The Book of Revelation
"The repeated reference to the period of the Destruction of Jerusalem as indicative of the author's inclination toward that view."
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"The end of the Jewish world - verse 14: "Then shall the end come." Here, at once, with one accord, the millennialist jumps to the conclusion that this "end" means the end of the world - "then shall the end come" - but the end of what? The end of Jerusalem; the destruction of the temple and the end of the Jewish state and the end of Judaism." (The Book of Revelation, TX: Wallace, 1966, p. 351)
"It is a remarkable but historical fact that Cestius Gallus, the Roman general, for some unknown reason, retired when they first marched against the city, suspended the siege, ceased the attack and withdrew his armies for an interval of time after the Romans had occupied the temple, thus giving every believing Jew the opportunity to obey the Lord's instruction to flee the city. Josephus the eyewitness, himself an unbeliever, chronicles this fact, and admitted his inability to account for the cessation of the fighting at this time, after a siege had begun. Can we account for it? We can. The Lord was fighting against Jerusalem Zechariah 14:2: 'For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city: The Lord was besieging that city. God was bringing these things to pass against the Jewish state and nation. Therefore, the opportunity was offered for the disciples to escape the siege, as Jesus had forewarned, and the disciples took it. So said Daniel; so said Jesus; so said Luke, so said Josephus" (The Book of Revelation, p. 352).
"The signs in the heavens, the darkening sun and falling stars, refer to the falling of Jewish dignitaries, casting down of authorities and powers, long established, and signified the darkness that settled upon the Jewish state. The sun of Hebrew temple was darkened, the moon of the Jewish commonwealth was as blood, the stars of the Sanhedrin fell from their high seats of authority." (The Book of Revelation, TX: Wallace, 1966, p. 354)
"The mention in Luke's narrative of the distress upon the land of Judea, the mass massacre of the inhabitants by the sword, the carrying away of the captives into all the surrounding nations, the encompassing of the city by foreign armies, and the trodding down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles permanently - all of these things can be descriptive of only one event of history: that final crisis of the ages concerning Jerusalem, in which transition from the dispensation of Judaism, and the consequent expansion of the New Kingdom of Christ, are seen in these evidences to be the main subject of Matthew 24 - the conquest and establishment of Christianity in all the world" (p. 345).
"The teaching of both the Old and New Testaments concerning the kingdom of Christ is: that it contemplates the full length of time from his ascension to heaven after his resurrection to his descension from heaven at the end. 'For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet' - I Corinthians 15:25. The overthrow of Jerusalem and the temple was the final sign to the world that he was seated 'on the right hand of power,' as he had declared in Matthew 26:64 to the high priest of the Jews: and as further announced to this Jewish official that he and his fellow officials of the Sanhedrin should thereafter see it. Methinks they did - at the destruction of their capital city and their national temple" (Foy E. Wallace, Jr., pp. 346-347).
"As it is biblically certain that the God of heaven in times of old descended, in the Old Testament metaphor, on the clouds of heaven to execute judgment on ancient wicked nations and cities (Isaiah 13 and 19), so certainly did the Son of man come in the clouds with his angels of power to execute judgment on the once great city of Jerusalem, guilty of his blood and the blood of his saints and martyrs" (Foy E. Wallace, Jr., p. 461).
"The coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven is not a reference to the second coming of Christ but to he coming foretold by Jesus to Caiaphas in Matthew 26:64.. The reference to the Son of man coming "with power and great glory" and "sitting in the right hand of power" is emphasis on the magnitude of the things that occurred. The Son of man came in power in the transpiring events." (The Book of Revelation, TX: Wallace Publications, 1966, p.354)
Subject of Revelation)
"The repeated reference to the period of the destruction of Jerusalem is indicative of the author's inclination towards this view." (The Book of Revelation, Ft. Worth, TX, Foy E. Wallace Publications, 1966)
"John was no more entranced to write a history of the Latin church and the Dark Ages than he was inspired to prophesy the discovery of the North American continent, the organization of the United States, the formation of the Southern Confederacy or the existence of the United Nations! The historical events of far distant future whether the papacy, the pope, Martin Luther or Alexander Campbell are all outside the scope of Revelation. And we need not go outside the provincial governments of Judea and the Palestinian representatives of the Roman emperor to identify the second beast -- the beast of the land -- and find the fulfillment of the visions concerning him."
