Matthew 24:1 KJV  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

PNT: From the temple,i.e.., the exclusively Jewish part, inclosed from the court of the Gentiles. He never returned, and henceforth the temple was virtually desolate. The Apostles returned, holding out mercy still; the last rejection recorded is that of Paul (Act_21:27 ff.), who was even accused of polluting it

Was departing. He lingered for a time.

His disciples. Mark (Mar_13:1): ‘one of his disciples.’

To shew him the buildings of the temple,i.e.., all the structures in the inclosure (see note on p. 171), especially the stones (comp. Mark and Luke), as His answer (Mat_24:2) indicates. The immense stones (some of them forty-five cubits long, five high, and six broad) could be best seen from the court of the Gentiles; so also the great number of outer structures, some of them still in process of erection. The latter fact gives additional point to the prediction.

Guzik:His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple: This temple was originally rebuilt by Zerubbabel and Ezra (Ezr_6:15), but greatly expanded and improved by Herod. It was the center of Jewish life for almost a thousand years – so much so, that it was customary to swear by the temple (Mat_23:16), and speaking against the temple could be considered blasphemy (Act_6:13).

i. After Herod’s work, the temple was huge – nearly 500 yards long and 400 yards wide. Herod’s rebuilding work started in 19 b.c., and was only completed in 63 a.d., taking more than eighty years. The temple was finished only seven years before it was destroyed.

ii. But the temple wasn’t just big, it was also beautiful. The Jewish historian Josephus says that the temple was covered on the outside with gold plates, that were so brilliant that when the sun shone on them, it was blinding to look at. Where there was no gold, there were blocks of marble of such a pure white that strangers, from a distance, thought there was snow on the temple.

Mark 13:1 (TPT) As Jesus was leaving the temple courts, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! And what tremendous stones were used to build all this!”

Benson: See what manner of stones, &c. — Our Lord, in the conclusion of his lamentation over Jerusalem, (Mat_23:38-39,) had declared that the temple should never be favoured with his presence any more; a declaration which, doubtless, appeared very strange to the disciples, and affected them much. For which reason they stopped him as he was going away, and desired him to see what a fine, sumptuous building the temple was: insinuating, probably, that they were surprised to hear him talk of leaving it desolate, for that so rich and glorious a fabric ought not to be deserted rashly.

Guzik:  Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

iv. The comment of the disciples – see what manner of stones and what buildings are here – is especially appropriate given the massive stones Herod used in building the temple. Today, tourists can see some of these massive stones, at least the ones used to build merely the retaining wall for the temple compound. These cut, quarried blocks of limestone are so big – some are 50 feet wide, 25 feet high, and 15 feet deep – that modern construction cranes could not life them. Archaeologists are still not completely certain how these stones were cut, transported, and placed with such precision that they don’t even need mortar.

v. As great as the temple was, Jesus never hesitated to claim that He was greater than the temple (Mat_12:5). For man Jews of that day, the temple had become an idol – it subtly began to mean more to the people than God Himself meant. The temple was a good thing, but good things can become the worst idols; and sometimes God sours even good things that we allow to become our idols. God is in the habit of destroying our idols.

Matthew 24:2 KJV  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Guzik: Not one stone shall be left here upon another: Some 40 years after Jesus said this, there was a widespread Jewish revolution against the Romans in Palestine, and they enjoyed many early successes. But ultimately, Rome crushed the rebels. In 70 a.d. Jerusalem was leveled, including the temple – just as Jesus said.
i. It is said that at the fall of Jerusalem, the last surviving Jews of the city fled to the temple, because it was the strongest, most secure building in the city. Roman soldiers surrounded it, and one drunken soldier started a fire that soon engulfed the whole building. Ornate gold detail work in the roof melted down in the cracks between the stone walls of the temple, and to retrieve the gold, the Roman commander ordered that the temple be dismantled stone by stone. The destruction was so complete that today they have true difficulty learning exactly where the temple was.
d. That shall not be thrown down: This prophecy was fulfilled literally. There was a real temple, and it was really destroyed. The literal fulfillment of this prophecy establishes the tone for the rest of the prophecies in the chapter. We should expect a literal fulfillment for these as well.

VWS: Thrown down (καταλυθῇ) Rather, loosened down. A very graphic word, implying gradual demolition.

Barnes:There shall not be left here one stone upon another – At the time this was spoken, no event was more improbable than this. The temple was vast, rich, splendid. It was the pride of the nation, and the nation was at peace. Yet in the short space of 40 years all this was accomplished exactly. Jerusalem was taken by the Roman armies, under the command of Titus, 70 a.d. The account of the siege and destruction of the city is left us by Josephus, a historian of undoubted veracity and singular fidelity. He was a Jewish priest. In the wars of which he gives an account, he fell into the hands of the Romans, and remained with them during the siege and destruction of the city. Being a Jew, he would of course say nothing designed to confirm the prophecies of Jesus Christ; yet his whole history appears almost like a running commentary on these predictions respecting the destruction of the temple. The following particulars are given on his authority:

After the city was taken, Josephus says that Titus “gave orders that they should now “demolish the whole city and temple,” except three towers, which he reserved standing. But for the rest of the wall, it was laid so completely even with the ground by those who “dug it up from the foundation,” that there was nothing left to make those believe who came hither that it had ever been inhabited.” Maimonides, a Jewish writer, has also recorded that “Terentius Rufus, an officer in the army of Titus, with a plowshare tore up the foundations of the temple, that the prophecy might be fulfilled, ‘Zion shall be plowed as a field,’” Mic_3:12. This was all done by the direction of divine Providence. Titus was desirous of preserving the temple, and frequently sent Josephus to the Jews to induce them to surrender and save the temple and city. But the prediction of the Saviour had gone forth, and, notwithstanding the wish of the Roman general, the temple was to be destroyed. The Jews themselves first set fire to the porticoes of the temple. One of the Roman soldiers, without any command, threw a burning firebrand into the golden window, and soon the temple was in flames. Titus gave orders to extinguish the fire; but, amid the tumult, none of the orders were obeyed. The soldiers pressed to the temple, and neither fear nor entreaties, nor stripes could restrain them. Their hatred of the Jews urged them on to the work of destruction, and thus, says Josephus, the temple was burned against the will of Caesar. – Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 4, section 5-7.

Clarke: The temple was destroyed,
1st. Justly; because of the sins of the Jews.
2dly. Mercifully; to take away from them the occasion of continuing in Judaism: and
3dly. Mysteriously; to show that the ancient sacrifices were abolished, and that the whole Jewish economy was brought to an end, and the Christian dispensation introduced.

CTR:There shall not be left — The emperor Julian the Apostate endeavored to rebuild the temple in AD 363 to defy this prophecy, but his design was frustrated by an earthquake and fire bursting forth from the foundation walls of the thrown down temple.

Matthew 24:3 KJV  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Guzik: 2. (Mat_24:3) Jesus’ prediction brings up two questions.
When will these things be? Jesus said the temple would be completely destroyed. It was logical that the disciples wanted to know when it would happen.

  1. Matthew does not record Jesus’ answer to this first question, but Luke does in Luk_21:8-23.

And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? The disciples may have thought they asked only one question. In their minds, the destruction of the temple and the end of the age might have been tied together. But really, they asked two questions, and this second question is answered in the remainder of the chapter.

i. It may also be that this second question was asked as they remembered the events surrounding the last temple’s destruction: the temple was destroyed in the context of national judgment and exile.

3. As Jesus answers this important second question, He will make many specific comments and predictions about the end times. These predictions have been the source of tremendous disagreement among Christians who have tried to understand them. Why didn’t Jesus simply say it so clearly that there was no possibility anyone could misunderstand Him?
a. One reason why prophecy may seem “vague” is because God wants every age to have reasons to be ready for Jesus return. We should not think of Jesus’ return as an event far off on a time line, but something we have been running parallel with since the day of Pentecost.

b. Others have suggested that God’s intention was to keep the future somewhat vague and clouded to confound the Devil, even as the resurrection of the Messiah was vague in the Old Testament.

CTR:Tell us when — Perhaps remembering that Jesus’ first advent had been obscure and unrecognized by many. Asking three distinct questions, each of which received separate answers.

These things be — The destruction of the temple, etc.  

Shall be the sign — Indication. What sign would be needed of Christ’s presence, if he were visible.

Of thy coming — Greek, parousia, a being alongside, presence. The Greek word parousia invariably signifies “personal presence,” as having come, arrived. It never signifies to “be on the way,” as we use the word “coming.”

Whedon’s Commentary, page 277, says: “The word parousia never, in the whole New Testament, signifies anything else than presence.” Liddell and Scott and Young’s Concordance concur.

End of the world — End of the age. The Greek word aion does not mean this globe, or this general order of things, but an era or age.

The Greek word suntelia, translated “end,” does not mean a “point,” but a “period of time.” The same word is used in Mat_13:39, “The harvest is the end [suntelia] of the age.”

The sign of the presence is the sign of the time of harvest, one sign for two things. The worker and the work are related to each other.  

Comment: Looking at these questions we see that the disciples were given a lot more information than we have. They understood that Jesus’ Parousia would require signs because it would not be seen or understood by the world at large.

Mar_10:30  But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

Luk_18:30  Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

2Pe 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Mark 13:3  (Will)As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew, in a private group, were asking Him,

Guzik:  (Mar_13:3-4) Jesus’ prediction brings up two questions in the minds of His disciples.
As He sat on the Mount of Olives: The Mount of Olives is a hill that rises above the temple mount. In between the temple mount and the Mount of Olives there is a small valley, the Kidron Valley. You can stand on the Mount of Olives and have see a dramatic view of the temple mount.

JFB: And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, over against the temple — On their way from Jerusalem to Bethany they would cross Mount Olivet; on its summit He seats Himself, over against the temple, having the city all spread out under His eye. How graphically is this set before us by our Evangelist!

Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately — The other Evangelists tell us merely that “the disciples” did so. But Mark not only says that it was four of them, but names them; and they were the first quarternion of the Twelve.

Mark 13:4 (Wey)  “Tell us, When will these things be? and what will be the sign when all these predictions are on the point of being fulfilled?”

Gill: and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? And what is the sign of his coming, and of the end of the world, as Matthew relates; See Gill on Mat_24:3.

Guzik: Tell us, when will these things be? As Jesus sat with His disciples on the Mount of Olives, they could see the majestic structure of the temple. With this view, the first question in the mind of the disciples was about the destruction of the temple. Jesus said it would be destroyed, and they wanted to know when. Mark does not record Jesus’ answer to this first question, but Luke does in Luk_21:8-23.

What will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled? The second question is answered in the remainder of Mark 13.

This question was asked perhaps as they remembered the events surrounding the last temple’s destruction: the temple was destroyed in the context of national judgment and exile. If the temple will be destroyed, then what will become of Israel and the Jews?

Matthew 24:4 KJV  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Matthew 24:5 KJV  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:6 KJV  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.

