This End Times Deceptions Bible study explains the fulfillment of Messiah’s warning about Great Tribulation.
The proper context of the Olivet Discourse is not the end times, but rather about Messiah’s proclamation that the temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed.
The disciples understood the prophecy in Daniel 9, and they were inquiring about when the Messiah would cause the temple and city to be destroyed, thus ending the latter days of the Jews, who Messiah had just berated in Matthew 23.
Matthew is the only one who wrote about the end of the age, Luke and Mark did not. The King James says the end of the world, but it should be rendered as ‘age‘ as it points to the latter days of the Jews, from when they were released from Babylon, until the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.
Daniel 9:26 warned the Jews that the temple and city would be desolated. Daniel understood that to mean that because the Jews would deliver the Messiah up to be killed, they would be desolated. This is why Daniel was so distraught.
“and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
In Matthew 24:20-22, Messiah warned about the coming time of Great Tribulation, which Daniel had foretold:
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.“
Note: The command for the saints to flee Judea is very specific to the saints in the first century, and can’t apply to saints in the end times where there is no Judea. Praying that their flight would not be on the Sabbath applies to the first century, when the Jewish leaders would have closed the city gates and prohibited walking out of the city; which does not apply to the end times.
Then in Matthew 24:34 Messiah told us that all of the things that He just proclaimed would be fulfilled in that generation:
“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
Some people dismiss His words by saying that He was not referring to that generation, but His words to the Jews of His day reveal that He was indeed talking about them:
For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. Luke 11:30
But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. Luke 17:25
From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation. Luke 11:51
Because people don’t understand the terrible calamity that happened to the Jews in the first century, they assign the fulfillment to the end times.
But as you will see, this was an intense time of suffering for the Jews, who had rejected the Messiah. When Messiah was being led to be crucified, He said:
“But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.” Luke 23:28
So let’s take Messiah at His word and see how in fact His words were fulfilled, when the people of the prince, the Roman army invaded Judea, to desolate the temple, the city of Jerusalem, and the Jewish people.
Most Christians severely underestimate the desolation of the Jews in the first century, not understanding how Messiah caused the Roman army to cause calamity unlike any other time in history.
Here is a summary of what happened, as documented by Jewish historian Josephus:
On the way through Judea to Jerusalem, the Roman army killed Jews by the 10 thousands in the outlying cities. They invaded Judea from the north, marching along the coast, and killing many – 18,000 at Askelon alone.
The Roman army surrounded Jerusalem, cutting off the food supply. Warring factions inside the city destroyed the granaries. This led to a severe famine, killing many. Josephus records that the famine widened its progress and devoured the people by whole houses and families. The upper rooms were full of women and children dying by famine; and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged.
People killed each other as they fought over food. The most horrible and unbelievable torments were inflicted upon all who were suspected of having any food concealed.
The city was divided against itself with rival groups. The most violent party in the city was the Zealots. These called to their aid a band of blood thirsty Idumeans, who set upon the people who were peaceably inclined, and slaughtered young and old until the outer temple was all of it overflowed with blood, and that day they saw 8500 dead bodies there.
But as for the seditious bands themselves, they fought against each other while trampling upon the dead bodies which lay heaped one upon another, and being filled with a mad rage from those dead bodies under their feet, they became the more fierce. They, moreover, were still inventing pernicious things against each other; and when they had resolved upon anything, they executed it without mercy, and omitted no method of torment or of barbarity.
Josephus also tells of the terrible torments inflicted upon nobles and citizens of the better sort who refused to comply with the demands of the Zealots. Those, after being horribly tortured, were slain, and through fear, none dared bury them. In this way 12,000 of the more eminent inhabitants perished.
The noise of those that were fighting was incessant, both by day and by night; but the lamentations of those that mourned exceeded the noise of the fighting.
The dead bodies were not taken outside the city and buried, for fear of being killed, so they stacked up around the city. The blood of all sort of dead carcases stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves.
