Jesus foretold the fall of the temple in Jerusalem …
“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.'” (Matthew 24:1-2, New International Version)
In 70 A.D. Roman legions destroyed the Second Temple. EVERY STONE WAS “THROWN DOWN” in an effort to plunder the gold that had melted in between the cracks after they set the building on fire!
It is not clear how long it was between Jesus’ prophecy concerning the temple and His response to the disciples’ question, but apparently the issue had been weighing heavily upon their minds. Jesus gave them this non-specific timeline …
“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?’
- ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many.
- ‘You will hear of wars and rumors 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.
- ‘Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
- ‘At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
- ‘Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
- ‘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.’
Then Jesus got down to business! Here is what the Son of God foretold will happen JUST BEFORE HIS SECOND COMING …
“’SO WHEN YOU SEE standing in the holy place [THE TEMPLE] “the abomination that causes desolation,” spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand* — THEN let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
“‘Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.
“’If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
“‘At that time if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Messiah!” or, “There he is!” do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
“‘See, I have told you ahead of time.
“’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. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.
“‘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.’[Prophesied by Isaiah and Joel]
“’Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 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.’ [THE “RAPTURE”?] (Matthew 24:3-31)
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* The words of Daniel that Jesus was referring to can be found in Daniel 9. They are passionately debated, so I will let my readers decide for themselves what Jesus was saying when He specifically added them into His “end of days” prophecy. The prophecy says this: “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ [“Sevens” means seven years.] It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Daniel 24-27, NIV)
The Complete Jewish Bible says it a little differently — or a lot, depending on how you look at it: ” “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and for your holy city for putting an end to the transgression, for making an end of sin, for forgiving iniquity, for bringing in everlasting justice, for setting the seal on vision and prophet, and for anointing the Especially Holy Place. 25 Know, therefore, and discern that seven weeks [of years] will elapse between the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Yerushalayim until an anointed prince comes. It will remain built for sixty-two weeks [of years], with open spaces and moats; but these will be troubled times. 26 Then, after the sixty-two weeks, Mashiach will be cut off and have nothing. The people of a prince yet to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, but his end will come with a flood, and desolations are decreed until the war is over. He will make a strong covenant with leaders for one week [of years]. For half of the week he will put a stop to the sacrifice and the grain offering. On the wing of detestable things the desolator will come and continue until the already decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.”
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Then Jesus added this commentary …
“‘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. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it [the end of days] is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 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; 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.
“‘Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. [THE “RAPTURE”]
“’Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 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. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.‘” (Matthew 24:32-44)
Letting YOU decide …
(But please notice that the Isaiah / Joel prophecy which so many people are pointing to currently — because of the blood moons that will be appearing in 2014 and 1015 — is positioned after the appearance of the abomination that causes desolation AND the great distress (the “great tribulation”). And it comes before the rapture of “the elect.”)
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Seriously, I don’t believe you need anything more to think about. ; )