He Cometh with Clouds
This is a verse-by-verse typological study of Matthew 8:1-9:8, as a chronological outline of prophetic events from the first coming of Christ until His Second Coming in power and glory.
The passage of Scripture from Matthew 8:1 through Matthew 9:8 portrays a series of events in the life of Jesus that are not generally understood in regard to their prophetic significance. To understand the prophetic significance of these events, the prophetic interpretation of Scripture must be invoked. The prophetic interpretation can only be understood with the Holy Spirit as guide, and the Bible itself as the primary source of information for interpretation.
This passage of Scripture in Matthew contains 42 verses of Scripture that give a chronological outline of prophetic events. The prophetic interpretation in this passage follows the Semitic style of apocalyptic writing that is found in Daniel, Revelation and other prophetic books in the Bible. This style of writing first gives a complete overview of the entire period, and it then goes back to provide details for the very last part of the period.
The passage of Scripture from Matthew 8:1 through Matthew 8:17 gives an overview of prophetic events from the First Coming of Jesus Christ until His Second Coming in Power and Glory to initiate His millennial kingdom. Matthew 8:18 through Matthew 9:9 provides details of prophetic events for the last seven years of this age prior to the beginning of the millennial kingdom. This period of time is commonly referred to as Daniel's Seventieth Week, and this is based on Daniel's prophecy of the seventy weeks (i.e., 490 years) allotted to Israel in accordance with the following verse:
Dan 9:24 (KJV) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
The first 62 weeks (i.e., threescore and two weeks) or 434 years ended when Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby, lived 33 ˝ years and was crucified on Calvary, as described in the following verses:
(Dan 9:25 KJV) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
Dan 9:26 (KJV) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
The seven weeks or the specific 49 years ended on Rosh Hashanah 2000.
The last week, or 7 years, will begin when Antichrist appears and "he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week." This is shown in the following verse:
Dan 9:27 (KJV) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Note: See my exegesis of Daniel's Seventy Weeks for a detailed explanation of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks.
With this brief introduction, we will now attempt to explain the prophetic interpretation of this passage of Scripture in the book of Matthew.
Mat 8:1 (KJV) When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
Prophetically, this is a picture of the coming of Jesus Christ from Heaven to the Earth 2000 years ago. A mountain in Scripture is often a type of the kingdom of the heavens, both literally and figuratively. The use of the word mountain in this verse is a picture of Heaven, so this verse prophesies that many multitudes will become followers of Jesus Christ after His descending from Heaven the first time. The fulfillment of this prophecy is confirmed by the following Scripture that addresses the rapture of the Church at the end of the age:
Rev 7:9-10 (KJV) After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
When Jesus came the first time, He came to present the kingdom of the heavens to his people, the Jews, but was rejected by the nation of Israel as a whole.
Mat 8:2 (KJV) And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
A leper is a picture of one of God's people who is defiled or unclean. Only an insignificant number of the Jews received Jesus as the Goel or kinsman-redeemer. This one leper is representative of the small number of defiled Jews who came to Jesus to be cleansed. He came humbly to Jesus, recognizing his defiled condition. The proud Scribes and Pharisees were the leaders of the nation of Israel, and they were unable to recognize their defiled condition and their need for cleansing.
Mat 8:3 (KJV) And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Jesus did cleanse the small number of Jews who recognized him as the Messiah, and they will receive their inheritance in the kingdom of the heavens. However, the nation of Israel as a whole was rejected according to the following Scripture:
Mat 21:43 (KJV) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you (i.e., the Jews), and given to a nation (i.e., the Church) bringing forth the fruits thereof.
It was not in God's plan for the Jews to receive the Messiah at his first coming. Jesus even taught in parables so that the leaders of the nation of Israel would not understand the gospel of the kingdom. This is confirmed in the following Scripture:
Mat 13:10-11 (KJV) And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 8:4 (KJV) And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
National repentance and baptism were the requirements for Israel to receive the kingdom of the heavens. This is the reason that Jesus told this cleansed Jew to keep it a secret that he had been cleansed. It was not in God's plan for the whole nation to be cleansed at that time. This Jew is told to go to the priest and offer the sacrifice prescribed by Moses (i.e., two birds, wood, yarn, and hyssop on the first day, and two male lambs, a ewe lamb, flour and oil on the eighth day; Lev. 14:4-10). All of these sacrifices picture a life of consecration to the Lord. This life of consecration was to be a testimony to the priests alone, who are a type of the Church according to the following Scripture:
1 Pet 2:9 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
In summary of this verse, the Jews who received Jesus as the Messiah and were cleansed by Him, were the beginning of the Church. Their testimony spread throughout the world as a testimony to all tongues and people who became members (i.e., priests) in the Church. Therefore, the next expected event in this prophetic overview of the present age would be the establishment of the Church among the Gentiles.
