Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes. The Lord Jesus said, then shall be great tribulation. What did Jesus mean by “then”? The modern doctrine says the great tribulation is a future event. Is it? The reason we ask this seemingly silly question is because of the context of Matthew 24:21. Jesus is not talking about a great tribulation coming upon the world in the distant future. Does this sound shocking to us? Today’s lesson should reveal Jesus was teaching his disciples the great tribulation would come upon their generation.

By Pastor Delbert Young

The Great Tribulation



Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

Scriptures: Matthew 24:21, Matthew 23:13-29, Matthew 23:36, Matthew 12:41-42, Matthew 12:42, Matthew 23:36, Matthew 24:34, Mark 8:12, Mark 13:30, Luke 7:31, Luke 11:30, Luke 11:31-32, Luke 11:50-51, Luke 17:25, Luke 21:32, Matthew 24:34, Matthew 24:34, Matthew 24:14, Colossians 1:5, 23, Romans 16:25, Matthew 24:29, Matthew 24:15, Daniel 9:24, Luke 21:20, Matthew 24:32, Matthew 24:37




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

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

The Lord Jesus said, “….then shall be great tribulation....” Jesus said then. What did Jesus mean by then? The modern doctrine says the great tribulation is a future event. Is it? It has been predicted again and again by the Dispensationalists. Again and again, they have been wrong. In the past Darby, Larkin, Dake, Scofield, Ryrie, etc. have frightened people with the dreaded great tribulation. They were wrong then. Today a host of others shout the “soon coming” great tribulation. They too are wrong. In fact, I do not know of a single prediction they have been correct about. Is the great tribulation of Matthew 24:21 a future event?

The reason we ask this seemingly silly question is because of the context of Matthew 24:21. Jesus is not talking about a great tribulation coming upon the world in the distant future. Does this sound shocking to us?

Today’s lesson should reveal Jesus was teaching his disciples the great tribulation would come upon the region of Judaea and specifically Jerusalem. This great tribulation would come because of the religious system. It came upon the generation Jesus Christ came (those who pierced him – Rev 1:7). The tribulation removed the kingdom of God from the Jewish religious system and gave it to the church.

I. This Context

Context is the most important ingredient for proper Biblical interpretation. Any verse studied must be studied in context. Context means the setting of the verse. We looked to see the surroundings and what was happening at the time. If we want to properly understand Matthew 24:21 and the time of the great tribulation, we must understand the context.

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

1. Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1-11)

The day Jesus spoke about the great tribulation would have been the Monday prior to the Friday of his crucifixion. Jesus entered Jerusalem on Sunday–Palm Sunday. We call the event the Triumphal Entry (Zec 9:9).

2. Cleansed the temple (Matthew 21:12-15)

After proclaiming himself as the king by riding into Jerusalem on the donkey (Zec 9:9), Jesus rode to the temple. The first act of the proclaimed king was to cleanse the temple. He said the religious system had made it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:13).

Christ detested their religious system. It had made the father’s house a den of thieves. A den would be the place the thieves inhabited. It is the place where the thieves reproduced. In John 10:10 Jesus said he came to give life abundantly, but the thief came to rob, kill, and destroy. The thief was this religious system. Jesus loathed the system of the Jews.

Jesus began healing the blind and the lame. He began to have a Benny Henn meeting there in the temple. As this was happening the children were rejoicing saying Hosanna to the son of David.

a. first confrontation (v15-17)

The chief priests and the scribes were upset. Jesus had run people out of the temple, he was healing others, and the children were rejoicing calling Jesus the son of David. The Bible says these religious leaders were sore displeased. As Jesus and the Jewish leaders confronted, Jesus quoted from Psalm 8:2 and then left the temple.

It will become very apparent the purpose of Christ was to sore displease the Jewish leaders.

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

3. cursed fig tree (Matthew 21:18-22)

The next morning Jesus and the disciples began traveling back into Jerusalem. It was then Jesus cursed the fig tree (Matthew 21:19). We see the mindset and attitude Christ was in. It doesn’t seem like him to curse a fig tree, but he did. He is angry and he is upset.

There is much for us still to learn from the fig tree cursing. It was a lesson on prayer and faith. Jesus said we could say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. Jesus was not speaking of literal mountains. He was speaking of what a mountain represented in the scriptures.

