Matt 24:15                 The Power of the Abomination                           7/6/2008        

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Abomination That Maketh Desolate (Dan 8:25, 2Thess 2:3-4,9, Rev 13:7-9, 22:18)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Satan Loosed, and Jerusalem Surrounded (Luke 21:20-21, Rev 20:3,7-9, 2Thess 1:8-9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

·         The Same Last Battle (Rev 19:11-18, 1Cor 15:50, Rev 1:16, Heb 4:12, Matt 13:19, 2Thess 2:3-12)

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 24:15 (2X). Last week you have heard how I suggested that part of the chapters of Matt 24 and Luke 21 should be understood in two different ways. Since we are obligated to harmonize the words in Matt 24:15-20 and in Luke 21:20-24, we must see in these passages words of warnings to the Christians at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, but at the same time we must see in these passages words of warnings to the Christians at all times, and especially near the end of the world. For certainly the Lord Jesus is addressing questions concerning eschatology in these chapters. Eschatology is the field concerning the scenario of the last of the last days. The only way we can harmonize these verses without getting into highly speculative matters concerning the last days is by assigning two different applications for these verses. Last week we have delved into the matter of the Abomination of Desolation standing in the holy place, as it was anticipated in the Prophecy of Daniel and in Matt 24:15. Today we shall consider the great attraction, or the POWER, of the apostacy that follows these false preachers who are standing in the holy place. Therefore the title of the sermon for today is, The Power of the Abomination (2X). Today we also shall see how the two different applications perfectly fit the harmonious interpretation of Matt 24:15-20 and Luke 21:20-24. And thus today we shall have two different texts that we consider our home base. You will have to place two stickers in your Bible, so that you can easily get back to your home base. Let us begin with the Two Different Applications.

There are two different applications for the same text. This is nothing new to the Bible. For example, we know that most of the messages in the OT were not written just for the people of those days. The Bible is God’s Word that is addressed to all people in the world, and should have a message to people in every age of history. Those messages are not just giving us old history, and those messages are not just giving us moralizing examples, for we are not saved by believing just history, and we are not saved by being decent moral citizens. The focus of the Bible is not on horizontal relationships, but on vertical relationships: God with man. The Bible was written to give us messages concerning salvation, for every-one comes into the world unsaved, under the wrath of God. God says in Rom 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope”. And to have hope is to have the hope of having been saved from sin and from Hell. Therefore almost all the OT Scriptures are messages for the people of those days, but also they are for types and figures for the people of our days, for the purpose of showing us the Gospel of salvation through those types and figures. If only we could see all the OT Scriptures in this light we would be greatly blessed. If only we could receive this understanding from above, we would be eternally grateful to God for giving us wisdom. But since we are a little bit hard headed, and are slow learners, we have a very hard time to see the OT in the light of the NT. But let us now keep our eyes open for two different applications that we are seeing here in Matt 24 and in Luke 21.

Mt 24:15-20 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)   Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:       Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:    Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.   And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!       But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:

We do not have to guess what these words mean. The Lord Jesus told us exactly what these words mean in the Gospel of Luke. Please put a sticker here in Matt 24, for we will be returning there many times, and please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 21:20 (2X). Last week we saw that the historical framework of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD perfectly fit the words spoken by the Lord Jesus. He warned His disciples that they would have to flee from Jerusalem and Judaea to the mountains outside Judaea. We read in Luke 21:20-24,

Lu 21:20-24  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.   For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Instead of the Abomination of Desolation, this passage in Luke 21 speaks of Jerusalem compassed by the Roman armies. And “Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains”. And then, “Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days”, just like we have read in Matt 24. We cannot escape the conclusion of this comparison of Scripture with Scripture. It demands that we consider the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD as one application for the words of Matt 24:15-20. But the second application is that Matt 24:15-20 also refers to end time events.

