We were talking about how Jerusalem has been surrounded by armies (as the Luke account of Matthew 24 states)
Oh my, the armies that have surrounded this city! I imagine Jerusalem holds the record there! Nevertheless it is one part of the sign that the Lord wanted us to have, and fulfils exactly Daniel 8:12, where an army is supplied to the evil ruler to enforce his will. He takes over the city, and then according to Paul, enters the Temple itself. There is no real difference then in the two accounts.
Noting the above truth reminds one to say that Jesus speaks nothing of the identity of a particular man, His archrival. He points us to Daniel for that piece of work. He does not tell us much about background, the times, the political structure of the end times. These pieces are scattered all over the Scriptures, assuring that only the diligent and caring will find them and fit it all together. Unfortunately, the “cares of this life” choke out most of this desire to search the Word for answers. May God change our priorities!
Luke brings out another important piece of information. In the same passage in which Jesus talks of the very end of all things, parallel to Matthew and Mark, Luke quotes Jesus as saying that Jews will once more be led away captive to all nations!
We remember how this happened when Babylonia and Assyria attacked Israel. Surely the Jews have been all over the world since the much later days of Rome too. But Luke says this happens yet again after the signal of the surrounding armies and the following desecration of the Temple. He says further that following the abomination are the days of vengeance when every prophecy about everything is fulfilled (verse 22)! This is the end time.
Will there indeed be time in the few short years that follow before the coming of Jesus for yet another Jewish dispersion? Especially when we have already seen how the remnant Jews, the 144,000, are going to be protected and confronted by Jesus?
I believe that an answer for this question is in Revelation 11:2, where according to John, Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles for three and one half years. It will be a replay of the Assyrian invasion, when that people sent their own citizens to populate Israel while taking Jews to captivity.
Yes, the book of Revelation assigns only three and one half years to the “times of the Gentiles”. We were taught that that period was all the way from A.D. 70 until 1948, when the Jews recaptured Jerusalem. There were indeed some Gentiles there, mostly of Mid-eastern descent. But the Bible seems to be showing us a cosmopolitan urban center where Jews are no longer a threat to world peace. Where Gentiles rule.
I believe that this process will begin a few years earlier when a contract is signed with the Jewish nation, allowing them to have their Temple worship if they will relinquish the city to humanity. Then antichrist will reverse things and finish the process he has begun by eliminating Jews from their own city.
In some of these last things I speculate. But there are some definites I hope we have gleaned from Matthew 24. Let’s review.
The disciples asked for a specific sign about the end.
Jesus gave the disciples a specific sign and referred them to the Book of Daniel.
When the Temple is surrounded and desecrated, the end is near.
After the “sign” there is unprecedented devastation.
After the devastation, Jesus comes.
So the key to understanding all these things is to be found in Daniel’s prophecy. This will mean a journey back 500 years before Christ to visit a very old and respected man living as a life-time servant of two Empires, yet prospering in the things of God. Daniel, that is, the Spirit in Daniel, has some very important clues for the solving of this mystery. The journey will be well worth the effort. Prayerfully then we go...
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