Learn the meaning of the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11:31, Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14 by reading this article carefully to the end.
The abomination of desolation, though is a difficult topic, but the explanation is here. Even the Bible, confirming its difficultly, in Matthew chapter 24 and Mark chapter 13 says that the reader should understand. So, the abomination of desolation is not what you and I think. It is what prophet Daniel and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, mean.
The Abomination of Desolation Explained
An “abomination“, according to the Bible, is anything or act that violates a divine injunction while “desolation” or “desolate,” connotes rejection, abandonment, emptiness or destruction. Therefore, the abomination of desolation is any act or something that causes something to be rejected, abandoned or destroyed.
References To The Abomination Of Desolation
Biblical references to the abomination of desolation are found in the following Bible portions: Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:11 and Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14
The Dual Fulfilment Of The Abomination Of Desolation
Many Bible prophecies have double fulfilment, that is, both short-term (present/ past) as well as long-term (future) fulfilment. The prophecy of the abomination of desolation mentioned by Daniel, the prophet and Jesus Christ, is no exception. Although the one in Daniel 9:27 has a single fulfilment. The following are the explanations of the single and twofold fulfilment of the prophecies about the abomination of desolation.
1• The Single Fulfilment Of The Abomination Of Desolation In Daniel 9:27
Read Daniel 9:26-27 before you proceed. The pronoun “He” referring to the person that will confirm a covenant with many is neither the people of the ruler who will come nor the ruler who will come, as stated by some interpreters. The person is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Why? Because the ruler, who some interpreters, say is the Antichrist (Though he is the Roman general Titus who lead the army that invaded Jerusalem in AD 70) is not directly mentioned. It is his people, that is, his soldiers, that were directly mentioned. So, both grammatically and logically, the pronoun “he” can neither refer to the ruler mentioned in the verse nor his people but to the Anointed one, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
If the ”he” refers to the Anointed One, Jesus Christ, how did he confirm a covenant, put and end to sacrifice and offering and how did he set up the abomination that causes desolation?
He confirmed a covenant by shedding his blood on the Cross of Calvary. During the last supper, Jesus Christ called his blood, which he was about to shed, “the blood that confirms the New Covenant.” ~Matthew 36:28. Every covenant that involves divine forgiveness must be put into effect by blood. ~Hebrews 9:18
He put an end to sacrifice and offering by the sacrifice of himself. When he sacrificed himself, he, in effect, ended every Old Covenant sacrifice and offering which only foreshadowed his. Hebrews 9:26, Romans 10:4
How he set up an abomination that causes desolation is that, by ending every Old Covenant sacrifice and offering, through the sacrifice of himself, he, in effect, automatically makes every other redemptive sacrifice and offering an abomination that causes desolation both in the temple, where they were usually performed, and everywhere else.
If “he” refers to the Anointed One, Jesus Christ, what about the expression “until the end that is decreed is poured out on him?”
Does this mean that the end that has been decreed will be poured on the Anointed One, the Antichrist or the temple?
The problem is from the word translated as “him“. That word can also be translated as “it.” That is why some transactions has it as “until the end that is decreed is poured out on “it” instead of “him”
This is the correct translation because the end was decreed against the temple (sanctuary) in Jerusalem not the Anointed One nor the ruler who will come. The ruler who will come is not the Antichrist. He is general Titus, whose troops destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. This took place in AD 70.
2• The Dual Fulfilment Of The Abomination Of Desolation In Daniel 11:31
When Jesus Christ mentioned the abomination of desolation in the book of Matthew 24 and Mark 13, he meant only the one of Daniel 11:31. Read Daniel 11:31 before you proceed.
The first fulfilment of the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11:31
The first fulfilment of the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11:31 was carried out by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Who is Antiochus IV Epiphanes?
Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who is also known as Antiochus Epimanes (the Mad), was born in 215 BCE and passed away in 164BC in Tabae, Iran. In Greek, his name means “God Manifest.” Antiochus was a Seleucid king of the Hellenistic Syrian kingdom who ruled from 175 to 164 BCE. As a king, he was best recognized due to his advocacy of Greek culture and institutions. He tried his best to suppress Judaism and this resulted in the Wars of the Maccabees.
Antiochus Epiphanes prefigured the Antichrist who will carry out the second fulfilment of the abomination of desolation. (More details on this later). Antiochus built the image and altar of the Greek god, Zeus, inside the Jewish temple and eventually sacrificed a pig on the altar. This act was an abomination, since a pig was, at that time, was a detestable animal. Consequently, this sacrilege amounted to an abomination of desolation in the Jewish temple.
