Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible





For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this [spiritually] unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him when He returns in the splendor of His Father, accompanied by the holy angels."

and to provide [future] rest for you, along with us, who are afflicted. [This will occur] when Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire [i.e., at His second coming], accompanied by His mighty angels.

And it was also prophesied about [these] people by Enoch, the seventh [descendant] of Adam [Gen. 5:18-24], who said, "Look, the Lord came with thousands upon thousands [Note: The Greek uses the plural form of "myriad," which means 10,000] of His holy ones [i.e., angels],

But we want you to be informed, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep [in death] so that you do not grieve, as other people do [i.e., the unsaved], who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [from the dead], [we also believe] that God will bring [back to life], along with Jesus, those in [fellowship with] Him who have fallen asleep [in death]. For we say this to you by [the authority of] the word of the Lord [Note: Paul was either quoting what Jesus had previously said, or was giving a revelation he had received from the Lord. See I Cor. 14:37], that we [Christians] who are [still] alive, who are left [on earth] when the Lord returns, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. [Note: The point Paul is making is that the living will not be "changed" (I Cor. 15:51-52) and taken to heaven before the dead are raised]. read more.
For the Lord Himself [i.e., Jesus] will come down from heaven with a commanding shout [Note: This probably refers to Jesus' voice. See John 5:25, 28], [and] with the archangel's voice [i.e., Michael. See Jude 9] and with the sound of God's trumpet; [at this] the dead in [fellowship with] Christ will rise [from the dead] first. Then, we who [will still] be alive, that are left, will be caught up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so [from then on] we will always be with the Lord. So, encourage one another with these words.


"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

"But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. read more.
And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world].

Then I saw heaven open, and there before me was a white horse whose rider was called "Faithful and True." And He [i.e., Christ] judges and wages war in a just way. And His eyes are [like] blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns, and He has a name written [on Him] which is known only by Him. And He is dressed in a robe that has been dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is "The Word of God." read more.
And the armies in heaven, dressed in expensive, white, clean linen, followed Him, [riding] on white horses.


But we want you to be informed, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep [in death] so that you do not grieve, as other people do [i.e., the unsaved], who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [from the dead], [we also believe] that God will bring [back to life], along with Jesus, those in [fellowship with] Him who have fallen asleep [in death]. For we say this to you by [the authority of] the word of the Lord [Note: Paul was either quoting what Jesus had previously said, or was giving a revelation he had received from the Lord. See I Cor. 14:37], that we [Christians] who are [still] alive, who are left [on earth] when the Lord returns, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. [Note: The point Paul is making is that the living will not be "changed" (I Cor. 15:51-52) and taken to heaven before the dead are raised]. read more.
For the Lord Himself [i.e., Jesus] will come down from heaven with a commanding shout [Note: This probably refers to Jesus' voice. See John 5:25, 28], [and] with the archangel's voice [i.e., Michael. See Jude 9] and with the sound of God's trumpet; [at this] the dead in [fellowship with] Christ will rise [from the dead] first. Then, we who [will still] be alive, that are left, will be caught up together with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so [from then on] we will always be with the Lord. So, encourage one another with these words.

"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

"But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. read more.
And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world].


May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised, for He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in [fellowship with] Christ. [Note: The term "heavenly realms" is used somewhat differently throughout this book. Here it refers to Christians as part of the church on earth]. Even before the creation of the world God chose us, who are in [fellowship with] Christ, to be dedicated [to Him] and to be without just blame in His sight. Out of love God predetermined that we should be [considered] His adopted children through [fellowship with] Christ. This is what pleased God and is what He wanted, read more.
so that we would praise His glorious, unearned favor, which was freely given to us through the One whom God loved [i.e., Christ]. In [fellowship with] Christ we have redemption [i.e., we have been bought back from Satan] through His blood, and have forgiveness of sins according to the abundance of God's unearned favor, which He lavished on us. [He used] wisdom and understanding, in doing what He intended through Christ, to make known to us His secret plan, according to what pleased Him. [He did this] to fulfill His plan at the proper time, by bringing together everything [in the universe] under Christ's headship --- things both in heaven and on earth. It is in [fellowship with] Christ that we [Jewish Christians] also were selected as [God's] inheritance [i.e., to receive His never ending blessings], having been predetermined according to the plan of God, who works out everything in harmony with what He wants.