Matthew 24:7 KJV  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Matthew 24:8 KJV  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Guzik: B. The flow of history until Jesus’ return.
1. (Mat_24:4-8) Jesus describes general world conditions during the period between His Ascension and the time immediately preceding His second coming.

a. Take heed that no one deceives you: From the outset, Jesus warns the disciples that many will be deceived as they anticipate His return. There have been times in the history of the church when rash predictions were made and relied on, and resulted in tremendous disappointment, disillusionment, and falling way.

b. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet: The kind of things Jesus mentions in this section are not the things that specific signs of the end. Things like false messiahs, warsfaminespestilences, and earthquakes have certainly marked man’s history since the time of Jesus’ Ascension – but were not specific signs of the end. In effect, Jesus says “Catastrophes will happen, but these will not signal the end.”
i. In the midst of any great war or any great famine or any great earthquake, it is natural to believe that the world is coming to an end. But Jesus says there is a far more specific sign we should look for.

c. All these are the beginning of sorrows: Though none of those events are the specific sign of the end of the age, collectively they are a sign. When Jesus described these calamities as the beginning of sorrows He literally called them the beginning of labor pains. Just as is true with labor pains, we should expect that the things mentioned – warsfaminesearthquakes, and so on – would become more frequent and more intense before the return of Jesus.

CTR: Jesus answered — Verses 1 to 14 cover the entire Gospel age; verses 15 to 22 have a double application, literally to the close of the Jewish age and figuratively to the end of the Gospel age of which the Jewish age was a shadow; verses 23 to 26 contain words of warning against false Christs and, in verse 27, our Lord reaches their question regarding his parousia.

The Master traces various experiences of his people down to the consummation of the Gospel age. 

Take heed — To put us on guard against some who would assume his name (Christ-ians) and deceive many by saying that the Kingdom of God has come.

That no man deceive — A sign will enable those who obey this injunction to discern between the false and the true. 
Come in my name — “Many will assume my name.” (Diaglott)  

Saying, I am Christ — Evidently refers to pseudo-Christs who have arisen during the Gospel age, but before the closing part of the age. 

Not Sabbathai Levi of Smyrna, with his 400 prophets, is here meant, but whoever claims headship of the church, as Pope, Czar, Synod, and especially the coming Image of the Beast. (Rev_13:15)  They say, We are Christ’s vicegerents, his representatives; our Church is the body of Christ and his rightful and promised representative to rule and conquer the world. 

Gamaliel mentions two of these false Christs in his speech referred to in Act_5:36,37. 

Not only have false christ systems, antichrists, arisen, flourished and deceived many, but many individual false teachers have also arisen. 

Deceive many — By unrestrained fallen angels, with power to counterfeit and personate humanity. 

Rumors of wars — Threats, intrigues of wars. Wars, which have continued all through the age, are not the particular thing the Master had in mind when he referred to the great time of trouble. 

Must come to pass — The physical convulsions are as needful and as proper as the moral and social upheavals. As long as Satan rules the world, strife, war, and confusion must reign.

End is not yet — The mere fact of war should prove nothing to the Lord’s people respecting the consummation of the age. We are otherwise guided.

Shall be famines — Famines, pestilences and earthquakes are not to be regarded specially as signs of the end. R605:5

Earthquakes — Revolutions. 

Famines and earthquakes have in all ages given evidence that not only man, but his home, the earth, is under the curse.

Beginning of sorrows — Primary sorrows, the secular history of the Gospel age. The start of trouble much more intense

Clarke: Take heed that no man deceive you – The world is full of deceivers, and it is only by taking heed to the counsel of Christ that even his followers can escape being ruined by them. From this to Mat_24:31, our Lord mentions the signs which should precede his coming.

The First sign is false Christs.
The Second sign, wars and commotions.
The Third sign, pestilence and famine.
The Fourth sign, earthquakes or popular commotions.
The Fifth sign, fearful portents.

All these are the beginning of sorrows – Ωδινων, travailing pains. The whole land of Judea is represented under the notion of a woman in grievous travail; but our Lord intimates, that all that had already been mentioned were only the first pangs and throes, and nothing in comparison of that hard and death-bringing labor, which should afterwards take place.

Mark 13:5  (TPT) Jesus answered, “At that time deception will run rampant. So beware that you’re not fooled!

Guzik:  Take heed that no one deceives you: Jesus points out the trial that can come to His followers from false messiahs, who come in His name. They will pretend to be Jesus, or representatives of Jesus, but will not be true representatives of Jesus at all.

CTR yourselves, what ye say and do (verse 9); to what I have told you (verse 23) and, watch and pray (verse 33).

Gill: And Jesus answered and said unto them,…. Not to indulge their curiosity, but to instruct them in things useful to be known, and which might be cautions to them and others, against deceivers; confirm them in the faith of himself, when they should see his predictions accomplished; and be directions to them, of what might shortly be expected.

Take heed that no man deceive you: by pretending to come from God with a new revelation, setting himself up for the Messiah, after my departure; suggesting himself to be the person designed by God to be the deliverer of Israel, and to be sent by him, to set up a temporal kingdom, in great worldly splendour and glory; promising great names, and high places of honour and trust in it; things which Christ knew his disciples were fond of, and were in danger of being ensnared by; and therefore gives them this suitable and seasonable advice, and caution.

Do you take heed?

How do you do make sure you are not fooled?

Mark 13:6 (TPT)  For many will appear on the scene claiming my authority or saying about themselves, ‘I am God’s Anointed,’ and they will lead many astray.

CTR:  Saying, I am Christ — Not the fanatics who from time to time have claimed to be Christ and have deceived but few, but the great church systems of men which have so counterfeited the genuine Messiah (Head and Body) as to partially deceive many.

JFB: and shall deceive many — “Go ye not therefore after them” (Luk_21:8). The reference here seems not to be to pretended Messiahs, deceiving those who rejected the claims of Jesus, of whom indeed there were plenty – for our Lord is addressing His own genuine disciples – but to persons pretending to be Jesus Himself, returned in glory to take possession of His kingdom. This gives peculiar force to the words, “Go ye not therefore after them.”

Mark 13:7 (TPT)  You will hear rumors of wars nearby, with more rumors of wars to come. Make sure that you are not thrown into a panic or give in to your fears, for these things are destined to happen. Prepare for it, but still the end is not yet.

CTR:  Ye shall hear of wars — Thus briefly did our Lord summarize secular history and teach the disciples not to expect very soon his second coming and glorious kingdom.

Gill: be not troubled; keep your place, abide by your work, go on preaching the Gospel, without distressing yourselves about the event of things: for such things must needs be: being decreed by God, foretold by Christ, and made necessary by the sins of the people:

Isaiah 8:11-13  For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,  12  Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.  13  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Are you afraid? Are you too afraid to preach the Word?

Mark 13:8 (TPT)  For nations will go to war against each other and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be terrible earthquakes in place after place—seismic events of epic proportion. And there will be famines and riots. This is how the first contractions and birth pains of the new age will begin.”

JFB: These are the beginnings of sorrows — “of travail-pangs,” to which heavy calamities are compared. (See Jer_4:31, etc.). The annals of Tacitus tell us how the Roman world was convulsed, before the destruction of Jerusalem, by rival claimants of the imperial purple.

Guzik: Wars and rumors of wars: Jesus reminds us that before He returns, there will be many wars and threats of war on the earth. In troubled times, many people assume that the end of the age is near but Jesus said that wars and rumors of wars are not signs of the end.

“Our Lord’s outlook upon this age was not that of one in which there should be a gradual cessation of strife between the nations, by the victory of the preaching of His Gospel, until the whole earth should be reduced by that preaching to a condition of peace.” (Morgan)

Such things must happen, but the end is not yet: Things such as false messiahs, wars, famines and earthquakes have certainly marked man’s history since the time of Jesus’ Ascension. In effect, Jesus is saying, “Catastrophes will happen, but these do not signal the end.”
Man has often thought that such things would mean the end, but Jesus will point out a more specific sign to look for.

ii. It’s plain that Jesus intended His followers to endure through such times. Could they shake your faith? Would a war, a famine, a earthquake, or some other catastrophe shake your faith?

d. These are the beginning of sorrows: Jesus said these calamites were not specific signs of the end, but that they were the beginning of sorrows, which is literally the beginning of labor pains. The idea is both of giving birth to a new age, and perhaps implying an increase of intensity and frequency in these calamities.

Benson: All these are the beginning of sorrows — Greek, ωδινων. The expression properly signifies the pains of child-bearing, which at the beginning are but light in comparison of what they become afterward. Therefore our Lord’s meaning was, that the evils which he mentioned were but small in comparison of those which were yet to fall upon the nation.

CTR: Kingdom against kingdom — It will be the thorough transition from the reign of sin and death to the reign of righteousness and life which will cause the great time of trouble Marking the closing of the Gospel age.

And troubles — The great time of trouble.

Matthew 24:9 KJV  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.

CTR: Then — During that same period, the Gospel age.

Deliver you up — Here the Lord separates the history of the true Church and states it with similar brevity.

To be afflicted — The faithful servants of the Lord will be ostracized by the world, as our Lord foretold.

What will cause us to be hated by all?

Popular NT: Then, i.e., ‘during this time,’ not ‘after this.’ See Luk_21:12.
They shall deliver you up, etc. Soon literally fulfilled. But it may now be referred to the spirit of persecution, always latent in the world and to break out in the last times.
Hated of all the nations. (Mark and Luke: ‘of all men;’ comp. chap. Mat_10:22). The Roman historian Tacitus speaks of the early Christians as a hated race of men. But to be universally abhorred is not a proof of being a Christian. It must be for my name’s sake. This hatred has not ceased; it will probably manifest itself anew in startling form.

Mark 13:9 (TPT)  “Be on your guard! For they will repeatedly hand you over to the ruling councils, and you will be beaten in public gatherings. And you will stand trial before kings and high-ranking governmental leaders as an opportunity to testify to them on my behalf.

Russell: But take heed — Thus Jesus forewarned how we would be treated.

Deliver you up — During that same period, the Gospel age.

Guzik:Watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils: Jesus tells His disciples to be prepared for the persecution that will come against them before the end comes. This persecution is not the sign of the end, but simply should be expected.

Benson:Take heed to yourselves — Walk circumspectly, and arm yourselves both with patience and fortitude, that you may be able to perform your duty amid all the opposition and persecution which you shall meet with. For they shall deliver you up to councils, &c. — See note on Mat_10:17; Mat_24:9.

And in the synagogues ye shall be beaten — “It is certain,” says Whitby, “both from Scripture and the Jewish writers, that whipping and beating were punishments used in the synagogues of the Jews. Thus Paul says, he punished the Christians oft in every synagogue, Act_26:11; and that he did beat in the synagogue those that believed, Act_22:19 : and that it was usual to whip both their wise men and their disciples, when they had acted perversely, in their synagogues, is fully proved by Campegius Vitringa de Synag. Ver.”

And ye shall be brought before rulers and kings — Thus Peter and John were called before the sanhedrim; James and Peter before Herod; and Paul before Nero the emperor, as well as before the Roman governors, Gallio, Felix, and Festus; and some were beaten, as Peter and John, (Act_5:40,) Paul and Silas.

For a testimony against them — The persecutions which you shall suffer shall become a glorious proof, both of your innocence, and of their guilt in rejecting the gospel. See note on Mat_10:18.