In the scriptures, mountains represent both good and bad religious worship. False religions worshiped on high places (Lev 26:30). There was also Mount Sinai, Mount Zion, Mount Moriah, and on and on where good and bad worship took place. Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem and told his disciples to say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. He was giving a metaphor of the Jewish religious worship he so detested. Speak to it, pray about it, believe what you say, and pray, cast the religious system into the sea.

4. second confrontation with religious leaders (Matthew 21:23-27)

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, he went directly to the temple. Remember he had there, the evening prior, sore displeased the religious leaders. Jesus knew he was not welcome. Still, he went knowing confrontation awaited.

a. question of religious leaders to Jesus

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, the chief priests and elders of the Jews met him.

b. question of Jesus to religious leaders

They asked by what authority Jesus did what he did. Instead of answering the question, Jesus asked them a question. Their correct answer would give the answer to the question they asked. Jesus asked about John’s baptism, was it of God or man?

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

John’s baptism proclaimed the kingdom of God was at hand (Matthew 3:2). It was time for the kingdom. John said the Messiah was then present in the land (Matthew 3:11). If those questioning Jesus answered the question about John correctly, they would also answer their own question.

Naturally, they would not answer the question. So, Jesus would not answer their question. Jesus defied the religious system!

5. first parable, two sons (Matthew 21:28-32)

The Lord then tells the Jewish religious leaders a parable. The parable was meant to show them the publicans and harlots would go into the kingdom of God before them. Usually, Jesus would tell a parable and only give the meaning of the parable if asked. That is not the case today.

Jesus again debased and dishonored the Jewish leaders. He literally tells them how the publicans and sinners were superior to the Jewish leaders. He does not sugarcoat his words. Moreover, He directly tells them the worst sinner is better than the religious leaders of Judaism for the kingdom.

6. second parable, land owner (Matthew 21:33-46)

On the heels of the parable of two sons, Jesus begins another. This parable was intended to show what awaited the Jews in the near future. They would be crushed and destroyed by armies.

The parable was about a man who planted and built a vineyard. This man was Father God. The vineyard was the people of God (Psa 80:8). The owner leased his vineyard to husbandmen who were the religious system. The owner sent servants to collect the fruits, but the servants were killed by the husbandmen. The servants were the prophets the religious system had killed. Finally, the owner sent his son. Naturally, the son was Jesus. They killed the son also.

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

a. question by Jesus to religious leaders

Jesus asked the religious leaders, “When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?” They answered, “He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus interpreted the parable. He told them he is the Son, the stone the builders rejected. Jesus said, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The stone was positioned. Jesus was the stone and was about to fall upon them grinding them to powder–great tribulation!
A most interesting statement is now given. This is a statement we need not miss concerning the great tribulation. After Jesus interpreted the parable, the Jewish leaders perceived that he spake of them. They were correct.

This entire context is about them–not us! It is not about a people several thousands of years later.

7. third parable, Marriage feast (Matthew 22:1-14)

The Lord goes into a third parable. This parable is a description of the destruction of the Jewish nation because they would not respond to the invitations of God.

A king’s son was being given a Marriage supper. The king is Father God. The son is Jesus Christ. The king sent servants to tell the king’s people to come to the Marriage feast. The servants are the prophets. The people were the Jewish nation. However, they would not comeBut when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Their city was Jerusalem. The army was Rome.

This literally happened in A.D. 70. Less than 40 years after Jesus said this. The Roman armies came upon Jerusalem. The city was burned. The Jewish nation was terminated. The stone fell. The kingdom was taken from the Jews. The nation was ground to powder. The kingdom was given to the church (1Pe 2:9).

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

8. tribute unto Caesar (Matthew 22:14-22)

The Pharisees develop a plan to trick Jesus. They had their disciples (twice the sons of hell they were–Matthew 23:15) ask Jesus about taxes. Jesus called them hypocrites.

a. question by Jesus to religious disciples

Jesus looked at a coin. Then asked whose image and superscription was on the coin. Of course, it was Caesar’s image. Jesus said Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

9. Sadducees question the resurrection (Matthew 22:23-34)

The Sadducees join in the assault upon Jesus. They asked a hypothetical question. The question was after a woman married seven brothers whose wife would the woman be in the resurrection? Jesus told them Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. Isn’t this amazing? The cream of the crop did not know the scriptures. Jesus said at the resurrection people are as the angels of God in heaven.

