Summary: Jesus gave warning to the disciple about the abomination of desolation - what is the Abomination of Desolation mentioned in the Bible?
“Abomination of Desolation”
District Elder M. L. Maughmer, Jr.
The Abomination of Desolation – What is it? The very phrase is enough to make anyone feel uncomfortable and cause an uneasy sensation of doom. Why is it that this term causes such an emotion in a person? The answer is rather simple although the understanding of abomination of desolation may not be so clear yet. I believe the reason for such an emotion of doom when you mention abomination of desolation is due in part to the spirit of man understands that the very act, which causes abomination that makes desolate is the total separation from God and the lost of hope. Abomination of Desolation is mentioned in the book of Daniel, the 9th chapter and the 27th verse to be exact also 11:31 and 12:11. The ambiguous statement has lead to many interpretations of what is the Abomination that shall make desolate really is. Jesus refers to this passage of scripture in His “Olivet Discourse” in Matthew 24 verse 15.
Understand that I do not proclaim to be a prophecy guru or have a private interpretation of the Word of God, but I believe the Word of God and strive to be obedient to what it says. Matthew 24:15 says “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). So the purpose of this lesson is to give understanding to “Abomination of Desolation”.
The 24th chapter of Matthew is called the Olivet Discourse. Lets’ give a brief background here first. Jesus had made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem this is the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He had gone into the temple and overthrew the money changer’s tables stating the Lord’s house was to be a house of prayer and they had made it a den of thieves. He had criticized the Scribes and the Pharisees for having a form of godliness and denying the power thereof. He said that they were as sepulchers, whitewashed and clean on the outside but on the inside were full of dead men’s bones. In the 24th chapter Jesus turns a leaves the Temple as He and the disciples are leaving the temple, the disciples make reference to the grandeur of the Temple. We know according to Josephus (Jewish Historian) that this Temple was beautiful and considered to be one of the wonders of the ancient world. The marble columns, porches, gold, massive stones, Corinthian designs were indeed a sight to behold. Such beauty and massive structures often will cause one to place confidence in human efforts rather than God. Thus Jesus said to the disciples (paraphrasing) don’t get so caught up in materialistic things and human ability for there is going to come a time when there shall not be a stone standing upon stone Matthew 24:2, human efforts will fail. Jesus and the disciples leave the Temple and go to the Mount of Olives. The disciples come to Him and ask three (3) questions.
When shall these things be?
What shall be the sign of thy coming?
The end of the world?
Jesus gives them an answer that is filled with (25) twenty five signs. In this lesson we will not discuss in depth all 25, but will focus mainly on the (17th) seventeenth one mentioned the Abomination of Desolation.
Matthew 24:4 says “And Jesus answered and said unto them Take heed that no man deceive you”. Here is wisdom.
To understand Prophecy you must look at prophecy very carefully and you must not regard a single event as total fulfillment, but as a string of events.
The event known as the Abomination of Desolation will take place and be directed against the “Temple of God”, remember that. It is this event that literally separates the Tribulation Period first 3 ½ years from the Great Tribulation the second 3 ½ years also known as the Seventieth week of Daniel. This lesson suggest that the Abomination of Desolation is more than an act directed merely against a rebuilt temple, but will reach out and infect humanity which causes one to become desolate.
The term itself “Abomination of Desolation” proposes an act more repulsive then the desecration of a temple made of stone and mud. If the abomination of a temple was all that was meant then Antiochus Epiphanies, whose names means “The Manifested or The Illustrious”, he was called Epimanes meaning the maniac, who desecrated the temple in 173 B.C. by sacrificing a pig to Zeus, did as much if not more then the antichrist. If desecration of a temple made of stone and mud was all it is about surely in 70A.D. when Titus burned the temple and destroyed it this should have been the abomination of desolation. Surely the atrocities that have happened in places made of stone and mortar from killings, to spreading lies, preaching false doctrines, and people claiming to be the messiah would constitute an abomination. Yet these particular events as horrific as they may be have not caused desolation.