(The Book of Revelation, Ft. Worth, TX, Foy E. Wallace Publications, 1966), p. 295)
“The families of the Jews all over the Roman world are here mentioned. The Gentiles were never referred to as
tribesi; the tribes belonged to the Jews were dispersed into every part of the earth. Yet the events foretold of what would happen to their city and their nation, in Jerusalem and Judea, would become known wherever they were scattered, and all the Jews in every part of the earth would
wail over this calamity. They would all mourn over the ruin of their city Jerusalem, and for the overthrow of their theocracy in the demolition of their temple, and for the termination of their Jewish state – their national distinction and existence. And they would
wail (or mourn) because of him, for it was in fulfillment of the fearful woes that he had pronounced against Jerusalem and which were figuratively ascribed to his coming.” (The Book of Revelation (Fort Worth, TX: Wallace Publications, 1966; p. 72)
“Since the quotation in 6:16 and Luke 23:30 are from the same prophecy of Hosea 10:8, it is the Lord's own application of its fulfillment in those events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem, and it is therefore solid evidence which cannot be controverted that the seals of Revelation are not now future." (The Book of Revelation,
"The seven kings, five of which had fallen, followed the count from Julius Caesar, the first - then, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, the
five which had fallen - and Nero, the sixth. He was referred to in the phrase
and one is - that is, the reigining emperor. It is further stated that
the other, or the seventh, is not yet.
The five Caesars had passed before John wrote this apocalypse; and Nero, the sixth Caesar, was reigning at the time Revelation was written. The apocalypse belonged to the Neronic period." (The Book of Revelation, p. 371-372)
"Omitting quite properly the subordinates, or mock rulers, Domitian was the seventh Caesar; and the text specifically stated that he had not come. It is difficult to account for a theory that fixes the chronology of Revelation in the latter part of the Domitian reign when he, the
seventh, had not come. The rectification of the traditional chronological error attached to the
Book of Revelation will automatically correct the "future prophecy" theories so full of misconcepts." (ibid., p. 372)
Mark of the Beast)
"There have been almost a legion of names in many different languages that have been deciphered in the efforts to find solution for Code 666, ranging from the merest conjecture to a frantic religious fanaticism that borders on lunacy."
"This visional mark was an emblem of submission to emperor-worship. It was the stigmatic badge of the beast stamped
in their right hand, or in their forehead, signifying a binding oath of loyalty. All who conformed to the imperial orders received the mark of the beast, personified in the Roman emperor -- the
Neronic antiChrist." (The Book of Revelation, Fort Worth, TX: Wallace, 1966, pp. 298-300)
and The Destruction of Jerusalem
Before going into the details of Matthew 24 to show that
the signs of that chapter refer to the fall and destruction of
Jerusalem, a look into some Old Testament passages leading up to it will
lay a foundation upon which to stand and at the same time answer some
questions which some will be sure to ask. Let us take a look at the
(1) In the Old Testament - Zech. 14.
We shall not here read the chapter, but rather refer to its contents
verse by verse. Zechariah 14 is almost universally used as "a second
coming of Christ chapter" but it is a "destruction of Jerusalem chapter"
Verse 1: "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be
divided in the midst of thee."
The symbolic "day of the Lord" here is the same expression precisely
that is used in Isa. 13:9 in reference to the destruction of Babylon. If
the destruction of Babylon could be called "the day of the Lord," why
not the destruction of Jerusalem? That expression does not mean the
second coming of Christ in either of these passages. Compare Isaiah 13
as a prophecy against Babylon, Isaiah 17 as a prophecy against Damascus,
Isaiah as a prophecy against Ethiopia, Isaiah 19 as a prophecy against
Egypt, with Zechariah 14 as a prophecy against Jerusalem, and it can be
seen that the assertions of the Millennialists that Zechariah is
prophesying the second coming of Christ and the millennium are wrong.
Verse 2: "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and
the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished;
and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of
the people shall not be cut off from the city."
