What is the Abomination of Desolation?

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” – Luke 21:20

The previous verse is taken from the Olivet discourse and it has a parallel passage in Matthew…

“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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” – Matthew 24:16-17

This is an amazing reference to an event fulfilled in 70 A.D. but in the Chapel system of dispensational futurism adherents are always exhorted to look toward the future instead of the true fulfillment of the text. A time when Satan will come down from heaven as Antichrist and commit the abomination of desolation while the elect do great exploits. This is a religious fantasy that will never transpire.

According to Murray, Satan will come and enter into a sordid marital covenant with the church and “defile” the bride of Christ – this being one of the chief reasons for the millennium. From beginning to end this interpretation is spectacular foolishness and I feel for anyone bound up in it.

What I would like to submit to those of you who believe the abomination of desolation is a future event is that it has already happened.

Kind of anti-climactic, huh? Not really when you understand – truth is much more interesting than religious fantasy.

In the book of Daniel there are actually what appears to be three separate types of the Abomination of Desolation so let’s clarify because this is where a lot of the confusion emanates…

The first can be seen by the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes when he first desecrated the Jewish temple in 167 A.D. – Daniel refers to this in Chapter 8, 11 and 12. This desecration of the temple would point to the next one that Jesus was referring to…

In the second desecration we see Jerusalem surrounded by the Roman armies and desecrated according to Christ’s word but also in fulfillment of the prophecies of Daniel 9.

The third desecration is referred to by Paul in Thessalonians when the son of perdition is referenced…

“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; 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.” – 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4

Paul is explicitly referring to the “Willful King” of the later part of Daniel – this is another view of the little horn. The temple in the New Testament doesn’t refer to some rebuilt temple in Jerusalem but the body of Christ. There is no other power on earth that seeks to usurp the authority of Jesus Christ and put themselves at the head of the body other than the papal power.