The third in a short series of sermons under the general heading of – “Watching and waiting for the return of Christ”
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the
abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— …
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any
These, says Jesus, are the signs of the very end times and mentions the prophesy of Daniel, and as we look at Daniel we realise that some prophesies can be fulfilled more than once.
27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and
offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.
Daniel 12:1-2 & 11
The End Times
1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. . 11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
At the time of Jesus, every Jew almost without exception would have believed that the abomination that causes desolation had already been setup in the Holy Place.
In 168 BC, Antiochus Epiphanes, King of the Seleucid Empire, which included Judea, commanded the Jews worship the greek god Zeus. They had refused and he had gone so far to set up a statue of Zeus inside the temple, in the Holy Place that only the priests were allowed to enter. This lead to the Maccabean revolt, during which the Greeks massacred 80,000 jews in the space of 3 days, and the city of Jerusalem was destroyed shortly afterwards, and he set up a military base there instead called the Acra.
The Siege of Jerusalem AD70
Later Christians of the 1st and 2nd Century would see these prophesies as referring to Jesus’s crucifixion and the subsequent destruction of the Temple in AD70. Others have seen it as referring to the building of the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock on the remains of the Temple Mount in 691 AD.
The End Times and Jesus’ Return
There are parts of this prophesy that have never come to pass. It says there will be a distress greater than any since the nations began, and talks of the multitudes being raised from the dead to eternal life and others to judgement. This then is referring to the very end days and the final judgement of God, and yet, it again mentions the abomination that causes desolation. This is what Jesus was saying in Matt. 24.
We must remember the warning Chris gave us 2 weeks ago and not spend time focussed on what is to come, but rather concentrate on doing what God has given us to do now, whilst keeping a weather eye on what is happening around us. As with all prophesy and ‘signs’, it is no good us trying to interpret them ahead of time. But when these things start to come to pass these scriptures will keep us from being deceived and we will understand.
Reading: Matthew 24 v 15 – 28
Preacher: Robin Brenchley
Led by: Robin Brenchley