We’re in part two. What we’re doing is, we’re doing an expositional study of Matthew 6, we started that last night, Matthew 24, going through that today, and then using that as an introduction to the book of Revelation which is God’s gift to us of how it all ends. In fact, we were discussing it this morning. My wonderful wife Bonnie who’s sitting right there on the corner, she is very distracting to me. She distracted me 38 years ago and has never stopped. When I’m in the classroom, I have to be very careful because when I’m teaching, I will pay attention to her and the students get distracted. It’s interesting, around the world at the Bible institutes a lot of first-generation Christians have never seen married people in love. Do you realize that? In America, since we’re all mostly Americans here today, think of a pickup truck in the south. There’s a pickup truck, you pull up behind it, you see this one guy with his arm out the window, and maybe a little something, a piece of straw or something in his mouth. On the other side is the wife with her arm out the window. That’s marriage in America. Now, if you come up behind the same pickup truck and you see one halfway behind the steering wheel, the other head is also behind the steering wheel, and you can’t see light between them you know that they’re not married. They’re what? They’re dating. When you see them split, they’re what? Married. There’s maybe a car seat between them, right? That’s how marriage is. Most people think that you only have fun and it’s exciting and wonderful, everything that Solomon talked about, you’re intoxicated with one another while you’re dating and then you get married. You know what? We are supposed to project to the world what God said. That we love our wives like Christ loves the Church and our wife is responsively in adoration, looking at us like the Church looks at Christ. That’s something to think about. Before a watching world one of the most powerful things we have, if you’re married, is living that life that God designed marriage to be. I’m not doing marriage and I’m going to get right off that.
What I’m going to also do is, I’m going to actually treat you… I thought about this. I thought, why don’t you just treat them like the students? Bonnie and I, over the last five years have taught over 2,000 students that are in Bible school, that are training. I call them the next generation. I’m going to treat you like you are another group of those students. I’ll talk really fast and I’m going to present a lot of material. Basically, I’m going to follow just what I do when I’m in the classroom.
This morning we’re looking at God’s map of how it all ends. Last night I introduced it and it’s the Lord’s prayer, what you all know. In fact, last night we all quoted my text, and we prayed the Lord’s prayer, emphasizing that one part that Jesus said we’re supposed to always have as a component when we address Him. Remember it says in Matthew chapter 6 and verse 9, “After this manner, therefore, pray ye.” What the Lord was saying it actually is in the imperative mode. He said, I want not those words to be mindlessly recited like 2 billion people do in liturgical services around the world. They can say it and be doing their grocery list because they’ve done it since they were almost born. I don’t mean the mindless recitation, actually thinking about each of those elements and we looked at all of them from last night.
One of them is this idea of Thy kingdom coming. I am supposed to be geared up every day to say, Lord, I want to be a part of Your kingdom coming. I know what you called me to do. Do you remember on the amount of Ascension? This is what Bonnie and I were talking about this morning before we came over here. After the resurrection, after Jesus had taught Matthew 24, after they had seen the power of Christ in His deity poured out they said, is the kingdom coming now? They taught Thy kingdom come. They said, is it time for the kingdom? Are you taking over? He said, it’s not for you to know the day or the hour, only my Father knows that. You shall be my what? Some of you didn’t quite catch that, I caught you off guard. Jesus said, it’s not time for you to know when the kingdom’s coming, what you’re supposed to be doing right now, the entire time that you’re left on Earth until I take you home is, you shall be my what? I don’t even need to teach this morning you already know it. We’re supposed to get up this morning and think, Lord, who are you going to set a divine appointment with me today? It’s so easy, we get into these routines, that we know almost everybody we’re going to encounter during the day. We don’t even think about divine appointments, who we’re going to share the Gospel with. Yet, that’s the only reason he left us here. To be His witnesses, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to be amazed at the divine appointments, like I said last night.
That Peruvian barber that said, as a Roman Catholic moving to America from Peru, she said, I stopped and I looked up and I said, God, I want to come back to you. I feel so far from you. She went to work on and got me in her chair. She said, what do you do? I said, I’m going to teach a group of people about how it all ends. She said, how what all ends? She said, you mean the war in Ukraine? I said, uh huh. She said, could you tell me what you’re going to tell them? I said, yeah. That’s why she cut my hair all off because she wouldn’t stop asking questions until I shared the Gospel with her. That’s why we’re here.
I introduced it last night, now I’m going to show you the outline. Jesus actually outlined the end of the world in Matthew 24, remarkably. In fact, the Apostle John who heard the outline, followed the outline when he wrote the book of Revelation. That’s what we’re going to spend the rest of the week on. We’re going to see how he illustrates it in the book of Revelation. This is what I teach the kids. In fact, these are the books that I teach. I wrote them down. Psalms. Proverbs. Minor Prophets. 1 & 2 Samuel. Isaiah. Revelation. Mark. 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Hebrews. Leviticus. 2 Peter and Jude. Whenever I teach those, I say we’re going to, as your major project that takes 60% of your grade, we are going to continue what you already have to do with Word of Life, which is all the students have to take their Bibles and write down a one sentence or even phrase summary of each chapter of the Bible. There are 1,189 chapters in the Bible. There are 939 in the Old and 260 in the New. They’re supposed to write down a chapter title for everyone. We’re going to use that, I said.
