END TIMES SIGN POSTS

The abomination of desolation is one of the primary end-time signposts Jesus emphasizes in his Olivet Discourse teaching Matthew 24 & 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21. And we should not forget Daniel 9:27 spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:15. This prophecy should be a central part of the Messianic community’s broader teaching on eschatology, especially as we draw closer to the return of Jesus.

Scripture is clear that the abomination of desolation relates to some action the Antichrist will take in the Temple, midway through the 70th week (the final year before Jesus returns to earth, first to rapture the Saints and then to pour out His wrath upon unrepentant earth.). Beyond this general description, we are not given too many other details that explain what exactly the Antichrist will do at this time. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 offers some information when it states that the Antichrist will “take his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as God.” Jesus also mentions that the abomination of desolation will be seen “standing in the holy place.” In a sense, both Jesus and Paul seem to refer to the Antichrist himself as the abomination of desolation. At the same time, Daniel 12:11 says the abomination of desolation will be “set up.” This language could point to some type of idolatrous image or idol of the Antichrist that will be will be set up in the Temple (Revelation 13:15).

The fact that Jesus drew an analogy between the past actions of Antiochus and the future actions of the Antichrist, further proves that the abomination of desolation will involve events that transpire within the Temple’s holy place while the Temple is still intact.

When Daniel 8:11 says the Antichrist will cause the sanctuary to be “thrown down,” this language indicates that he will not merely defile the Temple, but instead, he will also destroy it, which is something Antiochus never did. Antiochus only plundered and profaned the Temple. It appears the Antichrist will go one step further.

Luke also adds some important details that are left out of Matthew and Mark’s accounts. We read:

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance so that all things which are written must be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.Luke 21:20-24

Luke does not mention “the abomination of desolation” in the holy place. Instead, he mentions that Jerusalem will be “surrounded by armies” and invaded. This invasion will lead to a time of “great distress” and a period of captivity for the Jewish nation. At the midpoint of the 70th week, right after the Antichrist fulfills the abomination of desolation prophecies of Daniel, his armies will conquer Israel, and the nation will remain under the control of the Antichrist until Jesus returns (Luke 21:27).

Hence, Luke 21:20–24 adds the important detail that not only will people see the Antichrist in the Jewish sanctuary at this time, but they will also see Jerusalem surrounded by armies. When the Lord’s people in Jerusalem witness these events, they should recognize them as a sign of imminent destruction, and as a final opportunity to “flee to the mountains” (Lk. 21:21).

As difficult as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble will be, Revelation 12:6 and 12:13–16 do also make clear that a Jewish remnant that heeds Jesus’ advice to “flee to the mountains” will be protected and preserved in the wilderness during the last half of the 70th week. God’s preservation of the Jewish remnant during the final half of the 70th week also raises an important practical point for the followers of Jesus today. We need to alert Jews, particularly Messianic Jews to the protection that is available to them during the great tribulation (3 1/2 years).

The abomination of desolation will lead to Israel’s final period of purging and discipline before the Messianic Age. According to Daniel, this time will last for three-and-a-half years (1,260-1,290 days; Daniel12:11). Also, Daniel 12:7 says, Israel will suffer at the hands of the Antichrist “for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people [i..e Israel], all these events will be completed,” 1,290 days after “the abomination of desolation” is set up (Daniel 12:11–13).

This information is extracted from Travis Snow’s excellent book “The Seventy Weeks Jubilee”.

WHAT WILL INITIATE THE LAST SEVEN YEARS BEFORE JESUS RETURN

The Seventy Weeks prophecy of Daniel is a foundational end times prophecy

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.” Daniel 9:24

In this Seventy weeks (seventy weeks of years) prophecy, the first 69 weeks have played out exactly as prophesied including Jesus first coming to this earth and being killed “cut off”. There is an unspecified time gap between the 69 weeks and the last seven weeks (seven years) but as many of the other end-times events specified by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24) and in Revelation are beginning to play out we know that the last seven years before Jesus returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom is not too far off.

... And he (Antichrist) shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week, he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” Daniel 9:27

Bearing in mind Daniel was told to seal up the prophecy as it was not applicable until the time of the end.

Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.Daniel 12:9

We know from this prophecy that the Antichrist puts an end to sacrifices and offerings at the midpoint of the last seven years so they will need to start sometime before the midpoint.

Nelson Walters asks and then attempts to answer the following question in this video. Will Lamb Offerings mark the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel? Or will they begin prior to the Tribulation or after it has already started? Can we use the beginning of these offerings as a sign? Is there a Bible prophecy that times the beginning of these offerings? Watch this Nelson Walter’s Q&A video to find the answer to this and other questions about lamb offerings.

WHY THE PRETRIBULATION RAPTURE POSITION IS DANGEROUS

Apostle Paul explains the timing of the Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2 so clearly and yet many recognised scholars willfully deny the truth. This scripture clearly contradicts their doctrine that nothing has to happen before the rapture happens. The Rapture does not happen until after the Antichrist takes his seat in the temple and declares he is God.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to himLet no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.2 Thessalonians 2:1,3-4

Why is this so important? It means that Christians will go through tribulation, even great tribulation that the Antichrist unleashes on all those people that will not take his mark. Jesus also tells us that the tribulation will be great but for the elect “those days will be cut short”. He also tells us that the Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world and only then will the end come so Saints we need to be busy proclaiming the Gospel.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.Matthew 24:21-22

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14

This is Part 4 of the film 7 Pretrib Problems and the Prewrath Rapture. You can see the whole film in one video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwXoM… or go to Part 5 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8nQ6…

FOUR SPECIFIC SIGNS OF JESUS RETURN

What are the four specific signs of Jesus Christ Coming? In Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, Jesus told his disciples a number of signs, but only four were specific. Most of the signs of Jesus’ return were general, or warnings if you like, which let us know the “season” of His coming. But there are four specific signs every Christian should know. The first specific sign tells us when the final period of the end times begins (see my recent post, The Most Important End-Times Sign) and then three signs to be able to recognize Jesus when he comes. Watch this very important Nelson Walters video to learn these four signs.

JESUS SAYS, CHRISTIANS WILL EXPERIENCE END TIMES TRIBULATION

Jesus tells us what the signs will be of His coming and the end of the age in the Olivet Discourse – Matthew 24:3–14.

“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:3-14

Jesus links the great tribulation, persecution of God’s people with the abomination of desolation in verse 15 “Therefore [οὖν, oun] when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)”  and its ensuing ramifications of the great tribulation, the only possible referent of the great tribulation that is linked with the inference of oun in the previous immediate context would be found in v. 9 : “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” The martyrdom realised in this verse is coupled with all the other trials that Jesus mentions.

It has perplexed interpreters why the end of the age is mentioned in v. 14 before the abomination of desolation event. Now they should know why, because of that short three-letter conjunction oun that is so significant!

The events portrayed in Matt 24:9–14 do not occur throughout church history. Rather, they are a variety of trials that Christians will experience during Antichrist’s great tribulation.

This naturally is followed by Jesus’s return to Rapture His saints. Note it is after the tribulation: 

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29-31

ARE OUR CHURCHES PREPARING US FOR THE COMING TRIBULATION?

Jesus taught explicitly that one of the ways you will know His return is imminent is you will see the Antichrist claiming to be God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

“So when you see the abomination of desolation–spoken about by Daniel the prophet—standing in the holy place. . .  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:15-22)

Paul confirms that the Antichrist will come before Jesus returns to Rapture the Saints:

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God”                         (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4).

John records numerous instances in the Book of Revelation of Jesus warning the saints to become Overcomers of the beast’s system (e.g. Revelation 14:9–12).

In the light of all these Scriptures, why do so many hold on to the Pretribulation Rapture position? Could it be, because we don’t want to believe that God would put us through the intense persecution that the Bible tells us Christians will endure during the last seven years before Jesus returns? It is described as a time of tribulation and great tribulation after the midpoint when the Antichrist “takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God”.

None of us like the thought that we may have to die for our Christian faith under the regime of the Antichrist. But it is God’s will that ultimately matters. He knows better than us, therefore we need to trust His will because it is all-wise, all-good, all-sovereign.

