Matthew 24 and 25

Scripture: Matthew 24:1-25, Matthew 25:1-30, Revelation 13:11-17
Date: 05/19/2018 
Lesson: 7
'What is it about obedience to what God tells us to do that strengthens our faith? That is, why is faith without the corresponding works dead?'

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Hello, friends, we'd like to welcome you to Sabbath School Study Hour here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. Very warm welcome to those joining us online, our online members, and also those who are participating in our Bible study across the country and around the world, also a very warm welcome to our members and our visitors here at Granite Bay, it's always good to see you week after week coming together to study our lesson. We've been summing through a great lesson quarterly entitled preparation for the end times. Today we find ourselves on lesson number 7 that is entitled Matthew 24 and 25. It's pretty clear what our study is going to be today, Matthew 24, 25 and connected with preparation for the end times.

Well, before we get into our music and then get into our lesson, we'd like to let those of you who are viewing this know about a free offer that we have. It is a dvd that is available. If you would like to call for the dvd, we'll be happy to send it to you, it's one of the formula 4 faith dvd series. The number to call is 866-788-3966. And you can ask for offer number 845.

If you would like to get a dvd download of this sermon, what you need to do is text the following code sh069. Sh069 to the number 40544. And you'll be able to get a dvd download of this great sermon that I think will be a blessing, especially as we study together preparation for the end times. Well, before we get to our study for this morning, we're going to have a special musical item, you can see the folks behind me today, so we'll turn it over to you. He is our peace who has broken down every wall he is our peace, he is our peace he is our peace who has broken down every wall he is our peace, he is our peace Cast all your cares on him for he cares for you he is our peace, he is our peace Cast all your cares on him for he cares for you he is our peace, he is our peace Peace, peace, wonderful peace coming down from The Father above! Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray in the fathomless billows of love! What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace buried deep in the heart of my soul so secure that no power can mine it away while the years of eternity roll Peace, peace, wonderful peace coming down from The Father above! Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray in the fathomless billows of love! My peace I give unto you it's a peace that the world cannot give it's a peace that the world cannot understand peace to know, peace to live my peace I give unto you My love I give unto you it's a love that the world cannot give it's a love that the world cannot understand love to know, love to live my love I give unto you Peace to love, peace to live my peace I give unto you Our prayer is going to be offered by Pastor Ross.

Dear Father in Heaven, we are indeed grateful for the opportunity to gather together this morning and open up Your Word and continue our study in this important prophetic end time study that we are looking at Matthew 24 and 25. Father, we ask for the Holy Spirit to come and guard our hearts, our minds, lead us into a clear understanding of these very important truths, in Jesus' Name, amen. Well, again good morning everyone and welcome to our Sabbath School Study Hour. I'd like to bring greetings from Pastor Dough Batchelor and Karen, they're over in Uganda doing evangelistic meetings and they appreciate our prayers. I know from time to time, he is able to post different pictures on Facebook of some of the things that are taking place.

One of the challenges they face is that this is rainy season there in Uganda and they're meeting in a big outdoor stadium. So they are praying that the Lord will hold off the rain, they've been getting rain during the day, but so far so good in the evenings, and they'll be finishing up their meeting this, actually today, this evening will be their final presentation. They might even be watching. So if you are Pastor Doug and Karen, welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. Well, as mentioned before we're studying through lesson number 7 which is entitled Matthew 24 and Matthew 25.

It's a big passage of Scripture that we need to cover in the lesson. So we're probably not going to be able to cover everything, maybe highlight some of the important themes that we find in these two chapters. And we do have a memory text that goes along with our study for today. If you have your lesson quarterly, you can turn to it or open your Bibles to Matthew 24 and we'll be reading verse 24, that is our memory verse. We're going to spend quite a bit of time in Matthew 24 and then a little bit of time in Matthew 25.

So our memory text is Matthew 24:24 and it says, the words of Jesus, "for false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible," who? "Even the very elect." Now if you stop and think about that, who were the ones that the devil really wants to deceive, those in the world or those in the church? It's really those in the church. Those whose names are written in the lamb's book of life, that's the one that he's going after in particular, right? He's got the world, but it's those who are the followers of Christ. And that's why Jesus said that these false Christs and false prophets would appear because they're really targeting believers, and Jesus warned his disciples in the last days, don't be deceived. On Sabbath afternoon in our little opening introduction there, we have the following statement, it says in Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus reveals important truths about the end times and about how to prepare. Matthew 24 gives us some signs with reference to the end times.

