Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:” There will be a terrible upheaval in the heavens. Rev. 16:8-10, the sun will scorch the unbelievers. The sun is a star and when a star burns out it gets hotter and burn itself out. It is possible this is what will happen to the sun. Anyway terrible things will happen. See Rev. 6:12-13.
Mt. 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” This is the sign the disciples asked for (V. 3). The Son of man once crucified, coming to deliver His people. He is the sign. “All the tribes” refer to the 12 tribes of Israel. They shall see Him with their physical eyes, a real man of flesh and bones, they shall mourn in repentance and receive their Messiah – Zech. 12:9-14. “The clouds of heaven” are the heavenly hosts of saints accompanying him. In Heb. 12:1, they are called a cloud of witnesses. In Rev. 19:14, they are called the armies in heaven. He comes “with power and great glory” with His heavenly saints (see I Thes. 3:13 & Jude 14). Rev. 19:11-13,15-16 gives a good description of this.
V. 31, “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Israel will be gathered where they have been scattered – Dan. 9:7. Angels simply means messengers, redeemed glorified men shall call them back to God with a great sound of a trumpet (trumpeting God’s Word). Just as Joseph was moved in love for his brethren when he revealed himself to them; so Christ will yearn over His people. He will view them as (a new creation) in their homeland, no more to roam. Dan. 12:12, Blessed is he that cometh to that time.
Vs. 32-33, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Christ gives another sign of this coming to pass. The fig tree is likened unto the nation Israel in Hos. 9:10; Isa. 5:1; 6:9-13. Remember when Jesus entered Jerusalem (called His triumphant entry), the next morning outside the city was a fig tree and didn’t have any fruit on it. It had leaves only. Jesus cursed it and the disciples marveled because it dried up immediately. It represented Israel, not bearing fruit, only leaves which figures just a profession. That is how Jesus found them at His first advent. Now we see the nation Israel, yet tender and putting forth some leaves. It is a sign that Israel’s spiritual restoration is near. Afterwards they will get fruit, when they accept their Messiah. “When ye see these things, know that it is near, even at the door.” We have a door, open in heaven, Israel will have a door open on earth.
V. 34, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” I believe this means, the generation when Israel begins to put forth its leaves. Israel became a nation in 1948, but scripture also tell us that God changes the times and seasons. He can lengthen days or shorten them (Dan. 2:21 & Mt. 24:22), but this promise shall be fulfilled.
Vs. 35-36, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (compare II Pet. 3:10; I Pet. 1:25; Heb. 1:10-12; Rev 21:1,5). But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” At that time Jesus was a man on the earth speaking, but now as God, I think He knows, for God knows all things.
Continued next issue: Christ coming to the earth