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Lesson # Matt. 24:15
Study Material - Matt. 24:15
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15 When [hotan] ye therefore [oun] shall see [eido] the abomination [bdelugma] of desolation [eremosis] , spoken of [rheo] by [dia] Daniel [Daniel] the prophet [prophetes] , stand [histemi] [histemi] in [en] the holy [hagios] place [topos] , (whoso readeth [anaginosko] , let him understand [noeo] : KJV-Interlinear
15 'Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), NAS
Several passages come into view now. First the prophecy of Daniel regarding the one we have come to know as the anti-christ, and his arrogant attitude making himself a god.
Dan. 9:27, 'And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.' NAS
Then there are several passages which describe the terrible holocaust that will take place in Israel leaving more than two-thirds of the Jews there, dead, and of the last remaining one-third, many of those will die as the city of Jerusalem is surrounded, invaded and nearly taken by an enemy whom they once looked to as a friend. Half of the city will die. Israel will be betrayed. They will live in peace and relative prosperity. In fact we have studied in several passages in Daniel, that the Israel of the Tribulation will be extremely wealthy. Its ally and friend on whom it relies for its protection will turn on it and try to destroy it. Of the people who number like the sands of the sea in that day, only but a small remnant will survive until the return of Christ.
That remnant will finally turn away from their stubborn resistance toward Christ, and they will turn to Him for their deliverance. Isaiah describes some of this.
Isa. 10:20-23, 'Now it will come about in that day that the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. 21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, Only a remnant within them will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. 23 For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord GOD of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land.' NAS
Jere. 30:5-7, 'For thus says the LORD, 'I have heard a sound of terror, Of dread, and there is no peace. 6 'Ask now, and see, If a male can give birth. Why do I see every man With his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? 7 'Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob's distress, But he will be saved from it.' NAS
Dan 12:1, 'Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. NAS
Zech 13:8-14:2, 'And it will come about in all the land,' declares the Lord, 'that two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' and they will say, 'The Lord is my God.'' Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.
There are many more passages and in fact we would have to study many chapters from several books to get a complete picture in detail, but I listed just a few relevant passages in order to create a picture of what it will be like in the last half of the Tribulation.
Now the warning of Jesus. In the Tribulation, at the mid point, there will be a battle in heaven. Satan will be forced out of heaven and cast down to earth. He will be on his last leg of hope in winning the angelic conflict, and the one who started it all (Satan) will be on the verge of a total emotional melt down. He is losing and he knows it and sees history slipping away. He panics. He takes possession of the anti-christ (demon possession), and goes out with a vengeance against all believers worldwide in general, but against Jews in the Middle East specifically. In order to prevent Christ from returning to save those believing Jews in Jerusalem, Satan has to kill everyone. If there is no one alive to save then Christ would have failed in His promise to save those remaining in Jerusalem.
The real holocaust is about to occur. When the anti-christ enters into the temple (rebuilt by the way) and desecrates it by proclaiming himself as god. Presumably the moment when Satan possesses him (only my speculation, but it seems reasonable given the sudden change in policy against the Jews), then when people see this act, they need to get away now. The orders have already been given to destroy them. There is time to escape, but then God has given everyone time to make preparations for themselves by means of the six birth pain signs (their beginnings), before this event of Satan's takes place.
The Tribulation is a seven year period. It was prophesied by Daniel in his seventy weeks prophecy. Each week represents sever years. Each day being one year. The nation of Israel was given 70 weeks of history until its end. Since Daniel's time, up and until the time of Christ, sixty-nine of those weeks of years have occurred (7 x 69 = 483 years). Then their history was interrupted by our Church Age. Our era began at Pentecost just fifty days after the Cross. If the Cross occurred in 30 A.D., then we have been in our Church Age for 1973 years (2003 - 30).
At some point in time our dispensation will end with the Rapture. The rapture is the only prophecy within our entire dispensation. All other prophecies, and there are many, are related to the Tribulation and the Millennium, and eternity. The latter having very little revealed to us, and the former, the Tribulation, has the bulk of the prophecies attached to it.
'Let the reader understand.' This is a reference to those folks that will live when this event occurs. We can certainly read it and we can imagine the events of that future day, but that is about all we can do. We just have some eschatological knowledge. It is interesting and makes for very good imaginative thinking and speculation. We can guess when the rapture will occur. We can guess who the specific powers will be, and if the Rapture occurs today or this week, then we would be guessing right, at least in general terms. But if the Rapture does not occur until the end of the century, then many things could obviously change dramatically over the next hundred years.
Thus far in our passage, we have warning signs, the first being the Rapture, which is not specifically mentioned in this book but is mentioned elsewhere. Then we have many 'beginnings' of birth pains. Emphasis on 'beginnings.' Now the most important warning of all, and probably to those who just would not heed the many earlier warnings mentioned, is the entrance of the evil dictator into the Temple and its desecration. Once this occurs, the reader of this prophecy, better be attentive to what is happening, because:
Time ... Has ... Just ... Run ... Out !!!
This of course has an application to our individual lives. We are not threatened with an anti-christ or the end of the world, but we are threatened with the normal course of our own lives. We will wind up at its end sooner or later, and God, though He gives us all time to get our act together, will not give us an unlimited amount of time. So we too need to take heed, get with a daily Bible study and grow up spiritually. Future history is interesting and we can imagine and speculate until we are blue in the face, but that will not help us grow up spiritually. We need to endure the grind of our day to day study and day to day life and simply persevere. We will probably not face a lot of exciting adventures, but we still have our future on the line, and that is an investment that none of us can afford to ignore.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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