I want you to number one, read the passage. Whatever book I’m reading. In fact, in a couple of weeks I’m going to be up in Schroon Lake, not wearing my short sleeves and I’m going to be teaching Revelation for two weeks. Every one of those students are going to make a title for the passage, summarizing that chapter in one sentence. You know what? My one sentence for Matthew 24 is, How it all ends. That’s just my title that I wrote for when I did that look through the scriptures. Then I say, note as many lessons and trues and doctrines as you can find in your own words. Look for the principles. Look for the lessons. Look for the trues. Look for what you can find in your own words. You’re not trying to get Warren Wiersbe’s words or whoever your favorite guru is. You, what you see in that passage. Let me show you that. I’m actually going to do all this in front of you.
You can use, if you have time, all the resources online. The Blue Letter Bible, or Logos, or MacArthur Study Bible, the Ryrie Study Bible, or the Scofield Study Bible, or your favorite Bible teacher’s study Bible that they’re all selling. It doesn’t matter. Use a resource to get the background so that you begin to have this grasp of the scriptures. We’re supposed to be lifelong experts on the Bible, not just that we’ve read it, but we know where to turn, where to find stuff. I love getting on airplanes. In fact, Bonnie and I get on airplanes 10,000 miles a month. Do you know how long that is? I calculated how many months of my life I’ve spent in pressurized compartments. We fly 125,000 miles a year between all the places we teach. It’s amazing.
You know what I love to do? I sit down in a plane, pop out my Bible, and have the person sitting around me turn and look and say, what are you doing? They actually talk in airplanes. I say, I’m studying the Bible. They say, what do you do? I used to say, I’m an ordained Baptist minister. As soon as I do, they go like this (turn away), they’re afraid of ordained Baptist ministers. I’m not sure why. They just turn and look out the window. I say, I’m a Bible teacher. They go, you’re a Bible teacher? I go, yeah. I actually, the first thing I say is, I teach ancient literature. I don’t think they’ve ever sat by anybody before that teaches ancient literature. They go, what ancient literature? I say, I’m a Bible teacher. 9 out of 10 people turn and look at me, and they go, I have a question about the Bible. Most people are curious about the book. Maybe they don’t want the ordained Baptist minister to tell them what to do, but boy are they curious about the Bible? Did you know, you should become an expert on the Bible?
You should know where to find that verse on anything and everything and show it to them, turn your Bible around to show it to them, and if you have anything underlined, they’re shocked. I have people, they’ll go, you write in your Bible? I say, oh, when you get to be my age, you got to find it, you got to mark stuff so you don’t lose it.
You note as many lessons and truths and doctrines you can. Look at this, this is where most of us have a problem. When I read the Bible, I find all kinds of verses I should share with Bonnie or my kids. We have eight children, boy, they need to hear that. If you’re a student, your roommate or whoever. We’re always looking for verses that show them what they’re lacking, or what they need, or they need to remember that. Do you know the purpose of the Bible, the first epistle? Do you know what the first epistle of the New Testament is? Written by Jesus earthly brother. What was his name? James. Do you know what he said? The Bible is a mirror. What do you do with mirrors? Do you blind people with it? Is that what we’re always doing with a mirror? Are we shining the light to blind them? That’s what a lot of people think of the Bible. That’s not the purpose of the Bible. The Bible is for me to look in the mirror and see that I need to shave, or I need to wash my face, or I need to smile more, or whatever I need. It’s, I’m looking in the mirror. We all, looking in this mirror, we write a prayer from our Bible study where we ask the Lord to unleash one of the things, these lessons, and principles, and truths we found, into changing me.
You want to know how to revolutionize any relationship? Find and say, could I share with you what I’ve been finding in the Bible that God is using to transform my life. Everybody wants to hear about how bad you are and how much you need to change. They don’t want you to talk about how bad they are and how much they need to change. They get very uncomfortable, especially if the finger comes out and you say, you need to change here. People are wide open to you saying, this is what God convicted me about. This is what I’m asking Him to change in my life. You want to revolutionize your marriage? Husbands, study the Bible, write your title, find the lessons, write out a prayer and say, god changed this. I want my wife to think I’m more patient than I was last year. I want my wife to think that I’m more loving and selfless than I was last year. I want her to see growth and transformation in my life. I want the closest person to me, the one that walks through life with me, to see that Christ is revolutionizing me on the inside. Then, after you spend your first week studying say, honey, can I share with you my applications and how God is at work in my life? You know what she’ll do after you resuscitate her with those paddles? Whatever they call those things. She’ll go, wow, yes. What are you doing? I’d like to do that too. I want to change. That’s what I’m telling the students.
