In todayís church there is a war going on among the saints over trivial maters. One such battle is over the validity of words that describe the end times. Doctrines vary from one person to the next and whoever teaches hopes that he or she has the persuasiveness to affect a change of mind in his or her student. Prophecy of the end times is another area of dispute. Christ was asked this question about the end times
When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? Matthew 24:3.
Christís first words were:
"Watch out that no one deceives you Matthew 24:4.
This answer was out of place, but it seems as if Christ was always correcting his disciples for one thing or another. Christís disciples were not up to speed in spiritual matters and I think that is still true today. I am the worst among Christians, for the longer I am with the Lord the more fault I find in myself and that is when I need to lean on the Lord.
Has the church been deceived? Is the church actively seeking the Lord and attuned to his voice? The answer is some are and others are not. We live in times when it is difficult to find time to seek God and allow ourselves to be occupied with worldly things. Then we go to Church and let the beliefs of the pastor shape your beliefs. It is a spiritual duty to make a sacrifice of our body to present our selves holy and pleasing to god by the renewing of your mind. The idea is to have the mind of Christ.
The question of who you are listening to can be ascertained by what you believe and the treasures released by your mouth. False doctrine and misinformation is a ploy of the enemy that is waging war with Christians for the sole reason that we worship the true God. Before God brings Jesus back a second time Satan will demand the worship the inhabitants of the earth above every other god including the creator all things.
If those dayshad not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:22
The question asked of Jesus Christ is still of major interest today. Some Christians have worked for their lifetime researching the end time for answers. God has been innovative in how he has revealed his plan making his knowledge and instructions available to the saints today. Godís innovation is the reason I think every one will be surprised with the sequence of events of his return as they unfold. Godís coming is not going to happen as we think it will. His plan is scattered throughout the Bible with part of the plan in the Old Testament and another part in the New Testament. Putting his plan together must involve every part of the plan for every piece to fall together and be accurate. God says this about his plan.
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7
It would be nice to say that I have a handle on Godís word and can put God into a box so I could say what he is going to do. I donít believe that God has called me to be a prophet, but I believe he has called me to write about his plan from Godís prospective. Please bear with me as I attempt to do just that. Man does not have the privilege to change Godís plan as poor interpretation does so frequently.
Jesus was asked this question.
When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Matthew 24:3.
After he said do not be deceived he went on in the Olivett discourse to tell us what would happen, some of those events have been ongoing since then. Jesus pointed to one event that would be the sign of his return.
So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Matthew 24:15-16
The abomination that causes desolation spoken by the prophet Daniel is something the saints need to understand. Daniel spoke of the abomination that causes desolation three times (9:27, 11:31, 12:11) within his writing. 9:27 involves his dream for the restoration of the temple, 11:31 is when Gabriel interprets the dream to Daniel, Danielís question was answered by the words written in 12:11. Lets go over what is written about the Abomination that causes desolation in the Old testament.
And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him Daniel 9:27."
The remaining chapters of Daniel is the explanation of the dream given to Daniel to write down so that you and I could understand too. Gabriel revealed the conquests of the Persian, Greek and the Roman empires. What is important is that during the Greek occupation of Israel the Greek forced their gods upon on what the Greeks considered to be pagan Jews. The Greeks wanted to convert the Jews to worship the Greek gods and set up the image of Zeus in the temple of God and tried to stop all worship of the creator. The Jews rebelled considering the image of Zeus an Idol. (Read the Silent Years.)
His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. Daniel 11:31
Near the end of the explanation Daniel said, I did not understand. So I asked, My lord, what will the outcome of all this be? Daniel 12:8
A portion of The reply to Danielís question is as follows.
From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Daniel 12:11
God thought idolatry was an abomination and you can detect his feelings toward idolatry as he mocks the intelligence of those who make and worship idols. Abomination is defined as a disgust for a thing or person and specifically for idolatry. In addition we learn that God is a jealous God. Remember the first commandment "you shall have no other God before me". Worship of an idol is the same as seeing your spouse having intimate relations with another person. Whatís seen in those times creates feelings of jealousy and the outcome is the uncontrollable desire to make them feel the your pain.
