The Abomination of Desolation

THE “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION” IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, 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: 27).

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 (Daniel 11: 31).

And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set us, there will be 1,290 days (Daniel 12: 12).I

MACCABEES, BOOK 1

After Alexander the Greek died, leaving no successor, his generals divided his kingdom into four parts.  One part was the Seleucid Empire.  During the time of the Maccabees, Antiochus IV Epiphanes ruled the Seleucid Empire.  Daniel refers to him as the King of the North (Daniel 11: 6).

Maccabees I and II are historical books written between the Old and New Testaments.  According to Maccabees, Antiochus IV Epiphanes “changed the times” (meaning God’s Appointed Times in Leviticus 23),  set up the abomination of desolation in the Temple in Jerusalem, and proclaimed himself to be God.

 Antiochus IV ruled the Seleucid Empire during the time of the Maccabees, the name of the Jewish family that led the revolt against Antiochus.  Antiochus defiled the Temple.  The Maccabees defeated him and cleansed the Temple.  When the Temple was rededicated, the scant oil burned miraculously for eight days.  (This is the origin of Hanukkah–a.k.a. the Feast of Dedication–which Jesus celebrated in John 10: 22-23).

Antiochus IV fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy about the abomination of desolation in part.  I say “in part” because history repeats itself.  Antiochus is the forerunner of the anti-christ.  Read on.

THE “ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION” IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

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:) Then let them which be in  Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes (Matthew 24: 15-18).

But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth 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 any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment (Mark 13: 14-16).

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Christ is at hand.  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 be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (II Thessalonians 2: 1-4).

* The verses above are quotes from the King James Bible.

**Recommended reading: Daniel, especially chapters 7-12; I and II Maccabees; Mathew 24 and Mark 13; 1 John 2: 18-23 Book of Revelation, especially chapters 12, 13, 17, and 19.

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Spirals Define Who We Are

As I was spending time with the Lord this morning, I happened to look at my fingers and noticed the spiral design on my fingertips.  Strains of DNA are shaped like spirals also.  Fingerprints and DNA are unique to each individual.

Recently, I heard someone say that when we lift up our hands in praise (palm side up), we are showing God who we are.  It’s like saying, “Here I am God, worshiping You.”

The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy.  Just as fingerprints identify who we are, the Milky Way identifies our physical place in the universe.

A spiral has a center.  God longs to be at the center of our lives.  How can we make God the center of our lives?  In Deuteronomy 6: 5 (Matthew 22: 37 also), we are told to “love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (KJV).

Love Him and seek Him.  “You will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul” (Deuteronomy 4: 29 NASB).  Seeking God first comes with a promise.  “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6: 33 KJV).

In the 1970s, it was common to hear someone say, “I am trying to find myself.”  Such an approach always leads to disappointment.  Instead, seek God.  “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17: 28a KJV).

(For further reading, see John 1: 1; John 10: 30; Psalm 110: 1; Matthew 22: 41-46; John 14: 8-9; Psalm 2: 7; Romans 6: 11.)

Ekeziel and the Book of Revelation

To understand the Book of Revelation, we need to study the Old Testament, particularly the writings of Zechariah, Daniel, Joel, Ekeziel and other prophets.  For example, Ekeziel 14: 12-19 enhances our understanding of Revelation 6: 7-8.

The beginning of Ekeziel 14 targets sin and idolatry.  Verses 12-19 pronounce judgement.  Notice that Ekeziel and Revelation both speak of “famine,” “wild beasts,” “plague” and a “sword.”

EKEZIEL

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its men and their animals, even if theses three men–Noah, Daniel and Job–were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD. 

“Or if I send wild beasts through that country and they leave it childless and it becomes desolate so that no one can pass through it because of the beasts, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters.  They alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate.

“Or if I bring a sword against that country and say ‘Let the sword pass throughout the land,’ and I kill its men and their animals, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they cold not save their own sons or daughters.  They alone would be saved.

“Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath upon it through bloodshed, killing its men and their animals, as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter.  They would save only themselves by their righteousness” (Ezekiel 14: 12-19 NIV).

REVELATION

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse!  It’s rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.  The were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth (Revelation 6: 8 NIV).

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