Commentary on Matthew 24:24-27
Many apply this passage to everyone but Paul. We will demonstrate that this is correctly interpreted today, but simply is never applied to examine Paul as much as anyone else who claims to be in contact with a private vision of Jesus today.
Reverand Joseph Benson in The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1854) at 187 says Jesus in chapter 24 warns us of "imposters." Also when Jesus says they would show signs, Benson says this was to "vouch his mission," explaining:
As it was to little purpose for a man to take upon him the character of the Christ, or even of a prophet, without miracles to vouch his mission." Id.
Yet, saying this, Benson does not apply this to undermine Paul's supposed authority, for it rested solely upon signs and wonders.
Thus, Benson says it was a "common artifice and pretence of these imposters to show signs and wonders, the very words of Christ in this prophecy...." Id.
For example an article from December 2011 explains:
Every Cult and false religion, claim that their “messiah”is the real returned Christ. There seems to be more Jesus’ than you can shake a stick at! “Will the real Jesus, please stand up!” But we know that when He appears we will all know:
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you before hand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look,he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it, for as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
(Matthew 24:11, Matthew 24:24-27)
Beware and run from ANYONE who says that they know(physically) where the messiah is, and they can take you to see him. They are liars, and the truth of God is not with them.
This article is called "The Cry of Every Cult" (December 2011).
Some comment about the Harry Potter books, that it is deceiving us with claims of "signs and wonders" in their main characters. In Connie W. Neal's The Gospel according to Harry Potter (Westminster 2002) at 100, it says "Jesus also directly warned us against false prophets who would come producing signs and omens, with the result of leading people astray." She then quotes Matt 24:24-27.
Again, no one applies this criteria to Paul that he had signs and wonders, making claims to know Jesus after the resurrection by a wildnerness experience outside Damascus.
Some limit Jesus' remarks to just the period leading up to 70 AD while most commentators agree it includes that period as well as afterwards up to the Second Coming. For example, Hendriksen writes: "The prophetic material found in this sixth discourse has reference not only to events near at hand (see, for example, verse 16) but also to those stretching far into the future, as is clear from 24:14, 29-31....By the process of prophetic foreshortening, by means of which before one's eyes the widely separated mountain peaks of historic events merge and are seen as one...two momentous events are here intertwined, namely, a. the judgment upon Jerusalem (its fall in the year A.D. 70), and b. the final judgment at the close of world's history." (William Hendriksen, The Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973) at 846.)
This view is held by the vast majority of commentators (e.g., John Calvin, David Dickson, Matthew Henry, James Moffat, William Manson, R. C. H. Lenski, William Hendriksen, R. V. G. Tasker, David Hill, etc.).
"Similarly, some interpreters think of the discourse as having a double fulfillment. Our Lord's words (we are told) apply simultaneously to the generation that witnessed the destruction of the temple (A.D. 70) and a future generation that witness the second coming of Christ." (Reformed Online.)