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End Times Today With John Claeys: Episode 21

January 21, 2020

Part 20 of 31
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Broadcast 21

Description: “The Abomination of Desolation”

What in the World Is God Doing?

WAIT FOR INTRO, MUSIC, AND VOICEOVER

VOICEOVER: Welcome to End Times Today with Author, Speaker, and Bible teacher: John Claeys. This episode is entitled, THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION: PART 1

We’d like to remind you what’s available at End Times Today Dot Org. You can sign up for notifications concerning upcoming episodes, watch previous broadcasts, and even send in your own questions for John. 

In addition you can get copies of John’s books by going to End Times Today Dot Org. 

We’ll take a look at THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION: PART 1 in just a moment, but first let’s see what’s happening in our the world right now. Here’s John Claeys

In past End Times Today segments of “What in the World Is God Doing”, we have looked at the peace deals President Trump has helped to negotiate between Israel and the UAE and Israel and Bahrain. In putting together these treaties of peace, the Abraham Accords were drawn up. 

The Abraham Accords focus on “peace and security,” but they also allow Muslims to visit Islamic holy sites in Israel. I believe this is also significant, because I believe this will go both ways. As Arab Muslims are allowed to visit Islamic holy sites in Israel, Arab leaders will eventually allow normalization of the Temple Mount. Why is this important? For decades, even though Israel officially has the title deed of the Temple Mount in East Jerusalem, Jews have not been allowed to even pray on this site where the Jewish temple has been built in the past and where the Jewish temple will be built again. In fact, as part of the negotiations of the seven-year treaty, Israel will be allowed to build a temple on the Temple Mount, thus preparing for fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It will be the very temple the Beast of Revelation will abominate. 

Already, there is a calling for normalization of the Temple Mount. In this next article, 

Viewer Screen: Is it time to ‘normalize’ the Temple Mount? By NAVE DROMI  (The Jerusalem Post)

the writer asks: “Is it time to ‘normalize the Temple Mount?’ ” He states that “Isaiah prophesied the Temple Mount in the future ‘will be called a house of prayer for all nations.’ Perhaps it would be prudent to finally realize this prophecy by allowing Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount in harmony and accord . . .”

He concludes with this:

Viewer Screen: “It is time to return Jewish prayer to the Temple Mount. It is time to normalize the Temple Mount.”

I believe this is one more step toward the confirmation of the seven-year treaty with Israel that will begin the seven-year Tribulation period. The moment that treaty is confirmed, the rapture will occur, taking all who have believed Jesus for eternal life off the face of the earth to join Jesus and all departed believers in the sky; and we will forever be with the Lord.  

Therefore, keep an eye on the Middle East, particularly on Israel. The more Middle East nations join with Israel in peace, the closer we move toward that seven-year treaty. Better yet, keep looking up!

This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?

FULL STOP. WAIT FOR MUSIC AND VOICEOVER

VOICEOVER: Thanks John! If you’ve got questions, about current events, you can send them to John by going to Endtimestoday.org. Now, let’s take a look at what in the Bible God is saying to us, as we take a look THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION: PART 1 Here’s John to explain.

What in the Bible Is God Saying?

“The Abomination of Desolation: Part I”

Viewer Screen: The Abomination of Desolation

Dr. E. Schuyler English once told of a man on Long Island who was able to satisfy a lifelong ambition by purchasing a very fine barometer. When he unpacked the instrument, he was dismayed to find that the needle appeared to be stuck, pointing to the section marked “Hurricane.” After shaking the barometer vigorously, the man wrote a scorching letter to the store from which he purchased the instrument, and on his way to his office in New York the next morning, mailed the protest. That evening he returned to Long Island to find not only the barometer missing, but his house, as well! 

In hindsight, it was certainly foolish for that man to ignore the clear warning of impending danger from a trusted instrument. But it would be even more foolish to ignore the warning of impending danger from the trusted Son of God. 

In Matthew 24, Jesus warns of coming danger during the day of the Lord. Specifically, in verses 15–16, he presents a clear admonition for Jewish believers in Christ: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place . . . then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains’ ” (Mt 24:15-

The intended audience of this warning certainly needs to heed it, since their lives depend on their response. But what is the identity of this intended audience, and when will they need to respond to this warning? 

To arrive at a clear answer to these questions, let’s explore the context by looking at the previous verses. 

In verses 1-2, Jesus and His disciples are leaving the temple when the disciples point out the magnificent buildings of the temple complex. Jesus responds in a surprising way: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down’ ” (Mt 24:2).

