Studies in Matthew 24

The Abomination Of Desolation

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: SMTF

Program Code: SMTF000003

00:34 okShall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:37 Father in heaven, what a joy it is to be in Your presence.
00:41 And, Father, as we open Your holy word, we ask,
00:45 we plead for the guidance of Your Holy Spirit.
00:48 Give us, Lord, clarity of thought
00:50 and give us also willing hearts to receive Your word.
00:54 And we thank you for hearing and answering our prayer,
00:56 for we ask it in the precious name of Jesus, amen.
01:02 The title of our study today is "The Abomination of Desolation."
01:08 Now in our last study we touched briefly upon
01:11 the abomination of desolation as it related
01:15 to the first destruction of Jerusalem in the year 586.
01:19 But in our study today we're going to deal
01:22 with the second destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D.
01:29 And we cannot understand the destruction of the city
01:31 unless we understand the events that led up
01:35 to the destruction of the city.
01:37 And so what we're going to do is begin our study in Matthew 24:5.
01:44 And we're going to notice
01:45 a clear line of events in sequence,
01:49 one event right after another.
01:52 Also, I must warn you that we're not going to read
01:56 text exclusively from the Gospel of Matthew.
02:00 Wherever Mark or Luke add information
02:03 to what we have in Matthew I'm going to also include
02:07 the perspective of Mark and Luke.
02:10 So we're going to study the sequence of events
02:13 that led up to the destruction of Jerusalem
02:16 from the perspective of the three gospels.
02:20 Let's begin our study at Matthew 24:5-8.
02:26 This is what I call the preliminary signs.
02:30 It says, "For many will come in My name, saying,
02:34 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.
02:39 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.
02:42 See that you are not troubled, for all these things
02:45 must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
02:48 For nation will rise against nation,
02:50 and kingdom against kingdom,
02:52 and there will be famines, pestilences,
02:55 and earthquakes in various places.
02:58 All these are the beginning of sorrows."
03:01 Notice that these are preliminary signs.
03:03 The worst is yet to come, is what Jesus is saying.
03:08 Notice some more signs here, false Christ, wars,
03:11 rumors of wars, nation rising against nation,
03:15 famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.
03:19 Now what I would like to do is take each of these signs
03:22 individually and show you how in the New Testament
03:26 and also in history,
03:27 primarily through the writings of Josephus
03:30 and the Roman historian Tacitus,
03:32 these signs were fulfilled leading up
03:35 to the destruction of Jerusalem.
03:37 First of all let's talk about
03:39 false Christs and false prophets.
03:43 Notice Acts 5:36 and 37.
03:47 Here we find the names,
03:48 the specific names of two of those false prophets
03:52 that arose between the death of Jesus
03:54 and the destruction of Jerusalem.
03:57 It says there, "For some time ago
03:59 Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody.
04:04 A number of men, about 400, joined him.
04:07 He was slain, and all who obeyed him
04:10 were scattered and came to nothing.
04:13 After this man, Judas of Galilee
04:16 rose up in the days of the census,
04:19 and drew away many people after him.
04:22 He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed."
04:27 So you have two false prophets that are mentioned here
04:30 by name or false Christs, Theudas and Judas of Galilee.
04:35 Now in Acts 8:9 and 10 we find another false prophet.
04:41 His name of course, Simon Magus or Simon, the magician.
04:45 Notice Acts 8:9 and 10.
04:48 "But there was a certain man named Simon,
04:51 who previously practiced sorcery in the city
04:55 and astonished the people of Samaria,
04:57 claiming that he was someone great,
05:00 to whom they all gave heed,
05:02 from the least to the greatest, saying,
05:05 'This man is the great power of God.'"
05:09 In the book "The Desire of Ages," page 628,
05:13 where Ellen White describes the destruction of Jerusalem
05:16 she says this, "Many false messiahs will appear,
05:21 claiming to work miracles,
05:24 and declaring that the time of the deliverance
05:26 of the Jewish nation has come.
05:29 These will mislead many."
05:32 Then she says, "Christ's words were fulfilled.
05:36 Between His death and the siege of Jerusalem
05:40 many false messiahs appeared."
05:44 Notice also the testimony of Flavius Josephus
05:48 who was a Jewish historian born in the year 37 A.D.,
05:52 several decades before the destruction of Jerusalem.
05:55 He said this, "Moreover, impostors and deceivers
06:00 called upon the mob to follow them into the desert.
06:04 For they said that they would show them
06:06 unmistakable marvels and signs
06:09 that would be wrought in harmony with God's designs."
06:13 Also in the book "Wars of the Jews,"
06:17 Josephus says this, "Deceivers and impostors,
06:21 under the pretense of divine inspiration
06:24 fostering revolutionary changes,
06:27 they persuaded the multitude to act like madmen,
06:31 and led them out into the desert
06:33 under the belief that God would give them
06:36 tokens of deliverance."
06:38 Once again Josephus in his work "Antiquities of the Jews"
06:42 had this to say about false prophets
06:45 that led up to the destruction of Jerusalem.
06:47 He said, "In Judea matters were constantly
06:50 going from bad to worse.
06:53 For the country was again infested with bands of brigands
06:57 and impostors who deceived the mob."
07:01 So there were false Christ and false prophets
07:04 by the testimony of scripture
07:06 and also by the testimony of Flavius Josephus,
07:09 the Jewish historian.
07:11 Now what about wars and rumors of wars and social unrest?
07:16 There was much of that as well.
07:18 You know, Jesus was born during the period
07:21 of what has come to be known as the Pax Romana.
07:24 In other words, the Roman peace.
07:26 And according to Roman historians
07:29 this period from 17 B.C.
07:32 during the emperorship of Augustus
07:35 all the way till the year 67 under Nero
07:38 there was an unparallel peace in the history of the Roman Empire.
07:43 That is until Nero sent Vespasian,
07:47 his General, to quelch the rebellion
07:50 that was taking place in the city of Jerusalem
07:53 and then everything fell into disarray.
07:57 Everything fell apart
07:59 and no longer was there peace anywhere.
08:01 There were natural disasters everywhere
08:03 as we're going to notice.
