Standing before my students as a young Adjunct Professor, I paused momentarily to view the faces of more than 50 first year students of the Word of God. As I turned from their faces, awaiting my opening lecture, I was taken aback by all of the books on the shelves authored by nearly 300 different authors. I began, “All of these books and not one author is present! All desiring for you to know about one Book, the Holy Bible. But I promise you, I continued, if you read this one Book, the Author promises to be present with you and in you.”
I want you who read this blog to know, it is the scriptures and nothing but the scriptures so help me God upon which we rise or fall.
Today the passage in which we have to do is Matthew 24:12 begins in verse 1.
Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1-2
Chapters 24 and 25 comprise Jesus’ fifth and final discourse; we call this discourse the Olivet Discourse. This presentation is entirely prophetic. Most of the description is about the time of the Tribulation.
In Matthew 24:1 we read [following the judgments of chapter 23] Jesus went out and departed from the temple, Jesus and His disciples left the temple area and began to climb the Mount of Olives. He had just pronounced judgment on the temple (23:38). The glory had departed from the temple. Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4; 11:23.
And His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.
The buildings of Herod’s temple were a wonderful site. The disciples wanted to talk about its physical beauty. Herod began building this temple is 20 B.C. and it was still under construction in A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed it. It was made of gleaming white limestone. The eastern wall was covered with gold plates.
And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Matthew 24:2
As they walked up the Mount of Olives Jesus asked His disciples to look down at the beauty of the architecture of the temple below them. Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” The Roman army fulfilled these words in A.D. 70 when Titus ordered the destruction of the temple. They threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley.
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what will be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3
Jesus sat on the very place where the prophecy He was about to give will occur. The Mount of Olives is just across the Kidron Valley from the temple. This gave a panoramic view of both Jerusalem and the temple from the east. Jesus had just given a prophecy about the destruction of the temple in verses 1-2.
The disciples, shaken by this prophecy, asked Jesus two questions. They assumed that the destruction of the temple would take place at the Second Coming.
“Tell us, when will these things be?
“These things” refers to Jesus’ statement about the destruction of the temple and the fall of Jerusalem verses 1-2. Jesus did not answer this question directly in chapters 24 and 25. He did indicate that “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” Matthew 24:34. However, in terms of the exact time Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” Matthew 24:36
And what will be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?”
In the Greek the word “the” governs both “the sign of thy coming” and “of the end of the age.” The disciples did not separate the two events. In their view, the destruction of Jerusalem entailed the end of the age with the coming of the Messiah. Jesus referred to His coming in three places in verses 27, 37 and 39. The Second Coming will occur just after the Tribulation period of seven years.
The phrase “the end of the age” means the end of the age of Israel. The Second Coming will consummate that age. The “present age” to Jesus and the disciples was the one before the Messianic age began. The Old Testament taught a sequence of prophetical events:
1. Destruction of Jerusalem Zechariah 14:1
2. Messiah would come and end the present age of Israel Zechariah 14:3-8
3. Messiah would set up a new kingdom for Israel Zechariah 14:3-11
The Rapture will occur just before the Tribulation. The disciples had no knowledge of the Rapture but only of the Second Coming.
Matthew 24:4 This verse begins the Olivet Discourse proper. Jesus answers questions about “the sign of thy coming” and “the end of the age” from verses 4 through 44. This section deals with the Tribulation. The Tribulation is the 70th week of Daniel, Daniel 9:27.
The first three-and-a-half years of the Tribulation run from verses 4 to 14. The last three-and-a-half years are the Great Tribulation, the Time of Jacob’s Trouble Jeremiah 30:7. The latter is a time of unprecedented tribulation on earth.
