Jesus’ End of the Age Timeline (Parts 3 and 4)

A PROPHECY CONNECTIONS STUDY  by Paula Yingst  (copyright 2017)

(NOTE: All Scripture verses are taken from the New International Version, unless otherwise stated.)

KEY SCRIPTURES: Matthew 24:1-31; Mark 13:1-27; Luke 21:5-28; Revelation 6:1-17, 7:9-14; Daniel 9:21-27

PART THREE:  THE ABOMINATION THAT CAUSES DESOLATION

Remember back in Part 1 when we were looking at the timeline that Jesus gave in Matthew 24? After listing all the things people could expect to see as the “end times” were approaching, the Son of God / Son of Man abruptly spoke about one thing in particular  — “the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel,” which would be standing “in the holy place” (verse 15).

Within the Book of Daniel, “the abomination that causes desolation” was spoken of in three places — Chapter 9, 11, and 12.

Here are those verses …

  • Daniel 9:27:  “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
  • Daniel 11:31: “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 12:11: “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.”

We’re going to looking specifically at the first mention of that abomination. And to get the full meaning of the prophecy, we need to also look at the verse in context.

Daniel was in Babylon with the other Israelites who had been taken there nearly 70 years before this prophecy was given to him through the angel Gabriel (the one who visited Zechariah, Elizabeth, and the virgin Mary). In Daniel 9:1-20, you can read about what he was doing immediately before the angel appeared. Then we come to the entire prophecy that Bible scholars and prophecy buffs have been debating for years.

Here, Daniel is speaking …

21 “… while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:

24 “Seventy ‘sevens’ [a ‘seven’ equals seven years] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing [Messiah Jesus].

“The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’  In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

I’m not going to go into detail regarding verses 25-26. You can search online for that. Let’s focus on verse 27 where “an abomination that causes desolation” is first mentioned.

This verse covers a seven-year period of time, which comes AFTER MESSIAH IS “CUT OFF” and “wars and desolations have been decreed.” Historical documentation proves that ever since Jesus was crucified (“cut off”), there have been wars and desolations of various kinds.  HOWEVER, there has never been documented a seven-year covenant “with many” that was interrupted mid-way by the two events that Gabriel alludes to:

(1) HE will end sacrifice and offering  — which can only happen in the Temple, according to Jewish tradition, and …

(2) HE will set up “an abomination that causes desolation.” 

There has been great speculation over the centuries about this verse. Particularly about the identity of “HE” in the two sentences that make up verse 27. (I have written in another Prophecy Connections post about why believe the “he” in the first sentence and the “he” in the second sentence could refer to two different men.)

For the purpose of this study, let’s simply remember that Jesus referred to the fact that Daniel’s prophecies referred to this mysterious, future event. AND it holds a specific place in His “timeline.”

Now let’s think back to Part 2, where we looked at the amazing prophecy parallels between Matthew 24:15-29 and the opening of the sixth seal in Revelation 6:12-17….

 

PART FOUR: THE OPENING OF THE SIXTH SEAL 

THE SIXTH SEAL releases a sign in the sky, strikingly similar to the one Jesus described to His disciples (Matthew 24:29), which will signal the Son of Man’s appearance “with power and great glory.” 

Here’s what John saw …

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up [compare Isaiah 34:2-4 ], and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their  wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” (Revelation 6:12-17, NIV)

And here is what Jesus foretold will happen AFTER THE ABOMINATION THAT CAUSES DESOLATION appears in the Third Temple in Jerusalem …

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

30 “Then will appear  [or “at that time” ] the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Jesus specifically foretold: “AT THAT TIME, He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and THEY WILL GATHER HIS ELECT from the four winds (Matthew 24:30-31).

Can we agree that there is currently no verifiable evidence that this part of the vision has been literally fulfilled?

Notice the similarities in the following scriptures:

  • Isaiah 13:9-10 — “See, THE DAY OF THE LORD is coming — a cruel day, with WRATH AND FIERCE ANGER — to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.”
  • Isaiah 34:2-4 — “THE LORD IS ANGRY with all the nations; HIS WRATH IS UPON ALL THEIR ARMIES. He will totally destroy them, He will give them over to slaughter…. All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.”
  • Joel 2:29-32 — “Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I WILL SHOW WONDERS IN THE HEAVENS and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion [the Temple Mount] and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls.”

PROPHECY CONNECTIONS REVEAL THE SIGNS THAT WILL SIGNAL THE RAPTURE OF THE ELECT:

Jesus speaking: IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE DISTRESS OF THOSE DAYS … They will see the sign of the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. AND HE WILL SEND HIS ANGELS WITH ALOUD TRUMPET CALL, AND THEY WILL GATHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, from one end of the heavens to the other. Now learn this LESSON FROM THE FIG TREE: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. EVEN SO, WHEN YOU SEE ALL THESE THINGS, you know know that it [or, He] is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24:29-33)

John speaking: “After this I SAW FOUR ANGELS STANDING AT THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH, HOLDING BACK THE FOUR WINDS OF THE EARTH … After this I looked and THERE BEFORE ME WAS A GREAT MULTITUDE THAT NO ONE COULD COUNT from every nation, tribe, people and language, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE AND IN FRONT OF THE LAMB. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands…. ‘These are they who have come out of THE GREAT TRIBULATION; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’… And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes’ ” (Revelation 7:1-17).

After THE ELECT are safely transported to the throne of God, the Lamb (Jesus Christ) will open THE SEVENTH SEAL …

John speaking: “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour…. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it upon the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Rev. 7:1).

There is one more Prophecy Connection that, I believe, seals the deal on whether this rapture sequence truly reveals the timing — apart from “the day or the hour” — of when “the sign of Jesus’ coming” will be revealed. Notice THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPET in the following prophecies:

  • Joel 2:1-6a –“BLOW THE TRUMPET in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD IS COMING…. a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor will ever be in ages to come…. At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale.”
  • Zephaniah 1:14-18a — THE GREAT DAY OF THE LORD is near … That day will be a day of wrath … A DAY OF TRUMPET and battle cry … I will bring distress on the people…because they have sinned against the Lord…. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them ON THE DAY OF THE LORD’S WRATH.”
  • Zechariah 9:14-16 — “Then THE LORD WILL APPEAR OVER THEM; His arrow will flash like lightning. THE SOVEREIGN LORD WILL SOUND THE TRUMPET; He will march in the storms of the south and the Lord Almighty will shield them…. The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of His people.
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 — [Paul speaking] “We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. We believe that Jesus dies and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him…. The Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel AND WITH THE TRUMPET CALL OF GOD, and the dead in Christ will rise first [THE ELECT, gathered from “one end of the heavens to the other”]. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together [THE ELECT, gathered “from the four winds” … “at the four corners of the earth”] with Him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air [THE RAPTURE]. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words!

THE BOTTOM LINE: In my humble opinion, THE TRUMPET IS THE KEY that ties together all the prophecies which foretell the second coming of Jesus to “gather His elect.” And the words of the elder whom John spoke with — recorded in Revelation 7:13-15 — confirm that THE ELECT WILL BE GATHERED FROM OUT OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

Standing with you in Christ Jesus,

Paula