Matthew 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Jesus stated that “ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars”. We know that since the fall there have been wars. Cain was the first aggressor who acted aggressively because he was wrong and wanted to bully God into accepting his sinful actions. He knew he could not get at God so he attacked his brother, who had followed God’s will. God makes it clear that wars are the result of sinful people fighting either against other sinful people with different views, or against those who hold to the truth.
James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
When we began the study of Matthew 24, we stated that any study of God’s Word must keep the context in mind. We noted that the context of this passage is to the nation of Israel. Those who know the Lord and walk humbly with Him, cannot deny that the context here is to the nation of Israel.
When Jesus warned of wars in verse 6, He is answering the questions that the disciples raised in verse 3. As we see in Matthew 24-25, there is much truth that needed to be declared based on those three questions.
The wars and rumours of wars that Jesus is referring to is within the context of the Tribulation time. As we have already mentioned, war is not a strange thing to the history of mankind. Thus to talk about war in that context is no big deal. However, when Jesus raises this prophesy in the light of the Tribulation, it has a different significance. We need to keep in mind that when the antichrist comes on the scene, he is coming in as a peacemaker.
Some of those reading this may remember just a few years back when Mr. Obama was put in place as the president of the U.S. He was presented as a “messiah”. He was the “hope and change” president. He changed some things but he offered nothing with regard to hope. He gave rebels like Antifa and BLM greater hope in bringing in their chaotic agenda.
When our P.M. was put into his place of power, he claimed that “Canada is back”. What was Canada coming back from? Canada has been a pagan nation for decades. Canada has been on a downward spiral for all of my lifetime. It is picking up steam on that issue, but Canada has not been improved by this P.M. nor by government in general. Our country has turned further and further away from any acknowledgement of God. Even among professing Christians who like to quote the preamble of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, speaking of the “supremacy of God”, deny the authority of God in their own lives and in the ideas they have for the country.
The antichrist is going to come on the scene as a peacemaker. God is going to allow that man, whom He refers to as “the man of sin” to come in. God will use that man to show the absolute of humanistic peace.
Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.
Words similar to this are found several times in the Bible. We might want to suggest that this is too simplistic. It is far from simplistic. It is a fact of life. Unless God rules in the heart of the individual there will be no peace.
Thus when Jesus warned the disciples of the wars and rumours of wars, He is talking of a time that is still future for us today when people will be so tired of war and they will gladly and blindly submit to the power of this wicked man that is coming.
The nation of Israel will witness this lack of peace that will come during the Tribulation. Sadly, the majority of the Jews are not saved and do not believe in the true God, nor in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are still looking for the Messiah and the result of that rejection of the true God will put the majority of the nation of Israel in the Tribulation. Those Jews that are saved will be removed at the same time as the saved Gentile will be. The Jews need to understand that the antichrist cannot save them. They need to wake up. The good news is that by the end of the 7 year Tribulation, the majority of the remaining Jews left on the earth will turn to God in repentance and be saved.
Those who want to dismiss what we are saying here are free to reject it. However, if we are going to understand God’s Word, we have to let God be God. If we are going to take God’s Word and make it say what we want it to say, we will never come up with the right understanding.
Jesus tells us in verse 6 that the end is not yet. The wars that will be common in the Tribulation are not going to get out of hand and destroy the earth. God will not allow that to happen. He has already set the date for the end of the world. The antichrist is not powerful enough to end the world. The devil is not powerful enough to cause his followers to end the world.
In verse 7 the disciples were reminded that nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. Again there will be those who will say that we are witnessing this now. We are witnessing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream that he forgot and could not understand. He was so angry he wanted to kill his wise men if they would not tell him the dream and then the interpretation of it. God used Daniel and Mishael, Hananiah, and Azariah to give the king the dream and the interpretation of it. Four kingdoms would arise and each would have a specific time frame (known only to God), and then the kingdom would be overthrown by the next kingdom.
Thus we can see that it is nothing new that kingdoms shall be against kingdoms. However, Jesus is referring to a specific time period. He makes that clear as we go through this passage. Revelation 6 helps us to understand this time that Jesus is speaking of. The first half of the antichrist’s reign will be marked by wars as the antichrist works to solidify his rule over the world. All nations will need to bow to his leadership and that will take some time and it will take some effort. You notice as well in verse 7 that there will be some other things happening at the same time as the turmoil among nations. Jesus stated that there would be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. When there are wars, there is bound to be a shortage of food. The book of Revelation describes the famines as much more severe than what we have witnessed in the pre-Tribulation time.
We have already mentioned that the development and the release of the Wuhan virus is a practise run for the devil and the ungodly in preparation for much more serious pestilences during the Tribulation. The media and the governments have made this virus seem much more severe than it actually is. The side effects from the shots that they have tried to force on the populations have been much more devastating than the virus itself.
We have also had many earthquakes throughout history. However, God is going to use earthquakes during the Tribulation time to destabilize the antichrist as he tries to establish his control over the world. There will be a few in that time who will begin to see through the lies of the antichrist and will be saved, rather than continue to follow his lies. When the antichrist introduces his mark and demands that all people must take it, those who refuse that mark will be killed. That is not happening now. The governments have made threats but they have not been able to pull them off because some people are not that gullible and some of the courts have said the government cannot mandate the shots. That will not be an issue during the Tribulation time.
The famines, pestilences and earthquakes will be in divers places during that time period.
In verse 8 Jesus taught the disciples that all of these things were the beginning of sorrows. These things would come at the beginning of the Tribulation time. The Bible is clear that the Tribulation time will be noticeably different from all the history prior to that time. As we have already noted, wars and rumours of wars have been on this earth since the fall. The nation of Israel had been involved in many wars prior to Jesus coming to earth. Yet Jesus says all these things will be the beginning of sorrows. Obviously, He is talking of something different than the norm that had been around for hundreds of years prior to His coming to earth.
Again, it is important to pay attention to what God says. We cannot generalize things unless He tells us to. We cannot allegorize things unless He tells us to. We need to take things literally unless He tells us to look at it in a different way. God is not the author of confusion. Man causes confusion. God lays things out in a systematic manner. Those who are saved are given the ability to understand God’s Word as He gave it if they walk humbly and faithfully with Him. The new-born Christian will not understand as much as the person who has walked humbly and faithfully with the Lord for a time. Understanding God’s Word requires the new birth and then a faithful and careful study of His Word over the years. It does not happen with the snap of a finger. It happens as the true child of God grows in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Again we see the importance of the true local church. The true local church is:
I Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
There is no short cut to spirituality. God is infinite and we are finite. He gives understanding to those who will submit to Him. He tells us that throughout the Bible and He also shows us examples of individuals that grew and of others who remained stagnant. He challenges those who are saved to grow. Those who are saved but refuse to grow will be saved though as by fire. God wants all His children to grow.