Matthew 25 in particular, it tells us how we can be prepared for the end times. We're going to get to that as well. In a sense these chapters were Christ's teaching on last day events. And so that's why we're going to take some time to take a look at it. It's all part of our general theme talking about preparation for the last days.

Sunday, the title of Sunday's lesson is a powerful confirmation of prophecy, and so if you have your Bibles, let's look at Matthew 24. And we're going to start reading here in verse 1. We'll read a few verses, stop and I'll share few thoughts and then we'll keep reading through. Matthew 24 beginning verse 1 says, "then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and his disciples came up to show him the buildings of the temple." Now historians believe that the events described here in Matthew 24:1 where Jesus left the temple for the last time was most likely Tuesday evening of the week of his betrayal and crucifixion. Do you remember they were two cleansings of the temple that Jesus performed.

The first occurred at the beginning of his public ministry. And when Jesus cleansed the temple for the first time, he said, "my Father's house shall be called a house of prayer." It's interesting that when he cleansed the temple, the last time at the end of his three and a half years of public ministry referred to the temple as his house, said, "my house shall be called a house of prayer." But because of the refusal of the religious leaders to recognize Jesus and his mission, finally when he left the temple, he said, "your house is left to you desolate." So these are some of the things that have just happened, Jesus had a most passionate appeal to the religious leaders and the Jewish people to accept him, they rejected him and Jesus now left the temple for the last time. And it says, the disciples came to him probably as they are walking out of the temple and they pointed out the magnificent buildings, not only of the temple itself but surrounding the temple and the court. Jesus said to them, "do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Now the temple courts were still under construction to some degree. There was a major renovation that was taking place during the time of Jesus.

They were expanding the various buildings associated with the court there at the temple. The temple itself, Josephus says, had white marble on the outside, it was a beautiful building, even Herod had spent quite a bit of money to expand the temple court area. This expansion continued for about 60 years or actually 50 years was the expansion and construction period for the temple. And it was finally finished in 63 A.D. What happened in 70 A.D.? Just 7 years before the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, the final expansion of the courtyard area of the temple was actually completed. What a terrible waste, because they didn't recognize their Jesus that had come to them, Messiah to save them. So Jesus' disciples now leave the temple, and they make their way through the Kidron Valley, and then they begin to zigzag their way up on the mount of olives. Verse 3 says, "and when he sat on the mount of olives, his disciples came to him privately saying, "tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?" Now there are two questions that the disciples asked Jesus, "when shall these things be?" Now, what were they thinking about when they asked the question? They had been pondering the statement of Jesus all the way through the kidron valley and up to the mount of olives when Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, not one of these stones will be left upon another that won't be thrown down." The disciples thought that for sure the destruction of Jerusalem must also be the end of the age or the end of the world. And so when they asked the question, when shall these things be, what are the signs of your coming.

Jesus then begins to answer both questions, signs relating to the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in 70 A.D., as well as signs connected with the second coming. Now, according to Mark 13, the disciples who came to Jesus privately when he was seated there on the mount of olives were actually Peter, James, John, and Andrew. They were the ones that came to Jesus and said, "tell us when shall these things be? And what are the signs of your coming when all these things shall be fulfilled." In the book Desire of Ages, page 628, we have a very interesting comment on how Jesus responded to the question asked by the disciples. It says, "Jesus did not answer the disciples by taking up separately the destruction of Jerusalem and the great day of his coming. He mingled the description of these two events.

Had he opened to his disciples future events as he beheld them, they would have been unable to endure the sight. In mercy to them he blended the description of the two great crises, leaving the disciples to study out the meaning for themselves." So in Matthew 24, Jesus mingled signs connected with the destruction of Jerusalem, as well as signs connected with the second coming. Now, some of the signs are clear with reference to referencing Jerusalem or referencing the second coming, but there are some other signs given that some are described as having a dual application. It had a historical application for those in Jerusalem, 70 A.D., but it also has an application for us who are living near the end of time. And we gonna be taking a look a little later in our study at one of those dual application verses that we find in Matthew 25.

All right, well, let's begin then with what Jesus has to say about these signs starting in verse 4, "and Jesus answered and said to them: "take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ,' and will deceive many." Who are the ones in particular that the devil is trying to deceive? The followers of Christ, right? Those whose names are written in the lamb's book of life. How's he going to do it? Well, it says, "he's gonna have people coming in his name." So there will be those claiming to be Christians, their goal is to deceive, and they are going to try and deceive as many as possible, especially of those who are the followers of Christ. So Jesus warns us of this. I want to have somebody read Matthew 24, 25 in just a minute.