I am reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways”, says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts your thoughts.” 

It may be God’s will that we confront the Antichrist system. We need to trust God, as have many martyrs before us, that He will be with us in the ordeal. What an honour it would be; to be a witness for the true God of the universe, to give glory to Him and to receive a martyrs crown. Pray God will give us the strength to stand up boldly for Him.

God may very well call us to be a Daniel and stand up to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol. Or Daniel’s companions, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abed-Nego) confined to the fiery furnace. Or to be a David and stand up to Goliath when he mocked and blasphemed his God. 

Many churches in America and many in Australia stay away from the  subject of “end times” altogether, but many also preach the Pretribulation Rapture position, in both cases they are not preparing their congregations for the coming tribulation. Even worse they are not challenging their congregations about the urgency of the hour and the need to get about our Father’s business and obey Jesus command to preach the Gospel and make disciples.

 

 

A THIRD TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM IS A SIGNIFICANT END TIMES SIGN

The Temple Institute was founded in 1987. The Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Torah commandment to build the Holy Temple of God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. It has been actively engaged in the research and preparation of the resumption of service in the Holy temple to the extent of actually preparing operational blueprints for the construction of the temple.
However, would not another temple, with all the attendant animal sacrifices required, be a blasphemy in light of the “Ultimate Sacrifice” which has already been given through Jesus Christ on the cross?
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. – Hebrews 10:10 
Based on man’s rebellious nature, it is not surprising to see the frantic effort to rebuild another temporal, earthly temple in Jerusalem.  This is in direct opposition to what Scripture clearly teaches us about how Yeshua came to transform us.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
 1 Corinthians 3:16
Why would the Most High God revert to inhabiting wood and stone after making a flesh and blood appearance?  As noted, the prophet Daniel says this is a move that we should expect of an unrepentant Israel still awaiting their Messiah.  While the Bible does prophesy that there will be a temple restoration before His return to rapture the saints. It is short lived, as we know that a Satan empowered antiChrist will enthrone himself as God in the temple, mid point through the last seven years.
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand –  let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Matthew 24: 15-16
At Christs return to earth with the saints, and before the beginning of Christ’s Millennial Reign, Satan will be bound and Hell sealed over for 1000 years.
“And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.”
Revelation 20:1-3
It is during this time that there will be complete and total “temple restoration” of the Body of Christ who will enjoy the kingly rule of Yeshua Himself upon His Second Coming.
After 6000 years of fallen mankind, we will enjoy a 1000 year Shabbat with the Lord of the Sabbath.
Note, Jesus expects Christians to be around during the Tribulation and for the Great Tribulation, but as He promised, not during the period when God’s wrath is poured out on the earth during the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.

 

SIGNS TO WATCH FOR, PRIOR TO JESUS RETURN

Jesus does not teach a sign-less, imminent rapture. There are key discernible events/signs that must happen before Jesus returns for his church.

Jesus gave us due warning with signs/events that will occur prior to His return: 

  1. Israel will be reestablished – Jesus told the parable of the fig tree (Israel) when you see it sprouting (reborn). “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Luke 21;31
  2. “False messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.Remember, I have told you ahead of time. Mark 13:21-22
  3.  “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6
  4. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7
  5. There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves. People will be fainting from fear and from the expectation of what is coming on the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. “But when these things begin to happen, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
  6. “Now regarding the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to be with him… Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God. Surely you recall that I used to tell you these things while I was still with you.” 2 Thessalonians 2:1–5
  7. “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand, that person will also drink of the wine of God’s anger that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and he will be tortured with fire and sulphur in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb… This requires the steadfast endurance of the saints—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to their faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:9–12
  8. So when you see the abomination of desolation–spoken about by Daniel the prophet—standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.

Sadly, much of the church has been deceived into believing a Pretribulation Rapture. The Bible clearly teaches in these Scriptures that the Saints will experience tribulation even great tribulation. However, the Bible also teaches the Saints will be raptured at the sixth seal before God pours out His wrath upon the earth in the trumpet and bowl judgements.

