Matthew 24:23
At that time, if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There He is!' do not believe it.
Salutary WarningsJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 24:15-28
Christ's Advent not RestrictedE. E. Johnson, M. A.Matthew 24:23-26
ForewarnedAnon.Matthew 24:23-26
The Glory of the Coming of ChristAnon., Anon.Matthew 24:23-26

Having announced the signs of his advent, first for the destruction of the Jewish antichrist, and secondly for that of its Gentile counterpart, Christ gives to his disciples salutary warnings suited to the crises.


1. We do well to take heed to the sure Word of prophecy.

(1) "The abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet," equivalent to the Roman army with its ensigns. The כנפ in Daniel 9:27 may denote the Roman wing or army (cf. Isaiah 8:8). Josephus shows that the ancient Jews understood this prophecy of Daniel to relate to the Romans. The ensign was an eagle, an unclean or abominable creature, and especially abominable as it was an idol. (cf. 1 Kings 11:5, 7). Images of the Caesars were inscribed in the shields on the ensigns. Our Lord fixes the interpretation in this sense (cf. Luke 21:20).

(2) "Standing in the holy place." This cannot be the temple, for the Romans did not stand there until after the opportunity for the flight had passed. The circuit of the holy city was in the holy place (cf. Acts 7:7). Before this time the Roman soldiers stationed in Jerusalem, in deference to the scruples of the Jews, had ensigns without the effigies of Caesar. Pilate attempted to introduce the images, but yielded to the remonstrances of the Jews, and commanded them to be carried back to Caesarea.

(3) "Whoso readeth let him understand." Those who read the Scriptures should endeavour to understand them. We should have understanding of the times (cf. 1 Chronicles 12:32; Matthew 16:3). "The wise shall understand." Daniel is intelligible in the interpretations of Christ. When untoward things occur, the people of God should confer with the prophets.

2. Christ is a mountain of safety to those who fly to him for refuge.

(1) "Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains." Cestius Gallus, Prefect of Syria, besieged Jerusalem for some years, and then raised the siege. This was the sign to the Christians to flee. They accordingly removed to Pella and other towns in the mountainous region of Gilead, east of the Jordan. In the territories of Agrippa, who remained faithful to the Romans, they were safe. When Titus came some months later, there was not one Christian remaining in the city. "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly."

(2) "Let him which is on the house top not," etc. In the promptitude of obedience there is safety. Had the Christians delayed their flight when Cestius Gallus raised the siege, they must have suffered for their unbelief with the unbelieving Jews. Josephus relates that Titus completed his lines of circumvallation with incredible celerity. "None of the wicked shall understand." The Jews perished because they would not understand the salutary warning of Jesus.

(3) Life is more than property. If we sacrifice property to secure the life of the body, much more should we sacrifice it to secure the more precious life of the spirit. Flight must not be hindered by burdens. The Christian carries all his property in Christ. It is not to trust, but to tempt God, when we refuse to pass through the door which he opens for our escape.

3. Calamities are mitigated for the sake of the deer.

(1) "Woe unto them!" etc. (ver. 19). Frightful accounts are found in Josephus of the sufferings of helpless women and children in those "days of vengeance."

(2) "But pray ye," etc. (vers. 20-22). We must labour to make the best of the inevitable. The followers of Christ in times of calamity should be much in prayer. The prayer that anticipates may mitigate evil. "That your flight be not in the winter," when the ways would be scarcely passable. "Neither on the sabbath day," lest they should be exposed to the indignation of the Jews, or hindered by their own superstitions.

(3) "But for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." The prayers of the good are effective, and the wicked profit by their successes. As there is a community of suffering between the wicked anti the good, so is there a community of mitigations between the good and the bad. God rules in human affairs.


1. He warns them against false Christs.

(1) There were many such about the time of the siege. Some before it (see Acts 5:36, 37). Others soon after, as Jonathas, who formed an army in Cyrene; and Barchochebas, in the reign of Adrian.

(2) Those who observe the signs of our times cannot fail to see false Christs. Not only is there the Roman impostor (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10) and his Eastern rivals, but many minor deceivers are springing up.

(3) As the counterfeit presupposes the genuine coin, so do false Christs indicate the true. As the appearance of false Christs nearly two thousand years ago showed that the true Christ had then come (cf. Daniel 9:25), so do the appearance of false Christs now presage the approaching second advent of the true.

2. He warns them against false prophets.

(1) False Christs have also their false prophets. Every Mahomet has his Abubeker.

