After a break from my brief commentaries to the prophetic guide to the end times, I have decided to continue with the numerous biblical prophecies that are setting the stage for the return of Jesus Christ. The prophets of both the Old and New Testaments, as well as well Jesus Himself, prophesied that the Great Tribulation would come on planet Earth and it would be a time such as has never been experienced before, nor will it be repeated.
Jeremiah called it “the time of Jacob’s distress (Jeremiah 30:7) Likewise Daniel called it “a time of distress,” and he prophesied that there shall be a time of trouble, straitness, and distress such as never was since there was a nation till that time….., (Daniel 12:1). Isaiah says, it will be a “day of reckoning” for all the nations of the world (Isaiah 2:10-17) Zephaniah says that “all the earth will be devoured in the fire of God’ jealousy” (Zephaniah 1:18).
The prophet Daniel defined the length of Tribulation in Daniel 7:25 as of “a time and times and the dividing of time” which is a reference to a period of three and a half years. The Hebrew expression “times” according to one Biblical scholar refers to a period of 360 days. The expression “times” refers to a period of two years (720 days). The expression “the dividing of time” refers to half a year 180 days or 6 months. Therefore the total period of time indicated in Daniel 7:25 is 360 + 720 + 180 days, which equals 1,260 days, or three and a half biblical years.
The Tribulation period appears again in Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14. Daniel’s prophesied that…. “he shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations [shall come] one who makes desolate, until the full determined end is poured out on the desolator.” (9:27 AMP)
According to the Telegraph, a retired farmer has spent more than 30 years building an enormous scale model of Herod’s temple – and it is still not finished. Alec Garrard, 78, from Norfolk has dedicated a massive 33,000 hours to constructing the ancient temple, which measures a 20ft by 12ft. (22.2967 square metres) Jerusalem last Temple was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70 and the Muslim Dome of the Rock currently sits on the Temple Mount.
Why is the world so fascinated by the building of the Third Temple? There many reasons but one of them could be the unfulfilled biblical prophecies that surround this Temple. Jesus Christ confirmed Daniel’s prediction that the Anti Christ will defile the Third Temple during the last days by saying that,
So when you see the appalling sacrilege [the abomination that astonishes and makes desolate], spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place—let the reader take notice and ponder and consider and heed…..” (Matthew 24:15)
In his second letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul said,
Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition), who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
The apostle Paul says that although the Lord’s return is not imminent, the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world. He says one day God will remove the restraint, but it will only be a short time, as we’ve seen we can assume it will be three and a half years, after that Jesus Christ will return.
So in the right context Paul was telling the Thessalonians’ believers to wait patiently and remain busy. Paul warned that human wickedness will come to its climax in the person of a world ruler supernaturally and empowered by Satan himself. Paul called this ruler the “man of sin” or the “man of lawlessness” and the “son of perdition.”
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)
The apostle John calls him in 1 John 2:18 the “antichrist.” He tells us to be aware of the spirit of antichrist spirit that’s at work in trying to deceive if possible the elect. “Boys (lads), it is the last time (hour, the end of this age). And as you have heard that the antichrist [he who will oppose Christ in the guise of Christ] is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, which confirms our belief that it is the final (the end) time.” (1 John 2:18) In the Book of Revelation 13:4, he is called “the beast” According to Paul this ruler will actually claim to be God and will demand universal worship.
In those days of darkness mankind will voluntarily believe the great lie that salvation may be obtained through good behavior. This philosophy is accepted today as “politically correct.” The continuous success of the world in relation to peace and prosperity will reinforce humanity’s belief that they should be centered on themselves instead of the Savior
Shlomo ben Yitzchak (Jewish year 4800-4865 or AD 1040-1105) the Jewish French commentator on the Bible popularly known as Rashi, commented on Daniel’s prophecy regarding the “abomination of desolation” that an idol which is as mute as a rock, statue, icon or effigy would contaminate the holiness of the sanctuary and replace the daily sacrifice of the Temple.
Compare this with the prophecy found in the book of Revelation that states that the False Prophet will be permitted [also] to impart the breath of life into the beast’s image, so that the statue of the beast could actually talk and cause to be put to death those who would not bow down and worship the image of the beast. (Revelation 13:15; 20:4) When the antichrist manifests himself in the holy place, Jesus tells us to act and to act very fast:
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. (Matthew 24:16-18 NKJV)
He speaks about a flight so fast that there will be no time to stop and take anything. It will be a hasty flight that even pregnant women and women who will be nursing babies in those days would have many earthy troubles. Jesus further says: For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:21)
Having said that, I also believe as mentioned in previous posts; we might endure a great measure of suffering in the coming days. Already many devoted Bible believing Christians are undergoing intense persecution.
We should not forget that it is a verifiable fact that in many conflicts involving Muslims the West’s intervention has led to the persecution of Christians, and in some cases, decimated the indigenous Christian population in entire regions like the Middle East.
Hundreds of Iraq Christians have been slain, children massacred, businesses looted, churches burnt to the ground and many other indescribable atrocities. These Christians are fully aware they are being pursued and persecuted by demonic forces—all in the name of the “new world order.”
If you preach to these believers that all Christians are going to be ruptured before the tribulation comes, I don’t think they would believe you because according to them there are already in a tribulation. As a matter of fact many believers in different parts of the world believe the antichrist is now in full control and they are resisting him to the point of losing their lives.
It is a very frightening scenario when you consider the impending tribulation that is about to happen first to the Jew then to the Gentile. We should understand that it is always to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. Jesus goes on to tell us than unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:22) Now who are the elect? Those who are who have been chosen by God. What then shall we conclude?
Here the apostle Paul gives us an answer: He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. (Ephesians 4:1) Jesus Himself said: Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (John 15:16)
Jesus says unless the Great tribulation is shortened no human being would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. The Bible tells us in the Book of Revelation that a great multitude of Gentle believers many of them martyrs –who have come out of the great tribulation.
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”And I said to him, “Sir, you know. So he said to me, these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:13-14)
What must be noted is that the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70 AD did not fit the prophetic image of the “mute abomination” or the “abomination of desolation.”There is only one Great Tribulation that is why Jesus said it will never happen again. Though there many differing views among many prophesy teachers about the timing of the Great Tribulation, and of course there was a great tribulation when the city of Jerusalem was destroyed. The Temple has also been defiled more than once.
During the time of Antiochus Epiphanes IV a pig was sacrificed on the altar and the altar was desecrated. At the time of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, a statue to the Roman god Zeus erected on the Temple Mount, but many of the signs that Jesus spoke about were not fulfilled at that time.
There are two main signs that would precede the end of this age and the Great tribulation. Jesus said the Gospel will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end, and that we might see the Abomination of Desolation. (Matthew 24:14-15)
Jesus said, Repent (change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17) The message is an urgent call for both personal and national repentance in light of God warning that the Day of Judgment and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus is coming to establish the eternal Kingdom of God on earth.