The Symbolic Language of Mt 24:29-30 is found in many Old Testament passages

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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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The Symbolic Language of Mt 24:29-30 is found in many Old Testament passages

Introduction:

1.      Almost every person I have met who believes in the Rapture or premillennialism has almost no Bible knowledge. If they knew their Bible better, they would recognize that all the signs and symbols of Matthew 24 are used in the Old Testament of other destructions that have been fulfilled.

2.      The identical language of Matthew 24 that is applied to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD is also applied to the destruction of Egypt, Babylon even previous destructions of Jerusalem in 586 and 250 BC.

3.      Since Rapture promoters do not care to study their Bible much, they are completely unaware of this simple truth.

4.      For example, just as you cannot understand the book of revelation until you know where all the signs and symbols are used throughout the Old Testament, so too with Matthew 24.

5.      The expression “day of the Lord” is used countless times of a physical destruction upon Babylon, Egypt, Jerusalem in 596 BC. Rapture believers are totally ignorant to this simple truth and it is the reason why they are so wrong in their date setting and world outlook.

 

I. Rapturists use Old Testament prophecy already fulfilled!

1.      Above is a billboard from Harold Camping when he was an agent of Satan to falsely predict May 21, 2011 as the Rapture because “the bible guarentees it”. Many people saw these billboards and when the end did not come, they lost faith in the Bible.

2.      Notice the use of Zechariah as a prediction of the end of the world.

3.      In fact, this Zephaniah wrote this as a prediction before the Babylonian destruction of Solomon’s temple in 568 BC.

4.      Rapture teachers and date setters ignore the obvious fulfillment of 586 AD and rip the passage out of context and apply it to the second coming today.

5.      To use Zephaniah as a proof text of the rapture, a doctrine that did not exist before 1830 AD is ignorance gone to seed and is a comedy of false doctrinal errors!

6.      Important note: Zeph 1 & Jer 4 are unquestionably parallel.

Two Historical Destruction's of Jerusalem

1st destruction

By Babylon in 585 BC

2nd Destruction

By Rome in 70AD

Zephaniah 1

Jeremiah 4

Zechariah 14

Matthew 24

V15 A day of darkness, gloom & clouds

4:23,28 no light, heavens dark

V6 in that day there will be no light, the luminaries will dwindle

V29 Sun darkened, moon turned to blood, stars fall from sky

V7,14 Near is the great day of the Lord

6:1,22 a people is coming from the north, a great nation: Babylon

V5 the Lord will come with holy ones

V30 son of man coming on clouds

Romans came to destroy

V31 send forth angels

V16 A day of trumpet against fortified cities

4:19; 6:1 Sound of trumpet, alarm of war

-

V31 Great trumpet

V15 A day of wrath, trouble distress, destruction, desolation,

4:27; 5:10 Yet not a complete destruction

V2 gather nations against Jerusalem to battle city captured, house plundered, women ravished

Lk 21:20 Jerusalem surrounded by armies

Lk 19:41-44 enemies surround you, hem you in, level to ground

-

-

V2 half city exciled

half not cut off

Mt 24:40 One left, one taken

-

-

V5 you will flee by the valley of mountains

Lk 21:21 flee to the mountains

Fulfillment: Babylon 586BC

2 Ki 25:1-12

Fulfillment: Rome 70AD

Josephus, "Now as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of fury...Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple." Wars, Book 7:1:1

 

II. Why this document is critically important!

  1. Imagine being in a war veterans club which gathers together for various social things on Saturdays. Once a year, the veterans club hosted a special function where the old veterans brought their grandchildren into the club to teach the younger generation a little about the wars. It was called, "Grandfather-Grandchild Dinner and Dance Day". One year, as the event continued, one of the old veterans stood up and grabbed the microphone and said the phrase, "D-DAY", and paused for 10 seconds. The audience reacted to this simple phrase two very different ways. The teenage grandchildren immediately associated this phrase "D-DAY" with "Dinner and Dance Day", but they really didn't know for sure what it meant. While all the grandchildren looked and listened in genuine puzzlement as to what "D-DAY" meant, they were even more amazed at the reaction of all the old veterans. Some of them began to cry, some of them quiver, some of them sighed, some of them just hung their head in their hands. The teenage grandchildren just could not understand why a simple phrase like "D-DAY" would make their grandfathers react this way. What did "D-DAY" mean, they wondered?
  2. This exactly illustrates why this document is so important. When most people read the prophetic language of Mt 24, like "coming on the clouds of heaven & the sun will be darkened, moon turned to blood" they incorrectly associate such phrases with the second coming of Christ. If we could transport back in time to be in the audience of Jesus and His disciples when he actually made these statements, we would be the ones with the puzzlement like the teenage grandchildren and the Jews of that time, would be like the old war veterans. When Jesus said of Jerusalem, "coming on the clouds of heaven & the sun will be darkened, moon turned to blood" again the audience would react in very different ways. The Jews of that time, clearly understood and was familiar with this kind of language. They read it many times in the Old Testament. To them it was nothing new. They understood such language was used many times in the past whenever God would overthrow and destroy a single nation at a specific time. They were familiar with several of these prophecies and their historical fulfillments long before they were born!
  3. Before you hastily conclude that such language like, "coming on the clouds of heaven & the sun will be darkened, moon turned to blood" is speaking of the second coming, look closely at the context in which is was used time and time again by the Old Testament prophets to predict that God was about to destroy a city or nation.

