Matthew 24:29-31 Part 3

Jesus’ words in verses twenty-nine, thirty and thirty-one are so full of images from the prophetic Scriptures that we’ve needed special, concentrated effort devoted to them – therefore the multiple sermons and “proliferation of words!”

We’ve been urged to “think the thoughts of God after Him,” and to flood our minds with the fullness of His Revelation, and to incorporate ourselves into the full context of what is written.  Otherwise that which is “less” and that which is “immediate” will overshadow… and we will not see the glory!

On the other hand (in another mind-set) some would say that we should “empty” our minds in order that we might be “led by the Spirit” into understanding.  But that (false) teaching assumes that the Spirit would somehow “infuse” the emptiness with Revelation!  In that scenario all of those glorious things written for us in the Word would be irrelevant since the Spirit would “directly” teach us!

But there is nothing more seriously “anti-christ” than an empty mind… for with what would the mind of fallen and cursed man then be filled – without God’s written Revelation?  Every perversion, of course!  (such things as hypnotism and transcendental meditation)

So we can’t just “give up” and wipe the slate of our minds clean – hoping somehow that God will graciously teach us what we ought to know!

Even though it’s difficult to hold on to what we have while we’re adding massive amounts of new information (incorporating it all in), that’s just what we must do!

If we must (by the command of God) think the thoughts of God after Him then we must be diligent… and work at it – and we must do it from His perspective!  We have to “see what He sees” – to the extent He’s revealed it to us.  And we can’t say to Him, “Please interpret that for me in my terms and from my perspective,” can we?  And since He’s already revealed Himself and His mighty work in Scripture, we also can’t say, “Please reveal it (again) to me in a special way,” can we?

Throughout the Law and the Prophets, and the writings of the apostles, we now have the “fullness” of the Gospel of God.  It’s complete.  And (this is what a “disciple” is) we are required to discipline ourselves… fill up our minds with the way God thinks and how He sees everything.  And that, of course, includes the images which He, Himself, has inspired through the prophets – images of His Glory-cloud/throne-room; images of a disintegrating universe (such as we’ve seen in verse twenty-nine); images of a “heaven and earth” paradise (the nation of Israel) wherein another Glory-cloud/throne-room is built for him to inhabit; images of the glorified “Warrior/King” in judgment of an apostate nation; images of the Passover Lamb… given for the remission of the sin of the world – and so many more!

This is the Revelation which God requires us to know – because of which the apostles then say, “therefore this is the way you are to live”; “this is how you ought to love one another”; “seeing these things, then mortify the deeds of the ‘old man’.”

You see, there are consequences to “seeing” or “not seeing” the things that are written here.  How we live before God depends on our sight and understanding of God’s Revelation of Himself and His creation!  How we respond; how we act; how we obey in faithfulness has to do with our submissive and disciplined search of the mind of God!  To be of the Character of God is to willingly respond to the search of His Revelation!

Faithful living before God is the constant urging of the apostles!  So when Jesus says (verse thirty-one), “and He shall send forth His messengers with a great trumpet, and He will gather His elect together out of the four winds from edges of heavens even to the extremities,”… shall we say to ourselves, “Well, that’s just too obscure for me….  I’ll never understand all of that….”

Are there consequences of doing that… in the way we live before God?  Can we throw up our hands in frustration, or turn our minds off because of the difficulty… without suffering the product of that absence?  Having not seen the glory of these images by which God has revealed Himself through the prophets, can we then think His thoughts after Him?  Could we then see things from His perspective?  How then shall we live righteously without the view of God which He, Himself, has revealed (without thinking His thoughts and seeing from His perspective – which is reality!)?

And, having once seen, how then could we continue to sin?  How could anyone, having been enlightened to the splendor and dignity of God in all these sublime images, continue to delight in this degenerate world order – in perverted living!

So we must refuse to be encumbered, and refuse to be obstructed or hindered.  The Biblical images of God in all His glory are “light” and “life” – sweeter than a honeycomb – a call to life.  They are Truth and reality – definitive, clear, certain and unavoidable.  As light emanates from the “dayspring,” the darkness flees.

