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Matthew 24:4-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

Matthew 24:4-8 – The Answer: Part One – Beware Being Misled

|| Mark 13:5-8; Luke 21:8-11

MT24:4 And, Jesus answered them:[1] “Look out no one misleads you. MT24:5 For many will come using my name,[2] saying: ‘I AM THE ANOINTED!’[3] {MK13:6 Or, ‘I AM HE!’[4] LK21:8 Or, ‘THE APPOINTED TIME HAS COME!’[5] Do not follow them![6]} They will mislead many![7] MT24:6 But, you will hear of wars and reports of wars and catastrophes.[8] Do not be terrified[9] for these early occurrences are a necessity. But, the End[10] does not occur immediately. MT24:7 For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and here and there {LK21:11 pestilence and} famines and earthquakes.[11] MT24:8 But, all these things are a beginning of birth-pangs.[12]

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[1] Jesus answered them: Note the very thing Jesus mentions is a warning which would indicate his insight into their misunderstanding and the human tendency to want signs (1 Corinthians 1:22; Matthew 12:39) or to know the future (Acts 1:6). Evidently, the disciples wanted to know a precise “day and hour” for Jesus later explains he does not know this (Matthew 24:36). Perhaps the main verse on the whole subject is, ‘Look out no one misleads you,’ but sadly Jesus predicts ‘many will be mislead.’ (Matthew 24:11)

[2] Using my name: Or, using my authority; claiming I sent them. A characteristic of these deceivers is their claim that only they represent Christ. They are identified by several other features: the claim, ‘Christ is here!’ and ‘The Time is at hand!’ and ‘I (we are) am The Anointed!’ Some claim Christ’s authority because of apostolic succession, a personal appearance, or singular understanding by the Spirit’s direction. The claim ‘I am the Christ (or, Anointed)’ could be by a body or organization asserting particular channels to Christ (1 Corinthians 1:13; 12:12). In other words, they are the only group or sect that is truly Christian.

[3] THE ANOINTED: Or, the Christ; the Messiah. See the above footnote.

[4] I AM HE: A claim to actually be the Messiah or even God Himself.

[5] THE APPOINTED TIME HAS COME: Or, ‘the time is at hand.’ Anyone who claims to know more than Christ (Matthew 24:36) and predicts the exact date for the Presence (parousia) or Return of Christ is arrogant in the extreme. Jesus does not know this “appointed time” (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32) nor can his disciples (Mark 13:33). At Acts 1:7 Jesus cautioned his disciples, ‘It is not for you to know times or appointed times.’ Anyone who claimed to have worked out some time chronology or prophetic “appointed times” would presume to know more than Christ and his Apostles. The hundreds of men and groups or organizations who have claimed such throughout the centuries are sadly well known. Not only might some claim Christ’s authority but they will also claim to know “the appointed time.” Others translate this: “The Time Is At Hand!” (By); “the time is near” (NIV); “the Day is upon us” (NEB) This ought to be a serious warning to any Christian teacher or group not to go around predicting such things; and, for any lay-person to refrain from taken such seriously, or fearing them as if they had authority (Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

[6] Do not follow them: Could anything be clearer? The Jerusalem Bible renders this: “Do not join them.” What to “join” and what not to “join” the Nazarene makes certain: none claiming, ‘THE TIME IS AT HAND!’

[7] They will mislead many: Jesus knows the result because he knows human nature. Millions have followed various sects or charismatic preachers whose teachings are associated with the claim that ‘THE TIME IS AT HAND’ or ‘THE APPOINTED TIME IS NEAR!’ It is in the fallen egocentric nature of man to assume Christ must return while they are alive!

[8] You will hear of wars and reports of wars and catastrophes: It follows upon Jesus’ warning that the disciples are not to interpret or read into various local or world happenings as proof “the appointed time is near.” What has actually been interpreted as “signs of the last days” is in fact part of the warning not to be misled by world events. So, the very thing Jesus warned about, religious men have turned into certain “signs” and these men have multiplied throughout the centuries taking advantage of every new report of war, revolutions, catastrophes, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, or comets. Today is no different.

[9] Do not be terrified: It should be kept in mind the Nazarene is speaking to “you” (plural in Greek) which means the four disciples before him (Mark 13:3). The Apostles are not to fear any news reports, whether local or distant, as proof “the end” is near.

[10] The End: Here the translator of the Hebrew words of the Nazarene into Greek puts TO TELOS (the end) into Jesus’ mouth. SYNTELEIAS, the word used to translate possibly kalah from the disciples, is a more heightened and sophisticated word which means roughly the same thing as “the end.” SYNTELEIAS = SYN + TELOS = with + end, like saying conclusion, consummation or fulfillment. What “end” would the disciples have in mind? The desolation of the Temple and the “end” of Jerusalem. Note, Jesus never uses SYNTELEIAS in his answer, but always TELOS; and this only in the first half of the answer. When the Nazarene says “the End” here would he be referring to the “end” of the Temple? Between Jesus’ answer and the final destruction of the Temple the disciples could expect to hear of wars, disorders, famines, plagues, and earthquakes.

