The multitude

Signs of the times

What are your thoughts on this matter. I personally think that the signs are all being shown to us. Lets take a closer look. Hopefully it may wake some of you up from your sleepy christian lives. I don’t want to offend but you know who you are!

Matthew 24

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

The only part of the temple left is the wailing wall.  History indicates that this prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70. After a siege of the city and the slaughter of its people, the Romans burnt the temple, then tore it apart brick by brick to reach the precious metals that had melted into the rubble (Matthew 24:1–2)

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 

There has been many false Messiahs who have lead many people to end there lives prophesying the end is here.

You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

In my life time there has never been peace on Earth, there has always been wars and one nation against another.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

There has been and still are many Christians who are persecuted for there faith. Who gladly die for what they believe. Why are we persecuted because the enemy doesn’t want the world to be saved.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

The abomination of desolation actually has three fulfilment—two in the past and one in the future.

First fulfilment of the abomination of desolation

The prophet Daniel prophesied of an “abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31) within a long, detailed prophecy about the Greek kings who ruled over portions of the Greco-Macedonian empire after the death of Alexander the Great.

The kings of the North it focuses on (from Daniel 11:4-35) are known in history as rulers over the Seleucid Empire. They are named after one of Alexander’s generals, Seleucus I Nicator (approximately 358 to 281 B.C.), who emerged as one of the strongest generals after Alexander’s death. He ruled over a large swath of Alexander’s old empire that included the city of Babylon, Mesopotamia and central Asia (land generally to the north of Jerusalem).

Daniel’s prophecy of the “abomination of desolation” describes events that occurred in Jerusalem around 168/167 B.C. during the rule of the eighth Seleucid king, Antiochus IV. He is better known in history as Antiochus Epiphanes (Greek for “manifestation of god”).

Daniel’s prophecy described it this way: “Forces shall be mustered by him [Antiochus Epiphanes], and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation” (verse 31).

Antiochus Epiphanes was hostile to Jewish worship and attempted to Hellenize (or enforce the adoption of Greek culture and religion on) the Jews in Judea. He outlawed all forms of Jewish worship and placed a Hellenized high priest over the temple who was sympathetic to his rule. He eventually outlawed practices like circumcision, the biblical dietary laws and Sabbath observance.

While Antiochus was on a military campaign in Egypt in 168 B.C., a group of Jews revolted against the high priest that Antiochus had appointed and took control of Jerusalem. Antiochus returned to Jerusalem and violently put down the rebellion, killing thousands of Jews and selling others into slavery.

In 167 B.C. Antiochus erected a statue of the Greek god Zeus in the Jerusalem temple. He also ordered that swine, biblically unclean animals, be offered on the temple altar, desecrating the holy place (fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy). These acts were loathsome, abhorrent and detestable to the Jewish people and were the first fulfillment of the abomination of desolation.

The history of this tragic event in Jewish history, and the Maccabean revolt it inspired, are recorded in the noncanonical books of the Maccabees. These books give some useful history, though they aren’t considered part of the inspired Scripture.

Second fulfillment of the abomination of desolation

A second fulfillment of the abomination of desolation occurred in A.D. 70 when Roman armies under Titus sacked the city of Jerusalem. In the process, Titus’ forces destroyed the temple building and altar. It has not been rebuilt to this day. Luke 21:20 identifies Jerusalem being “surrounded by armies” before its desolation in A.D. 70.

This event also appears to be the forerunner of a similar event that will happen shortly before the return of Christ.

The future fulfillment of the abomination of desolation

When Jesus spoke about the “abomination of desolation,” He was speaking in the context of a discussion about the “end of the age” (Matthew 24:3, 13-14).

Jesus said, “‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains’” (verses 15-16).

So here we see another fulfilment of the “abomination of desolation” to occur in the future.

We should also note that Daniel 12:11, which mentions this abomination of desolation being set up, also states that the daily sacrifices will be taken away. Since the Jews are not currently offering any daily sacrifices in Jerusalem, this means that daily sacrifices will be reestablished at some point in the future. For sacrifices to be offered, an altar must be constructed.

