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In Matt. 24:15 Jesus gives a scriptural cross reference. "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)."  This is the reference: Dan 9:27 "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." (Click here for more information.)  Further, Dan 12:11 says, "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." From these two verses we clearly see that something major and recognizable is going to happen at the middle of the seven years of the tribulation. I believe this abomination (a detestation, idolatry) of desolation (to lay waste) is the image of the beast as described in Rev. 13:14-15. (Click here for Rev. 13 main page.) According to Eze. 8:3-5 this image of jealousy will be placed in the re-built Jewish temple in the inner gate of the altar. According to Matt. 24:15 the abomination of desolation will stand in the holy place, which is the holy of holies, the inner room entered once each year by the high priest of Israel, where he made offerings to God for the sins of Israel.

In my opinion, the fulfillment of the abomination of desolation scriptures will involve the entry of the antichrist into the holy of holies "so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (II Thes. 2:4), followed by the placing of the image in the gate of the altar which will then be required to be worshiped. These two events will horrify a godly Jew and will absolutely identify the antichrist as the evil personified that he is, and they are part of the mid-tribulation set of events that will cause the Jewish people to reject the antichrist and begin the process of recognizing Jesus as the Messiah.

In vs. 16-20 Jesus gives instructions to the Jews in Judea: get out of town! He says they are to flee to the mountains. If they are on the housetop (which is used as a patio) when this event occurs, they are not to go down into the house for supplies: run. If they are in the field, they are not to go home for supplies: run. He says there will be woe for pregnant women and nursing mothers at that time, possibly because they will not be able to move as quickly as others. He instructed them to pray that their flight would not be in the winter (when travel is slower) or on the Sabbath (when observant Jews do not use motor vehicles, again, making travel slower). Jesus makes a very strong case that the Jews in Jerusalem should get out of town immediately when this event occurs, and according to Rev. 12:6,14, the people follow his instructions.

In vs. 21 Jesus gives the reason why the Jews should get out of town: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." All of the wars and horrors that this world has experienced up to that time will not compare to the destruction that will come during the last half of the tribulation, not just in Israel, but in the entire world.

Jesus went on to say, (vs. 22) "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Those days are the twelve hundred sixty days (Rev. 12:6) of the second half of the tribulation. Jesus said if they arenít shortened no flesh would be saved. This is a reference to Armageddon, and the possible destruction of all flesh indicates that Armageddon has the potential to be nuclear. Rev. 16:12-16 describes the gathering of the kings of earth to Armageddon. Vs. 15 is inserted in the passage and it should be printed in red because it is the words of Jesus: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." From these verses we should understand that Armageddon is going to begin somewhat short of the twelve hundred sixty days prophesied for the last half of the tribulation. It could be that Satan thinks he can short-circuit the plan of God by moving early. But Jesus is the greatest attorney who ever lived and he provided a loop-hole for the sake of the elect: those days shall be shortened. He is going to return to earth (second advent) on the day of Armageddon, no matter on which day that war occurs, because if he doesnít, no flesh of any kind will survive. Take a moment and read Rev. 19:11-16 for a literal description of the second advent of Jesus.

"11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."


In vs. 24 Jesus again warns about deception. Matt 24:23-26 "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not."

During the last half of the tribulation the antichrist and the false prophet will be operating in the fullness of their power, but it appears there will also be Ďlesserí false christs and false prophets out to deceive the people. They will be performing deceiving miracles that will be very convincing, and they will be telling people that Christ is in the desert or in the private rooms. Jesus warns the people not to be deceived and not to go out to where Christ is supposed to be because he, Jesus, is not there.

Jesus says here that the deception will be so great, that IF it were possible, they would deceive the very elect. Because Jesus said these deceivers would be performing "great signs and wonders," I expect the world to see the greatest occult show of all time. People should understand that occultism is real. It is a spiritualism that is empowered by Satan and is quite capable of manifesting the miraculous, but the miracles are not of God. Ex 22:18 says, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." From this verse we should understand that witches are real: God would not pronounce a death penalty based on something that was not real. The problem is that those who are involved in occultism think they are tapping into the power of God. But they arenít. All those devils that Jesus cast out during his earthly ministry are just as present and active on earth today as they were then. He never sent any to hell because they apparently have been allotted a certain amount of time. In Matt. 8:29 a group of devils asked Jesus if he had come to torment them "before the time." Rather than consign them to hell, he cast them into a herd of swine who then drowned themselves in the sea. Apparently pigs have an abhorrence to being possessed by devils. Too bad some people arenít more like pigs. Really, if pigs are unclean animals (and the record of scripture says this is so), and pigs donít like to be inhabited by devils, how much more unclean are those humans who actively seek out this power provided by Satan?

Of course they donít believe they are demon-possessed. No, they believe they have attained the "Christ-consciousness", or are communicating with angels or ascended masters or space brothers, or are in touch with the goddess. They donít wear pointy hats and ride broomsticks these days, instead they are teaching in our classrooms or working in the next office, or in some cases, standing in our pulpits.

It appears that the elect will know the scripture and will know that the Lord has not returned privately or secretly. Jesus said, "IF it were possible".

Olivet Discourse



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