I say, you’re going to whatever Bible Institute, Word of Life, or whichever one I’m teaching at. You’re going there temporarily. You’re trying your hardest to pass and get through all this. I would rather give you something that’s going to change the rest of your life. You want to know how you can be effective. I was just teaching, bonnie and I were in Thessalonica, actually it’s called Saloniki over there. We spent six weeks teaching in Greece and it was wonderful. We popped between or bee bopped or whatever, we flew between all the cities. I remember going to an apartment block, they all look the same, they’re just miles of them because it’s a huge city, Thessalonica is. I was talking to students, it was a field trip, and I said, do you see that apartment block? Some of you will live in one of these the rest of your life here, or wherever you are in Europe or Central Europe or Western Europe or wherever. I said, you want to know how you can transform that apartment block? Find one person in the apartment block and say, hey, I’m in this study where I’m reading the Bible and I’m learning how God is changing my life. Could I spend a few minutes every week telling you what God taught me out of the Bible and how He’s changing me? You ask about 5 or 10 people, you’ll find one just like that. They’re curious. The Bible… is changing you? I’d love to. Meet with them every week. You know what? Your little group will grow. That’s what we’re going to do.
This is my journal. This is my small group that I went through. This was our 42nd week together and I was doing Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Dominus Flevit. We read Matthew 23 to 24. That was our chapter. Actually, the chapter divisions were put in by Bishop, Stephen Langton from the church of England. Did you know that he did that in the 12th century? He’s the one that divided the Bible into chapters. There were no chapters until the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, divided it into chapters, Langton. He didn’t do a good job. He did it on a horseback and sometimes the horse went like that in his pen marked through the manuscript. There are a lot of those where the first verse of the next chapter is chopped off, but it doesn’t matter.
I started, and there is my title. Where Jesus… Every time I do this I get a new title for every chapter. That time I wrote, Where Jesus wept as He watched the end of the world swirling around Jerusalem. Then, I wrote my little summary after spending the whole week studying that chapter. I wrote, when Jesus told His disciples about the future, He built every word of it around one spot on Earth. In theological circles that message, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, is called the Olivet Discourse. Olivet, on the Mount of Olives, Discourse. It’s one of the longer sermons Christ taught. They sermon on the mount was three chapters, the Olivet Discourse was two. 24, 25. Huge passage of scripture, vital for us to understand. Jesus framed His words about the rest of history of this planet just looking at Jerusalem and all of its earthly glory spread in front of Him. In Matthew 24:1-2 He says, keep your eye on Jerusalem. That’s what He was saying to the disciples when they were all alarmed about what was happening next. Then he said to them that, in Acts 1, that He ascended from the Mount of Olives, the angel actually said. “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner.” Wow, keep your eye on Jerusalem. That’s where He ascended and that’s where He’s returning, to the Mount of Olives.
What I also show them is, because the most important thing about the Bible is understanding, I say use every tool. If you have a study Bible, this is in the back of your study Bible. You see that chart? It’s called a harmony of the Gospels. It takes Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, see the four columns, and it puts them in chronological order. You can see quadraphonically all the events. It’s fascinating to see it. All the events in the Gospels, each of the Gospel writers, primarily the synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke who talk about the same events. John, it’s like he’s in a different event. John doesn’t hardly cover anything the others cover. It’s like the students I see in school who are looking that way when I’m pointing this way. I go, what class are you in? That’s how John is, but he’s magnificent, what he does. You notice there’s hardly anything, John doesn’t even cover these in that right-hand column, any of the stuff about the sermon, the Olivet Discourse. In fact, he doesn’t cover any of it. Look at the other three, what they do.
It’s Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on His donkey. That’s Luke 19, see there in the third column? Where He wept. Actually, the Greek word is, He wailed over the city. It was a horrible moment for the crowd. They were all saying Hosannah and throwing their clothes on the ground. He’s coming on His donkey, and He stops the donkey, loudly wails. It’s one of those sounds that makes you uncomfortable. Jesus is weeping with great emotion as He saw Jerusalem. That’s how Palm Sunday, that’s how the last week of Christ’s ministry starts, this prophetic horror at what’s coming. He could see Vespasian, the General that became the Emperor, coming to quell the Jewish revolt. Then, when Nero commits suicide Vespasian, the greatest General of the day, goes back to Rome and becomes the Emperor. He leaves behind his son, Titus, the Arch of Titus in Rome, to quell the Jewish rebellion Jesus saw all that. He saw them build the seven kilometer long stockade around Jerusalem. Cutting every tree for 15 miles in every direction down and building a stockade where they basically starved them to death inside, until people would throw themselves off the walls, the Jews, or else come and say kill me because they were so horrifically emaciated, in agony, and they’d rather die quickly. The Romans crucified 500 of them a day and used even more trees. That’s why it’s still barren around there. You can see why Jesus saw that and wailed.
Then on Tuesday, He’s wailing again in chapter 23 of Matthew. Do you see that in that first column? Then He starts talking about the temple, and the future, and His second coming. He spends all the rest of the 24 and all of 25 giving these lessons. Do you see the lessons? Avoid distractions or trends. I’m coming unexpectedly. Be aware of wasting your life. Serve others like you’re serving Christ. Jesus applied the second coming in chapter 24 and 25.