08:05 In fact, there were many wars because Vespasian,
08:09 as was his policy, as he went to Jerusalem
08:12 he finished off every nation that he found in the way
08:16 so that they would not interfere in the destruction of Jerusalem.
08:19 In fact, Josephus says that it was his strategy
08:23 to leave nothing outside of Jerusalem behind him
08:27 that might interrupt in the siege.
08:30 There are many wars.
08:32 Notice "Desire of Ages," page 628,
08:36 "Prior to thedestruction of Jerusalem,
08:39 men wrestled for the supremacy.
08:42 Emperors were murdered.
08:44 Those supposed to be standing next to the throne were slain.
08:50 There were wars and rumors of wars."
08:53 In fact, we know that the Jews themselves
08:56 had battles with the Ascalonians,
08:59 the Samaritans, the Alexandrians,
09:01 and the Syrians just a few years
09:03 before the destruction of Jerusalem.
09:06 Tacitus, the great Roman historian,
09:08 who lived from the year 55 till the year 117 A.D,
09:13 had this to say about this period.
09:15 He said, "The history on which I am entering
09:18 is that of a period rich in disasters,
09:22 terrible in battles, torn by civil struggles,
09:26 horrible even in peace.
09:28 Four emperors failed by the sword.
09:31 There were three civil wars, more foreign wars
09:34 and often both at the same time."
09:38 And Josephus had this to say,
09:40 "All was in disorder after the death of Nero."
09:45 And so there were great numbers of wars and rumors of wars
09:50 that led up to the destruction of Jerusalem
09:52 both according to scripture
09:54 and also according to the Jewish historian,
09:57 Josephus and the Roman historian, Tacitus.
10:01 Now what about famines and pestilences
10:04 between the death of Jesus
10:06 and the destruction of Jerusalem?
10:08 In Acts 11:28,
10:10 we find the mention of one of these horrendous famines.
10:14 It says there in Acts 11:28,
10:17 "Then one of them, named Agabus,
10:21 stood up and showed by the Spirit
10:24 that there was going to be a great famine
10:27 throughout all the world,
10:29 which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar."
10:34 By the way, Josephus calls this famine, the great famine.
10:39 And if you read in "Antiquities of the Jews"
10:41 as well as in Josephus' book "Wars of the Jews"
10:44 he mentions many other famines
10:47 that also took place around the same time.
10:50 Ellen White, in the book "The Great Controversy,"
10:53 page 32 concurs with Josephus with these words,
10:58 "Thousands" speaking about Jerusalem,
11:01 "Thousands perished from famine and pestilence.
11:05 Natural affection seemed to have been destroyed.
11:09 Husbands robbed their wives, and wives their husbands.
11:13 Children would be seen snatching the food
11:17 from the mouths of their good parents."
11:21 In fact, Lamentations 4:10 were sung,
11:26 as I mentioned in our last lecture,
11:28 in conjunction with this destruction of Jerusalem.
11:31 And the Book of Lamentations 4:10
11:34 speaks about mothers eating their children
11:38 because of a severe famine.
11:40 Notice what it says there,
11:41 "The hands of the compassionate women
11:44 have cooked their own children.
11:47 They became food for them
11:48 in the destruction of the daughter of my people."
11:52 In fact, this was a fulfillment
11:53 of one of the curses of the covenant
11:55 that are mentioned in Deuteronomy 28:56 and 57.
12:00 God had said that if Israel did not obey His voice
12:04 and follow His covenant that things like this would occur.
12:09 Ellen White in "Great Controversy,"
12:10 page 31 describes the hunger in the city this way.
12:14 "So fierce were the pangs of hunger
12:18 that men would gnaw the leather of their belts
12:22 and sandals and the covering of their shields.
12:26 Great numbers of the people would steal out at night
12:30 to gather wild plants growing outside the city walls,
12:34 though many were seized
12:36 and put to death with cruel torture,
12:39 and often those who returned in safety
12:42 were robbed of what they had gleaned at so great peril."
12:47 So there were severe famines, terrible hunger,
12:50 especially once the city of Jerusalem was besieged.
12:54 Now what about earthquakes and supernatural phenomenon?
12:58 We're following the order of the phenomenon
13:01 that we read at the beginning of our study.
13:04 Tacitus, the Roman historian,
13:06 in his book "The Annals of Tacitus"
13:09 describes earthquakes in Crete, Rome,
13:12 Apamea, Phrygia, Campania, and Laodicea and also Pompeii
13:19 just before the destruction of Jerusalem.
13:21 That's a lot of earthquakes in a lot of places.
13:25 In fact, Tacitus described one of these earthquakes
13:28 during the emperorship of Claudius.
13:31 He says this,
13:32 "Houses were flattened by repeated earthquakes,
13:36 and as terror spread,
13:38 the weak were trampled to death by the panic stricken."
13:43 The Roman writer, Seneca speaks of quakes
13:46 that took place in Asia, Achaea, Syria, and Macedonia.
13:52 In fact, Ellicot, the great commentator,
13:55 said this about this period between the death of Jesus
13:58 and the destruction of Jerusalem.
14:00 These are his words,
14:01 "Perhaps no period in world's history has ever been
14:06 so marked by these conditions, that is earthquakes,
14:09 as that which intervenes between the Crucifixion
14:12 and the destruction of Jerusalem."
14:16 Flavius Josephus says this about this period
14:20 and the supernatural phenomenon.
14:22 I quote, "There broke out a prodigious storm in the night,
14:27 with the utmost violence, and very strong winds,
14:31 with the largest showers of rain and continual lightnings,
14:35 terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions
14:40 and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake."
14:44 In fact, Josephus as he observed all these signs
14:48 he reached the conclusion that these signs
14:51 must be indicating something terrible
14:53 that was gonna happen to Jerusalem.
14:55 These are his words.
14:57 "These things were a manifest indication
15:00 that some destruction was coming upon men,
15:04 when the system of the world was put into this disorder,
15:08 and anyone would guess that these wonders foreshadowed
15:12 some grand calamities that were coming."
15:16 Now there's a detail that's not mentioned in Matthew.