The historical accounts of the siege of Jerusalem by Josephus, Pliny,
Horne and Clarke fulfill Zechariah's descriptions.
Reference to "nations gathered for battle" is a description of besieged
Jerusalem, the houses rifled and the women ravished. The same
description is found in Isaiah 13, verses 15 and 16, concerning the fall
and destruction of Babylon. The comparison is forceful.
Verse 3: "Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations,
as when he fought in the day of battle."
Factually, all the nations were represented in the Roman army, and God
afterward fought against them by means of the Northern nations. Read
Zech. (14-15: "And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall
go forth as the lightning; and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and
shall go with whirlwinds of the south. The Lord of hosts shall defend
them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones." The
visitations are figurative, of course, but nevertheless significant of
the fact that all the nations referred to "against" whom the Lord
"fought" were destroyed.
Verse 4: "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives,
which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall
cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and
there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall
remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
The prophetic declaration that "his feet shall stand in that day upon
the mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem," does not refer to the
second coming of Christ but rather to the siege of Jerusalem. Jesus
Christ stood with his feet on the mount of Olives when he uttered the
doom of the city. The Roman general stood on the Mount of Olives when
Jerusalem was besieged. The formations of the battle lines,
entrenchments and redoubts, the circumvallations of the Romans, all
enter into the graphic description and portrayal of the prophet that the
mount should "cleave in the midst" and "toward the north" and "toward
Verses 5-7: "And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the
valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, as ye
fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and
the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall
come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor
night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be
Obviously, these verses are a metaphorical description of the mixture of
divine mercy with justice. After the visitation there would be light - the
diffusion of divine knowledge. This did follow the fall of Jerusalem and the
destruction of the Jewish state.
Verses 8-9: "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out
from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward
the hinder sea: in summer and winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be King
over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one."
The only consistent application of this language is a spiritual fulfillment
in the gospel of Christ and the church. Who is ready to deny that the clause
"in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one," refers to the
present dispensation? There is one Lord, his name is one, and the Lord is
"king over all the earth." It finds its fulfillment in the church of Christ
where there is neither Jew nor Gentile, but all one in Christ, and one Lord
Verses 16-17: "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all
the nations which came against Jerusalem , shall even go up from year to
year to worship the King, and Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of
tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the
families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts,
even upon them shall be no rain."
If these verses are not figurative, if they are to be taken literally, then
all nations and families must literally go up to Jerusalem and literally
offer animal sacrifices and keep the Passover, restore Judaism with all of
its literal ceremonies, in order to fulfill the prophecy. That would be a
complete reestablishment of old Judaism and everything that characterized
it, all of which was taken away. But if these verse are not literal, then
the application made of the whole chapter by the Millennialists loses its
force. These last verses refer to the expansion of the blessing of the
gospel dispensation after the destruction of Jerusalem. Upon all who
received the gospel, its blessings descended as rain; but to the unbelievers
who rejected the gospel "upon them shall be no rain" - all such are barred
from its promises and privileges.
The simple truth of the matter is that as Isaiah 13 is a prophecy on the
destruction f Babylon, Zechariah 14 is a prophecy on the destruction of
Jerusalem. It does not teach millennialism in a sentence or a syllable.
(2) In the New Testament. - Matt. 24
Each sign listed on this chart has special application to the then impending
destruction of Jerusalem.
When Matthew 24 is taken away from the Premillennial preachers their
argument on the imminent return of the Lord based on "the signs of the
times" is torn away from them, and their sources of speculative supply is
cut off. A verse by verse study will do it:
1. False teachers - verse 5. "For many shall come in my name, saying I am
Christ; and shall deceive many." Jesus simply warned the disciples that
false teachers would be numerous, more than ever before. Josephus, the
historian, verifies the fact that near the time of Jerusalem's fall, many
false Messiahs appeared, claiming to be the Christ. He says these became
more numerous before the sieges of Titus. Luke, the historian, records such
pseudo-signs and false wonders as the magical deceptions of Simon Magus -
Acts 8 - which were employed on the professional deceivers mentioned in the
2. Wars and rumors of wars - verse 6: "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors
of wars." Many smaller nations were at war with the Romans at that time,
enemies at war with each other and rumors of war in abundance on every hand,
and from every quarter as the destruction of Jerusalem drew near. Josephus
verifies the fact that from every part of the empire wars followed in
succession, and in waves of revolt, like the swells of the ocean, to the
final dissolution of the empire.
