Dark Clouds over Mordor; Mark 13:14-37

Forgive the Tolkien reference in the title…sometimes I just can’t help but let my inner geek run amok.  This Sunday we’ll be looking at Mark 13:14-37, and we’ll finish up the chapter.

Remember our introductory remarks about the first thirteen verses…while end time events and prophecy is cool and all, to over emphasize it can be almost as dangerous as ignoring it.  So, while keeping our heads cool and level, we’ll be looking at some of the characteristics that Jesus describes will surround (what I believe to be ) the end of the age.

Jesus begins this section pointing to a prophecy from Daniel 11which references “the abomination of desolation”.  It might be interesting reading to look at this entry from the Jewish Encyclopedia (it’s about a Syrian King named Antiochus).  From the Jewish perspective today, and back in Jesus’ time, this was a historic event, not something yet to be fulfilled.  What does that tell us about Jesus’ statement here? 

In v19, what will the world be like in the time period he’s describing?  What does that tell us about the direction the world is taking…and how does it effect our expectations about the state of the world?

As you read this section over, who or what seems to have the upper hand through it all?  Yet what is the final outcome that Jesus predicts?  It might be helpful to read Daniel 7…or at least v13-14 in that chapter.

Verses 28-31, of Mark 13, tell us that we can expect an intensifying of troubles, leading up to the grand finale…just like we see buds and leaves sprouting and leading into summer and harvest.  In v31, Jesus makes a prediction about his predictions…what is it that he says?  What does that tell us about his predictions?

The final section, v 32-37 sort of put the final qualifier on the issue.  What does He say about these events?  What do we need to factor in because of this qualifier?

That should give us plenty to mull over and chew on this week!  See ya’ Sundee’!

6 thoughts on “Dark Clouds over Mordor; Mark 13:14-37

  1. The Abomination that makes Desolate
    1335, 1290, 1260 Days

    The beast (king – Dan.7:24) of Revelation 13:11, seen as ANOTHER beast coming up OUT OF THE EARTH (Dan.7:17, Re.11:7), who will exercise ALL the satanic power of the first beast before him (Re.13:1-2) will cause all (encompassing the entire world) both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark (Re.13:17 below)

    This enforcement, that all accept the mark, is the abomination that makes desolate (Dan.11:31). The abomination will be ENACTED 1290 days (Dan.12:11) prior to the sounding of the Seventh, and final, Trumpet (1Thess.4:16-17), the ascension. Thirty days after the law is enacted, 1260 days prior to the ascension, the law will be ENFORCED.

    Gentiles (1 Cor.10:32, 1 Thess.4:5, Eph.2:12) will accept the mark. They will endure the plagues (Re.16:2 below). They will receive their reward (Re.14:11 below).

    The church of God (1 Cor.10:32) who are blessed to come to the 1335 days (Dan.12:12, Re.14:12-13) prior to the ascension will not accept the mark. They are those who are seen standing on the sea of glass in heaven (Re.15:2 below) just prior to the seven last plagues being poured out upon the earth (Re.15:1, Re.16:1).

    It is the Sixth Seal appearance of the Lord with power and majesty (Acts 2:20-21, Lk.21:25-27, Matt.24:29-30, Isa.13:6-8, Isa.13:9-11, Jer.30:7, Joel 2:31-32, Re.6:12-17) which will lift the partial blindness of Israel (Rom.11:25). From the Sixth SEAL Israel will no longer be blind to the truth that Christ Jesus is the Messiah. Recognizing this, accepting the Lord as their Savior, the Lamb, they will become a “new” creature (2 Cor.5:17, Gal.6:15), they will BECOME the church of God (1 Cor.10:32), fellow heirs in Christ Jesus (Eph.2:13-19).

    After the Sixth SEAL the world will consist of Gentiles and the church of God (1 Cor.10:32).

    Re.13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had THE MARK, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Re.14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth THE MARK of his name.

    Re.15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

    Re.16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had THE MARK of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

    Re.19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received THE MARK of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

    Re.20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

    Patricia © Bible Prophecy on the Web
    Author of the self-study aid, The Book of Revelation Explained © 1982

  2. Huh?

    Anyway…… gotta admit, I never have really thought about these verses. I doubt that many followers have. Why should we, with the Christian End Times Industry providing all the answers, why waste the time. But now that I have stopped and read … well…. wow.

    Again, for some of this, I think your point from Sunday applies. That being that this may have many layers of interpretation. As you noted, the Jews believe that Antiochus fulfilled the Daniel prophecy, so that may well have been a layer of the interpretation.
    One thing that has always seemed to stymie me is when Jesus states that “this generation shall not pass away…..”Any ides on what/who that is???

    Of course the party line is that Jesus is speaking of the generation following the formation of the State of Israel. All you have to do is add a generation to 1948 (the Jewish state’s birthday) and bingo bango, you know when Jesus is coming back. Only problem with that neat little package is that Jesus himself said, “uh, no one knows. Not even me.” Something tells me, if the answer was as simple as adding 50 or 60 years to a date that Jesus could’ve figured that out too.

    One last thought, as with most good stories, this one is full of danger and tragedy, but… but there is a king and he is coming. I wonder how many writers and storytellers have drawn inspiration from this ultimate story. Kinda reminds me of the climax of the battle of Helms Deep. Things are dark, the sky has been blacked out, all seems lost. But then they remember these words “On the morning … look to the east.. watch for my coming”. I guess you’re not the only one with an “inner geek”.

  3. I have been trying to understand what God wants to tell me in these verses this week and how I should apply it to my life. There is some very disturbing prophesy in these verses and I have had difficulty in taking it all in.

    I believe Jesus wants us to know these things will happen but we are not supposed to know WHEN they will happen… even He does not know. He wants our main focus to be “watching and waiting for His return”. This means to serve Him and by serving others for Him until that day comes.

  4. John- let the inner Geeks unite! Good points. Doesn’t it seem like a generation that started in 1948, no matter how you slice it, would be about at an end now? I’ve heard that one, and I’ve heard it starts from the 1967 restoration of Jerusalem to Israeli hands. All I can say is “Ugh.” I have no idea…and I’m ok with that.

    Golda – I agree…watching and waiting in the context of the story He tells can only mean going about our “daily” tasks of loving Him and loving others the way He told us to do when He left. It’s a good idea to leave the timetable in HIS hands….at least in my opinion.

  5. I’ve spent a bit of time on these versus, especially in my earliest days of this amazing journey. I have to admit, I got caught up in the prophecy feast. Feel like God revealed some things to me about it (not any time line details – so don’t go kooky on me). Add that to the days of walking with the Lord since then and this is what I have: I’m so darn thankful I serve a GOD who loves me enough to give me an out from the mess that will one day come. For that I try to love Him, serve Him, obey Him the best I can, and claim Him in every thing and everyday that I live and breath. (my motto: K.I.S.S. )

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