Morning Bible Study
I have a public service announcement.
Home Fellowships – We are hoping to launch a couple of Home Fellowships in
a few weeks.
First we are looking to find a few folks who would be willing to host and
lead the groups of no more than twelve people.
We are thinking of the groups meeting weekly for six weeks.
We are thinking there ought to be some sort of food/snacks involved.
These are not Bible Studies, but times to share and connect with each
We want the sharing time to be about the Sunday message – and we will
provide you with discussion questions.
We want there to be time spent praying for each other.
If you are interested in leading a group – we will have an info meeting
next Sunday after each service. Or,
contact myself or Daniel Grant.
We are now on the homestretch of Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus is now in Jerusalem, on His way to be crucified.
Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:
(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son
of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on a Sunday, to the shouts of an adoring
crowd, crying “Hosanna”.
The next morning, on Monday, Jesus came into the Temple and cleared out
those who were ripping the people off.
He then began to teach in the Temple, as He would every day until He would
Last week, when some were showing admiration of the great Temple stones,
Jesus said that there was a day coming when not one stone would be left
standing on the Temple Mount.
When asked when this would happen, Jesus began to teach about the kinds of
signs that would warn of two coming events:
The destruction of the Temple.
His Second Coming
It’s not unusual for prophecies in Scripture to have double fulfillments.
We’re going to navigate our way through a passage that will reflect both
I will use black blocks on the screen for the Temple Destruction, and
bright red blocks for the Second Coming.
21:20-28 Signs of His Coming pt.2
:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its
desolation is near.
:20 Jerusalem surrounded by armies
armies – stratopedon – a
military camp; soldiers in camp, an army
One of the places we visit in Israel is the fortress of Masada which sits
on top of a mountain 1500 feet above the desert floor at the Dead Sea.
When Jerusalem was about to fall to the Romans, a group of Jewish refugees
fled east toward the Dead Sea and made a home high up in the desert fortress of
Masada, built by King Herod as a winter palace.
Masada itself would eventually be surrounded by the Roman armies, and you
can still see some of the remnants of their military camps around the base of
:21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who
are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter
:21 let those who are in the midst of her depart
Or literally, “leave the country”
:21 flee to the mountains
This is one of those prophecies that has two fulfillments.
When Rome laid siege to Jerusalem in AD 70, the Christians fled to Pella.
Video: Jerusalem to Pella
Eusebius, writing in the 4th century, recorded that before the
siege of Jerusalem took place, the church in Jerusalem received a prophecy that
they were to flee the city, and they moved as a group to the city of Pella,
just across the Jordan, south of the Sea of Galilee.
What happened to the Jews still in Jerusalem?
A group of 1,000 fled to Masada where they held out against the Romans for
three years before they all committed suicide to keep from being captured and
turned into slaves.
Rome took 100,000 Jews captive.
Over one million were killed.
When Jerusalem is surrounded in the Tribulation period, the Jews will flee
Zechariah records the siege:
NKJV) For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city
shall be taken, The houses
rifled, And the
women ravished. Half of the
city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Zechariah records that instead of Jerusalem being
destroyed, it will be rescued.
We think that one of the places in the “mountains” where the Jews in the
Tribulation will flee to is the ancient city of Petra. (Is. 16:1-4)
Matthew records Jesus mentioning another trigger to “flee”.
NKJV) —15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken
of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him
understand), 16 “then let
those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
We’ll see in a minute the prophecy in Daniel about this “abomination”.
Paul tells us that this “abomination” will be the antichrist claiming to be
Thessalonians 2:4 NKJV) who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that
is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that
he is God.
If you happen to be living in Jerusalem when something like this happens,
:22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written
may be fulfilled.
:22 these are the days of vengeance
Vengeance speak about getting even, but about making wrongs right.
There is a sense in which the destruction of Jerusalem was God’s 40-year
delayed judgment for the rejection and death of His Son.