#1.       The Abomination That Maketh Desolate (Dan 8:25, 2Thess 2:3-4,9, Rev 13:7-9, 22:18)

Please turn now to the Prophecy of Daniel, Dan 8:25 (2X). In this part of the chapter God speaks about a little horn, representing Antichrist, who shall become mighty near the end of time, for he shall be able to destroy, or corrupt, the mighty and the holy people. This refers to church people. When the Lord Jesus mentioned the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, we know that this refers to Dan 9:27, which was already foretold in Dan 8:23-25. The Lord speaks here about the apostacy in the church near the end of time, for Dan 8:25 tells us that. The literal translation of Dan 8:25 reads as follows, “And through his understanding (not policy) also he shall cause deceit (not craft) to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy (corrupt) many”. Where does Antichrist cause deceit to prosper? The answer is, “In his hand”. It shall prosper in the churches that are in his hand. How does he destroy, or corrupt many? He shall do it by messages of peace, which he shall preach from the pulpits in the churches that are in his hand. Please turn now to the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, 2Thess 2:3 (2X). Here in 2Thess 2 we have the fulfillment of the prophecy of Dan 8:25. Here we can see the abomination that maketh desolate standing in the holy place. Which holy place does the Lord Jesus refer to? It is not the temple, for the temple ceased to be the holy place when the Lord Jesus died on the cross. Now the church is the holy place. We read here in 2Thess 2:3-4,

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The great apostacy shall come, or is already upon us, for God says that there must come a falling away first, and Antichrist shall be revealed as Satan in the flesh. But since the temple of God refers to the church, for this is where God is in the midst of the saints, Satan and his demons must indwell many preachers in many pulpits around the world. These all together are forming the concept of the man of sin who sits, or who reigns, in the temple of God. It is in this way that Satan is worshipped in the place of God. Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 13:7 (2X). We find here that when Antichrist comes on the scene, and occupies the pulpits in the churches worldwide, he shall gather a great following, for almost all mankind upon the earth shall believe the lies that he shall proclaim through his ministers. And thus almost all mankind shall be worshipping Satan. We read in Rev 13:7-9,

Re 13:7-9    And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.      And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.    If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Power was given him over all nations. It does not mean that all nations shall believe the same false gospel, but all nations shall worship Satan instead of the only Almighty God of the Bible. Satan is not choosey when people want to believe different things. As long as they are not worshipping the true God of the Bible, they are in his hand, and are all going to the same place. This tells us that the great apostacy refers to billions of people for even atheists and agnostics and idolaters have been deceived to worship Satan. Almost all that dwell upon the earth shall be followers of Antichrist, worshipping Satan. The only exception will be the elect, whose names have been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb. Thus we should be careful not to join very large popular churches, for the probability that Antichrist is there is very great. So great shall be his deception that people will not realize that the curse of Rev 22:18 applies to them. Please turn a few more pages to your right, to Rev 22:18 (2X). When God dictated to the apostle John the last messages of the Revelation of Jesus Christ between 90 and 100 AD, God declared that He was finished writing messages of salvation to mankind. When the last of the apostles received the last spoken message from God, then God stated that the Book He has been writing for about 1500 years was complete. This is what God said in Rev 22:18, where we read,

Re 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

In other words, if any person shall claim to have received an additional message from God, he or she is lying, and deserves to receive the plagues written in this Book, the Bible. What are those plagues? It is a place of everlasting torment, where the maggot dieth not. It is a place where the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever. And remarkably, this takes us again to 2Thess 2:9, for it is the people of the Charismatic Movement who claim that God the Holy Spirit is still bringing divine messages today in dreams and in visions and in angel visitations and in speaking in tongues. 2Thess 2:9 reads as follows, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders”. Now, those who are involved in signs and lying wonders are in churches that are swallowed up in the Charismatic Movement. They fit the description of 2Thess 2:9, and they have been deceived by their preachers and by the false NIV Bibles that have been placed in their hands. It is in this way that the Charismatic Movement is the Abomination of Desolation standing in the holy place, and at the same time it is the leader in the world of the great apostacy that would come shortly before the Lord returns. Let us look now a little closer at this powerful movement. Why is it so powerful, and so successful?

