• “I can no longer feed my son,” during a famine,
• “I can no longer hold my son,” during a pandemic, like the Coronavirus,
• “I can no longer find my son,” during a great earthquake.
In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic that is presently plaguing the world, I thought it would be timely to revisit one of my past teachings. It was near the end of 2008 when I first taught on the subject matter of this article, which are the six distinct prophetic time-periods of Matthew 24.
- The Temple Destruction – (Matthew 24:2),
- The End is Not Yet – (Matthew 24:6),
- The Beginning of Sorrows, or Birth Pangs – (Matthew 24:8),
- The Tribulation Period – (Matthew 24:9),
- The Great Tribulation – (Matthew 24:21),
- The Second Coming – (Matthew 24:30).
At that time, I was asked to fill in for Hal Lindsey who was teaching a weekly Bible study in Palm Desert, CA. Below is a quote about his study from Hal Lindsey.
“During this time, I was teaching a weekly Bible study at a church, (Desert Springs Church), in Palm Desert, California. The study was sponsored by a ministry which serves seniors 50 years and older. During the fall and winter season (which is the prime season in the resort area surrounding Palm Springs), up to 700 people attended the study each week.”[i]
I had recently moved to Palm Desert and was delighted to discover that Hal was teaching this study. After faithfully attending the study for a few months, We became acquaintances and I gave Hal a copy of my first and only book, at that time, entitled, Isralestine, The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East. The primary topic of the book was the yet to be fulfilled Psalm 83 prophecy.
Shortly after receiving my book, Hal began teaching about Psalm 83 as an unfulfilled Bible prophecy, and I was asked to fill in for him when he wanted to take a break from his weekly Bible studies. What you are about to read is an abbreviated version one of the first lessons that I taught as Hal’s substitute.
Setting the Stage for the Six Prophetic Periods of Matthew 24
To set the stage for the Six Prophetic Periods, we start with the “Triumphal Entry” of Jesus Christ in Matt. 21:7. Upon making His grand entry, we discover in Matt. 21:12 that Christ entered into the Second Jewish Temple and “drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers.” At that time “He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” (Matt. 24:13)
Christ didn’t stop at that, but within the 39 verses of Matthew 23 we discover that He issued eight severe woes to the scribes and Pharisees. Seven times, He called them hypocrites and in Matt. 23:16, 24 He accused them of being blind guides. Christ labeled these religious leaders as lawless extortionists, murderers, serpents and broods of vipers, just to name a few damning titles.
Period #1: The Destruction of the Second Jewish Temple
Upon departing from the Temple the disciples approached Jesus and attempted to draw His attention to the wonderment of the Temple. It had recently been reconstructed by Herod the Great who was famous for taking on colossal projects in which he utilized massive stones to construct large buildings and complexes. This style of construction became known as Herodian architecture.
After having just accused the religious leadership of Israel of being almost everything bad under the sun, Jesus was in no mood to talk about trivial matters or respond to flippant questions. As such, He abruptly ended the short discussion by prophesying the following.
“And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”” (Matt. 24:2)
Jesus foretold of the destruction of the Temple, which found fulfillment in 70 A.D. when the Roman Empire destroyed the city of Jerusalem and razed the Second Jewish Temple to the ground. Apparently, some of the disciples suddenly got serious and began wondering:
- “What were we thinking by asking such a ridiculous and insensitive question? Jesus has just leveled the boom on the scribes and Pharisees inside the Temple and is obviously in no mood to talk about trivial matters outside the Temple.”
- Also remember this, “when the First Jewish Temple was destroyed, our people were dispersed into 70 years of Babylonian captivity.”
- Jesus must be suggesting that when the Second Jewish Temple gets destroyed the worldwide dispersion will occur that was prophesied by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and some of our other prophets.
- We should ask Jesus the following:
“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3b)
Period #2: The End is Not Yet
This was the right question for the disciples to ask and it prompted Jesus to lay out some important details that would enable people in the future to identify their whereabouts on the prophetic timeline.
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matt. 24:4-6)
Jesus forewarned of a time characterized by great deceit. The emphasis is placed upon erroneous boasts of people claiming to be the messiah. Additionally, there would be wars and rumors of wars during this period, but all of the above did not signal that the end of time had yet come.