The disciples were undoubtedly stunned by that announcement. So when they reached the Mount of Olives, a place that is cited more than once in Biblical prophecy, they can’t wait for Jesus to take a seat and ask Him this question:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ ” (Mt 24:3).

Jesus answered in this way:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many’ ” (Mt 24:4).

Jesus doesn’t immediately answer their question; instead, He begins with a description of the period of time in which the “abomination of desolation” will occur, as He wants to communicate this, future, unique period to His intended audience. The audience is not the Jewish disciples from Israel sitting in front of Him; instead, the intended audience consists of Jewish disciples from Israel nearly 2,000 years in the future. 

Jesus wants that audience to know that the period in which the “abomination of desolation” will occur will be a time of great deceit. This is why He begins with the warning not to be deceived in verse 4. He then comes back to this warning in verse 11:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many’ ” (Mt 24:11).

The ultimate false prophet, described in the book of Revelation, will be the pitch man for the Beast. He will be a miracle-worker whose job description consists of getting the world to worship the Beast during the Great Tribulation, the last 3½ years of the Tribulation period. 

Jesus again highlights, and even intensifies the description of, this deceit in verse 24:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect’ ” (Mt 24:24).

From beginning to end, the Tribulation period will consist of deceit. In fact, the Apostle Paul described the period leading up to the revealing of the Beast in this way:

Viewer Screen: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved  (2 Thess 2:9-10).

Satan will especially want to deceive Jews in Israel. Why? It is because God has designated the seven-year Tribulation period as the time when He will complete the 490-year prophecy in the book of Daniel that focuses on Jews in Israel. Four hundred eighty-three years of that prophecy have been fulfilled, waiting for that final seven years in which God will bring the nation of Israel to salvation. He will accomplish that by, first, raising up two prophets who will prophesy from Jerusalem for 1,260 days, 3½ years. During that period, which is the first half of the Tribulation period, they will not only reach many, many Jews with the good news of eternal life, received by simply believing Jesus for it; but they will also prepare those new converts for the last half of the Tribulation period, a time of intense persecution which Jesus describes as “great tribulation.”  

Satan, however, wants to stamp out, not only the message of the two prophets but also those receiving the message. This is because Satan is seeking to hold onto this world as his kingdom. However, Zechariah chapters 12-14 prophesy that when the last Jews in Israel believe in Jesus, they will then cry out to God for deliverance from the intense persecution they are experiencing. God will answer by sending the Deliverer, Jesus, to Israel (specifically, the Mount of Olives) to deliver Israel, to eliminate Israel’s enemies, and to establish God’s kingdom upon the earth. 

Satan believes that if he can wipe out believing Jews, they won’t be able to cry out to God for deliverance, and God, therefore, won’t send the Deliverer to take Satan’s kingdom from him. So, this is all about the war for the world!

Aside from unlimited deception, the Tribulation period will also consist of global conflict, as described by Jesus in Mt 24:6-7:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And you will hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom’ ” (Mt 24:6-7).

Bible prophecy tells us that, upon confirming the seven-year treaty with Israel that begins the Tribulation period, world leaders will proclaim, “Peace and security!” However, Paul tells us in 1 Thess 5:3:

Viewer Screen: “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1Thess 5:3).

I believe this global conflict will begin with the event Paul describes in 1 Thess 5:3, the “sudden destruction” in which unbelieving nations will not escape. This seems to portray a nuclear attack upon a particular country, but the reason other unbelievers (“they”) will not escape is because that attack will produce global conflict, as described by Jesus. Apparently, allies of the country hit by the nuke will counter attack, bringing allies of that nation into the battle. This will result in what Jesus describes:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom’ ” (Mt 24:7).

Yet, Israel will not be affected by this global conflict. How do we know? Let’s return to Mt 24:6:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And you will hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet’ ” (Mt 24:6).

Note that Jesus indicated these future Jewish followers of His in Israel would “hear of wars and reports of wars.” Hearing of a war means you are not actually in a war; and reports of wars indicates the same. If Israel was to experience conflict, Jesus would have said something like: “You will experience [or go through] wars. But He didn’t say that at all. 

In addition to global conflict during the first half of the Tribulation period, Jesus revealed:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places’ ” (Mt 24:7).

These catastrophes will be the result of a combination of this global conflict and the plagues the two prophets of God will pour out on the earth during the first 3½ years of the Tribulation period. Clearly, there will be much going on during the first half of the Tribulation period. But why do I keep referring to the first half of the Tribulation period as we address these verses instead of simply stating that these will occur during the Tribulation period? It is because of Jesus’ statement in the next verse here it is: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘All these are the beginning of sorrows’ ” (Mt 24:8).