We actually find this warning three times in Matthew 24 where Jesus says, "do not be deceived. Do not be deceived." You have the one here in verse 4, you also have it repeated in verse 11, when Jesus said, "then many false prophets will rise up, and deceive many." Second time Jesus said, "watch out for false prophets, false teachers, they are going to try and deceive." And then the third reference is Matthew 24, 25, and if you can read that for us. "For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand." Now I think verse 25 is very interesting. Jesus basically says the same thing in verse 24 about watch out for false Christs, false prophets, they're out to deceive.

But then he adds in verse 25, "see, I have told you before, don't be deceived, be on your guard, watch, be ready, stay faithful to the Word of God." Now, of course, the most compelling deception is a deception that looks very much like the truth. And a false prophet, if he is to be compelling needs to look pretty close to the real prophet. Are you with me? Needs to look close to the real teacher or the real Christian leader if there is to be deception. So Jesus says, "watch out, test everything by the Word of God, don't be deceived in the last day. See I have told you beforehand," and Jesus said.

And then looking up verse 6, Jesus said, "and you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." And, of course, in the last 100 years, our world has seen more war than probably any other period of time in earth's history. The combined death toll of world war I and world war ii is estimated at, it's amazing number, 160 million people. And that spanned a period of 25-30 years at the most. Of course, the wars were not that long, but between world war I and world war ii, a 160 million people died.

It's also estimated that only 80%... No, the other way around, only 20% of the males born in the soviet union in 1923 survived the war. So that means 80% of the man who from the soviet union were born in 1923, why 1923? Well, of course they would be 18, 19, 20 when the war broke out, only 20% of them actually survived the war. So the death toll is just staggering when you think of that. Well, after world war I and world war ii, we had the introduction of nuclear weapons.

And since then, there's always been that threat of nuclear war, right? Rumors of war between the soviet union and, of course, the western powers. And even recently in the news again, there is discussion of a possible nuclear war, at least what can be done to try and ease tensions with referencing a nuclear war. So these words of Jesus have definitely proven to be true as it relates to our time. All right, looking at verse 7, Matthew 24:7, it says, "for nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.

" I don't have to tell you about all of the famines that we hear about, especially back in the '80s, terrible famines in north africa, famines in the former soviet union, china, and different places around the world over the years. A pestilence, we had the ebola outbreak a year or so ago, and different diseases that seem to come, these are all prophetic signs. And then Jesus says, "there would be earthquakes in various places." You know, there's a few places that you can, rather a few events I should say that when you heard the news, you knew exactly where you were when you heard the news and what you were doing. How many of you know exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard about 9/11? I remember exactly where I was, in the church office and I got a phone call, my wife said, "you got to turn on the news, something just happened." I also remember back in 2004, driving up to my parent's house for Christmas, I think it was the 24th or 25th, 26th somewhere in there. We were driving up to their house and it was at night, the family was sleeping, and I was driving listening to the BBC news, somewhere there in Iowa on our way, and I heard a news report of an earthquake that had just struck off the coast of Indonesia off the island of Sumatra.

And at first they said, "this is a very big earthquake and there is a threat of a tsunami." And then they kept going over with other news, and then suddenly they broke in again and they said, "there is a massive wave that is making its way not only towards the shore in Indonesia, but a number of countries in the Indian ocean." Well, you all know the rest of the story as a result of that earthquake. It is estimated that more than 227,800 people died as a result of that earthquake and that tsunami. You probably also heard stories about as the water pulled back from the shore, and it exposed some of the rock, and some of the shells, and people were curious about this. And there were many that actually went down to look to see what was going, the next thing they knew this giant wave of water was coming straight towards them, just a terrible death toll as a result of that earthquake. And then it seems from then onwards, we've had plenty more earthquakes.

Yeah, I'm sure you remember the terrible earthquake that hit Haiti, 2010, an estimated 2 to 250,000 people died from that earthquake. And then also japan in 2011, you remember that terrible earthquake, again a tsunami about 20,000 people lost their lives as a result of these earthquakes. Jesus said, "there would be an increase in earthquakes." These are all signs that we are nearing the end of time. Verse 9, "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, and will betray one another, and they will hate one another.

" So Jesus says, "there's going to be a time of trouble, time of tribulation." Now, there are two times of trouble or two tribulations that we find in Scripture. The one tribulation is a reference to the 1260 years of papal supremacy, when those who wanted to follow the teachings of the Bible faced persecution in Europe because they refused to acknowledge papal supremacy. And that's referred to as a time of trouble. But in addition to that, right at the time of the Christian era when it began, Christians faced opposition at first from the Jewish religious establishment. You remember the story of Saul before he was converted to Paul, how he went out persecuting the Christians.