The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm. He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint. The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in the form of man, of man in all his glory, that it may dwell in a shrine. He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow. It is man's fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it. Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm; I see the fire." From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, "Save me; you are my god." They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, "Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?" He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?" Isaiah 44:12-20
Anyone who has read the Old testament knows the struggle God had with Israel over idolatry. Israel was surrounded with Idol worshippers saw that the peoples around them prosper. This roused Israel with the desire to want to be like them. Time and time again God sent his prophets to warn his people to turn away from the worship of worthless idols that could not hear or respond to their needs. When God had enough He told them let your gods save you.
They angered him with their high places; they aroused his jealousy with their idols. Psalms 78:58
In the spiritual war with the children of God, Satan is trying to place a wedge between God and his children. Anything that can divert your attention and your time to focus on God is being used to achieve temporal happiness. However, you may delight in the things of life for a short time but they do not bring happiness or the peace of mind.
Desolation is a basic form of robbery and in war the action of plundering and depriving something of value by force. Peace of mind and the certainty of your future is something that you receive from the true worship of God not from the things of the world.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
What has idolatry to do with the end times?
When you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel. Matthew 24:15
On the surface it doesnít look as if Jesus is telling us to look for the reemergence of worldwide idolatry. Satan is focusing his plot specifically on the children of God and the spreading their beliefs throughout the world. The passages of prophecy indicate in places that the battle may be focused on Israel. For example, Jesus warns those living in Judea that when they see the abomination causing desolation to find shelter in the mountains. This becomes apparent as you read beyond his warning to the disciples.
So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect - if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. Matthew 24:15-25
Satan is pressing forward with his plot to take the throne that rightfully belongs to God. However, God has revealed Satanís plan to his people and has allowed Satan to proceed slowly for the time being. God revealed that Satan or his cohort will do perhaps in hope that the Saint will stand his ground with trust in God.
He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. Daniel 7:25
It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed." Daniel 12:7
God doesnít use the words 'the abomination that causes desolation to describe the fulfillment of Satanís plot in the New Testament. However, he does say let the reader understand the prophecy of Daniel. The Old Testament reveals the hatred God has for Idol worship and it is understandable when you know that God is a jealous God. The scope of Godís plan demands the following of his saints.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' Mark 12:30
Satan has a potential stronghold in the world with those who refuse to repent and as disciples of Christ we are to teach them the commandments of God. The worldly Christians passes the buck on to others, especially to the pastor of the flock. Itís his job they say when it really belongs to every Christian. God commands this and that, but do the children of God pay attention to their father.
Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
If you are willing to listen, God revealed the rest of Satanís plot. Chapter thirteen of revelation is dedicated to reveal Satanís plot to deceive man.
He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. Revelation 13:7
As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, Daniel 7:21
Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. Revelation 13:14
He ordered the inhabitants of the earth to erect an image of the first beast. Idol worship plain and simple.
For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 2 Thessalonians 2:11
And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. Revelation 13:13-14
Is it possible that the inhabitants of the earth will believe these miracles are things that only God is capable of doing. This event initiates the kingdom of Darkness and reveals the man of Lawlessness. Just as God does not want wickedness in Heaven Satan does not want holiness in his kingdom. But it calls for,
Patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. Revelation 13:10
Lets return to the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew for a moment and read the following.
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:21-22
Just as God does not want wickedness in Heaven Satan does not want holiness in his kingdom. According to Godís messenger, Gabriel the power of the saints will be broken, but Satan will not be happy until all the inhabitants of the earth worship him. He will order that anyone refusing to worship his image to be put to death. He will attempt to annihilate completely everything related to the worship of the only true God.
If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go.If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. Revelation 13:10
Jesus warns the disciples that when they see the abomination that causes desolation they are to flee to the mountains. He also said this.
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:22
The good news is that God may have revealed what he meant by cutting those days short for the sake of the elect with the following.
From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. Daniel 12:11-12
Think about Daniel 12:11-12 and you be the judge of what God has revealed.