Pestilence from unclean conditions caused diseases and death.
One man, with the consent of his family, killed his parents, his children, his wife and himself; to save themselves from a worse fate.
A woman, eminent for her family and her wealth, who, while suffering the ravages of famine, slew her infant son and roasted him, and having eaten half of him, concealed the other half.
Because the food supply was cut off by the Romans, Jews out of desperation would sneak out of the city walls at night to find food. They were captured, tortured and crucified by the Roman army. At one point 500 a night were being crucified on the trees around the city, so that all of the trees had multiple bodies on them. And these bodies were not taken down, but left up there to rot and be eaten by birds and animals.
In 70 A.D. when the people of the prince, the Roman army flooded into Jerusalem, they killed the remaining Jews with the sword, trampling over dead bodies.
Birds, dogs and wild animals, ate the flesh of the fallen.
15,000 fugitive Jews were killed by the Romans, and the number of those that were forced to leap into the Jordan was prodigious. The whole country through which they fled was filled with slaughter, and Jordan could not be passed over, by reason of the dead bodies that were in it.
97,000 were taken captive and sold cheaply to places like Egypt, as if back into bondage.
At the end of the siege in 70 A.D., there were 1.1. million dead Jews, none of which were buried.
Their bodies were stacked in the city and fallen in the temple. Their bodies filled all of the trees outside the city. Blood no doubt was everywhere. The scene and stench had to be intense, unlike anything ever seen before or after.
Of this period of great tribulation Jewish historian Josephus says, in the introduction of his ‘Wars of the Jews‘ historical documentary.
“It had come to pass that our city Jerusalem had arrived at a higher degree of felicity than any other city under the Roman government, and yet at last fell into the sorest of calamities again. Accordingly it appears to me that the misfortunes of all men from the beginning of the world, if they be compared to those of the Jews, are not so considerable as they were.”
The sufferings of the Jews had this peculiar characteristic, namely, that they were mostly inflicted upon themselves by the warring factions within the city, concerning whom Josephus says in another place:
“It is impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men’s iniquity. I shall, therefore, speak my mind here at once briefly: That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world” (Wars V. 10:5).
Jesus had warned about the bloodshed that would come on this generation.
“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Luke 21:24
This fulfilled the Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers, when the wicked tenants killed the son of the vineyard owner.
“But when the vinedressers saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.’ So they cast him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others.” Luke 20:14-15
This fulfilled Jesus words of Woe to the scribes and the Pharisees.
“Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” Matthew 23:34-36
Recall what the Jewish leaders said when they handed Jesus over to be crucified:
“And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” Matthew 27:25
As so it was as the Roman army flooded into the city and killed 100’s of thousands of Jews by the sword. And those who were captured were sold into slavery.
Titus wanted to save the temple, but the Roman soldiers were so enraged at the wicked Jews, that they tore it down brick by brick, to be able to capture all of the gold.
This fulfilled Jesus words in Matthew 24:1-2, “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Video: Rome and Jerusalem at War – The destruction of the Jewish Temple
The following information is from Philip Mauro’s well-documented work, ‘The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation – A Study of the Last Two Visions of Daniel, and of the Olivet Discourse of the Lord Jesus Christ.’
The Jewish historian Josephus devotes nearly two hundred large pages (they would fill upwards of four hundred ordinary size) to the account of the events of’ those ‘days of vengeance,’ which l (as we have seen) involved not only the Jews in Palestine, but Jews all over the world.
We can refer to but a very few of those tragic events; but, inasmuch as not many of our readers have access to the history of Josephus, we believe we are rendering them a service in giving the best idea we can, in small compass, of the happenings of those times.
After the retreat of Roman army leader Cestius, there was a slaughter of about 10,000 Jews at Damascus; and then, it being evident that war with the Romans was inevitable, the Jews began making preparations to defend Jerusalem.
