Abomination of Desolation
During the final days of Yahushua’s ministry before He was crucified, His disciples came to Him “to show 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” (Matt. 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?” (Matt. 24:3, emphasis added).
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 exactly one thousand nine hundred and sixty 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” (Matt. 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; 11:31.
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 General 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” (Dan. 9:26, 27).
We can see from what we have just read 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 reads, let him understand:)” (Matt. 24:15, emphasis added).
When they saw what was being described “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” (Matt. 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 reads, 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 and around 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 the 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 19:12-13. Moses was told by “the angel of Yahuwah” when he attempted to approach a burning bush: “And the angel of Yahuwah appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when Yahuwah saw that he turned aside to see, Elohim called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And He said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (Ex. 3:2-5, emphasis added).
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 (Matt. 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 the Jewish armies were engaged with one another.
In AD 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 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 that lined the walls became liquefied during the fire and had seeped into the crevices of the massive stones of the temple, and in the ransacking of the temple “one stone upon another” was overturned in order to get to the gold; fulfilling the words of Yahushua when He had 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 [AD 31], and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate [AD 70]” (emphasis added). Satan was the power behind what was done in AD 31 and AD 70. “Yea, he [‘the little horn’ of Daniel chapter eight was identified as Satan] magnified himself even to the Prince of the host [Yahushua], and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away [AD 31], and the place of his sanctuary was cast down [AD 70]” (Dan. 8:31).
There is another “abomination that makes 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 [April 4, 2027], and [until] the abomination that makes desolate [is] set up [October 15, 2030], there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Dan. 12:11, emphasis added).
The time element connected to the taking away of the “daily” and the “daily” will not be discussed in this article, but they have been addressed separately in another article. The word “sacrifice” in this verse and in another verse previously quoted is not in the original text and was inserted by the translators. It is not in the original Greek manuscripts.
From what we saw concerning the “abomination of desolation” that took place in the first century, we will find help in our understanding concerning the “abomination that makes desolate” which is to take place just prior to the return of Yahushua. When the Roman army surrounded the city of Jerusalem, the “abomination that makes desolate” took place. Does it make sense that the “abomination that makes desolate” at “the time of the end” also has to do with the city of Jerusalem with someone or something standing on holy ground?
There are few who understand that Satan will be making his appearance upon 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 Revelation, Satan and his appearance 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 in my studies on Daniel chapter eight, Daniel 11:36-45, and Revelation chapters nine and thirteen.
It has been the studied effort of Satan to gain the worship of humanity. He even attempted to have Yahushua worship him. “Again, the devil takes Him [Yahushua] up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows 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 [not Them] only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:8-10).
Worship will have a large part in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. See Revelation 13:11-15.
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” (Isa. 14:12-14, emphasis added).
Satan has had some very lofty aspirations and in the time of the end he, in his mind, will attain some of them. He has been setting up humanity for his greatest deception of the ages. He has perverted man’s understanding of the Scriptures so many are going to accept him as Elohim and bow down and worship him.
He will set up his throne in Jerusalem, the city 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” (Ps. 48:1, 2, emphasis added). Satan will attempt to usurp Elohim’s position in the location where Elohim had set up His earthly temple of worship!
Satan makes his boast that he “will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” which we see is the city of Jerusalem. For many, they will believe this is the beginning of the one-thousand-year millennium of peace, but to the follower of Messiah, it will be the signal that Yahushua is soon to return. “And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matt. 24:3, emphasis added).
“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” (Eze. 28:2, emphasis added). Compare the language in this verse with Isaiah 14:12-14 above and the following verses.
“And he [Satan] shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain [Mt. Zion]; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (Dan. 11:45, emphasis added).
“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 opposes and exalts himself [Satan] above all that is called Elohim, or that is worshipped; so that he [Satan] as Elohim sits in the temple of Elohim, showing himself that he is Elohim” (2 Thess. 2:3, 4, emphasis added).
The great deceiver is working his deceptions in these last days so when one is confronted with the truth, one has a difficult time recognizing it and too often rejects the truth because it does not agree with what he has been taught.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels [Rev. 9:2-10] were cast out with him” (Rev. 12:9, emphasis added).
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” (Matt. 24:3)! When this event takes place during “the time of the end,” we will be just days away from the return of Yahushua!