In verses twenty-nine and thirty Jesus brings the prophetic images of His ascension to glory and power and dominion to His disciples’ attention.  He has risen from the agony of death and approached the Ancient of Days at His Glory-cloud/throne-room (as Daniel the prophet saw in his vision).  And He has been given all power in heaven and earth.  The Rulership of all the nations of earth is His; all His enemies are to be put under His feet.

As the Executor of the Covenant He has remitted the sin of God’s elect people; and He enters the Holy of Holies as their High Priest (intercessor) and Personal representative.  He is now the “door” into the Sanctuary of God’s Presence!

But (as Executor of the Covenant) He is not only the Merciful Savior of God’s elect.  He is also the One Who carries out the sanctions of the Covenant!  When He assumes that role (with great splendor and glory) the old covenant nation that committed harlotry before God is dissolved in the heat of His wrath.  And although there is great mourning among those who are left (mourning for His death, and mourning over the nation and the city and the temple), joy follows the mourning; for the Morning Star has arisen; and the Dayspring shines forth the Dawn of a New Covenant!  And “behold, all things are become new!”  There is a new age; and a new heavens and a new earth; and a new city; and a new temple!  And a new people of God from all the nations of the earth.

We must see and understand the images of God’s Revelation.  It is the Gospel of God concerning His Son – without which one cannot believe and be saved.

And, as Jesus continues to speak to His disciples in verse thirty-one, those images continue to come from His mouth (one after another) right out of the Law and the Prophets!  Jesus recalls for them all of that which has been prophesied concerning Himself – and what is to occur “in this generation.”  They’ve asked Him, “When will these things be; and what is the sign of Your Parousia and consummation of the age?”  And He’s telling them that it will happen in this generation; and here’s what the prophets said!


“And He (the Son of Man (from Daniel chapter seven), He shall send forth His messengers with a great trumpet, and will gather His elect together out of the four winds from edges of heavens to their extremities.”  (The non-literal translation there is ‘from one end of heaven to the other.)


The “Son of Man,” the One Who received all power in Heaven and Earth from His Father, the King of the eternal fifth Kingdom in Daniel’s vision, “sends forth His messengers….”  The Greek word for “messengers” is angeloi – angels.  Since the Son of Man has received all power in heaven and earth, the angels of the heavens respond to the Divine God the Son and do His bidding.

And Jesus says that He will send them forth… “with a great trumpet!”  Now the disciples must have had another “flood” of Biblical images flow into their minds from the Law and the Prophets at this point – and so should we!   “Send them forth with a great trumpet.

Listen to Exodus nineteen at the giving of the Law:


And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the sound of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people in the camp trembled.  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.  And Mount Sinai was altogether covered in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.  And when the sound of the trumpet sounded long and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke; and God answered him by a voice….”


Accompanying the Glory-cloud/throne-room/judgment seat of God upon Mount Sinai, amidst the crashing of lightning and thunder, and with great fire and smoke, and shaking, was the sound of a great trumpet.

The presence of the Lord of Hosts, the Ancient of Days was witnessed by the millions of Israel in terror; and it is all written by Moses in the same words as that of the visions of Daniel, and Ezekiel, and John – in the Revelation.  And it is this very image that is pictured all through the Scriptures as God abode with His people… in the Ark of the Covenant, in the tabernacle and in the temple – and in other ways as well!

Consider the entire image of sights and sounds as Israel, with the Ark/Presence of God, encircled the city of Jericho for seven days… the lights and the continual trumpeting and the great shout of millions.  And the city shook, and the walls fell, and the fire and smoke of it all arose into the heavens.  And the nation of Israel, with the Ark/Presence of God, became the Glory/cloud seat of judgment upon that city!

Another image of the Glory-cloud/Judgment-seat occurs in Judges chapter seven, where Gideon, with only three hundred men, routed thousands upon thousands (a “host”) of Midianites.  Gideon, at the instruction of God, was to take his three hundred, each with pitchers and lamps and trumpets, into the night to surround the Midianite host.  All at once they crashed the pitchers and shone the lamps and blew the trumpets.  By the imitation of the sights and sounds of the Glory-cloud of the Lord of Hosts, the huge encampment of Midianites was absolutely terrorized.  And they ran; and they were pursued and destroyed.