Now brothers, you do not need to have anything written to you about the times and dates [i.e., of Christ's second coming], for you know perfectly well that the day of the Lord [i.e., when He returns, See II Thess. 2:1-2] will arrive like a thief coming in the night. [For] when people are saying, "Peace," and "Safety," then [is when] destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not be able to escape it. read more.
But you brothers are not in the dark about that day, so that it sneaks up on you like a thief, for all of you people belong to the light; you belong to the daytime. We do not belong to the night or to darkness. [Note: In this passage "light" and "daytime" refer to spiritual illumination, while "darkness" and "night" refer to spiritual ignorance]. So then, we should not be [spiritually] asleep, like the rest [i.e., the unsaved world], but we should be alert and sober [i.e., in control of our senses]. For people sleep at night, and get drunk at night [i.e., generally speaking]. But, since we belong to the daytime [i.e., are enlightened], we should be sober. We should put on the "flack jacket" of faith and love, and for a helmet, the hope of being saved. For God did not appoint us to [suffer His] wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep [i.e., alive or dead], we could live together with Him. Therefore, [continue to] encourage one another, and build each other up [spiritually], just as you are also doing.

Now concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our being gathered to Him, brothers, we request that you people do not become shaken up in your mind, nor alarmed, either by a spirit [i.e., by some prophetic prediction], or by a report, or by a letter supposedly from us, that the day of the Lord [i.e., when Jesus returns] has already come.


Now concerning the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our being gathered to Him, brothers, we request that you people do not become shaken up in your mind, nor alarmed, either by a spirit [i.e., by some prophetic prediction], or by a report, or by a letter supposedly from us, that the day of the Lord [i.e., when Jesus returns] has already come. Do not allow anyone to deceive you in any way, for it will not occur until the rebellion comes first and the man of lawlessness becomes evident. [Note: This "rebellion" refers to a significant falling away from the teaching and practice of true Christianity (See I Tim. 4:1), characterized by the rise of an authoritarian religious leader]. This man is doomed to be destroyed read more.
[for] he opposes [the true Gospel message] and exalts himself against everything that is called "God" or that which is worshiped. So, he sits in God's temple [i.e., the church ?] displaying himself as [though he were] God. Do you not remember that I used to tell you these things when I was still with you? [But] for now, there is something holding him back [i.e., holding back the man of lawlessness from emerging, See verses 3-4], and you people know what it is. [It is restraining him] so that he will not be revealed until his own [due] time. For this mysterious lawlessness is already at work [or, "this lawlessness is already secretly at work"]; but the one who is holding it back [will continue to do so] until he is removed. And then the lawless person [See verse 3] will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the brilliant appearance of His presence [i.e., at His second coming]. The coming [of this lawless person] is according to the work of Satan, [and will be] attended by all kinds of powerful [i.e., miraculous] signs and false wonders, and all kinds of wicked deception toward those people who are perishing [spiritually], because they refused to love the truth so they could be saved. And this is the reason that God sends them a strong delusion [to influence them]: It is so that they would believe the lie, in order that all those who have not believed the truth, but have taken pleasure in wrongdoing, would be condemned.

As Jesus left the Temple, His disciples approached Him as He was walking along the road and pointed out the Temple buildings. He responded to them by saying, "Do you see all these structures? Truly I tell you, there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign that indicates your presence and the end of the [present] age?" read more.
And Jesus answered them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]' and they will lead many people away [from the truth]. And you will hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending]. Do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And famines and earthquakes will occur at various places [in the world]. But all these things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. At that time people will turn you over [to the authorities] for persecution and will [even] kill you. And people from all countries will hate you for being loyal to me. And then many people will fall away [from God] and they will turn one another over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment], and they will hate one another. And many false prophets will appear and will lead many people away [from the truth]. And because sin will abound, many people will grow cold in their love [for one another]. But the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. And this good news concerning the kingdom [of heaven] will be preached to people throughout the world as a testimony [of God's message] to all nations. Then, [after that] the end [i.e., of Jerusalem, the Temple, etc.] will come. "Therefore, when you see that disgusting thing which causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman armies. See Luke 21:20], which Daniel the prophet spoke about [Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11], standing in the sacred place [i.e., Jerusalem and especially the Temple area], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. [Also], the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside], is not to take any of the belongings from his house as he comes down [to flee]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] is not [even] to return [to his house] to get his coat. It will be too bad for those who are pregnant and who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that it will not be in the winter or on a Sabbath day when you will have to flee [from the city]. [Note: Jewish Sabbath day restrictions on travel (only three-fifths of a mile) and city gate closures would make leaving the city nearly impossible]. There will be great trouble [during these times], such as had never been from the beginning of time up to the present, or ever will be [in the days to come]. And if those days had not been as short as they were no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], those days will be short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'There [he is],' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform great [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray even the elect [i.e., God's people], if possible. You see, I have told you [all this] ahead of time. Therefore, if people say to you, 'Look, he [i.e., Christ. See verse 23] is in the desert,' do not go out there. [Or if they say], 'Look, he is in an inside room,' do not believe him. For just like lightning that appears in the east can be seen even in the west, so it will be with the presence [i.e., coming] of the Son of man. Wherever there is a dead body, [you can expect to see] vultures gathered there. [Note: This may mean that such a significant event as the coming of Christ would surely not go unnoticed]. "But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky'] "Now learn this parable [i.e., a brief analogy to illustrate a lesson] from the fig tree: When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see all these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. [Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But no one knows when that day or hour will come. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son [of God] know [when it will happen], but only the Father [does]. As it was during the days of Noah, so it will be when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. For in those days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking [i.e., partaking of ordinary meals], men were getting married and women were being given away in marriage [right up] until the day Noah entered the ship. And the people [i.e., of Noah's day] did not know [when it would happen] until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be the same way when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. At that time there will be two men [working] in a field; one will be taken [i.e., to be with the Lord. See I Thess. 4:17], while the other one will be left [i.e., to be punished by the Lord. See II Thess. 1:7-9]. Two women will be grinding grain at a millstone [Note: This was a hand-operated device where two persons sat across from each other and rotated a circular stone over kernels of grain]; one will be taken, while the other one will be left. Therefore be alert, for you do not know on what day the Lord will come. But you should know this: if the owner of a house had known when a thief was coming, he would have been watching so as not to allow his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will come at a time when you least expect Him.

