THE MATTHEW 24 PROBLEM
Some people seem to think Jesus made mistakes and should have returned in the first century. What I am going to say now has been preached by Rev. W. M. Branham, who died 1965 already, and many others sins then, but I will repeat it for the sake of the questions.
· In Matt.24:2 Jesus told them “...See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
After saying this, the disciple’s came to Him privately and then asked Him three questions in one sentence.
· 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?
Do you see them? It is these three questions being answered in one chapter, that seems to throw out a lot of people. Jesus then began to prophecy things before the world ends they should watch.
1.Matt. 24:4-5 Deceivers will come even as Christians-anointed Christ’s saying they are the real deal. 2.Matt. 24: 6 Wars will come, nation against nation, pestilences, famines, earth quakes will come. But it’s not the end yet. It’s only the beginning of sorrows.
Can you see the great time span included there? Nation was to fight nation, not only would Israel be involved in wars, but many other nations. We literally had thousands of wars since then. In the past 100 years we had 2 world wars and yet the end is not. In the early church ages earth quakes was not so common, but in our days we had many. Think of the many famines, sicknesses such as the black death, the great flue, cancers, Aids, on and on.
· 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.
Jesus tells them they will be HATED FOR HIS SAKE BY ALL NATIONS!
See how Jesus tells them of the early church age persecution, as they were hated by the Jews and after turning the gospel to the gentiles, the nations hated them. Remember how pagan Roman emperors killed them? Remember the dark ages where Catholics killed 68 million Protestants according to history?
Christian blood was truly spilled by many since Jesus said it.
Jesus continued to speak to His disciple’s as well as to us who listen to the message. He then comforted us all saying:
· Matt. 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
Judge now for yourself. How could He say the nations would hate them, if He meant they should only try and preach the gospel to the cities of Israel and He will be back before they finish preaching to Israel?
What did He mean when He said the gospel should be preached to ALL NATIONS AND THEN THE END WILL COME?
This seems like a contradiction to Matthew 10, but it is not.
· MATTHEW 10:23 † But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Do you know that the disciple’s could never finish preaching to the Jews? They tried as hard as they could to finish with the cities of Israel, but were rejected, and hated and in Acts 13:46 Paul told the Jews, they would turn from them and preach to the gentiles -which they did.
This is why the gospel MUST GO BACK TO ISRAEL to finish the message of Jesus Christ. For that purpose God will send 2 special prophets with mighty signs. Rev. 11 sees 2 prophets will preach the gospel to them 1260 days and Rev.7 and 14 sees 144 000 come to Christ . Those 144 000 is specifically named by tribes as Israeli. This is a massive sign. If that gospel goes to that 144 000 Jews, the gentile days are almost up.
From the time they begin to preach you’ll have 1260 days! Mene, mene tekel upharsin! Your days are numbered then. No one knows when they will arrive, but they will. But before they arrive, the rapture will take place.
· MATTHEW 24:15 † When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 † Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
From Matt 24:15-21 He now speaks and specifically answers their first question on the stones of the temple being cast down.
He now tells them to watch the temple and when they see THE ABOMINATION which causes DESOLATION standing in the Holy Place [temple] they should flee. The Temple was a Holy place where no violence ever came. But Daniel 8 saw a little horn [Rome] casting down the sanctuary [temple]. To cast down a building means to destroy it and only Rome did that after the second temple was built.
Daniel 9:26 sees a prince [Titus] son of Vespasianus [Roman emperor] destroy both the sanctuary [temple] and the city [Jerusalem]. There are many tings that are an abomination to God. Even a woman wearing man’s clothes, or man woman’s clothes is an abomination. War also is an abomination THAT CAUSES DESOLATION-that is destruction. Thus when the Holy Place becomes a place of war-FLEE, BECAUSE THAN THE TIME OF JERUSALEM ALSO IS NIGH to be destroyed. Daniel saw the city and the sanctuary both fall to war.
Jews did not fight on a holy Sabbath-Thus if war came on a Sabbath, it would be terrible. Also the winters were severe with snowfall and women pregnant or with suckling babes, would find it difficult to flee.
In 70 AD that prophecy fulfilled when Titus destroyed both the temple and the city.
