The Sign to Look For (Part 1)

” Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place” (whoever reads let him understand)….” For then there will be great tribulation, such has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:15, 21, NKJV).

A dear friend tuned in to a radio program. On it the pastor taught on the sign before the return of Jesus. After intently listening then comparing Scripture with Scripture, she agreed with his conclusion: The Anti-christ will, indeed, desecrate the rebuilt Jewish temple and then claim to be God. This will initiate the foretold events that usher in Messiah’s return.

What is amazing is that this daughter of Zion knew little about prophecy until earlier this year. She has taken to it like a fish to water. She digs in and does not stop until the Holy Spirit reveals truth.

The signs are a topic that should take precedence over most other studies. The signs are key to knowing when Jesus will rescue His people. The prophet Daniel was shown that at the midpoint (day 1260) of the final 7-year period (“the 70th week of Daniel”), the prince to come (Satan’s spawn) will cause the temple sacrifices to cease. Under the prince’s direction, an abomination will be set up that causes desolation (Daniel 9:27, 11:31). For example, a desecrating sacrifice would be a pig on the altar of God in the most holy place.

The Anti-christ, beast or man of lawlessness will exalt himself over God. He will speak blasphemies against the Lord of Hosts (Daniel 11:36-37, Revelation 13:5). The Apostle Paul taught the Thessalonians this doctrine. The Day of Jesus’ return (and our being gathered to Him via the Rapture) will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of sin, the son of perdition, is revealed. Paul then specifies what comes next: This man sits as God in the Lord’s temple and will claim to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

“Let the reader understand.” The Book of Daniel sheds more light. In Chapter 12 it states Michael, Israel’s great prince, will arise. The Hebrew word for “arise or stand up” is amad (aw-mad’). It also means “to be at a stand still”. This infers that the defender of God’s people will be removed from protecting Israel during the Great Tribulation (2 Thessalonians 2:7). An unparalleled time of trouble will descend upon earth’s saints (Daniel 12:1). This is what Jesus told his disciples to look for as he described a future “great distress” (Matthew 24:21, Luke 21:23).

Jesus warns those who witness this sign to flee to the mountains. He promises these days must be cut short or no flesh would survive. At that time there will be false messiahs and false prophets performing signs and wonders (Matthew 24:22-23, Revelation 13:11-18). The delusion will be so strong that, if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived. This is Scripture’s urgent warning.

The sign believers must prepare for will be “the Abomination that causes Desolation”. It is foolish to suggest–as Pre-tribulation or any-moment rapture teachers do–that the Lord offers his people a sign they won’t be around to see. The beast is himself a sign. He will appear to do his evil work before we witness our Lord and King’s return (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

Those, such as my friend, who know these things are the magi for our time. They are mining the gold of Scripture, searching for the signs. They will bless God’s people with their knowledge of the Word.

In the next post, we will explore the last sign, the one appearing before the heavens signal Jesus’ glory. EJ

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  1. John Finkbeiner’s avatar

    Your illuminating post answers what I believe is the question of the hour: “In order, who will appear first in the last days, the Antichrist or the Christ of God?” It is a simple and all-important question isn’t it?

    Who will receive the worship of the world’s inhabitants first? According to Scripture, does Jesus’ coming precede the beast’s appearance and his rise to power, or is it the other way around? How many so-called Bible-believing Christians either do not know or are unsure of the answer? What are the implications of the beast ruling the earth in advance of Christ’s return, especially for those who were taught otherwise?

    In regard to Christ’s coming, you said it rightly: The signs to look for are the abomination that causes desolation accompanied by the falling away, rebellion or apostasy of God’s people (Matthew 24:9-11, 15-16, 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4).

    A time of great deceit is already upon us. Many Christian teachers would have us believe the saints will escape all that is about to happen. Not so! Let the reader understand Luke 21:34-36.

    Your wisdom and that of your magi friend will save many from falling for this evil “Jesus comes first and at any moment” deception.

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  2. arjdolphins’s avatar

    I agree with you completely. In fact the rise of the antichrist will result in several things: 1) an apparent death (Revelation 13:3)
    2) Healing (read a false resurrection: Revelation 13:3)
    3) These events gives him the audacity to desecrate the temple of the HOLY ONE and claim to be God. Revelation 13:3 also says the world will follow.
    What we know from Daniel 7:25 is that this man will try to change the set times and laws. The laws are the commandments and the set times (Moadim) are the Holy Days God gave Moses in the Law. So consider a demonic death and resurrection with the plan of changing God’s ordained times and it is easy to surmise that the beast will be mortally wounded on the day the Passover lambs were slaughtered and “resurrected 3 days later” on first fruits.

    Then when we read Revelation 13:11-18 we can see the 2nd beast (false prophet) who looks like the messiah but speaks like Satan, perform signs and wonders. I believe that he will do this during the 40 days after the healing of the beast, much like the appearances of Jesus after His Resurrection. This would then culminate in a demonic Pentecost, 50 days from the “rebirth” of antichrist. Then those who fell away would take the mark. In this scenario, Satan would have just mocked Passover, First Fruits (the Days of Unleavened Bread) and Pentecost. The pieces really do fit perfectly.

    The events leading to the Rapture will be in the follow up post tomorrow.

    EJ>

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