Simon Bar Kokhba, who led the final Jewish revolt against the Romans between 132-135 A.D., Jim Jones who was responsible for the 1978 “Jonestown Massacre,” and David Koresh the American cult leader who played a central role in the Waco siege of 1993, are a few possible examples of false messiahs.
The “End is Not Yet” period began in 70 A.D. and has seemingly lasted 1844 years until 1914 A.D. when World War 1 broke out. This is when nation began coming against nation, which is part of the next period called, The Beginning of Sorrows, or Birth Pangs.” It’s important to note that during these 18 centuries, the Jewish generations were residing within most every world nation during the Diaspora.
Period #3: The Beginning of Sorrows or Birth Pangs
This period appears to have begun in 1914 with the start of World War 1 and seems to be winding down presently. Jesus declared that this period would be plagued by the following:
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matt. 24:7-8)
During the “End is Not Yet” era, there were wars and rumors of wars occurring worldwide, but these were often due to internal strife or a nation rivaling another nation or nations for power. However, nation coming against nation appears to be alluding to an alliance of nations warring against another group of allied powers. This is what happened in World War I and World War II.
The Beginning of Sorrows period was intended to sound a big alarm to the Jews at the time, because being in the Diaspora meant that many of them would be living inside these nations that were at war with each other. From the Jewish perspective World War I prepared the land of Israel for the return of the Jews.
Near the end of World War 1, (July 28, 1914 – Nov. 11, 1918), on November 2, 1917 Lord Balfour of the British government authored a letter that was a public declaration announcing support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Less than three years later in San Remo, Italy (April 19-26, 1920), which was after the conclusion of World War 1, the principal Allied Powers of Britain, France, Italy and Japan, and also America as an observer, essentially ratified the Balfour Declaration.
This technically, due to the legitimacy vested in the Allied Powers, provided the Jewish People with a legal right to have their own nation. Israel recently celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the San Remo Resolution on April 25, 2020.
At the time of the San Remo Resolution, the British Empire was referred to as the “Empire on which the Sun Never Sets.” This empire was sovereign over about 458 million people, which represented nearly one-fifth of the world’s population, and it controlled around 13,000,000 square miles, representing almost one-fourth of the earth.
Unfortunately for Great Britain, it failed to act upon the San Remo Resolution and from that point forward the sun always sets on the British Empire. Presently, the landmass of the UK is around 94,000 square miles and its population is about 66.5 million people.
Making matters worse for the Jews, the failure of Great Britain and the Allied Powers to execute upon the San Remo Resolution subjected the Jews to Hitler’s genocide of World War II. This dreadful six-year period of human history between Sept. 1, 1939 – Sept. 2, 1945, prepared the Jewish people for the land of Israel. As a result, On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 as the Partition Plan that called for the establishment of the Jewish State. On May 14, 1948 this became a reality.
Jesus also said that the Beginning of Sorrows would be characterized by famines, pestilences and earthquakes. As World War I was winding down, the Spanish Flu struck the world infecting up to 500 million and killing possibly as many as 50 million people. Unlike the Bubonic Plague between 1342-1353, which happened during the “End is Not Yet” period, the Spanish Flu occurred within the “Beginning of Sorrows” era.
The Spanish flu was from the spring of 1918 on through to the early summer of 1919. Thus, the timing of this flu seemingly served alongside World War I to initiate the “Beginning of Sorrows” timeframe.
This sorrowful age has been characterized by other pandemics like “Sars”, “Mers”, “H1N1” and now the real whopper, the Coronavirus. Additionally this prophetic period, which is now over a century old, has been hit with worldwide famines and increased earthquake activity. Kingdom has also risen against Kingdom, which according to Isaiah 19, alludes to regional conflicts.
There have been regional conflicts across the world during the “Beginning of Sorrows” era, but for the sake of this article the focus of Kingdom’s rivaling each other is confined to the Middle East. The Arab Kingdom has come against the Jewish Kingdom in 1948, 1967, and 1973 and this conflict is not yet resolved. Also, the Arab Kingdom came against the Persian Kingdom between 1980-1988 and it appears that the Jewish Kingdom as per Jeremiah 49:34-39 might be warring against Iran (the Persian Kingdom) in the near future.
Does the Coronavirus Indicate the End of the Beginning of Sorrows Is Near?