· Matt.24:22-30 He starts speaking on the signs of His coming. In Matt.24:29 He speaks of the beginning of the tribulation period. By this time His secret rapture coming has taken out His gentile church as said in I Thes. 4:16-17.
Matt 24:30 He comes to the Jews. This is in the end time. Where will His visible coming be? JERUSALEM! Compare with Rev.14. It is then that the world will mourn-those left behind.
· MATTHEW 24:32 † ¶ Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 † Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Matt. 24:32 He now gives us another sign to watch when the end shall be. It is the PARABLE of the fig tree. You have to know the PARABLE of fig tree and whom it represents in Scripture.
Watch Israel-the fig tree. The NATION OF ISRAEL IS SYMBOLIZED WITH THE FIGTREE IN THE BIBLE.
· “ HOSEA 9:10 10 † I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the FIGTREE at her first time:…”
Remember He prophesied [Matt.24:15] as Daniel did before Him that Israel would be attacked, their temple destroyed and their city destroyed?
The Fig tree [nation of Israel] thus would be displaced first, and the Jews scattered into the nations-which came to pass exactly. Now they had to watch for it’s return, and watch it put forth leaves again.
Remember Jesus also cursed a fig tree when He found no fruits? There again is the PARABLE. Jesus compared them to a barren FIGTREE. What happened to Israel when their God- Jesus Christ came to His temple? They had no fruits of the Spirit, like that fig tree, and killed their own Messiah. Thus they became a curse, and were scattered into the nations as their prophets prophesied even before Jesus.
But now Jesus also sees Israel the fig tree, returning as did other prophets before Him, and ask them to watch for the fig tree putting forth leaves again.
If she goes home as the prophets Jeremiah 16:16, and Ezekiel 36:24 foretold, THE END of the world is near. Israel has been home since 1946 as they went in and declared a nation 1948. THAT GENERATION seeing Israel putting forth leaves should expect the end.
How long is Bible life expectancy? In Ps. 90:10 it is declared that the days of man is 70 up to 80 if he is strong.
So how long do we really have? Remember Israel also need to receive 2 prophets after the rapture for 1260 days, and when they are finished, the end comes. If all those things Jesus said would happen as it did, shouldn’t we prepare spiritually putting our lives in order?
Then there is another small matter of questions concerning this Scripture:
· MATTHEW 16:28 † Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
In the very next Chapter 17 John , Peter and James saw Jesus transfigured before them. They saw Him as He will be when He comes into His kingdom. And they saw Elijah the raptured saint, as well as Moses the saint that died. And when they saw them, they were both alive. This is how He will come into His kingdom, with both the raptured church, and those saints that died before the rapture.
· MATTHEW 17:2 † And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
He is coming back like that! In Rev. 1 John again saw Him like that! His eyes blazing fire, feet as brass, those eyes that once cried for sinners will then judge. Right now He is willing to save, but when He returns like that to the sinner, He will be their judge.
“ 115 † Little story comes to my mind. Sometime ago a little boy was sitting in a--a wagon. A gun fired down the street, and the horses run away and was going over a cliff. A young cowboy would run and stopped the horses just before the wagon went over the cliff, 'cause it had a baby in it. He saved the little one's life.
Many years after that, standing in the courthouse. This same boy had done a crime, took the road that's wrong, been guilty. He was drinking, gambling, shot a man; and was guilty, found guilty. And the judge raised up and said, "I sentence you to hang by your neck until your mortal life is gone."
117 † That young man said, "Judge!" And he broke the court procession, as he jumped over the rail and fell at the judge's feet, for mercy.
He said, "Judge, look at my face. Don't you know me?"
He said, "No, son, I don't."
He said, "You remember a certain little boy's life that you saved many years ago from a runaway horse?"
He said, "Yes, I remember it."
He said, "I am that boy." He said, "Judge, you saved me then. Save me now."
The judge looked down at him and said, "Son, that day I was your Saviour. Today I'm your judge."
Today He's your Saviour. Sinner, tomorrow He may be your Judge. “
[Quoted from a sermon by Rev. W.M. Branham 1957-04-20 THE.ENTOMBMENT]