And then after 70 A.D., the Christians again faced terrible persecution from pagan Rome, Nero, and Diocletian, there was a terrible 10-year period of severe persecution against the Christians by Diocletian from 303-313, until finally Christianity was legalized. But then we go into the 1260 years of persecution from 538 through till 1798. And that time period, you'll find in Revelation 12:6, it's also referenced several times, Revelation 12:6. And you'll also find it in Daniel, talks about the little horn power. So that's that 1260 years of severe tribulation of persecution, but there is another time of trouble, we're going to look at that in just a few moments, just before Jesus comes.

And then it says in verse 11, "then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many." How successful will be the devil's deceptions? Very successful. He's going to be able to deceive how many? Many. And who are the ones that he's going after? The elect. So is he successful in deceiving some of the elect? According to this verse, yes. So we need to be on our guard.

We need to test all things by the Word of God. Verse 12 says, "because lawlessness abounds, the love of many will grow cold." And it says lawlessness that is setting aside of God's ten commandment law. The Ten Commandments are divided into two many parts, there are two tables of stone. How many commandments written on the first table? There are four. And what are the first four commandments have to do with? Our relationship to God, right.

Have no other Gods before him. Don't worship idols. Don't take his name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. The last six of the Ten Commandments have to do with our relationship to our fellow man.

And whenever a country or a civil power sets aside the principles of those last six commandments, you have lawlessness in that country. You see the Bible tells us in that last six, we need to protect the elderly parents, do not murder, do not commit adultery, don't steal, don't be a false witness, don't covet. Civil authorities have responsibility to protect people and the principles of those last six need to be enforced. However, the first four commandments cannot be enforced because God does not accept worship that is false, that has to be freely given. So in the last days according to this passage, those principles, especially the last six of the Ten Commandments are being set aside and there will be lawlessness, it will abound the Bible says.

But then verse 13 is an important one. And we're going to have somebody read Revelation 14:12 in just a minute. So if you want to get ready for that, verse 13 says, "but he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved." To be a Christian in the last days requires a high degree of endurance. The devil is going around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and we want to be able to endure, to stand fast. What does it take to endure in the last days? Revelation 14:12 describes a group of people in the last days that are able to endure.

And here's the description given. Revelation 14:12. "Here is the patience of the saints: here are those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." The word there patience can also be translated as endurance. Here is the endurance of the patience of the saints, here are those who keep the commandments of God. And what's the other characteristic that's given? They have the faith of Jesus.

Now you'll find a similar description in Revelation 12:17 of the remnant that keep God's commandments and they have the testimony of Jesus. But here specifically it says, they have the faith of Jesus. Do you think there's a difference between having faith in Jesus and having the faith of Jesus? What does it mean to have faith in Jesus? What do you have to do to have your name written in the lamb's book of life? Well, you need to accept Jesus as your personal Savior, to confess your sins, you make him Lord of your life, you have faith in Jesus, your name is written in the book of life, you are forgiven. But what is needed in the last days when we're facing all types of trials and tribulations, even persecution? What kind of faith is needed then as well? The faith of Jesus. And the faith of Jesus probably can best be described in Christ's prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, just before Jesus was to be arrested, and tortured, and crucified.

Jesus prayed and he said, "father if it is possible, let this cup pass from me..." And then what did he say? "Nevertheless not my will, but thy will be done." The faith of Jesus is a full surrender to the will of God. It's not my will, but it's Lord whatever your will is for my life. That's what I want, a surrender of self, that is the faith of Jesus. In order to endure at the end, God's people will have that same kind of faith that surrendered to the will of God, whatever that might be. And then verse 14, it says, "and this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness unto all nations, and then the end will come.

" Now, there's a parallel verse to this in Revelation 14:6, which is actually the fulfillment I believe of Matthew 24:11. So we're going to read that, I think we're familiar with this verse of Revelation 14:6. Revelation 14:6, "then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people." Here we see an angel fly in the midst of heaven and what does he have? The everlasting Gospel that is to be preached to everyone, to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. And we know that there are three important emphasis of this everlasting Gospel. Fear God, give him glory, the hour of his judgment has come, worship him that made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the fountains of water.

It talks about Babylon being fallen, being fallen. It talks about the beast and its Mark. It talks about false worship. And then immediately following the proclamation of the three angels' messages, the very next thing that John sees in Revelation 14 is Jesus coming on a cloud, and he has a sharp sickle in his hand, and he's coming to reap the harvest of the earth. Now the harvest of the earth is the second coming of Christ.