Note the word I highlighted—"beginning.” The Greek word translated “sorrows” in this verse can also be translated “birth pains” and is the same word translated “labor pains” in 1 Thess 5:3. Let’s look at that verse again:

Viewer Screen: “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1Thess 5:3).

I have highlighted the translation of that Greek word. These “labor pains” begin as the seven-year treaty with Israel is completed. It comes upon the world when “sudden destruction” hits, producing global conflict and resulting in “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”

These labor pains are the travail the world will undergo as it prepares for the birth of a new age—the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. These birth pains last seven years and culminate in the return of Jesus to the earth. But notice that, up to this point, the prophetic revelations we have cited occur in the first half of the Tribulation period, as Mt 24:8 shows:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘All these are the beginning of sorrows’ ” (Mt 24:8).

For the first half, Israel is not touched by conflict. In addition, Jewish believers in Jesus will not experience persecution until:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another’ ” (Mt 24:9-10).

It will be the exact mid-point of the seven-year Tribulation period when things change—for Israel and for Jewish believers. What will occur to bring the changes? First, after conquering the Middle East and northern Africa, the King of the North will invade Jerusalem. There, he will be attacked and appear to be mortally wounded when Satan sends back the spirit of a deceased Roman Emperor to inhabit the body of this king. At that point, the king becomes the Beast and appears to rise from the dead! 

Then the Beast kills God’s two prophets who are in Jerusalem. The Beast’s next act is to invade and abominate the temple of God, as indicated in Mt 24:15-16:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains [hills]’ ” (Mt 24:15-16).

Up to this point, Jews will be presenting sacrifices and offerings in the temple—for 3½ years. Daniel 9:27 reveals there will be an end to sacrifice and offering when the seven-year treaty with Israel is broken—at the very mid-point of those seven years. In Mt 24:15-16, Jesus refers to Daniel when He speaks of the “abomination of desolation,” as He wants His audience to understand the connection of “the abomination of desolation” to the breaking of the treaty at the very mid-point of the Tribulation period. 

This is when the persecution of Jewish believers begins; for it is not till this heinous event that Jesus calls for His followers to run for their lives. As He continues His description, He emphasizes how serious this is by calling for His disciples to flee without hesitation:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes’ ” (Mt 24:17-18). 

Jesus is saying, “Run for your lives! Beginning at this point, don’t hesitate one second if you want to survive! If you are on the roof of your house, don’t even go into the house to get anything; if you are in the field working, don’t try to retrieve any clothes; just run! Hesitation will mean loss of life. 

This event will be the beginning of persecution of believers in Jesus during the Tribulation period, it; and this persecution will be intense, as Jesus describes in Mt 24:21-22:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘For then there will be great tribulation [persecution], such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened’ ” (Mt 24:21-22).

The “tribulation” Jesus mentions refers to persecution of Jewish believers. He referred to it in verse 9 of the same chapter:

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake’ ” (Mt 24:9).

The persecution will be so intense that the history of mankind has never seen anything like it. In fact, unless that period was made short by God—three and a half years—no believer would survive it. 

There is much more to explore in connection with this “abomination of desolation,” but we have run out of time for today. But join us next time here at End Times Today when we delve into “The Abomination of Desolation: Part II.”

FULL STOP. WAIT FOR MUSIC AND VOICEOVER

Questions / Answers

VOICEOVER: Thank you John. Before we go let’s take a look at a question from a viewer just like you. You can send questions by going to endtimestoday.org.  Diane in Arkansas writes:

Q: Does the Antichrist orchestrate the peace treaty that kicks off the seven years? And do you place the Ezekiel 38 battle at the beginning of the millennial reign, and if so why? Also, I have been taught that the king of the north is the Antichrist, is this your view? --- Lindsey, Kentucky

A: First question: No, I do not believe the Antichrist orchestrates the seven-year treaty with Israel. I believe the Antichrist is the False Prophet of Revelation. Interestingly, the term Antichrist does not appear in Revelation, but the term does appear in two other writings authored by the same writer as the author of Revelation. The term appears in 1 John and 2 John. I believe 1 John 4:1-3 reveals the connection between the Antichrist and the False Prophet:

Viewer Screen: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1John 4:1-3).

In this passage, John warns of false prophets; then he mentions the ultimate false prophet, the Antichrist, who is already in the world via these false prophets. He reveals the message of these false prophets—denying that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. He states that this message is the spirit of the Antichrist who is coming in the future. Here John calls him the Antichrist, but in Revelation, he calls him the False Prophet.

