Cutting the Time

In Matthew 24, Yeshua speaks to us about the last days. Like the book of  Revelation, it is very cryptic at times. We see here in Matthew 24:21-22, Yeshua tells us this, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again.  And if those days had not been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

We want to take a close look at this to see what Yeshua meant by there has never been a time like this since the beginning of the world.

Let’s look at the Scriptures that come before this to see if there is any clue. Matthew 24:15-20 says this “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place let the reader understand—  then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.  Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get things out of his house.  And whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.  But woe to those women who are with child, and to those who are nursing babies in those days!  Moreover, pray that when you flee, it will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.” 

Yeshua references Daniel, so let’s look at His reference.

Daniel 12:10-12 says this, “Many will be purged, cleansed, and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.  And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.  Blessed is the one who is patient and attains to the 1,335 days!”

So what was Daniel talking about? Well, this we know,  that this was fulfilled in the days of the Maccabees.  We read in the book of Maccabees that the wicked King Antiochus set out to profane the Temple of God. He set up an idol, an idol of a pagan god in the Temple of the LORD. He sacrificed swine to Zeus on the altar of the LORD. The writer of Maccabees called this idol “the abomination of desolation.”  Also in the book of Maccabees, when the Abomination of Desolation was set up and the priests were told to sacrifice to it, they left their possessions and fled to the mountains. “So he and his sons fled into the mountains, and left all that ever they had in the city.” So they fled to the mountains and Yeshua was telling His people on that day to do the same.

(1 Maccabees 2:28)

So what was that day? Yeshua tells us this  in Matthew 24:2, But He responded and said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”

Yeshua was referring to the Temple. So was there going to be a repeat of the days of the Maccabees? “Yes, and it was called the Jewish Roman wars.

What we do not see is an idol being put into the Temple, but almost. It is recorded by the historian Josephus. He writes, Now Gaius (Caligula) bore a grudge for being ignored only by the Jews in this respect [i.e., honoring him as divine]. So he sent his legate, Petronius, to Syria to take the rule over from Vitellius and ordered him to lead a large force into Judea. If they received him willingly, he was to place a statue of (Caligula) in the Temple of God. But if they treated him with arrogance, he still was to do this after mastering them in battle — Josephus, Antiquities 18.261

Under Tiberius there was quiet. Then at the command of Gaius Caesar to place a statue of himself in the temple, (the Jews) took up arms instead. But Caesar’s death put an end to the commotion. — Tacitus, Histories 5.9

Indeed, the Jews had given the appearance of rising up in revolt; (but) after the news of (Caligula’s) murder there was no need for compliance (with his order). (Yet) fear remained that some emperor would command the same thing. — Tacitus, Annals 12.343

 Caligula and his proposed statue in the 40’s AD seems to fit this description, even though Titus wanted to place Roman standards in the Temple in 70 AD. But this is for certain, the Jewish Roman wars  point to the time of the Maccabees, because trouble and destruction and famine and even the extermination of the Jews along with the destruction of the Temple all happened at this time.

 Matthew 24:4-5  says this,  “And Yeshua answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will mislead many people.” 

And sure enough, during the second Jewish Roman Revolt there was a man named Bar Kokhba who did come claiming to be Messiah and the Jewish people believed he was and followed him into another war with the Romans. But this time the believers in Yeshua knew that he was not the Messiah and did not join in the revolt with them. They were all spared, while the others were all killed. This is what put the final nail in the coffin, as they say. This divided the Jewish people from those who believed in Yeshua. Messianic Judaism was once a sect of Judaism and is no longer. So Yeshua did warn His people many times about what was going to happen. But what about Paul?

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, Paul seems to imply that, after a rebellion, the “man of lawlessness” will have himself worshiped as a god in the Temple.

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Messiah Yeshua, and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,  not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

In Paul’s day the people thought that the day of the Lord already came. I guess you can’t blame them when you understand about the Roman wars that were happening in that day and of course, the Caesar’s certainly could have qualified as men of lawlessness, not only because of their wickedness but because they totally disregarded the Torah, like in the days of the Maccabees. 

Paul says that the man of lawlessness will not come until the rebellion. The rebellion is the apostasy, the great falling away from truth. We see today that there has been a great apostasy, rebellion, which has been taking place for many years now. People have become complacent with religion. The truth has been watered down. You no longer hear about the shed blood of Yeshua. You don’t hear much about sin or repentance. We do hear things like tolerance and equality, and  other things associated with social justice, but not about holiness and godliness and even the Ten Commandments. With the covid people were not allowed to go to church and when the service was live streamed, even at that people found other things to do. If the apostasy is taking place now, then the lawless one must be close to coming on the scene. We also know that the world is already set up for the Antichrist (lawless one) who would be head over a global world economy. We see the fulfilment of Yeshua’s message in Matthew 24 being carried out even to today.

 We have ruled out different scenarios, but we still have the question about this great tribulation. Let’s look at it once again in Matthew 24 21-22.

“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again.  And if those days had not been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”

There was only one great tribulation and that would have been the great flood. 

Genesis 6:5-6,13, must be the saddest Scriptures in the Bible. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.  So the Lord was sorry that He had made mankind on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”  ‘Then God said to Noah’, “The end of humanity has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of people; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.”’ 

 Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

Yeshua, Himself in Matthew 24:12 says that most people’s hearts will grow cold.

Because of God’s promise to Noah that He would not destroy the world again by flood, we are still here, but we know that wickedness has increased and truth no longer prevails and we do have a global world and the apostasy is taking place, so this must be the times that Yeshua was referring to. In Matthew 24:37-41, Yeshua goes on to say this, “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,  and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.  At that time there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.”

Revelation 12:12 -17, speaks this about a flood,  “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Messiah Yeshua.”

Revelation speaks about a great flood, but not of water but of wickedness, a time of great persecution, like never before. A time of not God’s wrath but the devil’s and if we are not prepared we will all perish. God, Himself tells us that for the sake of the elect, He has to shorten the time. As Romans 9:27-28 tells us,  “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel may be like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved;  for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.” God destroyed the world except for 8 people, but now the devil is going to destroy the world unless God shortens the time. God does know how to save the righteous as 2 Peter 2:7-10 tells us, “ He rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the perverted conduct of unscrupulous people  (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),  then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from a trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,  and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt passion, and despise authority.”

Yeshua goes on to say in Matthew 24:42-44,  “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you must be ready as well; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

We may not know the day or hour but Yeshua did tell us this in Luke 12:54-56, “He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens.  And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens.You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

We can see the world we live in and we should know what the Scriptures tell us and warn us about the end time. So let us be wise and discerning people and be ready and prepared, like Noah, so that when it begins to rain we are safely in the ark of God’s shelter, so that we can stand in these difficult days. To Him who overcomes: “I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7.

“….shall not be hurt by the second death.” Revelation 2:11.

“I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except him who receives it.” Revelation 2:17.

“The one who overcomes, and the one who keeps My deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations;  and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are shattered, as I also have received authority from My Father;  and I will give him the morning star.” Revelation 2:26-28

“…shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Revelation 3:5.

“I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” Revelation 3:12.

“I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21.

Today, I tell you this, draw close to God like never before. Let go of this world and cling to Him. Repent and come humbly before Him, for a flood is coming, a flood of persecution to those who keep the Commandments and the Testimony of Messiah Yeshua.  All the signs are pointing to it.

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