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The first of the four sign-events to occur in the period of the Tribulation Jesus termed, "The Beginning of sorrows" will be a worldwide deception through a proliferation of false christs (see Lesson #3 in this series).  The next three sign-events of this time frame are discussed in this lesson.  They are massive destruction by way of intensified warfare among the nations of the world, a vastly increased death toll as a result of not only the warfare, but increased famines and pestilences (disesases), and dreadful physical distrubances occurring on land and in the sky. The four "sign-events" of "The Olivet Discourse" are described by the Apostle John in Revelation 6:1-8 as the first four seal judgments, pictured by four different colored horses with omnious riders upon them, famously referred to as "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse".  Although the Church does not look for these four frightening figures, yet it seems we can hear their thundering hoofbeats off in the distance.  Be sure you are right with the Lord TODAY!  
After giving the "labor signs" of the beginning of the Tribulation Period, the Lord proceeded to predict the second half of the Tribulation, which is called "The Great Tribulation".  It will be a time of unprecedented calamaity on this earth; fortunately, it will only last 3 and one-half years.  Its culmination comes suddenly with the Lord's Return.   In this lesson, the Lord presented 5 features that will characterize this time period.  The first 3 are negative; the last 2 are positive.  The negative characteristics are: (1) great persecution of the saints, (2) false prophets, and (3) the proliferation of sin.  The two positive features that will take place in the final half of the Tribulation are: (4) the promise of "salvation" for the one who endures to the end (NOT in reference to spiritual, bt to physical salvation, and (5) the proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom (find out why Matthew 24:14 does not mean the Gospel must be spread to the entire world before Jesus can return for His Church).   What is "the Gospel of the Kingdom" that will be "preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations" in the final years before Christ's Return?  Answer is found in this study.
To this point in His Olivet Discourse, the Lord Jesus spoke about the end-times' rise of false christs, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes - all of which will begin to noticeably increase in frequency and intensity (like labor pains) during the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation (Daniel's final 7-year "week" - 9:24-27).  He also predicted that, during the second 3 1/2 years, there would be great persecution of Jews and Christians, the rise of many false prophets, and the proliferation of sin and total lawlessness (Matthew 24:9-12). In Matthew 24:15, Christ gave the specific sign that would divide the two halves of the Tribulation Period.  It is the sign that should warn Jews living in Israel, as well as Tribulation saints, that massive persecution (by the Antichrist) is about to begin.   Find out about an historical "abomination of desolation" (Antiochus Epiphanes), which served as a prophetic preview of the even greater "abomination of desolation" the Antichrist will perform as he breaks his "covenant" with Israel (her covenant with death).    
This lesson brings us to a discussion of the most momentous event of all time: the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus in all His Divine Glory!  Did you realize prophecies regarding the Second Coming make-up 1/3rd of all prophecies of Scripture?  Do you know of the 333 prophecies regarding Christ Jesus, 109 were fulfilled at His First Coming, while 224 remain to be fulfilled at His Second Coming!  Next to the subject of faith, no other subject is mentioned more in the Bible than Christ's Return.  One more statistic: for every one time the First Coming is mention, the Second Coming is mentioned 8 times! This lesson is about one of the 21 times the Lord predicted His Return.  In addition to predicting the blasphemous abomination of desolation (see lesson 6), He gave a sign that will immediately precede His Return - a great decrease in light from the celestial luminary bodies.  At almost the same instant as that decrease in light, "the sign of the Son of man" will appear in the sky!    Find out from this study what that final sign well might be!
The Lord's "Parable of the Fig Tree" has become a controversial parable; part of the controversy is because it has been viewed as a complicated allegory rather than a simple analogy.  A popular interpretation of this parable says the fig tree pictures Israel and her reinstatement as a nation in 1948 is its "budding" in the parable.  The conclusion then means the generation that saw Israel's reinstatement will see Christ's return (the Rapture)! Hear the Biblical reasons to not interpret the parable that way and find out how it should be interpreted! Also discussed are the Lord's "Flood Admonishment" (as in the days of Noah so shall also the coming of the Son of man be), His "Thief Admonishment" (Matthew 24:43, 44), and His "Evil Servant Admonishment" (24:45-51).  These are important "warnings" that must be rightly interpreted.  Something to continually remember is the Church is not in "The Olivet Discourse".
Before Jesus spoke the beautiful "Parable of the Ten Virgins," He gave two more admonishments (see the first three in lesson 138).  They were "The Sleeping Porter Admonishment" (Mark 13:33-37) and "The Daily Care Admonishment" (Luke 21:34-36).  Through all five parabolic warnings, He was warning those living in the Tribulation ("the Time of Jacob's Trouble" - Jeremiah 30:7), "BE READY!  I have given many signs, so though you will not know the exact day or hour of My return, you can know when it is very near!  Do not be caught unprepared!" Included in this discussion is an informative look at the Jewish wedding customs of Christ's day.  It is imperative to understand the three phases of the Jewish marriage to rightly interpret this parable (it also gives further proof for a pre-Tribulation Rapture).   Lots of great truths to learn, so click the "play" button!