Mat 8:5-9 (KJV) And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
When the kingdom of the heavens was taken from the Jews and given to the Church, the gospel of grace, not the gospel of the kingdom, was the first message to the Gentiles. The gospel of grace had to be taken to the Gentiles. This was accomplished through Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ. In this passage of Scripture, Jesus' entrance into Capernaum is a type, or picture, of how Jesus took the message of the gospel of grace to the Gentiles.
Capernaum was known as a Roman or Gentile city because of the Roman military installation, with the centurion as its commander. One of the most notable archaeological finds in Capernaum was a Roman bath house. In addition, Capernaum was located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and the sea in Scripture is a type of the Gentile nations. It is highly significant that the servant of the centurion is the one who is healed (i.e., saved), and he is healed (i.e., saved) without Jesus' physical presence. This is a picture of the Church age, when believers are to walk by faith and not sight. Also, believers in the Church Age are saved by the intercession or witness of other believers.
The centurion with the great faith is a primary type or picture of Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles. He is also a secondary type of all Christians who intercede for other people to be saved during the Church Age, when Jesus is not physically present. It is highly significant that the centurion came to Jesus beseeching him (i.e., interceding) for the healing (i.e., salvation) of one under his authority. This is what all faithful Christians are supposed to do during the present Church Age. The Lord holds all Christians responsible for intercession on behalf of certain people. Therefore, all Christians have authority over people for whom they are responsible. This includes witnessing to and praying for these people. The confirmation that God already has the works planned out for Christians is as follows:
Eph 2:10 (KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Since the kingdom of the heavens was taken away from the Jews, and given to a nation (i.e., the Church) that would bear fruit, it is expected that there would be those in the Church who would have great faith (i.e., they would bear fruit).
Mat 8:10-11 (KJV) When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus greatly commends the centurion's faith to all those who were present, and states that He was unable to find this great faith in the house of Israel. Prophetically, this is confirmation that Jesus came to the Jews as their Messiah, but they did not receive him. The centurion's great faith is a picture of the faith of those in the Church who are faithful to the Lord throughout the Church Age. Therefore, many of the Gentiles, as part of the Church, will come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. This is a picture of those in the Church who "enter the kingdom of heaven," or reign and rule over the earth from the heavenly kingdom in the New Jerusalem.
Since the Jewish nation was disinherited from the kingdom of the heavens, it would be expected that this loss would greatly impact the Jews.
Mat 8:12 (KJV) But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The Jews as a nation are the "children of the kingdom" and the kingdom was taken from them and given to the Church, according to the following Scripture:
Mat 21:43 (KJV) Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you (i.e., Jews), and given to a nation (i.e., the Church) bringing forth the fruits thereof.
"Outer darkness" is an ancient Hebrew idiom that means a person receives the displeasure of the master. "Outer darkness" is a descriptive term for being outside the close fellowship and the inner light of the reign and rule of Jesus Christ during the millennium. The tabernacle in the wilderness is the picture of the contrast between walking in the light in the tent of meeting, or being outside the tent of meeting in the darkness. A person can be within the boundaries of the tabernacle (i.e., the fence) and still be in the darkness outside of the Holy Place where close communion and fellowship take place.
The "weeping and gnashing of teeth" is a picture of the anguish that the Jews will experience when they realize that they have forfeited their inheritance in the kingdom of the heavens. Therefore, the above verse illustrates the consequence and the impact on the Jews of their disinheritance in the kingdom of the heavens. We would next expect to see the result of the great faith of those in the Church who bear fruit.
Mat 8:13 (KJV) And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
In this verse, the work of the centurion has been completed, and he is told by Jesus to go to his home. He is rewarded according to his faith, and his servant is healed within the hour. Prophetically, this verse is a picture of the end of the Church Age, since Jesus has completed his work in the area of the gospel of Grace. The centurion goes to his home, which is a picture of going to heaven in a rapture, and he is rewarded according to his faith, which is a picture of the Judgment Seat of Christ. In addition, the servant is made whole within the hour, which is a picture of the purification of Christians during the hour of trial (i.e., temptation) upon the earth during the first half of the tribulation period. Since we have seen the completion of God's attention to the Church in the above verse, we would next expect to see God's focus turned to the Jews.