VWS:Shall ye be beaten (δαρήσεσθε)
The verb literally means to skin or flay, and by a slang usage, like our phrase to tan or hide, comes to mean to cudgel or beat.

Matthew 24:10 KJV  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Matthew 24:9 TPT  “You can expect to be persecuted, even killed; for you will be hated by all the nations because of your love for me.

Matthew 24:10 TPT  Then many will stop following me and fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another.

Popular NT:Then shall many be offended, or ‘fall away.’ The Apostles understood this of the first century; see the repeated warnings against apostasy in the Epistles. The fulfilment will culminate in the last days.
Deliver up one anotheri.e., to tribunals, to heathen magistrates, as was the case in Apostolic times. A natural development of apostasy, then, and to be repeated before ‘the end’ comes.
Hate one another. Whenever apostasy occurs, this recurs, since this is the opposite of Christian love. The Great Apostasy (2Th_2:3) will thus manifest itself.

Offend: G4624
Σκανδαλίζω skandalizō
To “scandalize”; from G4625; to entrap, that is, trip up (figuratively stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): – (make to) offend.
Total KJV occurrences: 30

Hate: G3404
Μισέω miseō
From a primary word μῖσος misos (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less: – hate (-ful).
Total KJV occurrences: 42

Guzik: 2. (Mat_24:9-14) Jesus describes what His disciples must expect during the time between His Ascension and Second Coming.

They will deliver you to tribulation and kill you: In the period after Jesus ascends to heaven and before He comes again, His disciples should expect to be persecuted. But this is not the specific sign of His return.

Luke 21:10-19 KJV
10  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
11  And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
13  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
14  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
15  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
18  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19  In your patience possess ye your souls.

Mark 13:11 (TPT)  “So when they put you under arrest and hand you over for trial, don’t even give one thought about what you will say. Simply speak what the Holy Spirit gives you at that very moment. And realize that it won’t be you speaking but the Holy Spirit repeatedly speaking through you.

Guzik: When they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak: Jesus tells His followers to not worry about what to say when they are “put on the spot” for being a follower of Jesus. At that moment, the Holy Spirit will give them words to say.
i. A powerful example of this principle is found in Act_4:1-22, where Peter and the other disciples make a dramatic proclamation of Jesus before the hostile Sanhedrin.
ii. Jesus speaks here of the inspiration that comes at a moment of persecution, not teaching in the church. “There is no excuse for the lazy preacher who fails to prepare his sermon out of the mistaken reliance upon the Holy Spirit.” (Robertson)

Barnes: Neither do ye premeditate – Do not think beforehand, or “prepare” an answer. You know not what the accusations will be, and God will furnish you with a reply that shall be adapted to the occasion.

Not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit – This is a full promise that they should be inspired, and consequently their defenses recorded in the Acts of the Apostles are the words of the Holy Spirit. … They were illiterate, unknown, without power. They were unfit of themselves to make the important statements of religion which were requisite, but God gave them power, and they spake with a wisdom, fearlessness, pungency, and ability which no other men have ever manifested – full proof that these illiterate fishermen were under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Benson: Take no thought what ye shall speak — Be not solicitous beforehand what ye shall say in your defence, to vindicate yourselves and your religion from the unrighteous charges and aspersions of your enemies.

Gill:but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour; whatever shall be immediately suggested to your thoughts, be put into your minds, and laid upon your hearts:
that speak ye; freely and boldly without the fear of men:

Mark 13:12 (TPT)  Brothers will betray each other unto death—even a father his child. Children will rise up to take a stand against their parents and have them put to death.

Guzik: Knowing how Christians have stood for Jesus during the centuries, and how our brothers and sisters are being persecuted all over the world, what kind of a stand to we make for Jesus? Do we advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ with our “leftovers”?

Gill: And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death,…. Christ having fortified the minds of his disciples by the foregoing promises of divine influence and assistance, proceeds to open more largely and particularly the sorrows, troubles, and afflictions they must expect would attend the faithful ministration of his Gospel; as, that the true followers of Christ should not only be persecuted and betrayed, and delivered up into the hands of the civil magistrate, by persons that were strangers to them; but even by their nearest relations, brethren, whom the nearness of blood, should oblige to the tenderest regards to each other, to the securing of property and preserving of life: these should deliver up those that were so nearly related to them in the bonds of consanguinity, into the hands persecuting men in power, in order to be put to death; than which scarce anything can be more barbarous and unnatural, though the next instances exceed it:

and the father the child, and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. The father laying aside his natural affection for his child, whom he has begotten, and brought up, and has took so much care of, and delight in, and perhaps his only one, his son aud heir; and yet, professing a faith different from his, such is his blind zeal and bigotry, that, breaking through all the ties of parental relation and affection, he delivers him up into the hands of wicked magistrates, to put him to death: and, on the other hand, children, forgetting the bonds they are in, and the obligations they lie under to their aged parents, rise up against them, and either with their own hands murder them, or appear as witnesses against them, and give their hearty consent to the taking away of their lives; even of them who have been the means and instruments of bringing them into the world, and of bringing them up in it. This shows the sad corruption of human nature, its enmity to the Gospel of Christ, and the inveterate malice and hatred of Satan against Christ, and his interest.

Barnes:And the brother shall deliver up the brother … – Were there no evidence that this had been done, it would scarcely be “credible.” The ties which bind brothers and sisters, and parents and children together, are so strong that it could scarcely be believed that division of sentiment on religious subjects would cause them to forget these tender relations. Yet history assures us that this has been often done. If this be so, then how inexpressibly awful must be the malignity of the human heart by nature against religion! Nothing else but this dreadful opposition to God and his gospel ever has induced or ever can induce people to violate the most tender relations, and consign the best friends to torture, racks, and flames. It adds to the horrors of this, that those who were put to death in persecution were tormented in the most awful modes that human ingenuity could devise. They were crucified; were thrown into boiling oil; were burned at the stake; were roasted slowly over coals; were compelled to drink melted lead; were torn in pieces by beasts of prey; were covered with pitch and set on fire. Yet, dreadful as this prediction was, it was fulfilled; and, incredible as it seems, parents and children, husbands and wives, were found wicked enough to deliver up each other to these cruel modes of death on account of attachment to the gospel. Such is the opposition of the heart of man to the gospel! That hostility which will overcome the strong ties of natural affection, and which will be satisfied with nothing else to show its power, can be no slight opposition to the gospel of God.

Mark 13:13 (TPT)  Expect to be hated by all because of your allegiance to the cause that bears my name. But determine to be faithful to the end and you will be saved.”

Guzik: He who endures to the end shall be savedEndures translates the ancient Greek word hupomeno, which literally means to “remain under.” When trials and persecution are swirling about, we can’t be so desperate for an escape that we will compromise. Instead, we must remain under.

PNT: Endureth. In the confession of Christ (‘for my name’s sake’). Confessor once meant martyr! When Mark wrote, martyrdom was common. Suffering for Christ’s sake has not ceased.

Gill: And ye shall be hated of all men,…. Not only of your friends and relations of your countrymen the Jews; but of all men, the generality of men, in, all nations of the world, wherever they came:
for my name’s sake; for the sake of Christ and his Gospel, they professed and preached:

but he that shall endure; reproaches, afflictions, and persecutions, patiently; or persevere in the faith of Christ, in the profession of his name, and in preaching his Gospel:

to the end; of such troubles, and of life:

the same shall be saved; if not with a temporal, yet with an everlasting salvation;

JFB:And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake — Matthew (Mat_24:12) adds this important intimation: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many” – “of the many,” or “of the most,” that is, of the generality of professed disciples – “shall wax cold.” Sad illustrations of the effect of abounding iniquity in cooling the love even of faithful disciples we have in the Epistle of James, written about the period here referred to, and too frequently ever since.

but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved — See on Mat_10:21, Mat_10:22; and compare Heb_10:38, Heb_10:39, which is a manifest allusion to these words of Christ; also Rev_2:10. Luke (Luk_21:18) adds these reassuring words: “But there shall not an hair of your heads perish.” Our Lord had just said (Luk_21:16) that they should be put to death; showing that this precious promise is far above immunity from mere bodily harm, and furnishing a key to the right interpretation of Psa_91:1 -18 and such like.

Matthew 24:11 KJV  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:12 KJV  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Matthew 24:13 KJV  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Matthew 24:14 KJV  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.

Guzik: 2. (Mat_24:9-14) Jesus describes what His disciples must expect during the time between His Ascension and Second Coming.

b. False prophets will arise and deceive many: In the period after Jesus ascends to heaven and before He comes again, the disciples of Jesus will see many false prophets, and their success. But this is not the specific sign of His return.

c. Lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold: In the period after Jesus ascends to heaven and before He comes again, His disciples should expect to see society become worse and worse. But this is not the specific sign of His return.

d. 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: But Jesus also promised that before the end, the gospel will go out to the whole world. The persecution, false prophets, and general downgrade of society will not prevent the spread of the gospel.

i. The church is to take this seriously as their duty. However, God assures that it will happen: I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth – to every nation, tribe, tongue and people – saying with a loud voice. “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come.” (Rev_14:6-7)

Popular NT: Many false prophets. In the Apostolic times such teachers appeared; Judaizing first proclaiming strict adherence to the law, and afterwards a kind of antinomianism, or ‘lawlessness.’ Comp. the later Epistles. The same moral phenomena will mark an analogous period.

Because iniquity (or ‘lawlessness’) shall be multiplied. A horrible state of immorality prevailed in the first century, and the false teachers endeavored to join it with Christian profession; the inevitable result was a coldness, a dying out of Christian love.
The love of the many (the mass) shall wax cold. So far as we know, this was not literally fulfilled in the first century. We infer that the entire fulfilment will come in with the great Apostasy (2Th_2:3-8). The principle is: wickedness destroys love; immorality eats out the heart of Christianity.

Unto the end. The Christians were saved from the horrors attending the destruction of Jerusalem. But the principle is a general one. For the individual, ‘the end’ is the day of his death; for the Church, it is the Advent of Christ, the end of all things. The last sense is the more important one, giving character to the others. Over against the apostasy of ‘the many’ (Mat_24:12) we have the faithfulness of the few, in spite of false teaching (Mat_24:11), in spite of prevailing wickedness (Mat_24:12), an endurance in love.

This gospel of the kingdom, etc. The preaching of the gospel throughout the Roman world preceded the end of the Jewish state; the promulgation of the gospel throughout the whole world will be the sign of the end of this world.
For a testimony unto all the nations. ..the duty of sending the gospel everywhere remains. The universal extension of missions, no less than the great apostasy, is a sign of the approach of our Redeemer. This prediction stimulated the Apostles and should stimulate us.

CTR: Iniquity — Inequity, injustice, unrighteousness. Erroneous doctrine and consequent erroneous practice, worldliness, etc.

Shall abound — “Be multiplied” (Revised Version); in the end of the Gospel age.

Unrighteousness, false professions, empty forms of godliness, love of pleasure, abound everywhere.
The temptation is strong with many to follow the multitude. It will be a test for those who love Christ, as to whether they will partake of the worldly spirit.

The love of many — Speaking to the Church. The many; the majority of the professed followers of Christ.