[11] Famines and earthquakes: War, pestilence, famines, and earthquakes are reoccurring events which always serve the purpose of the current prophet with his false prophecies pointing to his claim, ‘THE TIME IS AT HAND!’ If Jesus warns about such false prophecies how could he go on to list such things as evidence of a “sign” for any generation could be misled by such?

[12] A beginning of birth-pangs: All of these events can be understood to be part of the warning not to be misled by local or world news. It is all so general as to be meaningless if applied to a specific “sign” to precede the Return of Christ. Generations throughout the centuries have seen all of these and experienced those “prophets” who took financial advantage of the innocent among The Elect.

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Preceding

Signs of the last days when difficult times will come

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

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Additional reading

  1. Prophecies over coming days
  2. Looking into the Future
  3. As you see the Day approaching
  4. Sign of the Times and the Last Days #2 Wars, natural disasters, famine and false Messiahs
  5. Signs of the Last Days
  6. The Conclusion of the System of Things

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Further, related

  1. Are you faithful—or looking for a “sign”?
  2. Looking for a Sign
  3. Looking for a sign (Jn 2:18-2:18)
  4. The Counterfeit – April 10, 2019
  5. Best Christian Video “The True Cannot Be False” | How to Discern the True Christ and False Christs (Skit)
  6. Even the elect could be deceived: learn how not to fall for satan’s final deception
  7. The Impurity Of Thought In Our Modern Society

Matthew 24:3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Apostles’ Question

Matthew 24:3 – The Apostles’ Question

|| Mark 13:3, 4; Luke 21:7

MT24:3 But, while sitting on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to him in a private spot, asking: “Tell us, when will this occur?[1] {MK13:4 and the sign when all this will be fulfilled?[2]} And, what will be the sign[3] of your Arrival[4] [Daniel 7:22; 12:2] and the complete end[5] of the Age?”[6] [Daniel 9:26, 27] {LK21:7 “When will this all occur?”[7]}

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[1] When will this occur: These questions are a compound from all three of the Gospels. When only the Book of Matthew is relied upon some have drawn a different conclusion. We feel it more accurate to include elements from all three witnesses. Do these Jewish disciples of the Nazarene have in mind the Temple? Perhaps they assume the shocking prediction of the Temple’s destruction means the Return of the Messiah in his foretold royal Presence? Their question cannot come from a clear understanding when they did not comprehend much simpler matters regarding the Messiah. If one argues their question in Matthew 24:3 was inspired then it needs to be explained why Mark and Luke omit this part. Just before the ascension of Christ these same men asked: ‘Are you restoring the Kingdom of Israel now?’ (Acts 1:6) Godly men have asked the question “When?” for thousands of years (Psalm 90:13; Habakkuk 1:2).

[2] Fulfilled: In Mark’s Gospel the Greek word SYNTELEISTHAI is used which means “fulfilled” and is similar to Matthew’s SYNTELEIAS (with + end) which means “ending together” or “conclusion.” When we say this we understand that Matthew originally wrote in Hebrew and later translated it into Greek, thus the Nazarene or his disciples never uttered the actual Greek word SYNTELEIAS. It is likely Matthew translates the Hebrew (or, Aramaic) kalah; (see Strong’s #3617) which means “completion, completely destroyed.” The word chosen by Matthew for this Hebrew was SYNTELEIAS.

[3] Sign: This is the Greek SEMEION which occurs again at Matthew 24:30. Note it also occurs in the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX) of the Second or Third Century BCE at Daniel 9:27 (SYNTELEIAS).

[4] Arrival: This is the Greek PAROUSIA and means “arrival” or a royal visit (See Thayer’s or Vine’s). Strong’s #3952, “advent, return, coming, presence.” It is only used in one of the Gospels, Matthew. Paul uses it with reference to the return of Christ at 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 9. Jesus had never been recorded using this word by Matthew as the Greek translator. It is believed the Nazarene spoke Hebrew (with certain Aramaic loan words) and so it is possible he used a word like athah; (Strong’s #857, #858, meaning “arrive”) from Daniel 7:13, 22. In the other two Gospels dealing with this subject “the end” of Jerusalem’s Temple, other synonyms are used instead of PAROUSIA: Mark 13:26 ERCHOMENON; Mark 13:35 ERCHETAI (= coming), and, Mark 13:36 ELTHON (= arrive). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines PAROUSIA (Strong’s #3952) as “the coming, arrival, advent… the future, visible return from heaven of Jesus.” The Dictionary of New Testament Theology (DNTT), volume 2, page 898, explains: “Technically the noun is used for the arrival of a ruler or king… The idea of parousia now becomes bound up with the church’s expectations of Christ’s appearing.”

