This morning 2000 years ago, on their way back to the Temple in Jerusalem from Bethany, They passed by the tree whom Jesus cursed yesterday. Peter was so amazed still at the demonstration of faith upon that fig tree, he points it out as they were passing by it. And Jesus further taught the secret to powerful faith
Mark 11:20-26 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
It seems that Jesus was ministering two different subjects, but wasn’t. These two subjects are synonymous to each other. He first points out the power of prayer start’s by having faith in God (to know Him personally), having the God kind of Faith. The God kind of faith does not doubt but knows (when born-again children of God prays) will receive what we ask for. And God only answers prayer that is within the parameters of His perfect will for your life in Jesus Christ according to His holy and righteous standards (James 4:3).
Now here is the other side to the coin of truth, people who pray while having unforgivness in their heart are in sin, and God will not hear their prayers. God specifically ministers why in Isaiah 59:1-2 “Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities (rebellions) have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”
Therefore having unforgivness in your heart towards someone for whatever reason, is sin and rebellion against God. And He will not forgive your sins or hear your prayers unless you forgive others. In fact this is another one way ticket straight to Hell, because if sins are not forgiven, than you will miss Heaven. not one sin or sinner will enter Heaven (Revelation 21:27)
As they entered into Jerusalem, Jesus was then confronted by the Chief Priest’s and the elder and He rebuked them. Pharisee’s and Sadusee’s came to trap Jesus in His words. Jesus ministers on taxes, the eternal marriage, the resurrection, and the greatest commandments. He continues to rebuke the Scribes and Pharisee’s of their hypocrisy again with eight eternal woes. He weeps over Jerusalem again and ministered about loving and serving God with everything, using the widow and two mites as His examples (Matthew chapters 21:23-23:39/Mark chapters 11:27-12:44)
After that, Jesus went out and departed from the Temple, And as He (Jesus) went out of the temple, one of His disciples saith unto Him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Mark 13:1-2)
A Basic background on the Holy Temple in Jesus’ day is worth noting here. The first Temple built in Jerusalem whom God Has chosen to be Israel’s National capital, was built in King Solomon’s day (2 Chronicles 2) on Mount Moriah, the same mountain Jerusalem sits on.
It was then destroyed by the Babylonians in the prophet Jeremiah’s day (Jeremiah 52), but was rebuilt in Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s time after the Jews returned from the Persian and Babylonian captivity of 70 years of slavery around the year 537 BC. And the temple was finished in 515 BC. But none of the original Temple furnishings nor the Ark of the Covenant was recovered and this second Temple was smaller than the original.
In the era of the Maccabees, the Temple was eventually turned into a fortress, and in King Herod’s day, it was remodeled (sort of speak) expanding it’s size with cream colored stones, ornate with Gold to look more like Solomon’s temple but with added gates, courts and buildings. The remodel project started in the year 19 BC. The main building was finished in 9 BC. And the entire structure was not finished until 64 AD.
And this would explain why Jesus’ disciples were so amazed at the magnificence of this “newly remodeled” Temple and it’s “buildings” “Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” Which was still under construction at this time around 30 AD. And Jesus here was prophesying the destruction of the Temple, which did come to pass in 70 AD. and it is also curious if Jesus was also referring to another Temple be destroyed in the Great Tribulation Period, after the rapture of the church age? Because He’s about to minister the signs of the end-times synonymous to the destruction of the Temple. Could Jesus be prophesying a third and last Temple that perhaps Eziekiel prophesied about (Ezekiel 40-43)?
They made their way to the Mount of Olives (from this night forward) when evening fell, Jesus and His disciples stayed at the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:37-38) and it was here at the Mount of Olives where His disciples asked a three fold Question in 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 (the destruction of the Temple)? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, (the sign of rapture of the church age) and of the end of the world (signs of the second coming of Jesus Christ after the Great Tribulation period and the end of the world)?
Matthew chapters 24:4-25:46
Jesus partially answers the second question using signs pointing to the rapture of the church age
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.