As Jesus left the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, look at the kind of stones these buildings are made of " And Jesus responded to him, "Do you see these huge buildings? There will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, over near the Temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Him privately, read more.
"Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when all these things are about to be fulfilled?" Then Jesus began saying to them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [i.e., from the truth]. [For] many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ] and they will lead many people astray. And when you hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending], do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And earthquakes will happen at various places [in the world], and there will be famines. These things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. "But pay attention to yourselves, for people will turn you over to [Jewish] councils [i.e., for judgment] and you will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings for being loyal to me. [This will afford you an opportunity] for witnessing to them. And the good news must first be preached to people of all nations. And when they lead you into court, and hand you over [to be judged], do not worry ahead of time about what you will say, but [just] say whatever you are told [i.e., by God] when the time comes. And [at that time] a person will turn his brother over to be killed, and the father will do the same to his child. And children will rebel against their parents and will turn them over to be killed. You will be hated by all people because you belong to me, but the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., the end of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. "But when you see that disgusting thing that causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman army. See Luke 21:20] standing where it ought not to be [i.e., surrounding the besieged city of Jerusalem], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those of you in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. Also the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside] should not go down into his house to take anything out [when he flees]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] should not return [to his house] to get his coat [even]. [It will be] too bad for those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that [your flight] will not be in the winter. There will be great trouble during those days, such as had never been from the beginning of God's creation until the present, or even will be [in the days to come]. And if the Lord had not kept those days as short as they were, no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], whom He chose, He kept those days short. And then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'Look, there He is,' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray [even] the elect, if possible. But pay attention, for I have told you [all this] ahead of time. "But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world]. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen.

Then, as someone [i.e., of His disciples. See Mark 13:1], spoke of how the Temple was decorated with beautiful stones and objects dedicated as gifts, Jesus said, "As for these things you are looking at, the time will come when there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." So, they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when these things are about to be fulfilled?" read more.
And He replied, "Pay attention, so that you are not led astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ],' and 'The time is near.' [But] do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and uprisings [going on], do not be afraid, for such things must necessarily happen first. But the end will not come right away." [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Nations will wage war against one another and kingdoms will attack one another. And great earthquakes will happen, and at various places there will be famines and disease epidemics. And there will be fearful events and great [supernatural] signs from heaven. But before all these things happen, the authorities will grab hold of you, and persecute you, and turn you over to the synagogues and prisons [i.e., for punishment and confinement]. They will take you in front of kings and governors for being loyal to me. It will result in [an opportunity for] witnessing to them. Determine in your hearts, therefore, not to plan ahead how you will answer them [when interrogated], for I will give you a mouth [i.e., the ability to speak properly] and wisdom [i.e., the knowledge of what to say], which none of your opponents will be able to resist or speak against. But you will be turned over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment] even by [your own] parents and brothers and relatives and friends. And they will [even] put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all people for being loyal to me. However, not one hair of your head will be lost. [But], by holding out steadfastly, you will gain your life. [Note: This means either "preserve your earthly life," or "attain never ending life"]. "So, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [Roman] armies, then you will know that her total destruction is near. Then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. And those who are inside of the city are to leave it [immediately]. And those who are in the countryside should not enter the city. For these are times for punishment [i.e., to be inflicted on Jerusalem], so that everything written [i.e., by the prophets] may be fulfilled [i.e., about Jerusalem's destruction. See Dan. 9:26-27]. It will be too bad for pregnant women and those who are nursing [babies] in those days! For there will be great distress in this land [i.e., Judea, and especially Jerusalem], and raging anger [will be shown] against these people [i.e., by the Roman armies]. And people will die by the sword and be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the [unconverted] Gentiles [i.e., by the Romans and later by others] until the times of [domination by] the Gentiles are fulfilled. "Then [Note: This event answers to the "immediately" of Matt. 24:29, and suggests the next major event on God's calendar] there will be [supernatural] signs [evident] in the sun and moon and stars. And on earth [there will be] distress among nations; they will be perplexed by the roaring of the ocean's churning waves. [Note: Probably this is figurative language for highly agitated conditions on earth]. Men will become despondent from fear, and from dreading the [terrible] things which will come upon the earth, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great splendor [Note: This no doubt refers to the second coming of Christ. See II Pet. 3:9-10; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 1:7]. But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads [i.e., in anticipation], for your redemption [i.e., deliverance, either from destruction or condemnation] is getting closer." Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that 'day' [i.e., Jesus' second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. For that is the way this 'day' will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day]."