15:19 And I brought this out in our first study together
15:22 and that is, that there were also going to be troubles.
15:26 The word "troubles" describes social unrest.
15:30 Notice Mark 13:8.
15:33 Mark 13:8, there were be gonna troubles
15:35 and riots and tumult and civil unrest.
15:40 This is what Mark 13:8 says,
15:42 "For nation will rise against nation
15:44 and kingdom against kingdom.
15:47 And there will be earthquakes in various places,
15:50 and there will be famines."
15:51 And then it says what?
15:52 "And troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows."
15:56 That word "troubles" is the same word
15:58 that is used to describe the mob that cried out,
16:01 "crucify Him, crucify Him."
16:04 You know, where there was more and more disorder
16:06 and more tumult among the crowd.
16:10 Now Josephus tells us that during this period
16:13 there was a great increase in messianic movements
16:16 in the Judean wilderness.
16:18 In fact, Josephus says that during the reign of Felix
16:23 that a succession of deceivers and impostors
16:27 fermented revolutionary changes
16:30 under the pretext of divine inspiration.
16:35 Ellen White vividly describes this period
16:38 in "Great Controversy," page 28 with these words.
16:42 "Satan aroused the fiercest
16:44 and most debased passions of the soul.
16:48 Men did not reason.
16:50 They were beyond reason-controlled by
16:52 impulse and blind rage.
16:55 They became satanic in their cruelty.
16:58 In the family and in the nation,
17:00 among the highest and the lowest classes alike,
17:04 there was suspicion, envy, hatred,
17:07 strife, rebellion, and murder.
17:09 There was no safety anywhere.
17:12 Friends and kindred betrayed one another.
17:15 Parents slew their children and children their parents."
17:21 Does this sound impressive, what was happening shortly
17:24 before the destruction of Jerusalem?
17:26 It's unbelievable and yet we need to understand
17:29 that this is going to occur again.
17:32 And is going to occur on a global scale
17:35 in the order in which we have studied these things.
17:39 And yet Jesus goes on to say,
17:41 "Don't worry, folks,
17:42 these are only the beginning of sorrows."
17:46 You say, "Wow.
17:47 If this is the beginning of sorrows what comes next?"
17:51 Well, the fact is that all of these calamities,
17:54 according to Matthew, were going to be blamed upon God's people.
18:00 Notice Matthew 24:9.
18:04 Immediately after all of these disasters
18:06 and when Jesus says,
18:07 "this is but the beginning of sorrows,"
18:10 we find the hidden agenda of the devil causing these things.
18:14 It says there in Matthew 24:9,
18:16 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation."
18:20 Is there a connection between the previous signs and this?
18:23 Yes, "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation
18:27 and kill you, and you will be hated
18:30 by all nations for My name's sake."
18:35 So all of these calamities are actually caused by Satan
18:39 with the intent that God's people
18:41 would be blamed for everything
18:43 that was happening in the natural world,
18:45 in society and in the political world
18:48 as well as in the religious world.
18:51 Between the death of Christ
18:52 and the destruction of Jerusalem
18:54 God's people were mercilessly persecuted.
18:58 For example, in Acts 5:41,
19:02 we find Peter and John being persecuted.
19:05 It says there in Acts 5:41,
19:07 "And they departed from the presence of the council,
19:10 rejoicing that they were counted worthy
19:13 to suffer shame for His name."
19:15 See, the shame is for the name of Jesus.
19:18 In Acts 8:1 we find reference to a great persecution.
19:22 It says there, "Now Saul was consenting to his death,"
19:26 that is Stephen's death.
19:28 "At that time a great persecution arose
19:32 against the church which was at Jerusalem.
19:35 And they were all scattered throughout
19:37 the regions of Judea and Samaria,
19:39 except the apostles."
19:42 We all know about the persecutions
19:44 of Saul of Tarsus against the church of God.
19:47 By the way, Jesus had predicted this,
19:50 that many individuals would seek God's people to kill them
19:54 thinking that they were actually doing God a favor.
19:57 Do you remember the words of Caiaphas,
19:58 where Caiaphas says,
20:00 "It's necessary for one man to die
20:02 and not for the nation to disappear or to be destroyed?"
20:06 There he revealed that he thought
20:08 that Jesus was going to lead to the destruction of Jerusalem
20:12 and they needed to get rid of Jesus.
20:14 But by getting rid of Jesus, that eventually led to what?
20:19 That eventually led
20:21 to the destruction of the city of Jerusalem.
20:24 By the way, we know that Peter was crucified
20:30 and we know that Paul was beheaded.
20:33 Both of them because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
20:37 In John 16:1 and 2, Jesus predicted that
20:41 many of God's people will be persecuted
20:44 in the name of righteousness.
20:46 It says there,
20:47 "These things I have spoken to you,
20:50 that you should not be made to stumble.
20:53 They will put you out of the synagogues.
20:55 Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you
20:59 will think that he offers God" what?
21:02 "That he offers God service."
21:05 Now you notice as we compare the Gospel of Mark,
21:09 that this persecution would lead God's people to be taken
21:13 before kings and rulers to witness for their faith.
21:17 In other words, the calamities would cause persecution
21:21 but the persecution would lead God's people
21:23 to be in the presence of kings and rulers
21:25 to testify before them.
21:27 Notice Mark 13:9,
21:32 "But watch out for yourselves,
21:34 for they will deliver you up to councils,
21:37 and you will be beaten in the synagogues.
21:39 You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake,
21:45 for a testimony to them."
21:46 In other words, the persecution was meant to
21:49 get rid of God's people but by the persecution
21:52 actually God's people were led to give testimony
21:56 before the great political
21:57 and religious rulers of the world.
22:00 And thus it was that the Apostle Paul appeared before Felix.
22:05 Notice Acts 24:24 and 25. Acts 24:24 and 25.
22:13 It says, "And after some days,
22:15 when Felix came with his wife Drusilla,
22:17 who was Jewish, he sent for Paul
22:19 and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.
22:23 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control,
22:26 and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered,
22:30 'Go away for now.
22:32 When I have a convenient time I will call for you.'"