10. Pharisees question the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-40)

As we today would obtain a lawyer to defend us in court, there were lawyers in Christ’s day to defend people in the law. One came to Jesus. This lawyer was a Pharisee. He asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment. Jesus simply said to love God and love people as you love yourself.

11. Jesus asked the religious leaders, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? (Matthew 22:41-46)

As we can see, the religious system and Jesus were head to head in confrontation. They would ask Jesus a question. He would ask them a question. They always came out looking weak and shallow. Jesus always came out looking strong and deep. People Marveled at his doctrine.

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

Jesus asked the religious leaders another question. The question was Whose son is Christ? They answered David. Jesus replied, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then called him Lord, how is he his son?

In actuality, Jesus the Christ is the Son of God. He is the son of David through Marky, but the Christ through the Holy Spirit. The religious leaders could not answer. They decided to hush and not ask him ask him any more questions.

It had been back and forth all day.

The confrontation was heavy and deep. Remember Jesus went into the den of thieves knowing he would be attacked and challenged. Jesus defied the religious system of Judaism. Jesus told them sinners would enter the kingdom of God before the religious leaders entered, and Jesus told them the kingdom would be taken from them. The kingdom would be given to other people. He said the stone would grind the religious system to powder. That system of Judaism perceived Jesus as speaking about them. He said an army would come and burn their city–Jerusalem. Jesus said they did not know the Scriptures. They were a den of thieves waiting to be judged.

This is the context of the great tribulation. It has nothing as of yet to do with you or me. It is only dealing thus far with Judaism.

12. Sickening religious system (Matthew 23:1-12)

Jesus told the people and his disciples how worthless the religious system was to mankind. All it was interested in was itself. It cared nothing about people. Jesus said, Do as it says. Do not Do as it does. Their system only used God for selfish purposes. (Matthew 23:3). Jesus said all their works they do for to be seen of men. The way they dressed, the way they prayed, even the places they set in a crowd was for self purposes.

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

13. Woe unto you (Matthew 23:13-31)

After telling the people and his disciples how sorry, sickening, and useless the religious system was, Jesus spoke woe after woe to the religious blood-sucking organism.

Matthew 23:13, 15, 16 23, 25, 27, 29

13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools….

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier Matthewters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind guides

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee

27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

Jesus continued the confrontation until he collected the religious system. When he had them together he released his words of doom and woe. To Jesus, the system was a hypocrisy, made up of fools and blind guides. What good are you? You send people to hell. You make people what you are–hypocrites, and you are white-washed sepulchers. Furthermore, you build monuments to the prophets you killed, and you are blind guides. Moreover, you shut up the kingdom of heaven to people! Woe to you!

woe means something horrible and disastrous will happen. In this case, the woe of disaster would happen because of a specified reason. There was not only one woe. There were eight woes with eight reasons. To whom were they spoken? Are they directed at you or me? No, they obviously are aimed directly at the religious system of Judaism. Please do not miss this fact.

14. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers (Matthew 23:33)

After the woes, Jesus said this system was nothing more than serpents and vipers. We must note it was the serpent whose head the seed of the woman would crush (Gen 3:15). Here the serpent is clearly the Jewish religious system! The stone was posed to crush.

Not only were these religious leaders Jesus rebuked serpents and vipers. They were a generation of vipers. Jesus was saying they were snakes and their daddy was a snake, and their granddaddy was a snake. The system was nothing more than a bed of poisonous serpents producing serpents. Their father was the devil (Joh 8:44).

15. That religious system would go to hell (Matthew 23:33)

Jesus told the religious leaders there was no way they would miss going to hell. Jesus said, Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

There was no way it would escape damnation.

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

16. all vengeance would come upon this generation and the religious system

Jesus spoke of the blood of the prophets who had come and the blood of those he would send. As he spoke to the Jewish system he said upon you may come all the righteous blood. The vengeance of God would come upon their wicked generation. It was not to come upon us or any other people or generation.