Shall wax cold — Will allow their love to grow cold, lacking faith and zeal. Become lukewarm. (Rev_3:16)

When not persecuted, it has been because there was so much of the world, so much of the “cold love” toward the Lord and the truth, that they were not worthy of persecution. The Lord seems afar off, incomprehensible and almost unknown.

A cooling of our love toward God will mean a loss of our desire to please him, which will include a cooling of our love for his service in spreading the Gospel message.
Melancholy and sorrowful as the sight is, if we did not see it, we should think that the Bible was not true.

He that shall endure — The test of endurance is one of the severest. 

Unto the end — Until “he comes whose right it is” (Eze_21:27) to take the kingdom from the usurper and reward his faithful saints.

Patient endurance to the close of the race is needful for all running for the prize held out in this Gospel age.

This gospel — We make a distinction between the Gospel of the Kingdom and the Kingdom. The Gospel is the announcement beforehand that the Kingdom is coming. Announcing the second coming of the Messiah to rule, heal and instruct all the families of the earth.

Of the kingdom — The word gospel here is emphatic in the Greek, and so is the word kingdom. It is not any and every good message, but a special one–this good message of the Kingdom. 

Shall be preached — He did not say that it would be received. 

The object is to prepare for this coming Kingdom. The real purpose of this Gospel age. The entire work of this Gospel age was to be the preaching of the Kingdom.

To everyone who has an ear to hear.

We ask whether this has yet been done by Christendom, and reply, No!

For a witness — Not to convert them. To find that special class which the Lord is seeking, an elect few from all nations. The present mission of the Church.

This is the dispensation of election and not of universal conversion. The preaching of the Gospel during this age will serve as a witness in the coming age. Later on the elect, as the Kingdom, will bless the nations, opening their deaf ears to the Gospel.

Unto all nations — “Go ye therefore and teach all nations.” (Mat_28:19)

But witnessing to nations is not witnessing to individuals.

Shall the end come — The end has come: “The harvest is the end of the age.” (Mat_13:39)

The end of this age or harvest. Not the end of the world, but the end of the preaching of the gospel.
Before this age shall have fully ended.

The Greek heko signifies “to have come, to be here,” not future tense, but present.

The remarks of the Master up to here are in place and needful, but only a preface to the answer of the question asked.

Mark 13:10 (TPT)  But prior to the end of the age, the hope of the gospel must first be preached to all nations.

Guzik: The gospel must first be preached to all the nations: But Jesus also promises that before the end, the gospel must go out to the whole world. The presence of persecution does not relieve the Church of this responsibility.

CTR: Among all nations — The commission given at the beginning of the age: “Go ye and teach all nations.” (Mat_28:19)

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” (Mat_24:12)

Does not imply the conversion of the world. He says nothing about how the testimony will be received. This witness has already been given.

JFB:And the gospel must first be published among all nations — “for a witness, and then shall the end come” (Mat_24:14). God never sends judgment without previous warning; and there can be no doubt that the Jews, already dispersed over most known countries, had nearly all heard the Gospel “as a witness,” before the end of the Jewish state. The same principle was repeated and will repeat itself to “the end.”

Do you think the Gospel has been preached to all nations?

Matthew 24:15 KJV  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:)

Guzik: Jesus describes the sign of His coming and the end of the age.
1. (Mat_24:15) The sign: the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),

In the vocabulary of Judaism of that time, an abomination was an especially offensive form of idolatry. Jesus describes a gross form of idolatry, standing in the holy place, that will usher in great destruction (desolation).

As spoken of by Daniel the prophet: The mention of the abomination of desolation is taken from the book of Daniel. They shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation (Dan_11:31). This describes a complete desecration of the temple, prefigured by Antiochus Epiphanies in the period between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

i. Paul elaborates on the future fulfillment of this in 2Th_2:3-4 : That day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

ii. Dan_12:11 gives additional insight: And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1,290 days (until the end). When this sign is set up, the end may be determined – there will be almost three and one-half years to go.

d. Whoever reads, let him understand: In a sense, Jesus tells us nothing new here. He simply calls us back to what was prophesied in Daniel. The comment whoever reads, let him understand could have been said by Jesus Himself, instead of inserted by Matthew.

Barnes: Standing in the holy place – Mark says, standing where it ought not,” meaning the same thing. All Jerusalem was esteemed “holy,” Mat_4:5.

Stand: G2476
ἵστημι histēmi his’-tay-mee
A prolonged form of a primary word στάω staō (of the same meaning, and used for it in certain tenses); to stand (transitively or intransitively), used in various applications (literally or figuratively): – abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up). Compare G5087.
Total KJV occurrences: 156

The Word in Daniel

A primitive root; to give, used with great latitude of application (putmake, etc.): – add, apply, appoint, ascribe, assign, X avenge, X be ([healed]), bestow, bring (forth, hither), cast, cause, charge, come, commit consider, count, + cry, deliver (up), direct, distribute do, X doubtless, X without fail, fasten, frame, X get, give (forth, over, up), grant, hang (up), X have, X indeed, lay (unto charge, up), (give) leave, lend, let (out), + lie, lift up, make, + O that, occupy, offer, ordain, pay, perform, place, pour, print, X pull, put (forth), recompense, render, requite, restore, send (out), set (forth), shew, shoot forth (up). + sing, + slander, strike, [sub-] mit, suffer, X surely, X take, thrust, trade, turn, utter, + weep, X willingly, + withdraw, + would (to) God, yield.

Total KJV occurrences: 2011

Dan 11:31  And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 

Dan 12:9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 
Dan 12:10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. 

Dan 12:11  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. 

CTR: The abomination — That Wicked One (2Th_2:8); the Man of Sin (2Th_2:3); the Mystery of Iniquity (2Th_2:7); the Antichrist (1Jo_2:18); the Son of Perdition (2 Thes. 2:3); the Little Horn (Dan_7:8); the Beast (Rev_13:1); the Papacy (Mat_24:15).

Includes not only the mother system, Papacy, but the daughters as well. 

Guzik (on Dan. 12:10, 11)

We shouldn’t think there was no instruction, no blessing, no benefit in these words for any generation until the time of the end. But the meaning of these prophecies would be less mysteries at the time of the end.
ii. The massive interest in prophecy, and the incredible development in understanding of Biblical prophecy in the last 150 years should make us see that we truly are at the time of the end.

Many shall be purified, made white, and refined: This is another prediction for what was future to Daniel, because this degree of purification is only possible after the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
d. But the wicked shall do wickedly: Most specifically, we would say that this prediction has to do with the end times, when wickedness will abound more than ever (as in the Antichrist and his government), but an innumerable multitude will also be saved (as is seen in Rev_7:9-10).

CTR: Shall see — The setting up of the abomination is not the sign, but its recognition as an abomination and its improper place is a sign of greatly increased light (Dan_12:4)

When the mask shall be pulled off, and you shall be enabled to see “The Mystery of Iniquity” (2Th_2:7) as such, your knowledge shall be the sign.

The abomination — That Wicked One, the Man of Sin, the Mystery of Iniquity, the Antichrist, the Son of perdition, the Beast, the Little Horn, the Papacy. The false system of systems, including not only the mother system, Papacy, but the daughters as well, for she is the mother of abominations. (Rev_17:4)

Spoken of by Daniel — Distinctly referring to Daniel, calling him by name and quoting a part of his prophecy, giving us the assurance that it would be fulfilled in the future–not yet come, but near, even at the door. 

Stand — Having stood. 

In the holy place — In the Church. In the stead of the true sacrifice. D573

Let him understand — Consider. There will be danger of misunderstanding the real abomination.

Wesley: When ye see the abomination of desolation – Daniel’s term is, The abomination that maketh desolate, Dan 11:31; that is, the standards of the desolating legions, on which they bear the abominable images of their idols: Standing in the holy place – Not only the temple and the mountain on which it stood, but the whole city of Jerusalem, and several furlongs of land round about it, were accounted holy; particularly the mount on which our Lord now sat, and on which the Romans afterward planted their ensigns. He that readeth let him understand – Whoever reads that prophecy of Daniel, let him deeply consider it. Mar 13:14; Luk 21:20; Dan 9:27.

Vincent’s:Abomination of desolation (βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως)
The cognate verb, βδελύσσομαιmeans to feel a nausea or loathing for food: hence used of disgust generally. In a moral sense it denotes an object of moral or religious repugnance. See 2Ch_15:8; Jer_13:27; Eze_11:21; Dan_9:27; Dan_11:31. It is used as equivalent to idol in 1Ki_11:17; Deu_7:26; 2Ki_23:13. It denotes anything in which estrangement from God manifests itself; as the eating of unclean beasts, Lev_11:11; Deu_14:3; and, generally, all forms of heathenism. This moral sense must be emphasized in the New Testament use of the word. Compare Luk_16:15; Rev_17:4, Rev_17:5; Rev_21:27. It does not denote mere physical or aesthetic disgust.

Mark 13:14  (TLV)  “But when you see ‘the abomination of desolation’ standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.

Guzik: The mention of the abomination of desolation is taken from Dan_11:31 : They shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. This describes a complete desecration of the temple, prefigured by Antiochus Epiphanies in the time between the Old and New Testaments.

This Antiochus desecrated the temple in Jerusalem in a horrible way. “He desecrated the Temple by offering swine’s flesh on the great altar and by setting up public brothels in the sacred courts. Before the very Holy Place itself he set up a great statue of the Olympian Zeus and ordered the Jews to worship it.” (Barclay) As bad is this was, it did not fulfill the abomination of desolation, because Jesus said these words long after Antiochus did this.

The Hebrew word translated abomination in Dan_11:31 is shikkoots. It appears in the Old Testament 29 times, and it has the idea of a filthy, disgusting idol. However, this is more than just an idol. First, it is an idol set in the holy place of the temple in Jerusalem – standing where it ought not, and as Matthew puts it, standing in the holy place (Mat_24:15). Second, this is a filthy, disgusting idol that brings desolation – the complete and devastating judgment of God.

  1. It is important to point out that this is not merely an idol in set in the Jewish temple. Passages like Jer_7:30, Jer_32:34, and Eze_5:11 describe abominable idols in the temple – but they are not the abomination that brings desolation.

ii. Paul elaborates on the future fulfillment of this in 2Th_2:3-4 : That day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Revelation 18:1-4 KJV  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  2  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  3  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.  4  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

What does it mean to “stand in the holy place”? 

Stand means to set up. When Michael stands up in Daniel 12 it is to reign. When God rises up it is to reign.   This standing up is the hour of power of the Beast in Revelation.  Zechariah 5 talks about the woman (Catholic Church) in the ephah being brought to Shinar and set up (stand) on her own base.

Matthew 24:16 KJV  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Matthew 24:17 KJV  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Matthew 24:18 KJV  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Matthew 24:19 KJV  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

Matthew 24:20 KJV  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

Guzik: (Mat_24:16-20) Jesus warns what should be done when the abomination of desolation appears: flee immediately.
Then let those who are in Judea flee: These are warning specifically addressed to Israelites. Judeahousetops, and Sabbath all speak to a Jewish environment.