So when the Gospel is preached to all the world Jesus said, then the end will come. Specifically what aspects of the Gospel need to be amplified in the last days? It's the three angels' messages. So when the three angels' messages are proclaimed to all the world, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people, then the end will come. And I think we're living close to that time, and the Gospel has been proclaimed to all the world. Now we move on to Tuesday's lesson.

Tuesday's lesson is an interesting study, it's entitled, the abomination of desolation. So we want to find out what this is. And we're in Matthew 24, and I'm going to start reading now in verse 15. Matthew 24:15. Therefore Jesus said, "when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place," and then he adds, "whoever reads, let him understand, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

And let him that is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Here Jesus is talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and he says pray that you don't have to flee in winter, nor on the Sabbath. This is some 40 years after Jesus said these words, he was still expecting his followers to be keeping the Sabbath. It's little difficult to keep the Sabbath holy if you're fleeing for your life, right? Now some have suggested why the reason Jesus said that, it wasn't because the Christians were to be keeping the Sabbath, but rather because the gates of Jerusalem would be closed on the Sabbath, so they wouldn't be able to escape the city.

Well, who was on the outside of the walls of Jerusalem around that time? The Romans were outside. Where the gates ever opened when the Romans lay besieged to Jerusalem? No. The gates were closed. So the idea of Jesus saying pray that you don't flee on the Sabbath was simply because the gates needed to be open. Well, the gates were closed every day because the roman soldiers were on the outside, does that make sense? So from this verse, we realize that, yes, Jesus was still expecting his followers to keep the Sabbath.

Now what about this abomination of desolation. We gonna go to a couple verses here and Jesus says, "whoever reads let him understand and he's talking about the book of Daniel. So in order to understand this, let's go to Daniel. Daniel 9. Daniel 9.

There are actually three references in the book of Daniel to the abomination of desolation, at least the abomination. But I want to look at Daniel 9 because I think it makes it the clearest for us here. And we're going to start reading in verse 26. Daniel 9:26 and Jesus says we need to understand what the abomination of desolation is. Matthew 9:26, it says, "and after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself.

" Now let's get the context here if you read a little earlier, verse 24, the angel Gabriel comes to the prophet Daniel and says, "seventy weeks are for your people." This 70 week time period which is 490 literal years, 7 times 70, one prophetic day is equal to one literal year. So here the angel says 490 years is given, are given to your people, that's probationary time given to the jews, that time period begins with the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in 457 b.c.. And now it's talking about the last 7 year period of that 70 year time period. And he says after the 62 weeks, now there's a first 7 years and then 62 which brings you up to 69, and then there's this last week that we're talking about. Messiah shall be cut off.

Who is Messiah? It's clearly Jesus, the anointed one, that says, "but he will not be cut off for himself." Did Jesus died for any sins that he had committed? No. Jesus died for the sins of the world. So no doubt, verse 26 is talking about the coming of the Messiah. It's referencing Jesus when he came. Now, Jesus was anointed at his baptism in a special sense and the Holy Spirit came upon him in the form of a dove and the voice was heard from heaven, "this is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased.

" That Marked the beginning of Christ's public ministry. The word Messiah means anointed one. And from there Jesus began to preach, "repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." So from 27 a.d., There would be a total of 7 years left for the Jewish people as a nation before probation closed for them. And will tell us exactly when in those 7 last days or years, the Messiah would be cut off in just a minute. But then in the middle of the verse, verse 26, it says, "and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.

The end shall be with the flood, and till end of war desolations are determined." Now this is connecting with what Jesus said. There are two subjects being addressed in Daniel 9. Early on in the prayer, Daniel is praying and he says, "Lord, you know, when will these things be fulfilled?" He heard of time prophecy in Daniel 8 that he did not understand the 2300 days. So he's praying, he's confessing his sins, the sins of his people, Israel. He's asking about Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

So there are two questions that Daniel has. What about my people, and what about our city Jerusalem and the temple. Those are the two subjects that's been addressed here in particular by the angel. The first part of verse 26 talks about the Messiah, the one that the jews longed for, their deliverer. The second part of verse 26 talks about the city that would be destroyed.

That city is Jerusalem. Now, I don't want you to be confused with the phrase and the people of the prince who is to come. The prince referenced there in verse 26 is not the Messiah. The people of the prince to come is the roman soldiers. The prince is Titus who came and destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Rome is described as the abomination of desolation. Now, there are two parts to Rome. There is pagan Rome, there is papal Rome. And we'll touch on that in just a moment.

