Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 4

April 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM 7 comments

We left off our last article in this series with a bit of teaser that pointed to Matthew 24:15 as being an extremely important event that would occur, the significance of which should not be missed at all. That event is what our Lord describes beginning in Matthew 24:15 and following.

“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)…”

This is very, very important for us to comprehend before moving onward. Jesus is referring to something that is best described as “the abomination of desolation” and He refers us to the book of Daniel as well. By the way, as an aside, so-called “higher critics” have panned Daniel as being written by an impostor, someone who simply called himself Daniel but wrote well after most of the events in the book of Daniel occurred. They argue for this because they say that the book of Daniel is so accurate it is uncanny.

Ironic, isn’t it? On one hand, they argue that the accuracy of the book of Daniel is without equal. On the other hand, they argue that it is the very reason it could not have been written by the Daniel of Old Testament lore. Notice though that Jesus never questioned the authenticity or truth of Daniel and even referred to Daniel as “prophet.” He read it, studied it as He would have read and studied all of the Old Testament. He memorized large portions of those Scriptures. Not once does He every put a question mark over Daniel (or other books). We should do the same and ignore the “higher critics.”

Jesus refers to the abomination of desolation from the book of Daniel. The obvious thing we need to do is go back to Daniel to find out what Jesus is talking about. We won’t stop there though because we will learn that the apostle Paul talks about the same thing as a reference point for the future. In fact, Jesus is doing this here as well.

What is the Abomination of Desolation?
We need look no further than Daniel 9 to find out what Jesus is referring to, but we also need to be aware that this particular event is an actual event that occurred in history. It was 168 BC, long before Jesus walked this earth that the event He refers to took place. But prior to that event, Daniel 11 informs us of a great deal of history with the Seleucids (Kings of the North) and Ptolemies (Kings of the South).

As one can imagine, there is a great deal of war, factions, and the like between these kings and others who get in their way. Let’s segue ahead to Antiochus Epiphanes (or Antiochus IV), specifically, who is referred to in Daniel 11:21-35. Specifically, as it turns out historically, verse 21 is about Antiochus and how he came to be a king.

“…a despicable person will arise, on whom the honor of kingship has not been conferred, but he will come in a time of tranquility and seize the kingdom by intrigue.”

This is the man who created many problems for the Jews during his tenure as king. He also helped Rome to become a great power. Dr. Thomas Constable notes, (page 130) “Antiochus IV corresponds to the little horn of chapter 8 (8:9-12, 23-25), and he foreshadows the little horn of chapter 7 (7:8), Antichrist.

Antiochus IV reigned from 175 to 164 BC. The Bible calls him a despicable person, one who was really not in the kingly line to ascend the throne, but managed it anyway because of his brilliance and ability to connive. Though Antiochus IV was initially fairly successful in battle against Egypt (Ptolemy VI in 170 BC), there eventually came a day when he suffered terrible defeat without even fighting.

As Antiochus IV, along with his armies, approached Egypt again in 168 BC, he was met by Roman consul, Popillius Laenas at Alexandria who would not allow Antiochus IV to pass. Because of this, he was not able to invade Egypt again and turned in defeat to head back north.

On his way, feeling humiliated, he took a turn toward Jerusalem, where he took out his anger on the Jews.

“Antiochus ordered his general, Apollonius, and a contingent of 22,000 soldiers, into Jerusalem on what he claimed was a peaceful mission. However, when they were inside the city, they attacked the Jews on a Sabbath, when the Jews were reluctant to exert themselves. Apollonius killed many Jews, took many Jewish women and children captive as slaves, plundered the temple, and burned the city. Antiochus’ objective was to exterminate Judaism and to Hellenize Palestine.”

Of course, it didn’t end there either. He forbade Jews from observing Mosaic Law, did away with the covenant of circumcision. It is said he then went so far as to place an image of Zeus inside the Jewish Temple. Antiochus IV then slaughtered a pig on the altar within the Temple and sprinkled the blood around completely defiling and desecrating the Jewish Temple. This act took place on December 16, 168 BC and afterwards became known as the “abomination that causes desolation.”

It is to this event that Jesus refers to in Matthew 24:15-20, but He is using this as a reference point because Jesus is actually pointing to a redo of this event at some future point.

“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), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.”

Jesus is reminding Jewish people what occurred in history past (168 BC) and telling them that a similar event will take place in the future. When Roman armies sacked Jerusalem and the Temple was destroyed as well in AD 70, an event like the event that Antiochus IV perpetrated did not occur then. No one stood inside the Holy of Holies, not did anyone slaughter a pig on the altar.

What this means then is that this event is still yet future. Paul refers to it in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

Paul is speaking of the very same event that Jesus refers to in Matthew 24. Note that Paul says this “man of lawlessness” when revealed will oppose God and exalt himself in every possible way. He will even go inside the Jewish Temple (temple of God) and claim to BE God!

This means several things. First, the event that Paul describes (as did Jesus) has not yet occurred. We know this because the Temple was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans and has yet to be rebuilt. Second, since both Jesus and Paul say this event will happen, it also means that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt at some point on the Temple Mount.

Will God recognize this Temple? Absolutely not, but remember, these will be orthodox Jews who rebuild the Temple and who reject Jesus as Messiah. You may be interested to know that there is a group of Jews who have been working together for decades, planning for the rebuilding of the Temple on the Temple Mount. They have made all the furniture including the altar. They have created all the priestly garbs. Even the Sanhedrin group has been resurrected as of a few years ago. Beyond this, a full-scale Temple has been built outside of Jericho where a new generation of priests learn their craft in preparation for the newly built Temple.

They have every intention of rebuilding the Temple even though two mosques currently sit in the way. I have no idea how this will work itself out, but there obviously will come a day when at least part of a Temple will be rebuilt that will include the Holiest of All and an altar. Neither Paul or Jesus are referring to our “bodies” as the Temple of the Holy Spirit here. They are referring to an actual, physical building that the Antichrist (man of lawlessness) will walk into and declare himself to be God, just as Antiochus IV physically did the same thing.

Don’t listen to people who try to tell you that this “abomination of desolation” has occurred and within the past few years. Don’t listen to people who tell you that the Tribulation began a few years ago. The Tribulation has not begun. The abomination of desolation has not yet occurred. These events are still in the future. As always though, please compare what I am teaching here with God’s Word.

Next time, we will try to look at Matthew 24:21-31 if we can fit it all in. If not, we’ll continue with another part. We also need to get into Daniel 9 to show how the 70 “weeks” breaks down for us. Join me then!

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9

 

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, second coming. Tags: , , .

Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 3 Jesus Explains End Times Protocol, Pt 5

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