Abomination of Desolation

Dear Brethren,

Do you know what the Abomination of Desolation is?  Is it important to know what it is?  When the disciples asked, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?," Jesus responded by telling them all about the first five seals.  Then He said, "This gospel of the Kingdom [of God] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 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:)"  (Matthew 24:14-15)

Isn't it interesting that "we" are told, "who so ever reads this, let him understand."  There is a clue here that the answer to the question of the Abomination of Desolation is somewhat of an enigma - a challenging puzzle to be solved.  It is a very serious question to be solved because Jesus puts it in the context of salvation.  He had just said, "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."  (Matthew 24:13)

So, what is the Abomination of Desolation?  Jesus was indicating that the prophecy of Daniel, that had already been fulfilled once, was to be fulfilled again in the end-time.  Will the Abomination of Desolation be an image of Jupiter Olympus like the one that Antiochus Epiphanes placed in Herod's temple in 167/168 BC, when he offered swine's blood on the altar?  That, indeed, was an abomination that makes desolate.

Perhaps the end-time fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation will be something very similar to Antiochus Epiphanes' desolation.  There are some problems that must be overcome, however, if the end-time Abomination of Desolation is to be just like the first.  We must consider that there is no physical temple today.  Also, there is no Levitical priesthood today.

Many Protestants are anxious to see the Abomination of Desolation take place so that they can be "raptured" into heaven.  They have been taught to believe a doctrine that holds much of mankind in disdain.   They are almost anxious to see the end-time destruction come on the world.  That is not a Christian attitude at all.  The True Church of God will understand what the Abomination of Desolation is, while the unconverted world will be deceived by Satan's counterfeit.

Some people believe that they have found the answer to the question of the Abomination of Desolation in Luke 21:20.  "When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."  There's the answer they say, "The Abomination of Desolation is the armies surrounding Jerusalem."  Well, that is not exactly what the Scripture says.  The Scripture says that when we see those armies around Jerusalem, the Abomination of Desolation is near approaching, or near at hand.

Mark says that it will be "standing."  He puts it this way in Mark 13:14:  "When ye 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 Judaea flee to the mountains."  Why is the abomination of desolation, standing?  There are other questions that we should also consider. Who are the people in Judea who flee to the mountains, and what are they doing there?  Where is the Holy Place?  Who places the Abomination of Desolation in the holy place?

Let's think about these questions.  What was Jesus talking about?  Was He indicating something that only His people would grasp?  Is a new Holy Place or temple going to be built in Jerusalem?  Where is God's temple today?  Will a Levitical Sanhedrin and priesthood be re-constituted   before the return of Jesus Christ?  And if so, how will that religious system relate to the Church of God?  If a new Levitical priesthood re-instituted daily sacrifices, how would the sacrifice of Jesus Christ be affected?

These are big questions for the Church of God.  "Whoso readeth, let him understand."   Speaking about the Abomination that maketh Desolate, the angel told Daniel,  "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."  (Daniel 12:10-11)


Sermon:  "Abomination of Desolation"