"While he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached him privately, saying:
“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the system of things?""
This end is the great tribulation mentioned in Matthew 24:21,22
The blue sentences indicate additional and detailed biblical explanations. Just click on the blue hyperlink. The biblical articles are mainly written in
four languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese.
The explanation of Matthew 24 allows us to better understand when the period of the destruction of Babylon the Great occur, followed by the great
tribulation which will last only one day according to the prophecy of Zechariah 14:7 ("one day") . The question of the disciples followed a surprising statement of Christ about the temple in Jerusalem: "In response he said to them: “Do you not see all
these things? Truly I say to you, by no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:2). The verse 3, quoted above, tells us that Jesus Christ and the disciples were on the Mount of Olives at the east side of the city of
Jerusalem, overlooking the Temple Mount. So, "Do you not see all these things?", hints at the panoramic view of the entire old city and the temple below.
The information from Christ suggests that the temple would be completely
destroyed by an earthquake during the Great Tribulation: "by no means will a stone be left here upon a stone and not be thrown down". This means that the city of Jerusalem and what is currently left of its temple, will be completely destroyed by an earthquake,
during the great tribulation: "For then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again" (Matthew 24:21). It is obvious that it would not be the Roman army of the general, Titus,
who in the year 70 CE, would turn the temple stones upside down. And the current wailing temple wall is historical testimony to this, demonstrating that this prophecy would only come true during the future great tribulation on present-day Jerusalem.
The first part begins from verse 4 and ends at verse 22. The peculiarity of this part is that it is geographically centered on Jerusalem, and the imminence of its destruction. The other peculiarity is that it is fulfilled in
two stages. The first (not completed) is the destruction of the temple and the devastation of the city of Jerusalem in 70 CE (not mentioned in the Bible) (except for verses 21 and 22 which mention the great tribulation over Jerusalem which will be, both, international).
This first fulfillment is based on the prophecy of 70 weeks of years, of Daniel chapter 9:24-27, which announced the end of the special covenant of God with the earthly Israel (verse 27a). This period of 70 weeks of years ended in 36 CE, when Officer Cornelius
has been baptized, Jehovah God turned his attention to all nations. Henceforth, God's special relationship with the earthly nation of Israel had ended definitively (Acts 10). Currently, the city of ancient Jerusalem has been rebuilt but no longer has the biblical
status of the world capital of Jehovah's worship (See Matthew 23:38 "Look! Your house is abandoned to you"). This old Jerusalem will be replaced by a New Heavenly Jerusalem which will rule over the whole earth (Revelation 21:1-4).
The future destruction of present-day Jerusalem during the great tribulation, announced prophetically by Jesus Christ, is also confirmed in the prophecy of Zechariah: "Jehovah will go out and war against those nations as when
he fights in the day of a battle. In that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in half, from east to west, forming a very great valley; and half of the mountain will move to
the north, and half of it to the south. You will flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains will extend all the way to Azel. You will have to flee, just as you fled because of the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. And
Jehovah my God will come, and all the holy ones will be with him" (Zechariah 14:3-5).
In the same way that this prophecy mentions that the chosen ones would flee from Jerusalem to save their lives, so Jesus Christ recommended
them to flee the city before the future great tribulation: "Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment), then let those in
Judea begin fleeing to the mountains. Let the man on the housetop not come down to take the goods out of his house, and let the man in the field not return to pick up his outer garment. Woe to the pregnant women and those nursing a baby in those days! Keep
praying that your flight may not occur in wintertime nor on the Sabbath day; for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again" (Matthew 24:15-21).
"When you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment)": This prophecy mentioned by Christ is based on the passage of Daniel 9:27b: "And
upon the wing of disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation; and until an extermination, the very thing decided upon will go pouring out also upon the one lying desolate". The first fulfillment (not mentioned in the Bible), happened in the
year 66 CE. The Roman general Cestius Gallus, during the first siege of Jerusalem, partially came into the city by destroying part of the outer wall of the great temple. However, for unexplained reasons Cestus Gallus left without completing this siege. This
unprecedented situation allowed the Christians of Jerusalem (the chosen ones), to flee the city, before its destruction in the year 70 CE, by the Roman general Titus.