At the end of the world it will be that same way. The angels will come and divide the sinful people from the ones who did what was right,


And [Psa. 102:25-27 says], "Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hand. They will be destroyed, but you will remain. And they [i.e., the heavens and earth] will all wear out like an article of clothing. And you will fold them up like a robe, and they will be changed like an article of clothing. But you will stay the same and your years will never end."

For then He would have had to suffer often since the creation of the world; but now at the end of the ages [i.e., the final period of world history] He has been revealed once [for all] to remove sin by sacrificing Himself.

"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign that indicates your presence and the end of the [present] age?"




For it is true when I say, not one little letter or even a portion of a letter will be removed from the law of Moses until everything is accomplished [that is required by them]. [When that happens, then] heaven and earth will pass away [i.e., be destroyed. See II Peter 3:12].


[Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But no one knows when that day or hour will come. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son [of God] know [when it will happen], but only the Father [does]. As it was during the days of Noah, so it will be when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. read more.
For in those days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking [i.e., partaking of ordinary meals], men were getting married and women were being given away in marriage [right up] until the day Noah entered the ship. And the people [i.e., of Noah's day] did not know [when it would happen] until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be the same way when the presence of the Son of man [arrives].

"But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. read more.
And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world]. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. But no one knows when that day or that hour will come; not even the angels in heaven or the Son of God know, but only the Father does. "You should pay attention; be alert and pray, for you do not know when the time will come [i.e., for the Lord to return]. It is like a man who left his house on a trip to another country. [Before leaving] he put his servants in charge of his affairs, giving each one a [particular] job to do, then he ordered the gatekeeper to stay alert [i.e., while he was gone]. So, be alert, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return, whether [some] evening, at midnight, at dawn, or at [mid-] morning. [Be alert], for he might come unexpectedly and find you asleep. And what I am telling you, I am telling everyone. Be alert "

Men will become despondent from fear, and from dreading the [terrible] things which will come upon the earth, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great splendor [Note: This no doubt refers to the second coming of Christ. See II Pet. 3:9-10; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 1:7]. But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads [i.e., in anticipation], for your redemption [i.e., deliverance, either from destruction or condemnation] is getting closer." read more.
Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that 'day' [i.e., Jesus' second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. For that is the way this 'day' will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day]."

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief [i.e., unexpectedly]. At that time the heavens will pass away with a loud noise and the elements [Note: This refers either to the heavenly bodies or to the material components of the universe], will be dissolved with intense heat. And the earth and its works [i.e., its activities] will be burned up. [Note: Some translations render this phrase as it is in some ancient manuscripts, "will be disclosed," or "will be laid bare"]. Since all these things are [certain] to be destroyed, what kind of persons should you be, [if not like those] living holy lives, and in a godly manner, [while] looking forward to, and earnestly desiring the day of God to come, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved by fire and the elements [See verse 10] will melt with intense heat. read more.
But, since God has promised it, we look forward to new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will prevail.

Then I saw a great, white throne and Him who was seated on it [i.e., probably Christ]. Earth and heaven fled from His presence and they were not found anywhere [again].



"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

"But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. read more.
And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world].



So, will God not grant justice to His elect [i.e., His people] who call out to Him [i.e., in prayer] day and night? Will He be slow in helping them? I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly. However, will the Son of man find [very many] believing people on the earth when He returns?"