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 3:4 (2X). We should not underestimate the power of the Charismatic Movement, for it is a power that has already swallowed up the majority of Christian churches today. It is a power that is so appealing to the natural man that only the grace of God can protect us from falling prey to this great movement. Think of the glory attached to being used of God in uttering His messages in the language of angels. Think of the glory of having great power over earthly creatures and over man. This is what the Devil promised to Eve in the Garden of Eden. We read in Gen

Ge 3:4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Here is the Devil’s promise: “Ye shall be as gods”. Would you not like to have the honor and power that accompanies the status of being like God? Indeed this was very appealing to the woman, and this is also very appealing to the religious organization represented by a woman, the harlot Babylon of Rev 17 and 18, near the end of time. The harlot Babylon is the church that has been overrun by the Charismatic Movement, and who worships herself rather than God. But in her worship of self she actually worships Satan. God is not on the throne of her life, but she has put herself on the throne. This is what is going on in the hearts of those who believe the false preachers of the Charismatic Movement. God is not on the throne in their life, but they have put themselves on the throne in their life. They do not say that they believe the Devil’s promise, but in fact they do. The Devil promised them POWER, and this is what they want, and this is what they actually receive. In these last days, when God has loosed Satan, as He said He would in Rev 20:3 and in Rev 20:7, God has allowed Satan to have power over those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). Only those whose names have been written from before the foundation of the world shall be protected by the grace of the Almighty, and they shall not fall prey to the enticements of the Charismatic gospel. What are those enticements? POWER! A power like unto that which God has. Both the Charismatic Movement and the Roman Catholic Church claim that they have the power to cast out demons, and in this we can see the deception that has been practiced for many centuries, over many people worldwide, by the Roman church. We can see where the idea came from in making people believe signs, and miracles as proof of the authenticity of the Roman church, and dreams, and visions, and angel visitations, and the casting out of demons, and additional messages from God. These things were practiced by the Roman church for centuries. It is only in the last 100 years or so that the phenomenon of tongues and the falling over backwards have been added to this list by the Charismatic Movement. But in addition, they now are giving their followers the great gift of POWER. It is not only the power to cast out Satan, but it is also the power to command and subdue Satan. They believe that if someone is sick, this sickness is not caused by God, but by Satan, which is contrary to Rev 6:8. And so, they stand in prayer over this sick person, and they command Satan to get out of him, so that God can heal him. They use the words of Mark 16:17-18 literally, especially the subject of tongues and laying hands on the sick. You see, most sicknesses are not unto death, and through this circumstantial evidence they think that they have indeed cast out the demon who caused this sickness. And so, their power consists of their ability to name and claim the power that God has given them for whatever they want in this creation under heaven. Did not God say in 1Pet 2:24,

1Pe 2:24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

And so, if by His stripes we are healed, then all we have to do is claim this healing power, and name the specific illness, just like Jesus did, and presto it will be done. Did not the Lord Jesus say in John 14:12 that we should do greater works than He has done? We read in John 14:12,

Joh 14:12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And if the sick person does not get better, his or her faith was lacking, and thus this person did not deserve to get better. And so, there is a lot of chicanery involved in all these miracle healings. But not all this power is fake, and not all these healings are a result of the placebo effect. In these last days, when God has loosed Satan, God has also given him some power that he did not have before. Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, 2Thess 2:11 (2X). In the same way, when other calamities strike, such as an earthquake, or a hurricane, or an epidemic, or an attack by terrorists on the World Trade Center in New York, they believe it is all the work of Satan, and for this they rebuke Satan, and they command Satan to get out and leave us alone. But not all this is fake, for we have to give Satan credit for having at least the power that he had before the Lord Jesus Christ came on the scene. For example, when someone is “slain in the spirit”, referring to a person becoming completely stiff and falling over backwards, this is a real power that the minister has over those who are “slain in the spirit”. It is a term that really reflects the truth, for when a person is “slain in the spirit” he or she is totally brought under the power of Satan, and is spiritually killed. This is a power that most believers in the Charismatic Movement cannot resist. This is a glorious power that they can feel within themselves when they are “slain”, and it is a glorious feeling of superiority that they have now become complete prophets of God in the NT age, and that they are no longer the weak, impotent subjects, which they have been before. It is really true that God has given them additional power, for God shall make the temptation strong. God shall give them healing experiences that seem like real miracles from God. We read in 2Thess 2:11-12,