But here where it's talking about the destruction of Jerusalem, it's talking about pagan Rome, the prince being Titus, the people of the prince, the Romans, they will come and destroy the city. And then if you look in verse 27, now he's talking about Jesus, "then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the midst of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offerings." So we have one week, seven years, in the midst of that seven year period, Jesus would put an end to sacrifice and offerings. How did Jesus do that? He died on the cross. And when Jesus died on the cross exactly three and a half years into that seven year period, the veil was rent in the temple from top to bottom. So Jesus did indeed put an end to sacrifices and offerings.

And then the subject changes back to the destruction of Jerusalem in the last part of the verse and this is middle of verse 27. "And on the wing of abomination shall be one, Titus who makes desolate even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out upon the desolate." So two subjects are being addressed in these verses. Subject a is the Messiah and what the Messiah would do. Subject b is Jerusalem and the temple, and when it would be destroyed, and who would do it. So subject a is the Messiah would come sometime after 27 a.

d. And then it talks about Jerusalem would finally be destroyed by the abomination of desolation. And then it talks about when the Messiah will be cut off three and a half years into that seven year time period. And then finally, Rome is going to completely destroy the temple, and the city, and desolations are determined. So according to the book of Daniel, that's a reference to at least one phase of the abomination of desolation.

Now if you go back to Matthew 24, I want you to notice one other thing, this is verse 15. Matthew 24:15, still talking about the abomination of desolation. It says, "therefore when you see the abomination of desolation…" we know it has something to do with rome, "spoken about the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place." Now you might be wondering what is the holy place. Where was Jesus when he said these words to his disciples? If you look at the beginning of the chapter, he was sitting on the mount of olives, right? Mount of olives was about 300 feet higher than Jerusalem. So from the mount of olives, he had a beautiful view of the temple as well as the city of Jerusalem.

Because Jerusalem was considered the holy city because of the temple. There was a section of lands surrounding the wall of the ancient city of Jerusalem that was considered holy ground because the temple was holy. The city was considered the holy city. Jesus talking to his disciples and as they look at the scene spread out in front of them, Jesus says, "when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, meaning surrounding the walls of Jerusalem, then know that its desolation is near." Now, did the disciples understand what Jesus was talking about? Maybe not at first, but they did as things began to be fulfilled. Turn in your Bibles if you would to Luke 21:20, and look at the way it's recorded for us here.

Was Luke a jew? No, he wasn't. He was a convert to Christianity. But it is interesting, he understood something of what Jesus meant when he talked about this abomination of desolation. If you look in Luke 21:20, it's made very clear with reference to what this power is. Luke 21:20, it says, "but when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know," notice the next word that's given, "its desolation is near.

" Did Luke understand what the abomination of desolation is? He understood it, it's something to do with the armies surrounding Jerusalem, armies standing in the holy place, outside the walls of the city. Then look at verse 21. "Then let those who in Judea..." It's almost a quote from Matthew 24 here. "Then let those who in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst depart from her and let not those who are in the country enter in. For these are the days of vengeance that all things that are written might be fulfilled.

But woe to those who are pregnant, and those who are nursing babies in those days, for there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon the people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, will be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by the gentiles until times of the gentiles is fulfilled." So it's pretty clear from comparing Luke 21 and Matthew 24 as to what the abomination of desolation that Jesus is referencing is really all about. Does that make sense with everybody? Now, not only does this refer to ancient Rome or pagan Rome, but there is also a religious phase called papal Rome. And just like there was a sign that was given to the Christians in Jerusalem of impending judgment, and they heeded the sign, and they fled from the city.

So there are signs given to God's people today in the last days that we need to be watching for that will be to us as was the approach of the roman armies around the ancient city of Jerusalem. And those signs are outlined in Revelation 13, when the beast power tries to enforce a Mark, that is to be the warning to us in the last days. And I think in our later lesson, we actually gonna be looking at Revelation 13 and getting into that a little bit more. The Jewish historian Josephus who was actually a... He was a jew, but he was also a citizen of Rome.

He was actually with the Romans at the destruction of Jerusalem. And he was appealing to the jews inside Jerusalem to accept the terms that the Romans were offering so that the city and the temple wouldn't be destroyed. But the jews inside Jerusalem, they cursed and they rejected Josephus. Josephus says that at the end of that terrible war, a 1 million jews perished in the destruction of Jerusalem and 97,000 were carried away captives. Now, the jews recognized or rather the Christians recognized the warning that Jesus had given.

