Thursday, September 17, 2009

He Warned Us

Daniel 10:1-21; Mark 13:14-23 / Proverbs 23:1-25

I. God Reveals the Future

A. God tells the end from the beginning; there are no surprises for God. Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:8-10)

B. Prudent people study the word of God and make provision for it. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3)

C. The world assumes there will be no accounting for sin, but God promises that sin will be punished. “For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:21)

II. Expect Disaster

A. Disaster will come and those who understand will need to take informed precautions. “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains. (Mark 13:14)

B. Daniel often spoke of the abomination that would make desolate as he prophesied about the end time. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

C. In 168 BC, Antiochus Epiphanies erected an altar to Zeus in the Temple and sacrificed pigs. And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanies, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks. [1 Maccabees 1:10] Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundredth forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the Altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda, on every side: and burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets. And when they had rent in pieces the books of the Law which they found, they burnt them with fire. And wheresoever was found with any, the book of the Testament or if any consented to the Law, the king’s commandment was, that they should put him to death. [1 Maccabees 1:54-57]

D. When Titus besieged Jerusalem in 70 AD, one million Jews were destroyed according to the record of Josephus, but the Christians who assumed Jesus had been speaking of this period fled to Pella. “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” (Luke 21:20) Let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains. (Mark 13:14b)

III. Listen to the Warning

A. Jesus reminded the church of Isaiah’s warning that the world’s certainties will fail. “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.” (Mark 13:24) “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” (Isaiah 24:20-23)

B. Time will not advance as it always has. “And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.” (Mark 13:25) “For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.” (Isaiah 13:10)

C. When all the other certainties have failed, the world will see Christ return and establish a permanent kingdom. “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” (Mark 13:26) “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:9-14)

D. God will gather His people to Himself. “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” (Mark 13:27) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Genesis 49:10)

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