The second fulfilment of the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11:31
The second fulfilment of the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11:31 was mentioned by Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. (Read them, first, before you continue).
This second fulfilment will be carried out by the Antichrist, who is also known as the man of lawlessness or sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and the first beast of the the book of Revelation chapter 13.
The Antichrist will fulfil this empowered by the dragon, who is Satan, and supported by the second beast of the same book of Revelation 13. The second beast is also the false prophet mentioned elsewhere in the book of Revelation 19:20
The Abomination Of Desolation Necessitates A Discussion About The Third Jewish Temple Issue
The Antichrist, who will fulfil the abomination of desolation, for the second time, was foreshadowed by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who, as pointed out earlier, fulfilled it, first, inside a physical Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
That temple, however, was destroyed in AD 70 when Roman forces under the command of general Titus invaded Jerusalem and it has not been rebuilt since then.
2 Thessalonians 2 says that the man of sin, the Antichrist, will sit in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. But, interestingly, the Bible also affirms that, under the new covenant, believers are, now, the temple of God. See 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5. Even Jesus Christ called his own body a temple when he spoke to the Jews. See John 2:19-22.
This provokes the question of whether the Jewish physical temple will be rebuilt for the Antichrist to achieve this or whether the sitting in the temple by the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, will happen spiritually.
The Second Fulfilment Of The Abomination Of Desolation In Daniel 11:31 Contradicts The Need For A Third Jewish Temple
The argument about whether a third Jewish temple will be built or not does not matter as far as the second fulfilment of the abomination of desolation in Daniel 11:31 is concerned. Consider the following points in relation to the Jewish temple:
- Jesus Christ told the Jews that their house, the temple, is left to them desolate. Matthew 23:38
- When Jesus Christ died, the veil or curtain of the temple was divided in two, from top to bottom, exposing the Holy of Holies. Matthew 27:51 This action was performed by God and it signifies that, even before the destruction of the temple in AD 70, God’s presence had already vacated the literal temple.
- God does not live in temples built by human hands. Acts 7:48
- The physical temple has finished its job. Its purpose has been accomplished. There is no more need for animal sacrifices, no more Levitical priests, no more Ark of the covenant, which used to occupy the most Holy Place. Hebrews 10:1, Hebrews 7:12, Romans 10:4
- The Bible never said the literal temple will or should be rebuilt.
- The Bible never said that there will be a third temple.
- THE BELIEVERS ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD AND GOD LIVES IN THEM. See 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5
The Fulfilment Of The Abomination Of Desolation Vs The Meaning Of The Man Of Lawlessness Sitting In The Temple Of God
The abomination of desolation should be understood in the light of when and how the man of sin will sit in the temple of God to proclaim himself to be God and demand worship. The Bible says that the reign of the man of sin will be marked by apostasy by some believers and the sending of a strong delusion by the Lord. ~2 Thessalonians 2:3-12. Let’s take a look at apostasy and the delusion from the Lord.
- APOSTASY: Apostasy is generally defined as a falling away. It is a defection resulting in the act of giving up your religious or political beliefs and leaving a religion or a political party. This means that some Christians will stop following Jesus Christ and their worship of the true God. This also means that they will follow the the man of sin or Antichrist and worship him, a false God. An apostasy is not committed by an unbeliever or a non-follower. It must be committed by a believer and, in this case, a believe in Jesus Christ, or else, it cannot be termed an apostasy. A Christian can fall away. Don’t be deceived by those who say “Once saved, always saved.” The Bible says that everyone who think they stand should take heed lest they fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
- DELUSION: Delusion is wrong belief or impression maintained in spite of it being contradicted by reality or rational argument, possibly as a symptom of mental illness. It is a strongly held belief in spite of evidence that the belief is false. This delusion will be sent by God not to everyone to make them fall away but only to those who have been exposed to the truth, who have heard the Gospel many times but decided to scoff at it because they derive pleasure from persisting in the commission of evil.
- Repent, today, and accept Jesus Christ, if you haven’t, because those who think that they are smart and can continue doing evil with the aim of repenting when Jesus is about to return, during the reign of the man of sin, the Antichrist, can no longer repent because of the strong delusion God will send on them.
“Sitting in the Temple of God by the man of sin” finally explained
The Bible never says that a third Jewish temple will or should be built. However, even if it is built and animal sacrifices and the ceremonial offerings resume, both the temple and such practices will not be regarded as things that belong to God. This is because the temple and those practices has been rendered useless by the finished work of Jesus Christ. The book of Hebrews makes it clear that animal sacrifices have been abolished and nothing more. God does not take retrograde or counter-productive steps.
