For years the message has gone out from a very large portion of the Church that the Rapture is imminent. Scripture says that we cannot know the day or the hour of our Lords Coming, but when we begin to see these signs we are to look up for our redemption draweth neigh. The message went out when Israel became a Nation in 1948. But the message had already been out there. It began even years before 1848. Today it is again a clarion call, and more so lately because of pandemic, or warning, and signs. Does that mean His return is now imminent?
Jesus is indeed coming, and His coming is closer now than ever, but we have yet to see all that Jesus spoke about. What did Jesus tell us were the signs? His disciples had asked for the signs of the end of the age, and His coming.
Matthew 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (KJV)
Jesus, clearly is focused on their question when He states that there is indeed an “end” to be awaited. Was that end all about Rapture? Here is what He said to those who asked the question which caused His focus on this end.
Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (KJV)
Although most of the disciples were killed, they were not hated by all nations, for this was not even yet possible at the time of their deaths. But, today we see the signs of this hatred brewing even in this our beloved and so called “Christian Nation”. Is what we are now seeing the beginning of this sign suggesting this end of the age? Will many of us be delivered up and be killed? Is this happening now in some places within this world?
Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (KJV)
Again we see Jesus focused on the “end” question, because that was the question wasn’t it — The signs of the end of the age? Is the love of many waxing cold in our day important? Is it now beginning to be necessary as He said to endure in your faith? Is it beginning to become clear that endurance will be a necessary part of our walk with Him, and if this is becoming clear even here in America, is it also a sign to be seen surely across our world?
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. (NET)
Again Jesus’ focus is on the question — the end of the age. Jesus also said later in His instruction to them:
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NASB
And though this is not part of His answer concerning their question in Matthew 24, still it reveals Jesus focus to us through them on the TIme of our prophesied end.
But what I want you to think about is: what would a false prophecy concerning all of this actually look like, and also to think of it in conjunction with what Jesus had said here:
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (KJV)
If one were to come to us in His name today saying that Jesus is Christ, what could they possibly do with this message to deceive you? Are not all who come in His name speaking truth? And even if they are not speaking truth, are they not still brothers because they are coming in His name? Many today say that doctrine or truth does not matter. It only matters that you teach that Jesus is the Christ. Yet, here Jesus is making this statement at the very beginning of His answer to their question about the end of this age.
Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world [aion]? (KJV)
“World” here is the Greek word “aion” and it is translated “age” in most good modern translations in this verse — Why? Because Jesus did not here describe the end of the world, but of the age.
But why did Jesus almost immediately warn them of deception concerning this question, and His teachings surrounding it? Once you have answered this question you will be well on your way to not being deceived by teachers who come in His name, with a different message than what is presented in the Word itself. For any message that contradicts His word is in fact a deception. Deception originates where? — in the mind. The mind is the battle ground. We do battle over truth or deception of truth in our minds. We cry out to God for His Truth, the mind of Christ. We study scripture to learn His truth.
So what else do we have in scripture that is a key to the end of this age teaching? A teaching of which the disciples are asking for signs to lead them and us to the truth?
We here That this message by Jesus is the end of a Jewish Israelite age as some teach it. So, can the “church age” be somehow eliminated from it with the use of scripture?
First let me encourage the reader here to define for me the church age. See if scripture will identify it to you as an age. Also search to find Israel as a set apart age in scripture. Let me help you get started with that.
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Matthew 16:16-18 NASB
First you should consider — upon what was Jesus about to build His “church”? What is the foundation cornerstone of the Church? Jesus of course must be your answer. But who is this Jesus as stated in this revelation to Peter? “Thou art the Christ”. Remember the Church is being built upon this truth as it’s foundational rock. It’s chief cornerstone. Peter a Jew has understood this the foundation of this church to be a completely Jewish construct. One fulfilling the Jewish prophetic word. It is built upon the prophets and Apostles as we can read in Ephesians chapters 2&3.
Then search the scriptures and find for yourself in any scripture any separation of this union of Jew and Gentile. Is there any thought presented that will remove Israel as an entity from this the Messiah’s one body called the Church, and called the bride.
Continue in your own study of this age: Look it up “this age” and study it. In so doing you will find where our Lord uses this term “this age” in an answer to a question brought to Him concerning the resurrection.
Luke 20:34 So Jesus said to them, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are regarded as worthy to share in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 In fact, they can no longer die, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection. (NET)**
Now consider when you complete your search on “this age”, if you have found a reference anywhere to the church age in scripture? Have you found a scripture telling you that the Messiah of Israel who founded His Church on that very principle of being Israel’s Messiah, has ever excluded all of Israel from this Church that is founded on Him as Messiah, after its founding? Have you found any way in scripture by which Israel must be saved other than by accepting their Christ as their savior?
Now after answering those questions you are ready to consider what Jesus taught about the resurrection and “this age” and “the next age” in the above verses. Jesus makes a definite distinction between those worthy of resurrection who live in “this age” versus this “next age”, and those who will follow “this age” in the resurrection. Notice it is the resurrection that brings the transition.
What is the distinction between the two? This age represents humanity and mortality with all that that means — He specifically mentions marriage. The next age represents immortality — to enter it you must be resurrected. Describing “the next age” He specifically states that it contains for us who attain to that resurrection “no marriage”. He says to these Jews to whom He is speaking that if this resurrection is attained by them they are the sons of God. Does that sound like these Jews are being offered separation from this church that He has founded; or a position like unto our own in it? And remember herein is His gospel, and it is offered these who are still in Old Testament times, and He has not yet died for their sins. He will of course.
Do these revelations concerning marriage and attaining to the resurrection not place those who live and die during the Great Tribulation also in “this age”, rather than “the next”?
Now my final question to you is this: What would be the most terrifying and horrible result of a deceptive teaching by one who comes in Jesus’ name, to your child should they be remaining alive at the time of Tribulation (the end of the age), when men will fall away from the faith at an obvious accelerating pace? Why did Jesus say do not be deceived? Why would Satan seek to deceive concerning this teaching, there is only one reason that I can think of where he would be able to effectively deceive a believer, and that would be if Jesus words were twisted so as not to be true for the believer, what must that look like? And why would Jesus direct this message to a Jew, who has never entered into His New Covenant Church, as it is taught according to Dispensational theory on this doctrine?
There is a companion article to be posted on Monday. I know that this has gotten long, but hopefully you are not one who has only limited patience?
** some will ask why did you not use the King James in this passage? Because again the KJV used “world” in the passage and it is the wrong translation of this word. The world does not end with Jesus coming, He returns to this world, and judges mankind.
Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (KJV)
Matthew 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. (KJV)
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (KJV)
His coming is as He left in Acts chapter 1.