Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 030815
The Abomination of Desolation spoken of through Daniel the Prophet.
We have looked at the reason WHY we have prophecy, as it relates to 1CO 1:22, 1PE 3:15, and our responsibility because of 1Co 12. Next, we began an introduction to WHERE the prophecies are that God predicted in the Old Testament. Now, we began with a principle that we have noted many times in the N.T., found in such as EPH 3:1-6; COL 1:25-27; ROM 16:25-26, which all make it crystal clear that the Church, the body of Christ, the future bride  of Christ was a mystery and was not known in the O.T. Not only was it a mystery, but it also had mystery doctrines that the Old Testament Saints knew nothing about.

For example:

  1. The baptism of the Spirit and its results.
    2. The unique PPOG.
    3. The unique equality factor of the Church Age.
    4. Our very own portfolio of invisible assets.
    5. The two unique royal commissions: our royal priesthood in which we represent ourselves before God, and our royal ambassadorship in which we represent our Lord to the world.
    6. The unique mystery doctrine of the Church Age.
    7. The indwelling of all three persons of the Trinity which has never occurred before.
    8. The unique availability of divine power, the omnipotence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
    9. The dispensation of no prophecy and therefore a dispensation which continues on the basis of historical trends.
    10. The dispensation of invisible heroes.

All of these things, and more are what make the dispensation of the Church-age unique.

However, please notice one thing that is not mentioned and that is the subject of divine prophecy. Because divine prophecy is found in the Old Testament and not in the New, with the exception of the book of Revelation, then that means that the Church or the Dispensation of the Church-age has nothing to do with the major prophecies found in the Bible. The Church, therefore, could not have been in view in the O.T. prophecies which deal with the Dispensation of the Law, of the Hypostatic-union, the Tribulation, and the Millennial reign which is about to come upon the whole earth. In fact, when it comes to prophecy concerning the Church-age, we basically have only two major prophecies:

The prophecy of the beginning of the Church-age given in Act 2 which fulfills Isa 28, and then the prophecy of the Rapture, the termination of the Church-age, in 1Th 4, and 1Co 15, and in-between those two prophecies we have the entire mystery doctrine of the Church-age. Once the Rapture or the Resurrection of the Church takes place we are ready for the next Dispensation where many prophecies will be fulfilled which is called the Tribulation period.

The point is that we are not waiting for any event(s) to take place except the Rapture of the Church, at which time all members of the Church in Heaven in an interim body will receive their resurrection body. Those on the earth in their human body will all receive their resurrection body as well. Once the Rapture occurs then prophecy starts up again.

So the Tribulation period starts with the Resurrection of the Church and it terminates with the Second Advent or the Second coming of the Lord jesus Christ. So, we have the Rapture and the Second Advent and in-between we have a short 7 year period called the Tribulation period.

And why is this dispensation so short? The reason is given in the word of God then what Mat 24:22, “And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.” What days? The days of the Tribulation period. Especially, the days described in MAT 24:15, “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation [Antichrist, a Prince from a Middle East country who will sit on the throne in Jerusalem claiming to be God] which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),”

What is the meaning of the abomination of desolation? The word abomination is the Greek word bdelugma (bdel-oog-mah); which means something that is disgusting and associated with that which is defiling andor idolatrous. In the Hebrew, the meaning is the same and is associated with pagan idols or the worship of false gods. Remember the first two Commandments found in the word of God:

EXO 20:3-4, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.”

You shall have no other gods before Me. And you shall not make any idols. This is what the Antichrist will do. So our Lord says in MAT 24:15, “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation… The word desolation means to be in a condition that is uninhabitable and devastated. Also notice in MAT 24:15, that this individual is said to be standing in the holy place. The term Holy place is found in only one other place in the New Testament  in ACT 21:28 and refers to the Temple in Jerusalem. PSA 24:3 also identifies the temple as the Holy place of God.

Who could this individual be? Many Theologians believe he will be of Roman descent and may even have ties with Islam and the Muslims, and is identified as the Antichrist. This is confirmed in the New Testament in two separate passages which also provide pieces of the puzzle as to what the actual abomination of desolation act is. For example, in his letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul describes the “end times Tribulation period” and gives his readers an interesting sign of that period that concerns the Antichrist and the blasphemy he commits.

2TH 2:3-4, Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [in context it refers to the Tribulation period] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

The word for apostasy in the Greek is apostasia and it can be translated in two ways:

  1. The Greek noun apostasia usually translated apostasy can be a reference to a great falling away from the faith. In sometranslations it is translated rebellion or individuals falling away from the faith.
  2. The word apostasia is translated as a departure which refers to the Rapture and should be translated the departure.

