Thursday, November 06, 2008
Confirming The Sequence Of End Times Events
By Jack Kelley
He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (Matt. 16:2-3)
So when you see standing in the holy place ‘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. (Matt. 24:15-16)
For then there will be great distress (Great Tribulation), unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. (Matt. 24:21)
When it comes to developing any kind of time line concerning the End Times, the watershed event has to be the Abomination that Causes Desolation. Why? Because from that time forward, the Bible gives a very clear sequence of events.
First, the Abomination is the event that kicks off the Great Tribulation, a period of judgments 3 1/2 years long.(Matt 24:15,21) After the Great Tribulation, the Lord returns and following His return the Millennium begins. After the Millennium comes Eternity. Any one on Earth during this time will be able to predict these events with reasonable accuracy.
Second, we who study prophecy can also count backward from the Abomination that Causes Desolation and predict the sequence of events leading up to it by applying our knowledge of Scripture.
How Does That Work?
Well, we know that the Abomination involves the anti-Christ standing in the Temple in Israel, proclaiming himself to be God. (Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thes. 2:4)
But that can’t happen until some other things take place first. Obviously the anti-Christ has to be revealed. And the Jews have to build their Temple. This is something that can’t happen until they experience a change in attitude causing them to demand a Temple regardless of the consequences. Today less than 1 in 4 citizens of Israel want a Temple built, but even if every one of them did just the hint that they were going to build one would send the rest of the world into a tizzy. It simply wouldn’t be permitted.
Some major event has to take place to convince the Jewish people that building a Temple in Israel is the right thing to do in spite of all the trouble it could cause, and some world leader has to have enough clout to convince the rest of the world, especially the Moslem Middle East, to let them do it.
Daniel 9:27 also reveals that as the End of the Age approaches, a leader from among the people who destroyed the Temple in 67 AD will confirm (enforce) a 7 year covenant with Israel that includes permission to build a new Temple, and that in the middle of this period he will commit the Abomination that Causes Desolation. That explains the persuasive world leader. He’s the anti-Christ, and he wants the Temple built for reasons that have nothing to do with Israel. The unanswered question in Daniel’s prophecy is why the Jews would desire a Temple at that particular time.
Our knowledge of the Old Testament tells us that a Temple was necessary to fulfill the requirements of the Levitical worship system. So then, because of the uproar it would create, it seems logical to assume that the Jews would only want a Temple if they felt it was absolutely necessary for the Nation of Israel to re-instate their Old Covenant worship of God.
Continued: How Does That Happen?
Bible students and those interested in how eschatology fits into world events would do well to sit up and take notice how things are shaping up. Recent events conspired to shake off my complacency, resulting in some paradigm shifts, and read up on the subject once more. I hope to set my priorities straight for hereon in. Things won't be getting any better so we all should best be getting ready.