22:35 Notice that he was shaken up by the message
22:38 that the Apostle Paul gave him.
22:40 The question is why was he shaken up?
22:42 The reason is very simple.
22:44 God gave Paul and Peter
22:47 and all those who appear before the kings
22:50 the gift of the Holy Spirit
22:51 so that they could witness with power.
22:54 Notice also the testimony of the appearance
22:57 of the Apostle Paul before King Agrippa.
22:59 Notice, for his faith he's appearing before the king.
23:02 It says in Acts 26:1-3,
23:07 "Then Agrippa said to Paul,
23:09 'You are permitted to speak for yourself.'
23:11 So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself.
23:15 I think myself happy, King Agrippa,
23:18 because today I shall answer for myself before you all
23:22 concerning the things of which I am accused by the Jews,
23:26 especially because you are an expert in all customs
23:30 and questions which have to do with the Jews.
23:34 Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently."
23:37 And we're told in the book Acts of the Apostles
23:39 that also King Agrippa shook at the testimony
23:44 that the Apostle Paul gave him.
23:46 And he even said
23:47 "almost persuadest thou me to be," what?
23:51 "To be a Christian."
23:52 We know also that the Apostle Paul
23:55 appeared before the Emperor Nero.
23:57 Now it was in God's providence that these calamities take place
24:02 and that persecution come so that God's people
24:05 could be in the courts of kings to witness for God.
24:08 And when the emergency came God gave His people wisdom
24:13 and the Holy Spirit to speak with power.
24:15 I want you to remember all of these things
24:17 because the pattern in the end time will be identical.
24:21 Notice Mark 13:11. Mark 13:11.
24:26 Notice how they receive the aid of the Holy Spirit.
24:30 And by the way, this is in the same sequence of Matthew 24.
24:34 "But when they arrest you and deliver you up,
24:37 do not worry beforehand,
24:39 or premeditate what you will speak.
24:41 But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that,
24:45 for it is not you who speak,"
24:47 but whom? "But the Holy Spirit."
24:50 What did God give them the power of the Holy Spirit to speak?
24:54 Yes. Is this gonna happen in the end time also?
24:57 Is God gonna pour out His spirit so that God's people can speak
25:01 in the midst of huge persecutions?
25:03 Yes, I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself
25:05 but I want you to be thinking forwards, not only to history.
25:08 This is the foundation, this is the bases
25:11 for what we're gonna study in the future.
25:13 See, you can't know what's gonna happen in the future
25:15 unless you see the pattern as it occurred in the past.
25:18 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
25:20 Now notice Luke 21:14 and 15.
25:23 We find another example of this
25:25 and how God gives wisdom to speak in times of emergency.
25:29 Luke 21:14 and 15, "Therefore settle it in your hearts
25:36 not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer."
25:40 In other words, don't prepare your speech.
25:42 "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom
25:46 which all your adversaries will not be able
25:50 to contradict or resist."
25:52 Isn't that marvelous?
25:53 In other words, your wisdom which will be My wisdom
25:57 will be so powerful that no one will be able to contradict it.
26:02 We're also told that as a result of this testimony
26:05 which was given, God's people
26:08 would be hated with an even greater hatred than before.
26:12 In fact, we're told that Christians would be betrayed
26:17 by their own friends and by their own relatives.
26:20 Notice Mark 13:12.
26:22 I want you to remember this because in the end time
26:24 God's people are also gonna be hated
26:26 by their relatives and by their friends.
26:28 Mark 13:12, it says,
26:31 "Now brother will betray brother to death,
26:34 and a father his child.
26:36 And children will rise up against their parents
26:40 and cause them to be put to death."
26:42 You say this is impossible, Pastor Bohr,
26:44 that children would betray their parents to death.
26:47 That's exactly what happened.
26:48 And that's exactly what's gonna happen in the end time
26:51 as well to those who truly follow Jesus.
26:54 Notice also Matthew 10:34-37, Jesus had predicted this.
27:00 Matthew 10:34-37, Here Jesus says,
27:05 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth.
27:09 I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
27:12 For I have come to set a man against his father,
27:16 a daughter against her mother,
27:18 and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
27:21 And a man's enemies will be those of his own household."
27:26 You see, Jesus and His message brings division.
27:29 It brings hatred.
27:31 And God's people had to testify
27:33 in the midst of great opposition.
27:35 In the book "Desire of Ages,"
27:37 page 629, we find this vivid description.
27:40 "Fathers and mothers betrayed their children.
27:44 Children betrayed their parents.
27:46 Friends delivered their friends up to the Sanhedrin.
27:50 The persecutors wrought out their purpose by killing
27:53 Stephen, James, and other Christians."
27:57 Now the next sign that's mentioned in Matthew 24 is
28:00 that when persecution came and God's people had to testify
28:05 many of God's people would be offended at Jesus
28:09 and would be shaken out.
28:11 There was gonna be a shaking in other words.
28:13 There were gonna be many who were in the faith
28:15 that would forsake the faith.
28:18 Notice Matthew 24:11. Matthew 24:11.
28:24 By the way, this is in the context of the persecution
28:27 that is mentioned in the previous verses.
28:29 It says, "And then," notice the word then.
28:32 "Because of the persecution then many will be," what?
28:37 "Will be offended."
28:38 In other words, they're gonna leave the faith.
28:40 Will be offended, will betray one another,
28:43 and will hate one another."
28:47 By the way, this happened in real cases
28:49 between the death of Jesus
28:50 and the destruction of Jerusalem.
28:52 You remember when the Apostle Paul
28:53 was in his second imprisonment in Rome
28:56 there was an individual who had embraced the faith.
28:59 His name was Demas.
29:00 And notice what the Apostle Paul had to say about Demas.
29:03 2 Timothy 4:10, "For Demas has forsaken me,
29:09 having loved this present world,
29:11 and has departed for Thessalonica."
29:14 In fact, the Apostle Paul says that
29:16 during his second imprisonment nobody was with him.
29:19 Everyone had forsaken him.
29:21 Notice 2 Timothy 4:16.
