From Plainer Words

The Pre-Millennial Predictions Part 3

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 16, 2009 - 11:39:32 AM

March 9, 2009
 
THE PRE-MILLENNIAL PREDICTIONS
Portions of the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24
 
Part III
 
The principal occurrence that our Lord Jesus Christ predicted in His “Olivet Discourse” is that of the “abomination of desolation.” It is the event described in Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11, as well as, Matthew 24:15. The “abomination of desolation” takes place in the City of God (Psalm 46:4 and 87:3) which, also, is known as Jerusalem and Zion.  
 
When this abomination takes place, it signifies the beginning of the GREAT TRIBULATION (to wit, the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation period). The Lord Jesus continued His warnings to Peter, James, John, and Andrew in Matthew 24:
 
15. “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:)”
 
We will, now, present the disintegration of the City of God as it falls into the hands of “the man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3).
 
Jerusalem─The City of God
 
Four-hundred-ninety years have been decreed upon the People of Israel and the Holy City of Jerusalem (Dan. 9:24). The Holy City will be on Mount Zion during the Kingdom of God (i.e., the Day of Christ).

 

It will be beautiful beyond description. Its glory will be the envy of the nations. It will be likened to the Garden of Eden. Jerusalem will be the City of God. It will be the Administrative Capital of the world through which the Lord Jesus Christ, the only true Potentate, will govern the world. It will be a City of Righteousness, Justice, Light, Peace, Truth, and Rejoicing.

 

It will be so magnificent that God will rejoice in Jerusalem, and He’ll take delight in His people (Isa. 65:19). It staggers the imagination when you consider the names of the great heroes of the faith who will populate the City and the beautiful Land. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and his parents, Joshua, Caleb, Rahab, David, and all of the un-named OT heroes of the Faith. Each of the twelve Apostles will have a tribe to govern. The Israel of God (i.e., the Commonwealth of Israel) will also enjoy the benefits of a corrupt-free government.


“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Ps. 48:1-2).


For hundreds of years, the Restrainer ( the Holy Spirit ) prevents outbreaks of sin and evil enterprises of darkness.


But, all the while, the enemy will be sowing “tares” among the sons of the Kingdom, as well as, world-wide (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43). You could call them counterfeit believers. They submit to Divine Rule, but inwardly, they resent the way-of-righteousness. In their hearts, they yearn to be free to do the will of their father, the Devil. They dare not make any outward show of not conforming to Heaven’s judgments. If they made an outward display of non-conformity, they would be destroyed.


The Lord Jesus foretold that before the Tribulation period, there would come upon the Holy City and the world, a time which He called “the beginning of sorrows.”


“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt.24:4-8).

For hundreds of years, the glory of the Kingdom of God blazes forth. It will be a time when the governments of the world are directed by God Himself. It will be a time of plenty. Mankind will live extended lives, enabling them to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. They will have the benefit of perfect health. Everyone will know the ways of God. There will not be any natural catastrophes. Premature deaths will be unheard of. The world will be free from war, crime, injustice, hatred, starvation, disease, and other maladies. In fact, it can truly be said; “Man will live in a perfect environment—a world-wide Garden of Eden.”

The “beginning of sorrows” clearly indicates that the Restrainer begins to gradually with- draw His restraints. This takes place sometime before the “seventieth week” of Daniel commences. So, here you have a world living in a perfect environment, under a just  Government, and experiencing long life, and some are still not content. Proving again; the heart of man is desperately wicked.


“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”    (Jer. 17:9).


Thus, the “mystery of iniquity” is set in motion (2 Thess. 2:7). The main center of this activity will be centered in the Holy City, the City of God. Many of the Kingdom’s disciples will be martyred. They will become hated by many nations, and many become offended and will betray one another. False prophets will arise and will deceive many. Iniquity will abound, and the resurrected Peter, James, John, and Andrew will be killed by the forces of Anti-Christ. (Matt. 24:9-12).


The Lawless one makes a covenant with the apostate Jews in the transformed city; then, after three-and-a-half years, he causes the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and he shall erect “abominations” (phallus statues) all around the Temple (Dan. 9:27). He exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, and he will sit in the Temple of God declaring that he, himself, is God (2 Thess. 2:4).


Then, the Lord Jesus Christ destroys him with the brightness of His Parousia, the 2nd Coming (2 Thess. 2:8). This will be the consummation of the Kingdom age. But, before Anti-Christ is destroyed, we must consider the following developments within the City of God.
 

Then, the City of God will be amazingly transformed. The great City of Light becomes a city of darkness!


It’s hard to imagine that the Holy City, situated on Mount Zion; that is to say, Jerusalem, will degenerate to such an extent. During the Pre-Parousia Kingdom of God, the City of God, the Capital City of the world which had been filled with the Glory of God, is betrayed by the forces of darkness. The collapse of Divine Rule will be the result of the Holy Spirit (the Restrainer) relinquishing His control and guidance of “the course of” the Kingdom age. It will be by God’s design.


The Lord allows Satanic pressure to be brought to bear on His City of Light. In fact, the City will be over-run by the armies of the “king of fierce countenance;”


“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences (i.e., a master of intrigue), shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand”              (Dan. 8:23-25).

 
The following is to take place in Jerusalem when the Restrainer steps aside. The Lord Jesus warned His disciples about this:
 

“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” (Matt. 24:15-16).


The focus of the consummation of the Kingdom is centered in Jerusalem. Prophecies concerning the great city, once the City of God, are about Jerusalem. Not Rome!


How deep can Jerusalem sink into the swamp of abominations?  A few words can sum up the declination of the once-proud City of God; “Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of [sin] lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess. 2:3-4) NIV. The scene described here is, definitely, in Jerusalem! Certainly, not Rome!


The City of God’s New Name


Satan’s influence in Jerusalem will be so atrocious that when John writes Revelation, he is inspired to give the city a NEW NAME: “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5).


Babylon is designated as musterion (mystery). This, undoubtedly, indicates that the name is to be understood, figuratively. Most scholars hold that Rome was the city that was meant. That interpretation goes back, at least, to the time of Tertullian (Adv. Marc., iii. 13). This interpretation was adopted by Jerome and Augustine and has been commonly accepted by the church. In many instances, I cannot agree with “most scholars;” no matter the antiquity of such scholarship. This is a case in point—Bablyon the Great is not a reference to the city of Rome. It refers to the once Righteous City of God, Jerusalem, which will be over-come by the spiritual forces of darkness.


“Mystery Babylon” is a symbolic name for Jerusalem because of the abominations which will occur there at the time. To give Jerusalem figurative names is not unusual. For instance, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 lay dead in the street of Jerusalem, and we read; “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (Rev. 11:8).


“Where also our Lord was crucified”, absolutely, identifies that “the street of the great city,” here mentioned, refers to Jerusalem. So it is with mystery “Babylon.” The great City of God will degenerate, rapidly, into one that is characterized as being like Babylon of old.


Even in Isaiah’s time, Jerusalem was called a harlot city; “How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers”       (Isa. 1:21).


“Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Rev. 14:8).

 
“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath” (Rev.16:19).

 

“And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2).


“Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come” (Rev. 18:10).

 
“Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all” (Rev. 18:21).


Chapter 18 of Revelation is devoted, exclusively, to the great and mighty city of Babylon. The last verse identifies Babylon; not as that of a future Rome, but as Jerusalem.

 
“And in her (not Rome) was found the blood of the prophets, and the saints, and all that were slain upon the earth” (Rev. 18:24).


No Scriptural evidence has been found supporting the fact that the city of Rome killed any of the prophets. Yes, they persecuted and killed Christians but not in the sense of Verse 24. This verse must be interpreted in the light of Matthew Twenty-Three.
 

“That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar” (Matt. 23:35).


“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee” (Matt. 23:37).


Just prior to the end of the Kingdom age, the Restrainer steps aside, and Jerusalem disintegrates and becomes a city which the Word calls “Babylon, the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations.”


The time of Great Tribulation ends with the “Parousia” of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will govern the world from David’s Throne in Jerusalem which will be restored to her previous glory.

 
(Some of the contents in this study come from our twelve part study of “The Kingdom’s New Creation – Part XII.” It is suggested you refresh yourself with its contents at: www.Plainerwords.com).
 
15-16. “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:”
 
Verse Fifteen makes it apparent that Peter, James, John, and Andrew are not killed until sometime after the desecration of the Temple. They may be warning all of those in Judea to flee to the mountains when they are apprehended and delivered to the councils.

© Copyright 2009 by Plainer Words