And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.  Ex 33:19  

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 An End Time Overview:

Most recognize Matthew 24 as an overview of the End-Time given by Jesus to His disciples. In Matthew 24:1,2  NKJV “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.  And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you see all these things?  Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  (emphasis mine)

V.3: Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be?  And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

It is at this point, beginning in verse 4 that Jesus begins to answer these three questions posed by his disciples. 

The three questions:

  1. When will these things be?
  2. What will be the sign of Your coming?
  3. What will be the sign of the end of the age?

Some equate question 2 and 3 as one but we will address them as three questions.

It is of great interest that Chapter 24 of Matthew’s gospel parallels Revelation chapter 6 and the breaking of the seven seals.  And why not,

 1) Jesus is the one quoted in both accounts.  (Matthew 24 gives the words of Jesus as recorded by the Apostle Matthew.  Revelation is recorded by the apostle John but is according to Revelation 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,…”)

 2) Jesus is giving a panoramic view of the entire end-time in both accounts.

(I believe this to be further evidence that The Seven Seals give us a panoramic view of the Last Days from the Cross-Resurrection Event until the end of the age as this period of time relates to followers of the Lamb of God.) 

 3) Jesus is speaking to believers in both accounts.  (In Matt. 24, responding to their specific questions.)


Question # 1. When will these things be?

What things?  Obviously from the context, this first question is: Lord, When will this happen, that not one stone shall be left upon another?

It is in answer to this question that Jesus launches into language that may be compared to the four horsemen of the apocalypse; so what does that have to do with “when will this temple be destroyed?”  Hold on – we’re getting there!

vs.4-8: “And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. (White Horse)  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. (Red Horse)  See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Pale Horse)  All these things are the beginning of sorrows.”  (Black Horse signified Death and permeates all)

Jesus continues in verses 9 – 35 of Matthew 24 to explain the terrible times to come.

In fact, He gives an overview of the coming age.  He covers the entire 2000 plus years in these verses.  Now, in verse 8 above, Jesus ends that section saying, “all these things are the beginning of sorrows.”    This language speaks of ‘birth pains’.   This is not generally disputed.

In fact, the NIV renders this verse: “All these are the beginning of birth pains.”  So, this synopsis of the age to come is likened to birth pains.  That is to say, the described events typify the whole age to come and yet as a woman in labor; these events will grow in intensity and frequency until all is fulfilled.  This is why in our day, we seem to see these signs screaming at us; for they are indeed growing in intensity and frequency.

I am personally a pre-tribulation rapture, pre-millennialist, which is the most common view taken by Baptist.  I take this position because I believe it to be more scripturally accurate, not just because it is main stream Baptist.  I studied Revelation in the early 1970’s under Dr. Douglas Ezell, who was a New Testament professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Dr. Ezell did his doctoral dissertation on Revelations and much of my own Revelation and eschatological views are rooted in Dr. Ezell’s book,

Revelations on Revelation: New Sounds from Old Symbols by Douglas Ezell (Hardcover - 1977)

Now, Dr. Ezell’s overview of Revelation is anything but mainstream, and my own view as I indicated above is rooted in his views.  Once you accept this thesis everything seems to fall into place.

With that said, Allow me to also say that I believe that Prophetic scripture is so rich in meaning that it had a specific meaning for those people to whom it was specifically written and yet has a literal fulfillment for those living in the time periods foretold.

For example:  Matthew 24:34;  Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”

What generation?  Well, the generation he was speaking to literally saw the beginning of the end –time prophecies fulfilled with the destruction of the temple in AD 70.

They also saw tribulation begin typified by false Christs’, war, famine, pestilence and death. 

Each succeeding generation has observed these same events with growing intensity and frequency allowing them to live in expectation; being ready for the literal return of Christ.  (Again, I believe that it is God’s will that each generation live in expectation that Christ could return at any moment.  In Acts 1:10 “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”  Jesus had just told them in Acts 1:7 in answer to their question, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me…”

In Luke 21:36, Jesus says, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these thing that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.”  My personal belief is that Jesus is here speaking of the rapture of His Bride.  But it is God’s intention that we be ever praying and watching for His return.)