Because Jesus tells His disciples about the abomination of desolation (which is set up by the antichrist before the Great Tribulation) and warns them of this coming destruction in the Great Tribulation, some Christians believe that all Christians will go through the Great Tribulation. To them, it seems evident. Why would Jesus say these things to His disciples if His disciples would not experience them?

ii. The answer is simple. We know from this passage, and many other Scriptural passages, that God will remove His church before the fury of the Great Tribulation, catching them away to meet Jesus in the air (1Th_4:16-17). Yet this information is valuable for the followers of Jesus, so we can understand his plan for the future. This information is valuable for those who are of the Great Multitude who are in the Great Tribulation after the church is gone.

Mark 13:15  On that day, if you happen to be outside, don’t go back inside to gather your belongings.

Mark 13:16  And if you’re working out in the field, don’t run back home to get a coat.

Mark 13:17  It will be especially hard for pregnant women and for those nursing their babies when those days come.

Guzik:  (Mar_13:14-18) Jesus warns what should be done when the abomination of desolation appears: get out of there!

Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains: Jesus directs this warning to the Jewish people. This is evident in His specific mention of

Judea and of the housetop (a common feature of architecture in both ancient and modern Judea). To the citizens of Judea, Jesus says: “When you see the abomination of desolation established, flee because trouble is coming.”

  1. These words of Jesus have led some to believe that everything Jesus speaks of here was fulfilled in the first century, in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. It is true that this exhortation by Jesus was taken literally by Christians in 66 A.D. when Roman armies first came to Jerusalem. At that time, Christians fled to the mountains and were spared the great destruction of 70 A.D. However, Jesus also said that these events would bring in the Great Tribulation (Mar_13:19) and that those days would culminate in the triumphant return of Jesus (Mar_13:26-27). Since we’re still here 2,000 years later, we know that the abomination of desolation wasn’t fulfilled in the first century.

ii. These words of Jesus have led some to believe that all Christians – the church as a whole – will go through this time known as the Great Tribulation, and that this warning must be for us. However, Jesus promised to catch His people up from the earth and meet them in the air (1Th_4:16-18), and told us to pray that would be counted worthy to escape this time (Luk_21:36) and promised to keep His faithful from the time of judgment that would come upon the earth (Rev_3:10).

Comment: The Little Flock (Church) are spared the Great Time of Trouble—because they are put to death during this “hour of power” of the Beast—which stands in the Holy Place (not the Jewish Temple, but the Church itself—claims to be Christ’s Kingdom). The Great Multitude in Revelation 7, will have to go through the Great Tribulation to wash their robes.

What scriptures show that there are two classes of real Christians?

What can we discern by these scriptures of the differences between the Little Flock and Great Multitude?

Genesis 19:15-17 ISV  As dawn was breaking, the angels pressured Lot. “Get going!” they told him. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be engulfed by the devastation that’s coming to this city.”  16  But Lot kept lingering in the city, so the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters (because of the LORD’s compassion for him!), brought them out of the city, and left them outside.  17  Then one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back or stop anywhere on the plain. Escape to the hills, or you’ll be swept away!”

Mark 13:18  So pray that your escape will not be during the winter months.

Mat 24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

The Wheat Class of one Parable, the Wise Virgins of another parable, the Little Flock, the Elect, the Bride of Christ are taken in the Harvest.

When Jesus is saying “pray that your flight be not in the winter” he is in essence saying pray that your flight be in the harvest.  Pray that you are worthy to escape. (Luke 21:36)

The times Jesus is describing up to this verse are not the Great Tribulation—but the Harvest.  The Winter and the Sabbath day are the Great Tribulation. Revelation tells us that the Great Multitude goes through the Great Tribulation to wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb.

The Great Multitude miss out on being the Bride of Christ who are Kings and Priests, but end up being like the Levites—servants of those that sit on the throne. (Rev. 7)

They did not come out in time, they did not have enough oil, they took the mark or number of the Beast, they were deceived for a time by Satan—they missed out.

RussellNot in the winter — The winter-time of Babylon’s trouble–the burning of the tares in a great time of trouble.  It is still the custom in country places to leave the burning off of refuse until the winter.

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended (winter has come), and we are not saved. (Jer_8:20) 

CTR: On the housetop — Who has a higher life and experience and faith than the merely nominal member; the most saintly.

Not come down — Everything must be forsaken. All temporizing or human reasoning will be dangerous; no time must be lost in obeying.

To take any thing — Titles, dignities, respect, commendations of good and regular standing.

Out of his house — The branch of the nominal church with which he is connected.

In the field — In the world, not a church member.

Return back — Join the nominal church.

To take his clothes — To secure valuables in human estimation.
Woe unto them — Special troubles at that time; but also symbolical.

Not in the winter — When the winter-time of Babylon’s trouble has begun, in the burning of the tares. This winter time coming is the time of Zion’s travail when the great majority of her children will be brought forth. (Isa_66:7)
In season to be an overcomer. Harvest always comes in summer and is followed by the destructive frosts of winter. It is still the custom in country places to leave the burning off of refuse until the winter.

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended [winter has come], and we are not saved.” (Jer_8:20)

On the sabbath day — The Jewish Law placed restrictions upon the people on the Sabbath and hindered them from journeying as much as they might desire.

Matthew 24:21 KJV  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mark 13:19  For this will be a time of great misery beyond the magnitude of anything the world has ever seen from the beginning of time or ever will see.

Guzik:  (Mar_13:19-23) Coming on the heels of the abomination of desolation: great tribulation.

Tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation . . . nor ever shall be: Jesus said that this will be the most awful time in all of human history. When we consider the massive calamities humanity has suffered through the centuries, this is a terribly sobering statement. The Book of Revelation describes this terrible time when God pours out His wrath on a God-rejecting world.

In 1343 bubonic plague started to sweep across Europe. Over eight years, two-thirds of the population of Europe was afflicted with the plague, and half of those afflicted died – an almost incredible total of 25 million people. This time of tribulation will be worse. 

Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-first Century (1993) sets the number of “Lives deliberately extinguished by politically motivated carnage” at between 167 million and 175 million. Most other statisticians are in the same ballpark. Yet, Jesus said that this time of tribulation will be worse.

Comment: Daniel also talks about this Great Tribulation. Daniel talks about the end of the Great Tribulation which is Jacob’s Trouble. The days are shortened else no flesh would be saved, and in Daniel we see some of who are saved. The Holy Remnant.

Dan 12:1  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Isa 4:2  In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. 3  And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in

CTR: For then — At the end of this Gospel age and its harvest. As a result of selfishness reaching its limit, becoming ripe, and going to seed.

Great tribulation — General and terrible. A time of war and trouble involving all nations. It will include social, financial, political and religious institutions.

The strife of nations and of parties, of unions and of combinations, will extend to the individuals of the world and produce an individual conflict and strife. Anarchy and destruction, born of fear and despair, and not of preference or a love of lawlessness. Strife, hatred, malignity, anarchy.

The tribulations upon Babylon will constitute a part of the great tribulation with which this Age will terminate.

Aggressiveness on the part of the trusts and syndicates will bring about the final catastrophe of this age in the wreck of the entire social structure by the masses.

Coming along the lines of a lack of confidence, a casting away of confidence. (Heb_10:35)

The poor rich will have a season of special sorrow and anguish when all their accumulated wealth will become valueless. (Jam_5:1-5)

“A great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.” (Rev_16:18) Dxiii;

Upon the ashes of that time of trouble, Messiah’s Kingdom will be established with full power and glory.

The anarchy of the French Revolution and the anarchy which overthrew the Jewish nation in AD 70 are Scriptural illustrations of what may be expected soon.

Our Lord’s declaration, “Ye are the salt of the earth,” may very properly be applied to those of the followers of the Lord who give heed to His teachings and who cultivate His character-likeness. As salt is useful in arresting decomposition, so the influence of these faithful ones is preservative. At the time of the First Advent, the world was in a condition in which it would probably have hastened to degeneracy and decay, but for the introduction of the preservative influence extending from the members of the Body of Christ. That influence is still manifest in so-called Christendom.

Even today, although the truly consecrated believers in the great Redeemer are confessedly few in number, yet the saltness from the teachings of the Savior has a wide influence upon the world. Without it, doubtless, corruption and a complete collapse would have come long ago. In spite of it, we see very corrupting and corrupt influences at work everywhere; and the wider our horizon, the more general our information, the more we realize the truth of this statement. When the last member of the Body of Christ shall have passed beyond the veil, the salt will be gone. Then corruption will take hold swiftly, and the result will be the great time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.–Matt. 24:21Dan. 12:1.

Resulting from the winds of strife and trouble being let loose after the sealing work shall have been accomplished. Held back during the time God’s people are sealed in their foreheads.

Proof that this prophecy evidently referred to more than the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Nor ever shall be — Because so thorough will be the correction that it will never need to be repeated. The great final trouble of this world’s history in which, during a period of anarchy unparalleled, all human hopes and ambitions will utterly fail. The effect of this trouble will be so overruled by divine providence in the establishment of the Kingdom of righteousness that such a tribulation will never again be possible.

Guzik: Great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time: Jesus said that this will be the most awful time in all of human history. When we think of the terrible wars, plagues, famines, and genocide history has seen, this is a terribly sobering statement. When God pours out His wrath on a God rejecting world, it will be truly great tribulation.

Matthew 24:22 KJV  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Mark 13:20  Unless God limits those days, no one would escape. But because of his love for those chosen to be his, he will shorten that time of trouble.

Guzik: Unless the Lord had shortened those days: If the terrors of the great tribulation were to continue indefinitely, mankind could not survive – so, for the elect’s sake, the days will be limited.

CTR: Except that the Lord — So great will this trouble be that without some intervening power to cut it short the entire race would eventually be exterminated.

Those days — The anarchy of the world.

For the elect’s sake — Through or by the elect, who will intervene at the proper time.

His kingdom, Christ and his Church, will intervene at the proper time and bring order out of earth’s confusion.

Shortened the days — The work of destruction will be “a short work.” (Rom_9:28)

CTR: Be shortened — The Kingdom will stop the anarchy when men have learned the lesson that they cannot help the human race.

No flesh be saved — The entire human family would be obliterated. National frenzy, anger, hatred, malice, will extend to persons: “Every one against his neighbor.” (Zec_8:10) The kind of trouble the Bible seems to picture could hardly last more than a year for any to be left.

Shall be shortened — By the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom. Be cut short. The work of destruction will be a short work.

Instead of allowing the time of trouble to run its course and practically exterminate the race in the reign of anarchy, the Lord declares that in the midst of the trouble he will establish his Kingdom. Messiah’s Kingdom not only dashes the nations to pieces, but also stops the anarchy when it shall have demonstrated the fact that nothing that man can do will be able to help the race.

“A short work will the Lord make in the earth.” (Rom_9:28)

Matthew 24:23 KJV  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

Matthew 24:24 KJV  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.

Guzik: Look, here is the Christ: No one should be deceived about the nature of Jesus’ coming. …. But in the midst of such tribulation, there will be a temptation to look for false messiahs (false christs and false prophets will rise).

Mark 13:21  “And if you hear reports from people, saying, ‘Look, the Messiah is over here,’ or, ‘The Messiah is over there!’ don’t believe it.