The False Prophet’s job description is to deceive the world into worshipping the Beast, the future world leader. To do that, Satan bestows on him the ability to work miraculous signs. Of course, it is ultimately God who allows the False Prophet to work those signs.

Since the False Prophet is the pitch man of the Beast, he does not make his entrance on the stage of Bible prophecy until the mid-point, as that is when the Beast makes his entrance. We are introduced to the Beast in Revelation 11:7 where we see him coming out of the Abyss, the place of the dead, to kill God’s two prophets. The prophets carry on their ministry to Israel throughout the first half of the Tribulation period and are not killed by the Beast until the exact middle of the Tribulation period—1,260 days after the very beginning of the Tribulation. That is when the Beast enters the prophetic stage, which is 3½ years after the seven-year treaty has been confirmed. 

Instead, I believe that ten leaders of nations—five from the Middle East and five from Europe-will confirm the treaty with Israel. These are the ten kings mentioned in Daniel 7 and Revelation 17.

Second question: No, I do not place the battle of Ezekiel at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom; instead, I place it at the end of the MK. Revelation 20:7-10 is my evidence for that:

Viewer Screen: “Now when the thousand years [of Jesus’ rule on the earth] have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp [Jerusalem] of the saints and the beloved city [Jerusalem]” (Rev 20:7-9a).

It is at the end of Jesus’ thousand-year rule upon the earth when Satan is released to gather an innumerable amount of people from the earth to invade Israel and surround Jerusalem, the city from where Jesus will rule the earth. This is Satan’s weak attempt to take back this world as his kingdom. 

Note the terms “Gog and Magog,” which I have highlighted. These two terms are only used together in Ezekiel 38 and 39, no other place in the entire Bible. By inserting these terms here, John is giving direction to his readers, indicating this is the same battle that is described in Ezekiel 38.

Final question No, the King of the North is not the Antichrist. When the King of the North appears to be slain, the Beast inhabits his body to begin his 3½-year rule. The Antichrist is the promoter for the Beast.

Good questions, Lindsey. Keep them coming. 

FULL STOP. WAIT FOR OUTRO VOICEOVER. 

VOICEOVER: Thanks so much to John, for the information in today’s fascinating program. Don’t forget, If you’d like to sign up for notifications, see recent episodes, get copies of John’s books, or even ask John a question you can do that and more at ENDTIMESTODAY.ORG. In addition if you are interested in becoming a financial pattern with this or any of the shows produced by Free Grace International, you can donate at endtimestoday.org. Thanks for watching and we will see you next time on End Times Today, With John Claeys. 

SLIDES

Description: “The Abomination of Desolation”

What in the World Is God Doing?

Is it time to ‘normalize’ the Temple Mount? By NAVE DROMI  (The Jerusalem Post)

“It is time to return Jewish prayer to the Temple Mount. It is time to normalize the Temple Mount.”

What in the Bible Is God Saying?

“The Abomination of Desolation: Part I”

The Abomination of Desolation

“ ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place . . . then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains’ ” (Mt 24:15-16)

“ ‘Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down’ ” (Mt 24:2).

“ ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ ” (Mt 24:3).

“ ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many’ ” (Mt 24:4).

“ ‘Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many’ ” (Mt 24:11).

“ ‘For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect’ ” (Mt 24:24).

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved  (2 Thess 2:9-10).

“ ‘And you will hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom’ ” (Mt 24:6-7).

“For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1Thess 5:3).

“ ‘For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom’ ” (Mt 24:7).

“ ‘And you will hear of wars and reports of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet’ ” (Mt 24:6).

“ ‘And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places’ ” (Mt 24:7).

“ ‘All these are the beginning of sorrows’ ” (Mt 24:8).

“For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1Thess 5:3).

“ ‘All these are the beginning of sorrows’ ” (Mt 24:8).

“ ‘Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another’ ” (Mt 24:9-10).

“ ‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains [hills]’ ” (Mt 24:15-16).

“ ‘Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes’ ” (Mt 24:17-18). 

“ ‘For then there will be great tribulation [persecution], such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened’ ” (Mt 24:21-22).

“ ‘Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake’ ” (Mt 24:9).

Questions / Answers

Q: Does the Antichrist orchestrate the peace treaty that kicks off the seven years? And do you place the Ezekiel 38 battle at the beginning of the millennial reign, and if so why? Also, I have been taught that the king of the north is the Antichrist, is this your view? --- Lindsey, Kentucky

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1John 4:1-3).

“Now when the thousand years [of Jesus’ rule on the earth] have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp [Jerusalem] of the saints and the beloved city [Jerusalem]” (Rev 20:7-9a).

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