As Jesus left the Temple, His disciples approached Him as He was walking along the road and pointed out the Temple buildings. He responded to them by saying, "Do you see all these structures? Truly I tell you, there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign that indicates your presence and the end of the [present] age?" read more.
And Jesus answered them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]' and they will lead many people away [from the truth]. And you will hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending]. Do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And famines and earthquakes will occur at various places [in the world]. But all these things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. At that time people will turn you over [to the authorities] for persecution and will [even] kill you. And people from all countries will hate you for being loyal to me. And then many people will fall away [from God] and they will turn one another over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment], and they will hate one another. And many false prophets will appear and will lead many people away [from the truth]. And because sin will abound, many people will grow cold in their love [for one another]. But the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. And this good news concerning the kingdom [of heaven] will be preached to people throughout the world as a testimony [of God's message] to all nations. Then, [after that] the end [i.e., of Jerusalem, the Temple, etc.] will come. "Therefore, when you see that disgusting thing which causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman armies. See Luke 21:20], which Daniel the prophet spoke about [Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11], standing in the sacred place [i.e., Jerusalem and especially the Temple area], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. [Also], the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside], is not to take any of the belongings from his house as he comes down [to flee]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] is not [even] to return [to his house] to get his coat. It will be too bad for those who are pregnant and who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that it will not be in the winter or on a Sabbath day when you will have to flee [from the city]. [Note: Jewish Sabbath day restrictions on travel (only three-fifths of a mile) and city gate closures would make leaving the city nearly impossible]. There will be great trouble [during these times], such as had never been from the beginning of time up to the present, or ever will be [in the days to come]. And if those days had not been as short as they were no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], those days will be short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'There [he is],' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform great [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray even the elect [i.e., God's people], if possible. You see, I have told you [all this] ahead of time. Therefore, if people say to you, 'Look, he [i.e., Christ. See verse 23] is in the desert,' do not go out there. [Or if they say], 'Look, he is in an inside room,' do not believe him. For just like lightning that appears in the east can be seen even in the west, so it will be with the presence [i.e., coming] of the Son of man. Wherever there is a dead body, [you can expect to see] vultures gathered there. [Note: This may mean that such a significant event as the coming of Christ would surely not go unnoticed]. "But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky'] "Now learn this parable [i.e., a brief analogy to illustrate a lesson] from the fig tree: When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see all these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. [Although] the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But no one knows when that day or hour will come. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son [of God] know [when it will happen], but only the Father [does]. As it was during the days of Noah, so it will be when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. For in those days before the Flood, people were eating and drinking [i.e., partaking of ordinary meals], men were getting married and women were being given away in marriage [right up] until the day Noah entered the ship. And the people [i.e., of Noah's day] did not know [when it would happen] until the Flood came and swept them all away. It will be the same way when the presence of the Son of man [arrives]. At that time there will be two men [working] in a field; one will be taken [i.e., to be with the Lord. See I Thess. 4:17], while the other one will be left [i.e., to be punished by the Lord. See II Thess. 1:7-9]. Two women will be grinding grain at a millstone [Note: This was a hand-operated device where two persons sat across from each other and rotated a circular stone over kernels of grain]; one will be taken, while the other one will be left. Therefore be alert, for you do not know on what day the Lord will come. But you should know this: if the owner of a house had known when a thief was coming, he would have been watching so as not to allow his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also should be ready, for the Son of man will come at a time when you least expect Him.

As Jesus left the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, look at the kind of stones these buildings are made of " And Jesus responded to him, "Do you see these huge buildings? There will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, over near the Temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Him privately, read more.
"Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when all these things are about to be fulfilled?" Then Jesus began saying to them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [i.e., from the truth]. [For] many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ] and they will lead many people astray. And when you hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending], do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And earthquakes will happen at various places [in the world], and there will be famines. These things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. "But pay attention to yourselves, for people will turn you over to [Jewish] councils [i.e., for judgment] and you will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings for being loyal to me. [This will afford you an opportunity] for witnessing to them. And the good news must first be preached to people of all nations. And when they lead you into court, and hand you over [to be judged], do not worry ahead of time about what you will say, but [just] say whatever you are told [i.e., by God] when the time comes. And [at that time] a person will turn his brother over to be killed, and the father will do the same to his child. And children will rebel against their parents and will turn them over to be killed. You will be hated by all people because you belong to me, but the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., the end of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. "But when you see that disgusting thing that causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman army. See Luke 21:20] standing where it ought not to be [i.e., surrounding the besieged city of Jerusalem], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those of you in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. Also the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside] should not go down into his house to take anything out [when he flees]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] should not return [to his house] to get his coat [even]. [It will be] too bad for those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that [your flight] will not be in the winter. There will be great trouble during those days, such as had never been from the beginning of God's creation until the present, or even will be [in the days to come]. And if the Lord had not kept those days as short as they were, no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], whom He chose, He kept those days short. And then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'Look, there He is,' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray [even] the elect, if possible. But pay attention, for I have told you [all this] ahead of time. "But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world]. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen.

