Understanding The End –Time
By Olubi Johnson
Matthew 24:3(KJV): And as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?
Here, we are given three questions that give us the key to understanding the end-time.
1. When shall these things be?
2. What shall be the sign of your coming?
3. What shall be the sign of the end of the world (or age)?
There are 3 sections of the end-time:
1. The persecution of the early church and destruction of Jerusalem by the Gentiles (Titus the Roman Emperor in AD 70):
Luke 21:12-24(KJV): But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. (13) And it shall return to you for a testimony. (14) Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand what you 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 you shall be betrayed also by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends. And they will cause some of you to be put to death. (17) And you shall be hated by all for My name’s sake. (18) But there shall not a hair of your head perish. (19) By your patience you will gain your souls. (20) And when you see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that its destruction has come. (21) And let those in Judea flee to the mountains. And those in its midst, let them go out. And those in the open spaces, let them not go into her. (22) For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. (23) But woe to those who are with child, and to those suckling in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land and wrath on this people. (24) And they shall fall by the sword’s edge. And shall be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the nations until the times of the nations is fulfilled.
These things have already happened: they took place from the time of the book of Acts to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
2. The sign of His coming:
Matthew 24:6-13(KJV): And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must occur; but the end is not yet. (7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places. (8) All these are the beginning of sorrows. (9) Then they will deliver you up to be afflicted and will kill you. And you will be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. (10) And then many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. (11) And many false prophets will rise and deceive many. (12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will become cold. (13) But he who endures to the end, the same shall be kept safe.
This is the section of time we are in now: it started about 1900: with the advent of two world wars and most importantly the reappearance of Israel as a nation in Palestine in 1948. This is typified as the ‘budding of the fig tree’.
Matthew 24:32-34(KJV): Now learn a parable of the fig tree. When its branch is still tender and puts out leaves, you know that summer is near. (33) So you, likewise, when you see all these things, shall know that it is near, at the doors. (34) Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass until all these things are fulfilled.
Hosea 9:10(KJV): I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness. I saw your fathers as the first-fruit in the fig tree at her first time.
Joel 1:7(KJV): He has laid My vine waste and splintered My fig tree. He has stripped it and cast it away; its branches grow white.
This section of the end-time will be finished when the church has grown to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4.11-16), manifesting the glory (Isaiah 60.1-5, John 14.12), so preaching, teaching and demonstrating the gospel of the Kingdom to every tribe, tongue and kindred:
Matthew 24:14(KJV): And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all nations. And then the end shall come.
3. After this section the last section of the end-time will begin: the end of the age, also called the great tribulation:
Matthew 24:15-31(KJV): Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand). (16) Then let those in Judea flee into the mountains. (17) Let him on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; (18) nor let him in the field turn back to take his clothes. (19) And woe to those who are with child, and to those who give suck in those days! (20) But pray that your flight is not in the winter, nor on the sabbath day; (21) for then shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be. (22) And unless those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened. (23) Then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ! Or, There! Do not believe it. (24) For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders; so much so that, if it were possible, they would deceive even the elect. (25) Behold, I have told you beforehand. (26) Therefore if they shall say to you, Behold, He is in the desert! Do not go out. Behold, He is in the secret rooms! Do not believe it. (27) For as the lightning comes out of the east and shines even to the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man. (28) For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered. (29) And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (30) And then the sign of the Son of Man shall appear in the heavens. And then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the heaven with power and great glory. (31) And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
The events of the end of the age or the great tribulation are described in more detail in Revelation 6-19.
In our article next week we will see how different orders of the resurrection (1 Corintians 15.23) are related to the great tribulation.