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives [leads astray] you. Matthew 24:4
Jesus warned His disciples about premature claims of His coming. There will be a difference between the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and His Second Coming. We need to distinguish between a partial fulfillment and full fulfillment prophetically. There will be many fakers claiming to be the Messiah. There are many false teachers today as well:
2 Peter 2:1But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. Mathew 24:5
It will not be a few but “many” who will pretend to be the Messiah in the Tribulation. There will be an explosion of false Messiahs. Many will fall for their claims. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. During the Tribulation people will claim to speak for God but they will be fakers. They will adhere to the structures of Christianity without true belief in Christ, and many will fall for the phony prophets.
Moving down to verse 12 we read:
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12
Due to “lawlessness” abounding, normal human affection will deteriorate. “Lawlessness” means iniquity. Iniquity is a disregard for the standards of the Bible. There will be those who blow cold air on the fervent love for Christ.
In The Old Testament, the concept of lawlessness comes to expression frequently through more than twenty Hebrew terms (all of which the Septuagint translates with anomia. Although the Greek term anomia, which translates all of these terms in the Septuagint, might lead one to suspect that this is dealing with the breaking of the Mosaic Law (ho nomos) that is primarily in view, the more general idea of iniquity or of Acts that reflect rebellion against God is the basic one.
Basically the word means NO MORAL CODE. One friend of mine translates this as “NO MORAL COMPASS.” Is this not the time in which we live?
Next we come to the word wax. The English word "wax" originated from an Anglo-Saxon (of which both English and German are related - Saxony is in Germany; the Anglos, from which comes the word "English," were a tribe of the Saxons) word weaxen which meant to grow, or increase.
A number of different Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures have been translated by the single word "wax" (or "waxed"). In the Hebrew, the most-frequent is (pronounced) haw-lawk; it has a broad meaning, all involving an increase, but not necessarily as one thinks of it with the English word. Although the Hebrew word means increase, "wax" (as it is translated) is used to mean either an increase in increase, or, seemingly paradoxically, but nevertheless logically, an increase in decrease. Consider this example where "David waxed stronger and stronger" while "Saul waxed weaker and weaker."
Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David, but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker." 2 Samuel 3:1
Having labored to arrive at the etymology of waxing cold, the question we have before us is, who are the many?
True believers of Christ have always lived with the animosity that the carnal world has with the Truth - and with the great many self-worshipping frauds that call themselves "Christian" (calling them frauds of course just makes them even more angry, but it's as true as the Scriptural Truth that they still choose to defy - But while "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived," God's true believers look only to "the holy scriptures, which are able to make them wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:12-17
I love the reading of the orthodox Jewish Bible here: 21 Not all the ones saying to me, Adoneinu, Adoneinu, will enter the Malchut HaShomayim, but the one doing the ratzon Avi shba-Shomayim (the will of my Father in Heaven (Matthew 26:39). 22 Many [messianic darshanim] will say to me [Moshiach] on that Day [the Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgment], Adoneinu, Adoneinu, did we not speak as neviim in your Name? Did we not cast out shedim (evil spirits, demons) in your Name? Did we not accomplish many niflaot (miracles) in your Name? 23 And then I will tell them to their face, I never had da’as of you. Depart from me, you workers of mufkarut (lawlessness) [TEHILLIM 6:9 (8).
Saints, be warned! Spiritual complacency has and will affect the majority believers.
“The love of many shall wax cold”
1. Being Indifferent to the main priority Revelation 2:4
2. Being Indifferent to their own need Revelation 3:15-20
Our prayer for you:
That your minds will not hardened and made dull, and that the gospel that has alighted into your hearts give you true Shalom.
We are living in very momentous days; each day brings an unfolding of new events that are very interesting in the light of Bible prophecy. People are asking questions concerning Bible prophecy. It is amazing as to lack of knowledge of end-times events in light of what the scripture reveals to us. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the overall prophetic view of what God has for our future. We will be taking a close look at what God spoke so long ago and how it is actually transpiring before our very eyes. We will look events that are happening in Israel, U.S. and the rest of the world. As events transpire in today’s world it is our desire to keep you updated as what the Bible teaches. We want to bring to you a clear understanding of the last days and of the events that will take place in the future as Jesus Christ comes again and establishes God’s kingdom on the earth as the Bible records for us.
