Introduction to the End Times

by László Balogh

 

Foreword

 

The Bible talks extensively about the ending of this era on Earth – the ending point being the return of Jesus. This is probably the riskiest subject to write about because of the many past false predictions of the end of the world. However, much information is given about it in the Scriptures, so we can’t ignore them forever just because of past misapplication of prophecies. I personally try to stay away from specific predictions, such as countries, people, the person of the antichrist, or the day of the return of Jesus. The picture will get clearer as time goes on, but I think it’s best to stay as objective as possible, and interpret the prophecies as literal as possible to avoid false predictions and fear mongering. I don’t claim to know for sure how the end times will play out exactly. What I will write about is how I see it at the moment. I have in the past changed my mind on certain interpretations, and I’m still open to new ideas. However, it’s good to be familiar with key Scriptures and events that will somehow take place in the future.

 

There is a whole lot more in the Bible about the end times, but now I will focus on an event that is fairly specific, and prophecies even give us some time frame to it. So, back to the signalling of a new era – the return of Jesus Christ to Earth – let’s see what the Bible tells us about it.    

 

The return of Jesus and the resurrection

 

 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew, 24:29-31)

 

 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (1. Thessalonians, 4:16-17)

 

We don’t know exactly when

 

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

 

“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” 

 

“Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew, 24:36,42,44)

 

“Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” (Acts, 1:6-7)

 

“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1. Thessalonians, 5:1-3)

 

But we know some things

 

We don’t know the times and the seasons God has put in His hand, and we don’t know the day and the hour, but we will know the proximity of Jesus’ return and we don’t have to be caught unaware. The Bible provides specific numbers of days between certain events, which we will look at later. This still won’t give away the day and the hour, but we can know that the time is near.

 

 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.” (Matthew, 24:32-33). Here, Jesus referred to the signs of His coming to Earth. 

 

“But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” (1. Thessalonians, 5:4-6)

 

The Daily Offerings and the Holy Place

 

For centuries the Jewish people have performed daily offerings in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. That temple got destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, so it became impossible to continue any religious ritual. Ancient prophecies foretell that the daily offerings will at some point resume, but a certain political leader will have them stopped, and instead he will set up a disgraceful thing in the same holy place. The Bible calls that disgraceful thing the “abomination of desolation”.  

 

“Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.” (Daniel, 11:31)

 

The setting up of the abomination of desolation will trigger a very distressful time on Earth which will conclude in the resurrection of the dead.    

 

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel, 12:1-2)

 

The prophet, Daniel, wanted to understand the vision he had about these events, so he posed a question:

“How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” (Daniel, 12:6)

 

Note here, that Daniel had quite a long vision with lots of details of events and the last thing he saw – the end of these wonders – was the resurrection. So, in essence his question was: how long shall it be till the resurrection? 

He then got an answer, but he still didn’t understand it, so he further inquired:

 

“And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, (note: 3 and a half years) and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things” (Daniel, 12:7-8)

 

And the specific answer is:

 

“And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1290 days.” (Daniel, 12:11)

 

The taking away of the daily offerings and the setting up of the abomination of desolation happens in the same time, so that’s one event. From that event till the “end of these wonders”, the resurrection, and essentially the return of Jesus, there will be 1290 days.

 

In the 8th chapter of the Book of Daniel we find some more vital information about the length of some time periods.

 

“He (that certain political leader) even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His (God’s) sanctuary was cast down.” 

 

“Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was speaking, “How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression (abomination) of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?”

And he said to me, “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” (Daniel, 8:11,13,14)

 

In another translation it says “the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.” This restoration of the holy place will happen because of Jesus’ return to Earth.

 

Conclusion

 

So, let’s calculate a bit. From the 8th chapter of the Book of Daniel, we find out that the daily burnt offerings and the abomination of desolation altogether will last 2300 days until the return of Jesus. The 12th chapter of the Book of Daniel tells us that from the setting up of the abomination of desolation until Jesus’ return there will be 1290 days. From this information we can set up a little time line.

 

1. The daily offerings in the holy place are set up.

2. 1010 days pass.

3. The daily offerings are taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up.

4. 1290 days pass.

5. Jesus returns, the sanctuary is cleansed, the resurrection takes place.

 

I didn’t predict the day and the hour of Jesus’ return, neither the person of the antichrist. I simply looked at foretold events and the number of days between them. But we can come to a very important conclusion. Once the Jews resume the regular daily burnt offerings in a holy temple or sanctuary that they deem acceptable according to Jewish religious requirements, we can start counting the days, because 2300 days later Jesus will return to Earth.

 

But, of course, we don’t know when this will happen. It could be in a few years, in a lifetime, or hundreds of years from now. Right now it doesn’t look very possible because the Dome of the Rock – a Muslim sanctuary – is found on the Temple Mount, where the Jewish temple used to be. It is yet to be seen when and how these future events will play out. But seeing Bible prophecy fulfilled right before our eyes gives us confidence and trust in the veracity of Scripture, and in this case a certainty in how it all will end.

 

I would like to emphasize again, that I don’t know for sure if this is the right way of seeing these Scriptures, but they seem to contain a lot of information, and God definitely wants to tell us something through them. My intention with this article was that if in our lifetime or sometime in the future we see the Jewish daily burnt offerings resume, we would turn our eyes to the prophecies related to the end times.  


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