(2) Our Lord not only foretold the appearance of these deceivers, but the manner of their proceeding (cf. Acts 21:38; Josephus, 'Ant.,' 20:7; 'War,' 6:5; 7:11).

(3) "If it be possible," etc., imports simply that it is difficult to deceive the elect of God (cf. Acts 20:16; Romans 12:18). "To fear the worst oft cures the worst" (Shakespeare). To be forewarned is to be forearmed. "A prudent man foreseeth the evil" (see Proverbs 22:3; Hebrews 11:7).

(4) Times of great trouble are times of great temptation.

3. He warns them against their deceptions.

(1) "Great signs and wonders." The Jews had magical arts, interpreted dreams, and pretended to work miracles and predict the future.

(2) The Roman antichrist comes "with all the deceivableness of unrighteousness" (see 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; Revelation 13:13, 14). If not the elect, the infidels are deceived. They fly from the extreme of superstition into the opposite extreme of scepticism, and so miss the truth.

(3) The coming of the true Christ is a grand thing, like the sheet lightning. So the Roman armies came in public, as the executioners of the Judge, in contradistinction to the stealthy manner in which the false Christs came. They came suddenly, without any premonitory whispering as to the "secret chamber." They came universally, for they filled the land. Like the lightning shining from the east, they entered Judaea from that quarter, and carried their conquests westward.

(4) The coming of Christ here also refers to his second personal advent (cf. Luke 17:22-37). When a people do by their sins make themselves carcases, God will send his vultures among them (cf. Deuteronomy 28:49; Hebrews 8:1). - J.A.M.

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ.
The coming of Christ will be —

I. Preceded by frequent delusive turnouts.

II. A self-evident manifestation.

III. A time of judgment.

IV. A time of great distress of nations.

V. "With power and great glory."

VI. For the salvation of the elect.


I. The Christian dispensation is disturbed by attempts of impostors to delude the unwary.

II. These attempts at imposture are accompanied by credentials likely to deceive many.

III. There is in our possession a test sufficient to unmask all pretenders.


Our Lord forewarns —

I. His own people of the danger of being led astray.

II. Of the manner of His coming — sudden, unmistakable.

III. Sinners of the certainty of judgment. Do we heed the warnings? Do we live as if we gave attention to them?


Take as an example of the twilight condition in which the Christian world stands to-day, the different opinions that its members have concerning the Lord's second coming. Some say He came in judgment when the Roman army encompassed and subdued Jerusalem. "Lo I Christ was there;" and so He was, in that Divine Word of His which then and thus became visibly true. Others affirm that He came in the descent of the Holy Ghost; and so He certainly did, and by that Spirit He still abides and works here on earth, remaining with and in His Church always even unto the end of the world. Yes, Christ is here as well as there, in this temple as well as in that where the first disciples were gathered. Yet another voice says, "The Redeemer comes in every signal manifestation of spiritual life, in each great reformation and revival of faith, in each social uplifting of the people to holier desires and to a better life. In all of these Christ is, no doubt, present. By and in them He is evermore coming. And He comes, moreover, to each individual soul at baptism, at conversion, and in the Holy Communion. He comes into the secret closet of prayer and meditation. He comes to every open heart, and outside the closed door of others He stands, and knocks, and waits. Blessed truths are these, all of them. Christ does come by many paths to help the needy, and He comes with power. But no one of these comings is exclusive of the others. We are not to believe that Christ is altogether "here" or "there," that His presence is entirely restricted to any single one of the many ways by which He has promised to bestow the blessings of His risen life. And all of these comings put together should not exclude from our minds the belief or the constant thought of that other coming, which is to be not as a combination or succession of separate star-gleams, but as the lightning, a body of glory covering the whole world, and reaching at once from the east even unto the west.

(E. E. Johnson, M. A.).

Daniel, Jesus, Noah, Noe
Jerusalem, Judea, Mount of Olives
Anyone, Behold, Believe, Christ, Credence, Faith, Says, Tells
1. Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple;
3. what and how great calamities shall be before it;
29. the signs of his coming to judgment.
36. And because that day and hour are unknown,
42. we ought to watch like good servants, expecting our Master's coming.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 24:3-24

