IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),—Matthew 24:15
Following the rise of the anti-Christ, the world will experience tribulation unlike any previous encounter. Jesus offered warnings concerning the time following the abomination of desolation.
Read Matthew 24:15-22
The apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees describe in detail the rule of Antiochus and the Jewish resistance to his brutal actions. Antiochus slaughtered thousands of Jews and attempted to obliterate the Jewish religion. History records him as desecrating the Temple by sacrificing a pig, the most ceremonially unclean of all animals, on the altar and forcing the priests to eat its flesh. He then set up in the Temple by sacrificing a pig, the most ceremonially unclean of all animals, on the altar and forcing the priests to eat its flesh. He then set up in the Temple an idol of Zeus, the pagan deity he believed himself to be.
When Jesus’ words were recorded by Matthew, the reign of Antiochus had long since ended, and yet, Jesus clearly speaks in a way that shows the abomination of desolation was to occur sometime in the future. So while the reign of Antiochus clearly fulfilled part of the prophecies contained in Daniel, there is evidently a future aspect to it as well. Further, Antiochus’s reign was not characterized with a covenant with Israel that was not characterized with a covenant with Israel that was broken in three and a half years, nor a complete desolation that occurred (cf. Daniel 9:27, 12:11), which gives further evidence of a fuller, future fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecies.
Next, Daniel 9:27 shows that it is a person who causes the desolation; “one who makes desolate” is repeated twice in the verse. So putting these two puzzle pieces together we understand that a person being in God’s holy place will cause some sort of desolation until complete destruction is delivered upon that individual. Moreover, the destruction of that individual has been decreed by God.
In his letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul describes the end times tribulation period and gives his readers an interesting sign of that period that concerns the Antichrist and an important blasphemy he commits: “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
This agrees perfectly with Jesus’ statement about the abomination being in the holy place of God and the abomination being an individual, as described by Daniel.
Finally, in Revelation 13:5, the Apostle John describes the Antichrist and the time given him to rule, which is 42 months. This agrees with Daniel 9:27, which says the Antichrist will break his treaty with Israel in the middle of the seven year tribulation period, and it also matches up with Daniel 12:11 that there will 1,290 days (approximately 3.5 years) before the abomination of desolation occurs. John also explains that an image of the Antichrist will be constructed and those on the earth will be forced to worship it: “and by the signs that it [the false prophet] is allowed to work in the presence of the beast [the Antichrist] it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
So by letting Scripture interpret Scripture, we find that a reasonable answer to the question of “What is the abomination of desolation?” is that it will be the Antichrist, three and a half years into his reign, taking a place in God’s rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and saying to the world that he is God and must be worshipped as God. When that occurs, the real Creator will respond to the challenge and will ultimately and eternally destroy the Antichrist (Revelation 19:20).
Just as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah served as a picture of God’s judgment throughout the Bible, so the fall of Jerusalem foreshadows the even greater destruction of the Last Day. On that day, God will withdraw his merciful hand and this dark world will be brought to an end. Indeed, had God not restrained and limited evil, the world would have consumed itself ages ago. But out of mercy, God has delayed the final judgment until all His elect are gathered in the ark of the Holy Church. Then God himself will shut the door, and the long day of grace will come to a close.
Jesus gave us a sign to know that the end is near: “When you see the abomination of desolation… standing in the holy place” (Mt 24:15). What does this mean? What is the abomination? The abomination is idolatry. It’s false worship done in the holy place that God has designated for His true worship. It’s false doctrine that supplants the truth of God’s Word, for Jesus says, “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (Jn 4:22). The abomination of desolation doesn’t come from outside the church; it comes from within. Look around the church today and you’ll see false teachers everywhere. They’re in the church.
They twist the Scriptures to their own ends. They preach a counterfeit gospel that is not Christ crucified for sinners. And people love to have it so. St. Paul tells us, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Ti 4:3-4). But this is nothing new. From the time of the apostles until now, there has never been a day when the church did not contend with lying prophets and deceitful doctrine. The signs are clear. We are living in the last days which began with our Lord’s Ascension and will continue until His triumphant
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