At that time Josephus, the writer of this history, was appointed general of the armies in Galilee. He seems to have had great ability and success as a soldier, though he was finally overpowered and captured by the Romans. Concerning one of his military operations his translator says’ I cannot but think this stratagem of Josephus to be one of the finest that ever was invented and executed by any warrior whatsoever.
At this point the emperor Nero appointed Vespasian, a valiant and experienced general, to the task of subduing the Jews; and Vespasian designated his son Titus to assist him. They invaded Judea from the north, marching along the coast, and killing many–18,000 at Askelon alone. Thus Galilee was all over filled with fire and blood; nor was it exempt from any kind of misery or calamity (III 4:1).
The incidents of this siege were terrible; and among them were events which forcibly recall the Lord’s words, But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days. The Romans were so enraged by the long and fierce resistance of the Jews that they spared none, nor pitied any. Many, moreover, in desperation, killed themselves.
The life of Josephus was spared in a manner which seems miraculous (III 8:4-7), and he was taken captive to Vespasian, to whom he prophesied that both he and Titus his son would be Caesar and emperor.
Josephus was with Titus during the subsequent siege of Jerusalem, in which the atrocities and miseries reached a limit impossible to be exceeded on earth. Only the state of the lost in hell could be worse.
After Jotapata fell, Joppa was taken, and then Tiberias and Taricheae on Lake Gennesaret. Thousands were killed, and upwards of 30,000 from the last named place alone were sold into slavery. Having now completely subdued Galilee, Vespasian led his army to Jerusalem.
For a right understanding of Matthew 24:15-21 it is important to know that the Roman armies were, for more than a year, occupied with the devastation of the provinces of Galilee and Judea, before Jerusalem was besieged. It should be noted also that Christ’s first warnings to flee were to them which be in Judea (#Mt24:16).
This makes it perfectly certain that the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, which was the appointed signal for them which be in Judea to flee into the mountains, was not an idol set up in the inner sanctuary of the Temple. For the desolation of Judea was completed long before Jerusalem and the Temple were taken.
At the time Vespasian led his armies to Jerusalem, that doomed city was in a state of indescribable disorder and confusion insomuch that, during the entire siege, the Jews suffered far more from one another inside the walls than from the enemy outside.
Josephus says there were disorders and civil war in every city, and all those that were at quiet from the Romans turned their hands one against another. There was also a bitter contest between those that were for war, and those that were desirous for peace (IV 3:2).
Josephus further tells of the utter disgrace and ruin of the high priesthood, the basest of men being exalted to that office; and also of the profanation of the sanctuary.
The most violent party in the city was the Zealots. These called to their aid a band of blood thirsty Idumeans, who set upon the people who were peaceably inclined, and slaughtered young and old until the outer temple was all of it overflowed with blood, and that day they saw 8500 dead bodies there.
Among the slain was Ananias, formerly high priest, a venerable and worthy man, concerning whom Josephus said:
“I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananias was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs; that being the day whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city. * * *
And I cannot but think it was because God had doomed this city to destruction, as a polluted city, and was resolved to purge His sanctuary with fire, that He cut off these, their great defenders, while those that a little before had worn the sacred garments and presided over the public worship, were cast out naked to be the food of dogs and wild beasts.
Now after these were slain the Zealots and the Idumeans fell upon the people as upon a flock of profane animals, and cut their throats.”
Josephus also tells of the terrible torments inflicted upon nobles and citizens of the better sort who refused to comply with the demands of the Zealots. Those, after being horribly tortured, were slain, and through fear, none dared bury them. In this way 12,000 of the more eminent inhabitants perished (IV 5:3). We quote further:
“Along all the roads also vast numbers of dead bodies lay in heaps; and many who at first were zealous to desert the city chose rather to perish there; for the hopes of burial made death m their own city appear less terrible to them. But those zealots came at last to that degree of barbarity as not to bestow a burial either on those slain in the city or on those that lay along the roads; as if at the same time that they defiled men with their wicked actions they would pollute the Deity itself also, they left the dead bodies to putrefy under the sun. (IV. 6. 3).