Prophecy

Prophetic language used

Fulfilled

Isa 13:1,6-13

730 BC

-the day of the Lord is near

-hands fall limp, man's hearts melt, terror

-stars of heaven and constellations will not flash forth their light, sun

dark when it rises, moon not shed light, heavens shake, earth tremble

Babylon

539 BC

Isa 19:1

730 BC

-Lord riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt

-the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence

Egypt

480 BC

Isa 34:4-5

730 BC

-all host of heaven (stars) will wear away

-sky rolled up like a scroll, all their hosts will wither

Edom

before 400BC

Ezek 30:3-4

590 BC

-The day of the Lord is near

-It will be a day of clouds,

Egypt

480 BC

Ezek 32:7-8

590 BC

-I will extinguish Egypt

-heavens covered, stars darkened, cover sun with cloud, moon not give

light shining lights in the heavens will be dark, darkness on the land

Egypt

480 BC

Amos 5:18-20

755 BC

-day of the lord

-it will be darkness and not light, gloom with no brightness in it

Israel

722 BC

Amos 8:9

755 BC

-sun go down at noon

-earth dark in broad daylight

Israel

722 BC

Zeph 1:7,

14-16

630 BC

-Near is the great day of the Lord, near and coming very quickly

-a day of wrath, trouble, distress, destruction, desolation, darkness,

gloom, clouds, thick darkness

-a day of trumpet and battle cry

Jerusalem

586 BC

Jer 4:14-16, 19,23-28

6:1,22

626-586BC

-sound of trumpet, alarm of war

-no light, heavens above dark

-Yet I will not execute a complete destruction

-a people is coming from the north, a great nation: Babylon

Jerusalem

586 BC

Joel 2:28 + Acts 2:16

830 BC

-great and awesome day of the Lord

-blood, fire, columns of smoke, sun into darkness, moon into blood,

All Jews

30 AD

Mt 24:29-30

30 AD

-sign of son coming on clouds

-sun darkened, moon turned to blood, stars fall from sky, roaring of sea

& waves, men fainting from fear, heavens shaken

Jerusalem

70 AD

Mt 26:64

30 AD

-Son of man sitting at right hand of power, coming on clouds of heaven

Jerusalem

70 AD

2 Pe 3:10-13

67AD

-Day of Lord will come

-Heavens will pass away with roar, elements destroyed with intense

heat, earth and works burnt up

Second Coming

???? AD

Rev 1:7

96 AD

-Christ is coming with clouds

Second coming

Acts 1:9-11

30 AD

-Christ will return in same way he left...with clouds

Second coming

Gordon Lightfoot

"Black day in July" Folk song regarding American riots

Detroit

1970's

Stock Crash

"Black Monday"

Oct 19, 1987

Gulf War

"Dark day for Iraq"

Iraq 1991

III. Other prophetic language explained:

A. Clouds

  1. Clouds: Indicate Divine Power: PS 104:3-4

B. Send Angels MT 24:31

  1. Angel means messenger
  2. Usage of angel in NT:

C. Mt 24:31 Gathering the of elect from four winds:

  1. This is probably the great commission: Christians preaching gospel to whole world, "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" Mt 28:18

D. Trumpet: MT 24:31

  1. Trumpets Signalled Start Of Battle: Num 10:1-10
  2. Same Language Used In Zeph 1:16

Trumpet prophetic language

Jerusalem 586BC Zeph 1:16

Jerusalem 70AD Mt 24:31

A day of trumpet against fortified cities

A great trumpet

CONCLUSION:

1.      So we can conclude that the language of Mt 24 is not referring to the second coming, but the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD.

2.      It was 100% fulfilled prophecy! Such language is the way the prophets described, in prophetic language, the physical destruction of a specific nation.

3.      It has been applied to countless Old Testament nations that were destroyed.

4.      Mt 24 is not speaking of the second coming, but the coming of God in judgment upon Jerusalem in 70 AD.

5.      Interesting, we do find this same kind of language used in the New Testament to describe the second coming, but all of this is entirely outside the context of Mt 24.

Steve Rudd

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