Guzik: Then if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or, “Look, He is there!” do not believe it: No one should be deceived about the nature of Jesus’ coming. It will not be secret or private, and it won’t be a “different” Jesus. In the midst of such tribulation, men will be tempted to fall for false messiahs.

Russell: Believe him not — Our Lord’s revelation at his second presence will not be in a room, nor to a community in a wilderness or desert place, nor even to one nation, as at the first advent, but it will be a general world-wide manifestation.

Have you studied the Lord’s return so as not to be deceived?

Mark 13:22  For there will be imposters falsely claiming to be God’s ‘Anointed One.’ And false prophets will arise to perform miracle signs, and if it were possible, they would cause God’s chosen ones to wander off the right track.

Russell: For false Christ’s — Deceptions.

False prophets — False teachers.

And shall shew — Lead into confusion and error.

Signs and wonders — Through the assistance of the fallen angels, more than even Spiritists have dreamed of.

If it were possible — The “strong delusions” upon Christendom will not be permitted to deceive “the very elect.” But so close will they be in sympathetic fellowship with the great Shepherd that they will discern his voice and not be deceived. To those who abide in Christ, grace, wisdom, and aid sufficient will be granted for their time of need. If the Lord did not protect them by the “armor of God.” (Eph_6:11-18)

Even the elect —” those who “make their calling and election sure.” (2Pe_1:10)
The “very elect” will be shielded by the Truth and its holy Spirit.

Again, are you studying the manner and object of our Lord’s return so as not to be deceived?

Are you putting on the Armour of God to protect against Satan?

CTR: False Christs — False Messiahs. Not a personal Antichrist, nor that Satan will materialize as a man and misrepresent the Lord. The greatest of the false Christs must be yet to come.

We should recognize a difference between false Christs (Greek, pseudo-kristos) and anti-Christs (Greek, anti-kristos).

False prophets — In addition to the false Christs, false systems, and apparently to some extent outside of them, will be false teachers.

Signs and wonders — Doing many wonderful works is one of the old tricks of Satan and his evil hosts.

“Strong delusions” (2Th_2:11) from the wicked spirits, more than even Spiritists have dreamed of.

Back of, and underneath all, is an occult power, a hypnotic power, wrought by the Adversary himself as an angel of light.

If it were possible — But it will not be possible; these alone are promised grace, wisdom and aid sufficient.
Implying a great falling away from the truth, from the Bible, and from the Lord himself. The shaking and sifting will be thorough; for it is the Lord that is back of it, wishing to thoroughly separate the little handful of wheat from the vast quantity of tares.

It is of paramount importance that we put on not only the intellectual covering, the helmet of salvation, but also the heart covering, love of righteousness and truth.

But this will not be possible, for the Lord has promised them the assistance needful, and they will be in the attitude of heart and mind to seek assistance and use it. Nothing shall be able to deceive the very elect because the Lord will give his messengers a charge, a message, in their interest, that they may bear them up in their hands, lest they should be stumbled in this time.

They shall deceive — Lead astray from the truth and from the faith. Seduce, lead into confusion and error. The Lord will permit Satan to have special power now for the purpose of sifting and separating and approving the faithful and the unfaithful in the nominal church.

The Lord did not overstate the terrible battle between truth and error when he foretold that a thousand would fall to one who would stand, upheld by God’s truth and its messengers. (Psa_91:4, Psa_91:11-12)

Matthew 24:25 KJV  Behold, I have told you before.

CTR: I have told you before — To be forewarned is to be forearmed if we heed the warning.

Gill: Behold, I have told you before. Meaning not before in this discourse, though he had in Mat_24:5 signified also, that false Christs, and false prophets should arise, but before these things came to pass; so that they had sufficient notice and warning of them, and would be inexcusable if they were not upon their guard against them; and which, when they came to pass, would furnish out a considerable argument in proof of him, as the true Messiah, against all these false ones… and so would serve to establish their faith in him, and be a means of securing them from such deceivers.

Barnes: Behold, I have told you before – Mark adds Mar_13:23, “take ye heed.” The reason why he told them before was that they might be on their guard, and be prepared for those calamities.

Mark 13:23 (ISV)  So be on your guard! I’ve told you everything before it happens.”

Guzik: But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand: Jesus told this to all His followers as a warning, so they would take heed. It isn’t just for those who come to faith in Jesus during the Great Tribulation. It isn’t just for those who live at the end of the age. It is for everyone to take heed.

i. We live in a cynical age, when people are naturally distrustful and pessimistic when it comes to promises. In the 1970’s there was great emphasis on the return of Jesus and being ready for His return. It is easy in our cynical age to think, “I’ve been waiting for 30 years and Jesus still hasn’t come. I don’t need to be so ready, and so worked up over something that might not happen for another 30 or 300 years.”

ii. It is easy to sympathize with that way of thinking – but Jesus told us take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand. He has reasons why He wants you to take heed, anticipating and being ready for His soon return:

• It has a purifying effect in our lives
• It gives us a sense of urgency
• It makes us bold in speaking to the lost
• It helps us keep a light touch on the things of this world
Think of it this way: if a person woke every morning and said, “Jesus is coming soon and I have to live like He is coming soon” would it make their life better or worse?

JFB: But take ye heed; behold, I have foretold you all things — He had just told them that the seduction of the elect would prove impossible; but since this would be all but accomplished, He bids them be on their guard, as the proper means of averting that catastrophe. In Matthew (Mat_24:26-28) we have some additional particulars: “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. 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.” See on Luk_17:23, Luk_17:24. “For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” See on Luk_17:37.

Gill:But take ye heed,…. The Persic version adds, “of them”; of the false Christs, and false prophets:

How are you staying on your guard?

Matthew 24:26 KJV  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.

CTR: If they — The false teachers. Those who claim that Jesus is to appear shortly in the wilderness of Judea, Palestine.

Is in the desert — Of Palestine, as many now believe.

Our Lord’s revelation at his second presence will not be to a community in a wilderness or desert; nor even to one nation, as at the first advent. In the singular, as if to teach us there would be but one occurrence of this sort; no more.

He is in — We do not expect to see him until we shall be like him. 

The secret chambers — Of spiritualistic seances. In the plural, as though pointing out a deception oft-repeated.

Believe it not — Because the signs or evidences of his presence would not be secret ones, but would be manifest to all, as is the light of the morning sun.

Matthew 24:27 KJV  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.

CTR: For as the lightning — Greek, astrape, not lightning, because lightning rarely flashes from east to west. The same word as in “The bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.” (Luk_11:36)

We translate the Greek noun astrape as “shining” instead of “lightning” for evidently it refers to the sun, which rises in the east and sets in the west.

Spiritual light is divine truth. Hence a great and wonderful unfolding of truth is all that the Bible gives us a right to expect during the presence of the Son of Man.

Spiritual bodies are represented as shining as the lightning. (Luk_10:18; Mat_28:3; Dan_10:6; 1Co_15:8)

The first flashes bring terror and dismay to the world, but shortly the full glory, the bright shining of his presence, will be recognized by all and bring healing and blessing.

Man can see, by the destruction it leaves, where the lightning has been; so, in the day of the Lord, men will come to recognize, by the national trouble and overturning, that the great day of wrath is come.

So shall also the coming — Greek, parousia, presence. Not that he will come like lightning, but that he will be like the lightning after he has arrived and is present. 

Of the Son of man – A title of high honor because it is a perpetual reminder of his great victory by which he secured the title to his present and prospective honor and glory, and the divine nature.

Expositor’s: The personal advent of Christ and the day of final judgment are only foreshadowed by, not realised in, the destruction of Jerusalem and the close of the old dispensation

Matthew 24:28 KJV  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

(Weymouth)  Wherever the dead body is, there will the vultures flock together.

(GNB)  “Wherever there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.

Guzik: For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together: This is a difficult statement. It was probably a figure of speech with the idea, “when judgment is ripe, it will surely come.”

Hawker: I pause at this verse, respecting the carcass, and the gathering together of the eagles, to correct any error which might arise, as if it implied, that where Christ and his Gospel are, believers will flock. No doubt to Christ the gathering of the people shall be. But the term carcass, would but in suit with the person and glory of Christ. I rather conceive that by carcass, is meant the slaughtered state of the Jews; and that the Roman soldiers, whose ensign was that of an eagle, would be assembled to their destruction.

CTR: The carcase — The body, the food. The Lord gives us something special to eat when we are in fellowship, even if only two or three are gathered together.

The eagles — Those of keen vision and appetite.

Be gathered together — Brought together by the mutual apprehension of the truth, as eagles would be drawn to their food.

(Weymouth)  Wherever the dead body is, there will the vultures flock together.

(GNB)  “Wherever there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.

Revelation 19:17-18 KJV  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  18  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

Ezekiel 39:17-19 KJV  And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.  18  Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.  19  And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
Eze 39:4  Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 

Matthew 24:29 KJV  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:

Guzik:The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light: Several prophetic passages describe the cosmic disturbances that will precede and surround the return of Jesus (Joe_2:10, Rev_6:12-14, Isa_34:4).

b. Cryptically, Jesus says that the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven. It is difficult to say exactly what this sign is, since this seems to precede His return as described in Rev_19:11. Perhaps this sign is somehow related to the incredible cosmic disturbances that will precede this.

c. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory: This is the fulfillment of the end, indicated by the sign of the abomination of desolation. Since this has not happened yet, neither has the abomination of desolation.

Clarke: The fall of Babylon is represented by the stars and constellations of heaven withdrawing their light, and the sun and moon being darkened. See Isa_13:9, Isa_13:10.

Barnes: Shall the sun be darkened … – The images used here are not to be taken literally. They are often employed by the sacred writers to denote “any great calamities.” As the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars, would be an inexpressible calamity, so any great catastrophe – any overturning of kingdoms or cities, or dethroning of kings and princes is represented by the darkening of the sun and moon, and by some terrible convulsion in the elements. Thus the destruction of Babylon is foretold in similar terms Isa_13:10, and of Tyre Isa_24:23. The slaughter in Bozrah and Idumea is predicted in the same language, Isa_34:4. See also Isa_50:3; Isa_60:19-20; Eze_32:7; Joe_3:15. To the description in Matthew, Luke has added Luk_21:25-26, “And upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; people’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” All these are figures of great and terrible calamities. The roaring of the waves of the sea denotes great tumult and affliction among the people. “Perplexity” means doubt, anxiety; not knowing what to do to escape. “Men’s hearts should fail them for fear,” or by reason of fear. Their fears would be so great as to take away their courage and strength.

CTR:The tribulation — The tribulation referred to is that of verse 9 and not that of verse 21 and Dan_12:1.

Shall the sun — Symbolically, the Gospel light, the truth, and thus, Christ Jesus.  

And the moon — Symbolically, the light of the Mosaic Law.  

Not give her light — “Shall be turned into blood” (Joe_2:31) by claims that the typical sacrifices were bloody and barbaric.

And the stars — Symbolically, the false stars, wandering stars, pulpit stars, vainly aspiring to be considered of equal authority with the “twelve stars” (Rev_12:1), the inspired apostles.

Fall from heaven — The teachings of the God-ordained twelve stars of the Church, the apostles, will also fade from view, cease to be recognized as guides or lights.