29:24 The Apostle Paul says,
29:26 "At my first defense no one stood with me,
29:29 but all forsook me.
29:31 May it not be charged against them."
29:34 Actually, the Apostle John had described this moment.
29:38 He described the case of many people
29:40 who were among God's people but were not part of God's people.
29:44 Notice 1 John 2:19. 1 John 2:19.
29:50 Here John says, "They went out from us,
29:53 but they were not of us, for if they had been of us,
29:57 they would have continued with us.
29:59 But they went out that they might be made manifest,
30:03 that none of them were of us."
30:07 Now in this context also Jesus predicted
30:10 that many false prophets will arise.
30:13 In fact, these false prophets
30:14 especially were those who told the people in Jerusalem,
30:18 "Don't worry, God is with us.
30:20 God is gonna deliver us from the Romans."
30:22 In fact, they preached, "Peace. Peace."
30:26 This is the same thing that the false prophets did
30:28 leading up to the destruction of the first Jerusalem
30:31 as we noticed in our previous study.
30:33 Matthew 24:11.
30:35 Notice what Jesus had to say about false prophets rising
30:39 and trying to get God's people
30:41 to abandon the faith and to follow them.
30:44 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many."
30:50 Ellen White, in her book, "Desire of Ages"
30:53 page 631 says this about the false prophets.
30:57 And I quote, "False prophets did rise, deceiving the people,
31:02 and leading great numbers into the desert.
31:06 Magicians and sorcerers, claiming miraculous power,
31:10 drew the people after them into the mountain solitudes."
31:14 By the way, in the end time
31:16 there are also gonna be false prophets.
31:18 We'll notice this when we study Matthew 24:23 and 24,
31:21 "False prophets will arise and they will deceive if possible,"
31:25 Jesus said, "Even the very elect."
31:29 In "Great Controversy" page 29, Ellen White said this.
31:33 She said "The religious leaders
31:35 bribed false prophets to proclaim,
31:38 even while Roman legions were besieging the temple,
31:42 that the people were to wait for deliverance from God."
31:45 Even while the temple was being destroyed,
31:47 these false prophets were saying,
31:50 "We are going to be delivered by God."
31:53 And Flavius Josephus had this to say.
31:56 "Now it came to pass, while Fadus was procurator in Judea,
32:01 that a certain magician, whose name was Theudas,
32:04 persuaded a great part of the people
32:06 to take their effects with them,
32:08 and follow him to the river Jordan.
32:11 For he told them he was a prophet, and that he would,
32:14 by his own command, divide the river,
32:16 and afford them passage over it.
32:19 And many were deluded by his words."
32:23 By the way, the Book Acts-- the Book of Acts of the apostles
32:26 mentions one of these false prophets.
32:29 Acts 13:6 says this,
32:33 "Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos,
32:37 they found a certain sorcerer,
32:39 a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus."
32:45 Peter also predicted false prophets during this period.
32:48 2 Peter 2:1,
32:52 "But there were also false prophets among the people,
32:54 even as there will be false teachers among you,
32:58 who will secretly bring in destructive heresies,
33:02 even denying the Lord who bought them,
33:04 and bringing on themselves swift destruction."
33:09 Jesus also spoke about
33:11 a tremendous increase in lawlessness
33:14 and He said that the love of many would grow cold.
33:18 Now it's interesting if the love was gonna grow cold,
33:21 it must mean that at one time they had love
33:22 and that the love was warm
33:24 because something can't grow cold unless it was warm before.
33:27 And it's because of the increase in lawlessness
33:30 that the love grows cold.
33:32 In fact, notice Matthew 24:12,
33:36 "And because lawlessness will abound,
33:39 the love of many will grow cold."
33:43 And so now Jesus calls for endurance.
33:45 The Lord Jesus says, "You're going to need endurance,
33:48 mainly for three reasons."
33:49 Because according to the context there has been persecution.
33:53 There has been deception.
33:55 And there has been a love growing cold.
33:58 And so Jesus is gonna say,
33:59 "Now if you're gonna remain firm,
34:01 you're going to need patience or endurance."
34:05 You can't allow persecution.
34:07 You can't allow deception.
34:09 And you can't allow your love to grow cold.
34:13 Let me ask you, does the Book of Revelation
34:15 speak about a special patience or endurance
34:18 that God's people are gonna need in the end time
34:20 in order not to be deceived,
34:22 in order for their love to stay hot,
34:24 in order for them to withstand persecution when it arises?
34:29 You know that text.
34:30 Here is the patience of the saints.
34:32 Here are they who keep the commandments of God
34:34 and the faith of Jesus.
34:38 So Jesus calls for endurance.
34:41 In fact, in Luke 21:19 we find a parallel passage.
34:47 Luke says, "By your patience posses your souls."
34:53 And then comes a very important sign.
34:56 It's found in Matthew 24:14,
35:00 and probably you've read this verse.
35:01 You can recite it from memory.
35:03 "And this gospel of the kingdom
35:06 will be preached in all the world
35:08 as a witness to all the nations and then the end will come."
35:14 In others words, God's people will preach the message
35:16 and the message will reach
35:18 every corner of the world at that time.
35:22 Now the word "world" that is used here
35:24 is not the common word for world.
35:26 You know, you have the word "cosmos"
35:28 which refers to the planet itself.
35:31 You have also the word "ion"
35:33 which refers to the world in its temporal composition.
35:36 The word here is "oikumene."
35:38 It refers to the inhabited world.
35:41 In other words, when it says
35:42 and this gospel of the kingdom
35:43 will be preached in all the world
35:45 it's speaking about the inhabitants of the world.
35:47 Now let me ask you the question.
35:48 Was the gospel preached to the whole world
35:50 in apostolic times before the destruction of Jerusalem?
35:53 Yes, it was.
35:55 Notice Colossians 1:23. Colossians 1:23.
36:00 "If indeed you continue in the faith,
36:04 grounded and steadfast and are not moved away
36:08 from the hope of the gospel which you heard."
36:11 Now notice this, the Apostle Paul is speaking.
36:13 He says, "Which was preached to every creature under heaven,
36:19 of which I, Paul, became a minister."