Then, as someone [i.e., of His disciples. See Mark 13:1], spoke of how the Temple was decorated with beautiful stones and objects dedicated as gifts, Jesus said, "As for these things you are looking at, the time will come when there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." So, they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when these things are about to be fulfilled?" read more.
And He replied, "Pay attention, so that you are not led astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ],' and 'The time is near.' [But] do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and uprisings [going on], do not be afraid, for such things must necessarily happen first. But the end will not come right away." [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Nations will wage war against one another and kingdoms will attack one another. And great earthquakes will happen, and at various places there will be famines and disease epidemics. And there will be fearful events and great [supernatural] signs from heaven. But before all these things happen, the authorities will grab hold of you, and persecute you, and turn you over to the synagogues and prisons [i.e., for punishment and confinement]. They will take you in front of kings and governors for being loyal to me. It will result in [an opportunity for] witnessing to them. Determine in your hearts, therefore, not to plan ahead how you will answer them [when interrogated], for I will give you a mouth [i.e., the ability to speak properly] and wisdom [i.e., the knowledge of what to say], which none of your opponents will be able to resist or speak against. But you will be turned over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment] even by [your own] parents and brothers and relatives and friends. And they will [even] put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all people for being loyal to me. However, not one hair of your head will be lost. [But], by holding out steadfastly, you will gain your life. [Note: This means either "preserve your earthly life," or "attain never ending life"]. "So, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [Roman] armies, then you will know that her total destruction is near. Then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. And those who are inside of the city are to leave it [immediately]. And those who are in the countryside should not enter the city. For these are times for punishment [i.e., to be inflicted on Jerusalem], so that everything written [i.e., by the prophets] may be fulfilled [i.e., about Jerusalem's destruction. See Dan. 9:26-27]. It will be too bad for pregnant women and those who are nursing [babies] in those days! For there will be great distress in this land [i.e., Judea, and especially Jerusalem], and raging anger [will be shown] against these people [i.e., by the Roman armies]. And people will die by the sword and be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the [unconverted] Gentiles [i.e., by the Romans and later by others] until the times of [domination by] the Gentiles are fulfilled. "Then [Note: This event answers to the "immediately" of Matt. 24:29, and suggests the next major event on God's calendar] there will be [supernatural] signs [evident] in the sun and moon and stars. And on earth [there will be] distress among nations; they will be perplexed by the roaring of the ocean's churning waves. [Note: Probably this is figurative language for highly agitated conditions on earth]. Men will become despondent from fear, and from dreading the [terrible] things which will come upon the earth, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great splendor [Note: This no doubt refers to the second coming of Christ. See II Pet. 3:9-10; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 1:7]. But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads [i.e., in anticipation], for your redemption [i.e., deliverance, either from destruction or condemnation] is getting closer." Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen. Although the sky and the earth will pass away [See II Pet. 3:10], my words will not pass away [i.e., they will certainly come true]. "But pay attention to yourselves so that your hearts do not become overburdened by carousing, and drunkenness, and the worries of life. [If you do], that 'day' [i.e., Jesus' second coming and judgment] will arrive suddenly, like a trap [i.e., which catches an animal by surprise]. For that is the way this 'day' will arrive for everyone [else] living on the entire earth. But you should be alert at all times, offering earnest prayers, so that you will be strong enough to escape all these things that will happen, and to appear [acceptable] in front of the Son of man [on that day]."


"But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky']

"But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. read more.
And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world].


May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised, for He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in [fellowship with] Christ. [Note: The term "heavenly realms" is used somewhat differently throughout this book. Here it refers to Christians as part of the church on earth]. Even before the creation of the world God chose us, who are in [fellowship with] Christ, to be dedicated [to Him] and to be without just blame in His sight. Out of love God predetermined that we should be [considered] His adopted children through [fellowship with] Christ. This is what pleased God and is what He wanted, read more.
so that we would praise His glorious, unearned favor, which was freely given to us through the One whom God loved [i.e., Christ]. In [fellowship with] Christ we have redemption [i.e., we have been bought back from Satan] through His blood, and have forgiveness of sins according to the abundance of God's unearned favor, which He lavished on us. [He used] wisdom and understanding, in doing what He intended through Christ, to make known to us His secret plan, according to what pleased Him. [He did this] to fulfill His plan at the proper time, by bringing together everything [in the universe] under Christ's headship --- things both in heaven and on earth.


For we did not use cleverly conceived stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, because we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty [i.e., the apostles had personally seen the miraculous power of Jesus].

And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor.


For we did not use cleverly conceived stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, because we were eyewitnesses of His Majesty [i.e., the apostles had personally seen the miraculous power of Jesus].

And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor.


