and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|March 14, 2011||
Volume 10 Number 6
When Shall These Things Be?
As we watch the events of the world unfolding before our eyes, some of us are tempted to ask questions such as those that Yahshua’s (Jesus’) disciples asked Him:
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world? -Matthew 24
Many of His answers to their questions look like the headlines of the events we are watching today. He began with a stern warning to beware of the deceivers:
4 And Yahshua answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceives you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Messiah; and shall deceive many. -Matthew 24
He said that there will be times of great problems. These will include wars, rumors of wars, famines, and earthquakes in "diverse places:"
6 And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you are not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. -Matthew 24
These things are just the beginning of sorrows. There will be hatred and afflictions against those who trust in His name, which will be offensive to the world:
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. -Matthew 24
There will be false prophets that claim to hear from God and speak on His behalf. Unfortunately, many people will believe them and will be deceived away from the truth of the Word of God. Once they reject God’s word, they will no longer feel bound to keep His laws and commandments. Their love for Yahweh, and even for each other, will grow cold:
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. -Matthew 24
While these things are happening all around us, some will look for ways of escape. However, Yahshua tells us that we must endure to the end to be saved:
13 But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. -Matthew 24
The end, He says, will not come until the entire world has an opportunity to hear the "Gospel of the Kingdom:"
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come. -Matthew 24
Daniel wrote many prophecies. However, he could not understand what many of them meant. Yahweh told him that those prophecies would be sealed up, closed to understanding, until the "time of the end." That would be a time such as this, when both travel and knowledge is increased:
4 But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. -Daniel 12
One of Daniel’s prophecies tells about a coming ruler that will "place the abomination that makes desolate:"
31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate. -Daniel 11
This prophecy of Daniel’s still had not been fulfilled as Yahshua spoke to His disciples on the Mount of Olives:
15 When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand:) -Matthew 24
The word that is translated in Daniel as "abomination" means a "detestable thing or idol, abominable thing, abomination, idol, detested thing." An idol is something that is bowed down to or that is worshipped. The meaning of the word that is translated as "desolate" also means to be appalled, stunned, stupefied, deflowered, deserted, or awestruck (see Strong’s Concordance). Therefore, it appears that Daniel’s prophesy was not just about physical desolation, but that it was also about spiritual desolation, which begins in our hearts.
This is what happened with King Solomon. Once he opened his heart up to abominations, the idols of gods and goddesses that were worshipped, he did evil before Yahweh:
5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and went not fully after Yahweh, as did David his father. -1 Kings 11
The spiritual desolation that began in Solomon’s heart as he turned to the worship of abominations, the idol gods and goddesses, eventually manifested itself in the physical destruction and desolation of the united kingdom of Israel. First it was divided into Israel and Judah. Then both kingdoms were eventually made desolate because they continued to worship idols.
Yahshua warns us that, when we see the "abomination of desolation" stand in the "holy place," it is time for His people to "flee into the mountains:"
16 Then let them which are in Judaea flee into the mountains: -Matthew 24
In the "last days" we must run to Yahweh, to His "house," for refuge. His kingdom (mountain) shall be established on the top of all other kingdoms (mountains) of this world (see Revelation 17:9):
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. -Isaiah 2
When we see the "abomination that makes desolate" established for all of the world to bow before, we will know that it is time for "great tribulation:"
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. -Matthew 24
Such an abomination may be that which is called the "image of the beast," that all of the world will be required to worship under the threat of death:
15 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. -Revelation 13
During this time of tribulation, war will be waged upon Yahweh’s people. Everyone on the earth, except the very elect of Yahweh, will worship the beast, represented by the "image of the beast." This image will be the final "abomination that makes desolate" (see Revelation 14:9-11):
7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all families, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. -Revelation 13
Thankfully, because of the presence of Yahweh’s elect, those days of tribulation will be shortened:
22 And unless those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. -Matthew 24
There will be those that will try to deceive Yahweh’s elect by telling them that the Messiah has already come. Their claim will be that He came secretly, perhaps already taking His elect with Him. Yahshua says, "believe it not," because He will return, not secretly, but with great glory:
23 Then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is the Messiah, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Messiahs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Therefore if they shall say to you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. -Matthew 24
Yahweh will ultimately triumph over the kingdoms of this world and those that worship the beast. After His victory, the "fowls" of heaven will gather together for the "supper of the great God" (see Revelation 19:17-18):
28 For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. -Matthew 24
Then, "immediately after the tribulation," we shall see Yahshua, "the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory," to receive His elect, those that endured with Him to the end:
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. -Matthew 24
When we see these things, it is wise to remember the words of Yahshua, "Behold, I have told you before."
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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
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