THE SIGN OF THE END OF THIS SYSTEM OF THINGS : Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 (Part 2)
The first part begins from verse 4 and ends at verse 22. The peculiarity of this part is that it is geographically centered on Jerusalem, and the imminence of its destruction. The other peculiarity is that it is fulfilled in two stages. The first (not completed) is the destruction of the temple and the devastation of the city of Jerusalem in 70 CE (not mentioned in the Bible) (except for verses 21 and 22 which mention the great tribulation over Jerusalem which will be, both, international). This first fulfillment is based on the prophecy of 70 weeks of years, of Daniel chapter 9:24–27, which announced the end of the special covenant of God with the earthly Israel (verse 27a). This period of 70 weeks of years ended in 36 CE, when Officer Cornelius has been baptized, Jehovah God turned his attention to all nations. Henceforth, God’s special relationship with the earthly nation of Israel had ended definitively (Acts 10). Currently, the city of ancient Jerusalem has been rebuilt but no longer has the biblical status of the world capital of Jehovah’s worship (See Matthew 23:38 “Look! Your house is abandoned to you”). This old Jerusalem will be replaced by a New Heavenly Jerusalem which will rule over the whole earth (Revelation 21:1–4).
(The future great tribulation will begin with the complete destruction of present-day Jerusalem (Matthew 24:2))
The future destruction of present-day Jerusalem during the great tribulation, announced prophetically by Jesus Christ, is also confirmed in the prophecy of Zechariah: “Jehovah will go out and war against those nations as when he fights in the day of a battle. In that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in half, from east to west, forming a very great valley; and half of the mountain will move to the north, and half of it to the south. You will flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains will extend all the way to Azel. You will have to flee, just as you fled because of the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. And Jehovah my God will come, and all the holy ones will be with him” (Zechariah 14:3–5).
In the same way that this prophecy mentions that the chosen ones would flee from Jerusalem to save their lives, so Jesus Christ recommended them to flee the city before the future great tribulation: “Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment), then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains. Let the man on the housetop not come down to take the goods out of his house, and let the man in the field not return to pick up his outer garment. Woe to the pregnant women and those nursing a baby in those days! Keep praying that your flight may not occur in wintertime nor on the Sabbath day; for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again” (Matthew 24:15–21).
“When you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment)”: This prophecy mentioned by Christ is based on the passage of Daniel 9:27b: “And upon the wing of disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation; and until an extermination, the very thing decided upon will go pouring out also upon the one lying desolate”. The first fulfillment (not mentioned in the Bible), happened in the year 66 CE. The Roman general Cestius Gallus, during the first siege of Jerusalem, partially came into the city by destroying part of the outer wall of the great temple. However, for unexplained reasons Cestus Gallus left without completing this siege. This unprecedented situation allowed the Christians of Jerusalem (the chosen ones), to flee the city, before its destruction in the year 70 CE, by the Roman general Titus.
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