In all the Scriptures the “trumpeting” Presence of God is a call to gather in fearful worship (just as the millions of Israel gathered at the foot of Mount Sinai).  At the same time, the trumpet sound terrorizes all others because it spells judgment and destruction!  So the “voice” of God, trumpeting in the ears of men, is both a “call” to gather for worship… and a terror of coming judgment!

These are the images that the disciples must have recalled when Jesus said (verse thirty-one), “and He (the Son of Man) shall send forth His messengers with a great trumpet and gather His elect together….”  And it is no different for us; because, you see, the word “to send forth” (at the beginning of verse thirty-one) is apostelei – the word that’s always used for the apostles!  He will send forth (apostles) – His messengers.

The apostles truly were the first messengers of God’s New Covenant.  And their preaching was the certain and sure voice of the Risen Christ trumpeting the Gospel of God.  Joel prophesied their preaching in the exact same terms, and with the exact same meanings, as those found at Sinai and at Jericho.  Listen…at chapter one.  First, the trumpeting call of coming destruction by the armies of Rome:


“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in My holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble.  For the Day of the Lord comes, for it is nigh at hand.  A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness… a great and strong people there has not been ever the like – neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.  A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns.  The ‘land’ is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness.  Yea, and nothing shall escape them.  The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses….  Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire….  Before their face the people shall be greatly pained; all faces shall gather blackness.  They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks…. They shall run to and fro on the city; they shall run upon the wall and climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.  The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army; for his camp is very great; for he is strong that executes His word; for the Day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?”


Now, it is clear as can be that the trumpeting Gospel of the apostles was the last trump sounded before the armies of  Rome laid waste to Israel.  But, in the same second chapter of Joel, it is also clear that the apostolic trumpeting of the Gospel was for another reason as well!

Listen once again as I read at verse fifteen:


“Sound the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.  Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts.  Let the Bridegroom go forth out of His chamber, and the bride out of her closet….”


The sounding of the trumpet is the call to holy assembly by the righteous elect of God!  All the newborn babes in Christ and the elders of the Church are called and gathered together for repentance and worship!  And this is not only the elect remnant of Zion (who definitely are included), but also God’s elect called from all the nations of the earth!

As Jesus says here in verse thirty-one, His elect are gathered together “out of the four winds, from the edges of heavens even to their extremities.”

The images of Scripture continue, as we see from Zechariah chapter six – the four chariots of horses, described by that prophet as the “four winds” of the earth who gather together God’s people to build the New Temple!  And the only priest in the temple is the One Who “Springs Forth” – the Branch of David!

In Ezekiel thirty-seven we read God’s command to Ezekiel to preach unto the wind, that the army of utterly dry bones would live!  We read:  “Then He said unto me, ‘prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, Son of Man, and say to the wind, thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, o breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live.’”

So Ezekiel did as he was told, and there came to be a great living army!  Then we read again: 


“Then He said unto me, Son of Man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts.’

“Therefore prophesy and say unto them Thus saith the Lord God; behold, o My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves and bring you into the land of Israel.  And you shall know that I am the Lord when I have opened your graves, o My people, and brought you up out of your graves and put My Spirit in you; and you live, and I place you in your own land.  Then shall you know that I the Lord have spoken it and performed it, saith the Lord.”


The visions of Zechariah and Ezekiel provide us with the beautiful image of the Spirit-wind of God bringing life to the bone-dry dead in all the nations of the earth; and gathering them together (the word in the text is “sunagogue” – synagogue), gathering His elect together in the New Israel – where there is the New Temple, the High Priest in which is Christ (the Branch)!

And it’s exactly the same now as Moses prophesied in Deuteronomy chapter thirty:


“And He shall send forth His messengers with a great trumpet; and He will gather His elect together out of the four winds, from the edges of Heavens to their extremities.”


 Jesus is quoting right out of the prophets.

Wherever they are among the nations, as far as the edges of the heavens… just dry bones in their deadness and with no hope… and the “Wind” of God will find them and blow breath into them and they will live.  Their hearts will be circumcised to love God; and He will fetch them with the Trumpet call to His worship assembly in the New Temple – in the New Israel, and their great High Priest is Christ.