The beginning of sorrows are describing an era of mourning, loss and pain. That’s describing today’s events, hunger, earthquakes that normally don’t happen in certain places, wars, 911, school shootings, public bombings, the massacre in Las Vegas, the abnormal rise of diseases etc. Next Jesus describes the martyrdom of the church age
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. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end (end of the church age), the same shall be saved. 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.
Next Jesus answers the third question with the signs of His second coming during the Great Tribulation period
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:)
Jesus is referring to the the future Temple in the Great Tribulation Period, prophesied by Daniel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit during the 70 year captivity in Babylon (Daniel 9;11;12). The abomination of desolation is an Idol of the antichrist that will be constructed in the Temple. Jesus is giving instructions to Jews in those days to flee when they see this be fulfilled
Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s (penitent Jews who will believe in Jesus Christ) sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Jesus is referring to the future in Revelation 13) Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
Here’s the reason why Jesus warns in detail why people in those days should not believe that the “Christ” will appear in the deserts or in the secret chambers. Jesus will not the come by those ways, but the antichrist will (Revelation 13:1&11) and will claim to be the “Christ” and God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Jesus Christ is the world’s real, true Messiah and will appear in the clouds and then step foot physically on earth in His second coming(Zechariah 14:1-9). Christians will be behind Jesus Christ in His second coming (Revelation 19:11-21), while the specially marked Jews (Revelation 7:1-8) gather to Jesus Christ in His second coming as well (Revelation 14:1-5)
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
After these saying’s, Jesus goes back to the first point of the rapture of the church age, revealing to us how it will take place in great details, the final sign to look for when Jesus appears in the clouds to call the church out of the earth before the Great Tribulation period begins
Immediately after the tribulation (not referring to the Great Rribulation period, but a period of great distresses which Jesus is describing the times today) of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (Revelation 6:12-17 which is describing what Jesus is saying here before the Great Tribulation period begins. The Great Tribulation begins in Revelation 8 at the opening of the 7th seal) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree;
It seems that Jesus is physically referring to the fig tree He cursed yesterday, but He’s not. Jesus is actually prophesying about the gathering of Israel to become a Nation once again which was fulfilled in 1948. Israel has not been a Nation since the Babylonian and Persian captivity. They have been occupied by one Nation or another until 1948.
When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.
Next, Jesus ministers those who will enter Heaven on the note of being ready, meaning being right with God and explains further by what He meant when He said: “the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth His coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (referring to the eternal punishment of Hell, fire and damnation which is called the “Lake of Fire” refered to as “the second death,” Revelation 20:14-15)
Jesus then ministers about the future church, which is now in this generation. These next teachings are His instructions and warnings to get right and to stay right. Get ready and stay ready with God before the rapture of the church, using the parables of the 10 virgins and talent’s. After that, He ends His point with the eternal judgment to come which is synonymous with what He had just ministered about the “wise” and “evil” servants. Thus completely answering His disciples questions at the beginning of this evening of Matthew 24:3
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins (the church body) which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ Himself). And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
For the kingdom of heaven is as a Man travelling into a far country, who called His own servants, and delivered unto them His goods. And unto one He gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his Lord’s money.
After a long time the Lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so He that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that Thou art an hard man, reaping where Thou hast not sown, and gathering where Thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid Thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is Thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put My money to the exchangers, and then at My coming I should have received Mine own with usury.
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Now Jesus is about to reveal what it is going to be like on the final eternal judgment day (Revelation 20:11-15)
When the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory (as Judge, John 5:22-30): And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep (the born-again, righteous and sanctified childen of God) from the goats (sinful, adultrous, wicked, perversed, abominable, rebelious and worldly children of the devil): And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: Naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.
Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? Or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.
Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire (the Literal place of eternal torment, fire and damnation. “The Lake of fire”) prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.
Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment (Lake of Fire): but the righteous into life eternal (Heaven).
How does Jesus’ teachings ties together? We must have faith in the Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior, Messiah and be right with God (cleansed from all sins and sanctified) in order to be saved from the wrath of God to come.