 So what makes us any different from our fathers who have observed, wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, plagues, famine and death while Anti-Christs (plural) have sought to usurp God’s eternal plan?

Matthew 24:32 says, “Now, learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.  So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors!

This speaks to us because we are the generation that has seen the fig tree leaf.

The fig tree (prophetically) is Israel.  There had not been a nation of Israel for more than 2000 years.  It depends on how you date it.  The kingdom of Israel divided in Northern and Southern kingdoms after the death of King Solomon.  One of his sons reigned in Israel – the Northern kingdom; the other over Judah (formerly Israel – the Southern kingdom)  The Northern kingdom was taken into captivity in 722 -21 BC.  The Southern kingdom was taken into captivity in 587-86 BC  At the time of Christ, there was NO ISRAEL.  It was Judea!  Using this dating until May 14, 1948 there had not been a nation of Israel for over twenty-five hundred years.  (2534 years)

Even if you consider Judea as synonymous with Israel, then from AD70 until 1948 there was NO NATION OF ISRAEL!    That would be over eighteen hundred years.  (1878 years)   This is of particular significance to us because until our lifetime, THERE WAS NO ISRAEL. (I was born in 1948)  So, if we are the generation that sees the fig tree leaf; then we are the last generation who will see THE END OF THE END TIMES.

 Get this!  The generation to whom Jesus was speaking saw the beginning of the end times with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus in AD70.

Israel was no more!  Also the temple was destroyed literally as Jesus predicted.

We, who see the restoration of Israel; our generation will not pass away until the end of the end times comes to pass.  Exciting isn’t it!

That’s just one sign demonstrating that the END TIME covers the whole period of time from Jesus’ Cross-Resurrection Event until His Second Coming.

Can I scripturally justify this?  Certainly!  In Revelation Chapter 1, verse 9; John addresses his readers thusly,  I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation…”  So, scripturally, tribulation is not something coming at the end of the age but is current and being suffered by Christians then as now.  In the 20th century more Christians were martyred for their faith than all previous 1900 years combined!!!

Startling isn’t it?  We are IN tribulation as was John the Apostle.

There are other names given for this same period of time.   Let’s consider a few.

  • The Age of Grace began at the Cross-Resurrection Event and concludes with the Rapture of the Church. 

  • The Church Age began on the Day of Pentecost and concludes with the Rapture of the Church. 

  • The Age of the Gentiles began in AD 70 with the destruction of the temple and concluded with Jerusalem being returned to the Jews (1967 or 1978 according to how you reckon it)

  • The Last Days and The End Time began with the Cross-Resurrection Event and concludes with the Second Coming of Christ to rule and reign on Earth!

  • The Parenthesis began when Messiah was cut off (Cross-Resurrection Event) and concludes with the rapture of the church which signals the 70th week of Jewish history or The Great Tribulation which will last seven years.


Another scripture demonstrating that the Last Days refers to the whole period of time from the Cross-Resurrection Event until Christ Second Coming is found in Joel 2:28-32.  This scripture speaks of the Last Days as beginning when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh, (as opposed to the Holy Spirit being for specific people and tasks as in the O.T.)  This happened on the Day of Pentecost. The passage concludes with descriptions of the wrath at the end of the age associated with the Wrath of God and judgement on Earth that has not yet occurred. 

Peter in Acts 2:17-21 quotes Joel and claims fulfillment of the first part of scripture on that very day of Pentecost.  Peter quotes Joel 2:28;  “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;…”  Peter says in Acts 2:16, "This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:..."    

So, according to the prophet Joel and the apostle Peter, the Last Days began on or at least was heralded by the Day of Pentecost.  According the Joel 2:28 ff and Acts 2:14 ff, the Last Days have not yet concluded thus we are in the Last Days!  According to Revelation 1:9 we are indeed in Tribulation.

I believe a correct and scriptural view of this period of time is essential to a correct interpretation of the other events in Revelation.  We are NOT awaiting tribulation,;  we are in it!  We are not awaiting the end-time; we are in it!  The tribulation is NOT seven years, but has already has compassed 1976 + years since the Cross-Resurrection Event!  There is, however, 'Great Tribulation' that will define the final seven years before Christ returns.