The time period known as the Tribulation is also a time of “vengeance”, judgment,
or the “wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16-17)
It is a time during which God pours out punishment on a wicked, unbelieving
:23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies
in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this
:24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive
into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of
the Gentiles are fulfilled.
:24 until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled
This concept of the “times of the Gentiles” will fill in the time between the
destruction of Jerusalem until the days of the Second Coming.
The destruction of Jerusalem would usher in a period of time on earth known
as the “times of the Gentiles”, and that Jerusalem will be under Gentile
control until these times are “fulfilled”.
I’d like to suggest that these “times of the Gentiles” will be a key to
what ushers in His Second Coming.
I believe this is talking about God’s timeclock with the nation of Israel.
We’ve talked recently about Daniel’s prophecy known as the “Seventy weeks” (Luke
19:42, Ps. 118:24).
These “seventy weeks” were a period of seventy groups of seven (490) years,
and were intended for a specific purpose:
(Daniel 9:24–27 NKJV) —24 “Seventy
weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish
the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting
righteousness, To seal up
vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.
The seventy weeks are a special time on God’s calendar
meant for the Jewish people, Daniel’s
therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until
Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street
shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the
people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of
it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
We’ve talked about how this prophecy gave us the actual
date of the Messiah’s arrival on Palm Sunday.
The “people of the prince who is to come” are the Romans,
who destroyed Jerusalem.
Daniel said that after 69 of these “weeks”, the Messiah
would be “cut off”. This not only is
speaking of Jesus being crucified for our sins, but that God’s timeclock for
Israel stopped one week short.
This began the period known as the “times of the
It is not until the “times of the Gentiles” is finished,
that God will once again start His timeclock and finish that last “seventieth
week” with a focus on the Jews.
Paul talked about the “fullness” of the Gentiles in
11:25–26 NKJV) —25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this
mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part
has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all
Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will
turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
I think that God has a “number” in mind when it comes to
Gentiles being saved. When that number
is reached, the “fullness” of the Gentiles will have occurred.
At that point, God will restart His timeclock with Israel,
salvation will come on Israel, God will start working through Israel, and that
last “week” of Daniel’s seventy will start.
That last “week” is what we refer to as the Great
I also believe this “fullness of the Gentiles” results in
the Rapture. I’ll let this fellow explain what the Rapture is:
I believe the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation
because God will be working through the Jews, and no longer the Gentile church.
Go back to Daniel 9 …
27 Then he
shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall
bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until
the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.”
This last week, seven years, is the Tribulation.
The antichrist will form a treaty with Israel, the temple
being rebuilt, and the antichrist will cause the sacrifices to stop and declare
himself to be God.
This is when Jesus said that the Jews were to head for the
If you are here when that happens, then count off 1260
days, or 3 ½ years, because Jesus will come back.
How is it that Jesus said you don’t know the day or hour
of His return, and yet we can predict the day from the abomination of
It’s the Rapture that’s unpredictable and sudden, not His
:24 Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles
Is Jerusalem currently being “trampled” by the Gentiles? Here are some thoughts:
After the Six-day war in 1967, the Jews took over all of Jerusalem from the
Some have suggested that the “Times of the Gentiles” is over. Could be.
It might refer to the world recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
President Trump has said he will move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to
It could refer to the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount is still under the control of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf,
which is funded and controlled by the nation of Jordan.
:25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and
on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves
:26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things
which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
:25 signs in the sun, moon, stars
These are things specific to the Tribulation, not the destruction of
NKJV) —12 …the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became
like blood. 13 And the
stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is
shaken by a mighty wind.
:26 men’s hearts failing them from fear
The Greek word here carries the idea of your breath being taken away.
(Luke 21:26 HCSB) People will
faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world…
How many of you have actually read about the events in the book of
You can imagine why people will faint from fear.
:25 distress of nations, with perplexity
The words “distress” and “perplexity” both speak of being in trouble like
being in a “tight place”, like being between a rock and a hard place.