Therefore, this passage is saying that the day of the Lord, a reference to the Tribulation Period,  will not come until the Rapture has already occurred. One of the reasons why I believe it refers to the Rapture is because it is a noun, not a verb and it has a definite article in front of it. That means it is refering to an event, it is called ho apostasia or the departure not the fallen away.

The only event that makes any sense is the departure and therefore a reference to the Rapture.

Apostasia is a noun and not a verb so it should be translated that the departure (a reference to the Rapture) will come first before the Lord comes back at the Second Coming. So I believe what Paul is saying here is that the departure of the Church, [a reference to the Rapture] must come before the tribulation.

2TH 2:3-4, Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the departure or the Rapture comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so‑called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Here is his abomination of desolation. This agrees perfectly with our Lord’s statement about the abomination being in the Holy place of God and the abomination being an individual, as described by Daniel, as we will note. This abomination also agrees with what the Apostle John describes in REV 13:5 concerning the Anti-Christ and the time given for him to rule, which will be 42 months or 3 and a half years.

REV 13:5, And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty‑two months was given to him. = 42 months represents 3 and a half years!

This also agrees with DAN 9:27, which says the Anti-Christ will break his treaty with Israel in the middle of the seven year tribulation period.

DAN 9:27, “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week [which is coming up because in prophecy a week = 7 years – so in the middle of the Tribulation or 3 and a half years into it, notice next what the Antichrist will do.] he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

This means the one that God has decreed to do this, will do it. By the way, this decree is what God allows to happen not what He prefers or desires. This  also matches up with DAN 12:11 which says that there will be 1,290 days (approximately 3.5 years) before the abomination of desolation occurs.

DAN 12:11, “And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.

John also explains that an image of the Antichrist will be constructed and those on the earth will be forced to worship it: REV 13:14, And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it [the false prophet] was given him to perform in the presence of the beast [Antichrist], telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

By the signs that the false prophet is allowed to work in the presence of the Antichrist, he will deceive those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast or the Antichrist who supposedly was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

REV 13:15, And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

He will be allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast, the Antichrist, to be slain. Why does God allow this? Well look at 2TH 2:7-11, For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false. This is why God allows these things to happen. He says in effect, “You want to reject the truth and believe lies, Well, here, “Believe this lie.” Remember God will use evil to accomplish His will at times.

So, I believe the lies of the Antichrist will be ultimately revealed when he stands in the holy temple of God and sets himself up as an image to be worshipped as Almighty God. In fact, it is not only possible but even probable, that an image could be set up in God’s rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. This could be just an image. or an idol rather than the Antichrist actually being seated there in person.

By letting Scripture interpret Scripture, we find that a reasonable answer to the question of “What is the abomination of desolation?” The abomination of desolation is that it will be the Antichrist, three and a half years into his reign, taking a place in God’s rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and saying to the world that he is God and must be worshipped as God. When that occurs, the real Creator will respond to the challenge and will ultimately and eternally destroy the Antichrist.

REV 19:20, And the beast [Antichrist] was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

Remember that in the end times we will have the unholy trinity. The concept comes from Rev 12 and 13, which describes three evil beings who will deceive many in the end times. These three beings are Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. Satan is an impersonator and one way that he deceives people is by putting forward inferior copies of the real thing. In the last days, Satan will form a fake Trinity. He will play the part of God the Father; the Antichrist will stand in for the Son, even to the point of being healed of a mortal wound (REV 13:3); and the False Prophet will take the role of the Holy Spirit, glorifying the Antichrist. Remember what the Lord said about the Holy Spirit: Joh 16:14, “He shall glorify Me”. Satan has always wanted to be “like the Most High” (ISA 14:14), and this false godhead is another attempt to fabricate godhood for himself.

The Antichrist is also discussed in Rev 12 and 13, but there he is pictured as the first of two beasts; the Antichrist is “the beast” that comes out of the sea. The name Antichrist is only used in 1Jo and 2Jo. It is there we find that:
1. The Antichrist is coming: “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour” (1JO 2:18).
2. The Antichrist denies the Father and the Son: “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son” (1JO 2:22).
3. The spirit of the Antichrist denies Jesus is from God: “Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already” (1JO 4:3).
4. The Antichrist denies Jesus came in a physical body: “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist” (2JO 1:7).

REV 13:1-8 describes the Antichrist’s activities:

REV 13:1-8, And he stood on the sand of the seashore.   And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty‑two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

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