Last night as we saw, He introduced all this with the Lord’s Prayer. The words of it, the petitions. Your name hallowed. Your kingdom come. Your will done. Supply, cleanse, protect, and Your everything forever. Our seven greatest needs. He said, you need to focus on Me every day. That’s the purpose of prayer, the very first thing. Our Father You’re in Heaven, You’re still on the throne. You were there all night long. While I was unconscious and sleeping and weak and unable to do anything You started today. God looks at days as the evening and the morning. God actually started today last night when you and I expired and went to sleep, unconscious, He started the day. We woke up this morning, whatever time you woke up, and He’d already started the day. He wants us to check in with Him on the throne and say, I want to focus on You. I want You to control my life. I surrender to You. I want to follow Your will through life. I want to need You so much that I need You to supply my daily bread.
That’s why America Christianity is faltering a bit, because we don’t need daily bread. Are you kidding? We store up so we can calculate if we have enough. No matter if gas gets to $7 or $12 a gallon, I can make it because I’ve got enough, we don’t need God. He said, I want you to need Me every day. I want you needing My help. Cleansing you from sin, protecting you from the evil one. Humbling ourselves. Not neglecting any of those petitions. That’s why the Lord said, “after this manner […] pray”, so every day we’re doing the same thing. We’re focusing on Him. We’re seeking His control. We’re following His will. We’re asking Him to supply us. What happens when we neglect that? We become just like the churches He checked on in Revelation. We’re going to see that later on the week. Ephesus was distracted. Pergamos was self-centered. Thyatira was doing their own thing. Laodicea was self-sufficient. He said, you are increased with goods, and you don’t need anything. What an awful place to get.
That’s why the Church flourishes in those parts of the world where it’s not comfortable, and secure, and convenient, like it is in America. When I was a pastor, I was a pastor for… let’s see, from 1977 to 2017, for 40 years. Did you know, when it rained we knew that attendance was going to be down because people just don’t want to come through the rain. When it snowed, it was really down. When the super bowl was on, I remember the elders saying, you’re not going to have Sunday evening service and the super bowl. Are you kidding? No one will come. Do you think God wants to change the schedule of the gathering of His body for a football game? We just kept on having them. You understand what I mean. We need Him. We have to be together and cleansing. The church in Sardis was defeated and the Laodiceans were proud.
I wrote in my journal the next thing, Jesus sorrowed as He described the end of the world. Christ’s judgments come to those who are unwilling to come to Him. The chief characteristic of the end of the world is, Jesus repeatedly said, beware of deception. America’s almost a prime floodgate of deception going into the world. We have more wackos on television, and the internet, and cable than anybody in the world. It’s unbelievable. Most of the cults originated in America. The Jehovah’s false Witnesses, and all the Mormons, and the Christian Scientist. All of those are American. Isn’t it amazing? Watch out for deception.
In His End of Days map. Jesus explained to the disciples that God’s wrath against sin and His love unfolds in Revelation. Revelation is the greatest revival the world has ever known. God says, and an angel attests, that the number of people getting saved out of the Tribulation couldn’t be counted. Remember that in chapter 7? He says it again in chapter 14. John says, who are all these people? There was an innumerable multitude. They’re coming up out of this time of God’s wrath against sin, but also His love poured out for the world.
By the way, we’re on the spot where Jesus wailed. We’re standing in Dominus Flevit, the spot where Jesus actually gave this Olivet discourse. Between the two olive tree limbs there, do you see the tallest building on the horizon there? Do you know what that is? That’s Mount Zion. Do you ever think about the context? I have a phonographic mind. I have pictures in my mind and I’m describing them to you. I’m a phonograph with these pictures. When Jesus was on the side of the Mount of Olives, He was looking out at Mount Zion. He was thinking about all the descriptions, what they say about Mount Zion. He thought about that. That was going to be the spot where the upper room was. It’s still remembered on the site. As he’s looking at that spot He’s thinking, I’m going to pour out My Spirit and the Church is going to go into all the world. Then these horrors, that He described we’re going to come.
Another thing that I show the students is the everything happens somewhere. That’s Bible geography. That’s geography, but Bible geography is everything in the Bible happens somewhere. Number one, that’s where Herod buried his family. That’s the Hinnom valley, that deep spot there. This is Jerusalem. If you just sliced Jerusalem from east to west, that’s what it would look like. The Hinnom valley, that’s what we think of Gehenna. The Wisemen came to Herod’s palace, that’s Mount Zion. Herod’s palace was also on Mount Zion, not just the Church of the Dormition I showed you and the upper room. Then, they filled in the valley. Solomon started it and Herod with everybody else really finished it and they built a temple there. Then, there’s that other deep valley, the Kidron Valley. Jesus is over there, number four, on the Mount of Olives, doing this Olivet Discourse.
How he got there was, do you remember it’s Tuesday and he’s already been in the temple, they left the temple and they walked up the side of the Mount of Olives, not over the top where Bethphage and Bethany are there on the backside toward the dead sea, you can’t see them on this chart. He only went up to the crest there. He was up there, at the end of that red line, looking back, as the Bible says, in Jerusalem and all of its glory, and all those buildings.
