Agape Bible Study


Prophecy from Matthew 24 Fulfillment historically
The Jerusalem Temple will be completely destroyed The Jerusalem Temple was utterly destroyed by the Roman army in AD 70
Many will come claiming to be the Christ In the revolt against Rome that began in AD 66, three different men claimed to be the Messiah
There will be wars In AD 64 the Roman Empire became unstable. A number of Roman provinces began revolts against the Empire
There will be famines Acts 11:27-28 refers to a world-wide famine at the time of the Emperor Claudius. Aid was sent to Jerusalem by Christians in the Roman Empire
There will be earthquakes * There was a massive earthquake when Jesus died on the cross and at His Resurrection. Earthquakes are frequent in the Holy Land due to a fault line that runs through the Jordan River Valley.
Christians will be handed over and tortured and killed Stephen was martyred c. AD 34 and St. James in c. 62. In AD 64 the Roman Empire authorized persecution of Christians. Many Christians across the Empire were martyred including SS. Peter and Paul.
Many will fall away from the faith because of the perilous times The Jews who refused to believe in the Messiah in effect "fell away" from the faith and so did many Christians who faced martyrdom
False prophets will arise Many false prophets urged the revolt against Rome in AD 66
Lawlessness will increase Prior to the revolt the Roman authority acted with brutal disregard for the safety of the people; Jewish gangs known as the Scaraii murdered people at will
The Gospel will be proclaimed to the inhabited world [oikoumene]; meaning the Roman world before the "end" will come. By the time of the Revolt in AD 66 the Gospel had spread from Britain to the Black Sea, from Gaul to Galatia, and from Egypt to the banks of the Euphrates River-covering the boundaries of the Roman Empire and beyond into India where St. Thomas was martyred.
The Temple will be profaned The Emperor Nero planned to put his statue in the Holy of Holies of the Temple but died before the plan could be initiated. Roman General Titus set up Roman standards, which depicted Roman deities, in the Temple in AD 70. Those in Judea must recognize the signs and escape. Simon, the Christian Bishop of Jerusalem led the Christian community out of Judea, across the Jordan River into Perea c. AD 66

In the Old Testament account of the Sinai experience earthquakes are associated with covenant-making and in Jesus' apocalyptic messages in the Synoptic Gospels and in the Book of Revelation earthquakes are one of the phenomena associated with the coming Day of Judgment. In the Book of Revelation it is not a coincidence that St. John mentions earthquakes 7 times in 6:12; 8:5; 11:13 (twice); 11:19; 16:18 (twice). In the Book of Revelation earthquakes are one of the signs of God's divine interactions with man in both covenant-making and in rendering divine judgment. The seven times repetition of the mention of earthquakes in Revelation emphasizes the covenantal dimensions of the sign - the number   figures predominately in salvation history in association with covenant formation [see i.e. Genesis 1:1-31 where the Holy Spirit, the divine wind [ruah ] pronounces creation "good" in the formation of the first covenant with man and man's day of communion with God is established on the 7th day; in the covenant with Noah in Genesis 7:4, 10; 8:10, 12, 14; and in the covenant formation at Sinai in Exodus 24:16]. Seven (7) is also the number of spiritual perfection; it is the number of the Holy Spirit [Isaiah 11:1 = 7 gifts; Revelation  :4; 4:5]. So what is the significance of Jesus' prophecy of earthquakes? Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Davidic Messiah came to bring the definitive "earth shaking" covenant forming, promised final judgment event.

The inspired writer of Revelation understood this "earth shaking" event in this context when he wrote: Make sure that you never refuse to listen when he speaks. If the people who on earth refused to listen to a warning could not escape their punishment, how shall we possibly escape if we turn away from a voice that warns us from heaven? That time his voice made the earth shake, but now he has given us this promise: I am going to shake the earth once more and not only the earth but heaven as well. The words once more indicate the removal of what is shaken, since these are created things, so that what is not shaken remains. We have been given possession of an unshakable kingdom. Let us therefore be grateful and use our gratitude to worship God in the way that pleases him, in reverence and dear. For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:25-29

Jesus Christ came to establish the cosmic earthquake of the New Covenant which would transform not only man's role in salvation history but the entire cosmos in the eschatological event of the promised creation of the new heavens and the new earth [2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-2]. The rebirth of the human family in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, the re-born Israel which is the New Covenant Church, is the first stage in that new creation, just as the King of King declared in victory: "Behold, I make all things new" Revelation 21:5.