Is the M.O.A.B. Bomb Drop Related To End-Time Prophecy?

Written By J.A. Hardgrave

To some, the dropping of the M.O.A.B “Mother of all bombs”,  was not just the United States Military taking out an ISIS target, but was also related to a much larger prophetic program that is setting the stage for the end of planet earth.

There is usually one main Bible verse used by modern day prophecy prognosticators to justify the belief that “wars and rumors of wars” in our day, are a sign of a soon coming apocalypse.

Matthew 24:6

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

I don’t know about you, but I spent the majority of my life until 5 years ago believing that planet earth was going to end at any moment.

The reason is because I was raised to believe that Matthew 24 was a list of signs we needed to look for.  My convictions grew even more intense when the Twin Towers and World-Trade center were hit by 747 Jet airplanes on September 11th, 2001.

I think we all remember exactly where we were on that gloomy morning.

Not long after in 2003, I remember hearing the news that President George W. Bush had decided to invade Iraq to seek out and destroy weapons of mass destruction.

Due to my view that wars and rumors of wars were a sign of the end of the world based on Matthew 24:6, fear grew in my heart. I suddenly began to see the newspapers as a vehicle to announce the fulfillment of End-Time Bible Prophecy. I felt as if I was born at the worse possible time in human history, since according to my understanding, I would never get to raise a family, go to college, start a business, or leave a legacy. I was not even going to make it to the age of 15 I thought.

Have we ever considered that we are not the first generation to interpret modern day events as the fulfillment of End-Time Bible prophecy?

In fact, this kind of speculation has been going on for over 200 years. But how did it start?

In 1909, C.I. Scofield published his now famous “Scofield Reference Bible”, and a second edition in 1917.

The Scofield Reference Bible was one of the first of its kind to have a built-in Bible commentary. Instead of having to lug around a 10 volume set of commentaries with your Bible, now they were conveniently combined into your Bible.

The Scofield Reference Bible went viral.  By World War II, over 2 million copies were sold. Today, there have been over 5 million copies sold. 

C.I. Scofield decided to place the commentary of a man named John Nelson Darby in the Biblical passages related to prophecy. Darby’s view of Bible prophecy is known as “Dispensationalism”, and is a newer view of prophecy that was fully developed by 1830. This view of Bible Prophecy taught that Matthew 24 included signs we need to look for in our day.

According to him, the “Church Age” was coming to a close, and would be marked by an intense increase in evil, setting the stage for an “Antichrist” figure to rise in a “7-year tribulation period” just over the horizon.

Some of Darby’s commentary on Matthew 24 included the statement “warnings, applicable to this present age over which these events are ever impending.” 1

Any student of history knows the Scofield Bible was released in a perplexing time period in the earth. Not long after it’s publication, people were experiencing the turmoil associated with World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. 

People were reading their Scofield Bibles and then looking at current events of the time, and feeling like they were seeing the fulfillment of Bible Prophecy unfold before their very eyes.

Because of how wide-spread the Scofield Bible was, thousands of churches and seminaries adopted those views and the prognosticating has continued generation after generation up to the current.

However, most bible commentators prior to 1830 interpreted Matthew 24 as speaking about the events leading up to and including the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, and not presenting signs we need to look for that lead up to the end of planet earth.

Look at the following quotes from Bible Scholars and Commentators prior to 1830.

Clement of Alexandria (150-215): “[Jesus] confidently set forth, plainly as I

said before, sufferings, places, appointed times, manners, limits. Accordingly,

therefore, prophesying concerning the temple, He said: ‘See ye these

buildings? Verily I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone upon

another which shall not be taken away [Matt. 24:3]; and this generation shall

not pass until the destruction begin [Matt. 24:34]. . . .’ And in like manner He

spoke in plain words the things that were straightway to happen, which we can

now see with our eyes, in order that the accomplishment might be among

those to whom the word was spoken.” 2

Chrysostom (375): “But of wars in Jerusalem is He speaking; for it is not

surely of those without, and everywhere in the world; for what did they care

for these? And besides, He would thus say nothing new, if He were speaking

of the calamities of the world at large, which are happening always. For

before this, were wars, and tumults, and fightings; but He speaks of the Jewish

wars coming upon them at no great distance, for henceforth the Roman arms

were a matter of anxiety. Since then these things also were sufficient to

confound them, He foretells them all. Therefore He saith, they shall come not

by themselves or at once, but with signs. For that the Jews may not say, that

they who then believed were the authors of these evils, therefore hath He told

them also of the cause of their coming upon them. ‘For verily I say unto you,’

He said before, ‘all these things shall come upon this generation,’ having

made mention of the stain of blood on them.” 3

Eusebius Pamphilius (c. 265–339): “It is fitting to add to these accounts the

true prediction of our Savior in which he foretold these very events. His words

are as follows: ‘Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck

in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the

Sabbath day; For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the

beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be’ [Matt. 24:19-21].