About this time above 15,000 fugitive Jews were killed by the Romans, and the number of those that were forced to leap into the Jordan was prodigious. The whole country through which they fled was filled with slaughter, and Jordan could not be passed over, by reason of the dead bodies that were in it (IV. 8. 5, 6).
VESPASIAN RECALLED. TITUS PLACED IN CHARGE
At this point Vespasian was called to Rome by reason of the death of the emperor Nero, and the operations against the Jews devolved upon Titus. Vespasian himself was soon thereafter made emperor.
Meanwhile another tyrant rose up, whose name was Simon, and of him Josephus says: Now this Simon, who was without the wall, was a greater terror to the people than the Romans themselves; while the Zealots who were within it were more heavy upon them than both the other.
Those Zealots were led by a tyrant named John; and the excesses of murder and uncleanness in which they habitually indulged are indescribable (see Bk. IV, ch. 9, sec. 10).
In order to overthrow John, the people finally admitted Simon and his followers. From that time onward the civil warfare within the city became more incessant and deadly. The distracted city was now divided into three factions instead of two.
The fighting was carried even into the inner court of the temple; whereupon Josephus laments that even those who came with sacrifices to offer them in the temple were slain, and sprinkled that altar with their own blood, till the dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of priests, and the blood of all sort of dead carcases stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves (V 1:3).
Surely there never were such conditions as these in any city before or since.
Among the dire calamities which befell the wretched people was the destruction of the granaries and storehouses of food;so that famine was soon added to the other horrors. The warring factions were agreed in nothing but to kill those that were innocent. Says Josephus:
“The noise of those that were fighting was incessant, both by day and by night; but the lamentations of those that mourned exceeded the noise of the fighting. Nor was there ever any occasion for them to leave off their lamentations, because their calamities came perpetually, one upon another.
But as for the seditious bands themselves, they fought against each other while trampling upon the dead bodies which lay heaped one upon another, and being filled with a mad rage from those dead bodies under their feet, they became the more fierce. They, moreover, were still inventing pernicious things against each other; and when they had resolved upon anything, they executed it without mercy, and omitted no method of torment or of barbarity” (V. 2. 5).
At the time described in the preceding paragraphs, the Roman armies had not yet reached the city, and inasmuch as the Passover season now came on, and things seemed to quiet down momentarily, the gates were opened for such as wished to observe the great feast. The translator, in a footnote, says:
“Here we see the true occasion of those vast numbers of Jews that were in Jerusalem during this siege by Titus and who perished therein. For the siege began at the feast of Passover, when such prodigious multitudes of the Jews and proselytes were come from all parts of Judea, and from other countries.
As to the number that perished during this siege, Josephus assures us, as we shall see hereafter, they were 1,100,000, besides 97,000 captives.
This is notable as the last Passover. That joyous feast of remembrance of God’s great deliverance of His people out of Egypt ended in an orgy of blood.
The tyrant John took advantage of this opportunity to introduce some of his followers, with concealed weapons, among the throngs of worshipers in the temple, who slew many, while others were rolled in heaps together, and trampled upon, and beaten without mercy.
And now, though the Roman armies were at their gates, the warring factions began again to destroy one another and the innocent inhabitants.
“For”, says Josephus, they returned to their former madness, and separated one from another, and fought it out; and they did everything that the besiegers could desire them to do. For they never suffered from the Romans anything worse than they made each other suffer; nor was there any misery endured by the city which, after what these men did, could be esteemed new. It was most of all unhappy before it was overthrown; and those that took it did it a kindness. For I venture to say that the sedition destroyed the city, and the Romans destroyed the sedition. This was a much harder thing to do than to destroy the walls. So that we may justly ascribe our misfortunes to our own people (V. 6. 2).
