Preparing For The Future
*When I came to Christ as my savior in the early seventies, Hal Lindsey had just written his run-away best seller, "The Late Great Planet Earth." with sales in excess of 18 million copies. Janyce and I were two young eager Christians when we heard that Hal Lindsey was going to speak at a small coffee shop in Waikiki. We sat there listening, with about 75 other people, to some of the most interesting and frightening teaching about the end times: the rapture of the church, the Great Tribulation, the coming antichrist, the battle of Armageddon, and the second coming to Jesus Christ.
*Mark records in his thirteenth chapter, what has become known as "Jesus' Olivet Discourse." In it Jesus tells about the future. Know Jesus does not predict the future; that's when someone says that there are terrible times in our country and I see things moving in this direction and I predict that such and such will happen.
*Jesus does not give predictions of the future, he foretells the future by divine revelation. These are statements of prophecy. Prophecy had its foundation in the Old testament when prophets were given infallible insight into future events that only God could know about.
*"I will raise up for them a prophet like you (Moses) from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.” You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Dt 18:17-22
*In Mark 13, Jesus describes three major future events and mentions the signs that would accompany them.
The fall of the city of Jerusalem.
The seven years tribulation.
The second coming of the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
READ: Mark 13:1-8
Time designators are helpful (circle verse #)
v. 8, "The beginning of birth pains"
The first 3 12 years of the tribulation period and or the period from the time of Christ to the mid-point of the tribulation.
v.14 "The abomination that causes desolation"
Happens at the mid-point of the triulation
v.23 "But in those days, following that distress."
Refers to the distress at the end of the seven year tribulation.
v.26 "At that time" when the "Sun will be darkened" the second coming of Christ will happen.
v.32 "No one knows the day or hour"
The major purpose of these prophecies: "watch" verses 5, 9, 23, 33, 35, 37
THE MAGNIFICENT TEMPLE v.1
"As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!"
"Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said," Lk 21:5
It was considered an architectural wonder of the ancient world
Although Herod’s Temple had been under construction for forty-six years (John 2:20), it still struck wonder in the eyes and heart of anyone who saw it. Ancient historians tell us that the southwestern view of the temple which covered Mount Moriah and rose 200 feet over Jerusalem cast the image of dazzling whiteness from its marble walls and blinding fire from its golden dome. Some of the marble stones themselves weighed 100 tons and measured 37 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 12 feet high (the size of boxcars).
Josephus wrote: The exterior of the building wanted nothing that could astound either mind or eye. For, being covered on all sides with massive plates of gold, the sun was no sooner up than it radiated so fiery a flash that persons straining to look at it were compelled to avert their eyes, as from the solar rays. To approaching strangers it appeared from a distance like a snow-clad mountain; for all that was not overlaid with gold was of purest white.
THE MAGNIFICENT TEMPLE WILL COME DOWN v.2
"Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
"After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Dan 9:26
Fulfilled literally in A.D. 70, when the Romans under Titis completely destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple buildings. Stones were even pried apart to collect the gold leaf that melted from the roof when the Temple was set on fire. Killed a million Jews.
In his history "The Wars of the Jews," Josephus counts over one million inhabitants of the city who died by crucifixion, sword, or famine. He also records the actions of starving people who became murderers, animals, and cannibals in order to survive. As for the temple, it was destroyed stone by stone just as Jesus had predicted. Except for some pieces of the stones that make up the Wailing Wall, nothing remains of Herod’s Temple except the foundation.
J Comparable in our day would have been a prophecy of the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City. Could you imagine someone, in the year 2000 standing next to those two magnificent buildings and saying that they will both be destroyed, not one floor would be upon another. Who could even believe such a thing; yet, it happened.
CONSIDER THE FORCE OF HIS PROPHECY
"I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe." Jn 14:29
It is the destruction of temple, that lays the foundation and the believability of everything else he has said.
The destruction of the temple is a prototype of the destruction that will be visited upon man during the great tribulation when God pours out his wrath a sinful world.
The destruction of the temple guarantees the certainty of the coming world dictator, the antichrist, who will dominate the world.
The destruction of the temple should make us sit up and listen to everything Jesus said
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son." Jn 3:16-18