As Jesus left the Temple, one of His disciples said to Him, "Teacher, look at the kind of stones these buildings are made of " And Jesus responded to him, "Do you see these huge buildings? There will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, over near the Temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Him privately, read more.
"Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when all these things are about to be fulfilled?" Then Jesus began saying to them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [i.e., from the truth]. [For] many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ] and they will lead many people astray. And when you hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending], do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And earthquakes will happen at various places [in the world], and there will be famines. These things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. "But pay attention to yourselves, for people will turn you over to [Jewish] councils [i.e., for judgment] and you will be beaten in synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings for being loyal to me. [This will afford you an opportunity] for witnessing to them. And the good news must first be preached to people of all nations. And when they lead you into court, and hand you over [to be judged], do not worry ahead of time about what you will say, but [just] say whatever you are told [i.e., by God] when the time comes. And [at that time] a person will turn his brother over to be killed, and the father will do the same to his child. And children will rebel against their parents and will turn them over to be killed. You will be hated by all people because you belong to me, but the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., the end of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. "But when you see that disgusting thing that causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman army. See Luke 21:20] standing where it ought not to be [i.e., surrounding the besieged city of Jerusalem], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those of you in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. Also the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside] should not go down into his house to take anything out [when he flees]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] should not return [to his house] to get his coat [even]. [It will be] too bad for those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that [your flight] will not be in the winter. There will be great trouble during those days, such as had never been from the beginning of God's creation until the present, or even will be [in the days to come]. And if the Lord had not kept those days as short as they were, no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], whom He chose, He kept those days short. And then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'Look, there He is,' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray [even] the elect, if possible. But pay attention, for I have told you [all this] ahead of time. "But after those days of terrible trouble [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar will be], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light, and the stars will be falling from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken. [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on earth]. And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and splendor. And He will send out His angels and gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of the sky [i.e., from throughout the whole world]. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree. When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen.

Then, as someone [i.e., of His disciples. See Mark 13:1], spoke of how the Temple was decorated with beautiful stones and objects dedicated as gifts, Jesus said, "As for these things you are looking at, the time will come when there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." So, they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign [that indicates] when these things are about to be fulfilled?" read more.
And He replied, "Pay attention, so that you are not led astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am [the Christ],' and 'The time is near.' [But] do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and uprisings [going on], do not be afraid, for such things must necessarily happen first. But the end will not come right away." [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Nations will wage war against one another and kingdoms will attack one another. And great earthquakes will happen, and at various places there will be famines and disease epidemics. And there will be fearful events and great [supernatural] signs from heaven. But before all these things happen, the authorities will grab hold of you, and persecute you, and turn you over to the synagogues and prisons [i.e., for punishment and confinement]. They will take you in front of kings and governors for being loyal to me. It will result in [an opportunity for] witnessing to them. Determine in your hearts, therefore, not to plan ahead how you will answer them [when interrogated], for I will give you a mouth [i.e., the ability to speak properly] and wisdom [i.e., the knowledge of what to say], which none of your opponents will be able to resist or speak against. But you will be turned over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment] even by [your own] parents and brothers and relatives and friends. And they will [even] put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all people for being loyal to me. However, not one hair of your head will be lost. [But], by holding out steadfastly, you will gain your life. [Note: This means either "preserve your earthly life," or "attain never ending life"]. "So, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by [Roman] armies, then you will know that her total destruction is near. Then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. And those who are inside of the city are to leave it [immediately]. And those who are in the countryside should not enter the city. For these are times for punishment [i.e., to be inflicted on Jerusalem], so that everything written [i.e., by the prophets] may be fulfilled [i.e., about Jerusalem's destruction. See Dan. 9:26-27]. It will be too bad for pregnant women and those who are nursing [babies] in those days! For there will be great distress in this land [i.e., Judea, and especially Jerusalem], and raging anger [will be shown] against these people [i.e., by the Roman armies]. And people will die by the sword and be led captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled on by the [unconverted] Gentiles [i.e., by the Romans and later by others] until the times of [domination by] the Gentiles are fulfilled. "Then [Note: This event answers to the "immediately" of Matt. 24:29, and suggests the next major event on God's calendar] there will be [supernatural] signs [evident] in the sun and moon and stars. And on earth [there will be] distress among nations; they will be perplexed by the roaring of the ocean's churning waves. [Note: Probably this is figurative language for highly agitated conditions on earth]. Men will become despondent from fear, and from dreading the [terrible] things which will come upon the earth, for the forces of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great splendor [Note: This no doubt refers to the second coming of Christ. See II Pet. 3:9-10; Matt. 24:30-31; Rev. 1:7]. But when these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads [i.e., in anticipation], for your redemption [i.e., deliverance, either from destruction or condemnation] is getting closer." Then Jesus told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, as well as all [other] trees: When they begin to sprout their leaves you know when you look at them, without being told, that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see these things happening [i.e., the above mentioned "signs"], you can know that the kingdom of God [i.e., either its heavenly phase or the destruction of Jerusalem] is near. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen.

