The Great Tribulation
¹⁴But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. ¹⁵The one who is on the housetop must not go down, or go in to get anything out of his house; ¹⁶and the one who is in the field must not turn back to get his coat.
¹⁷But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
¹⁸But pray that it may not happen in the winter. ¹⁹For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.
²⁰Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
²¹And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; ²²for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. ²³But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.
notice, reader – (This is a parenthesis in Mark 13:14 in the 1995 Willibrord Translation).
What should we pay attention to?
To what Daniel writes in his book at Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11. There he describes the sudden arrival of a gentile conqueror, who would do terrible things in Israel, among God’s chosen people, and profane the temple in a horrible way. ▪︎ This prophecy was first fulfilled when in 167 BC. pigs – unclean animals! – went up in smoke on the altar of burnt offerings. They were sacrificed to Zeus, the main deity of the Greek world of gods, by order of the Syrian king Antiochus IV Epiphanes (He reigned 175-164 BC). ▪︎ For the second time, the verses from Daniel were fulfilled when the Roman emperor Vespasian sent his son Titus on a punitive expedition to Israel. In 70 AD it took over Jerusalem and planted the imperial standard in the temple as a sign of victory over the God of Israel.
He then leveled the sanctuary and expelled the Jewish people from their land.
They became scattered among the nations, a nation with no land of its own (Compare Deuteronomy 28:62-65; Luke 21:20-24. This lasted until 1948). Jesus is specifically talking about this second fulfillment of the same prophecy (especially Mark 13:14-18) in today’s verses. Only the believers who heeded his warning could then still flee to the mountains (Mark 13:14), to Pella. ▪︎ The prophecies in the Bible often have more than one fulfillment (often 3 fulfillments).
What Jesus says here will be fulfilled again when the ultimate, great antichrist has come to power (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4). That will be the final, decisive phase of the end time: the time of the great tribulation (Mark 13:19,20; Daniel 12:1; Revelation 7:14).
The power of seduction will have increased enormously (Mark 13:21-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). Our advertising campaigns and techniques are already foreshadowing this. So it comes down to knowing God’s Word well and having a strong personal relationship with Jesus!
▪︎ What role does Israel’s restoration play in the end times? See Jeremiah 30:3-11 (compare Mark 13:7 with Mark 13:19,20).
▪︎ Pray for the right attitude toward God’s plan.
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