JESUS SECOND COMING

Does the Bible provide much information on Jesus’ Second Coming?

There is more prophetic evidence about Jesus’ second coming than any other prophetic event in the Bible. The end times is the most written-about subject in all of Scripture. There are over 150 chapters in the Bible in which the majority of the chapter is about the end times.  Most of the prophets spoke about the future “Day of the Lord” which relates to the events of Jesus’ coming. For more information go to Mike Bickle’s article entitled “150 Chapters on the End Times.” I can also recommend Nelson Walters book, Revelation Deciphered.

Why is it important that we study “end times” prophecies, particularly the Book of Revelation?

Studying what the Bible has to say about the future empowers us to be victorious in love and power during the most glorious and difficult time in history. It prepares us to actively participate under Jesus in the end-time events and to rightly interpret Jesus’ leadership in the coming global crisis instead of being offended by Him (Matthew 11:6). Studying the end times awakens urgency in us for intercession, knowing that our prayers may minimise evil and increase victory. Understanding end-time Scriptures strengthens our confidence in God’s sovereignty by knowing that He is in control and is never surprised (Joel 2:13-14; Zephaniah 2:3; Matthew 11:6, 24:4; Philippians 1:10; Revelation 12:11).

 How can we be confident that we are living in the “last days”?

There are many biblical trends that reveal “the season or generation” of His coming (Matthew 24:4-8). They include an increase of wickedness (Daniel 8:23, Revelation 14:9), apostasy in the church, the increase of knowledge (Daniel 12;4), emergence of global prayer (Isaiah 56:7), the great harvest from all nations (Matthew 24:14, Revelation 7:9).

Are we able to know the signs of the times?

Yes, Jesus commanded the people who lived in the generation of His return to know the signs (Matt. 24:32-4). Jesus rebuked those who did not heed the prophetic signs that pointed to His coming (Matt. 16:1-4; Luke 19:41-44). Prophetic signs serve the church in the same way that a weather station signals coming trouble so that people can prepare and save lives.

Can the signs of the times be understood?

Yes. The Scriptures on the end times and the signs of the times were written to be understood by all, since the majority of people throughout history have been uneducated peasants. The Scripture was written for them. Jesus and Paul emphasised the know-ability of the prophetic signs of the end times (Matt. 24:32-34, Luke 21:25-29, 1 Thess. 5:1-6, 2 Thess. 2:1-11). The lie is that we are not to know the times and seasons of His return (Acts 1:7-8).

How can we know when Jesus is coming if He says in Matthew 24:36 that “no one knows” the day or the hour? Jesus did not say we could not know the season or the conditions surrounding His coming. Neither did Jesus say that the church would not know the day and hour in the generation the Lord returns. We must seek the Father’s Word as to when this begins, because only the Father knows. God did not want to make the day and hour known in the early church, but Daniel and the apostle John made it clear that the Messiah would come exactly 1,260 days after the abomination of desolation (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 11:2-3,12:6, 14; 13:5).

Will the church be on earth during the Tribulation and Great Tribulation spoken of by Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27)?

Yes. The church will absolutely be on the earth during six of the seven years of the Tribulation and Great Tribulation. However, the church will not experience the wrath of God, which is poured out in the trumpet and bowl judgements during the seventh year, prior to Jesus Second Coming to earth with the Saints who were raptured at the sixth seal. The last verse describing the events of the sixth seal announces “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who can stand? (Revelation 6:17). John then sees the resurrected and raptured saints (great multitude which no one could number of all nations, tribes and peoples and tongues standing before the throne and before the lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9). This prior to the trumpet and bowl judgements being poured out on unrepentant mankind.

 The end times is the church’s finest hour, when miracles will occur and supernatural prophetic direction will be released. The miracles of Acts and Exodus will be multiplied and combined on a global level (Mic. 7:15). The victorious believer in Revelation 12:11 will overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and the fact that they did not love their lives to the death.

 

Extracts from article by Mike Bickle: Answers the 100 most frequently asked questions about the End Times. Although I have taken a PreWrath Rapture position and I believe Mike Bickle takes the Post Tribulation position. He is the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City, Missouri,