[5] Complete end: Here the Greek is a heightened form of TELOS (= end), SYNTELEIAS (= with + end). The disciples likely assumed that the destruction of the Temple meant the Return (Presence) or Arrival of Christ and therefore “the end of the world” as they knew it. The Greek translator of Matthew (likely Matthew himself) puts the word SYNTELEIAS in the disciples’ mouth. This is a word that only occurred once before in the Nazarene’s parable of wheat and tares at Matthew 13:40. However, note this word occurs in the Jewish Greek Bible (LXX) at Daniel 9:27 in the context of Jerusalem’s foretold ‘desolation.’ Compare also Hebrews 9:26 where SYNTELEIA is used with regard to the First Coming of Christ in the “last days” of the Jewish Age (Hebrews 1:1; Acts 2:17; Jude 18; 1 Corinthians 10:11). Judging from Jesus’ admission that he does not ‘know the day and hour’ (Matthew 24:36) there is no way the Nazarene could tell his disciples about the date of “the complete end” or SYNTELEIAS.

[6] Age: This is the Greek AIONOS which is corrupted into English by aeon or eon. Though in certain contexts the old English word “world” might be correctly understood, it is often misleading for it gives the idea the earth and all life on it is to end. However, the word “Age” conveys a certain period of time during which certain contemporaries live, such as the Age of the Dinosaurs or the Atomic Age. The King James translators did use AION (Strong’s #165 1074) as “ages” in Ephesians 2:7 and Colossians 1:26 so they were fully aware of its real meaning. The implication of “world” might be misleading.

[7] When will this all occur: Can anyone argue that the disciples did not have in mind the Temple and its destruction?

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Preceding

Matthew 13:47-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Dragnet

Matthew 24 about temples or Houses of God and the end of the age

Matthew 24:1-2 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Desolation, Oppression and the Parousia – The Setting

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Related articles

  1. The disciples confusion at olivet (1)
  2. The disciples confusion at olivet (2)
  3. The disciples confusion at olivet (4)

Matthew 17:10-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Elijah Has Already Come

Matthew 17:10-13 – Elijah Has Already Come

|| Mark 9:9-13

MT17:10 Now the disciples inquired of Jesus, asking, “Why do the Scribes[1] say it is necessary for Elijah[2] to come first?” [Malachi 4:5] MT17:11 Jesus answered them, saying: “Indeed, Elijah is coming[3] and will restore everything.[4] MT17:12 But, I tell you: Elijah has already arrived[5] and they did not acknowledge him;[6] rather, they treated him as they wished.[7] And just so the Son of Humankind is about to suffer because of them.”[8] MT17:13 Finally the disciples understood that Jesus spoke to them about John the Baptist.

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[1] Scribes: Search the word scribe for notes elsewhere. Or, NEB: teachers.

[2] Elijah: Likely this prophet is raised as a result of the vision. We may suppose only the three disciples were asking the question. On Elijah research the name for other notes.

[3] Elijah is coming: Judging from Jesus’ words may we suppose there are two “Elijahs”? One to appear before the desolation of Jerusalem (Malachi 4:5). And, still another before the Parousia of Christ (Revelation 11:4, 5). The Nazarene does not mean the literal prophet but something like him.

[4] Restore everything: Or, NEB: set everything right; GDSP: reform everything; RIEU: reestablish everything. Compare Acts 3:21. Malachi 4:6 foretold the result of Elijah’s coming:

“He must turn the heart of fathers back toward sons, and the heart of sons back toward fathers.”

If this be the ‘restoration’ it deals strongly with family relationships and involves love. If we were to also apply Isaiah 40:5 to the coming of Elijah then this also would be involved: “The glory of Jehovah will certainly be revealed, and all flesh must see it together.” Additionally, consider Malachi 3:1-4: “And suddenly there will come to His temple the [true] Lord, whom you people are seeking, and the messenger of the covenant in whom you are delighting. Look! He will certainly come,” Jehovah of armies has said. “But who will be putting up with the day of his coming, and who will be the one standing when he appears? For he will be like the fire of a refiner and like the lye of laundrymen. And he must sit as a refiner and cleanser of silver and must cleanse the sons of Le’vi; and he must clarify them like gold and like silver, and they will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness. And the gift offering of Judah and of Jerusalem will actually be gratifying to Jehovah, as in the days of long ago and as in the years of antiquity.” (NWT) The ‘restoration’ not only involves family relationships but also the true Temple and the cleansing of the People of God. Compare Revelation 11:1-12; 11:19.

[5] Elijah has already arrived: See notes on Matthew 11:14 and Matthew 16:14 and the name Elijah elsewhere.

[6] They did not acknowledge him: “They” includes the Scribes. Or, KJV: knew him not; RHM: they recognized him not.

[7] They treated him as they wished: Or, KJV: have done unto him whatsoever they listed; RHM: did with him whatsoever they pleased; MOF: they have worked their will on him; KNX: misused him at their pleasure. “They” imprisoned and then beheaded John the Baptist.

[8] Suffer because of them: This is the second of two times Jesus mentions his foretold ‘suffering.’ (see notes at Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 17:25) That the Messiah would “suffer” is foretold by Psalm 22:1+ and Isaiah 53:1+. Compare also Isaiah 50:6 and Daniel 9:26.

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Preceding

Matthew 17:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Transfiguration Vision

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Related

  1. Will Elijah Come Again? No, Elijah has already come.

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