In addition to the very misunderstood and misused "Parable of the Sheep and Goat," this lesson includes the Lord's "Parable of the Talents" (what exactly is the Lord teaching about the man who buried his talent in the ground and how is that man similar to the five virgins in the previous parable who had no oil in their lamps?). "The Parable of the Sheep and Goats" is about the divine judgment on Gentiles living at the time of Christ's Second Coming!  It is a determination as to who among them will enter the Millennial Kingdom (sheep) and who will not (goats); it has to do with how they treated Israel!  Do you have any idea how many use this parable to refer to how people today treat the "down and trodden"?  Yes, we are to have compassion for and demonstrate love to "the least of these" among us, but that is not the contextual teaching of this parable.
Matthew 25:1-13; Mark 4:1-9; Luke 22:1, 2; John 12:2-8 It was nearing the end of the busiest record day of Christ's ministry, Tuesday of the Passion Week.  After finishing His "Olivet Discourse" (Matthew 24, 25), the Lord specifically told His disciples that, "after two days" it would be the Passover and He would be betrayed and crucified.  This is what is discussed in the first part of this lesson, "The Prediction of Death by Jesus".  We then move to talk about "The Plan for Death by the Rulers".  Ironically, their plan to kill Jesus very specifically stressed the importance of NOT taking His life on the Passover!  However, Christ was the One in control, not them.  He was born to be the once-for-all Passover Lamb, and He would give His life on Passover, exactly at the time the lambs were being sacrificed in the Temple (3:00 p.m.)! Finally, after returning to Bethany to spend Tuesday night with His dear friends, Martha, Mary, and the recently raised-from-the-dead Lazarus, we discss "The Preparation for Death by Mary"!  As we do so, we will look at Mary's Worship Expressed and Mary's Worship Examined (first, by Judas; second, by Jesus). THIS IS A BLESSED STUDY!
Matthew 26:14-19; Mark 14:10-16; Luke 22:3-13 In addition to discussing the final recorded event of Passion Week Tuesday ("the busy day"), which we have entitled "Rulers Purchase the Passover" (from Judas, the betrayer), we also discuss the events of the next day, which we have entitled, "Disciples Prepare for the Passover Supper".  It was going to be the Lord's last full, pre-resurrection day with His men, and He had much more to say to prepare them not only for the next few very critical days, but for their future ministry to the world, as well.
John 13:1-11; Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14-16 This lesson, "Teaching in a Towel," is about an embarrassing lesson the disciples again had to learn "the hard way".  Jesus girded Himself in a servant's towel to do what none of them had done when they entered the Upper Room to celebrate the Passover Supper together.  He washed the disciples' feet, giving them a lesson by example on humility - one they would never forget, we can be sure! The outline for this lesson consists of 3 divisions: "Selfish Contention," "Selfless Condescension," and "Simon's Contradiction". In an atmosphere of selfish strife among His chosen few, The King of kings took off His robe to teach them something true. With a towel His humble clothing (as swaddling strips had been), The Lord of Glory, Son of God, washed the feet of sinful men. Such willful condescension, the world can't understand, Nor can it grasp the Love that let coarse nails pierce His hand!                                        K. Caldwell
Matthew 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:12-22 In this lesson, "Traitor at the Table," we continue to look at the circumstances surrounding the events that occurred early during the Lord's final Passover Supper.  Jesus had just given His men a demonstration on humility when He girded Himself in a towel and washed their feet.  Following His return to the table, He then gave them a discourse on humility in which He spoke of "The Requirement of Humility" and "The Reward of Happiness".   During the course of our narrative, we branch off to talk about the 3 requirements for something to be a valid, Biblical ordinance of the Church (such as baptism and communion). In the second half of this lesson, "A Shocking Report," Jesus told His men that His betrayer was one of them!  Each of the 3 subdivisions of this section center on Judas Iscariot: "Revelation about the Betrayer," "Response Regarding the Betrayer," and Christ's very seroius "Remonstration to the Betrayer".  An unholy man was used by Holy God to accomplish His holy purposes for an unholy world!
John 13:23-35 The Lord Jesus gave Judas every opportunity to repent and turn from the wicked path he was taking, but He could no longer postpone the inevitable.  There were critical truths to share with His disciples that could not be said while a "tare" was among them, and as long as Satan himself hovered about in the room.  This lesson, "And it was Night" is about the deliberate steps Christ took to expel Judas from His presence.  Jesus was about to transition the Passover Supper into "The Lord's Supper," which was to become an ordinance for His future Church to be observed only by believers.  Thus, Judas (unless he repented) needed to be released so the events that led the cross would begin to transpire. In this lesson, "The Giving of the Sop," we  discuss Judas and the Devil; Judas and the Disciples, and Judas and the Darkness. We also discuss Christ's "new" commandment of John 13:34.
Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-38; John 13:36-38 After Judas was dismissed from the Upper Room, Jesus immediately spoke of the glory He and His Father would receive because of the cross.  For the first time, He called His disciples "little children," and told them He was going to leave them and where He was going they could not come.  Following a question from Peter, who was perplexed about something Christ said, Jesus gave some shocking "Predictions Regarding the Disciples' Deeds".  Those predictions include His separation from them, Satan's sifting, the sheep scattering, and Simon's (Peter's) shame (he would deny Christ three times before the cock crow in the morning).  In the second part of this lesson, we discuss "Predictions Regarding the Disciples' Needs".