The Lord has declared that He did not want us to be ignorant but that He wanted us to be understanding of the times in which we live in. That is why He wrote in advance of things that would take place so that that day would not take us by surprise. Look at what Paul wrote, “knowing the time, it is high time to awake out of our sleep…now is our salvation nearer than when we believed….” Romans 13:11
It is high time that the church wake up….we are almost home.
Jesus said “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12
Our world is abounding in iniquity. We are living in times of lawlessness. If you would take the pulse of the U.S. it would read on the thermometer red hot. We are now living in a period of time where crime has reached it’s all time high and where morality seems to have hit it’s all time low. The family life has almost become a thing of the past. Where being married and staying married has now become a novelty. As a result of this we can see chaos running wild across our streets of our country. We are seeing teen age kids run away at a staggering rate. Homeless people living in our cities streets with seemly nowhere to go. The fear of gangs with their violence and their shooting of each other in our streets has become a reality. Drugs and the life style that goes along with it seems to be continuing at an uncontrollable rate. We are experiencing a great downward spiral in the quality of life for man that has been escalating at a rate that only can end up in a server crash unless something changes.
As we look at the world that we live in it truly looks hopeless. But the fact is that in the mist of this hopelessness their remains for us a door of hope. That door the Bible declares to be is Jesus Christ. He is truly the only ones that can give us hope in this world. The Bible state that through Jesus Christ it now actually possible for man to walk with God and enjoy his present on a daily basic.
We are living in a world that is abounding in iniquity. There are some who are hoping and praying for a worldwide revival and I am one of those. However, I do not believe that the church is going to go out in a blaze of glory, and I do believe that at the time of the coming of Christ, iniquity will be abounding on the earth, just as it was in the times of Noah. We are seeing such a weakness in the judicial system that it can no longer bring judgment against evil. Because evil must be judged. When man fails in the judgment of evil God will step in and judge the evil. That’s the way it was in the time of Noah. There was no real judgment of evil. Everyone was doing what was right in his own eyes and thus God intervened and God judged. Thus will be the case again.
The world is getting ready for the judgment of God due to the fact that man is not judging evil. No longer is there a desire to look to the Bible to be the standard for us of what is right or what is wrong so God will step in and will judge evil. That is what the great tribulation period is all about. It is God’s judgment against evil. As they cry to the mountains and rocks fall, they will cry out hide us from the face of the land, for the day of His wrath has come and who shall be able to stand? So, “iniquity will abound and as the result, the love of many will wax cold.”
Sin has never been more readily available and because of that, the love of many has waxed cold as a result there is some who have gone back to the life of the flesh.
The Bible declares, “Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:7
Will you this day turn back to God? That is my prayer for you. Remember that God loves you.
Next week Part 2
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. Mark 1:35
It's interesting that Jesus' concept of being renewed in strength and refreshed was not sleeping in, but getting out early before anyone else was up and communing with the Father.
Jesus drew His strength from prayer. I do not know of any greater evidence of the necessity of our praying than the fact that Jesus prayed. Jesus, being the Son of God, saw the necessity of prayer, how much more do we need prayer?
Look at Paul's strong exhortation to us to pray found in Philippians 4:6-7.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." NKJV
Let’s follow the example given us day by day by seeking the Lord through prayer.
Jesus said in John 16:24, henceforth you have been asking nothing in my name, ask,... In the Greek, it’s in the intensive form, in reads (ask, please ask, that you might receive, that your joy may be full!)
Notice what Paul says in Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
We should never gauge problems by our capacity to deal with them. Difficulty must always be measured by the capacity of the one doing the work. Let’s remember the great opportunity that has been given to us if we simply ask and receive from the Lord.