Fear and tight places
Jesus is talking about the days of the Tribulation being a “tight place”
for the Jews.
Jesus said that people’s hearts will fail them because of the fear of the
things happening during the Tribulation.
I don’t even have to think of the Tribulation to get caught in fear.
Former Hearse Driver
An American is in London for the first time. He’s in a
taxi on his way to an appointment for which he is afraid he may be late, given
the slow speed at which the driver is proceeding. In order to ask the driver
about their progress, he leans forward and taps the older gentleman on the
shoulder. The driver simultaneously emits a blood curdling scream and jumps
straight up in the air, yanking the wheel to one side. The cab veers sharply,
jumps the curb, demolishing a beautiful old cast iron lamppost and comes to a
stop mere inches from a shop window. The startled but uninjured passenger asks,
“Are you all right? I didn’t mean to frighten you. I just wanted to ask a
question.” “Not your fault, guv’nor,” said the driver in a Cockney lilt, “I’m
bright new to this taxi drivin’ I yam, an’ I’m not used to ‘avin’ comp’ny owin’
to my previous trade.” “I see,” said the passenger. “And what did you do
previously?” The driver said, “Why for the past 25 years I was the best hearse
driver in London, sir.”
Last Thursday night we saw the Psalmist use a Hebrew word that also talked
about being in a “tight place”.
(Psalm 118:5 NKJV) I called on
the Lord in distress; The Lord answered me and set me
in a broad place.
The word for “distress” also speaks of being in a tight
Tight places are when you feel like the walls are closing
in on you.
Video: Star Wars – Trash Compactor
There are lots of things in this life that “squeeze” us and make us
It might be a season when your finances are a bit “tight”.
I’ve been reminded this week that some of us can have a
fear of “abandonment”, being afraid that people are going to leave us or turn
their back on us.
It might be fear of illness, whether it’s something you’ve
been diagnosed with, or something you’re just afraid you might get.
It might even be a fear of the end times.
The Psalmist reminds us to call on the Lord.
34:4 NKJV) I sought the Lord,
and He heard me,
delivered me from all my fears.
God isn’t against you, He’s on your side.
8:31 NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us,
who can be against us?
4:6–7 NKJV) —6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and
supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the
peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus.
Take your fears to the Lord. Pray.
:27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and
:28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads,
because your redemption draws near.”
:28 look up and lift up your heads
You have a choice as to how you are going to respond to the increasing
number of signs that Jesus is coming.
You can tremble with fear, or,
You can look up.
He’s coming in the clouds.
We’ll be heading to the clouds.
Thessalonians 4:17 NKJV) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always
be with the Lord.
3:2 NKJV) Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Pastor Chuck once said this:
“Now, last October in one of the shopping malls, towards the end of
October, I saw them putting them up Christmas decorations. And I said, “Well,
Thanksgiving must be getting close.” Why? Because I know that Thanksgiving comes
before Christmas. And if they’re putting up Christmas decorations and
Thanksgiving hasn’t come yet, then Thanksgiving must be getting close. Because
it’s got to come before Christmas.
“Now Jesus is giving you signs of His return. Signs that will happen before
His second coming. But if the rapture of the church is to precede the second
coming by seven years, then when we will see the signs of the coming of the
Lord, we have to say, “Hey, the rapture must be getting close. I see the signs
of the Lord’s return.” That makes the rapture that much closer. So, when you
see these things beginning to come to pass, then you look up and lift up your
head, for your redemption is drawing nigh.”
Are you ready for His return?
Are you ready for the Rapture?
Don’t be telling yourself that you’ll just wait to follow
Jesus until after the Rapture happens.
If you think it’s hard to follow Jesus now, it will be
almost impossible during the Tribulation.
Jesus died on a cross to pay for your sins and to save you
from the wrath of God.
Let today be the day that you get right with God.