As Jesus left the Temple, His disciples approached Him as He was walking along the road and pointed out the Temple buildings. He responded to them by saying, "Do you see all these structures? Truly I tell you, there will not be one stone left on another here that will not be thrown down." And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things [you just spoke of] happen? And what will be the sign that indicates your presence and the end of the [present] age?" read more.
And Jesus answered them, "Pay attention so that no one leads you astray [from the truth]. For many [false teachers] will come, claiming to be me, and saying, 'I am the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]' and they will lead many people away [from the truth]. And you will hear of wars [going on] and rumors of [other] wars [pending]. Do not worry, for such things must necessarily happen. But the end has not yet come. [Note: By "the end" here Jesus probably alludes to the downfall of Jerusalem, in AD 70, with its attending destruction of the Temple buildings]. For nations will wage war against one another, and kingdoms will attack one another. And famines and earthquakes will occur at various places [in the world]. But all these things are [only] the beginning of terrible times. At that time people will turn you over [to the authorities] for persecution and will [even] kill you. And people from all countries will hate you for being loyal to me. And then many people will fall away [from God] and they will turn one another over [i.e., to the authorities for punishment], and they will hate one another. And many false prophets will appear and will lead many people away [from the truth]. And because sin will abound, many people will grow cold in their love [for one another]. But the person who holds out [i.e., remains faithful to God] until the end [i.e., of this time of severe persecution] will be saved [from destruction]. And this good news concerning the kingdom [of heaven] will be preached to people throughout the world as a testimony [of God's message] to all nations. Then, [after that] the end [i.e., of Jerusalem, the Temple, etc.] will come. "Therefore, when you see that disgusting thing which causes total destruction [i.e., the Roman armies. See Luke 21:20], which Daniel the prophet spoke about [Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:11], standing in the sacred place [i.e., Jerusalem and especially the Temple area], (let the reader understand [what is meant by this]), then those [of you] in Judea are to run away into the [nearby] mountains. [Also], the person who is on a housetop [Note: This was a flat area where people retired for rest, prayer, etc., with its stairway on the outside], is not to take any of the belongings from his house as he comes down [to flee]. The person who is in a field [i.e., doing farm work] is not [even] to return [to his house] to get his coat. It will be too bad for those who are pregnant and who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that it will not be in the winter or on a Sabbath day when you will have to flee [from the city]. [Note: Jewish Sabbath day restrictions on travel (only three-fifths of a mile) and city gate closures would make leaving the city nearly impossible]. There will be great trouble [during these times], such as had never been from the beginning of time up to the present, or ever will be [in the days to come]. And if those days had not been as short as they were no one would have been saved [i.e., from the devastating destruction]. But for the sake of the elect [i.e., God's people], those days will be short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is Christ,' or 'There [he is],' do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and they will perform great [miraculous] signs and [supernatural] wonders in order to lead astray even the elect [i.e., God's people], if possible. You see, I have told you [all this] ahead of time. Therefore, if people say to you, 'Look, he [i.e., Christ. See verse 23] is in the desert,' do not go out there. [Or if they say], 'Look, he is in an inside room,' do not believe him. For just like lightning that appears in the east can be seen even in the west, so it will be with the presence [i.e., coming] of the Son of man. Wherever there is a dead body, [you can expect to see] vultures gathered there. [Note: This may mean that such a significant event as the coming of Christ would surely not go unnoticed]. "But immediately after the terrible trouble of those days, [i.e., the next major event on God's calendar], the sun will become dark, and [therefore] the moon will not [be able to] shed its [reflected] light. The stars will fall from the sky and the forces of the heavens will be shaken [Note: From the description of these same events in Luke 21:25-26, it is possible that this is figurative language for great calamities happening on the earth]. Then the sign [i.e., signifying the coming] of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will be stricken with grief as they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of the sky [See Acts 1:9-11] with power and great splendor. And He will send out His angels [i.e., as messengers] with the sound of a great trumpet [See I Thess. 4:16] to gather His elect [i.e., God's people] from all directions, [even] from throughout the whole world. [Note: See Mark 13:27, which suggests this thought by its use of 'earth' and 'sky'] "Now learn this parable [i.e., a brief analogy to illustrate a lesson] from the fig tree: When its tender sprouts appear and its leaves begin to develop, you know that summer is near. In the same way also, when you see all these things happening, you [should] know that He [i.e., Jesus] is as near as your [front] door. Truly I tell you, the people of this generation will not [all] die off before all these things [i.e., mentioned above] happen.