powers of the heavens will be shaken.’b
30At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.c 31And He will send out 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.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
(Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33)
32Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. 33So also, when you see all these things, you know that He isd near, right at the door. 34Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
Readiness at Any Hour
(Genesis 6:1-7; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:35-48)
36No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,e but only the Father.37As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark.39And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away. So will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40Two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
42Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.
45Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household, to give the others their food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that servant whose master returns and finds him doing his job. 47Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
48But suppose that servant is wicked and says in his heart, ‘My master will be away a long time.’ 49And he begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day he does not anticipate and at an hour he does not expect. 51Then he will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Will 2018 see a increase in birth pangs? The answer is yes. As we see the alarming pace of prophecy being fulfilled, it’s only a matter of time before we know that the delivery of the child is at hand. God is long suffering..this is true. However, his long-suffering has been going on now for nearly 2,000 years. An unprecedented amount of time has past, and yet we do not see the return of Christ. It is, however, an oxymoron. For generations before us thought that they were the generation too. Numerous bible prophecies fulfilled throughout history. And people sure that the return of Christ was around the corner….
What makes us different than them?
The nation of Israel and it’s fulfillment of prophecy makes this generation a close match to the generation that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24.
But how can we be sure? Once again, scripture interprets itself regarding the generation to be alive at the return of the Messiah. There is NO scripture yet to be fulfilled for his return. Some may argue this, but according to the best scholars, teachers, evangelists, prophecy experts, and those that have spent their lifetime devoted to the scriptures, the return of Christ is the next event on the biblical calendar.
If I asked you..Is God a God of divine order? Would you say yes? Does God allow events to haphazardly happen? Does he allow events to happen out of order?
No he does not. God is a genius with Math, and calculated events. In his timing, all things happen. So what next event would happen that would indicate God’s divine order?
The Feasts of Israel were given to the Israelites to celebrate and as a ever lasting covenant by God. In other words, the New testament did not fulfill the Feasts completely, because Christ was the parallel to the Feasts. The next “Feast” that Christ must fulfill is the Feast Of Trumpets…..
The way in which Jesus fulfilled the Jewish feasts is a fascinating study. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Jewish prophet Amos records that God declared He would do nothing without first revealing it to His servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). From the Old Covenant to the New, Genesis to Revelation, God provides picture after picture of His entire plan for mankind and one of the most startling prophetic pictures is outlined for us in the Jewish feasts of Leviticus 23.
The Hebrew word for “feasts” (moadim) literally means “appointed times.” God has carefully planned and orchestrated the timing and sequence of each of these seven feasts to reveal to us a special story. The seven annual feasts of Israel were spread over seven months of the Jewish calendar, at set times appointed by God. They are still celebrated by observant Jews today. But for both Jews and non-Jews who have placed their faith in Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, these special days demonstrate the work of redemption through God’s Son.
The first four of the seven feasts occur during the springtime (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, and Weeks), and they all have already been fulfilled by Christ in the New Testament. The final three holidays (Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles) occur during the fall, all within a short fifteen-day period.
Many Bible scholars and commentators believe that these fall feasts have not yet been fulfilled by Jesus. However, the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) for all believers in Jesus Christ is that they most assuredly will be fulfilled. As the four spring feasts were fulfilled literally and right on the actual feast day in connection with Christ’s first coming, these three fall feasts, it is believed by many, will likewise be fulfilled literally in connection to the Lord’s second coming.
In a nutshell, here is the prophetic significance of each of the seven Levitical feasts of Israel:
1) Passover (Leviticus 23:5) – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover at the same hour that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening (John 19:14).
2) Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6) – Pointed to the Messiah’s sinless life (as leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible), making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’ body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.
3) First Fruits (Leviticus 23:10) – Pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to him in 1 Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”
4) Weeks or Pentecost (Leviticus 23:16) – Occurred fifty days after the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and pointed to the great harvest of souls and the gift of the Holy Spirit for both Jew and Gentile, who would be brought into the kingdom of God during the Church Age (see Acts 2). The Church was actually established on this day when God poured out His Holy Spirit and 3,000 Jews responded to Peter’s great sermon and his first proclamation of the gospel.
5) Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) – The first of the fall feasts. Many believe this day points to the Rapture of the Church when the Messiah Jesus will appear in the heavens as He comes for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52).
6) Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:27) – Many believe this prophetically points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. That will be the Day of Atonement for the Jewish remnant when they “look upon Him whom they have pierced,” repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).
7) Tabernacles or Booths (Leviticus 23:34) – Many scholars believe that this feast day points to the Lord’s promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns to reign over all the world (Micah 4:1-7).
Should Christians celebrate these Levitical feast days of Israel today? Whether or not a Christian celebrates the Jewish feast days would be a matter of conscience for the individual Christian. Colossians 2:16-17 tells us, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Christians are not bound to observe the Jewish feasts the way an Old Testament Jew was, but we should not criticize another believer who does or does not observe these special days and feasts (Romans 14:5).
While it is not required for Christians to celebrate the Jewish feast days, it is beneficial to study them. Certainly, it could be beneficial to celebrate these days if it leads one to a greater understanding and appreciation for Christ’s death and resurrection and the future promise of His coming. As Christians, if we choose to celebrate these special days, we should put Christ in the center of the celebration, as the One who came to fulfill the prophetic significance of each of them.
And when Christ returns, on a day that “know man knoweth the day or the hour” (study the Feast of Trumpets for that one), Christ will return..in divine order, just as God deemed it to be from the moment of his birth.