Powers of the heavens — Ecclesiastical powers. Sectarian creeds and systems.

Earth shall be shaken as well as the heavens. (Heb_12:26)

Shall be shaken — He will shake to pieces every evil system which hinders, binds, oppresses, or blinds the people whom he comes to bless–all of earth’s families. Until they are destroyed. Signifying the “removing of those things that are shaken as of things” that are imperfect and of human construction. (Heb_12:27)

TPT: See Isa. 13:10; 34:4; Joel 2:10; Amos 8:9. This can also be viewed as a Hebraic metaphor of the lights of the natural realm being shut off and replaced with heaven’s glory—lights out on the old order. Sun, moon, and stars are also representative of  the governmental structures failing with great calamity. A new order, a new glory, is coming to replaced the fading glories of this world.

Matthew 24:30 KJV  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.

Matthew 24:31 KJV  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.

CTR: Appear the sign — Greek, seemion, evidence, proof of the Lord’s presence, at his second advent. Not a sign that he is soon to come, but a sign of his presence.

The shakings in the church nominal and the raising up of new heavens become a sign to the peoples of earth that their course of injustice is drawing to a close.

In heaven — The symbolic heaven, the professedly spiritual class, Churchianity. The sign appearing in the heavens signifies that the beginning of Christ’s judgments will fall upon the ecclesiastical systems of our day.

All the tribes — The tribes of earth will not see the sign or proof of the Lord’s presence given only among the “heavens,” the at least nominally spiritual, the churches.

Of the earth mourn — A general mourning of all, incident to the great time of trouble. If the world has mourned in the past, how much more shall we expect it to do when the trouble will be general.

And they shall see — The root word in the Greek is horao, to discern; that is, to apprehend, to recognize, the fact that he is indeed present.
Son of man coming — Drawing nearer and nearer in judgment; and they will recognize that they, too, must shortly be involved. Hence there will be mourning because of him (Rev_1:7). SM421:2

In the clouds — The tribes of earth will see the clouds of trouble and confusion incident to the shaking of the “heavens,” and realize it to be a storm which will shake the “earth” also. (Heb_12:26)

Of heaven — Primary sign of Christ’s righteous judgments upon the ecclesiastical systems.

And great glory — The glory of power and justice. B153

Come with Angels

Mat 13:40  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 
Mat 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 

Mat 16:27  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 

Matthew 25:31-32 KJV
31  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Mar 13:27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 

Mar 8:38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Luk 9:26  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.  

2Th 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 
2Th 1:8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 

Come in Clouds

Mat 26:64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 

Mar 13:24  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 
Mar 13:25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 
Mar 13:26  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 
Mar 13:27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 

Mar 14:62  And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 

Dan 7:13  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 
Dan 7:14  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 

Mark 13:27  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Russell: Gather together –

“Gather my saints together unto me.” (Psa_50:5)  

“Make up my jewels.” (Mal_3:17)  

Gathering of the good fish into baskets. (Mat_13:47-49)

Gathering of the wheat from the tares into the barn (Mat_13:30)

From the four winds — From every quarter.

JFB:And then shall he send his angels — “with a great sound of a trumpet” (Mat_24:31).
and shall gather together his elect, etc. — As the tribes of Israel were anciently gathered together by sound of trumpet (Exo_19:13, Exo_19:16, Exo_19:19; Lev_23:24; Psa_81:3-5), so any mighty gathering of God’s people, by divine command, is represented as collected by sound of trumpet (Isa_27:13; compare Rev_11:15); and the ministry of angels, employed in all the great operations of Providence, is here held forth as the agency by which the present assembling of the elect is to be accomplished.

But though something like this appears to be the primary sense of the verse, in relation to the destruction of Jerusalem, no one can fail to see that the language swells beyond any gathering of a human family into a Church upon earth, and forces the thoughts onward to that gathering of the Church “at the last trump,” to meet the Lord in the air, which is to wind up the present scene. …

TPT: There is always a deeper meaning to the literal understanding of the text of the Bible. This deeper meaning does not negate the literal, but gives a fuller comprehension. Clouds are metaphors of God’s presence among His people. The trumpet blast is symbolic of the universal announcement that will be heard by all.

As translated from the Hebrew, Matthew, which can also be translated “with a great shout.” This is also found in the Latin Vulgate translated by Jerome, who is believed to have had access to the manuscript of the Hebrew Matthew.

1Co 15:51  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 
1Co 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 
1Co 15:53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 

1Th 4:13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 
1Th 4:14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 
1Th 4:15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 
1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 
1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 

Matthew 24:32 KJV  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

Matthew 24:33 KJV  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Matthew 24:34 KJV  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Matthew 24:35 KJV  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Guzik: (Mat_24:32-35) Jesus speaks more regarding the timing of these events.
Learn this parable from the fig tree: The fig tree has a regular pattern. The leaves appear, and then summer follows. When you see the leaves, you know summer is near.
i. The fig tree was a common fruit tree in Israel. It is mentioned many times in the Old Testament, especially as a description of the abundance of the land. Sometimes figs or fig trees are also used as symbols or pictures. In passages like Jer_24:1-10 and Hos_9:10, figs or fig trees are used as an representation of Israel.

Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place: What generation does Jesus mean?

i. It cannot be the generation of the disciples, because they never saw Jesus return in glory as described in Mat_24:30. It is undoubtedly the generation that sees these signs. These events and Jesus’ return won’t be on some 1,000-year timetable, but will happen in succession.

d. Up to this point, Jesus has given an important outline for end-times events.

• There will arise catastrophes and persecutions, but those in themselves are not the sign of the end.
• There will arise a pivotal sign: the abomination of desolation.
• When the abomination of desolation appears, there are warnings to Israel to flee after the abomination.
• On the heels of the abomination of desolation comes great tribulation, and cosmic disturbances.
• In culmination, Jesus Christ will return in glory to the earth.

CTR: Of the fig tree — The Jewish nation.
Put forth leaves — Giving signs of life. Begins to plan for national restoration in Palestine.

We see the Jews looking back to Jerusalem. We thus see the fig tree putting forth its leaves, giving signs of life, looking forward to the reestablishment of the Jewish nation.

Summer is nigh — The Hebrews divided their year into two seasons, summer and winter.

This generation — Greek, genea, people living contemporaneously, not a race. Not the generation he was talking to, but the generation that would see these signs when they would be fulfilled.

The generation which witnesses the putting forth of the green leaves of hope by Israel will see to the full the accomplishment of the change of dispensation so long foretold.

Heaven and earth — The present ecclesiastical and social order.  

Pass away — In the great time of trouble with which this age will end.  

My words — Plans or purposes.

Gill: but my words shall not pass away; be vain and empty, and unaccomplished; which is true of anything, and everything spoken by Christ;

Mark 13:29  So also, when you observe all these things progressively taking place, you will know that he is coming near, even at the door!

Mark 13:30  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 

Mark 13:31  The earth and sky will wear out and fade away before one word I speak loses its power or fails to accomplish its purpose.”

Guzik: This generation will be no means pass away till all these things take place: What generation does Jesus refer to? It cannot be the generation of the disciples, because they did not see the triumphant return of Jesus. It is undoubtedly the generation that sees these signs – especially the abomination of desolation. These events and Jesus’ return won’t be on some 1,000-year timetable, but will happen in succession.

Russell: This generation — Greek, genea, not used with the significance of race, but in reference to people living contemporaneously who will witness the signs enumerated.

Matthew 24:36 KJV  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Guzik:Of that day and hour no one knows: Here, Jesus refers back to the original question of Mat_24:3 (what will be the sign of Your coming?). His answer is somewhat unexpected – saying of that day and hour no one knows.
b. Based on what He had told us about the abomination of desolation, we might have expected that the exact day and hour could be known. After all, Daniel set the day of Jesus’ return as being exactly 1,290 days after the abomination of desolation (Dan_12:11).
i. In this, there is a dilemma. How can the day of Jesus’ coming be both completely unknown, and at the same time be known to the day according to Dan_12:11?

CTR: That day and hour — When the Kingdom shall be set up. The divine plan which God purposed in himself from before the foundation of the world, and represented in the sealed scroll of Rev. 5.

Knoweth no man — At the time the Lord was speaking.

Not the angels — Not that the angels would be in ignorance up to the last minute. Sinaitic manuscript adds “nor the Son.”

But my Father only — It does not say that none but the Father will ever know. Certain features of the plan were kept secret from our Master until he had finished his course.

Mark 13:32  “Concerning that day and exact hour, no one knows when it will arrive, not the angels of heaven, not even the Son—only the Father knows.

Guzik:That day and hour no one knows: This means that we must take heed, because we face the danger of being unprepared.

Russell: That hour — When the heavenly Kingdom should be set up. Of his second coming.

Knoweth no man — Our Lord gave quite a detailed account of events which must intervene, indicating a lapse of a considerable period between, yet giving no clear idea of its length. The time was unknown then and was to so continue until God’s due time for making it known.

“The wise shall understand.” (Dan_12:10)

Neither the Son — Times and seasons for the full accomplishment of the restitution of all things were wisely hidden from his view, as they were also wisely hidden from the Church’s view until the realization of it was near at hand.

Matthew 24:37 KJV  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Matthew 24:38 KJV  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

Matthew 24:39 KJV  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Guzik: 2. (Mat_24:37-39) Jesus says that His coming will be when the world is as it was in the days of Noah.

As the days of Noah were: Jesus explained what He meant by the days of Noah. It means life is centered around the normal things: eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage. In other words, life will be business as usual; reprobate perhaps, but usual.
i. We should also remember that the days of Noah were also marked by violence and demonic oppression (Gen_6:1-5).
b. And did not know until the flood came and took them all away: Though the people in the days of Noah were warned, judgment eventually came. To those who had ignored the warnings, it came suddenly and unexpectedly.
In this, there is a dilemma. How can Jesus come to a “business as usual” world, and a world experiencing the worst calamities ever seen on earth?

CTR: But as the days — Not the coming, but the “presence,” after arrival.  As the days of Noah were not days before Noah’s time, neither are the days of the Son of man days before the Son of man’s presence.  

Of Noe — Before the flood. Doubtless much of the immorality and sensuality which marked the days of Noah and of Lot will prevail in the world in the closing days of the present age, though that is not the lesson here. Everything will continue as ordinarily. R4706:3

Noah was informed respecting the coming change of dispensation; likewise, the Church of Christ is forewarned.

As the giants were in control in the days of Noah, so giant trusts are getting more and more control of the situation now.  

So shall also — Before the hot fire of trouble.  

The coming — Greek, parousia, presence.  

Of the Son of man — The days of the Son of man are the days of his parousia or presence, invisible and unknown to the world, known only to the watchers, and seen by them only with the eye of faith.

They — The world in general.

Were eating — Pursuing the ordinary, proper affairs of life; ignorant of the impending catastrophe.
Does not imply that there is anything wrong in so doing. Showing that there will be no outward sign to indicate to the world the time of the second presence.

These things are not signs of wickedness, but mentioned to show us that there will be no outward sign to indicate to the world the time of the second presence of Christ. The world’s whole attention given to fleshly desires, not understanding nor caring for the spiritual.

