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Matthew 24:29-30

You Shall See Him

29 Immediately after the tribulation 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: 30 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.

Whenever we seek to find the meaning of scripture, it is best to take the literal meaning of its words, unless they make absolutely no sense. In that case we can assume that they were meant to be taken figuratively. Sometimes, however, our rules for interpretation can fail us.

Jesus was asked by His disciples to tell them about the sign of His coming and of the end of the world (v.3). A literal reading of this passage seems to answer their question, except for one word ... "immediately" ...along with the passage about the sun, moon, and stars which comes out of apocalyptic literature.

"Immediately after the tribulation..." is not that difficult to deal with. Jesus had spoken concerning the temple in verse 2, saying, "There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." This has not been fulfilled in its literal sense. The "Wailing Wall" still stands. While so many are awaiting the rebuilding of the temple, is it possible that they should be waiting its final end?

We should consider whether the tribulation of 70 AD has ended. It would be a time such as had never been seen before and would never be seen again (v.21). Many cities have been destroyed by wars, their children and women murdered and raped, the bodies of their men heaped up in the streets, but the tribulation of the Jews seems to have only begun at Jerusalem in 70 AD. They have been a persecuted race ever since, and we must not forget the holocaust of World War II. Today they have a piece of their homeland returned to them, but they are surrounded by enemies, constantly facing terrorist attacks, and always on the brink of extinction. What nation has ever seen two thousand years of the kind of tribulation that this race of people has had to suffer?

The word "immediately" may be pointing us to a time still future after all the rest of the world has had the opportunity to hear the gospel and a large number of Jews begin to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Then their tribulation will end.

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all." (Romans 11:25-32)

Jesus' reference to the sun, moon and stars is a quote from Isaiah 13:10, but we should read that in context:

"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger." (Isaiah13:9-13)

Jesus is the light of the world, symbolized by the sun. The moon has no light of her own, but merely reflects the light of the sun and thus symbolizes the church. The stars represent God's ministers and messengers as in Revelation 1:20.

Therefore we see that there first must be a massive conversion of the Jews and an end to their tribulation. After that the gospel will no longer be preached and we will see Jesus coming as He left (Acts 1:11), descending in the clouds with power and great glory to the top of the Mount of Olives. Rejoice, dear friend, because you shall see HIm!

Before The Throne:

Pray that you will be found ready on the day when He returns for His saints. Ask Him to make you a part of the victory over wickedness and the unbelief that holds the Jewish people in tribulation. Learn to witness to them and to others. God is doing marvelous things all over this world to bring this age to a conclusion. Commit yourself to His service. Praise Him for His plan of salvation. Praise Him for revealing the mysteries of His kingdom to you. Worship Him in spirit and in truth right now.

For Further Study:

** Immediately. Da 7:11-12; Mr 13:24-25; ** shall the. Isa 13:10; 24:23; Jer 4:23-28; Eze 32:7-8; Joe 2:10, 30-31; 3:15; Am 5:20; 8:9; Zep 1:14-15; Lu 21:25-26; Ac 2:19-20; Re 6:12-17; ** the powers. 2Pe 3:10;

(v.30) ** the sign. Da 7:13; Mr 13:4; Re 1:7; ** and then shall all. Zec 12:10; Re 1:7; ** see. Mt 16:27-28; 26:64; Mr 13:26; 14:62-64; Lu 21:27; 22:69; Ac 1:11; 2Th 1:7;


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