There is a lot of confusion about the “end times”. If you have been following our blog, you will realize that the KJV actually says “the end of the world” occured when Jesus died.
Here’s the verse.
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
But now once in the END of the WORLD.
The confusion here is that many presume that the “end of the world” lies in the future.
When we read accounts such as that of Matthew 24 and Revelation, we are often led to believe that these events are in the future.
Please note this.
They were in the future to them. But not to us. Predominantly these scriptures were written before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. As such there were looking toward an event in their future but in our past.
Often we look at words like “last days” and attribute it, to today. That is not doing the Bible justice.
Look at what Peter says.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:
He quoted this in Acts 2. It was already the “last days” then.
Now look at what Paul says.
1 Thessalonians 2:14-15
For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone
1 Thessalonians 2:16
in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
The wrath of God was coming at last upon “them”. Who is this “them”?
Look at the verse before. It’s the Jews in the generation of Paul and Jesus.
Look at what Jesus himself said.
Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
Hence the right way to see this is to realize that the end of the world began at the cross. It ushered in the “last days”.
It finally ended when the temple and Jerusalem in AD70.
Now why do I say that?
Let’s look at the scriptures again.
Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Notice Jesus said it was within his generation.
Also notice he spoke about “heaven and earth” disappearing?
Any good bible student would check context before they do interpretation.
Let’s look at the preamble of Matthew 24.
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
Jesus was referring to the Temple. The meeting place between God and Man. The meeting place between Heaven and Earth. Hence “Heaven and Earth” passes away.
That happened in AD70 when the Romans destroyed the Temple. The soldier had heard a rumor about gold hidden between the walls and as such turned every stone to look for gold.
Hence when we interpret Scripture it is only wise to see what history can tell us from the other writings of that era.
One of the most important documents is the complete works of Josephus.
Let me just share with you what he wrote about the “abomination of the desolation”.
Josephus, a first century historian, tells of the sad state into which the temple fell prior to the arrival of Titus, the Roman general
“And now, when the multitude were gotten together to an assembly, and every one was in indignation at these men’s seizing upon the sanctuary, at their rapine and murders but had not yet begun their attacks upon them Agnus stood in the midst of them, and casting his eyes frequently at the temple, and having a flood of tears in his eyes he said, ‘Certainly, it had been good for me to die before I had seen the house of God full of so many abominations, or these sacred places that ought not to be trodden upon at random, filled with the feet of these bloodshedding villains'” (The Wars Of The Jews, 4:3:10).
Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem the temple became a gathering place for wicked men. Jesus instructs the disciples that when they see such “abomination of desolation” they were to “flee to the mountains.”
This passage does not refer in any way to some future return of our Lord. When this “abomination of desolation” took place, those in “Judea” were to flee to the mountains — not folks living in America today!
In Luke’s account of the discourse, Jesus also told the disciples that “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.” (Luke 21:20-21).
Here the disciples are warned that when the Roman army was approaching Jerusalem they were to flee for their lives.
Christians received ample warning about the approaching invasion. Josephus said, “And now Vespasian had fortified all the places round about Jerusalem, and erected citadels at Jericho and Adida, and placed garrisons in them both
And now the war having gone through all the mountainous country, and all the plain country also, those that were at Jerusalem were deprived of the liberty of going out of the city;
Now as Vespasian was returned to Caesarea, and was getting ready, with all his army to march directly to Jerusalem, he was informed that Nero was dead Wherefore Vespasian put off at first his expedition against Jerusalem, and stood waiting whither the empire would be transferred after the death of Nero the Roman empire being then in a fluctuating condition, and did not go on with the expedition against the Jews” (The Wars Of The Jews, 4:9:1, 2).
When the legions of Rome finally got to Jerusalem they camped at the Mount of Olives (The Wars Of The Jews, 5:2:3).
Immediately after their arrival a trench was cast about Jerusalem. A nine mile long wall was constructed in three days that totally enclosed the city (The Wars Of The Jews, 5:12:2).
Hence these events were in the past. We are already living in a brand new world for more than 2000 years already.