Into the ark — Type of Christ and the power in him which will replenish and reorganize society

And knew not — Were ignorant of the coming storm and disbelieved Noah’s testimony.  So, in the early part of the Day of the Lord, the world will have no faith in the announcement of his presence and of the impending trouble.

They read not the signs of the speedy and great changes just at hand; they are too busy to consider the testimony carefully, and only continue to scoff. The world will never be completely converted to Christianity by any existing agency before the end of this dispensation.

“Where is the promise of his presence, while all things continue as they were from the beginning.” (2Pe_3:4)  

How then shall the Church be aware of his presence, except by a sign.

Until the flood came — Contrary to the teachings of many modern theologians. Though there shall never be another flood to destroy the earth (Gen_9:11), it is written that the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of God’s jealousy (Zep_3:8).

Marking the close of the first dispensation; as a great cataclysm of trouble, anarchy, symbolically called “fire,” will mark the termination of the present dispensation.

Likewise in his second presence, until disturbed by the commotion and trouble of the epiphania, the apokalupsis of the King in the pouring out of the seven last plagues.

Took them all away — The Deluge was merely a quick means of executing against the race the death sentence already expressed 16 centuries before.

By drowning all the people except Noah’s family; in the antitype, by burning all except the family of God in the symbolic fire–the great trouble of the Day of the Lord. Intimating that a great catastrophe, corresponding to the flood, is to occur in the end of the Gospel age.

So shall also — From these statements we see that the world will be far from being converted to Christ at his coming, and they will have little regard for the teachings of the Master.

The coming — Greek, parousia, presence; as of one who has already come.

Matthew 24:40 KJV  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Matthew 24:41 KJV  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Matthew 24:42 KJV  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Guzik: 3. (Mat_24:40-44) Jesus cautions His disciples to be ready for an unexpected coming.
Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left: Jesus here points to curious disappearances; to a catching away of some at the coming of the Son of Man (as also described in 1Th_4:16-17).

b. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming: Since the day and hour of this coming are unknowable, Jesus’ followers must be on constant guard for His coming.

i. Here again is the Second Coming dilemma.
• Is it at an unexpected hour or is it positively predicted?
• Is it business as usual or worldwide cataclysm?
• Is it meeting Him in the air (1Th_4:16-17) or is He coming with the saints (Zec_14:5)?

  1. The dilemma is resolved by seeing that there are actually “two” second comings. One is in the air, for the church – commonly known as the rapture. The other is to the world, coming with the church, commonly known as the Second Coming of Jesus. The “contradictions” in Matthew 24 (and the much of the rest of prophecy) are often solved by seeing there are really references to “two” returns of Jesus.

Matthew 25:1-13 KJV
1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9  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.
10  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.
11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

CTR:Be in the field — In the world, outside the nominal house. Who previously had not been justified. The Lord will gather some of his jewels from the field.

Grinding at the mill — The place where food is prepared; the theological schools and the ministry.

Watch — The signs of the times in the light of God’s Word, for the second advent of the Lord, the establishment of his Kingdom, the transformation of the Church to the divine likeness.

Watch yourselves and also the word of prophecy.  
Watch your words and thoughts and doings.  So that when the due time comes you may be one of the wise ones.  

This will serve as an antidote to worldly influences.  

Watching intently, earnestly, interestedly, because they know of the good things God hath in reservation.  

Watching implies hoping, and it also implies waiting.

Implies not only some advantage in watching, but also that the manner of the event might be so contrary to general expectation as to require some discernment on the part of the watchers.

For ye know not — Implies that when the event does take place the watching ones will know it. Watch, because ye know not, in order that, at the proper time, ye may know.  

What hour — “The day” according to the oldest Greek manuscripts. R2972:2,3

Your Lord doth come — This cannot refer to our Lord coming to receive a dying one at death, as is often taught, because death is an enemy.
Greek, erchomai, arrive.

Mark 13:33  (BBE)  Take care, keep watch with prayer: for you are not certain when the time will be.

Russell: Take ye heed — The times and seasons will be very important some time, so do not become indifferent.

Watch and pray — Watching unto prayer, thus keeping their hearts in a humble and teachable attitude. Watch yourselves and also the word of prophecy.

“Watch ye, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape.” (Luk_21:36)

PNT: Watch, or, ‘be awake;’ not the word usually thus translated. The words and pray are omitted by some ancient authorities.
For ye know not when the time is. Because of this uncertainty, be awake. See on Mat_24:42.

Guzik: Take heed, watch: We must watch. Anyone who watches is not caught by surprise. People are not ready because they fail to watch. The emphasis couldn’t be more clear:

• Of that day and hour no one knows (Mar_13:32)
• You do not know when the time is (Mar_13:33)
• You do not know when the master of the house is coming (Mar_13:35)

  1. Some people have the idea, “We don’t know when Jesus is coming, so it doesn’t really matter.” Others have the idea, “We don’t know when Jesus is coming, so we have to find out and set a date.” The right response is, “I don’t know when Jesus is coming so I have to be alert, eager, and ready for His coming.”

iii. “The more the master is expected, the more diligent ought the servants to be in working, watching, and keeping themselves in readiness. Can one who has received the sentence of death, and has no right to live a moment, need any admonition to prepare to die? Does not a prisoner who expects his deliverance hold himself in continual readiness to leave his dungeon?” (Clarke)

c. Take heed . . . pray: We must pray, that we may be found worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass (Luk_21:36). The good news in Jesus is that we don’t have to go through this calamity that will come. He will take from the earth as many as are ready to go before this calamity begins.

i. When Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. those who listened to and obeyed Jesus escaped the horrible destruction that came upon the city. When it comes to the far greater destruction that will come upon the whole earth, those who listen to and obey Jesus can escape the horrible destruction that will come.

Matthew 24:43 KJV  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.

Matthew 24:44 KJV  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Guzik: Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect: We must not escape the emphasis. We must be ready, because His coming for us is without warning. Jesus will now tell a few parables to drive home this point.

Clarke: If the good man of the house had known – “As a master of a family who expected a thief at any time of the night, would take care to be awake, and ready to protect his house; so do ye, who know that the Son of man will come. Though the day and hour be uncertain, continue always in a state of watchfulness, that he may not come upon you unawares.” Wakefield.

Matthew 24:45 KJV  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

Matthew 24:46 KJV  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

Matthew 24:47 KJV  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

Guzik: 1. (Mat_24:45-47) The faithful servant.
Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing: Jesus tells us that we must carry on with diligence while the Lord is gone. We must be that faithful and wise servant who takes care of his master’s business while the master is away.
Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods: Jesus also promises that we will be rewarded for our diligence. The servants serve the master, but the master knows how to take care of and reward the servants.

Matthew 25:14-30 KJV
14  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.
15  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.
16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20  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.
21  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.
22  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.
23  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.
24  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:
25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26  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:
27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29  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.
30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

CTR: Who then — In the harvest.

Faithful and wise servant — Faithful to the “Master” and to “his fellow-servants” and “the household.” God’s grace will probably come through a human channel, through the helpfulness of the fellow-members of the body of Christ, whom the Lord will make use of in serving the meat to the household of faith. Ever since the Church has had an existence, God has raised up some from its midst as special servants of the body, some who had special teaching ability.

Merely a steward, liable to be removed at any moment should he fail to fully and duly acknowledge the Master in every particular.

Whether you like to call it a class or individual, whatever it be. Let each reach his own conclusions and act accordingly.

The whole body of Christ, faithfully carrying out their consecration vows.

Hath made ruler — It would be very remarkable if the Lord should change his channel of sending the truth at this late date. In the interest of the household and for its comfort, joy and blessing, the Master, at an appropriate time, would furnish to some one of his servants a key to the precious things of his Word.

No suggestion here of either the inspiration or infallibility of “that servant.” This distinction belongs only to the Lord, the apostles and the prophets.

The Lord, as the overseer of his work, may today, as in every period, use some special instruments for the service of the Church as a whole.

Over his household — His faithful people in general; but not nominal Christian professors in general.

Each one of the household is to prove all things he accepts as spiritual food, whether he gets it from the Bible himself or from that servant or from fellow-servants.

To give them – Merely a channel for distributing the truth. His business is not to make truth, but to circulate it.

Meat in due season — Spiritual food. Truth as it becomes due, dispensed by the holy Spirit to the household of faith. For strengthening, upbuilding and preparing for a share in the Kingdom.

The stewardship mentioned is not a stewardship of talents and opportunities, but a stewardship of spiritual food. God’s Word is a great treasure house in which he has hid in past time all knowledge needful to his children in all ages. We are living in a peculiar time when some of the special features of the Gospel are properly made more prominent than others.

Blessed is that servant — Humble and unassuming, not claiming authorship or ownership of the truth, but dispensing it zealously. A certain servant which the Lord would use at the end of this age.
But it is a place of special danger as well as of special privilege. And no less blessed is the faithful household who search the Scriptures daily to see if these things be so, who prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.

Lord when he cometh — Greek, erchomai, arrives. Greek, ethlon, has come.

Shall find so doing — Shall find thus employed. Faithfully utilizing every available talent in his service.

Matthew 24:48 KJV  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

Matthew 24:49 KJV  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

Matthew 24:50 KJV  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,

Matthew 24:51 KJV  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Guzik: 2. (Mat_24:48-51) The evil servant.
If that evil servant says in his heart, “My master is delaying his coming”: Jesus warns us of the attitude which says, “my master is delaying his coming.” We must live in constant anticipation of Jesus’ return, and that means being about our business for Him now.

i. The most dangerous lie is not “There is no God”, not “there is no (Second Death)”; but the most dangerous lie of Satan is “there is no hurry.” It is not small thing to say “Jesus is not coming today, or for several years” because your system of prophecy demands it. We need to be ready for the immanent return of Jesus Christ.

b. Begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards: The evil servant, who was not ready for the master’s return, sinned in at least three ways.

• He was not about the business that the master left for him.
• He fought with and mistreated his fellow servants.
• He gave himself to the pleasures of the world instead of serving his master.

i. Can the same be said of many Christians today? Are you ready for the return of your master?
c. Cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: The faithful and wise servant was rewarded, but so is the evil servant. He is “rewarded” for His wickedness, and he has the portion with the hypocrites he deserved.

24  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:
25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26  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:
27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29  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.
30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Barnes: Mat_24:49
Smite his fellow-servants … – This is the conduct of a wicked servant, who, supposing he would not be called to account, and abusing his authority, gave himself up to oppression, carousing, and debauchery.
It is designed to represent the conduct of ministers who are unfaithful and overbearing, and who abuse their trust in the church.

Clarke:But, and if that evil servant – Here are three characters of a bad minister.
1. He has little or no faith in the speedy coming of Christ, either to punish for wickedness, or to pardon and sanctify those who believe. It may be, he does not outwardly profess this, but he says it in his heart, and God searches his heart, and knows that he professes to teach what he does not believe.

2. He governs with an absolute dominion, oppressing his colleagues and doing violence to the followers of Christ. And shall begin to smite, etc.

3. He leads an irregular life does not love the company of the children of God, but eats and drinks with the drunkards, preferring the tables of the great and the rich, whose god is their belly, and thus feeds himself without fear.
Great God! save thine inheritance from being ravaged by such wolves!