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The Secret Codes in Matthew: Examining Israel’s Messiah, Part 19: Matthew 24-25, by Kevin M. Williams

From Pneuma Review Spring 2005

Does Messiah pay taxes? Journey through the Gospel to the Hebrews with Kevin Williams and find out.

Matthew

 

The Olivet Discourse can be compared to a fine painting by one of the masters. That might sound odd, but everyone can look at the same piece of artwork from very different perspectives with opinions that range from matters of personal taste to the highly educated evaluation of each individual brush stroke. Eschatology is much the same.

With so many end-time theories and theologies from which to formulate an opinion, this portion of Scripture can be very polarizing. When you consider the views on how the end times will unfold: from pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, pre-wrath, and post tribulation theories, as well as amillennial doctrines—the palette is loaded with numerous hues and tones. Many love God’s Masterpiece—His picture of the last days—but everyone does not appreciate it equally or from a singular perspective.

This series, The Secret Codes in Matthew, operates on the premise that Matthew’s gospel was written as evidence to the Jewish people that Yeshua (Jesus) was the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. It is with that continuing premise in mind that Matthew 24 is examined, attempting to understand Yeshua’s words as his contemporaries did.

How the rapture will or will not occur, or in the preterists’ case “already occurred” will not be discussed here, but rather will be left to others. For this author, how things unfold are keenly interesting but minimally important. The crux of the life of a disciple is to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,” to “love the lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37),1 and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), all of which—of course—are timeless principles established millennia before in the Old Testament. Being occupied means that when the events of Matthew 24 arrive—whatever your theological bent—you will be found faithful.

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And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many” (Matthew 24:4-5).

It is interesting to note that some of our Christian brethren 500 years ago—in the throes of the Reformation—viewed this passage thusly: “The Church will have a continual conflict with infinite miseries and offences, and furthermore, with false prophets, until the day of victory and triumph comes.”2 Indeed, with 1,500 years behind them already, these commentators—already in the thick of polarizing change that shook the foundations of Europe—were experiencing the truths of some of Yeshua’s prophecies in Matthew 24 on a daily basis.

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Category: Biblical Studies, Pneuma Review, Winter 2006

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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