Posted by: biblestudyseattle | December 20, 2015

The Faithful Slave & The End

“And this Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”  Matthew 24:14

Many are hurrying to complete the great commission in our day.  But who will preach to the dead?  Even if everyone could be reached in this day 2015, the end could not come because of the dead.

“And when you see the sign of uncleanness and desolation, that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, which will stand in the Set Apart Place.  He that reads, let him understand.  Then those who are in Yehuda, let him flee to the mountain.  And he who is in the field, let him not turn back to take back his clothes.  And woe to the pregnant and to those who are nursing in those days.  And pray that your flight will not be in winter, nor on the Shabbat.  For then will be great suffering such as has not been from the beginning of the world until the present, nor will ever be again.  And if those days were not shortened, not any flesh would live, but because of the chosen, those days will be shortened.  If anyone should say to you then, behold the Messiah is here or there, do not believe it.  For false Messiahs and lying prophets will arise and they will produce signs and great wonders in order to deceive if possible even the chosen.  Behold, I have told you beforehand.  Therefore, if they say to you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out.  Or, ‘Behold, he is in the inner chamber,’ do not believe it.”  Matthew 24:15-26 AENT

“The people of a prince yet to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, but his end will come with a flood, and desolations are decreed until the war is over.  He will make a strong covenant with leaders for one week [of years].  For half of the week he will put a stop to the sacrifice and the grain offering.  On the wing of detestable things the desolator will come and continue until the already decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.”  Daniel 9:26-27 CJB

This desolation was partially fulfilled in 70AD when Titus marched on Jerusalem and desecrated and destroyed the temple.  But notice the prophecy says that it would happen worse than ever before in history or no one would survive.  Obviously, 70-73AD does not fit that criteria, so there must be a future fulfillment.  Also notice that this hints that a temple will be in operation at that time.  Hence this end cannot come in the next ten years or so (2020ish) unless the Jews get building fast!  Notice also the strong warning about false Messiahs.  The Antichrist will be the false Messiah par excellence!  But we can be sure when the real Messiah returns because he told us how he would come:

“And they said to them, Galilean men, why are you standing and staring into heaven?  This Yahshua who was taken up from you to heaven, likewise he will come just as you have seen him who ascended into heaven.”  Acts 1:11

“On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”  Zechariah 14:4

“For as the sunshine comes out from the East and is seen even in the West, thus will be the coming of the Son of man.”  Matthew 24:27 AENT

This rendering gives the correct idea.  Most translations say ‘lightning’ giving the impression that Jesus will appear as lightning.  But lightning disappears in a hurry.  Sunshine does not.  ‘Coming’ is also better translated ‘presence’.

“Wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles gather.”  Matthew 24:28

This hints at the huge destruction of this battle and the immense number of dead.  It is also referred to:

“And I saw a Messenger standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven: “Come you, assemble to this great supper of Elohim; that you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains of thousands, and the flesh of valiant men, and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all the free-born and of slaves, and of the small and the great.”  Revelation 19:17-18  AENT

“And immediately after the suffering of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not shine its light.  And the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.  And then will be seen the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and the powers of all the tribes of the land will mourn, when they will see the Son of man who comes upon the clouds of heaven with great power and glory.  And he will send his Messengers with a large trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from the four winds from one end of heaven to the other.”  Matthew 24:29-31

Thus there will be great signs in the sun and moon and clouds.  With this manifestation be like that in Moses’ day?

“The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.”  Exodus 13:21  NASB

“Now from the fig tree learn a parable.  As soon as its branches become tender and bring forth its leaves, you know that summer has arrived.  Thus also when you have seen all these things, know that it has arrived at the door.  Truly I say to you, that this tribe will not pass until all these things happen.”  Matthew 24:32-34  AENT

Who is the fig tree?  Israel!  Notice it says this tribe will not pass until  all these things happen?  That means Israel will not fail even though all these horrible destructions and battles rage.  Notice this version doesn’t say ‘generation’?  Tribe gives the idea of people-group.  Generation gives the idea of time.  It’s about God’s people!

“Heaven and earth may pass, but my word will not pass.  About the day and about the hour no man knows, not even the Messengers of heaven, but the Father alone.  And as in the days of Noah, thus will be the coming of the Son of man.  For as they were before the deluge, eating and drinking and taking women and giving them in marriage to men up to the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they did not know until the deluge came and took them all, thus will be the coming of the Son of man.  Then two men will be in the field, one will be taken and one will be left.  And two women will be grinding at the mill.  One will be taken and one will be left.  Therefore be alert, because you do not know in what hour your Master will come.  And know this, that if the master of the house had known, he would not have allowed his house to be plundered.  Because of this also, you should be prepared, because in an hour that you do not expect, the Son of man will come.  Then who is the faithful and wise servant whom his master has appointed over his household to give them food in due time.  That servant is blessed when his master comes and finds him doing thus.  I say truly to you, that he will appoint him over all that he owns.  But if a servant being evil in his heart says that “My master will be delayed in coming.” and  begins to beat his fellow-servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.  The master of that servant will come in a day that he does not expect, and in an hour that he does not know.  And he will cut him in two and give him his lot among the hypocrites, and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Matthew 24:35-51  AENT

Notice that ‘the faithful and wise servant’ is contrasted with ‘a servant being evil’.   Is it one person, or a category of persons?  We think the later.  Jehovah’s witnesses say the faithful slave is their 9 man ruling body.  Bible Students say the faithful slave was Brother Russell and the evil slave was Judge Rutherford.  But these verses cover a much broader sweep of history than that.  Has Jesus returned?  Even if he has come secretly as the thief, have all these things come to pass in the above verses?  No.  The clear import of the faithful servant or slave is anyone who is doing God’s work.  A person doing God’s work will give other believers food in due season.  Granted, certain people did this in spades as did Charles Russell.  But his knowledge was necessarily incomplete as a long time still remains before Jesus splits the Mount of Olives in two.  Let us not make the mistake of relying on one person or group as the source for knowledge.  Did not the Catholics make this same mistake saying that the pope is the vicar of Christ?   Let’s carry on a little further:

“Then let the Kingdom of Heaven be likened to those ten virgins who took their lamps and went out for the meeting of the bride and the bridegroom.  Now five of them were wise and five were foolish.  And those foolish virgins took their lamps but did not take oil with them.  But those wise virgins took oil in vessels with their lamps.  Now when the bridegroom delayed, they slumbered and slept.  And in the middle of the night there was an outcry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom comes!  Go out for his meeting!  Then all those virgins arose and prepared their lamps.  And those foolish virgins were saying to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for behold our lamps have gone out.’  These wise virgins answered and said, ‘What if these is not enough for us and for you?  Rather, go to those who sell and buy for yourselves.  And while they went to buy the bridegroom came, and those who were ready entered with him into the banquet-hall.  And the door was locked.  Now later also came those other virgins, and were saying, ‘Our master!  Our master!  Open the door for us.’  Then he answered and said to them, ‘Truly I say to you that, “I do not know you!”  Be alert, therefore, for you do not know that day or hour.”  Matthew 25:1-13  AENT

Are the five wise virgins the faithful slave?  Or is it just another illustration?  These five probably represent the bride of Christ, and the five foolish virgins represent the household of faith who do not make their election sure and end up as anti-typical Levites.

 

 

 

 

 


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