Jesus’ Teaching on the End Times

By Vince Finnegan

This is Jesus’ final great discourse before the last supper. Starts in Matthew 23:37 and ends with 26:1.

Matthew 23:37   O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

God’s intention and love for Jerusalem is apparent throughout the Scriptures. Deuteronomy 12:5; 14:23; 15:19-20; 16:2; 26:2; Psalms 78:68-69; 87:2-3

Luke 13:34-35; 19:41-44   Jesus identified with his Father regarding his love and disappointment with the “city of God”.

Matthew 23:38   Your house is left desolate. Note the word “Your” not “my” or “Yahweh’s”. The glory of Yahweh left the city and temple, years before Jesus, according to Ezekiel 10 and 11. With Jesus, God’s glory returned, but only temporarily because they rejected and killed him.

39   Jesus leaves the temple not to return until the end of the age.

What Jesus foretells about the temple is similar to what was said in 1 Kings 9:6-9 when the Babylonians in 587 BC destroyed the temple. The temple is the symbol of God’s relationship with His people; when that relationship is broken, the temple is abandoned.

Jesus quotes Psalm 118:26:  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Yahweh; We have blessed you from the house of Yahweh. This quote indicates there will be another temple to say this in when Jesus returns.

Matthew 24:1-2 (Mark 13; Luke 21)   The temple that Herod built was nothing in comparison to the first temple. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and at the end, he tried to clean up the temple (John 2:13-22; Matthew 21:10-14). The only one to enter the holy of holies once a year was the evil, sadistic high priest, Caiaphas. The temple was not blessed, and the glory of Yahweh was not present.

3   This chapter answers both questions – 1) destruction of the temple and Jerusalem and 2) Jesus’ return at the end of the age. In 70AD, the Romans destroyed the temple and Jerusalem. With the destruction of the temple, the Jews henceforth to this day have not been able to carry out the Old Covenant as the temple was central for their feasts and sacrifices. When Jesus died on the cross, God ended the Old Covenant and began the New Covenant. The Jews refused to accept this change and continued to embrace the old; however, they were never again able to fulfill its demands because the temple was destroyed.

TEMPLES IN JERUSALEM

  1. Solomon’s original temple
  2. After 70 years of Babylonian captivity, with Ezra and Nehemiah
  3. Herod’s temple
  4. End times coordinated by the beast
  5. Final temple from where King Jesus will rule the world for Yahweh

In 691AD, the Muslims built the Dome of the Rock on the center of the temple mount. It remains there to this day.

4-6, 11, 23-25   He warns us not to be deceived for there will be much miscommunication about the end, and indeed there has been through the ages.

6-8   According to Acts 2:16-21 and Joel 2:28, the beginning of the end started on Pentecost when the holy spirit was first given to the church. Human history is marred with wars and violence.

9-10   This happened in 70 AD and 135 AD and will happen during the end times. What happened with Jerusalem in the first century is a type of what will happen again in the end. The temple will be rebuilt under the direction of the last world tyrant leader, and it and Jerusalem will again be destroyed.

13   Endurance - Matthew 10:16-42   Jesus told them similar things when he sent out the 12.

14   This has not yet happened.

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)

Jesus says we can understand. We will study Daniel in another session to gain a fuller scope of the abomination of desolation. It as a two-part relevance in the midst of Jesus’ teaching--the first as it relates to the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century and second as it relates to the end times.

Three Jewish-Roman wars took place in the first and second century. The first was 66-73, in which the temple was destroyed. However, it involved no strictly idolatrous symbol, no abomination similar to the time of Maccabees. The second called the Kitos war in 115 to 117 took place mainly in Cyprus, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and only marginally in Judea. It had no impact on Jerusalem. The third called the Kokhba Revolt took place in 132-136AD. The construction of a new city called Aelia Capitolina, over the ruins of Jerusalem, and the erection of a temple to Jupiter on the temple mount trigger the revolt. Jupiter was considered the king of the gods in ancient Roman religion and mythology. The Romans regarded Jupiter as the equivalent of the Greek Zeus. The construction of the temple for Zeus over the temple mount in 167 BC triggers the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes. History repeats itself. These events were the Abomination of Desolation as it related to the disciples’ first question of when the temple and city would be destroyed.

The second consideration is regarding the end times when history will repeat itself for a third time. We will see when we study Daniel and Revelation that the last world leader at the end of the age will have his throne in the rebuilt temple (fourth temple) and will be worshipped as god by everyone in the world except the Christian faithful. He will do this in the middle of the last seven years after which an unparalleled destruction, like the world has never seen before, will occur.

Matthew 24:16-24   All that follows pertains to Judea. What happens will be sudden and devastating.

25   Jesus warns us of how this will happen so that we will not be deceived.

27   The disciples asked about the end times, so here is the answer.

39   No one knows the exact time except the Father (Acts 1:7-8); however, Jesus provides much detailed information so that we are not caught off guard. Noah was not caught off guard with the flood; the rest of the world was sleeping. With the information Jesus provided, plus the books of Daniel and Revelation, Bible-reading believers will discern the times. All others will not.

40-51   Live now like Jesus is coming back!

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Jesus' Teaching on the End Times
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