This is what it looks like today. I’m standing in the Eastern Gate. Look at the Moslem graves that are all there. They actually put those graves there because the Moslems read enough about the bible to know something. Islam comes out of the Byzantine Christendom and Muhammad’s wife, one of them, actually was a Byzantine Christian. She knew the Bible and he knew the Bible. In fact if you read, Muhammad, he used to visit byzantine church services. Byzantine that’s from the 4th century onward of the Roman Empire. They knew enough about the Bible that they knew that the King was coming back. At the Eastern gate they’d read Ezekiel 40 to 48. They said, we’re going to stop Him from coming through the Eastern gate. They put hundreds of graves right in front of the Eastern gate. Interesting. Those are all those Islamic graves. You’re looking right at that building. You see the one with the colorful people on it? That’s Gethsemane. Above it is the Russian Orthodox Gethsemane. If you follow that line along, Dominus Flevit, it is peeking out between those Cedar trees near the top.
When you walk down the same road, this is the Palm Sunday road. It’s still the road Jesus walked on; they’ve just paved it in recent years. When you walk down that, look. I’ll let you see. We’re walking down with our group. I’m holding my iPhone, see the dome of the rock and on the right is where we’re going, in those trees. That’s called Dominus Flevit.
On the way down you go by this. This is the tomb of Haggai and Zechariah. It’s right on the Palm Sunday road. Can you imagine Jesus walking down that road, what it was like? When you look to the left it’s the largest Jewish cemetery in the world, 150,000 graves. Those are the only ones that counted. They’re on top of each other. It’s the largest assemblage of Jewish people’s burial place. They all want to be by where the King is coming back.
There’s our group and we’re heading down the hill and we turn into this side. I’m only going to let you have a clip of this, but listen to this for just one second. (Video starts) I want you to come on the trip. We’re on the Mount of olives. Jesus said in verse 2, “Do you not see all these things?” Matthew 24:2 “Assuredly, I say to you,” what? What does it say in verse 2? Of all the buildings of the temple Jesus said, not even one stone is going to still be mortared and sitting blocks, like cement blocks. He said, none of those big blocks are going to be left of the temple. Guess what you’ll find when we’re on the other side, when we go through? You’re going to sit on a pile of the stones from the temple that the Romans pried, didn’t just pry the whole temple and all the buildings, they started taking the courses of stones. They took them down until they were too big to move until they got to the foundation. (End of Video)
You get the idea, that’s Matthew 24. In fact, we’re going to be going through that for the next 18 minutes. Why don’t you get in your Bibles, navigate to Matthew 24. I’m going to actually walk you through, illustrate it, and then explain it. What’s going on? What you see right here is Leen Ritmeyer, who is an amazing architect, who is a Christian, who draws all the buildings that are in the New Testament that he can build or that he can draw as an architect. This is his model of the temple in Jesus’ time. Do you see the red line? That’s the part, from the red line up, what the Romans destroyed in AD 70. What they did is, they pushed it over. Actually Jesus says, see in Matthew 24, starting in verse 2. “Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things?’ “ All that, you can see it right there, before it fell down. “Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” There is nothing from that red line up, nothing that Herod built that’s left. The Romans systematically pried, pushed, and threw down. Do you see the red circle? That’s the pile of rubble you just saw on that clip.
Here’s another view of it. The Jewish archeologists have left it. You’re looking at what is an extension of the Western Wailing Wall. You see the big pile of stones? They removed the ones in front of us. Look at how it made the one foot thick paving stones go down. They violently destroyed the temple. Here’s a closeup of what that pile of rocks looks like. In fact, I take people there and I say, hey, go and stand by that rock pile. Put your hand on it. It is the most visible fulfilled prophecy in the world. Jesus said right there in verse 2, “not one stone will be left.” He made such an impression, in verse 3 they all said, when is this going to happen? What’s next? How will it all end? 40 years later, that’s what we see today. The Romans came 40 years later. Exactly fulfilled what Jesus said, even to the point of throwing down.
Today this is from Dominus Flevit, the place where Jesus gave Matthew 24. Look what the focal point is in that picture. What would you describe as the focal point? The gold dome? Yeah. What is that? That is a monument to Islam’s triumph over Christianity. That’s why it’s there. They always build their monuments to show that they overcame Christianity. That’s why this one’s there. Do you know what the one to the left is? It’s called Al-Aqsa, it’s over the spot where the Church was born. The idea of Islam is that they are conquering. In fact, a thought for you to have is, that the Roman Empire of Jesus’ day is 80% Islamic. Did you ever think of that? Most of the Roman Empire was Northern Africa, Roman Asia’s Turkey, and the Middle East wrapping around. In 20 to 30 years most of Western Europe is going to be majority Islamic. Everybody knows that they’re having children at three and four and five times the average European birth rate, which is like 1.2 or 0.8. Europe isn’t even sustainable in their birth rate. The Islamic people, through the Arab spring, have come and they’ve filled Europe. They’re having children so fast that soon, everything that was the Roman Empire is going to be Islamic. Very interesting.
