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We have discovered through the scriptures that Jesus has promised to return to Earth and when He does He will rule on Earth for 1,000 years. After that we know that God will create a new Heaven and Earth, and there will no longer be Satan or death.
But we now ask, as the disciples asked Jesus, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Jesus begins to lay out a very basic overview of the future. His answer to them was to understand that many things would happen. There would be war, false Christs, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. BUT He tells them not to be troubled because all of these things will happen, BUT THE END IS NOT YET.
It seems today that every time there is a crisis in the world people start saying “the end is near.” There have been 2 world wars and people thought surely Jesus is going to return now in each of them. Governments have come and gone, and all kinds of things have happened. But the end is NOT YET.
Instead, Jesus tells us that these things we see in our day are only the BEGINNING of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Jesus goes on to tell us that during is time of the beginning of sorrows Christians would be persecuted, hated, betrayed, and killed. He tells us of cults deceiving many. And the worst part of it all is that the love of many will die out because of the iniquity around them.
BUT He follows this all up with good news! While all of this is happening the gospel will be preached in all the world! It is only then that God allows the end to come.
And so we see that of all the things happening around us we should not be troubled. The end is not yet here. These are only the beginning of sorrows. But what is it then that will let us know that we are out of the beginning and in the thick of it?
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
As soon as Jesus finishes telling us that the end WILL come He begins to tell us about the prophecies of Daniel. He mentions an abomination of desolation, and a time of trouble unlike any other in history, and unlike any other to come.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Jesus has gone from telling us the end is not yet here in the beginning of Matthew 24 and is now telling us that the end is upon us at this point. What happened? When Jesus started speaking of the events in Daniel He suddenly switched from not yet, to right now. So the answer to the disciples was that THIS is the event that will let you know it is the end times and He is soon to be here.
Remember, Jesus just gave us an overview. But He spoke of Daniel mentioning that Daniel already told us about this. So if we want more information we need to look into Daniel.
24 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 book of Daniel is an amazing book of prophecy. You can take it verse by verse in many places and see a step by step narration of world history. In a future lesson we will take it verse by verse and you will see why the Bible is a book unlike any other. But for now I would like to focus on one thing.
That one thing is the return of Jesus and the signs of the end times. Daniel 9:24 tells us that all of these things will take “seventy weeks” to come to pass. The term seventy weeks actually means seventy periods of 7 years.
25 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. 26 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.
We know that the term week means a period of 7 years. We know this for several reasons but the most important reason is that from the time the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem went out to the time of Jesus being crucified was exactly 483 years. Meaning it was exactly 69 weeks (periods of 7 years).
This lines up EXACTLY with what Daniel said so many centuries before it happened. But there is one more “week” that has to come. The last week of the seventy Daniel spoke of.
27 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.
In verse 26 it tells us that the people of the prince that shall come (the antichrist) will destroy the city and the sanctuary. This took place in 70AD. The Romans came and destroyed everything.
There are two things I want you to note here. First, verse 26 tells us it would be the PEOPLE of the prince to come, not the prince himself at that time. Second, this event didn’t take place seven years after Jesus. It was much later. Meaning the seventieth week HAS NOT YET HAPPENED.
This can confuse people because if the first 69 weeks went in order why would this last one suddenly break with that? I’ll explain that at another time. But for now the fact is it has not happened yet and is still to come. So lets just move on for now.
Daniel 9:27 tells us that this antichrist is going to confirm a covenant (an agreement) of some kind with many people for a period of 7 years. After the first three and a half years he will cause sacrifice and oblation to cease. He will bring in so many abominations that the temple will be left desolate. No one will use it except for the abomination himself… the antichrist.
Going back to Matthew 24:15-21 we see Jesus tell us to watch for this event. He tells us it signals the beginning of great tribulation. A time of trouble that was never seen before on earth, and never would be seen again. He gives instructions for those in Judaea to flee. There is only three and a half years left, and Satan is out for blood!
So here we have our answer. The question asked by the disciples was what sign will there be for us to know when you are coming back, and will end the world as we know it? Jesus answered saying just as Daniel had foretold the antichrist would be revealed. This would signal the beginning of the great tribulation. This would signal the soon return of Jesus.
So when you see wars, rumors of wars, famine, plague, political unrest, and every evil work of man know and understand that these things have been with us from the beginning. They are only the beginning of sorrows. It is not until the man of sin be revealed that we can say for sure that Jesus will return in this generation.
Now, I will explain things in more detail later about this antichrist and the tribulation. But at this point I feel the need to cover the subject of “the rapture” as some call it. Will the church have to go through the tribulation? Will Jesus save us from it by taking us out of the world first? What kind of trouble is the world going to see? What does the Bible REALLY tell us?
July 24, 2020 at 9:44 pm | | No comment