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History (then and today) foretold (3)

(AD 30) “So when you see the detestable thing to which desolation belongs spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (the person seeking to understand must think deeply), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and may it never ever be.” Matthew 24: 16-20
“The person seeking to understand must think deeply.” These are Jesus’ words. See in brackets in bold above. He spoke this on the last full day before he was crucified in Jerusalem in AD 30. He was seated on the Mount of Olives looking across a valley towards Herod’s magnificent new Temple. 

His key followers, during a confidential interview with him, had asked, “When will this magnificent Temple be brought down? When will you come back again?”

In response Jesus helped these men with a forecast of a future world in turmoil, at war, and with repeated false saviours offering utopia. He also let his followers know about the opposition, persecution, falling away, and false teaching which would be theirs in future. (See previous Infos.) 

Both of these forecasts are continuing to come into being today – as well as Jesus’ promise that, in the midst of all this pain there would be new birth. Also the good news of the newly-available realm of God would be proclaimed to all.


‘We know not what the future holds, but we do know who holds the future.’ (Willis J Ray, pastor, 1896-1992)
But what about the actual signs of the Temple’s destruction (then) and of Jesus’ coming again (today)? It’s in setting out signs of those events that Jesus says to them, “The person seeking to understand must think deeply.” 

The principal sign was this: they would one day see the detestable thingthe detestable thing – to which desolation belongs. The word “desolation” seems to describe the devastation, hurt and pain we all see and experience on earth. Jesus said that they would see the detestable thing to which desolation belongs ----- and desolation’s detestable thing will actually be standing in the holy place. That will be the sign (then) of the imminent destruction of the Temple - and later (now) of his coming again.

What do you think is this detestable thing which is the root cause of desolation in the world? And what is the holy place where this thing will take its stand? Shall I say what I think – and then it’s over to you to decide?

We see daily pictures of Syrian people and cities being utterly destroyed. Several groups are responsible. I think there is something which is motivating all of the groups which have destroyed Syria’s people and infrastructure - a common motivation. It’s self-interest which is pulling everything apart. The self-interest of President Assad. The self-interest of those determined to have a fairer country. The self-interest of those seeking religious supremacy by force. The self-interest of America - and of Britain. The self-interest of President Putin. 

Jesus said that when this detestable which always brings destruction – when it is in the holy place – then, at that time, the Jerusalem Temple’s destruction would be close. In AD 70 the Temple itself was the holy place. It was there that two of the most rebellious self-interested Jewish leaders took refuge against the self-interested future Roman Emperor Titus. One night, one of them murdered the other – out of self-interest. Titus disposed of the followers of both of them.

What about the return of Jesus? It seems to me - but you must decide - that the ultimate cause of wars, killing and destruction is still today the determined self-interest within every human being. Within each of us – me included – we want to be our own “God”. We want to stand in the holy place.


‘The man who desires honour does not deserve it.’ (John Blanchard)
Will that determined self-interest reach a global peak? Will world supremacy be the ambition of two or more self-interested men? Will both be absolutely determined to be in the global holy place – to be God? It’s happened already – in AD 70. It’s happening today. It’s been happening all the time in between then and now. Will it happen?

Jesus’ instruction remains. “The person seeking to understand must think deeply.”

Sinner Syvret

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