Then last night we concluded with Paul’s three-part outline of the Bible. The Bible is about Jesus as Creator, that’s the first two chapters. The bulk of the Bible is about Jesus the Redeemer, promised in Genesis 3 and then revealed fully as the Lamb that was slain, massacred in Revelation 5. What Jesus said is, I’m coming back as Judge, and he explains that right here. Let’s start going through it.
Look at Matthew 24. We’re going to start our little Bible study. These are my observations. I tell the students, I say, these are my observations and I want you to find your own observations. You can agree with mine and if you don’t see that, you find your own. Number one, Jesus explains that Satan’s many deceptions are going to be growing. This is where it is, Matthew 24:4, “And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceive you. For many will come in My name.’ “ Just because someone says they’re representing Christ you back up and you become an Acts 17, what? Verse 11, Berean. When Paul taught the Bible in Berea… I’ll never forget, Bonnie and I were standing in Berea, I was teaching a class on the site of the synagogue in Berea when six boys from the local middle school came over with their soccer ball. Bonnie didn’t want them to interrupt our class. She went over and talked to them. I’ll never forget, they were so curious. They said, why is this American here? What is he doing? Why are they filming this? She began sharing the Gospel with all these Greek Orthodox young people. I watched and boy, they all knew English. She even told them at the end, it was really sweet, she said this class, you can watch on YouTube. Instantly, all six of them pulled out their phones and they’re on YouTube. They say where? She told them, and they all turned around and were watching one of the videos of our classes. That’s how connected our world is.
Watch out. Not everybody on the internet that says they’re from Christ, is. Do what the Bereans did, as I was teaching on that day. When Paul taught the Bible, the Bereans took out their Bibles and checked him against the, what? Scriptures. Everybody back then was an expert in the Bible. Even Paul they said, I’m going to check if that agrees and is congruent and agreeing with the prophets, and with the historical books, and with all of the scriptures. We need to be like those simple 1st century, connected to the word, people. Deception’s coming.
Look at verse 11, same thing. “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Look at verse 23. “If anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do you not believe it. For false christ’s and prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive.” Remember the ultimate deceiver is a false prophet. Did you know there’s going to be a man walking on Earth in front of the Anti-Christ and he says, believe the Anti-Christ he’s the real deal. Watch, and this false prophet can call down fire from Heaven on television. The whole world is going to be watching. They’re all on their digital devices or whatever, they’re seeing it. He is calling down fire from Heaven. Wow. He can give life to an image and make it come alive. That’s what it says. Look what Jesus says, he “shows great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”
By the way, that interesting word that causes so much controversy, election, that’s the first time it shows up in the New Testament. Did you know that three times in this book alone, in this chapter alone is the word election. It would deceive the elect if possible. “Even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” Verse 26. “Therefore if anybody says to you, ‘Look, He’s in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He’s in the inner rooms!’ don’t believe it. For as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Number one, Satan’s many deceptions will grow. You can see Jesus really emphasizes that. Guess what? That’s exactly the first two verses of the Tribulation in Revelation chapter 6, it talks about the white horse and the Anti-Christ coming.
Secondly, Earth’s disasters will grow. Look at verse 6. “You’ll hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you’re not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation,” verse 7, “and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” Wait a minute, earthquakes in various places. Do you realize that news traveled at the speed of horse, back then, or the speed of chariots or the speed of wind pushing sailboats. As I said last night, there were Roman Emperors that died and they didn’t even know it in the empire for six months or more. That’s how slow. Jesus said, there’s coming a time when Earth’s disasters are going to grow. In fact, they grow at such a frequency, and intensity level, and visibility, that Luke 21 says that people are going to start having the Greek word is apopsychō. Psychō is your spirit, Apo is out. Spirit out. They’re going to die of fear. That’s what Jesus said. Beginning of sorrows, “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.” When they see the pestilence, COVID. When they see the famine, what just happened in the Ukraine? 1/4th of the wheat harvest that the world depends on. They’re going to be riots in Egypt because of the Ukrainian war. Egyptians live on Ukrainian wheat, and they’re not going to get it. They’re poor. That’s one of the poorest Arab countries in the world.
Number three, Jesus says not only are deceptions going to grow, and disasters are going to grow in His outline of the end of the world, but persecution of the saints will grow. Look at verse 9, but “they will deliver you up to Tribulation and they will kill you, you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” We’re so insulated in America. We can protest and watch Fox news and say, Texas is standing against whatever. We’re in a little bubble. I’m thankful we’re surrounded by Christians. They’re like control rods, it’s holding back the devil in his plan temporarily. You know what? God is going to allow Satan to permeate this world and it’s going to be at the end. Thankfully, I personally believe, and I hope you do too, what Jesus taught in chapter 3 of Revelation. He says that the wrath to come, the Tribulation in Revelation 3, is for the Earth dwellers. Earth dwellers is used 11 times in the book of Revelation, exclusively for lost people. Jesus said that the Tribulation is only for lost people. That’s why He told that church, the Philadelphians, that they were going to be kept from the hour. The hour is the way He talks about the Tribulation. I’m thankful that the persecution of saints, that’s the ultimate one, when demons are tormenting people and when a demon army kills 1/3 of the population of Earth, I’m thankful we will not be there burying our friends.