     1450   signs, kinds of

Matthew 24:3-25

     9170   signs of times

Matthew 24:15-25

     1424   predictions

Matthew 24:23-24

     8746   false Christs
     8766   heresies

The Carrion and the Vultures
'Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.'--MATT. xxiv. 28. This grim parable has, of course, a strong Eastern colouring. It is best appreciated by dwellers in those lands. They tell us that no sooner is some sickly animal dead, or some piece of carrion thrown out by the way, than the vultures--for the eagle does not prey upon carrion--appear. There may not have been one visible a moment before in the hot blue sky, but, taught by scent or by sight that their banquet
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Two Forms of one Saying
'He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.' --Matt. xxiv. 13, R.V. 'In your patience possess ye your souls.'--Luke xxi. 19. These two sayings, different as they sound in our Version, are probably divergent representations of one original. The reasons for so supposing are manifold and obvious on a little consideration. In the first place, the two sayings occur in the Evangelists' reports of the same prophecy and at the same point therein. In the second place, the verbal resemblance is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Watching for the King
'Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. 45. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season! 46. Blessed is that servant, whom his lord
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

March the Twentieth the Lord is at Hand!
"Ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." --MATTHEW xxiv. 42-51. Then let me always live as though my Lord were at the gate! Let me arrange my affairs on the assumption that the next to lift the latch will be the King. When I am out with my friend, walking and talking, let me assume that just round the corner I may meet the Lord. And so let me practise meeting Him! Said a mother to me one day concerning her long-absent boy: "I lay a place for him at every meal! His seat is always ready!" May
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

What Lasts, and what Passes Away.
25th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matthew xxiv., 35. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass away." INTRODUCTION.--Yes! all will pass away! This beautiful world and all that is on it. Our houses, our churches, our cities, will crumble away; the very earth with its mountains and rivers, and plains, and seas, will pass away. The stars will fall from heaven, the sun will have exhausted its fires, the moon will sink into night. But the words of Christ will last. SUBJECT.--Incessant
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

"And Watch unto Prayer. "
1 Pet. iv. 7.--"And watch unto prayer." "Watch." A Christian should watch. A Christian is a watchman by office. This duty of watchfulness is frequently commanded and commended in scripture, Matt. xxiv. 42, Mark xiii. 33, 1 Cor. xvi. 13, Eph. vi. 18, 1 Pet. v. 8, Col. iv. 2; Luke xii. 37. David did wait as they that did watch for the morning light. The ministers of the gospel are styled watchmen in scripture and every Christian should be to himself as a minister is to his flock, he should watch over
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Of Meditation Upon Death
Very quickly will there be an end of thee here; take heed therefore how it will be with thee in another world. To-day man is, and to-morrow he will be seen no more. And being removed out of sight, quickly also he is out of mind. O the dulness and hardness of man's heart, which thinketh only of the present, and looketh not forward to the future. Thou oughtest in every deed and thought so to order thyself, as if thou wert to die this day. If thou hadst a good conscience thou wouldst not greatly
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

"Take heed that no man deceive you."--Matt. xxiv: 4. "Christ in you, the hope of glory, whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."--Col. i: 27, 28. To give a warning is a sign of love. Who warns like a mother, and who loves like a mother? Your mother, perhaps, is gone, and your father is gone. Let me take the place of those who have departed, and lift up a warning voice. With Paul I would say: "I write not these
Dwight L. Moody—Sowing and Reaping

Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold.
^A Matt. XXIV. 1-28; ^B Mark XIII. 1-23; ^C Luke XXI. 5-24. ^a 1 And Jesus went out from the temple [leaving it to return no more], and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him ^b as he went forth ^a to show him the buildings of the temple. ^b one of his disciples saith unto him, Teacher, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings! ^c 5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said [The strength and wealth of the temple roused
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Second Coming of Christ.
^A Matt. XXIV. 29-51; ^B Mark XIII. 24-37; ^C Luke XXI. 25-36. ^b 24 But in those days, ^a immediately after the { ^b that} ^a tribulation of those days. [Since the coming of Christ did not follow close upon the destruction of Jerusalem, the word "immediately" used by Matthew is somewhat puzzling. There are, however, three ways in which it may be explained: 1. That Jesus reckons the time after his own divine, and not after our human, fashion. Viewing the word in this light, the passage at II. Pet.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Christian Conception of Life Has Already Arisen in Our Society, and Will Infallibly Put an End to the Present Organization of Our Life Based On
The Condition and Organization of our Society are Terrible, but they Rest only on Public Opinion, and can be Destroyed by it-- Already Violence is Regarded from a Different Point of View; the Number of those who are Ready to Serve the Government is Diminishing; and even the Servants of Government are Ashamed of their Position, and so often Do Not Perform their Duties--These Facts are all Signs of the Rise of a Public Opinion, which Continually Growing will Lead to No One being Willing to Enter Government
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

