The Promise Of God’s Servant
"He Will Return"
Book of Mark Chapter 13:24-37
In our last lesson Jesus tells us many things that cannot be denied and have already come to pass. There are those that say anyone could have said these things and they be true, but this is not the message of the world nor of false science.
The message of the false science is that, the world is evolving into something better when the truth is, the world is decaying and dying.
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
The message of the world is that, because of technology, things are getting better all the time, when the truth is, these same things are causing death and decay and the world is being deceived.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
The pure fact is that Jesus said in our last lesson these words:
Mar 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
So let’s continue Chapter 13 as Jesus continues to answer the disciples.
That question was:
Mar 13:4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
*****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.
There should little doubt that there was a great deal of tribulation after the ascension of Jesus Christ back to Heaven.
The work on Herod’s Temple was completed in 64 AD.
By 66 AD Israel had rebelled against the tyranny of Rome. Nero who was Caesar at this time, dispatched Vespasian to stop this rebellion.
By 68 AD the resistance had been put down and Vespasian turned his attention to Jerusalem. This same year Nero committed suicide and Vespasian returned to Rome as ruler and Titus his own son became General of the Roman army.
In 70 AD the walls of Jerusalem fell and the city was destroyed and the Temple ransacked and burned. Not only that but most all the residents of Jerusalem, innocent men, women, and children were ruthlessly slaughtered.
Those that remained, upon seeing these things rebelled again and it was not until 73 AD that the Jews were completely defeated when Masada fell. Those left at Masada would not allow the Roman Army the pleasure of another slaughter and they robbed them by killing themselves.
When Jesus said "those days" and "after that tribulation" we can be sure He was referring to this time period.
But God has already said this:
Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
This is the generation that was destroyed by Titus, except for a small remnant, that Jesus was making reference to!
But Jesus is also speaking of another time period. Jesus was quoting from the Book of Isaiah.
Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Isa 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isa 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Only the Jew was punished in the day of Titus. The Lord says He will punish the world and that has not taken place yet, so there is coming another period of Tribulation and even Greater Tribulation to the entire world!
These are the days "yet to come" when the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give of her light!
And the stars will fall from heaven and the powers in heaven shall be shaken.
In 73 AD any remaining Jews were driven off their own land by Rome and many made slaves and scattered throughout the Roman empire.
But that was not the end of the Jews then and their troubles are not yet over!
Jer 30:10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; "and Jacob shall return", and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.
Jer 30:11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations "whither I have scattered thee", yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.
Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: "it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble"; but he shall be saved out of it.
It is this future time when The Lord Jesus says He will return and it is the Lord Jesus Christ who will save Jacob, "the deceiver", out of the troubles of the Antichrist, at this future time!
The Lord will sit as King then, not only of Israel, but the entire world!
*****Mar 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
There is a great judgment coming to this world we live in.
It is by the Lord Jesus Christ that the world was made:
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
It is by the Lord Jesus Christ that "Salvation came" to this world:
Act 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Act 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
It will be by the Lord Jesus Christ that "Judgment" will fall on this world:
Psa 96:13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
The Lord Jesus will return "to be the climax and the conclusion" of the Great Tribulation Period.
Mat 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.
There will be "unmistakable" signs from on high.
What the Devil is doing at that time will be seen as only a deception because he is only a deceiver but he will have caused the murder and mayhem and slaughter to many of the innocent.
But it is not that remnant that will rebel at this time, because there is coming the Savior!
Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Then, what will the Lord do?
*****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.
These elect are not the Church because the Church is already in Heaven and will return with the Lord at His second coming!
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
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.
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.
Those two words, "caught up"(snatched out) are the meaning of the word "rapture" and this is the victory of the Church!
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church will not see those 7 years of tribulation!
Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Through Jesus Christ and He alone, the Church will come in fullness of joy to Heaven being saved from the wrath of God.
This is what is called the Rapture of the Church.
The Church is the is the object of God’s love, "and not His wrath".
It would be a contradiction of Christ’s relationship with His Church, His Bride, for the Church to go through the punishments of the seven year tribulation period.
1Th 5:9 "For God hath not appointed us to wrath", but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath "from the beginning" chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
And there is no greater proof than this verse that the Church will not see the tribulation period:
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, "I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth".
The signs of the Lord’s coming were given to Israel and should not be a concern of the Church!
It is "the remnant" of Israel that will be gathered by the Holy Angels.
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.
And Jesus explains:
*****Mar 13:28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
We already know that the fig tree represents the nation of Israel!
On May 14, 1948 a strange thing happened.
Isa 66:8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
Having been nearly destroyed by the horrors of the Holocaust(6 million Jews slaughtered by Hitler), still facing persecution around the world(another 6 million in Russia), and being constantly surrounded by their enemies(Jews persecuted around the world), the Jewish people gathered together in Israel and declared themselves a nation in a single day.
The United States recognized Israel as a nation on that same day, and Israel’s victories in the wars since have solidified their place among the nations of the world!
That fig tree that God owns, was replanted back onto their land promised to Abraham and it has budded and blossomed ever since but has still not produced spiritual fruit up till today.
"Her branch is yet tender"!
It has not been an easy road for the reborn nation of Israel.
