Christ’s Return: Session 5- The Abomination of Desolation
What is the Abomination of Desolation?
1. Performed by the antichrist.
- Now let’s go back to Daniel 11, and maybe I’ll get a little further into the insight so that you’ll understand where we’re going.
- In Daniel 11 we are introduced to a person called "the Anti-Christ".
(36) And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
(37) Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
- In Daniel 2 Nebuchadnezzer has a dream.
- Daniel ends up interpreting the dream.
- It's the dream of a great image, and there are multiple kingdoms described.
- The last kingdom is pictured as the feet.
(31) Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
(32) This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
(33) His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
- Daniel says something interesting about these feet of iron and clay...
(41) And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
(42) And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
(43) And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
(44) And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
(45) Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
- Whichever this last kingdom is (Some say it is a confederacy of 10 nations from the Old Roman empire because the kings from the south and the north and the east all go against him) is the one that goes against God.
- God breaks this kingdom to piees, and in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed!
- The messiah is the stone that crushes the image.
- But out of that system- the iron/clay roman system, will rise a great leader.
- And this guy will rise out of that European confederacy and he will become a savior to Israel. He is going to be the one who is the protector of Israel.
- They’re going to make an alliance with him, as we’ll see in a little while, for their own protection against the Arab-Russian alliance, which will come into a final form as Ezekiel 38 describes it and comes against them. They do it for their own protection.
- He, by the way, is the one spoken of in Isaiah 10 who is the one they lean on who smites them. Because in the midst of that alliance he destroys them. Israel has made an alliance with this guy. He is in control. The powers of the world move into Israel as described in the 11th chapter of Daniel.
- It’s described with detail. At the time of the end – verse 40 – the king of the south comes, the king of the north comes, all these powers come in and then comes tidings out of the east, that great army from the east.
(40) And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
(41) He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
(42) He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
(43) But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
(44) But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
- But it’s at that point when he’s made his alliance with Israel, he’s become Israel’s protector, the world comes to fight against him, to fight against and take Israel, in that battle, he wins – he wins.
- And when he wins, he then commits the abomination of desolation as we’ll see in Daniel.
2. The Words Defined.
(15) 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:)
From G948; a detestation, that is, (specifically) idolatry: - abomination.
1) a making desolate, desolation
- So, to put that together the abominable thing that makes desolate.
- The word for abomination is often used about things related to Idolatry.
- It desecrates. It makes something desolate.
- Notice also the word here "holy place"?
- What is the "holy place" It's the temple.
3. Spoken of by Daniel.
- Now, you say: “Well, how do we know what this is?” Well, it helps us, it gives us a key in verse 15, see it there? It’s that abomination of desolation, not just any abomination, not just any event, but the one spoken of by Daniel the prophet. The one spoken of by Daniel the prophet. Now all we have to do is go back and find out what Daniel said. Let’s do it. Chapter 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.
- Now, in chapter 11, the first part of the chapter – and this is a rather long chapter. It’s devoted to some historical things and the latter part to the end time things. But while you’re looking in chapter 11, notice verse 31. And here in verse 31 we have a very, very graphic description of an interesting historical figure. And by the way, I don’t know that any Bible commentary that I’ve ever read, no matter what their viewpoint on prophecy, has ever interpreted this any other way, at least no reputable scholar has, than as a reference to an historical figure by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes. He was a Syrian king who basically reigned from about 175 to 165 B.C. He called himself Epiphanes which means “the great one.” He wasn’t a very modest fellow, so he called himself Antiochus Epiphanes, Antiochus, the Great One. The people called him Antiochus Epimanes, which means “maniac.” So – I suppose they didn’t call him that to his face, but that’s what they called him.
- But anyway, this particular man is a very interesting figure. In verse 31 it says this about him, and if you study the whole text, it’s clear who it is. History makes it very obvious. “Forces shall stand on his part and they’ll pollute the sanctuary of strength, take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.” There’s that same phrase again. He is going to bring about an abomination of desolation, that is Antiochus Epiphanes. So here we have a historical picture of what the end time abomination is going to be like. He was a great persecutor of the people of Israel. If you read – have an old Catholic Bible or you can get an Apocrypha, you’ll find the books of Maccabees, 1 and 2 Maccabees. If you look in there, you’ll get a whole rundown on Antiochus because it was written in the period in which he lived, a period about 400 years after Daniel prophesied and prior to the New Testament era. But you read in there that he tried to stamp out Jewish religion, and in so doing, he slaughtered thousands and thousands of Jews, including men, women, and even children. He, in the worst act, as far as Jewish history is concerned, desecrated the temple. He abominated the temple by going in there and slaughtering a pig on the altar and then stuffing pork down the throats of the priests and then setting up a god in that place. An abomination – a Greek god.
- Now look at what it says about the Anti-Christ in the future.
(24) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
(25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
(26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
(27) 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.
- We see here that it is clear that this AntiChrist is going to set up a covenant for 7 years.
- In the middle of the seven years there will be this abomination of desloation.
- Daniel 12:10-12 gives us more timing.
(10) 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.
(11) And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
- Just over 3.5 years.
- So what is the timing?
- So you have birth pains that are the beginning of sorrows.
- You have the abomination of desolation performed by the Antichrist in the middle of the 70th week- the 7 years.
- You have over 3.5 years from the abomination of desolation to the coming back of Jesus Christ to restore his kingdom.
4. Described in Revelation 13:11-18.
(1) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
(2) And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
(3) And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
(4) And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
(5) And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
(6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
- 42 months. That's how long he has.
- The false prophet makes people to worship the beast. Another name for the Antichrist.
(11) And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
(12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
(14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
(15) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
5. Described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
- This describes exactly what the apostle Paul said would happen in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
(3) 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;
(4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
- Antiochus Epiphanes set up a Greek god. This one’s going to set himself up. Now, you get the picture.
- As we move toward the end of human history, Israel is going to be more and more in a vulnerable position. And to protect themselves from that holocaust which they don’t want to happen, they’re going to align themselves up with a seemingly friendly western European power headed up by a prince, a leader, a great leader, an attractive leader. This particular leader is going to be their strength, their support, and their help. The world is going to come against him and Israel at one point out of their hatred for Israel.
- He will defeat them all and in that moment, he will betray his real heart and he will also take power over Israel. He will desecrate their holy place. Now, having defeated the world and having all of them at his feet, he sets himself up to be worshiped.
- He becomes that god of all gods that the world must bow before and establishes the abomination of desolation. From that moment that he establishes that, and the daily sacrifice, which will be in the rebuilt temple in that time, stops and Jewish people no longer go near the place. From that moment on, the Great Tribulation begins. It lasts 42 months, 12 hundred and 60 days, three and a half years, followed by a 30-day period of judging and a 45-day period of transitioning into the millennial kingdom.