Eschatology: Interpretation of Matthew chapter 24 (pt 2)

{24:14} And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached throughout the entire world, as a testimony to all nations. And then the consummation will occur.

The above verse, as previously discussed, refers to the brief time of peace after the first part of the tribulation. This time is followed by the long inter-tribulation period, lasting from the mid-21st century until the early 25th century. The consummation is the second part of the tribulation in the early 25th century, especially the reign of the Antichrist.

{24:15} Therefore, when you will have seen the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, may he who reads understand,
{24:16} then those who are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains.
{24:17} And whoever is on the roof, let him not descend to take anything from his house.
{24:18} And whoever is in the field, let him not turn back to take his tunic.

The abomination of desolation is a perverse imitation of the Eucharist, a false Holy Sacrament, devised by unfaithful Catholic Christians. It is used as part of the pattern for the false religion of the Antichrist, which has perverse “sacraments” in it. Daniel speaks of this abomination occurring just before the nearly-seven year reign of the Antichrist. The holy place is the tabernacles of churches and chapels, especially whatever will be the chief church-building of the Catholic Church in that future time (probably in Jerusalem). When the abomination succeeds in taking a place there, instead of the Eucharist, then the Antichrist’s reign is very near.

They flee to the mountains because, in that future time, the mountains will be nearly the only areas of the world that are not heavily developed. The mountainous regions will be the nearly only rural regions. And society, at that time, is taken over by the Antichrist. So they are fleeing from society. The faithful will no longer be able to participate in that future society.

The expressions “whoever is on the roof” and “whoever is in the field” expresses the urgency and nearness of the tribulation when that sign occurs.

{24:19} So then, woe to those who are pregnant or nursing in those days.
{24:20} But pray that your flight may not be in winter, or on the Sabbath.
{24:21} For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until the present, and such as will not be.
{24:22} And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened.

The sinfulness of the world will be so great that no one would be saved, if God did not intervene to shorten that time. And so, for the sake of the souls chosen by God, the time will be shortened.

{24:23} Then if anyone will have said to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘he is there,’ do not be willing to believe it.
{24:24} For there will arise false Christs and false prophets. And they will produce great signs and wonders, so much so as to lead into error even the elect (if this could be).
{24:25} Behold, I have warned you beforehand.

The false Christs of the first part of the tribulation are visionaries who falsely claim to have messages from Christ and from Mary. But in the second part of the tribulation, persons will actually claim to be Jesus himself, Returned to earth. The false signs and wonders will be done by the help of fallen angels, by future advanced technology, and by trickery and deceit.

{24:26} Therefore, if they will have said to you, ‘Behold, he is in the desert,’ do not choose to go out, or, ‘Behold, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not be willing to believe it.
{24:27} For just as lightning goes out from the east, and appears even in the west, so shall it be also at the advent of the Son of man.

When Jesus does in fact return, the whole world will immediately know it. He will not return in secret, nor only for a certain small group. His return will be seen by the whole world, saints and sinners alike.

Jesus returns after the nearly-seven year reign of the Antichrist is completed. He returns after the Antichrist falls from the sky, and is badly injured. And between the fall of the Antichrist and the Return of Jesus the true Christ, there is a brief time of preaching and repentance.

{24:28} Wherever the body shall be, there also will the eagles be gathered together.
{24:29} And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

These signs are seen in both the first and second parts of the tribulation, but it will be worse in the second part.

{24:30} And then the sign of the Son of man shall appear in heaven. And then all tribes of the earth shall mourn. And they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven, with great power and majesty.

After the Antichrist’s reign ends, Jesus physically returns to earth, to this life, and the whole world will see His return. They will look into the sky, no matter where they are on earth, and see the Lord Jesus returning in glory. And then the unrepentant sinners will mourn — they don’t necessarily repent, they mourn. For they realize their judgment is at hand, and that they will be found guilty.

{24:31} And he shall send out his Angels with a trumpet and a great voice. And they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the heights of the heavens, even to their furthest limits.

Literally, all the faithful in the world will be miraculously gathered to Jerusalem, where Jesus will be physically present. The “four winds” means from every direction, every part of the planet. The expression “from the heights of the heavens” means from the skies (planes, space stations, or whatever). The “furthest limits” means all of the faithful in humanity, wherever they may be. (Could there be a space station on the moon or mars at that time?)

They will all be brought to Jerusalem, miraculously, all the faithful and only the faithful.

{24:32} So, from the fig tree learn a parable. When its branch has now become tender and the leaves have sprung forth, you know that summer is near.
{24:33} So also, when you will have seen all these things, know that it is near, even at the threshold.
{24:34} Amen I say to you, that this lineage shall not pass away, until all these things have been done.

During the first part of the tribulation, many foolish persons will claim that this is the end of the world, that the human race will next pass away. But Jesus says that all these events must occur, and that this “lineage” (also translated as “generation”) will not pass away beforehand.

More in a future post.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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8 Responses to Eschatology: Interpretation of Matthew chapter 24 (pt 2)

  1. Matt Z. says:

    Not to discredit your work, but it is possible you could be wrong and Jesus 2nd coming could come as early as today or tomorrow?

    • Ron Conte says:

      No. There are too many events predicted by Scripture that must occur first. I could be wrong about the specifics, but Jesus cannot return until all has been fulfilled.

  2. Could you be wrong the other way? Could Jesus not return for, not centuries, but millennia?
    I once read a sermon by a priest who called us the “Early Christians”.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Yes, Jesus could possibly return for millennia, if I am wrong. But some of my conclusions are more certain than others. There are varying degrees of likelihood, of speculation.

  3. MG says:

    How were you able to determine that the long inter-tribulation period will last from the mid-21st century until the early 25th century?

    • Ron Conte says:

      That would take too long to explain in a comment, but it is based on (1) Daniel’s 70 weeks of years, and (2) on indications in the secrets of La Salette. Also, (3) it is a Jubilee of Jubilees from the arrival of Christ at his birth to his Return at the end of the second part of the tribulation.

  4. Matt Z. says:

    When you say these things you must mean pure speculation. Because is not the Gospel message to always be ready and awake and sober for Jesus’ coming because we know not the time or the hour? Another words, we have to prepare ourselves today, since we dont know when our own death will be and we do not 100% know when Jesus will come a 2nd time.

    • Ron Conte says:

      {24:32} So, from the fig tree learn a parable. When its branch has now become tender and the leaves have sprung forth, you know that summer is near.
      {24:33} So also, when you will have seen all these things, know that it is near, even at the threshold.
      ~ Thus, we can know whether the time is in the distant future, or near. We should be prepared as we might die at any time. But it is not reasonable to say that Jesus might return at any time. His own prophecies of future events must occur first.

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