Mat 8:14 (KJV) And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
As Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, Peter was the Apostle to the Jews. Therefore, Peter's house is a picture or type of the house of Israel, and Jesus has begun anew in his dealing with the house of Israel. In type, Peter would be a picture of God the Father, and Peter's wife would be a type of the nation of Israel. The primary type in this verse is the mother who typifies the 144,000 Firstfruits of the Jews. The mother is intensely sick with fever, and is bedridden or inactive. She is neither serving Peter (i.e., God) nor her daughter (i.e., Israel).
Peter's mother-in-law is a picture of the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits. The 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits will be literal Jews with 12,000 coming from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. They are not believers during the present time, or they would be considered members of the Church. They are also not doing anything tangible for the nation of Israel. The 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits will become believers during the first half of the tribulation period, and they will be sealed, or miraculously protected, during the last half of the tribulation period. With the introduction of these three types in the above verse, we would now expect to see how Jesus deals with them.
Mat 8:15 (KJV) And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
Jesus touches the hand of Peter's mother-in-law. This is very significant since the hand is the member of the body that is used to bless and to serve. This is exactly what the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits will be called upon to do for God and the nation of Israel during the time of Jacob's trouble (i.e., the last half of the tribulation period). "She arose" is a picture of the "resurrection to life" (i.e., spiritual rebirth) of the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits. As soon as the 144,000 are spiritually regenerated, they will begin serving (i.e., "ministering unto") God (Peter is the type) and the nation of Israel (Peter's wife is the type). The fact that Peter's mother-in-law was not physically dead demonstrates that the 144,000 will be Jews who are physically alive, but who are spiritually dead until they are regenerated. The Old Testament book of Hosea presents the picture of Israel as the wife of God the Father.
The next major event in prophecy after God's focus on the Jews is the judgment of the nations (i.e., Gentiles) and the establishment of the millennial kingdom. Both of these events occur at the same time, and both involve spiritual and physical healing. The judgment of the nations (i.e., Gentiles) is commonly called the Sheep and Goat Judgment in accordance with Matthew 25:31ff.
Mat 8:16-17 (KJV) When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
"Even" is the end of the day in the Hebrew reckoning of time, so this would, prophetically, be the end of this age and the beginning of the millennial kingdom. The first thing that will happen after the atonement of the nation of Israel is the Sheep and Goat Judgment, where many Gentiles will have been led to Jesus for spiritual and physical healing. The word brought in the above verse is the Greek word prosphero, and it means to be led to or presented unto Jesus. This is a picture of the Gentiles who will be saved during the tribulation, and who will be brought to Jesus for the Sheep and Goat Judgment.
The millennial kingdom is a time when all evil spirits will be bound in the bottomless pit, and there will be no sickness on the earth for the entire 1000 years. The statement, "...and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick" is a picture of the institution of the millennial kingdom. Therefore, this verse is a prophetic picture of both the Sheep and Goat Judgment and the institution of the millennial kingdom, after Jesus finishes with the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits (i.e., Peter's mother-in-law) and the nation of Israel (i.e., Peter's wife).
In summary, Matthew 8:1-17 above has given us a prophetic overview of the Age of Grace from the first coming of Jesus 2000 years ago until his Second Coming to establish his millennial kingdom. Matthew 8:18 through Matthew 9:8 gives us the details of Daniel's seventieth week, from the time of the pretribulational rapture of the Firstfruits of the Church until the return of Jesus Christ in Power and Glory.
Mat 8:18 (KJV) Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
The Greek word for "Now" in this verse is de and it indicates that Jesus is going to give some additional or more detailed information about what he has just gone over. An amplified translation of the above verse is as follows:
"Now when Jesus perceived the completeness of the great company (i.e., the Church) about him, he gave commandment to depart to the other side."
The idea of "completeness" comes from the Greek word for about, which is peri. The idea is that of a complete circle around Jesus. Prophetically, it is a picture of the complete Church. Everyone ordained before the foundation of the earth for membership in the Church has now been saved, and the Church is a complete unit. The Church Age is over and it is now time "to depart unto the other side." Thus, Jesus gives the commandment for the departure. This commandment is prophetically a picture of the Midnight Cry at the end of the Church Age when the Church is complete. The last member has been added to the Church, and the departure is at hand. Unfortunately, there is a problem because the Church is separated into two classes of people. These two classes of Christians are made up of those who are ready, willing and prepared to be raptured, and those who are not prepared. The ones who are not prepared still have ties to the earth and unfinished business upon the earth. Therefore, we would expect to hear from a representative of each of these two classes of Christians.
