21. And then if anyone should say to you, "See...here is the Christ...this person is the Messiah!" or "Look...there He is...that one individual is Christ!" do not believe it for a minute.
22. False "Christs" and false prophets will always come and go...but especially during this time many of them will arise and even show signs and seem to work miracles to validate their claims. They will do this in an effort to deceive people into thinking that one person alone can be the Christ. They will attempt to even lead astray those of you who have already responded to God's call.
23. So don't fall for this just because I won't be here in the bodily form that you recognize. Be on your guard...you may be vulnerable in my physical absence. Just remember I have told you all about this beforehand.
24. Then, speaking to them in poetic, prophetic vocabulary, or in a symbolic language of prophecy that his audience understood from their familiarity with the Law and the Prophets (Genesis 1:14 - 16; Isaiah 13:9, 10; 34:4; Amos 8:9; Ezekiel 32:7, 8), He said, "Immediately after this Great Tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light...
25. ...and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." (In this way He used the same imagery that the Prophets of old had employed to speak of the downfall of earthly authorities and governors).
26. "Then they will see the Son of Man appearing in heaven, or in the heavenly realm, the sign of clouds indicating that this destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple means He is now enthroned in heaven, ruling in kingly power and glory...this cataclysmic series of events will show that the Kingdom has been taken away from a visible nation, and given to an invisible one.
27. And then He will send out messengers who will gather together His elect...those who have willingly responded to His gracious call...from the four winds, as it were, or from the farthest bounds of the known world to the farthest bounds of the heavenly realm.
28. Now learn a lesson from the fig tree...as soon as its branches become tender and put forth leaves, you recognize and know that summer is near.
29. In the same way...when you see these things happening, you may recognize and know that He is near...the manifestation of His Kingdom is at the door.
30. And this is why you need to hear this now...I'm not talking about some far-off, futuristic event that you would deem to be irrelevant to your life. On the contrary...this generation...the whole multitude of people living at this time...will not pass away before all these things take place.
31. The earth and sky may pass away, but these words of Mine will not perish or pass away until they are fulfilled.
32. But no one knows the day or the hour that all of these calamities will begin to come on this nation...not the angels in the heavenly realm, nor the Son of Man in His present physical manifestation, but only the Father.
33. So remain vigilant and pray with vision, for you don't know when the time will come for the beginning of this nation's destruction.
34. It is like a man going on a journey...when he leaves home, he puts his servants in charge of things, each with his or her own particular task. And he gives orders to the doorkeeper to be constantly on the look-out.
35. So pay attention and keep your eyes open, for you don't know when the 'Master of the house' is coming to shift the power that rules this nation...in the evening...at midnight...in the morning...
36. So again I say...maintain the practice of visionary prayer...or, to put it another way, watch and pray! Otherwise He may come suddenly, even in another manifestation, and find you asleep.
37. And what I say to you about the destruction of the Temple and of this nation I say to everybody about their own experiences...this event, as I said, will happen in your lifetime...but the admonition to be watchful and visionary is universally relevant and eternally important!"