3. Famine and pestilence - verse 7: "For nations shall rise against nation,
and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences,
and earthquakes, in divers places." In the days of Claudius Caesar, before
the destruction of Jerusalem, there was a unparalleled famine - the greatest
famine the world ever knew occurred. The record of Matthew 24 is
corroborated by the Spirit in Agabus, the prophet, as reported by Luke in
Acts 11:28: "And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by
the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which
came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar."
Again Josephus testified that the famine actually occurred before the
destruction of Jerusalem, and the fulfillment is a matter of historical
4. Earthquakes - verse 8: "All these are the beginning of sorrows." That
great earthquakes occurred during the reign of Nero is a historical fact,
and the testimony of Jesus is added to that of Josephus of an unusual number
of earthquakes occurring in various countries, before the destruction of
Jerusalem. Many cities of Asia Minor were destroyed by earthquakes.
5. Delivered to death - verse 9: "Then shall they deliver you up to be
afflicted, and shall ki8ll you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my
name's sake." Paul, Peter, and James, and James the Less were all put to
death before the destruction of Jerusalem.
6. Apostasies - verse 10: "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray
one another, and shall hate one another." This is the Lord's warning of many
apostasies, when the faith of the disciples would fail, as under pressure of
persecution many should become offended. Such apostasies were everywhere in
evidence prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, the evidences of which are
not only mentioned in the sacred text, but in parallel secular history. the
most valuable of such historical evidence is the testimony of Josephus, who
was an eye-witness to the destruction of Jerusalem.
7. The gospel to all the world - verse 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." Within this period of gospel history the sound of the
messengers' feet had been heard all over the Roman world - Rom. 10:15 - and
the gospel was, in fact, preached to the whole creation before the
destruction of Jerusalem. Read Col. 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; for which I Paul am made a minister." Hence, before the death of
Paul this "sign" was actually fulfilled - literally enough, indeed, to
satisfy the most exacting literalist. Eusebius says "The gospel was like the
sun, enlightening the world at once." It was universally published; the
Gentile nations were illuminated with Christianity, providing the events to
correspond with the prophecies, a fact so striking as to be convincing
8. The end of the Jewish world – verse 14: “Then shall the end come.” Here,
at once, with one accord, the Millennialist jumps to the conclusion that
this “end” means the end of the world – “then shall the end come” – but the
end of what? The end of Jerusalem; the destruction of the temple and the end
of the Jewish state and the end of Judaism. Please turn the chart.
9. The abomination of desolation – verse 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.” This description refers to
the heathen symbols and Roman standards raised in the temple. When the
Romans conquered the city, and entered it, the Roman soldiers marched into
the temple, and raised instead the symbols and standards of paganism and
Romanism. That is what was called the abomination of desolation standing in
the holy place. The “abomination of desolation” was fulfilled when those
Roman standards and pagan symbols were seen in the holy place “where they
ought not to be.”
10. The disciples flee – verses 16-18: “Then let then which be in Judea flee
into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take
any thing out of his house; neither let him which is in the field return
back to take his clothes.” The destruction of Jerusalem was regarded by all
pious Jews as pestilence and desolation and was taken as a sign at the time
for them to escape had come – to do what Jesus had warned them to do – to
flee to the mountains. The disciples did as Jesus said – they heeded the
warnings and fled. From the flat roots of their houses in the city or from
their fields in the country, they saw the Roman army in full march, there
was no time to go inside for goods or raiment. Life was more than personal
property. When they saw the sign of the standards and symbols of the Romans
in the temple, they remembered that Jesus had warned them of that very
thing, and at the news of the Roman approach they fled to Pella, the
northern boundary of Perea.