Mat 8:19 (KJV) And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
This is a prophetic picture of one response to the Midnight Cry by one who is prepared for the order to depart and go to the other side. An amplified translation of this verse is as follows:
"And one well-versed in the Scriptures came near unto Jesus and said unto him, Master, I am ready to depart and be with you in heaven."
Clearly, this Bible student was watching, ready and waiting for the Midnight Cry, and he was prepared to depart when the order was given. He was clearly a pilgrim upon the earth, and the earth was not his home. He was looking for the city without foundations, whose builder and maker is God. He had already made preparation for the departure. The response of Jesus to this disciple is in tune with this disciple's attitude, since Jesus' home is not upon the earth either.
Mat 8:20 (KJV) And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Prophetically, Jesus responds to the faithful believer that He does not have a home upon the earth where he can lay his head. Jesus emphasizes the significance of him being homeless upon the earth by the statement that even foxes and birds have homes on the earth that they live in.
Foxes are associated with foolish or false prophets in Ezekiel 13:3-4, and with Herod, the political leader, in Luke 13:31-32. Therefore, the foxes would be a prophetic type of Antichrist and the False Prophet who will exercise authority upon the earth during the first half of the tribulation period. Also, birds are typical of the emissaries of Satan, so they would represent the demons who will be active during the first half of the tribulation period. Thus, prophetically, Jesus is saying that Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the demons will be at home on the earth during this period, but his sphere of authority at this time will not be upon the earth. This is the period of time that the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit will have been removed from the earth, and Antichrist will have been given authority for 42 months (Rev. 13:5).
We would next expect to hear from the disciple who had unfinished business upon the earth.
Mat 8:21-22 (KJV) And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
In contrast to the faithful student of the Word who is prepared for the departure, this disciple responds to the commandment to depart and go to heaven by stating that he still has unfinished business upon the earth. This disciple was not watching, prepared and ready for the departure. The response of Jesus is one of displeasure that this disciple is not prepared for the departure. It is in harmony with the prophetic interpretation of this Scripture. This servant's father is clearly spiritually dead, or he would also be alert to the command to depart. Since he was spiritually dead, it would be incumbent upon those on the earth who are also spiritually dead to bury him when he dies physically. The lesson is that we are to put our relationship with Jesus Christ ahead of our relationship with unsaved family members. Unsaved family members will not be a valid excuse for lack of preparation at the Midnight Cry.
The departure alluded to in this passage of Scripture is addressed in numerous passages of Scripture. The parable of the Ten Virgins is the most complete description of this separation between Christians who are prepared for the Midnight Cry and those who are not prepared. The following Scripture is another primary Scripture that addresses this separation where one Christian is ready for the departure, but the other is not ready:
Mat 24:40-42 (KJV) Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
It is important to note in verse 22 above that Jesus gives the unprepared servant another opportunity to follow Him. Jesus stated, "Follow me and let the dead bury their dead." Since this disciple was given another opportunity to follow Jesus, we would expect the next verse to let us know if the disciple really does follow Him. We would also expect to discover what happens to these disciples who were separated because they were not prepared for the Midnight Cry.
Mat 8:23-24 (KJV) And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
Prophetically, a ship is a picture of the righteousness of God. Therefore, it is a type of salvation, and is representative of a secure, protected place. The picture of this passage of Scripture is the first half of the tribulation period. It is very significant that the disciples are spiritually safe in the ship and Jesus is with them.
Prophetically, these are the Christians who have entered the tribulation period. They are represented by the disciple above who was unprepared for the departure that Jesus commanded in verse 18. They did, however, follow Jesus after the separation took place. Therefore, they have now been cast into great tribulation. The "great tempest in the sea" means great tribulation among the nations. The tribulation is so bad that the ship (i.e., the Church) is completely covered by the waves (i.e., great tribulation for Christians). These are the Christians who will come out of great tribulation according to the following Scripture:
Rev 7:13-14 (KJV) And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
It is very significant that Jesus is asleep in the ship. Even though Jesus is with them, the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit has been removed from the earth, and the tribulation has been allowed to increase dramatically without any comforting word from Jesus to these Christians. This is purposeful on the part of the Lord and Master. The purpose of the tribulation is to mature, refine and purify carnal Christians.
It is inconceivable that Jesus would be asleep during the current Church Age when He is functioning as our High Priest, interceding for us with the heavenly Father. However, the Scriptures are clear that a time will come when Jesus will turn Christians over to Antichrist for three and one-half years. This is addressed in the following Scripture:
Dan 7:25 (KJV) And he (i.e., Antichrist) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints (i.e., Christians or those who receive the heavenly kingdom) of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (i.e., 3 1/2 years).
We would expect Christians in great tribulation to draw near unto Jesus, and to call upon his name to keep them from being destroyed.
Mat 8:25 (KJV) And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
Finally, these disciples (i.e., Christians) reach a point of such great tribulation that they come to Jesus, awaken him, and ask him to keep them from perishing. The salvation referred to here pertains to the soul and not the spirit. They were already born again spiritually as they were in the ship with Jesus. However, it is possible for a born-again person to perish in regard to his soul or life.
The purpose of the first half of the tribulation period is to force Christians to draw near unto Jesus for the purpose of soul salvation. This will require great persecution for many Christians. We would not expect these Christians to become men of great faith, because of the short time span between the separation and the rapture of those Christians who have gone through the tribulation period.
Mat 8:26 (KJV) And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Jesus rebukes the disciples for their little faith. Had their faith been great, they would have escaped the tribulation period. Jesus then arises and rebukes the wind and the sea. A great calm comes over the wind and the sea. This is a prophetic picture of the middle of the tribulation period at the time that the seventh seal has been broken in preparation for the Day of the Lord. The following Scriptures describe this period:
Rev 7:1-3 (KJV) And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Rev 8:1 (KJV) And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
This is the calm in the storm that occurs just before the Day of the Lord in the middle of the tribulation period. This is the time that the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church occurs.
Mat 8:27 (KJV) But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
This is a prophetic picture of the middle of the tribulation period when the "men" left on the earth after the Main Harvest Rapture will be astonished by the supernatural events that are taking place. They will know that it is time for the great Day of the Lord according to the following Scripture:
Rev 6:15-17 (KJV) And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
This passage of Scripture in Revelation takes place at the time the seventh seal is about to be opened. It is the time when the first half of the tribulation period is ending, and there is a break in the natural disasters. There is a period of calm before the worst half of the tribulation period begins. Since the first half of the tribulation period is over, we would expect to see an allusion to the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church.
Mat 8:28 (KJV) And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
This is a prophetic picture of the middle of the tribulation period at the Main Harvest Rapture when Jesus returns to heaven with those Christians who come out of great tribulation. "Come to the other side" is an allusion to traveling from the physical realm to the spiritual realm. At the Main Harvest Rapture, Christians will be caught up in the clouds, and this is the abode of the fallen angels, including the demons that are not chained up in Tartarus (i.e., the bottomless pit). It is the same point in time when the fallen angels are cast out of heaven and down to the earth. This is addressed in the following Scripture:
Rev 12:7-9 (KJV) And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Satan will try to prevent the Main Harvest Rapture of the overcoming Church, but he will be unsuccessful. The "male child" in the following Scripture is the overcoming Church that is caught up to heaven in the middle of the tribulation period. This attempt to prevent the rapture of the overcoming Church (i.e., the male child) is described in the following Scripture:
Rev 12:4-5 (KJV) And his (i.e., Satan's or the Red Dragon's) tail drew the third part of the stars (i.e., fallen angels) of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon (i.e., Satan) stood before the woman (i.e., Israel) which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child (i.e., Overcoming Church) as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child (i.e., huios), who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron (See Rev. 2:26-27): and her child was caught up (i.e., Raptured; the same Greek word, harpazo, is used in 1 Thess 4:17) unto God, and to his throne (See Rev. 7:17).
The "two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs" in verse 28 is a prophetic reference to the False Prophet and the Antichrist (See Rev. 13) who will be energized by Satan during the tribulation period. As discussed above, Satan will even attempt to prevent the Main Harvest Rapture by hindering the movement of these saints through the atmosphere above the earth (i.e., "so that no man might pass by that way"; Vs 28).
Mat 8:29 (KJV) And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
The prophetic picture here is still the time when the fallen angels are being cast out of heaven. There is a confrontation as shown above, and the fallen angels are to be cast down to the earth for a period of time during the last half of the tribulation period. The time of their torment has not yet arrived since there are still 3 1/2 years before they will be locked up in the bottomless pit.
Mat 8:30-31 (KJV) And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
This continues the prophetic picture of the fallen angels being cast out of heaven and down to the earth. Satan will literally take up his abode in the Man of Sin (i.e., Antichrist), and the other fallen angels will possess the unsaved and the unclean (i.e., the swine) in the earth. The torment will be horrendous, and these depraved men will be destroyed (i.e., perish) in the sea (i.e., Gentile nations) according to the next verse.
Mat 8:32 (KJV) And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
The prophetic picture in this verse, as described above, is the torment of those upon the earth who are unsaved and unclean (i.e., swine). They will be destroyed during the last half of the tribulation period, but their final destination will be consignment to the lake of fire. At the end of the tribulation period, the fallen angels will be bound in the bottomless pit for the millennium.
Mat 8:33 (KJV) And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
Prophetically, "They that kept them" would be the religious leaders of the world. The Greek word for kept is bosko and it means "to pasture" or "to feed." Thus, the religious leaders (i.e., the false ones) of the world flee from Jesus instead of running to him. They take their case to the world (i.e., the city) rather than Jesus, and blame Him for all of the destruction in the world. The whole world now blames Jesus for all of their problems in the world. This state of affairs is addressed in the following Scriptures:
Rev 16:10-11 (KJV) And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
Mat 8:34 (KJV) And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
This is a picture of the battle of Armageddon. It is at Armageddon that the armies of the world will come against Jesus in a final effort to prevent him from taking over the earth. The Greek word for coasts is horion and it means their boundaries or their property. The armies of the earth are coming against Jesus, telling him that the earth belongs to them, and He must depart from it. This event is addressed in the following Scripture:
Rev 16:13-14 (KJV) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Rev 16:16 (KJV) And he (i.e., Satan) gathered them (i.e., the armies of the earth) together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Mat 9:1 (KJV) And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
Prophetically, Jesus' response to this attempt to keep him from taking over the earth is to come to the earth in power and glory to take possession of it. The phrase "entered into a ship" means that Jesus in righteousness, a secure, protected or invincible state, "passed over" the earth. A ship is a type or picture of righteousness, a secure or protected position while in the world, and "passed over" means to completely traverse or cross over something. To walk over (i.e., pass over) any plot of land on the earth means that the person crossing over the land is demonstrating his intention to possess the land that he has passed over. This is exactly what Jesus will do in his response to this effort to prevent Him from taking over the earth. The treading on the land as a picture of taking possession of it is shown in the following Scripture:
Rev 10:1-3 (KJV) And I saw another mighty angel (i.e., Jesus Christ) come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: 2 And he had in his hand a little book (i.e., title deed to the earth) open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, (i.e., He took possession of the earth) 3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
The Scripture where Jesus passes over the earth to show that He is taking possession is as follows:
Rev 19:11-16 (KJV) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses (i.e., as He passed over the earth), clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
The ship is a type or picture of salvation, being in Christ, having righteousness, or being in a secure or protected position, and it comes from Noah's Ark, which was a picture of the blood atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, being in a ship is a picture of having the righteousness of God. This righteousness may be innate as in the case of Jesus, or it may be imputed as in the case of Christians. This is definitely a secure, protected or enviable position to be in.
The phrase "and came into his own city" simply means that after Jesus Christ has "passed over" the earth as the righteous, invincible warrior (i.e., in a ship), He will come "into his own city." Of course, this city is the city of Jerusalem, and this is a picture of His Second Coming in Power and Glory. The passage of Scripture that describes Jesus coming "into his own city" is as follows:
Zec 14:2-4 (KJV) For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
The next event after the return of Jesus to the Mount of Olives is the atonement or salvation of the nation of Israel. Therefore, we would next expect to see a type or an allusion to the salvation of Israel.
Mat 9:2 (KJV) And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Prophetically, immediately after the return of Jesus to the Mount of Olives at Jerusalem, some men bring a paralyzed man to Jesus on a cot. Jesus calls him "Son" and the Greek word is teknon, which means a natural child. Consequently, the paralyzed man in this verse would be a type of Israel severely in need of cleansing from sin. The ones who brought the man to Jesus for cleansing would have to be a type of the 144,000 Firstfruits of the Jews since they are the ones responsible for witnessing to the Jews during the last half of the tribulation period. The phrase "thy sins be forgiven thee" is, therefore, an allusion to the atonement that Israel will receive at the Second Coming. Since only a third of the Jews will be brought through the fire to receive their atonement (Zec. 13:8-9), we would expect to see a group of Jews who still reject the Messiah.
Mat 9:3-5 (KJV) And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
The scribe that say within themselves "This man blasphemeth" is a picture of the two-thirds of the Jews who will still reject Jesus Christ when He sets his feet on the Mount of Olives. Verse 4 is a picture of the omniscience of Jesus Christ in judgment of the nation of Israel. He will know the ones who still think evil in their hearts, and they will be judged accordingly.
Verse 5 alludes to the atonement that will be given to the ones that survive. This is seen in the phrase "Thy sins be forgiven thee." The phrase "Arise, and walk" is a picture of the resurrection of Israel as a nation. This resurrection of Israel is for Israel as a nation to enter the earthly aspect of the kingdom. Therefore, we would expect some mention of the earthly kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Mat 9:6-7 (KJV) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
Verse 6 is a picture of the establishment of the earthly kingdom of Jesus Christ. He will be the absolute sovereign on the earth and this verse refers to the authority that He will have over the earth. The phrase "Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house" is a type of the actual fulfillment of Israel's resurrection. The house of Israel is to be restored, and the whole nation of Israel will return to the land that has been given to them by God the Father. Verse 7 is the picture of the restoration of the house of Israel. With the atonement of Israel completed, we would next expect a reference to the salvation of the Gentiles.
Mat 9:8 (KJV) But when the multitude saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
"The multitude" is a picture of the Gentiles saved as a result of the resurrection of the nation of Israel. In verse 8 the multitude marvels at the sight of the man arising and walking, and they glorify God because of it. Israel will be given power over the nations, and the phrase "which had given such power unto men" is a picture of this power that will be given unto Israel.
The prophetic truths in the Word of God are inexhaustible by man and his finite mind. These deeper truths are contained in the prophetic interpretation of Scripture, and this exegetical discourse on the prophetic interpretation of one passage of Scripture is only one of many. These prophetic truths cannot be seen by a cursory reading of Scripture, or even a cursory reading of this discourse. As an aid in understanding the prophetic truths in this discourse, an overview chart of the prophetic interpretation of this passage of Scripture is given at the end. Only the Bible reference is given for each prophetic interpretation, so the chart should be studied with an open Bible.
Those who study the Word of God will be richly blessed in the coming kingdom.
2 Tim 2:15 (KJV) Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The purpose of this study can be summarized as follows:
Eccl 12:13 (KJV) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Bible Reference - Prophetic Interpretation:
The following verses from Matthew 8:1 through 9:8 are paraphrased:
Mat. 8:1 Jesus Christ comes down from Heaven to Earth, and great multitudes follow Him. The “multitudes” represent the Church.
Mat. 8:2 Only a small remnant of Israel receives Jesus as the Messiah. This small remnant comes to Jesus Christ for cleansing.
Mat. 8:3 Jesus cleanses the remnant of Jews who came to him for cleansing. This small remnant will be used by Jesus to initiate the Church Age where multitudes of people from every nation, tribe and kindred will be saved.
Mat. 8:4 The kingdom of the heavens is taken away from the Jews, and given to the Church. The priest typifies the Church, which receives the testimony of the remnant of Jews who are cleansed. The leper typifies these Jews.
Mat. 8:5-9 Jesus leaves the Jews who walk by sight and goes to the Gentiles who are to walk by faith. The centurion typifies the faithful Christian who witnesses and acts as intercessor. The sick servant typifies the Christian who is saved by the intercession of other Christians. This section on the centurion typifies the entire Church Age right up until the seventieth week of Daniel.
Mat. 8:10-11 The great faith that was not found in Israel is found among the faithful in the Church, and these faithful members of the Church will inherit the kingdom of the heavens along with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Mat. 8:12 Israel as a nation will lose its inheritance in the kingdom of the heavens. Outer darkness typifies a position outside of the kingdom, and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth upon the realization of this loss.
Mat. 8:13 The faithful Christian receives his just recompense at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but the unfaithful servant who has no rewards must go through the hour of trial for his cleansing.
Mat. 8:14 At the end of the Church Age, Jesus turns his attention to the Jews again. Peter typifies God the Father, and Peter's wife typifies Israel. The mother-in-law typifies the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits.
Mat. 8:15 The 144,000 are made spiritually alive, and they minister to God and the rest of the nation of Israel.
Mat. 8:16-17 Jesus saves many of the Gentiles at the end of the tribulation period, and the millennial kingdom is initiated where all demons are locked up in the abyss. Also, in the millennial kingdom, all sickness will be eliminated.
Mat. 8::18 This verse begins the detailed summary of the last seven years of this age or the time period known as Daniel's seventieth week. This verse pictures the completion of the Church, and the Midnight Cry. This is the Separation that will occur between faithful and unfaithful Christians or those who are ready for the departure and those who are not ready for the departure.
Mat. 8:19 The ones who are ready for the departure are taken in the Separation.
Mat. 8:20 This verse pictures the 42-month reign of Antichrist, the False Prophet and the emissaries of Satan upon the earth. Messiah Jesus will not lay claim to the earth until after this 42- month period.
Mat. 8:21-22 The unfaithful Christian is not ready for the departure, since he still has unfinished business upon the earth. He did not watch and prepare himself for the Separation. The unwatchful servant is given another opportunity to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, but he is required to put Jesus ahead of everyone, including unsaved relatives.
Mat. 8:23-24 The tribulation period begins, and the previously unwatchful Christians become faithful followers of Jesus Christ. The ship typifies the eternal security of the believer, and the waves typify the tempestuous time of the tribulation period. Even though the disciples are eternally secure as regards their spirit salvation, they can still perish in regard to their soul salvation. Jesus is asleep, and this typifies that He has turned the disciples over to the persecution of the Antichrist who exercises free and unchecked reign upon the earth. The restraining influence of the Holy Spirit has been removed. Christians will be martyred for their faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
Mat. 8:25 Only those Christians who call upon the Lord during the tribulation will not perish as regards their soul salvation.
Mat. 8:26 Jesus rebukes the tribulation Christians for their little faith. This is a picture of the Judgment Seat of Christ, where the Lord Jesus Christ will scrutinize each Christian’s faith. This verse pictures the period of silence or calm that will take place in the middle of the tribulation period before the Day of the Lord commences.
Mat. 8:27 The men of the earth will be astonished at the supernatural events that are occurring in the middle of the tribulation period. They will know that it is time for the Day of the Lord to commence.
Mat 8:28 This verse pictures the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church when Jesus returns to heaven with those Christians who come out of great tribulation. It is also the time when war will take place in heaven, and Satan and the fallen angels will be cast out of the first heaven into the earth. Satan and his fallen angels will attempt to stop the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church. Revelation chapter 12 describes in detail this battle in the heavens.
Mat. 8:29 This verse typifies the heavenly conflict between Jesus and the fallen angels.
Mat. 8:30-31 The fallen angels are cast out of heaven and down to the earth to indwell the depraved and the unclean that are typified by the swine.
Mat. 8:32 When the fallen angels are cast out of heaven into the earth, the depraved and unclean are destroyed by them among the Gentile nations, which is typified by the sea.
Mat. 8:33 The false religious leaders, who are typified by the keepers of the swine, blame the destruction of people in the earth upon Jesus Christ. These false religious leaders gather the people of the earth to come out against Jesus Christ.
Mat. 8:34 The armies of the earth gather to meet Jesus Christ at his Second Coming to order him to depart from the earth.
Mat. 9:1 Jesus Christ, the Righteous King of the earth, rides around the earth on his white horse, and comes to the city of Jerusalem. He touches his feet down on the Mount of Olives, and those of the earth are unable to prevent him from taking over control of the earth.
Mat. 9:2 The restoration of the nation of Israel to its earthly inheritance is typified in this verse by the man sick of the palsy. The forgiveness of his sins is a picture of the atonement of the nation of Israel.
Mat. 9:3-5 This verse typifies the two-thirds of the Jews who will be destroyed at the return of Jesus. One-third of the Jews will come through the tribulation period, and they will receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
Mat. 9:6-7 A remnant of the Jews is saved (i.e., one-third) but the rest are destroyed (i.e., two-thirds). The earthly kingdom is restored to Israel. The nation of Israel is resurrected to spiritual life, and the house of Israel is given the position as head of the nations.
Mat. 9:8 A multitude of Gentiles are also made spiritually alive, and they glorify God. These enter into the earthly aspect of the kingdom with Israel as the head of the nations.