This is the most astonishing feature of this great tribulation; for surely there never was a besieged city whose inhabitants suffered more from one another than from the common enemy. In this feature of the case we see most clearly that it is one of judgment; and that, as the apostle Paul said, the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
At this point the siege began in earnest. Titus, however, sent Josephus to speak to the Jews, offering them clemency, and exhorting them to yield. Josephus made a most earnest plea to them not to resist the might of Rome, pointing out that God was no longer with them.
But it was to no purpose. So the siege proceeded outside, and the famine began to rage inside, insomuch that children pulled out of their parents’ mouths the morsels they were eating, and even mothers deprived their infants of the last bits of food that might have sustained their lives.
The fighters, of course, kept for their own use what food there was, and it seems that they took a keen delight in seeing others suffer. It was a species of madness. They invented terrible methods of torments, such as it would not be seemly for us to describe. And this was done, says Josephus, to keep their madness in exercise (V 10:3).
The most horrible and unbelievable torments were inflicted upon all who were suspected of having any food concealed. The following passage will give an idea of the conditions:
“It is impossible to give every instance of the iniquity of these men. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly:–that neither did any other city suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world. (This forcibly brings to mind the Lord’s own words.) Finally they brought the Hebrew nation into contempt, that they might themselves appear comparatively less impious with regard to strangers. They confessed, what was true, that they were the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation, while they overthrew the city themselves, and forced the Romans, whether they would or no, to gain a melancholy reputation by acting gloriously against them; and did almost draw that fire upon the temple which they seemed to think came too slowly” (V. 10. 5).
Under pressure of the famine many Jews went out at night into the valleys in search of food.
These were caught, tortured and crucified in sight of those on the walls of the city. About five hundred every day were thus treated. The number became finally so great that there was not room enough for the crosses, nor crosses enough for the victims. So several were ofttimes nailed to one cross.
A little later the Roman armies encompassed the entire city, so that there was no longer any egress therefrom.
“Then, says Josephus, did the famine widen its progress and devour the people by whole houses and families. The upper rooms were full of women and children dying by famine; and the lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the aged. The children also and the young men wandered about the marketplaces like shadows, all swelled with the famine, and fell down dead, wheresoever their misery seized them (V. 12. 3).
Thus did the miseries of Jerusalem grow worse and worse every day.
And indeed the multitude of carcases that lay in heaps, one upon another, was a horrible sight, and produced a pestilential stench which was a hindrance to those that would make sallies out of the city and fight the enemy (VI. 1. 1).
The number of those that perished by famine in the city was prodigious, and their miseries were unspeakable. For if so much as the shadow of any kind of food did anywhere appear, a war was commenced presently, and the dearest friends fell a fighting one another about it.
In this connection Josephus relates in detail the case of a woman, eminent for her family and her wealth, who, while suffering the ravages of famine, slew her infant son and roasted him, and having eaten half of him, concealed the other half.
When presently the seditious Jews came in to search the premises, and smelt the horrid scent of this food, they threatened her life if she did not show them what food she had prepared. She replied that she had saved for them a choice part, and withal uncovered what was left of the little body, saying, Come, eat of this food; for I have eaten of it myself. Do not you pretend to be more tender than a woman, or more compassionate than a mother. Even those desperate and hardened men were horrified at the sight, and stood aghast at the deed of this mother. They left trembling; and the whole city was full of what the woman had done. It must be remembered that all this time the lives of all in the city would have been spared and the city and temple saved, had they but yielded to the Romans. But how then should the Scripture be fulfilled? (see #De 28:56,57)
Soon after this the temple was set on fire and was burned down, though Titus tried to save it. Josephus says:
But as for that house, God had for certain long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages. It was the tenth day of the month Ab, the day upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon (VI. 4. 5).
Further Josephus says:
“While the holy house was on fire everything was plundered that came to hand, and ten thousand of those were slain. Nor was there commiseration of any age, or any reverence of gravity; but children, old men, profane persons, and priests were all slain in the same manner.