The Evening of the Third Day in Passion-Week - on the Mount of Olives: Discoures to the Disciples Concerning the Last Things.
THE last and most solemn denunciation of Jerusalem had been uttered, the last and most terrible prediction of judgment upon the Temple spoken, and Jesus was suiting the action to the word. It was as if He had cast the dust of His Shoes against the House' that was to be left desolate.' And so He quitted for ever the Temple and them that held office in it. They had left the Sanctuary and the City, had crossed black Kidron, and were slowly climbing the Mount of Olives. A sudden turn in the road, and
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

A Key to the Knowledge of Church History
A KEY TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHURCH HISTORY [Ancient] Edited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT, M.A. Editor of "The Dictionary of Theology," "The Annotated Book of Common Prayer;" Author of "Household Theology," Etc. Etc. "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations."--St. Matt. xxiv. 14 Rivingtons Waterloo Place, London Oxford, and Cambridge MDCCCLXXVII [New Edition]
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History

Our Lord's Olivet Discourse Shows that There is no Universal Triumph of the Gospel Before his Second Advent.
The Olivet Discourse of our Lord is recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. We cannot now attempt a detailed exposition of these highly interesting and important chapters, but would simply single our from them a few things which throw light upon our present inquiry. At the beginning of Matt. 24 we find that three of His disciples asked our Lord, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?" (vs. 3). What then was the answer which
Arthur W. Pink—The Redeemer's Return

Third Sunday Before Lent
Text: First Corinthians 9, 24-27; 10, 1-5. 24 Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25 And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The vineyard and Its Keepers
'Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: 34. And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. 35. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Watching the Horizon
"Thy Kingdom Come." "Thou art coming! We are waiting With a hope that cannot fail; Asking not the day or hour, Resting on Thy word of power, Anchored safe within the veil. Time appointed may be long, But the vision must be sure: Certainty shall make us strong, Joyful patience must endure. "O the joy to see Thee reigning, Thee, my own beloved Lord! Every tongue Thy name confessing, Worship, honour, glory, blessing, Brought to Thee with glad accord! Thee, my Master and my Friend, Vindicated and enthroned!
by S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation

Another Shorter Evening Prayer.
O eternal God and heavenly Father, if I were not taught and assured by the promises of thy gospel, and the examples of Peter, Mary Magdalene, the publican, the prodigal child, and many other penitent sinners, that thou art so full of compassion, and so ready to forgive the greatest sinners, who are heaviest laden with sin, at what time soever they return unto thee with penitent hearts, lamenting their sins, and imploring thy grace, I should despair for mine own sins, and be utterly discouraged from
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

There is a Blessedness in Reversion
Blessed are the poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3 Having done with the occasion, I come now to the sermon itself. Blessed are the poor in spirit'. Christ does not begin his Sermon on the Mount as the Law was delivered on the mount, with commands and threatenings, the trumpet sounding, the fire flaming, the earth quaking, and the hearts of the Israelites too for fear; but our Saviour (whose lips dropped as the honeycomb') begins with promises and blessings. So sweet and ravishing was the doctrine of this
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

An Analysis of Augustin's Writings against the Donatists.
The object of this chapter is to present a rudimentary outline and summary of all that Augustin penned or spoke against those traditional North African Christians whom he was pleased to regard as schismatics. It will be arranged, so far as may be, in chronological order, following the dates suggested by the Benedictine edition. The necessary brevity precludes anything but a very meagre treatment of so considerable a theme. The writer takes no responsibility for the ecclesiological tenets of the
St. Augustine—writings in connection with the donatist controversy.

The Completion of Our Saviour's Prophecies Confirmed Pagans in their Belief of the Gospel.
I. The completion of our Saviour's Prophecies confirmed Pagans in their belief of the gospel. II. Origen's observation on our Saviour's disciples being brought before kings and governors; III. On their being persecuted for their religion; IV. On their preaching the gospel to all nations. V. On the destruction of Jerusalem, and ruin of the Jewish oeconomy. VI. These arguments strengthened by what has happened since Origen's time. I. THE second of these extraordinary means, of great use to the learned
Joseph Addison—The Evidences of the Christian Religion, with Additional Discourses

I. (i) Against Eunomius. The work under this title comprises five books, the first three generally accepted as genuine, the last two sometimes regarded as doubtful. Gregory of Nazianzus, [303] Jerome, [304] and Theodoret [305] all testify to Basil's having written against Eunomius, but do not specify the number of books. Books IV. and V. are accepted by Bellarmine, Du Pin, Tillemont, and Ceillier, mainly on the authority of the edict of Justinian against the Three Chapters (Mansi ix., 552),
Basil—Basil: Letters and Select Works

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