What About The Temple In The Book Of Ezekiel?
Many people are confused about the issue of a third Jewish temple because they have seen the book of Ezekiel mentioned a temple. But what I want you to know is that the temple mentioned in that book is not a third Jewish temple. Even the book of Ezekiel never said so. To this end, that temple was used symbolically in an Old Testament parlance to illustrate spiritual, future New Testament realities.
The Abomination Of Desolation VS The Stop Of The Daily Sacrifice In The Temple
Now, Daniel 11:31, which has double fulfilment of the abomination of, says that the Antichrist will stop the daily sacrifice in the temple. Without doubt, Antiochus, the Old Testament or first Antichrist, did this and even presented himself as God-manifest. He also made an image of the Greek god, Zeus, whose manifest, he claimed to be, and place it in the temple.
Furthermore, 2 Thessalonians 2 says that the Antichrist will sit in the temple of God and proclaim himself to be God and cause apostasy. Revelation 13 also says the second beast will make an image of the Antichrist, who is the first beast. Revelation 13 further says that, the second beast will be authorized by and will act on behalf of the first beast, the Antichrist. Revelation 13:11-12 & 19:20 This means that whatever the second beast will say or do, he will be acting on the instructions of the first beast.
Daniel 11:31, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 Jointly Relate To The Abomination Of Desolation
Now, the prophecy of Daniel 11:31, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 are inextricably linked. They are interdependent or interrelated in their relationship to the abomination of desolation. Due to this, it invariably means that the character or personality mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 will replicate the actions carried out by the personality mentioned in Daniel 11:31.
The Logic For Explaining The Abomination Of Desolation
Demystifying the abomination of desolation involves the employment of logic. Now, the first Antichrist, Antiochus, physically entered the physical or literal temple, stop physical sacrifices, replacing them with his abominable sacrifice of a pig and placed a physical image, all in the physical, literal temple in Jerusalem. The riddle, now, is this: Since all those Old Testament practices and Temple has been rendered useless by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, how or in what sense will the second Antichrist carry out this abomination of desolation, as he must, of necessity, duplicate the actions of Antiochus, who prefigured him. This puzzling question will be answered in the question and answer section below.
QUESTION 1: If there will be no literal temple, as Christians are now the temple of God, how or in what sense, will the Antichrist sit in the temple of God and proclaim himself to be God?
ANSWER: He will sit in the temple of God and proclaim himself to be God in the sense that he will exert an unusually strong influence on Christians and heavily tempt them to forsake the true God and worship him, instead, the self-acclaimed God, who will pretend to be the true God.
QUESTION 2: If there will be no more Old Testament sacrifices since they have been replaced by Jesus Christ’s superior and better sacrifice, how or in what sense will the Antichrist stop the daily sacrifice?
ANSWER: He will do this by succeeding in deceiving some Christians into committing apostasy. Remember I emphasized that an apostasy can only be committed by someone who had, previously, believed. Otherwise, such an act cannot be described as such. Christians can commit apostasy and, so, it was for this reason that Jesus Christ cautions us to watch and pray. Also, it is written that “let each person who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Don’t believe anyone who says “Once saved, always saved.” See Matthew 26:41, Luke 21:36, Corinthians 10:12.
Concerning how the Antichrist will stop the daily sacrifice, the Bible says that Christians have some particular type of sacrifices they offer. See those sacrifices by reading: ROMANS 12:1, HEBREWS 13:15-16 and 1 Peter 2:5.
So, when the Antichrist succeeds in causing any Christian to deviate from the type of sacrifice they offer, he has taken away the daily sacrifices they offer.
QUESTION 3: Without the literal temple, how or in what sense will the Antichrist set up an image in the temple just as his predecessor, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, had done?
ANSWER: The image of the beast, that is of the Antichrist, is the one that will be made as described in Revelation 13 14-15. The placing of the image in the temple of God will be done in the sense that the image will be offered, especially, to believers and, by extension, the rest of the world, as an object of worship.
Definition: What Is The Abomination Of Desolation?
The abomination of desolation is the claim by the man of sin, the Antichrist, to be God, his unusually strong influence on Christians to worship him, either directly or indirectly through his image, and the apostasy of some Christians, which resulted in the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit and God’s presence from those Christians thereby leaving them, the temple of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, desolate or in desolation.
Remember, I wrote earlier that an abomination, according to the Bible, is anything or action that violates divine injunction while “desolation or desolate” connotes rejection, abandonment, emptiness or destruction.