36:23 So did the gospel go to every creature
36:26 before the destruction of Jerusalem? Yes.
36:28 Is it going to go to the whole world at the end of time?
36:31 Yes, it is. Notice Romans 1:8.
36:34 Romans 1:8 repeats the same idea
36:37 that the gospel went to the whole world.
36:40 Here the Apostle Paul says,
36:42 "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all,
36:45 that your faith is spoken of," where?
36:48 "Throughout the whole world."
36:52 Now we've come to the point that we want to dedicate
36:55 most of our study to and that is Matthew 24:15.
37:01 Have you noticed all of the preliminary things
37:03 that are taking place here?
37:04 Have you gathered the sequence of events
37:07 that are taking place here?
37:08 You have all of these disasters.
37:10 These disasters lead to what?
37:13 They lead to persecution.
37:14 God's people witness.
37:16 God gives them the power of His Holy Spirit to witness.
37:19 He gives them a wisdom which cannot be withstood.
37:23 They preach the gospel to the whole world.
37:26 False prophets and deceivers arise.
37:28 Many are offended.
37:30 Many drop away from the faith.
37:32 Does this scenario sound similar to something
37:35 that you've heard about the end time?
37:36 You know, it is a blueprint
37:38 of what is going to take place in the end time
37:41 as we'll notice in our next studies.
37:43 Now we want to deal with "The Abomination of Desolation."
37:46 It's mentioned in Matthew 24:15.
37:49 Go with me there, Matthew 24:15.
37:52 And we touched upon this in our previous lecture.
37:56 It says here, "Therefore when you see."
38:00 Is the abomination something that can be seen?
38:03 According to this, yes.
38:05 "When you see the 'abomination of desolation,'
38:09 spoken of by," whom?
38:11 "By Daniel the prophet, standing," where?
38:14 "In the holy place whoever reads let him understand."
38:18 Four things that I want us to know it's here.
38:19 First of all, it could be seen.
38:21 Secondly, it's called the abomination of desolation.
38:24 Third, it was spoken of by Daniel.
38:26 And fourth, it stands in the holy place.
38:29 Now where do we need to go
38:30 to know what this abomination of desolation is?
38:33 Obviously, we would have to go back to Daniel
38:36 because it was spoken of by Daniel, the prophet.
38:39 Now do you remember in our last lecture
38:40 that we studied about how Daniel predicted
38:43 that Jerusalem would be destroyed a second time?
38:46 How it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar
38:48 but after 70 years, there were promises
38:50 that God's people were gonna return.
38:52 They were gonna rebuild the temple.
38:54 They were gonna rebuild the city.
38:55 They were gonna rebuild the walls.
38:56 And God was gonna give them another chance.
38:59 Another chance to obey His voice
39:01 and follow His covenant, you remember that?
39:04 But also we noticed at the end of Daniel 9
39:07 that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed a what?
39:10 A second time. Let's read that.
39:12 Daniel 9:26, 27, the famous prophecy of the 70 weeks.
39:18 It says, "And after the 62 weeks Messiah shall be cut off,
39:23 but not for Himself, and the people of the prince
39:26 who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary."
39:29 Was Jerusalem gonna be destroyed again according to this?
39:31 Absolutely.
39:32 "The end of it shall be with a flood,
39:36 and till the end of the war," what?
39:40 What's the word there?
39:41 "Desolations are determined."
39:44 Verse 27, "Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for 1 week,
39:48 but in the middle of the week
39:49 He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering."
39:53 And notice what the result is.
39:54 "And on the wing of," what?
39:57 "Abominations shall be one who makes," there's the word again,
40:01 "desolate, even until the consummation,
40:03 which is determined, is poured out upon the," what?
40:07 "Desolate."
40:09 Did you notice the number of times that the word
40:10 abomination and desolate are used in these verses?
40:13 Is this referring to what was gonna happen with Jerusalem
40:16 when it was going to be destroyed the second time?
40:18 Absolutely.
40:20 Abomination would lead to what?
40:22 Would lead to desolation.
40:24 But the question is what was this abomination
40:27 that led to desolation?
40:29 Well, Luke 21:20 gives us the explanation and the answer.
40:34 That's why it's nice to have more than one gospel.
40:37 Luke 21:20.
40:42 Here Luke expresses it in a different way.
40:45 "But when you see."
40:46 Was that in Matthew, seeing? Yes.
40:49 "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by," what? "Armies."
40:55 What is the abomination then?
40:58 Is Jerusalem, what? "Surrounded by armies."
41:01 So they could see.
41:03 When they saw the abomination of desolation which was, what?
41:06 "The surrounding of Jerusalem by armies
41:11 then know that its," what?
41:13 "Then its desolation is near."
41:17 So let me ask you, was the abomination
41:20 set up inside the city or outside the city?
41:24 It was outside.
41:25 It was where the Roman armies were.
41:27 When you see armies surrounding Jerusalem
41:31 which is the abomination, you can know that the desolation
41:34 of the city of Jerusalem is near.
41:39 Now the question is what is it that these armies had
41:43 that could be called an abomination?
41:47 The fact is folks that were told by Josephus
41:52 as well as other historians that what the people in the city saw
41:58 was the Romans coming and placing their standards
42:02 in the ground as they surrounded the city of Jerusalem.
42:06 And then they bowed
42:08 and they worshipped the standards
42:11 that they carried in front of their legions.
42:15 In other words, they worship them.
42:17 Saying that the--being that was represented by the standards
42:23 was actually going to give them the victory
42:26 over the city of Jerusalem.
42:29 Now allow me to read you from Luke 19:41 to 44,
42:33 how Jerusalem was going to be destroyed
42:36 because of their rejection of the Messiah.
42:40 Luke 19:41 to 44.
42:42 It says, "Now as He drew near," Jesus that is,
42:46 "He saw the city and wept over it, saying,
42:49 'If you had known, even you, especially in this your day,
42:54 the things that make for your peace.
42:56 But now they are hidden from your eyes.
42:59 For days will come upon you
43:02 when your enemies will build an embankment around you,
43:06 surround you and close you in on every side.'"
43:09 Is that the same surrounding of Jerusalem in Luke 21? Yes.
43:13 Verse 44, "And level you,
43:16 and your children within you, to the ground,
43:19 and they will not leave in you one stone upon another,
43:23 because you did not know the time of your visitation."
43:29 Now you say what did those standards have on them?
43:33 Here we're reaching a very important point in our study
43:35 that we need to remember because in our next lecture,
43:38 we're gonna come back to this in the context of the end time.
43:41 "Great Controversy" page 26, we find this description
43:44 and then I'm going to read you
43:46 a statement a little bit later on from Josephus.
43:49 Ellen White says this,
43:51 "When the idolatrous standards of the Romans
43:56 should be set up in the holy ground,
43:59 which extended some furlongs outside the city walls,
44:06 then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight.
44:11 When the warning sign should be seen,
44:14 those who would escape must make no delay."
44:20 What was it that they saw in the standards?
44:22 An ego. Interesting.
44:26 She says, "When the idolatrous standards of the Romans."
44:29 In fact, "Great Controversy" page 41,
44:31 she speaks about these standards.
44:32 And she says, "The gospel penetrated into the regions
44:36 that were inaccessible, even to the eagles of Rome."
44:42 What was the ensign that Nebuchadnezzar had
44:44 when he came to destroy Jerusalem in the Old Testament?
44:46 Do you remember? It was an eagle.
44:49 Now you have a new general, pagan general,
44:51 who's coming also with what?
44:53 With eagles for the second destruction of Jerusalem.
44:57 Now allow me to give you a little history
44:59 about the Roman standard with the eagle
45:01 and tell you a little about it.
45:04 Italia 104 B.C.,
45:07 the Romans had many different animals on their standards.
45:11 You know, some standards had bulls or snakes or lions
45:15 or vultures, many different kinds of animals.
45:17 But after the year 104 B.C., they standardized it
45:22 and all of the Roman legions had eagles on their standards.
45:26 In fact, in the year 63,
45:29 the Great Roman General Pompey deified the standards.
45:33 In other words, he made the standard
45:37 represent the God that was on the standard.
45:41 And by the way, that God was the sun god Mithra.
45:44 It was the same god that was worshiped
45:47 by Constantine the Great
45:50 both before and after he became a Christian.
45:54 Now the interesting thing is
45:55 that if you look at the Roman standard
45:57 and in the DVD presentation
45:59 there's going to be an illustration of it.
46:01 You'll find an eagle on the standard.
46:04 And the eagle is facing right.
46:06 The head of the eagle is facing right.
46:08 The wings of the eagle are outstretched.
46:12 And surrounding the eagle
46:13 is a circular wreath which is golden.
46:19 In other words, it is a golden wreath round.
46:24 In the talons of the eagle it has arrows.
46:29 Now that's interesting.
46:31 You have an eagle facing right, it has around it a golden wreath
46:36 which by the way represents the orb of the sun.
46:40 And then you have the eagle with arrows in its talons.
46:48 Now why is this important?
46:50 Because we're gonna notice it later on in history
46:52 there's another nation represented by an eagle
46:55 who's gonna do something relating to the sun.
46:59 And as a result this abomination
47:02 will ultimately lead to desolation,
47:05 not of Jerusalem but of the whole world.
47:08 Notice what Josephus had to say about the Romans standards.
47:11 He said, "Then came the ensigns encompassing the eagle which,"
47:17 he says this, "The eagle,
47:19 which is at the head of every Roman legion."
47:24 What was at the head of every Roman legion? The eagle.
47:29 "The king and the strongest of all birds, which seems to them,"
47:34 that is to the Romans, "a signal of dominion,
47:38 and an omen that they shall conquer
47:41 all against whom they march."
47:44 By the way, do you know that
47:45 Peter referred to Rome as Babylon?
47:50 Rome was the new Babylon.
47:51 Notice 1 Peter 5:13.
47:55 Actually we won't read that.
47:56 Well, let's do read it.
47:58 1 Peter 5:13.
48:02 Here Peter says, "She who is in Babylon."
48:08 By this time Babylon had been destroyed, the literal Babylon.
48:11 "She who is in Babylon, elect together with you,
48:16 greets you, and so does Mark my son."
48:19 Practically every scholar agrees
48:21 that when Peter speaks here of Babylon,
48:24 he's cryptically speaking about Rome,
48:27 because Rome is the new Babylon.
48:29 And so you have the new Babylon with the eagle ensigns
48:33 coming against the seed of Jerusalem.
48:36 By the way, the gospel of Matthew
48:39 actually mentions the eagles.
48:41 Have you ever read Matthew 24:28, where it says,
48:46 "Where the eagles are, there will the carcasses be found."
48:51 In other words, the eagles are actually mentioned
48:54 in Matthew 24:28, the eagles of Rome.
48:58 But you'll say, "Okay,
49:00 so the Christians that were inside the city,
49:02 they would see this sign of the Romans
49:04 bringing their standards with the eagle and the sun on it
49:07 represented the sun god Mithra
49:09 and they would worship the sun god Mithra.
49:12 And they would see this sign but how could they escape
49:16 if the city of Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies?
49:20 Well, the fact is by a miracle of God
49:23 there was a temporary retreat by the General Cestius.
49:27 Allow me to read you from "Great Controversy" page 30
49:30 and then I'm gonna read from Josephus
49:31 because Ellen White is simply referring here to Josephus.
49:36 "Great Controversy" page 30, Ellen White says,
49:38 "After the Romans under Cestius had surrounded the city,
49:42 they unexpectedly abandoned the siege
49:46 when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack.
49:50 The besieged, despairing of successful resistance,
49:54 were on the point of surrender."
49:56 In other words, the Jews were at the point of surrender
49:57 "When the Roman general withdrew his forces,
50:00 without the least apparent reason."
50:04 Flavius Josephus adds,
50:07 "Without having received any disgrace
50:10 Cestius retired from the city
50:13 without any reason in the world."
50:17 And of course, the Jews pursued the Roman armies who had left.
50:21 They said, "This is the sign of God."
50:22 The false prophets said, "See, we told you
50:24 that God was going to perform a miracle
50:26 and that the Romans were gonna leave."
