The Lord in Matthew 24:15 referred the disciples to the prophet Daniel for an understanding of the "abomination of desolation." Before we follow the Lord's leading to go back to Daniel, it is necessary that we take a quick visit over to Brother Luke. In his 21st chapter is a passage parallel to Matthew and Daniel, presumably spoken at the same time by Jesus. But there is at least one clear difference in the text that might be disturbing to some. Luke heard from the Spirit and/or his Spirit-filled sources some words that Matthew was not led to share with us. Remember, Matthew was there. Luke was not. But we believe both men have given us the Spirit's message from the lips of Jesus.
In Luke 21:20, having gone through all the same preliminary listings of things that will not be signs that the end is near, Jesus turns to a sign related to the abomination, one that must come before that horrid scene, and one that is similarly mentioned by Daniel. According to Luke, what we will see before fleeing, should we be there on that appointed day, is an army fully surrounding Jerusalem. Oh my, the armies that have surrounded this city! I imagine Jerusalem holds the record there! Nevertheless it is one part of the sign that the Lord wanted us to have, and fulfills exactly Daniel 8:12, where an army is supplied to the evil ruler to enforce his will. He takes over the city, and then according to Paul, enters the Temple itself. There is no real difference then in the two accounts.
Noting the above truth reminds one to say that Jesus speaks nothing of the identity of a particular man, His archival. He points us to Daniel for that piece of work. He does not tell us much about background, the times, the political structure of the end times. These pieces are scattered all over the Scriptures, assuring that only the diligent and caring will find them and fit it all together. Unfortunately, the "cares of this life" choke out most of this desire to search the Word for answers. May God change our priorities!
Luke brings out another important piece of information. In the same passage in which Jesus talks of the very end of all things, parallel to Matthew and Mark, Luke quotes Jesus as saying that Jews will once more be led away captive to all nations!
We remember how this happened when Babylonia and Assyria attacked Israel. Surely the Jews have been all over the world since the much later days of Rome too. But Luke says this happens yet again after the "signal" of the surrounding armies and the following desecration of the Temple. He says further that following the abomination are the days of vengeance when every prophecy about everything is fulfilled (verse 22)! This is the end time.
Will there indeed be time in the few short years that follow before the coming of Jesus for yet another Jewish dispersion? Especially when we have already seen how the "remnant" Jews, the 144,000 are going to be protected and confronted by Jesus?
I believe that an answer for this question is in Revelation 11:2, where according to John, Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles for three and one half years. It will be a replay of the Assyrian invasion, when that people sent their own citizens to populate Israel while taking Jews to captivity.
Yes, the book of Revelation assigns only three and one half years to the "times of the Gentiles". We were taught that that period was all the way from A.D. 70 until 1948, when the Jews recaptured Jerusalem. There were indeed some Gentiles there, mostly of Mid-eastern descent. But the Bible seems to be showing us a cosmopolitan urban center where Jews are no longer a threat to world peace. Where Gentiles rule.
I believe that this process will begin a few years earlier when a contract is signed with the Jewish nation, allowing them to have their Temple worship if they will relinquish the city to "humanity." Then Antichrist will reverse things and finish the process he has begun by eliminating Jews from their own city.
In some of these last things I speculate. But there are some definites I hope we have gleaned from this study:
1. The disciples asked for a specific sign about the end.
2. Jesus gave the disciples a specific sign and referred them to the Book of Daniel.
3. When the Temple is surrounded and desecrated, the end is near.
4. After the "sign" there is unprecedented devastation.
5. After the devastation, Jesus comes.
Troublesome days coming. Oh may we be ready for them should they be in our lifetime!
http://chosunhouse.com is a website I put together a few months back to get the word out to believers that they need to pray for North Korea. Just about every day I'm writing a blog featuring some news, a book, or a story of North Korea. There's a live news feed on the site, lists of resources, picture essays, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together!
And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. Who are you? Would love to fellowship with believers who respond on my site.