What were the disciples really asking: "When will be the sign of your coming?"

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The Titus Arch in Rome that celebrates the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD by Titus as Matthew 24 prophesied.

The signs of Matthew 24 prophecies the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD not the second coming and certainly not some "Rapture" theology that was invented in 1830 AD by John Darby. When Christians saw the signs, they fled the city and were saved.


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What were the disciples really asking: "When will be the sign of your coming?"

Answer: When will the Temple be destroyed!


"As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!" And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down."" (Mark 13:1-2)

1.      Rapture believers and premillennialists are untaught, unlearned and distort the clear teaching of the Bible in order to satisfy their thirst for sensationalism and excitement.

2.      While the disciples stood at the foot of the Jerusalem Temple Jesus said, "Do you not see all these things [the temple]? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down." (Matthew 24:2)

3.      This stunned and shocked the disciples and they naturally replied: "When will these things be?

4.      Rapturists ignore the context of Mt 24 and rarely read the two parallel accounts in Mark and Luke.

5.      They always quote Mt 24:3 that says, "What is sign of your coming & the end of the age?" which sounds, on the surface, if you ignored the context, to be about the second coming and the end of the world. However, as we will see, this is impossible.

6.      Here are the three parallel questions about when the temple in Jerusalem... the one they were standing beside, would be destroyed. This happened in 70 AD.

Let the Bible interpret itself!!!


Matthew 24:3

Mark 13:3-4

Luke 21:7

Question #1

When will these things be?

When will these things be?

When will these things be?

Question #2

What is sign of your coming & the end of the age?

Sign when all these things will be fulfilled?

Sign when these things are about to take place?

A. Concepts The Disciples Didn't Understand:

  1. They didn't understand his death: Mt 16:21-22; Lk 18:31-34; Jn 16:16-18; 20:9
  2. They didn't understand the second coming: Jn 13:36-14:6;
  3. They thought kingdom was physical: Jn 18:36 Lk 17:20-21 Vs. Lk 19:11; Acts 1:6

B. What Was In Their Mind When They Said, "End Of The Age"?

1.      End of Jewish age or climax of the temple destruction not second coming?

a.       "end of the world" is incorrect; should be literally, "consummation of the ages"

b.      Vine: "doesn't denote a termination, but heading up of events to the appointed climax"

c.       In Mt 24:14 the end is used in reference to 70AD not second coming

d.      Christ's first advent: "at the consummation of the ages" He was manifested", Heb 9:26

e.       There may have been no connection with the second coming at all in their mind.

2.      Second coming, destruction of the planet?

a.       Was end of the ages terminology which they used in Mt 24 learned from Jesus teaching in the parables tares & fishnet: Mt 13:39,40,49-51? Notice esp V51

b.      They definitely equated the phrase "end of the age" with the temple destruction

c.       If expression came from tares, then they incorrectly applied it to the temple

d.      I believe they misapplied the tares teaching to the temple but Jesus then corrects them

e.       Jesus' answer in Mt 24:1-25:30 vs. 25:31-46 shows he dealt with the two subjects.

3.      Clearly therefore, the disciples were asking Jesus when the end of the Jewish age, symbolized in the destruction of the Jerusalem temple would happen in 70 AD.



1.      The disciples could not ask a question about the second coming and the end of the world, when they didn't even understand he was going to die on the cross.

2.      The contextual evidence by comparing the three parallel passages is conclusive. The disciples were asking Jesus when "not one stone would be left upon another" of the Jewish temple they were looking at, not some mythical future temple that after 2000 years still does not exist.

3.      The disciples were shocked when Jesus said the temple was going to torn down to the ground and wanted to know when this was going to happen. Rapture false teachers twist this simple truth into some fiction about the disciples asking Jesus when the second coming would happen and when the world would end.


Steve Rudd

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