2Th 2:11-12  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe The lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

God will accommodate their false theories about Satan, and about God, and about God’s willingness to grant them their requests, whatever they would ask for. Their god is just a little god who is the servant of men. Therefore, those who have been sucked up into the Charismatic Movement have acquired a glory that they do not want to lose.. For if they would have to change their beliefs in this power, and in the ecstasy of speaking in tongues, and turn to the true Gospel of Christ, they would have to give up all this, which they are reluctant to do. But only by the grace of God can they see that they have actually put their own self on the throne, and they have abandoned the truth of the Gospel. It means that they have concocted their own concept of God, and have elevated this impotent idol to be the god whom they worship. What is the warning God gave us in 2Thess 2:12? God says, “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness”. You see, to design in our own mind a concept of God that is not based on the truths of the Bible, is identical to designing an idol, and then worshipping the idol of our own making. This is the sin of making an idol in our heart. This is the risk that people take in believing, hook line and sinker, what their preacher says, without checking him out with the Bible. Please turn again to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 21:20 (2X).

#2.       Satan Loosed, and Jerusalem Surrounded (Luke 21:20-21, Rev 20:3,7-9, 2Thess 1:8-9)

God speaks here of the Jerusalem of bricks and mortar. Or in the words of Gal 4 God speaks about the “Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with here children”. Therefore, God does not hesitate to destroy this city, for it is only the cause of perpetual confusion among the Christians. God says in Luk 21

Lu 21:20-21   And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.     Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in

the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

We can see that the Abomination of Desolation is not mentioned here in the Gospel of Luke, and yet we are obligated to harmonize this passage with Matt 24:15-16. And God wants us to be able to apply this passage in Luke 21:20-21 to the end times. You would be happy to know that God has given us such a passage in Rev 20. Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 20:3 (2X). You find this almost at the end of your Bibles. We read in Rev 20:3 that Satan would be bound for a thousand years, and after the thousand years are completed Satan will be loosed. We read in Rev 20:3,

Re 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

The Bible is very clear that Satan was bound at the cross, in 33 AD. The purpose of this binding of Satan was “that he should deceive the nations no more”. Satan was bound so that the Gospel could go forth and be preached to all nations. We are now living already 1975 years after the cross. Therefore the 1000 years must be understood as a symbolic number, indicating a long period of time until the true Gospel has been preached to all nations, or until the completion of God’s plan for the spreading of the Gospel. But then the words that follow must put fear in the hearts of all the saints: “After that he must be loosed a little season”. This is an awesome statement, indicating that Satan will be restored to the same power that he had before the Lord Jesus Christ came on the scene. When we think of the dark time when Jesus was born, and how few people really were saved at that time, and that the apostacy in the nation of the Jews was in full swing due to the false teachings of the scribes and Pharisees, and that no one outside the tiny nation of the Jews really had any idea of what salvation is, we shudder when we think that those days will return. But that is what God says here: “After that he must be loosed a little season”. Please turn to the next page, to Rev 20:7 (2X). There we read in Rev 20:7-9,

Re 20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Re 20:8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Re 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

This is a perfect analogy of Jerusalem being surrounded in 70 AD, for God uses the words “the beloved city”. The picture in Rev 20:7-9 is that of a city which is surrounded by huge armies and which is about to be taken and destroyed. This is how far the analogy goes with both destructions of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and in 587 BC. But this is only a picture of the last battle between Christ and Satan. The last battle is really a spiritual battle, which involves the Abomination of Desolation spoken of in Matt 24:15, and the Abomination standing in the holy place as spoken of in 2Thess 2:4, and the great apostacy that accompanies it as spoken of in 2Thess 2:9 and in Rev 13:8. Why did God give us this picture in Rev 20:7-9 as if the last battle is that of a city that is being surrounded? God gave it to us so that we can harmonize the spiritual battle in Matt 24:15 with the physical battle in Luke 21:20. During the FTP both events occur at the same time, but the spiritual battle is the real scenario that harmonizes with the rest of the Bible. The nations that are in the four quarters of the earth are named Gog and Magog. It means that we do no longer have to guess who Gog and Magog are. And the camp of the saints represents the local churches that have still been faithful to the Word of God. These local churches, or groups of people who have been pushed out of churches, spread throughout the world, are under constant attack from the Charismatic gospels to conform to the rest of the world. But why does God speak about fire coming down from God out of heaven? God thereby indicates that He is the Protector of His adopted children through Christ, and that He is the Avenger of those who threaten to harm His children. For His children He is a loving heavenly Father, but for His enemies He is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29). His enemies are all those who do not know Him, and who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ. God says in 2Thess 1:8-9,

