14. The Sign Of Jesus Christ Second Coming And Of The End Of The Age.
(Focusing On Luke’s Account)
We will now have a closer look at Luke’s account of what Jesus Christ spoke to his disciples on the Mount of Olives. The question Luke picks up on is, when will the temple and its buildings will be destroyed, and what is a sign by which we will know these things are about come to pass?
Luke 21:7 And they asked him, saying, Teacher, but when shall these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to come to pass?
From verse 8 to 19 we are told of things that like birth pains, are not reliable signs. Then in verse 20, we are given the first of two reliable signs, a sign that Jerusalem and the temple are about to be destroyed.
From verse 21 to verse 24, we are told of the persecution that the Jews will suffer when Jerusalem is captured and destroyed by the Roman army. We are also told what the time between the two reliable signs will be called. In verse 22, this time is called The Days of Vengeance, and in verse 24, it is called The Times of the Gentiles.
The Days of Vengeance is the time of God’s out pouring of wrath upon the Jews, for their continued rebellion against God and their rejection of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Deliverer.
The Times of the Gentiles: This is best explained by saying, from about 2,000 BC; to 70 AD; many Children of Israel were saved, while very few Gentiles were saved. Then from 70 AD; until the second reliable sign given in Luke (which also happens to be the same second reliable sign given in both the gospels of Matthew and Mark), very few Children of Israel are saved, while many Gentiles are saved. This time when many Gentiles come to salvation is what Jesus Christ calls the times of the Gentiles.
Also from the time the armies of Rome captured Jerusalem, the Gentiles have trampled on Jerusalem and the temple site. The Gentiles will continue to trample on Jerusalem and the temple site, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
You may say; but have not the Jews taken back Jerusalem from the Gentiles? Yes, but the Gentiles will still not allow the Jews to make Jerusalem their capital, nor will they allow the Jews to rebuild the temple. So the Gentiles still trample Jerusalem. Before the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, the Jews will once again fully control Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. But this will only be like a morning star experience.
What is a morning star experience? In the Middle East, just before the sun rises in the morning, a bright star rises in the east, causing many to be deceived into believing that the night is over, when the night still has a little longer to go. But to those who know how to read the signs, the morning star is a sign that the night is nearly over.
Likewise, when the Jews rebuild the temple, many will be deceived into believing that the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled. But to those who know how to read the signs, this will be a sign that the times of the Gentiles are nearly over. For soon after the Jews have rebuilt and dedicated the temple, the armies of the World Empire will invade Jerusalem and set up the abomination of desolation in the temple. Then the Gentiles will continue to trample on Jerusalem, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Luke 21:20 When you shall see Jerusalem surrounded with armies, then know that its desolation has drawn near. 21 Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of Jerusalem depart; and let not them that are in the country enter into the city. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe unto them that are pregnant with child and to them that are nursing babies, in those days; for there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
At this point, through Luke, Jesus has completely answered the question, “what will be the sign that Jerusalem and the temple are about to be destroyed?” And He has also told them of the things that will happen at that time, almost 2,000 years ago.
Between verse 24 & 25, we have a breach of about 2,000 years or more. Then in verse 25 we are given the second reliable sign. Not a sign that destruction is about to come upon Jerusalem and the temple, but a sign that Jesus Christ is about to return. This second reliable sign is the same second reliable sign given by both Matthew and Mark. Then in the second half of verse 25 & verse 26, we are told briefly how it will be on earth, between the time of the second sign and Jesus Christ Second Coming.
Luke 21: 25 And there shall be signs in the sun (the sun will be darkened), and in the moon (the moon will not give its light), and in the stars (the stars will fall from the sky); and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear and expectation, looking for those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of sky shall be shaken. (Words in Italics added from Matthew 24:29)
Verse 27 tells us of the day that the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to earth.
Verse 27: “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
Verse 28: “Now when you see these things begin to happen.”
What things? The darkening of the sun, the moon no longer giving its light and the stars falling from the sky.
Verse 28 “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
From the day we first see the sun darkened, God’s wrath will lift off the Jews, and his full wrath will fall on the wicked of the world. All around us, the wicked will be suffering and dying in their thousands. But we who are sealed in Christ will be protected from the wrath of God. So don’t fill yourself with fear by looking around. Look up to Jesus Christ, our Deliverer, for our redemption draws near.
Then Luke records the parable of the tree.
Luke 21:29 And he spake to them a parable; Look at the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they are putting forth their leaves, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now near at hand. 31 So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass (the signs in the sun the moon and the stars), know you that the kingdom of God is near at hand. 32 Surely, I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, until all have been fulfilled. (Words in italics added.)
Luke’s account of this parable is different from Matthew and Mark’s account. Because in Matthew and Mark, we are told of two reliable signs coming in the life time of the last generation, while in Luke we are only given one sign, coming during the life time of the last generation.
After studying the writings of Daniel and the discourse of Jesus Christ on the signs of the end of the age, these facts become clear.
We will see two reliable signs, before the day of our Lord’s return:
• The first sign, the abomination of desolation, will be seen before the days of great distress (The great tribulation). This sign will also come in the middle of the beast’s seven-year covenant with ten kings. (Daniel 9:27; 11:31: & 12:11.)
• During this time of great tribulation, the faith of Christians worldwide will be tested, and God’s wrath will be against the Jews. (Daniel 11:36 & Luke 21:22 – 23)
• Following this time of great tribulation, we will see the second sign, the darkening of the sun, the moon not giving light, and the stars falling from the sky.
• Soon after we have seen the second sign, the Lord Jesus Christ shall come again.
• On the day the Lord returns for his own, there will be a loud trumpet call (Matthew 24:31). This will be the sounding of the last trumpet (I Corinthians 15:52).
• The day Jesus Christ comes again, is also the resurrection day of all those who have their names written in the Book of Life and who have died before that day.
According to the writings of Daniel, the great tribulation starts with the forces of the anti-christ invading Jerusalem and setting up the abomination of desolation in the temple. The great tribulation will end with the withdrawal of the anti-christ forces from Jerusalem after 1,290 days of occupation. Thus according to Daniels writing, the time of the great tribulation will be 1,290 days. However it would appear that the local Moslems will hold on to the temple sight for another 1,010 days. All told the Gentiles shall occupy the temple for 1,290 days + 1,010 days, which equals 2,300 days; after which the temple will be cleansed.
However Jesus Christ says, that the time of the great tribulation will be cut short for the sake of the elect (Matthew 24:22). When we read Christ Revelation to the churches through John, we find that this cutting short of the time of great tribulation brings about many changes to the number of days given in Daniel.
For example, in Daniel there are three periods of time leading up to the End of Days. The first period is 1,230 days, the second is 1,290 days, and the third is 1,335 days. But when we read Christ Revelation to the churches through John, we find that these three periods of time are all rounded off to 1,260 days. 1,260 days equals forty-two-months, and forty-two-months equals three-and-a-half-years.
Also we are told in Daniel 8:13 - 14, that there will be 2,300 days from the time the day that the abomination of desolation is placed in the temple, until the day the temple is cleansed. But in the book of Revelation, this time is cut short from 2,300 days to 1,979 days.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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