The historian [Josephus], reckoning the whole number of the slain, says that

eleven hundred thousand persons perished by famine and sword, and that the

rest of the rioters and robbers, being betrayed by each other after the taking of

the city, were slain. . . . These things took place in this manner in the second

year of the reign of Vespasian, in accordance with the prophecies of our Lord

and Savior Jesus Christ, who by divine power saw them beforehand as if they

were already present, and wept and mourned according to the statement of the

holy evangelists, who give the very words which he uttered, when, as if

addressing Jerusalem herself, he said: ‘If thou hadst known, even thou, in this

day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine

eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a

rampart about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

and shall lay thee and thy children even with the ground’ [Luke 19:42]. And

then, as if speaking concerning the people, he says, ‘For there shall be great

distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the

edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. And

Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the

Gentiles be fulfilled” [Luke 21:23-24]. And again: ‘When ye shall see

Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is

nigh’ [Luke 21:20]. If anyone compares the words of our Savior with the other

accounts of the historian [Josephus] concerning the whole war, how can one

fail to wonder, and to admit that the foreknowledge and the prophecy of our

Savior were truly divine and marvelously strange.” 4

Henry Hammond (1653): “I now assure you, that in the age of some that are

now alive, shall all that has been said in this chapter [Matt. 24] be certainly

fulfilled.” 5

 John Lightfoot (1658): “Hence it appears plain enough, that the foregoing

verses [Matt. 24:1-34] are not to be understood of the last judgment, but, as

we said, of the destruction of Jerusalem. There were some among the disciples

(particularly John), who lived to see these things come to pass. With Matt.

xvi. 28, compare John xxi. 22. And there were some Rabbins alive at the time

when Christ spoke these things, that lived until the city was destroyed.” 6

Thomas Newton (1755): “It is to me a wonder how any man can refer part of

the foregoing discourse to the destruction of Jerusalem, and part to the end of

the world, or any other distant event, when it is said so positively here in the

conclusion, All these things shall be fulfilled in this generation.” 7

John Gill (1766): “This is a full and clear proof, that not any thing that is said

before [v. 34], relates to the second coming of Christ, the day of judgment,

and the end of the world; but that all belongs to the coming of the son of man

in the destruction of Jerusalem, and to the end of the Jewish state.” 8

Thomas Scott (1817): “This absolutely restricts our primary interpretation of

the prophecy to the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place within forty

years” 9

 

Why would such brilliant men come to these conclusions that are so contrary to modern-day beliefs about end-time prophecy?

Because they understood that Matthew 24 is a response to the disciples questions about the signs leading up to the end of the age, not the end of planet earth. The Greek word for age is Aion, which means “A period of time”. The Greek word used to describe the whole earth or the universe is Kosmos, which is not used here.

But the question is, which age was coming to a close?

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3

Jesus had just said the temple would be torn down one stone upon another (Matt. 24:2), and the temple would be left desolate (Matt. 23:8). He also told the Pharisees in the temple that “All the righteous blood that had been shed on earth would fall upon their generation (Matt 23:35). Which age do you think they were asking about? What age does the temple, and the Pharisees represent?

The Old Covenant age. 

The disciples knew without a temple and the Old Covenant leaders, the animal sacrifices needed to maintain the Old Covenant age would not be able to be offered, bringing that age to a close.

They asked about the signs that would precede the destruction of the temple and the end of the Mosaic structure of worship and atonement, not the end of planet earth. Go read Matthew chapters 21-23 and tell me if you see anything that would cause the disciples to ask about the end of planet earth.

Matthew 24:6

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

 

Jesus is saying that prior to the end of the age, the old covenant age, THEY would hear of wars and rumors of wars. Notice Jesus says YOU will hear of wars and rumors of wars, and see to it that YOU are not alarmed. The “You” here, is not us.

Jesus was talking to His disciples and warning them of events that would soon take place.

We know that wars and rumors of wars were signs they needed to look for because after Jesus gets done listing the signs, He concludes with:

 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Matt. 24:34

Josephus the historian was an eyewitness to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 and he wrote “I have omitted to give an exact account of them, because they are well known by all, and they are described by a great number of Greek and Roman authors.” 10

Wars were so common during that time period that Josephus says he did not even need to write about it because everyone already knew!

Why were wars a sign during this particular time period? Because these wars took place during the Pax Romana, the Roman Peace.

So what is the M.O.A.B bomb-drop a sign of? It’s a sign that we just dropped a bomb on ISIS…That’s it. Just because there are wars, or rumors of wars, or bombs dropped, doesn’t automatically mean it’s related to Bible prophecy.

Would you help me spread the word and pass this blog along to your friends? 

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/scofield-reference-notes/matthew/matthew-24.html

2 Clementine Homilia, 3:15.

3 (Homilies)

4 Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Ch. 7.

5 Henry Hammond, A Paraphrase, and Annotations Upon all the Books of the New Testament, Briefly

Explaining all the Difficult Places Thereof (London: Printed for John Nicholson, at the King’s-Arms in Little

Britain, 1702), 102.

6 John Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, 4 vols. (Oxford:

Oxford University Press, [1658–1674] 1859), 2:320.

Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Which Have Remarkably Been Fulfilled (London: J.F.

Dove, 1755), 377.

8 John Gill, An Exposition of the New Testament, 3 vols. (London: Mathews and Leigh, 1809), 1:296.

9 Thomas Scott, The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments, According to the Authorised

Version; with Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations, and Copious Marginal References, 3 vols. (New York:

Collins and Hannay, 1832), 3:111.

10 Josephus:Wars of the Jews

 

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