2Th 1:8-9  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:   Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Their penalty is everlasting destruction, which means it is a death of “dying thou shalt die”, and the process of dying shall last everlastingly. God says in Rev 14:10-11 that “he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb, And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever”. This does not mean that in Rev 20:9 a literal fire shall devour the enemies of the saints, for this fire represents the wrath of God on all unsaved mankind. We need to keep in mind that this is the last battle between Christ and Satan. There is only one last battle, which means that we must harmonize all these last battles in the Bible. Please turn to Rev 19:11 (2X).

·         The Same Last Battle (Rev 19:11-18, 1Cor 15:50, Rev 1:16, Heb 4:12, Matt 13:19, 2Thess 2:3-12)

We read here in Rev 19 about another last battle between Christ and Satan. And the description of this last battle is totally different from that in Rev 20:7-9. We read here in Rev 19:11-18,

Re 19:11-18  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.    His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.   And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;    That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

There are several elements in this story which immediately give it away as something that we must spiritualize. We must not take this battle as the real scenario of the last battle between Christ and Satan, for it is certain that there are no horses in heaven, for flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor 15:50). And when we read in verse 15, “Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations”, it reminds us of Rev 1:16 where the sword is a sharp twoedged sword. Christ does not walk around in heaven with a sharp twoedged sword protruding out of his mouth. But this picture indicates that at the end of the world the unsaved will be judged based on what the Word of God says, for the sword pictures the Word of God that is sharper than any twoedged sword (Heb 4:12). Christ does not ride on a horse and at the same time is “treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”. These word-pictures are to be understood spiritually. Therefore, when the Lord calls to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven to devour the flesh of all the unsaved, both small and great, we should not interpret this in a literal historical sense, for certainly not all are flesh eating birds, but there are also many birds which are vegetarians. In Matt 13:19 the Lord explained that the fowls of the air are messengers of Satan who take away the seed of the Gospel sown in a man’s heart. And so, the picture of all the fowls of the air devouring the flesh of the unsaved is a picture of all the unsaved in Hell who are tormented by the demons which are also there. In this manner we must understand many of the symbols that are portrayed in this passage of Rev 19:11-21. It is in the same way that we must see the last battle between Christ and Satan as portrayed in Luke 21:20, Jerusalem is surrounded by armies, and compare it with the last battle in Matt 24:15 where the ugliness of Antichrist and his false gospels is shown as the abomination that is under the wrath of God. From Rev 20:7-9 we understand that when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies in 70 AD, this can be related to the last battle near the end of time. From Dan 7, 8, and 9 and from 2Thess 2:3-12 we understand that the Abomination of Desolation is also the last battle near the end of time. But we have learned from comparing these passages that since Christ has loosed Satan, Christ will also give him additional power to increase the temptation for people to follow Satan’s gospels. God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe The lie. What is the practical application for us out of what we have learned today? When we shall see the Abomination of Desolation stand in the holy place, in other words, when we are able to see that the Abomination of Desolation is indeed in many churches today, then we know that the end is near, for this is the last battle between Christ and Satan. It means that we must be ready for Christ’s coming. It means that THIS should be the measuring stick to gage when the Lord shall come, and not a collection of dates and parabolic numbers by which we calculate exactly the day the Lord shall come, for no one may know the day or the hour when Christ shall come again. Have we been faithful to support the furtherance of His kingdom, and are we ready to meet Him?   AMEN.   Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.