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Watch 2022 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - The Destruction Of Jerusalem Predicted By Jesus

Derek Prince - The Destruction Of Jerusalem Predicted By Jesus

Derek Prince - The Destruction Of Jerusalem Predicted By Jesus
TOPICS: First Discover the Spine, Jerusalem, End times

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nation and then the end will come". Yesterday I spoke about how to approach biblical prophecy. Today I’m going to try to apply what I was teaching yesterday. I have a theory that a word spoken in the Spirit never dies. When I was still a fairly young believer I think I was still in the British army in the Middle East I just heard a statement made by a Jewish believer and there weren’t many in those days. His name was Maya Pearlman and he was a member of the General Council of the Assemblies of God in the United States. He said with regard to interpreting prophecy "It’s like putting together the pieces of a human body or a human skeleton. If you want to do it successfully you have to start with the right piece". He said, "The right piece is the spine. When you get the spine in place then you can begin to fit the other members into it". And that has stuck with me now more than 50 years.

Tonight I’m going to try to deal with the spine of biblical prophecy. He said it is Matthew 24 and that’s where we’re going to spend most of our time this evening, Matthew 24. We sometimes tend to overlook the fact that Jesus was a prophet. The people of His time acknowledged Him as prophet even if they didn’t acknowledge Him as the Son of God. He was the greatest of all the great Hebrew prophets and His greatest prophetic discourse is found in Matthew 24, continued in Matthew 25. In spite of the chapter division there’s no division in the discourse. The same first part of the discourse is also found in Mark 13 and in Luke 21. These are three different perspectives of the same discourse. It might be compared, for instance if there were three television cameras here tonight all focused on me they’d all record what I say and do but they’d do it from a slightly different perspective.

To get the full picture you really need to put together all three chapters. We won’t have time to do that effectively but we’ll take a little time at least in Luke 21. Chapter 24 begins with a situation in which Jesus makes a very dramatic and startling statement to His disciples. In fact, it was almost like a blow in the solar plexus the words that He spoke here at the beginning of Matthew 24. It says in verses 1–2: Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple. You need to know that King Herod had spent 46 years renovating and extending and glorifying that temple. It was considered to be one of the wonders of the ancient world. It was also the center and focus of the whole national life of the Jewish people. Their national life and their religious life. It was their great pride and joy. And so when Jesus said what He said as I say it was like a blow in the solar plexus.

Jesus said to them "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly I say to you not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down". I don’t think any of us are capable of understanding the impact that those words had on the disciples. Well, as soon as they had an opportunity they got alone with Jesus on the Mount of Olives and they said "Now we want to know about this". The next verse says, verse 3: Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to Him privately, saying "Tell us when will these things be and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age"? It seems to me that they had the impression that if the temple was to be destroyed. such a disaster would mark the end of the age. They couldn’t conceive that the age would continue after the temple had been destroyed.

So I think they thought they were asking one question but in actual fact they were asking two. The first was, "When will these things be?" that is, the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem. the second was, "What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age"? Jesus answered both those questions but the answer to the first question is found in Luke 21. We’ll turn there for a moment. Luke 21:20-24. Luke 21:20-24. "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies then know that desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains let those who are in the midst of her depart and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days for there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all nations. Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled".

So that’s the answer to the question "When will these things happen"? In other words, when will the temple be destroyed and Jerusalem be destroyed? Jesus said this is the sign "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies know that the desolation of it is near". This was historically fulfilled in AD 70. The Roman commander, Vespasian laid siege to Jerusalem surrounded it with his armies and then he received word from Rome that he had been chosen as the next emperor. So he had to go back to Rome to receive his position and he temporarily lifted the siege of Jerusalem and the armies withdrew, but temporarily.

Those Jews in Jerusalem who acknowledged Jesus as a prophet of the Lord understood the application of these words, and they fled from Jerusalem to a town called Pella on the east side of the Jordan. And after that, Vespasian’s successor Titus, reformed the siege gathered the armies together and continued to besiege Jerusalem until the words of Jesus had been exactly fulfilled. The whole city was destroyed, The whole temple was so completely destroyed that not one single stone was left upon another. In the course of that war two million Jews were killed and one million were sold into captivity as slaves throughout the Roman Empire.

In fact, there were so many slaves in the markets that the price of slaves fell and no one was buying them. So those words of Jesus were fulfilled but note that the people who gave heed to what Jesus had said saved their lives. This is a very important lesson. And then Jesus says in verse 23: "For there will be great distress in the land" What land is that? The land of Israel. "and wrath upon this people". What people is that? The Jewish people. "And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led away captive into all nations" That was fulfilled, as I said. "And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled".

The times of the Gentiles are times when Gentile powers rule the land which was given by God eternally to Israel. And so, that second half of that verse covers nearly 2,000 years until Jerusalem is liberated from Gentile domination. One of the key dates in this century is 1967, the Six Day War when for the first time in nearly 2,000 years the Jewish people regained control of that vital area which is called the Old City. But the prophecy was not yet completely fulfilled because they did not take control. They could have done, but they did not, of the temple area which is still occupied by a Muslim mosque.

So it’s like we’re right on the verge, but we haven’t actually stepped right over. And then Jesus goes on immediately: "And there will be signs in the sun in the moon and in the stars and on the earth distress of nations with perplexity the sea and the waves roaring men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory". That shows that immediately after the liberation of Jerusalem from Gentile domination Jesus is going to come back in person. So that 24th verse there spans a period of nearly 2,000 years. But it also indicates that when Jerusalem is liberated finally from Gentile domination the next event in the calendar will be the return of Jesus.
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