Continuing in our quest to get through Matthew 24, the next line here again is the source of much of the doom and gloom prophecy teachers to use as a sign of our very day to show we are in the birth pangs. This line comes after Jesus spoke about wars and rumors of wars. He seems to get a little bit more specific here as to what that entails. The uniqueness of this line though is that he describes both politically motivated struggles “nation will rise against nation,” as well as what I believe is a spiritual battle, “kingdom against kingdom” but then refers to what most throughout history have considered to be natural disasters, “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.” But as I dig into my commentary, I believe what Jesus says here really does (as the doom and gloom prophecy teachers do) have something to do with the times we are living in.
Nation will Rise Against Nation
The word in the Greek for “nation” is “ethnos” and it means, “a race, people, nation, heathen world, gentiles.” The word for “will rise” is the word “egeiró” which means “I wake, arouse, raise up.” And finally, “against” is the word “epi” which means “on, to, against, on the basis of, at.” These words are pretty straight forward.
This is one of those truths that Jesus declared that has been unfolding ever since He spoke these words. The fact is, the very study of world history is the study of nations rising up against nations. And while it is not the most compelling prophetic words spoken by our Lord, it rings true nonetheless, and will become significant as we unravel this verse.
Kingdom Against Kingdom
While many commentators refer to the kingdoms as earthly kingdoms, I think there is a possibility that Jesus may be referring to spiritual kingdoms. The word for “kingdom” is the word “basileia” which means “kingship, sovereignty, authority, rule, especially of God, both in the world, and in the hearts of men; hence: kingdom, in the concrete sense.”
Now when we look at verses like Ephesians 6:12 that states, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” we can see the possibility that Jesus was referring to the kingdom of wickedness going against the kingdom of God. While I won’t get dogmatic over the issue, I believe that because our battle is not carnal in nature, when Jesus says these words, He is referring to both the spiritual battle which manifests itself on the earthly stage.
Famines, Pestilence, and Earthquakes
The original Greek manuscripts used one word to describe both famines and pestilence, “limos” which means “famine, hunger.” The word for “earthquakes” is “seismos” which means, “a shaking (as an earthquake); a storm.”
The basic and common understanding of this verse is that it is referring to simply the result of wars, nations going up against nations, and kingdoms going up against kingdoms. Hunger, disease, starvation, etc. are all part of the basic make up of the world we live in today. This is no different than most of history before and since Jesus spoke these words. But there must be a reason to why Jesus specifically mentioned famine.
Secondly, concerning earthquakes, I have heard everything from people saying the increase in seismic activity today is a sign, to “earthquakes” simply referring to an allegory of political turmoil. But what I would like to suggest here is something I haven’t heard anyone really talk about.
Tying it Together
This will be another perfect example of what this blog is about; “Understanding the world through the lens of Scripture.” I believe there is a real possibility of Jesus referring to the days we are living in now for this reason. If we trace along verses 6 and 7, we can see that Jesus is really talking a great deal about political struggles between nations, kingdoms, wars etc. He then mentions the result of this turmoil with hunger, but strangely ends with a natural phenomenon in earthquakes. Why? Because I believe Jesus, who is Lord, God in human flesh, knows the beginning from the end. I believe He foresaw our days and the technological power these political kingdoms (influenced by the spiritual) will have.
HAARP is largely believed to be a device that can control weather as well as seismic activities around the world. While the level of control these technologies wield when it comes to the influence of what appears to be “natural” disasters is not entirely known, there is plenty of compelling evidence to suggest that the elite do harness this power. Books like “Weather Wars & Unnatural Disasters” by Steve Quayle, documents weather manipulation patents, as well as the technology behind the facade of basic public knowledge. Nevertheless, the rise in seismic activity in the last couple years is extremely alarming whether it is natural or not.
While I can easily get into much more evidence of HAARP and the various conspiracy theories surrounding it, I believe it is important to stick with the Word for now and understand the significance of the Olivet Discourse. All of these things again points to the remarkable accuracy of Biblical Prophecy, but also validates Jesus Christ as really being who He said He was. How can a man who was a mere carpenter know about what would be the technological landscape of political wars a mere 2000 years into the future, unless He was God? And despite these dire implications, let us remember what Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”