Zec 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
The rebirth of Israel has brought about constant war and conflict with surrounding Muslim nations. Israel attempts to live in peace but those around her want her destroyed!
There seems to be not a day go by that Israel and or the Middle East is not in the world news. It seems the main focus of world’s attention today, concerns Israel’s relationship with its neighbors.
The other atrocities in the world are ignored for the most part!
Just as God foretold, Israel has become a "burdensome stone" for the world’s political leaders.
The majority of the Islamic countries surrounding Israel have made it clear, "their primary goal is the destruction of Israel".
However, God has made it clear that Israel is here to stay!
Israel has had to defend herself from annihilation since her rebirth.
In 1967 Israel did not wake up one morning and decide to go to war – she woke up one morning and found she had to defend herself.
A war between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria that began on June 5, 1967 and ended on June 10 1967.
In this war, Israel regained, by the hand of God, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
It seems the world wants to still punish Israel for trying to hold on to what God has given to them. Israel has made many concessions and each time those concessions have not brought peace but just more turmoil.
Israel cannot be forced to concede this land to the so called Palestinians!
It is those foreign governments that were defeated by Israel that have ceded these lands to the Palestinians knowing that they never owned them to begin with.
Not many Palestinians that are on these lands now were ever raised on these lands in 1967!
But this fig tree, "Israel", will still not produce fruit until the Great Tribulation period.
This is when 144,000 Jewish men will evangelize the world. There will 144,000 men similar to the Apostle Paul that will preach the "Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and many will be saved.
Remember what Paul said:
1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, "as of one born out of due time".
Rev 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, "till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads".
Satan will have his seal 666 but God will also have His seal, the blood of Christ Jesus!
Rev 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
Rev 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white "in the blood of the Lamb".
ALL these things can only happen after the Church is already in Heaven.
When Israel was re-birthed, it was then we should realize that "summer is near" and we could go home to be with the Lord any day now.
So what does Jesus say to His Church?
*****Mar 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Mar 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
As Israel and the world is watching the signs of the Second Coming of Christ, the Church needs to watch the fig tree, Israel!
So what have we already seen so far?
1) Increasing religious apostasy.
2) Wars and rumors of wars.
3) Kingdoms against kingdoms.
4) Earthquakes, famines, and troubles.
5) The Gospel published and available to all nations.
6) Disregard for the moral laws.
7) Persecution toward the Gospel and those who preach and teach it.
8) The rebirth of the Nation of Israel.
What should we remember as we watch for the coming of the Lord to take us home?
A) Unbelievers will always act like unbelievers.
B) This world we live in needs Jesus.
C) When Jesus Christ returns, He will bring with Him, Justice first and then Peace!
The job of the Church is still to tell the world about Jesus!
This last age of the Church and at least seven years before the Second Coming of Christ will culminate in a time of trouble such as the world has never seen.
Then Jesus says we can depend on the Word of God to be true!
*****Mar 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psa 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psa 19:11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
God’s Word is the foundation of life and God gives life eternal!
Jesus said, God is not the God of the dead!
All those that have gone before us to Heaven are still alive!
*****Mar 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
God knows exactly when He will return, but only in the limits of of human flesh did Jesus say he did not know when He would return for His Church. Jesus says "we must watch the fig tree"!
The date of the Rapture is concealed from the Church!
BUT, Israel and the world can see the signs, if they look, and know that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is very near!
So, what else does the Church know?
There will be a "judgment seat of Christ"!
Paul wrote to the Church:
Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
This day of judgment is for rewarding the Church Age believers.
These rewards are for deeds, good or bad, that we have done after we came to know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
We can know that this rewarding takes place before Jesus returns to this earth because the "Bride of Christ" has already been rewarded when returning with Christ Jesus:
Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
The marriage of the Lamb takes place in Heaven, the marriage supper of the Lamb makes reference to Israel and takes place to begin the Millennial Kingdom.
Rev 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed "are they which are called" unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
It is Israel who is called to attend this marriage supper. The Church is already the wife of Christ at this time!
So what other command does Christ give to the Church?
*****Mar 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Not only are we to watch the fig tree but we are to pray, for we will never know the exact time the Lord returns for His bride until the day it happens.
Christ Jesus has already told us His plan for us:
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
And Jesus has already told us how to know we will be ready for this day.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
And Jesus has already told us we would miss out on His day of wrath to the world:
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Rev 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
We are to live righteously and patiently:
Jas 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
And we are to pray:
Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus".
Rev 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
When Jesus comes the things He does will be very quick. The Rapture of the Church will be a very quick thing!
*****Mar 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. Mar 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mar 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mar 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mar 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
What did Jesus say?
Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
We are to watch the fig tree!
We are not to try to set dates of Christ’s return!
We are not to try to say to say that the Lord cannot come until certain prophecies are fulfilled because we cannot know these things!
We are not to concern ourselves with looking for the appearing of the Antichrist!
We are not to look for some great revival!
We are not even to look for some great apostasy!
We are not to look for some revival of the Roman Empire!
We are not to concern ourselves with a one world monetary system, we have our own perfect provider!
It would be pointless to occupy our time watching for signs, when we are to focus our thoughts on the things of the Lord and "watch" for His imminent coming!
Our job is to watch and be about the Master’s business!
Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Tit 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
These are the things that we of the Church must do!