Moreover many, when they saw the fire, exerted their utmost strength, and did break out into groans and outcries. Perea also did return the echo, as well as the mountains round about Jerusalem, and augmented the force of the noise.”
Yet was the misery itself more terrible than this disorder. For one would have thought that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was seething hot, as if full of fire on every part, that the blood was more in quantity than the fire, and that the slain were more in numbers than they who slew them. For the ground did nowhere appear visible because of the dead bodies that lay upon it (VL 5. 1).
In describing how a number were killed in a certain cloister, which the soldiers set on fire, Josephus says:
“A false prophet was the occasion of the destruction of those people, he having made a public proclamation that very day that God commanded them to get upon the temple and that they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. There was then a large number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who announced to them that they should wait for deliverance from God (VI. 5. 2).
In this detail also the Lord’s Olivet prophecy was most literally fulfilled.
When at last the Romans gained entrance into the city, the soldiers had become so exasperated by the stubborn resistance of the Jews, that they could not be restrained from wreaking vengeance upon the survivors.
So they indulged in slaughter until weary of it. The survivors were sold into slavery, but at a very low price, because they were so numerous, and the buyers were few. Thus was fulfilled the word of the Lord by Moses, And there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you (#De 28:68).
Many were put into bonds and sold to slavery in the Egyptian mines, thus fulfilling several prophecies that they should be sold into Egypt again, whence God had delivered them (#Ho 8:13; 9:3).
This fulfills Luke 21:24, “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations.”
In concluding this part of his history Josephus gives the number of those who perished (a million one hundred thousand) and of those sold into slavery (ninety seven thousand), and explains, as we have already stated, that they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army. And he adds:
“Now this vast multitude was indeed collected out of remote places, but the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in prison, and the Roman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants. Accordingly the multitude of those that perished therein exceeded all the destruction’s that either men or God ever brought upon the world” (VI. 9. 4).
Thus ended, in the greatest of all calamities of the sort, the national existence of the Jewish people, and all that pertained to that old covenant which was instituted with glory (#2Co 3:7,9,11), but which was to be done away.
Here may be seen an example of the thoroughness of God’s judgments, when He arises to do His strange work. Judgment must begin at the house of God; and in view of what is brought to our notice in this history of Josephus, how impressive is the question, And if it begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (#1Pe 4:17).
Many will cite the holocaust or other times when millions of people died, to say that they were worse; but I will take Messiah at His word, which is verified by Jewish historian Josephus, that the sheer horror of what happened in and around Jerusalem from 66-70 A.D. has never been seen before or since.
The time of Great Tribulation referred to in Matthew 24, is the time of Jacob’s Trouble, which is described in Daniel 12.
Read this study to see the fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation which warned the saints in Judea, the 1,290 days, the 1,335 days, and the siege being cut short for the elect’s sake. Daniel 12 Is Not About The Antichrist Or The End Times
Additional Study Resources:
The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation, by Philip Mauro http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/1921_mauro_seventy-weeks.html
Flavius Josephus describes the destruction of Jerusalem. http://www.bible.ca/pre-flavius-josephus-70AD-Mt24-fulfilled.htm
Jerusalem, AD70: The Worst Desolation Ever? http://www.ukapologetics.net/09/AD70.htm
Keys To The Great Tribulation – Historicist.com http://www.historicist.com/historicism/keys-to-the-great-tribulation
18 thoughts on “The Great Tribulation of Matthew 24”
David, Sean asked a great question posted above. I appreciate you sharing these discussions. Many times your responses to posted questions bring more clarification. Thank you to everyone – I appreciate it very much.
Please forgive me if I missed this, but if the great tribulation was fulfilled with the destruction of the temple in AD70 and all of Mathew 24 was fulfilled in the generation that witnessed it, where is the fulfillment of Mathew 24:31 that says the elect will be gathered from the four winds after the tribulation? I’m sorry if I’m completely missing something obvious here.