It is a remarkable but historical fact that Cestius Gallus, the Roman
general, for some unknown reason, retired when they first marches against
the city, suspended the siege, ceased the attack and withdrew his armies for
an interval of time after the Romans had occupied the temple, thus giving
every believing Jew the opportunity to obey the Lord’s instruction to flee
the city. Josephus the eye-witness, himself an unbeliever, chronicles this
fact, and admitted his inability to account for the cessation of the
fighting at that time, after a siege had begun. Can we account for it? We
can. The Lord was fighting against Jerusalem Zech. 14:2: “For I will gather
all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and
the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go
forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off
from the city.” The Lord was besieging that city. God was bringing these
things to pass against the Jewish state and nation. Therefore, the
opportunity was offered for the disciples to escape the siege, as Jesus had
forewarned, and the disciples took it. So said Daniel; so said Jesus; so
said Luke; so said Josephus.
As so it was – it was left for Titus, the Roman general, to execute the
siege, after the faithful disciples had fled. Verses 19-22: “And woe unto
them that are with child, and them that give suck in those days! But pray ye
that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then
shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world
to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be
shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those
days shall be shortened.” These verses deal with the hindrances to flight
from the besieged city, the tribulation of the sieges, and the lifting of
the sieges for the escape of the disciples.
11. Pseudo-signs - verses 23-26: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo,
here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false
Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch
that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Here was the
Lord's warning against deceivers, fake prophets, false alarms and fraudulent
signs - the forewarnings to tenable the disciples to discriminate between
the spurious and the genuine. "Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth:
behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not." These warning
observed by the disciples of the Lord enabled them to escape the traps
incident to the approaching siege.
12. The eagles and the carcass - verses 27-28: "For as the lightning cometh
out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of
the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be
The coming here refers to the approach of the Roman armies. The Jewish
nation was the carcass which the Roman eagles were sent to devour.
These verses describe the swiftness of the events and the suddenness of all
the occurrences connected with the siege of Jerusalem. The illustration of
the eagles gather where the carcass is found, is a figurative description of
the Romans as the eagles swarming over Jerusalem and Judea as the carcass,
to loot and spoil the city and all the land of Judea.
13. After the tribulation - verse 29: 'immediately after the tribulation of
those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be
shaken." After the tribulation of these days - that is, after the things
that occurred during the siege. The siege began August 10, A.D. 70, six
hundred year after Nebuchadnezzar's siege and destruction of first temple.
All of the houses and underground chambers were filled with putrefied
corpses. One million one hundred thousand people perished, and the remnants
were scattered. Think of it - in only two months with only two armies
fighting in the limited areas around Jerusalem, one million one hundred
thousand people perished. Every building was filled with perishing bodied;
famished people ate the putrefied flesh of human carcasses; mothers at the
flesh of their own babies. And outside the besieged city the families of the
expatriated race of Jews in many places throughout the empire were
slaughtered. Josephus, the historian, verifies the fact that there was never
anything like it before or since, nor ever shall be.
The signs in the heavens, the darkening sun and falling stars, refer to the
falling of Jewish dignitaries, casting down of authorities and powers, long
established, and signified the darkness that settled upon the Jewish state.
The sun of the Hebrew temple was darkened, the moon of the Jewish
commonwealth was as blood, the stars of the Sanhedrin fell from their high
seats of authority. Isaiah and Joel describe the ruin of both ancient
Babylon and Jerusalem in similar description, in Isa. 13 and Joel 2.
14. The coming of the Son of Man - verse 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 sign of the Son of man in the heaven was a signal, the evidence of
divine visitation and intervention in the downfall of the Jewish authorities
and in all the transpiring events. The mourning of the tribes of the earth
refers to the lamentations of the Jewish families all over the world because
of the destruction of their city and their temple and their state. The
coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven is not a reference to the
second coming of Christ but to the coming foretold by Jesus to Caiaphas in
Matt. 26:24: "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right
hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven." Jesus told Caiaphas that
he could see, it, he would be a living witness to these events. The
reference to the Son of man coming "with power and great glory" and "sitting
on the right had of power" is emphasis on the magnitude of the things that
occurred. The Son of man came in power in the transpiring events.