This is the first in a two-part study on how the Lord Jesus, on the last night of His pre-resurrection time spent with His Apostles, transitioned the Passover "Seder" memorial celebration into what Christians refer to as "The Lord's Supper".  In this first message, we discuss the original Egyptian Passover, which led to Israel's deliverance from her bondage, and the Permanent Passover Memorial (which God command Israel to annually celebrate so each succeeding generation would not forget what He had done for His people in delivering them from bondage in Egypt.  We talk about the spiritual significance of the Passover lamb, the bitter herbs, and the unleavened bread.  We also look at the Passion Week Passover (how it was celebrated by Christ and His men), seeing how events like His washing of the disciples' feet, John's question of John 13:25, and the handing of the sop to Judas all fit so perfectly into the sequence of the Passover service. Charles Spurgeon said, "The Jewish Passover was made to melt into the Lord's Supper, as the stars of the morning dissolve into the light of the sun".  If Christians, who regularly participate in the ordinance of "The Lord's Supper" (aka "Communion") want to understand all that it signifies, they must see and understand it in the light of the Jewish Passover! Why? Because it was in the Jewish Passover "framework" that Christ instituted His Supper.
In this second part of our study on "The Lord's Supper in Light of Passover," we discuss the contemporary Passover celebration of the Jewish people.  Shortly after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the Temple and the entire Judaistic sacrificial system were destroyed (A.D. 70), so the annual Passover celebration began to experience some changes.  We consider those changes and learn how it has been observed and is still observed today, primarily focusing on how Christ Himself is presented in the Passover Seder. In conclusion, we discuss the manner in which the Lord transitioned the Jewish Passover into the Christian ordinance of "The Lord's Supper".  He explained what the unleavened bread pictured for all those years since Egypt when He took a piece of the matzo, broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me," and when He picked up the cup and said, "This cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft ye drink it, in remembrance of Me" (I Corin. 11:24, 25).
Sub-titled, "The Heavenly Home Promised".  The number one "destroyer" of Christians is heart trouble caused by anxiety and stress.  That is why so many are now concerned that the consequences to the Coronavirus shutdown could be more devastating than the virus itself.  Anxiety is a killer.  That is why the Great Physician spoke soothing, "medicinal" words of His very anxious men on the night of His betrayal and arrest.  He ministered to their great mental and spiritual needs with words that began with, "Let not your heart be troubled"! The great, comforting words of Christ in John 14:1-6 have brought immense comfort to Christians in times of trouble and bereavement throughout the Church Age.  We study them in detail in this two-part study (see also Lesson 149b), for they are worth knowing to the depth of our souls.  If you are anxious about living in these troublesome times, take these verses and hide them in your heart!  They will help you remember the fact that Christ Jesus is in complete control of every aspect of your life.  He cares for you from head to toe.  He will never leave you nor forsake you even though you can't see Him!  
Sub-titled, "The Heavenly Highway Proclaimed".  This message is about the well-known words of immense comfort from the Lord Jesus on a night when He should have been receiving words of comfort from His men, for He told them He was going to be betrayed and killed.  Instead, He was selflessly concerned for them and how they were going to need to remember the things He was telling them to strengthen their faith for all that lay ahead for them in the days, weeks, and years to follow.  These words have helped millions of Christians go through all manner of troublesome times.  They are words of truth about our sure future with the One Who is even now preparing dwelling places for all who belong to Him, where we will enjoy fellowship with Him forever.
John 14:7-14 Knowing the Father in Jesus' nature and working for the Father in Jesus' name (promise of amplified performance and promise of answered prayer) - The outline topics of this important lesson from the Lord's "Farewell Discourse" to His men the night of His arrest.
John 14:15-21 The Lord's promises related to the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell believers after His departure.  The promises are about another Paraclete (One Who comes alongside), His abiding presence, an assured perpetuation, and an astonishing position.  Listen to learn of these four wonderful promises for believers in Christ!!!
John 14:22-31 In the first part of this lesson, "The Promised Peace," the Lord Jesus answered yet another question from one of His men during His "Farewell Discourse" to them.  Peter had asked Him where He was going and why he could not immediately follow Him there (John 13:36, 37).  Thomas wanted to know the way to get wherever Jesus was going (14:5), and Philip made the request to get a glimpse of the Father (14:8).  Now, Thaddaeus wanted to know how Jesus could manifest Himself to them and not to the world (14:22).  We discuss Christ's answer about how He manifests Himself only to those who love Him. In the second part of this lesson, the Lord continued giving His men comforting promises to ease the pain of His announcement about His upcoming death and departure from them (after His resurrection).  Six of those promises were covered in Lessons #149-151.  The remaining two are discussed in this lesson: "The Promise of Assured Perpetuation" (the promise of the believer's undying life) and "The Promise of Astonishing Position" (the union believers have with the Holy Trinity and Christ's special manifestation of Himself to those who love Him).
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