The Romans first came and surrounded the ancient city of Jerusalem, the jews and the Christians were still inside the city, but they remembered the words of Jesus, they couldn't escape, the gates were closed. But a little ways into that first siege, the Romans retreated. And it's not quite clear the reason for them retreating, but they did pull back, and the gates of the city were open wide, and the Jewish soldiers set out after the Romans, and gained some rather considerable victories against the retreating roman army. And then, of course, they returned with much rejoicing back to the city of Jerusalem, while the Christians recognized the sign given to them by Jesus and they fled when the gates were opened, and the Jewish soldiers went out after the Romans, the Christians fled from Jerusalem, and they went across the Jordan to a city built in a rock Petra where they found safety in hiding. And he's told that not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem.

Now you can just imagine the scene, here the jews are coming back, the soldiers are coming back with all their spoils of war, and here are the Christians leaving the city, and they say, "where you're going? Can't you see God has given us a great victory? You shouldn't be fleeing now. This is a time of celebration." But little did they realize that just a few years later the Romans came back this time under Titus. And when all was said and done, the temple was completely destroyed, one million jews were killed, the city was burnt to the ground, the words of Jesus met their full completion. But the Christians heeded the warning and not one of them lost their life. Does God give us a warning for the last days? Do we as Christians need to heed that warning? Absolutely.

If we do, then God promises to take care of us and keep us safe. There is an interesting statement in the book Great Controversy, page 22, it says, "Christ saw in Jerusalem a symbol of the world hardened in unbelief and rebellion, and hastening on to meet the retributive judgments of God." So in the destruction of Jerusalem, there is a type of what's coming upon the world. Okay, verse 21. It says, "for then there will be a great tribulation, such as not being since the beginning of the world even until that time no, nor ever shall be." Verse 22, Matthew 24:22, "and unless those days were shortened no flesh would be saved, but for the elect sake those days will be shortened. If anyone says to you, 'look here is Christ!' Or 'there!' Do not believe it.

For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, 'look, he is in the desert!' Do not go out, or 'look, he is in the inner rooms!' Do not believe it." So here Jesus talks about a great time of trouble worse than the world has ever seen. When Jesus stands up according to Revelation 22, he says, "he that is holy, let him be holy still, he that is filthy, let him be filthy still." Then Jesus says, "behold I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me to give to every man according to his deeds." So there is a close of probation, and then you have the outpouring of the seven last plagues, a terrible time of trouble and then Jesus comes. This is paralleled in Revelation 7.

I'm just going to read a few verses here, Revelation 7. It says, "and after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree." What do wings represent in Bible prophecy? War, turmoil, strife, upheaval. So here four angels are seen holding the four winds of the earth. When it says the four corners, it's just talking about the four points of the compass. And then it says in verse 2, "then I saw another angel ascending from the east," east is the direction of deliverance, it's the direction of heaven, "having the seal of the living God.

And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it is granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, 'do not harm the earth, or the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads.'" And once that sealing is complete, then the four angels are told to let go the four winds of strife. And the verse that we just read in Daniel 12 meets its fulfillment. A time of trouble worse than the world has ever seen, but the promise is, at that time your people will be delivered every one that is found written where? In the book of life. Where do our names have to be written? In the lamb's book of life. Well, there's a lot more we can say about Matthew 24, but we don't have time to go through all of that.

I do want to take a look in Matthew 25. And I'm going to have to go through this one fairly quick, this is a parable, I think most of us are familiar with. And here Jesus is telling us how we can be ready for these end time events. Matthew 25:1, we call it the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins. Verse 1 says, "then the Kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins who took their lamps and they went out to meet the bridegroom.

" How many were there? There were 10. Any significance of the number 10 in the Bible? How many commandments do we have? Ten Commandments. Notice that these maidens are referred to as virgins. So here is a group of people who have the Ten Commandments. They recognize the importance of the Ten Commandments.

What else do they have? It says, "they have lamps." What does a lamp represent in Bible prophecy? The Word of God. Revelation chapter... Rather Psalms, not Revelation. Psalms 119:105, "thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." It says, they went out to meet the bridegroom. In Bible prophecy who does the bridegroom represent? Jesus is the bridegroom, right? So here is a group of adventists waiting for Jesus to come.

They believe in the Ten Commandments, all ten of the commandments. They have the Word of God. Yes, they read and study the Bible, they've got the lamp. But Jesus says, "some are wise, some are foolish." We're going to see the difference here. Verse 2.

"Now the five of them who were wise and five were foolish." Verse 3, "those who were foolish took their lamps." What does the lamp represent? The Word of God, so they all had the Bible, and took no oil with them. So they had some oil in the lamp. The lamp is those little clay lamps you've probably seen it before and there's a wick on the one side, it can hold some oil, but that oil will eventually burn out, and then you need to have extra oil to add into the lamp. So those who were foolish, they had the Word of God, they had some understanding of the Word of God, they had a little bit of oil. They believed in the Ten Commandments.

