By Nathan Jones
What does Israel's Temple have to do with the end times sign of earthquakes?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista and I will look at the third end times signs of earthquakes found in Matthew 24:7.
Vic: Today's topic will be the end times sign of earthquakes found in Matthew 24:7 and Luke 21:11.
Nathan, in previous episodes you've taken us through an incredible journey of the signs of the times in Matthew 24 and the parallel passages in Luke 21. You last talked about the end times sign of wars which Jesus revealed in Matthew 24:6. I wanted to ask if you might recap the background of Jesus' lesson in these passages?
Nathan: Certainly. Jesus and His disciples were at the Temple and His disciples were just oohing and aahing with their mouths hanging open. They're just so amazed at the wealth of the Temple. The Temple was the religious heart of Israel at that time, and these disciples were just poor fishermen who'd never seen buildings like the Temple.
And then, Jesus all of the sudden says, "You see all these things? Assuredly I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down."
You can imagine the Apostles' mouths were just hanging open in shock. As a matter of fact, it took them all the way until they walked across the Kidron Valley to the Mount of Olives to build up enough courage to ask Jesus why He said that. When they did find their courage, they actually asked Jesus three different questions:
- When will this Temple fall?
- What will be the sign of the end of the age?
- What will be the sign of Jesus' coming?
Jesus answered each of these questions. Each answer applied to different time periods associated with each question. For example, "When will the Temple fall?" We know that the Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 AD. What were the signs leading up to the fall of the Temple? The second question, "What will be the signs of the end of the age?" That's referring to the end of the Church Age. That's where we are at right now. We are living at the end of this age just before the rapture of the Church. Then the third question, "What will be the sign of Jesus' coming?" This refers to Jesus' Second Coming at the end of the seven-year Tribulation that's coming to this earth.
Each of the signs that Jesus gives proceeds each of these three questions, except for the tenth and last sign. Also, the closer we get to the Second Coming, the more frequent and more intense these signs will happen. Jesus compares the signs of His Second Coming to birth pains.
First Two End Times Signs
We've covered two of the ten signs Jesus gave in answer to the Apostles' questions. The first sign discussed was false teachers and false messiahs. Jesus revealed they'd be all over the place. With 500 cults in the United States alone, we are just drowning in false teachers and false prophets.
The second end times sign that we discussed was wars and rumors of wars. Certainly we are living in a time of tremendous warfare. Every day some nation in the world is attacked or worrying about someone attacking them. Can you believe there are 38 wars going on right now? Millions and millions of people were killed in the Twentieth Century alone. The Lord says those wars would come more frequently and more intensely the closer we got to Jesus' return.
Then we read from Matthew 24:7, "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, there will be famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."
There are four signs listed right there.
Vic: Nathan, you gave us some incredible statistics concerning how many people got killed during wars in the last century. You were talking about like 100 million or something to that extent?
Nathan: Most people underestimate just how many people died in the Twentieth Century. Statistics tell between 160 to 187 million people died through all the wars of the Twentieth Century. The 21st Century already appears to be bloodier than the previous.
Yes, there has always been war, but Jesus said they'd come more frequently and more intensely and the death tolls would get higher the closer we get to Jesus' return.
Vic: Amazing! It's very eye-opening to look at the context of history. We can only conclude that we are seeing these end times signs of false teachers and wars are becoming more and more like super signs in a sense.
In the second part of our discussion on the end times sign of earthquakes, we'll look at the quakes that happened before the Fall of the Temple up to the present day.