What did Jesus mean when He said "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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes?" (Matthew 24:15-18)
For obvious reasons, I will try to keep the answer as brief as possible. Let us first look at all the facts around the “abomination that causes desolation” mentioned by Jesus in Mat 24.
15 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' 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 roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his 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, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-and never to be equaled again. 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 Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect-if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. NIV
Another fact, in Matthew 24 Jesus is talking about two time periods. Matt 24:1-3:
24:1 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
3 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?" NIV
When Jesus mentioned that the Temple would be destroyed, the disciples were certain that he was talking about the end times. Jesus answered both questions at once, referring to two different time periods.
The first fulfillment of the “abomination that causes desolation” happened in the first century A.D. Jesus words were spread and reminded to all Christians constantly. They were watching for those signs about the ““abomination that causes desolation”. When in 67 A.D. Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman army, the Christians in Jerusalem were aware that the time had come to flee. It is amazing, but not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem! All of a sudden the Roman army retreated from Jerusalem for an unknown reason, given the opportunity to the Christians to flee, because Jesus said "let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains" they fled, because they were in Judea.
The Roman army came back, seized Jerusalem, and eventually destroyed the Temple and the city itself. Christians were saved because they heed Christ’s warnings.
Please be aware that there are many different interpretations of the end time prophecies but not one church will be ready for Christ coming.
Matt 25:1-13: 25:1 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 "At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' 7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 9 "'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 "Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12 "But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. NIV
We are still in the chapters where Jesus is answering His disciple’ questions. He makes them aware that at the end times, churches (virgins represent the church e.g. Rev 19:7: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.” NIV) None of the churches are ready for the bridegroom. They have all fallen asleep, unaware of the signs of times. Only half of them are saved, thanks to God’s mercy and because at least they had the oil, God’s Spirit in them. Is it possible that we pay more attention to interpretations than God’s Word itself?
I can not tell you exactly when the second fulfillment will happen, but one thing is certain, it will be before Jesus comes back! All 8 facts will come true. It will be a time of horrible distress and death. The “abomination that causes desolation” will happen "in the holy place": Jerusalem. The Middle East is clearly indicated here, the same place where it first was fulfilled (67 – 70 A.D.).
I believe there is a connection with what Paul wrote in 2 Thess 2:1-4
2:1 “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”
Let us be vigilant and keep our eyes open. That day is fast approaching to us. Personally, I believe that what is happening in our world today is preparing the way to The ““abomination that causes desolation”. Are you ready for it? You need Jesus in your life my friend. Without Him you will be like the Jews who were living in Jerusalem in 67 A.D. being completely ignorant of the signs of the times. Sudden destruction fell on them. They all were destroyed! Accept Him in your life now. Now is the time of salvation. He is waiting for you. Will you accept him in your life? If you would like some help in discovering how awesome He is, please e-mail me.
Jesus is speaking of the end time when antichrist shall set up idols for the people to worship. He clearly states that our focus should be on Him. Not returning to our homes for material goods or worshiping idols.
That is concerning the anti Christ, he will set up his statue in the temple at the end of the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation, during the first 3 1/2 he will appear as Mr wonderful with answers to all, and will even allow the Jews to practice their sacrifices in the old ways in the temple. Also this will be the time he will require everyone that is here to take the number of the beast. Those remaining in the world at that time, especially the Jews to who he was speaking, shall have to make for the hills to hide or if they believe in Jesus ( this is after the rapture of the church) then they will be caught and martyred by beheading in the streets. The mountain outside and between Jerusalem and Petra will split apart thus making a way for them to escape....but no looking back as there will be further destruction in the coming days.
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The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.