The second fulfillment of Daniel 9:27b and Matthew 24:15,
took place today, shortly before the future great tribulation mentioned in Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21. In the prophecy of the King of the North and the King of the South, it is written that the King of the South, the current dominant world power, would
install his "royal tents" in Jerusalem, a holy place, shortly before the great tribulation: "And he will plant his royal tents between the grand sea and the holy mountain of Decoration; and he will come all the way to his end, and there will be no helper for
him" (Daniel 11:45). The fulfillment of this biblical prophecy took place on May 14, 2018, during the inauguration of the "royal tents" of the King of the South, the American embassy in Israel, located very exactly at the foot of the "holy mountain of Decoration",
and between the "grand sea" (the Mediterranean Sea). This is the clue that shows that we are very close to the great tribulation, according to the end of Daniel's prophecy of the two kings and as well as the converging one of the prophecy of Jesus Christ:
"During that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there
will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book" (Daniel 12:1).
there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short"
(Matthew 24: 21,22).
The very fact that Jesus Christ said that there would be the great tribulation in the place of the geographical location of the present-day Jerusalem, shows that the day and the hour of the beginning
of this dramatic planetary event, will begin from its time zone (C.U.T. Hour + 2) (Matthew 24:2, 21; Zechariah 14:3-5).
24: 23-28 is an important transition with the second part: "Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will perform great signs and wonders
so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. Look! I have forewarned you. Therefore, if people say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as the
lightning comes out of the east and shines over to the west, so the presence of the Son of man will be. Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together".
Jesus Christ said that his first presence on earth
would only be understood by humans with an insight comparable to the visual acuity of eagles (the chosen ones) (acuity three times greater than that of humans): As indicated by Jesus Christ , the first "eagles" were at the feet of the dead body of Jesus Christ,
at the end of his first presence on earth, from the year 29 to the year 33 CE, at the time of his death: "Wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together" (Matthew 27:55,56; John 19:25-27). Among these spiritual "eagles" was the apostle
John who would write the book of Revelation. According to Daniel's prophecy, some insightful, spiritual eagles, have understood the moment his second presence, since 1914 and will discern in advance, his future coming for the world judgment, at the great tribulation
(Matthew 25:31; Revelation 3:3): "Many will cleanse themselves and whiten themselves and will be refined. And the wicked ones will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand; but those having insight will understand" (Daniel 12:10).
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from
heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken"
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Matthew 24:29): Since the biginning of this period, there have been exceptional heavenly and atmospheric phenomena that have brought humanity into a reality never observed since then
In the question of Matthew 24:3, there are three important words that allow us to understand its meaning and the answer of Christ:
The "sign" (σημαίνω (sēmeion) (Strong's Concordance (G4591)), which has the sense of indication by "things that will take place". The "sign" refers to two groups of events, stated by Christ: events which show that Christ is present
and that he has begun to reign in the heavens (since 1914) (Matthew 24:4-14 and 24:23- 28). The "sign" of the nearness of the end and the end itself (Matthew 24: 15-22 ("sign" focused on the city of Jerusalem) and Matthew 24:29 at 25:46).
