THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
During the final days of Yahushua's ministry before He was crucified, His disciples came to Him “to shew Him the buildings of the temple. And Yahushua said unto them, See you not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:1, 2).
As a result of what Yahushua had just said to them, “the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).
The disciples did not understand that the destruction of the temple and “the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world” were two separate events separated by nearly 2,000 years. The destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple when “there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2) would take place during the lifetime of some of those who were asking that question and which had been foretold by Daniel the prophet in Daniel 9:26-27.
While foretelling the coming of Messiah, Daniel also gave events that would happen to the city of Jerusalem and the temple. “And the people of the prince that shall come [the Roman army under Titus] shall destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined … and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:26,27).
We can see from what we have just read that the “abomination of desolation” and the destruction of the city and the sanctuary were connected. Yahushua warned His disciples: “When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matthew 24:15). And when they saw what is being described here “then let them which be in Judea flee unto the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes” (Matthew 24:16-18). A sense of urgency is conveyed in these words as to how they were to regard and react to what they were to witness! The apostles were to understand “(whoso readeth, let him understand:)” that when the “abomination of desolation” took place it was the signal for them to flee from Judea and Jerusalem. Until then they were to continue to work for the salvation of their fellow Jews in Jerusalem.
When the “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet” stood in the holy place they were to flee. Mark 13:14 says that “when you shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” then they were to flee. Prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, Jerusalem had been surrounded and had been under siege by the Roman army. But because trouble had broken out in another part of the Roman Empire, the Roman army withdrew and the army of Jews pursued them inflicting heavy casualties on the withdrawing Roman army. The Roman army, in surrounding Jerusalem, had been on holy ground even though it had not gained access to the city.
When Elohim came down on Mt. Sinai, barriers were put in place to prevent man or beast from coming on sacred ground. See Exodus 9:12, 13. So it was with the land surrounding the city of Jerusalem where Elohim’s presence had at times been manifested. The Roman army had been “standing where it ought not” to have been.
When the Roman army withdrew, with the Jews in hot pursuit, the way was opened for the followers of Messiah to flee Judea (Matthew 24:16). While the Roman army had surrounded the city it was impossible for the followers of Messiah to flee, but the way was opened for them to flee while the Roman and Jewish armies were engaged with one another. In A.D. 70, the Roman army under Titus returned and destroyed the city of Jerusalem as well as the temple and supposedly not one follower of Messiah was killed in the destruction because all had heeded Messiah’s warning and had fled. When the Roman army had gained entrance into the city, Titus had ordered that the temple was not to be destroyed, but the hatred of the Jews by the Romans was so intense that those orders were disregarded, and the temple was set on fire and multitudes who had sought refuge within the temple were slaughtered by the Roman legions as they escaped from the fiery flames.
The gold contained within the temple and which lined the walls became liquified during the fire and had seeped into the crevices of the massive stones of the temple, and in ransacking of the temple “one stone upon another” was overturned in order to get at the gold; fulfilling the words of Yahushua when He foretold the destruction of the temple. The “abomination of desolation” that took place at this time in history was foretold in Daniel 11:31: “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” The "daily sacrifice" had taken place when Yahushua had been crucified in AD 31 when the veil separating the holy and the holies was rent from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51, Mark:15:38, Luke 23:45).
There is another “abomination that maketh desolate” which is to take place in the “last days” just prior to the return of Yahushua. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and [until] the abomination that makes desolate [is] set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11).
The time element connected to the taking away of the “daily” and the “daily” will not be discussed in this article, but they will be addressed separately in another article. The word “sacrifice” in this verse and in another verse previously quoted is not in the original Greek text and was inserted by the translators.
From what we discovered concerning the “abomination of desolation” which took place in the first century, we will find help in our understanding concerning the “abomination of desolation” which is to take place just prior to the return of Yahushua. When the Roman army surrounded the city of Jerusalem, the “abomination of desolation” took place. Does it make sense that the “abomination of desolation” at the time of the end also has to do with the city of Jerusalem?
There are few that that understand that Satan will be making his appearance on the earth during the last days in order to deceive “if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22). In four portions of Daniel and the Revelation, Satan and his appearing are discussed. Those verses of scripture are Daniel 8:9-17; Daniel 11:35-45; Revelation 9:1-11 and Revelation 13:11-18. Those four portions of scripture are discussed in detail on our website in Daniel 8, Daniel 11, Revelation 9 and Revelation 13. Those studies can be accessed by clicking on them which will take you to the link.
It has been the studied effort of Satan to gain the worship of mankind. He even attempted to have Yahushuas worship him. “Again, the devil taketh Him [Yahushua] up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Yahushua unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship Yahuwah thy Elohim, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:8-10). Worship will have a large part to play in the closing scenes of this earth’s history.
Isaiah had this to say about Satan (aka Lucifer). “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into the heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of Elohim: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14). Satan has had some very lofty aspirations and in the time of the end he will attain unto some of them in his thinking. He has been setting up mankind for this his greatest deception of the ages. He has perverted the scriptures so that many are going to accept him as Elohim and bow down and worship him.
And he will set up his throne in Jerusalem, the city that Elohim had chosen for His worship. From the scripture just quoted we find these words: “I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north." “In the sides of the north” is associated with the city of Jerusalem. “Great is Yahuwah, and greatly to be praised in the city of our Elohim, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Psalm 48:1, 2). Satan will usurp Elohim’s position in the location where Elohim had set up His earthly temple for worship!
So Satan makes his boast that he “will sit also upon the mount of congregation, in the sides of the north” which we see is the city of Jerusalem. For many, they will believe that this is beginning of the 1,000 millennium of peace. But to the follower of Messiah it will be the signal that Yahushua is soon to return.
“Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus [Satan], Thus saith Yahuwah Elohim; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of Elohim, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not Elohim, though thou set thine heart as the heart of Elohim” (Ezekiel 28:2). Compare the language in this verse with Isaiah 14:12-14 and the following verses.
“And he [Satan] shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Daniel 11:45).
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [Satan] be revealed, the son of perdition [Satan]; who opposeth and exalteth himself [Satan] above all that is called Elohim, or that is worshipped; so that he [Satan] as Elohim sitteth in the temple of Elohim, shewing himself that he is Elohim” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4). The great deceiver is working his deceptions in these last days so that when one is confronted with the truth, one has a difficult time recognizing it.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels [Revelation 9:2-10] were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).
What could be a greater Abomination than for Satan to set himself up as Elohim in the temple of Elohim? This will be the “sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world” (Matthew 24:3)!