Guess what? It gets so bad before that, that people in 1 Peter thought they were in the Tribulation and people in 2 Thessalonians thought they were in the Tribulation. The intense persecution that precedes the Tribulation is worse than anything we’ve ever experienced, and it’s coming. If the whole world can turn against Putin in two days, can you imagine how fast the whole world can turn against us? Just get one clip of some zany Christian, someone shooting an abortion doctor in front of someone’s Tik Tok video and saying we’re shooting and killing him because he’s a baby murderer in the name of Jesus Christ. You get that on a Tik Tok video and there will be an instantaneous global revulsion. Do you understand? I know that’s hard to say because abortion is murder, but Jesus said you don’t murder the murderers, you let Me do it. Vengeance is what? The Lords. We have to be very careful that we don’t unduly cause some of the persecution. We should just be persecuted because they don’t like Christ. Jesus says they persecute. By the way, that’s exactly what Revelation 6-19 is about, hunting down Christians. There are going to be Christians on Earth. As soon as they get saved, they’re going to be killed. That’s why they’re robed in white, and have Palm branches, and are before the throne.
Number four, Jesus said the darkness of evil will grow. Look at verse 12. “Lawlessness,” chapter 24, verse 12, “will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” We’re seeing that already. Do you know, as a pastor I used to, on Sunday morning, try and get people’s attention on God. They had all been at the movie theaters on Saturday night watching Dolby surround sound, 60 feet wide and 30 feet high, screens. Watching witchcraft, and science fiction, and watching basic evil. Some of them even were watching nudity and even beyond that, it’s in all the movies. They came and they were totally as cold, and grieving of the Holy Spirit, and distant from God as possible. Then, I came to try and teach, them on Sunday morning, the Bible. Do you see what the Bible says? “Because iniquity abounds, the love of many will grow cold.” Lawlessness, iniquity. The largest purveyor of sin, iniquity, evil. 80% of pornography comes through pocket phones. Our world is pickled and growing. Parents are pacifying children with iPads when they’re born, and handing them iPhones so they won’t talk at the restaurant, so they can talk with their friends. Do you think they’re ever going to be off of this? They are absolutely addicted to the dopamine rush that comes from looking at games, and Candy Crush, and talk videos, and whatever the newest thing is going to be. Their minds are rewired and most of it, the god of this world, is filling with evil. That’s why it says, “the love of many will grow cold.” Verse 12. “But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
Look at the good news, “this Gospel of the kingdom.” Let’s get there before we go. Jesus explains that even in these dangerous times, the spread of the Gospel will grow. That’s verse 14. See it? “And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Revelation 7, God deploys the 144,000. If you know anything about Israel right now, 1 million Jews left Russia and came to Israel in the 80’s. Y’all remember that? You’re all old enough to remember that. Did you know, now that the entire military, the entire political establishment, they are predominantly Russian Jews. Predominantly, all the people you read about in the news either they, if they’re old, came or their parents came in the 80’s from Russia, but what’s happened is, those Russian Jews are not mostly Orthodox. They’re just Jews, they’re ethnic Jews. Ministries have had the most amazing inroads in. Bonnie and I have been, you go up to Nazareth, there’s a seminary teaching Israelis how to church plant. You go down into Beersheba, in that area there are Jewish Christians. standing like Americans, do protesting stuff. They’re standing with Gospel placards by the road. In the news, in Israel, the Israeli news is showing pictures of Jewish Messianic Christians with cards. They’re holding about Jesus Christ and pleading with their brothers and sisters come to Christ. There are more churches being planted today in Israel than you would. I don’t think they’ve been like that since the Apostle Paul was heading up the movement. Because of that, in Revelation 7 there’s going to be these literal Jewish converts to Christ.
Who are the 144,000? It could be some of them are alive right now. Maybe there’s holding placards in Beersheba. Then in chapter 11, we have the two witnesses. Probably Moses and Elijah, but the Lord doesn’t tell us, so it doesn’t matter. We don’t speculate. Chapter 14, we’re back to the 144,000. They’re having this countless multitude in front of them that have come. It says that they go to everywhere in the world and they personally talk face to face. The beast cannot kill them. They’re invulnerable. They are able to speak every language. They are what was prophesied, that they are going to have the Spirit of God on them. They’re going to not only the nation of Israel, but the world. Look what happens in chapter 15, the unbelievable spread of the Gospel that ends in chapter 16, where the Gospel angel comes. You realize that, when God is hurling down 100 pound hailstones and squashing everybody, and killing, and the demon army is killing anybody that the hailstones don’t get, God sends an angel, in chapter 16. Who is with a loud voice sharing the plan of salvation to every human on Earth. He’s low enough to be heard. It’s like the Gospel blimp and he speaks. God says the spread of the Gospel is going to grow until it crescendos in the Tribulation. We’re a part of it and I’m thankful for Word of Life, and Wycliffe, and everybody that’s just spreading the Gospel. Wait until God takes over and sends His army and more get saved.
