Understanding the End Times Part 2 by Pastor Don
Part One of this Study can be found here.
After looking at Luke, Pastor Don directed us to the parallel passage in Mark Chapter 13
Mark 13:5-6 And Jesus answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you, for many will come in My name, saying, “I am He,” and will deceive many.”
False prophets – they were there after Christ ascended, and are still prevalent today.
Mark 13:7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.
Remember Jesus is answering the disciple’s questions, “When will these things be (meaning the Temple walls being destroyed). And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?
This passage, verse 7, applied to the time of AD 70, and also applies to now and to the End Times.
Mark 13:8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.
Pastor Don said this verse cannot be about AD 70, for Rome was the dominant power in the known world of their day, and here it is talking about nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom. He then went to on an aside and said soon there will be a conflict for America because the European Union has enough economic power to challenge our position. He also suggested we work at getting a wider world view. If possible not only watch American news, but the BBC and even Arab news, because each of these presents the news from their own bias and it is important to see how the news is presented around the world to get a closer representation of truth. US news focuses on political agenda, Arabs focus on how America is like satan, and BBC is moderate.
All news has a political agenda and focus on their own view and bias, but we too have a Biblical view – all we have to do is read the Bible to see there will be wars and rumors of wars.
The antichrist will use all the events to turn people against the Church. The Flag of Christ is the only flag we have allegiance to. Pastors are under assault by the government who is trying to take away their tax status for speaking in the pulpit things that the government deems inappropriate, even if it is Biblical. We are finding it harder to believe in America the beautiful.
Verse 8 is the end of an age.
Mark 23:9 But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.
In the End Days this will happen, for sharing the truth of the Bible you can be arrested and dragged from the churches. satan is out to destroy the church.
Mark 23:10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
It will not be long before this happens. In the disciple’s time this had not happened, so we know this is an End Times passage.
Mark 23:11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
This is true today and it was true then. Remember that verse 10 and 11 follow the passage, “for My sake.” When we are doing what is in His will, He will give us the answers to speak. The Holy Spirit will show up and help us. But the Holy Spirit will not go to divorce court for falling out of love problems.
Mark 23:12-13 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
This happened in History during the Roman rule. All the Roman rulers wanted to slaughter Christians until Constantine. They used the Christians’ death as entertainment for the games, but eventually that ceased to amuse the Romans. And with the persecution of the Church, instead of weakening the Church, the Church grew stronger.
Mark 13:14 So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not,” (let the reader understand), “Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
We hear about the abomination of desolation in Daniel. The people are told to flee to the mountains. This was fulfilled during AD 70,
Mark 13:14-21 “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. Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. 16 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter. For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.”
There are two viewpoints for the above verses. Some believe this was fulfilled by Rome in AD 70 when the women were selling and eating their children during a siege. This had never happened before. The Jewish sects were fighting amongst themselves, and were not unified in defeating Rome. The Emperor Epiphanes set a pig in the temple and defiled the temple – which was an abomination of desolation. Others think some of these verses are prophetic, and just like before, in the End Times, when the new temple is built, that the antichrist will commit an abomination of desolation. The problem with these verses being about AD 70 is at that time the Jews were not looking for Christ.
We have seen that, as time passes since the resurrection of Christ that more and more false prophets are appearing on the scene. We are told to watch for them. These false prophets will look like Christ, do signs and wonders, and appear Holy, but they will not be Christ. That is why we have to know the Word of God so well we will not be fooled. Today satan is using the media and the times to get people used to witchcraft, so they do not seek God, and then they fall under destruction.
Pastors are afraid to meet with people for fear of false accusations.
Mark 13:23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.
Told all things both for the end times and what would be the disciples’ immediate future.
Mark 13:24-25 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
What tribulation? The trouble that began in AD 70, and that tribulation has been getting worst. The Church is still facing tribulation. There has been since AD 70 false prophets who do signs and wonders even then. There are still false prophets now. But we haven’t seen the sun darkened and the moon not give its light. Be careful, there are some who want to imply that this is a metaphor, that these things will not happen in reality, they are just types and shadows. But as we have seen, Jesus is very clear when he is giving a metaphor, a type and shadow – for example when He tells us the PARABLE of the fig tree. Jesus did not say that the statement in verse 24 was a parable. When the sun darkens and the moon doesn’t give its light these are the beginnings of things.
We have seen unexpected comets in our day like Hale Bopp, and in Jerusalem they have seen a blood-red moon. After the last huge tsunami we saw the Earth’s axis change a bit, and the gravitational force of the earth has changed. If you study earthquake patterns you will begin to see that the frequency and strength of them have changed. We have even gotten used to disasters. Before when there was a major earthquake we have seen reports for three days on the news going over the disaster, now the same sorts of earthquakes are getting a minute’s blip.
Jesus likens these times to the birth pangs of a woman. The contractions that begin to get more and more frequent and harder and harder until all of a sudden the baby is born – suddenly. That is how the End Times will emerge.
Mark 13:26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
Coming in the clouds the same way He left.
Mark 13:27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.
We have to read this prophetically. This does not say that this is the moment that Jesus is stepping on the planet. He is in the clouds gathering His elect from the four quarters. He sends angels to gather the elect.
Notice, the next statement Jesus tells us is a PARABLE.
