Heavenly Father, once again we give our full attention to You. Thank You that You have paid our debt of sin at Calvary. We listen to Your word to hear, see, feel, understand, obey, touched, and walk away with peace, joy, stability, and assurance. Thank you for unraveling for us the mysteries of our Lord’s second coming, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mark 13: 1-14, Olivet Discourse Part 1
Mark 13 is the Olivet discourse. This was Jesus’ sermon on end-time prophecy. The same discourse is also found in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. There are two prophesies in this discourse, the near and the far. The near prophecy was the destruction of the temple, fulfilled in 70 AD. The far prophecy is the second coming of Jesus and this is still in the future.
VV 1-2, 1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” 2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down.”
The temple was a magnificent building, constructed with gold and massive stones. Herod Antipas rebuilt the second temple from 20 BC to 64 AD. The temple was still under construction and it would take another 31 years to complete. The Temple Mount complex covered a total land area of 36 acres. Jesus prophesied that the temple would be destroyed. This was fulfilled in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, massacred 1.5million Jews. The Romans removed and burned every stone to the ground to take the gold so that ‘’not one stone here will be left on another’’.
VV 3-4, 3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
The Mount of Olives is 100 feet higher than Temple Mount. When Jesus and His disciples sat on the Mount of Olives, they could see the temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked, ‘’when will these things happened?’’ Matthew 7:7-8, ‘’Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened’’.
VV 5-8, ‘’5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.’’
In the end time, false prophets claim to be Jesus and deceive many people. There will be wars, earthquakes, famines, and natural disasters. These are God’s judgments or birth pains. The birth pains will become more and more frequent, and more and more intense. The birth pains will end in the great tribulation culminating in the mother of all battles, the battle of Armageddon.
VV 9-13, ‘’9 You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.’’
During the stimulation, Christians will be persecuted for their faith in Christ. No one can be trusted because people will betray each other and even family members will betray each other. Christians will be hated for their faith in Christ, but those who remained faithful will be saved.
V 14, 14When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.’’
The abomination of desolation is prophesied in Daniel 9:27, ”He (antichrist) will confirm a covenant with many for one ’seven’. In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured out on him’’.
This is a dual prophecy of the near and the far. The near prophesy had already been fulfilled in history. In 168 BC, Antiochus Epiphany, who believed he was the incarnation of Zeus, invaded Jerusalem, stopped the temple sacrifice, placed a pig on the altar, and killed 80,000 Jews. The pig on the altar was a type of the ‘abomination of desolation’. Antiochus Epiphany was a type of antichrist. The far prophecy is yet to come. The ultimate ‘abomination of desolation’ will be presented again in the middle of the 7-year tribulation. The 7-year Tribulation is divided into two halves Of 3 1/2 years each.
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us a glimpse into the future. Help us to be in the right relationship with Jesus and to know Him as our Lord and Saviour, in Jesus’ name, Amen.