Then Jesus explains that Satan’s plan to visibly rule the world through the Anti-Christ grows. That’s verse 15. “Therefore when you see the’ abomination of desolation,’ “ that’s the Anti-Christ spoken by Daniel. Did you know that Daniel was Jesus’ favorite, prophetic prophet? It’s the only one. He names by name. He says, just like Daniel said. Jesus verified, everything Daniel said. Boy, Daniel gives us the map and said, there are only going to be four empires. You all know that because you studied Daniel and labeled every chapter, right? Found every application, so you know? I’m treating you like students. Keep going. “Standing in the holy place.” The holy place, that means Jesus saw a temple in Jerusalem. A real Jewish temple that’s offering sacrifices in Jerusalem, that the Anti-Christ enters. You know what that means? Jesus was a dispensationalist. I think he invented it. Did you ever think about that? He believed there’s a difference between Israel and the Church. He believed there’s a future for Israel, that they’re really going to have a temple. It’s really going to be in Jerusalem. They’re really going to re-institute sacrifices. The Anti-Christ is going to cut them off and stop them from doing it. That’s what He says here, verse 16. “Let him who is in Judea flee to the mountains,” and on and on it goes.
One last one, and then we can go. Jesus explains that God the Son will return and end the rule of sin. That’s Matthew 24:27-31. That’s what you see in Revelation 19 to 22. Basically, everything Jesus said, false christ’s that’s what Revelation 6 says, the white horse. War, that’s the red horse. Famine, Matthew 24:7 is the black horse. Death, is the pale horse. The martyrdom of saints, that’s the fifth seal. Then all those horrible signs that Jesus Chronicles in Luke 21, that’s basically the seals.
Remember I told you, you walked by Zechariah’s tomb. Remember what Zechariah said? When Jesus touches the Mount of Olives, there is an earthquake, fault line. The oil, the petroleum geologist, I got this from a friend of mine who’s a petroleum geologist. He said, it’s in our map, we know right where the fault lines are because we’ve had to do geological surveys of Israel looking for oil. He said, it’s curious that there is an exact east /west fault line right through the Mount of Olives. I said, Zechariah knew that before you had, the soundings, that you found that. I know that it splits and moves to the north and south so that the water from under the throne goes to the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. All that’s going to happen right there.
What Jesus said, and this is where we’re going to go tomorrow, “When you see all these things,” verse 33, the verse 8 birth pangs, when you see all those things happening at once, all of them, know that I’m coming back.
What are those? You’re going to see global diseases getting more lethal. Didn’t we just go through that global warming? It’s going to get hotter. Did you know the Western United States is on the 1,000 year drought? They look in tree rings. There was a drought like we’re facing right now a thousand years ago, it’s in the Bristle Cone Pines. They can see the tiny rings that the trees didn’t even grow for hundreds of years because they didn’t get enough water. It’s coming back to the west. The Indian survived it because they were only in small groups. When you have millions of people sitting in the middle of the desert, living on the Colorado river that’s shrinking faster than ever. Lake Mead is almost gone. They’re going to stop hydroelectric production on Lake Mead because it’s too low. Jesus said there’s going to be global water shortages, food scarcity. Read the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg. They’re scared to death of the rippling effect of the Ukrainian war. Have you looked at corn prices? Have you looked at wheat prices? Wheat prices have gone up so fast. You would have made more than Google or Apple if you would have gotten wheat futures. Global conflicts, they’re going to be bigger and deadlier. The global hatred for Christ and us who follow Him, it’s going to get more severe. It says that the Anti-Christ keeps people from buying and selling.
We are so surrounded by global facial recognition. Did you know our home where we live a month, a year, if someone walks up to the garage Bonnie gets a notice on her phone from Nest that says, stranger at door, or it says daughter at door, or husband at door. That doorbell is watching, and it knows everybody’s faces. It has a log of everybody that’s comes up there. It compares and tells me who’s coming, and it costs $79. Can you imagine what the people that want to control the world have? Their facial recognition? It’s just going to get more complete.
We have to stop. This is tomorrow. I’ll just start it. (Video Starts) The temple behind me, the Dome of the Rock area there, He brought them up here on Tuesday and delivered what is called the Olivet Discourse. (End of video) I won’t show you that until tomorrow. What are we supposed to do about how it all ends? Are we supposed to say, are You bringing in the kingdom now Lord, what’s next? Is it Putin or what he says? No. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses.” That’s what He left us to do. Let’s bow.
Father, I pray that we would be emboldened to cry out to You. To say, fill me again, fill me fuller than I’ve ever been before. I want to love You more than I’ve ever loved You in my life. I want to serve You like this is my last day. I want to be that good and faithful servant that You find doing what You left me to do. As we see the trends, the birth pangs ramping up, now You might not come for another hour, or another week, or another month, or another year, or another decade, it doesn’t matter. No matter how bad it gets, I know why we’re here. I know what You called us to do. We want to obey You. In the name of Jesus, and all God’s people said, Amen.