Also, since I abandoned the futuristic view I have only studied one other historical teacher, but he understands some events differently – including timelines and some events you don’t include.
Is it possible some of these prophecies could be fulfilled multiple times or in different ways?
Thank you for your time and work.
Great question Sean! I take Messiah at His word in Matthew 24:34 that all of the previous things that He declared would be fulfilled in that generation. And that includes verse 31.
Note that though it seems like it’s referring to Messiah’s return in the end times, it does not say that the dead will rise first; which is typical of passages referring to His second coming.
Of course Preterists will say that Messiah returned in the first century. Futurists apply all of Matthew 24 to the end times.
I simply believe that it is saying that the elect, the ones who believed in Messiah, were saved from the calamity of the 1,290 and 1,335 days, between 66-70 A.D., when 1.1 million Jews died in and around Jerusalem, from famine, pestilence, infighting, crucifixion and by the Roman sword.
The Jewish historian Josephus notes that not one believer was killed. And so, the elect, were gathered to escape the desolation, to escape to the mountains of Pella, who fled as Messiah told them to do in the Olivet Discourse.
Note that the word ‘angels’ means aggelos; a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication, a pastor:—angel, messenger.
It does not necessarily point to heavenly angels, but earthy leaders of the Church, who no doubt noted the warnings that Messiah gave; and gathered all of the believers to help them escape the coming desolation.
Some things we just don’t understand completely, but I believe that we must treat Messiah’s declaration in verse 34 as a sure word, and seek to find the historical fulfillment.
I hope that helps clarify. I am working on a new study series called The Olivet Discourse Deception. You are welcome to read the studies, but it is a work in progress. http://theolivetdiscourse.com/
Keep learning and growing in the faith.
David, in Revelation 9:18 it says that 1/3 of the population will be killed, doesn’t that seem to be tribulation worst than anything we have ever seen?
Colin, I understand what you’re saying. Revelation 9:18, the sixth trumpet, is referring to 1/3rd of the Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, which was attacked by the Turks, who grew into the Great Ottoman Empire. http://revelationtimelinedecoded.com/the-sixth-trumpet-of-revelation-9/
The trumpet judgments represented army after army being sent against the pagan Roman Empire.
So yes, a lot of people died, but I will point out that it wasn’t necessarily the number of people who died, but the sheer horror of the scene.
The calamity of the 1,290 and 1,335 days of Daniel 12 was fulfilled between 66-70 A.D., when 1.1 million Jews died in and around Jerusalem, from famine, pestilence, infighting, crucifixion and by the Roman sword.
Nobody buried anyone, so 1.1. million dead bodies were out in the open, being eaten by the wild animals and birds.
Blood and bodies were everywhere, including in the temple.
Old Jerusalem is a very small place. The scene had to be horrific. And I think that is what Messiah was pointing out, the sheer horror of the time the Jews went through, and the scene of it all.
Previous to coming to your site I have been researching the Jesuits for a while now, as well as, Jesuits and fake jews in media and entertainment. So I understand about conditioning and programming people to follow the lies and deceptions.
So the things that you discuss on this site I can consider as potentially being true. I am liking the consideration of these things. Even prior to reading your site I did not subscribe to a full futurist view of Revelation, as I was seeing that up to the fifth trumpet was fulfilled as taught be Irvin Baxter.
Now I am moving into testing those things in light of the elements that you are discussing.
So thank you for your studies and your responses.
Also something I would like you to test for yourself is the idea that the Father did away with His Law or any portion thereof.
These Ideas go back to the time of Constantine and doing away with part of or all of God’s Law is a pagan ideal from an antisemitic culture that didn’t want to appear Jewish.
All of Paul’s railing against the Law is not against keeping it its against keeping for SALVATION like the “Circumscission Party” was teaching the Galatians.