"Presence" (πάρειμι) (parousia) (Strong's Concordance (G3952)): The primary meaning of "presence" for parousia is often translated by words like "the coming", "the arrival" or "the advent", which creates confusion. The
words "the coming", "the arrival" and "the advent", suggest a much shorter space of time than the time of a "presence", which can be quite long in time. The translation of the Greek word parousia by, "the coming" or "advent", is all the more inaccurate as
this word "coming" corresponds to another Greek word: "Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great
glory" (Matthew 24:30). In this same chapter which answers the same question (in verse 3), the coming of the son of man is translated by the Greek verb "erchomai" (ἔρχομαι (G2064) Strong’s Concordance). Thus the sign or
indication of the presence of Christ, would be done over a long period of time, unlike his coming to judge the nations, shortly before the great tribulation, which will be brief: "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he
will sit down on his glorious throne" (Matthew 25:31 "comes" (erchomai)). The first presence of Christ took place during the three and a half years of his ministry, from the year 29 to the year 33 (C.E.), until the time of his death. This first presence was
discerned by the "eagles", the disciples who were present especially at the time of his death (Matthew 24:23-28). The second presence of Christ began in 1914, and will end at the end of the thousand-year reign mentioned in Revelation 20:1-6. This second presence
was discerned, long before 1914, by "eagles", a group of disciples of Christ, who has now become several millions insightful Christians (Matthew 24:4-14; Daniel 12:3,10b).
The third important word is "conclusion" or end
(συντέλεια (synteleia) (G4930) Strong’s Concordance) of the system of things. So the question is based on future events that would show that we are during the time of Christ’s presence, and the impending
end of this system of things. Christ's answer has two main parts. This end is the great tribulation mentioned in Matthew 24:21,22. And the events which announce the nearness of this end, are described in Matthew 24:15-22, as for the answer focused on Jerusalem
and Matthew 24:29, regarding the worldwide events, which will lead to the coming of Christ, described in Matthew 24: 30,31 and 25:31-33. It can be considered to be the second important part of Christ's response (the first being connected to the sign of his
The beginning of the period mentioned in
Mark 13:24,25 and Luke 21:25,26,28
The second part of the prophecy is in Matthew 24:29, to verse 25:46. Verses 29-31 describe this brief period that led to the coming of Christ to organize the judgment of
mankind and the great tribulation:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will
be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with
a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity" (Matthew 24:29-31).
In verses 32-35, Jesus Christ shows that from the
moment one enters this short period, the disciples of Christ could consider that the fulfillment of their hope would be near: "Now learn this illustration from the fig tree: Just as soon as its young branch grows tender and sprouts its leaves, you know that
summer is near. Likewise also you, when you see all these things, know that he is near at the doors. Truly I say to you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these things happen. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no
means pass away" (Matthew 24:32-35). The generation is obviously not that of 1914, which saw the beginning of the presence of Christ, but rather represents that which witnessed the beginning of the destruction of Babylon the Great. In the parallel gospel narrative
of Luke 21:25-28, Jesus Christ gives his disciples this encouragement: "But as these things start to occur, stand up straight and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is getting near" (Luke 21:25-28). Incidentally, on all of the gospels, especially
that of Matthew, when Jesus Christ uses the word "generation", he does so in a derogatory way (Matthew 11:16-19; 12:38-43; 16 :4; 17:17; 23: 33-36, compared to 24:34).
Since the biginning of this period, there have been
exceptional heavenly and atmospheric phenomena that have brought humanity into a reality never observed since then. There are comet falls not far from livable areas, satellites and space waste (falling stars), gigantic forest fires and a rate of pollution
in habitable areas that dim the heavenly lights (the sun, the moon and the stars), global warming increases the power of thunderstorms, cyclones, hurricanes, duration of droughts, frequency of floods, tidal waves, in unusual places and latitudes.
However, to know very precisely when began this dramatic period in the history of mankind, described prophetically by Jesus Christ, it is necessary to cross-check it with other convergent prophecies, of Daniel and Revelation. The conclusion of this
first part is an introduction to several sections of careful biblical examinations, regarding this period which corresponds to prophetic events and which will end in the great tribulation. There are mainly four (Each of these biblical prophecies has been carefully
- A proclamation of worldwide peace and security before this period of destruction (1 Thessalonians 5: 3).
- The fall and destruction of Babylon the Great (Revelation 14: 8).
- The attack on Gog of Magog (Ezekiel 38 and 39).
- The dramatic conclusion of the prophecy of Daniel about the conflict of the two kings (Daniel 11:45 to 12:1).
- The current appearance of the last king, of the last world power, mentioned in Daniel 8: 23-25.