From the Pastor’s Pen

Final Thoughts on Mark 13:14

“So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.                    NKJV

The “abomination of desolation” is a Jewish phrase used to describe the defilement of the temple by a Gentile ruler.  There have been two “abominations of desolation” in Jewish history.  The first occurred in 167 A.D. when King Antiochus Epiphanies of Greece ransacked the Jewish temple and slew a pig on the brazen alter.  The second occurred in 70 A.D. when the Roman army led by General Titus invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the temple.  The Jews referred to both of these defilements of the temple as the “abomination of desolation.”

The third and final “abomination of desolation” will occur during the last half of the tribulation, a seven year period in which the judgment of the Lord will be poured out on the earth just prior to Jesus’ return to establish His millennial kingdom.  The antichrist (the man of sin, man of lawlessness, son of perdition) will set up his throne and image in the temple, which will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and there proclaim himself to be God (II Thess. 2:3-4).  He will receive miraculous powers from Satan and deceive the entire world which will worship him (II Thess. 2:9-12, Rev. 13:4-8).  He will have his sidekick, the False Prophet, make his image and set it up in the holy of holies (Rev. 13:11-15, Dan. 12:11).

According to Daniel 9:26, the antichrist will be of Roman origin; “of the people who would come and destroy the city and the sanctuary” ( a reference to the Roman army’s destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D.).  However, the Jews will never accept a Gentile Messiah.  When the antichrist sets up his throne and image in the temple, the Jews will rebel against his authority and he will call on his armies to destroy them.  Two-thirds of the Jews will be killed, but one third of them will escape (Zech. 13:8-9) and flee to the mountains of Bozrah [Isa. 34:6, 63:1-4; Hab. 3:3 (Mt. Teman and Mt. Paran are in the vicinity of Bozrah); Micah 2:12 (Heb. sheep of Bozrah)].

In Bozrah, God will shelter the Jewish remnant during the last half of the tribulation (Rev. 12:6) and will miraculously provide for them (Isa. 41:17-20).  This will cause the Jews to search the scriptures and they will come to understand that Jesus Christ is their Messiah (Zech. 12:10) and they will all trust Him as their personal Savior (Rom. 11:26).  The Jewish remnant will then proclaim, “blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt. 23:39, Psa. 118:26), and this event will signal Christ’s immediate return to the earth where He will wipe out the armies of the antichrist, lead the redeemed Jewish remnant back to Jerusalem, and set up His millennial throne (Isa. 63:1-7, Rev. 19;11-21).

Based on Zechariah 14:3-4, some have supposed that Christ will come down to the Mount of Olives when He returns to the earth, but the previous verses make it clear that Christ will come to Bozrah, not the Mount of Olives.  Zechariah 14:4 is not referring to the place of His return, but rather to His victory ascent up the Mount of Olives when He destroys the last of the armies of the antichrist.  Some have used the statement of the two angels in Acts 1:11 as an argument that Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives, but the angels are speaking of the “manner” of Christ’s return, not the “place” of His return.

Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—“I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”  Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?  “I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me.  For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes.  For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come.                  Isaiah 63:1-4



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