15. Sending forth his angels - verse 31: "And he shall send his angels with
a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from
the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Here is the grand
announcement of the world-wide success of the gospel, the universal
expansion of the Christianity after the destruction of Jerusalem. The angels
of this verse were messengers, emissaries of the gospel. The gathering of
the elect from the four winds meant that these messengers would carry the
gospel to every nook and corner of the inhabited world. This is the history
of what occurre3d. With the downfall of Judaism the greatest foe of the
church was removed, and path cleared of the chief obstacle, resulting in the
universal sweep of Christianity. The knowledge of God covered the earth as
waters cover the sea.
16. The signs that it was near - verse 32-33: "When the branch is yet
tender...ye know that summer is nigh...so likewise ye, when ye shall see all
these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." The signs of the
approaching events would serve as portents to all faithful disciples that
the things of which they were being warned would be near. The disciples
would recognize these signs up to the time of the siege, and would know that
it was "near, even at the doors." It is here that Luke's account says: "When
these things begin to come to pass, then look up, lift up your heads; for
your redemption draweth nigh" - Luke 21:28. The providential means for the
escape of the faithful was divinely prearranged and when they should see
these things "begin to come to pass" they were told to "look up" and "lift
up" their heads in full confidence that their redemption, their deliverance,
was at hand. This redemption extended beyond the mere escape from the siege
- it was a greater deliverance from the persecutions of the Jewish
authorities and the oppositions of Judaism, brought to an end by the fall of
Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish state.
To say that the expression "it is near" refers to the end of the world, the
end of time, or a "rapture" theory is contrary to the context of Matthew 24.
When these signs appeared the Lord said, "Let them which are in Judea flee"
- and they did. "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then
know that the desolation thereof nigh" - and they did know it. I fit meant
the end of the world, whey say "let them which are in Judea flee to the
mountains"? and why say, "let them which are in the midst of Jerusalem
depart out of it"? and why say, "let not them that are in the country enter
thereinto" - into Jerusalem? These sayings show clearly that the whole thing
is a description of the destruction of Jerusalem. Reverting in verses 41 and
42 to these surrounding the Lord said that where two would be "in the
field," or "grinding at the mill" - one would be taken and the other left -
that is, the believing disciples would recognize the signs and take flight,
while the unbelieving companion would remain and perish in the siege.
The statement that all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, as has been
previously explained, is a reference to the Jewish families scattered all
over the Roman empire - they would mourn the downfall of Jerusalem and the
end of their Jewish commonwealth.
17. All these things fulfilled - verse 34: "Verily I say unto you, This
generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." In Lk.
21:31-32, the Lord said: when YE see, and know Ye, and I say unto YOU - so
here is the Lord's won statement of the period to which "these things"
belonged and during which they would all be fulfilled. All of the "signs"
mentioned in Matt. 24 are mentioned above verse 24. After having mentioned
these signs, Jesus then said, "this generation shall not pass, till all
these things be fulfilled." Notice - "all these things" - not some of them -
all of them would be fulfilled before that generation passed. But we are
told that "this generation" meant that race - meaning only that the race of
the Jews would not pass till all this was fulfilled. The Lord would not be
guilty of such a truism - telling the Jews what would happen to their race,
and then saying the the race will not pass away until everything that will
happen to the race happens to it! A truism would not be the word for that.
It is sheer nonsense to have Christ say that certain things would happen to
the Jewish race, but the Jewish race would not pass away until what would
happen to the Jewish race happened to it! No, Jesus said "this generation" -
the generation living \then - would not pass "till all these things be
fulfilled." The Lord's use of the same language after pronouncing the woes
on the Pharisees in the previous chapter of Matthew shows clearly the
reference was to their own time. There are nine woes pronounced upon these
Jewish officials in Matthew 23, which are followed by verse 36: "verily I
say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation." Immediately
following this statement is the pronouncement on Jerusalem in verse 37, "O
Jerusalem, Jerusalem," and the verdict of verse 38, "Behold, your house is
left unto you desolate." there is but one conclusion, and it is clear - all
the woes of Matthew 23 and all the signs of Matthew 24 referred to that
generation of time and span of life, and were all fulfilled in the
destruction of Jerusalem, and immediately thereafter.