Works of the Law can’t save your only believing in Messiah keeping the Law is how we please the Father.
The only change was the Priesthood with Him being our New High Priest. So the prescribed animal sacrifices though the Aaronic/Levitical order are “set aside” for now but not done away with, as detailed in the book of Hebrews
To further test these things start with this “Is the Majority ever Wrong?” http://www.119ministries.com/teachings/video-teachings/detail/pauline-paradox-part-1-is-the-majority-ever-wrong/
or Search for it on YouTube
Let me know what you think and are thinking?
FUNNY WE ARE ASKING THE SAME THING OF EACH OTHER ON VERY CONTRAVERSIAL ISSUES.
Sorry for the very slow response Lance. I wrote a study series called The Falling Away of 2 Thessalonians 2, which happened primarily in the 4th century, when Emperor Constantine and the Roman Bishops created the Roman religion of Christianity, which as you pointed out, was a time when much of Elohim’s commandments were eliminated or changed. I do not believe that the law was done away with. In fact I think that Messiah made it more stringent, meaning that Messiah said that even if you hate someone you are guilty of murder. The ceremonial part of sacrificing animals for remission of sins was done away with, as Messiah fulfilled that as the Passover Lamb of Elohim. http://christianitybeliefs.org/the-falling-away/
Hey David, great study very intriguing. What about “Immediately after the tribulation of those days”? The Messiah already came in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory? Not being coy here… just asking your take.
Matt24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Thank you for your comment Lance! Someday I will do a complete study on the fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse. So far I have addressed the two biggest topics.
The “sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” is not pointing to the literal heavenly bodies, but rather it is pointing to the Jewish leadership system.
The sun, moon and stars are symbolic of earthly dignitaries, great political authorities and great lights in the political or religious heavens.
We know this because in Genesis 37:8-10, Joseph had a dream, ..”And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me. So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” It was symbolic of the power structure of his family.
Isaiah used this same terminology when he referred to the judgment of God against the leadership of Babylon in Isaiah 13:10 “For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.“ And indeed, the power of Babylon was destroyed by the Medo-Persian empire.
As for “Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”, I don’t believe that it is speaking of His second coming at the end of time. Rather it is speaking of Him coming in power to cause the city, the temple and the Jews, to be desolated by the Roman army. And it speaks of His protecting His elect, so that none of them were killed, as they were gathered into the mountains of Pella.
The Jewish leaders wanted their Messiah to cast off the power of the Romans over them; but the opposite happened. The One they rejected and delivered up to be killed, caused the mighty Roman army to cast down their power over the Jewish people.
Here is my study that explains Messiah Coming In The Clouds With Power And Great Glory, http://christianitybeliefs.org/end-times-deceptions/matthew-24-jesus-coming-in-the-clouds-with-power-and-great-glory/
Let me know what you think,
He dismisses half the bible as being altered, teaches that Jesus did not eat meat ( fish!) Did not help Peter get more fish in his net and did not read the five thousand! Also has a video titled who ever takes away or adds to the word! ( just what he is doing!)
Which half? How did you come to these conclusions? I don’t see it.
I was wondering if you would post your reference materials. I like to check facts and numbers, and I am not finding all the details here in my search. Great articles and website though. I am a follower of Yahuah and Yahusha, and appreciate the work you have done here.
Thank you for your comment Elizabeth 🙂 I added some additional references for more detailed study. Praise Yahuah that He is showing you truth!
Thanks David, when I first came to this site I didn’t notice all the references at the bottom of the page. After spending more time reading, and researching I have been really pleased with your work here.
Thanks Elizabeth 🙂 I wasn’t great at providing references on earlier studies, but am striving to do better on new studies. I want people to understand that these are not just my interpretation of prophecy, but the view of many esteemed theologians throughout history. It’s only been during the last 200 years that all of the deceptions of Futurism have taken hold, to remove people away from the truth.