50:28 They pursued them. And they killed many of the Romans.
50:30 Why did the Romans flee?
50:33 Till this day it's a mystery except for the fact
50:36 that we know that Jesus had said in Matthew
50:39 that there was going to be a sign.
50:40 And when His people saw the sign they should flee from the city.
50:44 But how could they flee
50:45 if the Roman armies surrounded the city?
50:48 The Roman armies had to leave so that God's people could flee.
50:52 And then, by the way, the Roman armies came back
50:56 and they did not retreat again.
50:59 And everyone who stayed in the city,
51:02 who did not flee from the city,
51:04 was destroyed in the city of Jerusalem.
51:08 In fact, Josephus tells us that approximately 1.1 million Jews
51:14 were crucified outside the city of Jerusalem.
51:18 But we're told by the spirit of prophecy
51:20 that not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem
51:26 because they had seen the eagle and the sun
51:30 and the warship of the Roman armies.
51:32 They had seen the abomination.
51:34 They knew desolation was coming because of that.
51:37 And therefore when the Roman armies retreated,
51:40 they picked up and they left.
51:42 And therefore when the Roman armies came back,
51:46 they were safe and sound.
51:48 In fact, after this they actually fled to the mountains.
51:53 Have you ever studied before that there's gonna come a time
51:57 when in a certain country whose emblem is the eagle,
52:01 having something to do with the sun,
52:03 that a decree is gonna be given against them
52:06 and they're gonna have to flee to the mountains?
52:08 Have you ever heard anything like that?
52:11 Where did Ellen White get such an idea from?
52:13 Preposterous, right? Not preposterous.
52:16 It's typology. What happened will happen.
52:20 And we're gonna study this in our next lecture.
52:22 In fact, notice Matthew 24:16-18.
52:26 Immediately after the abomination of desolation
52:29 is put up when the eagle and the sun is worshiped.
52:34 Immediatel it says,
52:35 "Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
52:38 Let him who is on the housetop
52:40 not go down to take anything out of his house.
52:43 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes."
52:48 In "Great Controversy," page 30 we find these words,
52:51 "But God's merciful providence was directing events
52:55 for the good of His own people.
52:56 The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians
53:01 and now an opportunity was afforded for all who would,
53:06 to obey the Savior's warning."
53:08 Let me ask you, is it important to watch the signs?
53:11 Only those who watched the sign escaped from the city.
53:16 There are some people today saying,
53:17 "Oh, I'm not interested in what's coming.
53:20 I'm only interested in who's coming."
53:22 Well, let me tell you if you're only interested in who's coming
53:26 and not what's coming, you're going to accept the wrong who.
53:30 I can assure you that because the signs are necessary
53:34 so that we will not be deceived.
53:36 Jesus started this sermon by saying,
53:39 "I give this to you so that you will not be," what?
53:42 "So that you will not be deceived."
53:47 By the way, how many groups in the city of Jerusalem? Two.
53:54 Was there a separation before the destruction?
53:57 Yes, there was.
53:58 Was there a separation
53:59 before the destruction in the Old Testament story?
54:02 Was there a sign placed upon God's people? Absolutely.
54:05 Were they spared when the destruction came? Yes.
54:08 Also with the second destruction of Jerusalem, the same happened.
54:14 Ellen White says in "Great Controversy" page 30,
54:17 "Not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem."
54:24 Isn't that interesting? Not one Christian perished.
54:27 They were all sealed,
54:30 marked by God as His people and they escaped.
54:33 They came out.
54:35 And therefore, they were spared.
54:38 In fact, Josephus describing the destruction of the city
54:41 had this to say, "The misfortunes of all men,
54:47 from the beginning of the world."
54:50 He's almost quoting Jesus.
54:51 "From the beginning of the world,
54:54 if they be compared to these of the Jews
54:57 are not considerable as they were."
55:00 Now this was the worst calamity
55:02 since the beginning of the world is what Josephus is saying.
55:06 Now I want you to notice one final thing in closing.
55:11 Do you know that all of those who fled from Jerusalem
55:15 kept a very special day?
55:19 You say, "They did?"
55:21 Was the Sabbath involved
55:23 in the destruction of Jerusalem in the Old Testament?
55:26 Those who were spared were they Sabbath keepers?
55:28 Was the city destroyed
55:29 because it did not keep the Sabbath?
55:32 Yes. You say, "oh, but the Jews, they kept the Sabbath."
55:34 Yeah, they kept a counterfeit Sabbath.
55:36 They kept their own Sabbath that the Pharisees had created.
55:40 But it wasn't God's Sabbath.
55:41 It was a counterfeit Sabbath.
55:43 But God had a people who kept the true Sabbath of the Bible.
55:48 In fact, notice Matthew 24:20,
55:51 Jesus is speaking about the destruction of the city.
55:55 And He says to His followers when they see the sign
55:58 and they have to flee.
56:00 He says, "And pray that your flight
56:03 may not be in winter or on the Sabbath."
56:10 Do you think that might be true in the end time also?
56:13 Pray that your flight may not be in winter
56:16 because it will be very cold or on the Sabbath?
56:18 Are God's end time people going to be Sabbath keepers?
56:22 What about all the rest?
56:23 What was the other sign?
56:26 An eagle with what? With the sun.
56:30 And people worshipping the eagle, sun god,
56:33 the abomination that led to desolation.
56:36 By the way, national apostasy
56:40 on the part of Israel led to what?
56:44 To national ruin.
56:46 In other words, the abomination led to desolation.
56:52 Is what we've studied clear this evening?
56:55 Is it vitally important for us to understand history
56:59 in order to understand what's gonna happen in prophecy?
57:02 Yes. Because this prophecy has a twofold fulfillment.
57:07 Two questions were asked by the disciples.
57:10 What will be the sign of these things happening
57:12 and also the sign of your coming and the end of the world?
57:16 In our next study we're going to take a look
57:19 at the fulfillment of this in the future.
57:22 The parallel is amazing.
57:25 And I pray to God
57:26 that we will all be prepared for what will come.


Revised 2014-12-17