17. this generation

Matthew 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Jesus said, All these things shall come upon this generation. All what things? All the acts of vengeance of God because of the blood of the prophets and the killing of those Jesus sent. It was not to come upon a future generation. It would come upon their generation.

A little-known and little-taught truth is the truth about this generation. Over and over again Jesus spoke detrimentally to this generation (his generation).

Matthew 12:41-42 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it… The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it…

 Matthew 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

The next one we find is in Matthew 24:34. This is the very discourse where KJV uses the term “great tribulation.”

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

Mark 8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation

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

Luke 7:31, 11:30-32

31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like

30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation

31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them…

32 The men of  Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it…

Luke 11:50-51

50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation

Luke 17:25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation

Luke 21:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

I trust we see in Matthew 23:36 that Jesus clearly spoke of the woes and vengeance upon their generation. Throughout his ministry, he spoke of the judgment coming upon their generation. This is extremely important because the same term is used again in Matthew 24:34.

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
The things be fulfilled refers to the great tribulation. This generation–the generation to which Jesus spoke–would not pass before the great tribulation was fulfilled.

18. Jerusalem destroyed, the house would be left desolate (Matthew 23:37-39)

The Lord said he would have taken Jerusalem under his wings (Psa 17:8), but it would not. It rejected the stone and now the stone would crush Jerusalem to powder. Jesus said, Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. This is the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel (Matthew 24:15). Jerusalem would be burned with fire. The house of God would be left desolate. It would all come upon their generation. Their generation would not escape damnation.

This historically took place in A.D. 70 some 37 years later. This was within one generation. All the cities Jesus spoke judgment to were destroyed. Jerusalem was burned. The house of God was left desolate.

II. Explanation to the Disciples

1. Jesus went out, and departed from the temple

The King James Version says Jesus went out, and departed from the temple. There is a double emphasis–went out, and departed from the temple. Jesus had spoken his woes. Jerusalem would be burned and the temple made desolate. Jesus never entered the temple again – Ichabod!

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

As they walked away, the disciples of Christ began to point out the beauty of the temple. It was, at this time, still under construction, but still a marvel. White stone and golden ornaments sparkled in the sun. The disciples had heard all Jesus had said about its desolation. Could it be true?

Jesus responded to their comments. He said, 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. Obviously, Jesus is speaking about the temple he had minutes before went out, and departed from. This is not a future temple. It is not a temple that will be built prior to a futuristic tribulation. It is not a temple of the future. However, it was the temple of the generation Christ came.

2. “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? [NIV] (Matthew 24:3-21)

The disciples asked three questions about what had just happened. This is the context of the entire section. Nothing has been said from chapter 21 to chapter 24 about any other coming or any other tribulation. They are asking about that temple’s desolation, not a future temple.

King James translates verse 3 as ….end of the world. It is the Greek word aion (Strong’s #165) and means age, period of time. No place is Jesus speaking of the end of the world. He has specifically spoken of the end of the age of the Jewish system since chapter 22.

a. when will this happen

The disciples wanted to know when will this happen? They wanted a specific day and hour. Their answer was given in Matthew 24:34-36

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Jesus promised them it would be before their generation passed. Heaven and earth would pass away before this would not be true. But only Father knew the day and hour.

b. what will be the sign of your coming

The disciples wanted to know the sign. They wanted Jesus to give them one specific sign telling them he was about to come in judgment upon Jerusalem and the temple.

Jesus gives many events happening before the coming judgment upon Jerusalem. There would be great deception (v5), false Christ (v5), wars and rumors of wars (v6), famines, pestilences, and earthquakes (v7), and the disciples would be arrested, hated, and some killed (v9). All this was the beginning of sorrows, but the end was not yet and none of those were the sign.

Today those who attempt to make this an end of our world teaching jump on every earthquake and war. They say it is a sign of the end. Jesus said even then it was not a sign. It would happen, but was not the sign of the end.

Well, what was the sign? It is given in 24:14.

Matthew 24:14 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.

Most would say this proves it was for a far distant and future time. They say this because they do not believe the gospel has been preached to all the world. It is not what the scriptures say

Colossians 1:5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth

Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

The book of Colossians was written no later than A.D. 61-63. The book of Romans was written no later than A.D. 58. Scripturally by A.D. 63 the gospel had been preached to every creature which is under heaven. The gospel had been made known to all nations.

