Forsake your house and just run!
The enemy is in the doorway!
By Craig C. White
We are given a pattern of the preliminary events of Jerusalem’s Great Tribulation in ancient history. Around 170 BC a Greek king named Antiochus Epiphanes ransacked the temple in Jerusalem and then claimed that he was god. This will be repeated in the future by the man we call the Antichrist. In Matthew 24 this is called the abomination of desolation. When the Antichrist spoils the temple in Jerusalem it will be the sign that the people living around Jerusalem should flee!
Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
What is the abomination of desolation? Before or during the seven year Tribulation period Israel will once again build another temple in Jerusalem. They will resume daily animal sacrifice there. The abomination of desolation is the stopping of the daily sacrifice. This was accomplished once before by Antiochus Epiphanes in 173 BC by deposing or murdering the rightful High Priest Onias III and replacing him with a false priest. Antiochus Epiphanes then began making sacrifices to himself as god (Dan 12:11). The future abomination of desolation will also be identified by the stopping of temple sacrifice. In the future the Antichrist will sit in the temple in Jerusalem and claim that he is a deity. This is the abomination of desolation.
2Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
The region around Jerusalem is called Judea. When the residents of Judea see the temple being spoiled they are warned to forsake their homes and property and to flee into the mountains! They are warned not to go to their house to take anything with them! Not even their clothes! They are warned to flee immediately! I hope that they can heed this warning! I think that it would not be so easy to do. If any one of us saw impending disaster coming, our first instinct would be to save what we could. And to take what we need to survive like clothing and blankets. When Judea’s day of trouble comes, they will not have a minute to spare. Their enemies will already be in their doorway!
Matthew 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
The people of Judea are instructed to flee into the mountains. The mountains are the vast desolate mountainous region east of Jerusalem all the way into western Jordan.
Ancient history also gives us a window into the future scene of the day of Judea’s flight. This historical record of Antiochus Epiphanes’ attack of Jerusalem will once again be repeated on the day when Judea flees to the mountains. Notice that his soldiers were instructed to kill anybody hiding in their houses.
2 Maccabees 5:11–14 When these happenings were reported to the king, he thought that Judea was in revolt. Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.
Both the region of Judah and Jerusalem will be swarming with their enemies. If the people living around Jerusalem don’t forsake everything and immediately run for the hills then they will be captured and killed or taken as a slave to do hard labor in foreign countries (Zechariah 14:2).
Zechariah 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
In the city of Jerusalem half of its residents will be taken as slaves. Anyone trying to escape will be caught and killed (Isa 30:16). A few Jews will remain inside of the city to suffer horribly.
Zechariah 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
When the Antichrist defiles the temple in Jerusalem it will be the sign that Judea should flee! When Judea’s day of trouble comes, they will not have a minute to spare. Their enemies will be hunting them door to door in their homes!