In order for our view of the two days to be vindicated, we would have to see the signs that precede the principal sign that Jesus gives, all within a very short period of time. By understanding this particular, centermost event, all other principal events of the end are aligned and set in order.
I am speaking of the “abomination of desolation”. This is the event that Jesus directs His disciples to “read and understand” (Mt 24:15). Jesus well knew that by obedience to His solemn command to identify and understand this event, it would become possible for His sheep to recognize a number of other preliminary signs that must precede and lead up to the abomination of desolation (Mt 24:15 with Dan 8:11-14; 9:27; 11:31: 12:11).
It is these well defined events, one that is particularly unmistakable, that will alert, awaken, and mobilize the saints for their finest hour of witness and triumph over Satan and the man of lawlessness. There is a divine strategy that God has invested in making the approximate time of His coming unmistakably clear to His saints when these key, preliminary signs will be in clear, unmistakable fulfillment.
But I don’t want to begin my answer by simply laying out the order of events leading to Christ’s return. We have done that often elsewhere. Instead, I want to point out the interpretive key that is essential to support and defend our view of the end from all other competing interpretations, both now and across the annals of church history.
It is crucial that this be in the hands and understanding of God’s people for the sake of the many that will be called upon to give an answer, as we expect that the manifest fulfillment of the prophecies on the open stage of history will prove the greatest evangelistic tool since the days of the early church (Dan 11:32-33; 12:3; Rev 7:9, 13-14).
This critical key of interpretation is found in the most unexpected place. By God’s design, the event that so clearly and indisputably holds all else in proper alignment is also the most misunderstood and commonly dismissed. I speak of the indispensable sign of the sacrifice.
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