Students of Bible prophecy watch for the reestablishment of Jewish sacrifices in Jerusalem.Students of Bible prophecy watch for the reestablishment of Jewish sacrifices in Jerusalem.

What this end-time fulfilment of this “abomination that makes desolate” will be is not yet clear. It will be something established in Jerusalem that is abhorrent to God. The apostle Paul wrote about a future leader called “the man of sin,” who “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

What Does it Mean to Be False?

In Matthew 24:24, Jesus said, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” The word there is pseudochristoi. You’re likely somewhat familiar with pseudo as a prefix.

Pseudo-science is known as bogus science. And a pseudonym is a fictious name that an author uses. Pseudochristoi, then, means a false/bogus/lying messiah.

There were indeed many who arose after Jesus’ resurrection claiming to be deliverers of the people. Most claimed that they would be the means by which God would save Jerusalem from destruction. But in our day, these false christs look a bit different. Daniel Doriani says it well in Matthew &2: Reformed Expository Commentary:

“The false prophets of our day make very different claims. Typically, they are religious figures of some kind. They offer spiritual or emotional deliverance, often through enlightenment. There is always a new book that captures the media’s attention, sells more copies than it should, and popularizes classic criticisms of the historic Christian faith. Behind them, there is always a far more scholarly version of some, even many, of the same ideas.”

While I appreciate Doriani’s words, I think he is missing one element that Jesus himself mentioned. He said they will “come in my name.”

The most deceptive attacks on the faith, which Christians are most prone to, are not the ones, which come from “out there” by those promising rescue through unbelief.

Instead, our greatest danger will be those who wear the banner of Christ but incite us to walk in a way that is not falling the path marked by Jesus.

In Luke 24:8, Jesus opened his warning with the phrase, “See that you are not led astray.” It means to wander off the path.

To be led astray means that you stop following the path of Jesus — the path marked by suffering, the fruit of the Spirit (like love and joy), care for the vulnerable, and profound hope.

To be led astray means to begin walking along a different path and following a different set of footprints.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]

Christ refers to “stars” falling, a point which raises confusion for modern audiences. It’s important to remember that terms such as “star” have been given modernized definitions which did not exist in the ancient world. As a parallel, the word “bird” is used today to imply biological features such as feathers and eggs. “Fish” likewise implies scales and “cold blood.” The ancient equivalents of those terms, however, did not carry those exact details. An ancient person could rightly call a bat a “bird,” or a whale a “fish,” simply because the definition of those terms, in that era, included those animals.

In very much the same way, Jesus is not saying that “enormous spheres of gas” will come to earth. He’s referring to something we see in the night sky—just as even a modern person might speak of a “falling star” when they see certain events in the atmosphere.

Some Bible scholars say these signs should be read literally, as events that will actually take place in the sky in real time. One suggestion is that the atmosphere will be congested in some way, reducing the available light from the sun, moon, stars, and planets. Other Bible teachers speculate that these words from Jesus could be metaphors to describe massive geo-political events. Others try to combine these two possibilities to cover both viewable events in the sky and political events on the ground. Whatever happens, it will not be subtle.

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven and then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

This means that on Earth, good and bad people will grow and live together. The Kingdom of God will be present amongst the evil of the world. At the end of time people will be separated into their eternal destiny.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Here, Christ compares the signs He has described to the budding leaves of a fig tree in the spring. People in that region would have learned by experience that tender branches and new leaves mean summer is near. Jesus wants His followers to understand that when the things He has described as signs of His return begin to happen, His arrival will also be near.

The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Here Jesus is warning us not to become complacent but to keep watching for all these sign and to continue in our faith right until the end.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Keep watch and continue to draw near to him. Doing his work he has assigned you to. don’t think that because he hasn’t returned yet that you can act as you like. As he’ll return at a time you don’t know and catch you out and you’ll be thrown out where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I don’t know about you but i want to remain faithful until the end. So i can go with jesus and live for eternity in heaven.

Your faithfully

Faith Grace.