A Brief Chronology
- 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 The Rapture of the church, any time. Jesus coming for His church.
- Daniel 9:24-27 The Anti-Christ makes a 7 yr. covenant w/Israel. Many believe a peace treaty, which is a current goal of many in the Middle East and around the world. Antichrist breaks the covenant 3 1/2 yrs. into it.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; Revelation 13:14, 15 An image of the Antichrist is erected in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. He claims to be God. The world is forced to worship this image.
- Revelation 6-19 At this time God sends “The Great Tribulation” upon the earth.
- Revelation 16All nations gather at Armageddon for a battle.
- Revelation 19 Christ returns with His church & interrupts this battle. They turn to fight Him, but He defeats this confederation of armies.
- Zechariah 12:9-14; 14:1-21 He is received by the Jews & establishes His millennial kingdom.
I. The Abomination Of Desolation
A. What It Is V. 15
1. Daniel 9:24 “Then he (the Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many (the Jews) for one week (7 years); But in the middle of the week (after 42 months) He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”
2. It is that time when the Antichrist enters the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, and claims he is God, and demands the world to worship him.
3. Most of the world will accept him as God, except for those who during that time commit their lives to Jesus.
4. It will be a particular moment that will begin a 42-month period where the Antichrist is given authority to carry out His world domination. This is a 3 ½ year period, called the second half of Daniel’s 70th week. Antichrist will have complete power, but his time will be limited to 42 months.
5. Daniel 12:11-12 11“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days. 12Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.
6. Revelation 12:13, 14 13Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
7. Those who see the abomination of desolation can count the days until Antichrist is defeated. 1,335 days seems to the time of the judging of the nations.
B. Who & What Locally Vs. 16-20
1. Jesus is speaking in terms that would identify his audience as Jews.
2. I believe that these particular instructions are for those Jews who will be alive when Antichrist declares himself to be God.
a. V. 16- Those in Judea, the region which includes Jerusalem.
b. V. 17- Those on a housetop. The ancient Jews had flat roofs, and much living was done on the rooftop. It emphasizes the fact that when the Antichrist begins his persecution, it will be swift and devastating. Get out
c. V. 18- “he who is in the field”- The persecution of the Jews will be so bad, it won’t be worth going back to get clothes. Escape immediately.
d. V. 19- the pregnant and the nursing- The need for quick escape will be difficult for pregnant and nursing mothers
e. V. 20a- And pray that your flight may not be in winter.
Jerusalem in winter. In March 1998, we were in Jerusalem when a freak snowstorm blew in. The city is not designed for easy driving in the snow, and the people were not prepared for it. It made us think of this passage.
f. V. 20b- or on the Sabbath – clearly speaking of Jews. Sabbath restrictions keep Jews from traveling too far, or working. Buses, lanes, trains not functioning on Sabbaths. Public transportation would shut down.
II. Life With The Antichrist Vs. 21-28
A. Unlike Any Other Period Of History Vs. 21-22
1. This will be the worst time of human history.
2. If the time weren’t measured, Antichrist and those who worship him would destroy all humanity.
3. Elect- Not the church, but those who come to faith during the Great Tribulation.
B. More False Christs Vs. 23-28
1. Those believers who see the Antichrist rise to power can count the days until Jesus stops him. 1, 290 days is all that he can rule.
2. False Christs doing miracles will still try to deceive many.
3. V. 27- You know when lightening flashes. Jesus’ physical return to earth will be that obvious. You can anticipate it, but when it happens, there will be no doubt.
4. V. 28- May refer to vultures, which are found wherever there is carrion. Again, it speaks to the obvious return of Jesus as opposed to those who come to faith in the Great Tribulation, and wonder if someone is Jesus. May also refer to the birds of prey at Armageddon.
5. Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. (Those wailing are those who rejected Him and now realize their error)
III. The Physical Return Of Jesus Vs. 29-35
A. After The Tribulation V. 29
Several prophetic passages describe the cosmic disturbances that will precede and surround the return of Jesus (Joel 2:10, Revelation 6:12-14, Isaiah 34:4)
B. The 2nd Coming Of Jesus To The Earth V. 30
1. It is difficult to say what this sign is, but it will be unmistakable.
2. This is the fulfillment of the end, indicated by the sign of the abomination of desolation. This has not happened yet, neither has the abomination of desolation.
3. Jesus will gather the believers of that era. The church is already with Him
C. The Parable Of The Fig Tree
Ones saved (this generation) during this period can recognize the sequence of events.
As a fig tree’s growth points to summer coming, they can know when to expect Jesus