Jesus said when this gospel of the kingdom was preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations then shall the end come. This happened in the middle of the ’60s. The Roman armies came into Judah in the spring of A.D. 66. Jerusalem was burned and the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. Their generation did not pass. The great tribulation of Matthew 24:21 came upon Judah and their generation just as Jesus said it would.

c. what will be the sign of the end of the age

The question is about the end of the age. It was not about the end of the world. The age meant was the age of Moses or the age of the Old Covenant. What was the sign showing the age of the Old Covenant had passed and the age of the New Covenant had begun? The disciples were asking, “How will we know you, the Christ, reign and Moses is over?” The answer is given in Matthew 24:29-30

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days…. 30 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.

The great tribulation spoken of by Jesus was given in the context of destroying the religious system of Judaism. That system Jesus detested because it had taken the house of God and made it a den of thieves. So it was a system of serpents and vipers producing generations of serpents and vipers, and it was a system of hypocrites and blind guides. Also, it was a system that could not escape hell. It would burn and it did burn. Furthermore, it was a system that killed the servants of God and the vengeance of their blood would come upon their religious system before the generation Jesus spoke to could pass.

It was the tribulation that was the sign. The desolation of their temple and the burning of Jerusalem proved Jesus sat on the throne in heaven. How brilliant the enemy is to teach this tribulation is futuristic! Everything Dispensationalists teach hinges on a futuristic tribulation that will never happen.

III. The Abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15-21)

Matthew 24:15 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:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

This reference concerned Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks or 490 years found in Daniel 9. A most interesting part of the prophecy in Daniel 9 is it only concerned the Jewish people, and Jerusalem. The following passage teaches us this important fact. The seventy weeks did not concern the world. It only concerned the Jewish people and Jerusalem

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Luke, a Gentile writer in the New Testament, helps us Gentiles understand the abomination of desolation.

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter there into.

Once we see the abomination of desolation concerns Jerusalem and the Jewish people and not the world, the great tribulation begins to be understood. When we link this to Luke’s gospel and see the abomination of desolation when armies are compassed around Jerusalem, we again see the great tribulation of Matthew 24:21 is a historic event. It happened in 70 A.D.

Jesus warned his people to flee Judaea when they saw the Roman armies for it was time for the great tribulation.

IV. the fig tree (Matthew 24:32)

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

Jesus brought all his teachings about the great tribulation to a parable. The fig tree teaching is a parable, not a metaphor for the nation of Israel as is often erroneously taught. No place in scripture does it refer to the fig tree as Israel. The olive tree yes, but the fig tree no. The metaphor for the fig tree is a time of good and plenty. But this is not what the Lord here is teaching. He is teaching people know summer is close when they see a fig tree beginning to put forth leaves in the spring. In the same way, when they see the gospel of the kingdom preached in the nations and the Roman armies compass Jerusalem know the destruction of the temple is about to happen. The age of Judaism and Mosses is about to end.

Matthew 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

IV. As the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-41)

Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 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, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

I have actually heard this passage used to teach the rapture. However, if it is I don’t want to be a part of this rapture. The reason I say this is because if it is like the days of Noah, those taken were the wicked.

Jesus taught the coming of the Son of man upon Jerusalem and their generation is likened to the flood of Noah’s day. Get out of Jerusalem and the land of Judaea or be taken captive was the warning.

The ancient historian Josephus writes of those taken as prisoners or killed in the great tribulation

“Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousand, the greater part of whom were indeed of the same nation [with the citizens of Jerusalem], but not belonging to the city itself; for they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army, which, at the very first, occasioned so great a straightness among them, that there came a pestilential destruction upon them, and soon afterward such a famine, as destroyed them more suddenly.”1

Anyone who will take the time and make the effort to study the context of Matthew 24:21 – the great tribulation – will see it was for the generation of their day. Nothing in the context points to any other generation. If a person studies history and the writing of Josephus they will have no doubt the great tribulation came upon the Jewish people and Jerusalem in A.D. 70

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

Great Tribulation sermon video audio notes

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1  Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, ix, 3