MARK 13:9



In Mark chapter 13 before Jesus starts telling the disciples the signs of the end, Jesus is explaining the characteristics of the very age that started in His time on the earth and continues on even until now. Jesus said in Mark 13:9-13 concerning the current age in which we live, “But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues you shall be beaten: and you shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. And the gospel must first be published among all nations. But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what you shall speak, neither do you premeditate; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak you: for it is not you that speak, but the Holy Ghost. Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure until the end, the same shall be saved.” 


Jesus made it clear to His disciples that it would not always be easy to be one His followers in this life. “The servant is not greater than his Lord.” “They that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” If you never suffer persecution, then you are not living godly in Christ Jesus. In these verses Jesus said that the persecutions would come from two main places: organized religion and government. Jesus said, “They shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues you shall be beaten.” The councils and the synagogues refer to organized religion. In the time of Jesus the Jewish religion was the organized religion that persecuted true believers including Jesus Himself whom they put to death. Over the centuries other organized religions have persecuted the faithful. The so-called Christian religion has itself persecuted true believers. Catholics persecuted many true believers during the Inquisition. Both Catholics and Protestants persecuted each other during the Reformation, and some of them are still fighting against each other today and seem to have not learned the lessons of the past. The religion of Islam is a great persecutor of believers in the one true God. What hypocrisy. They claim to be worshippers of the one true God, and then they turn right around and persecute others who are not a part of their organized religion. Jesus said to beware. He told us where the persecutions would come from: organized religion and government.


God is in control, and He is a master at turning the tables. God will not allow any persecution to come against us unless He also takes that persecution and uses it to glorify His name and to spread the gospel. That’s why Jesus said in Mark 13:9 that believers will be delivered up in such situations “for a testimony against” the persecutors. Everyone who hears the gospel will one day give an account for how they responded to the gospel. Your responsibility is to give the testimony that God wants you to give. Do not get caught up with measuring your effectiveness by measuring the results. The results will be measured at the judgment.


Concerning your testimony, when you are delivered up before the unbelievers, Jesus said do not worry about what you are going to say. The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say. Jesus said in Mark 13:11, “But whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not you that speak, but the Holy Spirit.” As believers we are totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must guide us. He must fill us. He must comfort us. And He must speak through us, and Jesus said that He will speak through us when we give our testimonies in such arduous circumstances.


Continuing with speaking about the persecutions that believers will suffer in this day and age that we live in, Jesus said in Mark 13:12 and the first part of Mark 13:13, “Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake…” Remember when Jesus said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword? He was talking about the same thing that He was talking about here. Families will be ripped apart by the gospel. That will be one of the sorrows and sufferings of our time. If everyone in a family came to know the Lord and was serving Him, then the family could be united. But it does not usually happen that way. Some of your worse persecutions may come from your own family members. They will come from someone. Jesus said, “You shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.”


Strange is it not. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” Christians who humbly speak the name of Jesus do so with kindness in their hearts for the unsaved and with prayers for them. Jesus was the greatest who ever walked the earth. No one will quarrel with that. Even unbelievers often recognize that the teachings of Jesus are great and wonderful teachings, and they will not argue about the fact that Jesus did great things and lived a tremendous life. Why is it that those who uphold the name of Jesus become persecuted? It does not make sense. It’s not logical, and yet it happens because of the dark spiritual forces that are at work in the world. 


We see that in Mark 13:5-13 Jesus listed for the disciples what are the main characteristics of the age in which we live. Let’s review them and list them.

1.    False Christs.

2.   Wars and rumors of wars.

3.   Earthquakes in divers places.

4.   Famines.

5.   Other troubles.

6.   Persecution and hatred against believers.

7.   Spread of the gospel. The one positive thing that Jesus listed.

Was Jesus correct? Have these things happened over and over during the two thousand years since He was on the earth? Yes, and they are still happening today, and they will continue to happen until the end-time comes. You can pick up the newspaper any day and read about these things. Jesus was right. The Bible is true. Read the newspaper and listen to the news, and every day you will see proof that the Bible is true.


Jesus told us about the troubles and sorrows of this life, and He told us how to overcome them. Jesus said at the end of Mark 13:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” There is a reason for everything including the troubles and sorrows that come into the life of a Christian. The way to find your purpose and to fulfill that purpose is to make sure that you follow it all the way to the end. What God guides you into, He will lead you out of. Just make sure that you get out of it in His way and in His time. If you get out too soon because of your own will, then you will miss the blessing and lose what God was going to accomplish in it. That’s one of the reasons that there are so many divorces. Some trouble comes into the marriage, and instead of enduring the trouble until it ends, one of the persons in the marriage gets out too soon. Too bad they did not remember what Jesus said here. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Jesus was not talking about the salvation of the soul in this passage. He was talking about how to win the victory over a trial or trouble that comes into your life.


