The Pre-Millennial Predictions Part 4

Posted in: 2009
By Tom L. Ballinger
Apr 13, 2009 - 11:09:00 AM

April 7, 2009
Portions of the “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24
Part IV
The Lord Jesus Christ alerted His four disciples, Peter, James, John, and Andrew, what they should expect when they will live as resurrected Judges over four of the twelve tribes of Israel. He warns them that when the “abomination of desolation” takes place in the Holy Place in the Temple, those who will be in Judaea should flee to the mountains. Further, in Matthew 24, the Lord forewarns those, who will be residents in Judaea, when this despicable event takes place that:
17.  If someone is on a housetop—flee without taking anything with them.
18.  If someone is in the field—don’t go back to get their clothes—just flee.
19.  Woe unto the women who are with child, and to them who “give suck in those     
20.  They should pray that the “abomination” doesn’t take place in the winter or on a
sabbath day.                                                                                                                                       
21. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
The “Great Tribulation” is called “the hour of temptation” in Revelation 3:10. We read in Daniel 12:1 about this; “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
Mark adds to the picture of the events surrounding the after-days that the sun shall be darkened, and the moon will have no light to reflect (Mark 13:24). Mark 13:25 says that the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. The “stars” are the fallen angels (Rev. 6:13, Dan. 8:10), and those “powers” of heaven who are aligned with Satan shall be shaken (saleuo: NT #4531); that is to say, shall be stirred-up, or toppled. Have you ever poked a stick in a beehive, or a hornet’s nest? That will certainly stir-up, agitate, and topple the pesky insects. So will it be when the evil heavenly forces of darkness are “shaken.”
Luke is not silent to the activities in “that day.” Among other things, Luke says, “Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26).
22. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
We cannot minimize the persecution, destruction, and horror that the faithful Jews will undergo. Many, before their martyrdom, will be forced to witness the immorality and wickedness which the so-called prophetess, Jezebel, installs in the Temple worship    (Rev. 2:20).
Adam Clarke relates, according to Josephus, how many Jews were killed prior to Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 A.D.; “[Except those days should be shortened] Josephus computes the number of those who perished in the siege at eleven hundred thousand, besides those who were slain in other places,” (from Adam Clarke's Commentary). He’s trying to say if that many were killed at the time of the “siege” in 70 A.D., just imagine how much worse it will be during the Great Tribulation during the consummation of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom—nothing like it since the beginning of the world.
23. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
Here, the Lord Jesus Christ warns the four disciples not to believe every report that will circulate about Him having been seen in various places. “BELIEVE IT NOT,” He warns. Evidently, many will. It will lead to their physical harm and death.
24. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Imposters will abound! The imposters will be empowered by Satan to perform great signs and wonders. They will demonstrate their power and authority as if they were genuine. The signs and wonders will defy contradiction. The masses will be deluded by them. The miracles seem to be “the real thing;” so much so, that even the elect would be deceived if it were possible.
Notice the word, “then,” in Verse 23. It should be pointed out the sequential order of events in Chapter 24 as introduced by the adverb, “then.” The word, “then,” means, “soon afterwards, next, and immediately afterwards.”  The Lord Jesus prophesies about the events during the last seven years of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom. The events seem to pile-up on one another in rapid-fire; like blow-after-blow of the Blacksmith’s hammer upon an anvil. Notice the nine instances in Matthew 24:
 9. Then you’ll be afflicted, hated, and killed ...
10. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another …
14. ..., and then shall the end [telos] come.
16. Then let them flee to the mountains ...
21. For then shall be great tribulation ...
23. Then if any man says, “Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
30. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man; and then shall all tribes mourn …
40. Then shall two be in the field, one shall be taken, the other left.
In Verse 23, we read that the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples that, during the closing days of the Kingdom of God, if “any man,” no matter how seemingly devout, no matter how authoritative they seemed to be, or no matter if their credentials seemed impeccable, if they say, “Lo, here is Christ, or there; BELIEVE IT NOT.” Verse 24 also predicted that false (pseudo) Christs, and false (pseudo) prophets will be on the scene with all power and signs, and “lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9).
Confusion will reign supreme in many quarters of Jerusalem, “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, MYSTERY BABYLON AND ABOMINATION OF THE EARTH” (Rev.17:5). Rumors will abound. Many of the rumors will center on the idea that Christ has been seen to be present in different locales. The false Christs and false prophets will be eager to pass-along the “news” that there had been sightings of the Lord Jesus.
Matthew 24:25; Christ reminds His disciples, “Behold, I have told you before.” Then, He tells them, again, the following:
26. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
This is the second verse in which the Lord states that some men will report that Christ is present in some particular place. Verse 23 says, “if any man shall say unto you, Lo, Here is Christ.” Or, as Verse 26 says, “Behold, He [Christ] is in the desert,” or “He [Christ] is in the secret chambers.” They are not to believe either report. The question is; Why are they not to believe the testimony?  The testimony may have been TRUE; that is to say, He may have been in the desert, or He may have been in “the secret chambers” of some-one’s house, or in an underground chamber. He may have even been in the Valley of Kidron, or in the Garden at the base of the Mount of Olives.. Wherever it might have been reported that Christ was in a certain place –DON’T BELIEVE IT ─ HE MAY NOT STILL BE THERE. If they were to go there, He will have moved to another place.
In the Old Testament, it had been reported for over three years that there had been sightings of the Prophet Elijah in various places. King Ahab was diligent in searching for Elijah.  The prophet was seen in one place, and Ahab dispatched his troops to capture him. But, upon their arrival, Elijah wasn’t there. The Spirit of the Lord translated him from one place to another (cf. 1 Kings 18:17 and 2 Kings 2:16). On the Plainer Words web site, see “WHERE ARE THEY NOW?, Part II.”
During the last three-and-a-half years of the Tribulation, or at least a portion of it, the Scripture indicates that it might even be so with the Lord Jesus: seen in the desert, or in secret chambers, or in other places. The warning from Christ was, “DON’T GO LOOKING FOR HIM!”
Do you recall all of the different places the Lord Jesus appeared following His resurrection? He appeared at the tomb site, in the garden, on the road to Emmaus, in an upper room, in the disciples’ “hide-out,” then, while the disciples “sat at meat,” then, on the seashore, and, then, He appeared to 500 all at once. He appeared in many places, miraculously. We refer you to: “HE APPEARED IN ANOTHER FORM.”
During the last half of the Tribulation, He, very well, may appear to His hidden elect as a source of encouragement. He made a promise to His disciples, “...And surely I am with you always, TO THE VERY END [CONSUMMATION] OF THE AGE” (Matt. 28:20) NIV.
As far as we know, this is contrary to all present teaching. We can appeal to no recognized Bible authority to confirm, or bolster our position. We must rely, exclusively, on the Word Itself.