Although this is a difficult question to answer, in my estimation the answer is likely YES! I believe YES is the correct answer for the following reasons:
- Nation has already come against nation, kingdoms have fought against each other and famines, pestilences and earthquakes have occurred and are still happening,
- All of the end times signs are converging. All the last days weapons are fashioned, technologies are developed and national relationships are formed,
- The last three periods of the Tribulation, Great Tribulation and Second Coming happen in short time spans. Unlike the 1844 years of the “End is Not Yet” and the over 100 plus years of the “Beginning of Sorrows,” these last three periods happen in rapid succession. In fact, all three happen within seven years.
When Jesus Christ warned about, “famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places” the emphasis appears to be based upon the severity of these scenarios. Luke 21:11 states that there will be “great earthquakes.” In other words when people are so adversely affected by these three things they will say something like:
- “I can no longer feed my son,” during a famine,
- “I can no longer hold my son,” during a pandemic, like the Coronavirus,
- “I can no longer find my son,” during a great earthquake.
Presently, the Coronavirus has got parents concerned about even holding their children for fear of the spread of this deadly virus. Could we actually be closing in on the end of the “Beginning of Sorrows?” If the answer is yes then the three final periods will soon follow.
Period #4: The Tribulation Period
Jesus warned that after the “Beginning of Sorrows” the “Tribulation Period” would begin.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” (Matt. 24:9)
This period spans the entire Seventieth Week of Daniel. This period includes the predictions in Matthew 24:9-31. Matthew 24:9 would be when the Daniel 9:27 covenant gets confirmed. It is the confirmation of this covenant that starts the dreaded “Tribulation Period.” This means that the birth pang events of Matthew 24:4-8 are Pre-Tribulation period events.
The “Tribulation Period” lasts for seven years and it is filled with numerous prophetic events. Some occur in the first half, some at the midpoint and others during the second half, which is commonly called, the “Great Tribulation Period.”
The prophecies that happen in the first half are covered in great detail in my book entitled, The Last Prophecies, The Prophecies in the First 3 ½ Years of the Tribulation. (See below).
Period #5: The Great Tribulation
Midway through the Seven-Year Tribulation Period, things go from bad to terrible for the Jews. Jesus explains this in the verse below.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21)
This period of “Great Tribulation” covers the last three and one-half years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. This period includes the events described in Matthew 24:15-31. These prophecies are the subject of my soon to be released book, which will likely be entitled, The End Prophecies, The Prophecies in the Second 3 ½ Years of the Great Tribulation Period.
Period #6: The Second Coming
Now comes the GOOD NEWS, Jesus is returning to the earth in His Second Coming.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matt. 24:30)
This event happens at the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week. This period covers the predictions in Matthew 24:29-31.
As this article points out, the “End is Not Yet” period has likely concluded over one-century ago. It was filled with messiah wannabe’s and characterized by many rumors of wars and lots of actual wars.
Mankind appears to be waving goodbye to the “Beginning of Sorrows” era, as nations have come against nations in World Wars I and II and kingdoms have fought against one another, especially in the Mideast. The widespread locust invasions of 2020 and the Coronavirus seem to be starkly reminding us about the famines and pestilences of Matthew 24:7.
If we are about to witness the end of the sorrows, then that means the Seven-Year Tribulation Period is just around the corner on the prophetic calendar. If this is the case, then humanity should brace itself for a flurry of Pre-Tribulation prophecies to roll off of their ancient parchments and pound down on the pavement. The predictions will pack a powerful global punch. They are the subject of my book entitled, The NOW Prophecies. They are listed below:
1. Disaster in Iran – (Jeremiah 49:34-39),
2. Destruction of Damascus – (Isaiah 17, Jer. 49:23-27),
3. Final Arab-Israeli War – (Psalm 83),
4. Toppling of Jordan – (Jer. 49:1-6, Zephaniah 2:8-10, Ezekiel 25:14),
5. Terrorization of Egypt – (Isaiah 19:1-18),
6. Emergence of the exceedingly great Israeli army – (Ezekiel 37:10, 25:14, Obadiah 1:18),
7. Expansion of Israel – (Obadiah 1:19-20, Jer. 49:2, Zephaniah 2:9, Isaiah 19:18),
8. Vanishing of the Christians – (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18),
9. Emergence of a greater, safer and wealthier Israel – (Ezekiel 38:8-13),
10. Decline of America (Ezekiel 38:13), (USA could be the young lions of Tarshish).
Click HERE to Pre-Order the book for $16.95,
Click HERE to see other special book and DVD offers that go with pre-ordering this book.