Mark 13:28 Now learn this parable from the fig tree; When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
Is this referring to the last generation that sees this or John’s generation? Or is it the generation since 1948 when Israel was reestablished? Although satan tried to eradicate the nation of Israel, he did not succeed and in 1948 the nation returned to the land. This had to occur before the Lord comes in His Glory.
Someone in our study mentioned that only the olive tree and grapes do not need to be pollinated. Pastor Don then told her that there was a Biblical reason for that,
Revelation 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (oil & wine are produced from olives and grapes).
Mark 13:29-31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near–at the door! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
This is true whether it is the time of the disciples, AD 70, now, or the End Times. God’s Word will not pass away, and the things He says will happen, will happen.
The way of escape for them was to flee to the mountains. Jerusalem is on a mountain. When the enemy would march on Jerusalem, it would come from all directions. The one possibility of escape was not to the West, but to the East, to cross the Mount of Olives and end up in Petra, in Jordan. They would have to cross over the Kidron valley.
This building front is called the Treasury and it is located in Petra. When you go inside the doorway you see huge rooms cut out of the mountain. In Petra, are many “buildings” like this carved out of the rock of the mountains. See the double line of dots to the right of the columns, those are the step holes the builders used to climb up, carving from top to bottom. All of Petra is filled with buildings and caves carved out of stone.
The following is the picture that will illustrate what Pastor Don will say, it shows the narrowness of the entry way to get into Petra.
We saw how difficult it is to get into Petra. If you look at the end of the narrow entrance you can see the same building, the Treasury, in the above picture. The way is so narrow that only one horse can enter single file at a time. It would be an effective deterrent for any large military machines. And there are many caves and places to hide inside the mountains in Petra. The men on the camels are local Bedouins, although Mo (the guy in the green shirt, our tour guide) who is a resident of Jordan, looks down on them as not being true Bedouins or true natives of Jordan, they really are the only ones who have been on the land for a long time. Most “Jordanians” have moved there from other countries. There are no native born Jordanians. The Bedouins earn their living offering rides, jewelry, and other things in Petra, and their tents are pitched in the surrounding area.
At some point, God will provide a way for the remnant of Israel to flee to a place of safety, and it is quite possible that Petra will be that place.
Mark 13:32 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Pastor Don asked us, what day? what hour? End time things taking place. This is not a rapture verse like some want to make it. This is about the final closing events.
Mark 13:33-34 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.
Pastor Don pointed out that here Jesus said, “It is like,” meaning this is a type and shadow. When something is a type and shadow Jesus makes that clear. If He does not say it is a type and shadow that means it will happen AS HE SAID IT WOULD. The Master of the House is Jesus, and we are to watch.
Mark 13:35-37 Watch therefore for you do not know when the master of the house is coming–in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning–lest, coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!
We need to focus on guarding His house until He comes. We do not do this in our own strength, it is God’s power that generates what will happen. We are to just keep working the job God gives us and be aware, watching for His coming.
Pastor Don then did a few verses of Matthew 24. (Heather’s note, we are a very talkative Friday bunch, and ask many questions, which makes the study quite interesting. Pastor Don encourages us to speak out at these studies for that makes us really learn the material because we are involved in the study. Usually Pastor Don teaches from about 1 until 2:30, but this study went until 3, and we would have gladly continued on, but alas Pastor Don had a schedule to keep.)
Matthew 24:5 For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many.
Pastor Don pointed out that here Jesus is answering the same questions, with the same answers. (Heather’s note, what I like is that it is basically the same answer, but not as if one apostle copied from another.)
Matthew 24:9 Then he will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
This is the time period of AD 70 and what will directly happen to the disciples.
Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:13-14 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
These two verses apply to the End Times. First of all the disciples were martyred. And at that time the gospel had not gone out into all the World, so these two verses do not apply to the immediate or near future of AD 70.
Pastor Don told us we are almost to a point where the gospel is preached to all the world. There are three places the gospel hasn’t reached yet, Outer Mongolia, Central India and a few places in Central Africa.
One person came to our church and told the congregation about a special radio that they have been dropping over parts of the world that cannot be reached by foot. The radios are tuned to one Christian station, and by dropping them into the bush country, the local residents find them and can hear the Word of God. So we are getting close to this marker for the End Times being fulfilled.
We will probably pick up this study again next Friday.
Hoping you have a blessed day. I have to apologize that I haven’t had time to get on the computer to type out messages as promptly as I usually do, but with school in session sometimes my time is restricted. And when the resident geek (my husband), she says with love, decides to do computer maintenance, the blog suffers.
Heather’s Blog Recent Posts
- John 14:1-14 – Many mansions, the Way, the Truth, and the Life taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying disciples/Discipleship identification – notes from discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Multiplying Disciples – notes from Discipleship class taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Syria – letter from trapist nuns
- John 14:1-11 taught by Pastor Don Moore with comments from Rabbi Michael Zeitler
- Notes from homily taught by Father Raphael Iannone taught August 25, 2013 – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last
- Homily – Luke 13:22-30 – The last shall be first, the first last taught by Father Raphael Iannone
- Notes from a Homily on Luke 12:49-53 by Father Raphael Iannone
- Facing Your Jerusalem – transcript Say Amen show 161 taught by Pastor Don Moore
- Mammon – homily by Father Raphael Iannone