They were looking forward to the coming of Jesus. But it was a superficial kind of Christian experience. They're considered to be foolish. Well, let's read on verse 4, "but the wise took oil with their vessels in their lamps." I find it interesting in 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul says, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels." He's talking about the Gospel, he's talking about the Holy Spirit. So in order to be wise in the end time, it's not only having an understanding of Bible truth, it's not only keeping the commandments, it's not only looking for the second coming of Jesus, but we need to have the Holy Spirit where? Within us.

We need to have that personal relationship, that connection with Jesus if we're going to be amongst the wise. Now verse 5 says, "but when the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept." There is a tarrying time. If you look in Matthew 24:45 real quick, it says, "then who is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing." But then if you look in verse 48, "but if that evil servant says in his heart, 'my master is delaying his coming." For more than 150 years we've been talking about the coming of Jesus. And there is a tendency to begin to think, well, maybe he's not coming as soon as we think. And the delay or the tarrying sort of puts people to sleep.

What happens to all ten virgins during the delay? They all fall asleep, spiritual slumber. But then in verse 6, it says, "and at midnight a cry was heard: 'behold, the bridegroom is coming, go he out to meet him." Now, I would suggest to you that that midnight cry which is closely connected to Revelation 18, the first three verses, when the earth is illuminated with God's glory, and an angel cries Babylon is fallen, is fallen, then a voice is heard from heaven, come out of her my people, that midnight cry really takes on force when just like the Christians in Jerusalem saw the sign that God gave them. So there is a sign that God is giving us in the last days and when we begin to see those signs being fulfilled that will awaken the church. We will study the Scriptures, the latter rain comes, and you have the loud cry of Revelation 18. Verse 7 says, "then all the virgins arose and they trimmed their lamps.

" They all went back to the word and started studying saying, "is this it." Verse 8, "and the foolish said to the wise, 'give us of your oil, for our lamps are going out." But the wise answered and said, "no lest then there would be not enough for us and for you, but rather go and buy from those who sell for yourselves." It's interesting in the last days, there are going to be many trying to sell oil. What does the oil represent? A Holy Spirit. In the last days there is a counterfeit manifestation of the Holy Spirit. We want to make sure that we have the genuine oil, not the counterfeit. So there are those that go looking for some experience, looking for something that they don't have.

Well, the devil is there willing to give them a counterfeit manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Well, then it goes on, it says, verse 10, "and while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him, and the door was shut." What door is that referencing? That's the door that we read about in Daniel 12:1 in Revelation 22 when Jesus says, "he that is holy, let him be holy still. He that is filthy, let him be filthy still, that's the door of probation. Probation closes. Those who were ready went in with him.

And verse 11 says, "and afterwards the other virgins also came saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and he said, "assuredly I say unto you, I do not know you." So the difference between the wise and the foolish is that the wise had a personal connection with Jesus. They knew Jesus and Jesus knew them. The foolish had an understanding of truth. They recognized the binding nature of the Ten Commandments.

They had the Bible, they were looking forward to the coming of Jesus, but they didn't have that personal connection with Christ, and they were unprepared when the final crisis came. That's how we prepare for the final crisis, getting to know Jesus, spending time with Jesus, that is the most important lesson that we can learn from Matthew 25, the parable of the ten virgins. We must get to know Jesus for ourselves. Intellectual understanding is not enough. I want to close by reading this statement from the book Christ object lessons.

I think it's very important. And it really highlights what we need to be doing today. It says, "the Spirit works upon man's heart according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature, but the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied his character.

" And here's the point I want you to note. "They have not held communion with him, therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and love. Their service to God degenerates into just a form." The most important lesson that I think we can take from this study is the importance of knowing Jesus. Not just knowing about Jesus, it's not enough just to know the doctrines, Jesus said to the religious leaders, you search the Scriptures and in them you think you have eternal life, but these are they that testify of me, but you won't come to me. The essence of being ready for the end is having that personal connection with Jesus.

Amen. Is that what you desire? Absolutely. Well, friends, we want to thank you for joining us here at Sabbath School Study Hour today. And I hope if you have not studied the lesson, you can also take a closer look at some of the lesson and some of the points mentioned by just going to the Amazing Facts website. Just Until next week, God bless. Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. To get biblical straightforward answers, call into Bible answers live, a live nationwide call-in radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug Batchelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions. For times and stations in your area or to listen to answers online, visit Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth filled programming. Visit the Amazing Facts media library at At, you can enjoy video and audio presentations, as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device. Visit

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