The point is that troubles are temporary. They have a beginning, but they also have an end. The age that we live in also has an end to it. And in Mark 13:14 Jesus begins a description of the signs of the end-times. One of the questions that the disciples asked Jesus at the beginning of this chapter was, “What shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?” The first sign of the end-times is given in Mark 13:14-18 where Jesus said, “But when you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that reads understand,) then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take anything out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that nurse a baby in those days! And pray that your flight be not in winter.”


The first great sign of the end of the age is the abomination of desolation. Jesus referred to the prophet Daniel who first wrote about this important future event. This abomination of desolation will be a desecration of the temple in Jerusalem and the place of sacrifice within the temple. The person who will commit this infamous act will be the antichrist as we shall see when we quote one of the verses from the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Therefore, in this first sign that Jesus said will be given to know that end has come, we have three important facts. We know where this sign will take place: in Jerusalem in the temple. We know what exactly will take place: the abomination of desolation, the sacrilege of the temple. And we know who will commit the horrible act: the antichrist.


Daniel wrote in Daniel 11:36 concerning the antichrist and making it clear that the antichrist will commit this act, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.” Daniel 12:11 says, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” From this verse is another important detail that we are given about the end-times. One thousand two hundred and ninety days is almost exactly three and a half years. Remember that. This means that the abomination of desolation will take place right in the middle of the seven-year end-time period of which Daniel wrote.


The end time of which Daniel spoke is a period of seven years of which the last three and a half years are the worst as far as all of the troubles and trials that will be taking place on the earth. Just to explain a little bit about prophesy and what was revealed to Daniel in his great writings so many centuries ago, you will see in Daniel chapter nine that seventy weeks of years were revealed to Daniel. In the language as it was revealed to Daniel one week was equivalent to seven years. This is shown very clearly in Daniel chapter nine. Daniel 9:24 says, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.”


One of the things to notice about the seventy weeks of years is the fact that the last week, the last seven years, are separated from the first sixty-nine weeks of years. Sixty-nine weeks of years equals four hundred eighty-three years. That’s how long it was from the time that this was revealed to Daniel until Jesus died on the cross. That’s why it says at the start of Daniel 9:26 that after the first 7 weeks of years (49 years), “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself…” So after Jesus died, there is a gap, a gap of some undetermined time before the last week of years, the last seven years takes place.


Another interesting thing to keep in mind is that the first sign (not counting the rapture) that we will have that this last seven years is taking place will not be until the seven years are half over. In the midst of the seven years, that is, after three and a half years, the abomination of desolation shall take place in the temple and then those who are alive on the earth when that takes place will know that they are in the end-time; and Jesus said that once you know that, you had better get out of Jerusalem if you are in Jerusalem. The antichrist himself is going to be in Jerusalem declaring himself to be God; and his great hatred will pour out against the chosen ones. The current violence against the Jews and the true believers is only the beginning of sorrows.


Concerning the abomination of desolation, we know that it has to take place in the temple, by definition. But there is no temple right now. That means that before this prophecy can take place, a temple has to be built again in Jerusalem. The antichrist will not be able to desecrate the temple if there is no temple. Of course, the act of building the temple will not help to identify exactly when this last period of seven years begins because the temple might get built, but might stand for hundreds of years before the antichrist comes on the scene. On the other hand, since the abomination of desolation takes place three and a half years after the tribulation starts, and if it only takes a couple of years to build the temple, the temple may not even be built until even after the tribulation has started. There are many possibilities as to when some of these things will take place. We are not given all of the details, but one of the things that we know for sure according to Jesus is that the first sign that the end-times has arrived will be in the middle of the end-times, in the middle of the last seven years, when the antichrist shall be revealed by committing the infamous abomination of desolation and exalting himself above God.  


Remember that the Lord has revealed these things to us so that we will not fear. The world is temporary. The age we live in is on the timetable that God has set for it. Jesus will return to bring judgment. Blessed are the believers in Jesus. Happy is their condition. Because of Jesus and what He did for them on the cross, they will be delivered from the wrath to come. If you do not know Jesus as Savior, today is your chance to repent and turn to Him before it is too late.   




Copyright; 2003 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved