“The Abomination Of Desolation.”
Does not the very name send the cold chills up and down your spine?
Scripture tells us of the coming of the Abominable One, who is so foul, so detestable in the sight of God that only God’s forbearance causes Him to wait until the day when this Beast has served his purpose and has made full the measure of his iniquity, then to be cast with the devil into the lake of fire and brimstone where he will be tormented forever.
In the meantime this Abominable One brings havoc, complete desolation upon the earth. He can do nothing else, for the curse of the Most High rests upon him. In spite of his proud boasts, he actually wants nothing else in his hatred against God and his lust for all that is evil.
Prophets of old spoke of the abominations of the heathen. They referred to the idols that the heathen sought in their defiance of the living God. (Romans 1:21-23). Even carnal Israel committed whoredoms with these abominations, digging themselves empty cisterns, because they had forsaken the Fountain of living waters. (Jeremiah 2:13).
Daniel speaks of this Abomination in his prophecies, even three times; once in Dan. 9:27, again in Dan. 11:31, and again in Dan. 12:11. Along with the coming of the Messiah, this detestable person will make his appearance. He will stand in the temple of God, will cause the daily sacrifice to cease, and will spread destruction until the entire sanctuary is made a desolation. In the end the church is saved; the desolate ones, who follow this deceiver, will perish with him.
Daniel’s first reference was to the antichrist of the old dispensation, who made his appearance shortly after the captivity, Antiochus Epiphanes, the Madman (as the name Epiphanes designates) who stood in the holy temple of Jehovah sacrificing swine’s flesh on the altar and pouring out the fat throughout the temple to the horror and disgust of the Jews.
Jesus reminds His disciples that another Abomination was still to come to destroy Jerusalem. He referred to the Roman emperor who would lay both Jerusalem and the temple in ashes. When his day came the believers should escape to seek refuge wherever possible. For in Matthew 24:15-18 Jesus tells His disciples: “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 Judea flee into the mountains . . .”
But both Daniel and Jesus saw the ultimate fulfillment of their prophecy in that world power that must still arise, the Abhorrence that will stand where he has no business to stand, (see Mark 13: 14) polluting the sanctuary of the only true God. He will exalt himself and sit on the throne ruling the nations of the earth as if he were God! What a presumption! Then the church will sing Psalm 79 as she has never sung it before:
In Thy heritage the heathen
Now, O God, triumphant stand;
They defile Thy holy temple,
They destroy Thy chosen land;
Ruthless, they have slain Thy servants,
They have caused Thy saints to mourn,
In the sight of all about us
We endure reproach and scorn.
No, the world will never accept that name that God has given him. That follows quite naturally from the fact that darkness always contradicts the Light. But that follows also from the fact that the world of unbelief is in perfect agreement with this detestable thing in its hatred against God. The world delights in this monstrosity with its seven heads and ten horns, who carries on his heads the name of blasphemy. (Revelation 13.) She is deceived by his partner, the second beast, who has the appearance of a lamb, the savior of the world, who brings peace, prosperity, and an abundant life, yet who should be readily recognized by the fact that every time he opens his mouth he speaks the language of the devil in opposition to God.
His strong appeal is in his great research, his vast knowledge, his amazing discoveries in the universe, his mighty accomplishments through his great inventions. He seems to be able to cure men’s ills, to bring comfort and security, luxury and pleasures, seemingly removing the bitter consequences of sin in which all indulge so freely. Admiringly they ask: Who is like unto the beast? Who can give us such an abundant life? Surely not the God and the Christ of the Scriptures—Whose very names must be wiped out from the face of the earth!
But before God he is the MAN of sin, the culmination of the sin of the ages.
Pharaoh once proudly asked: “Who is Jehovah that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?” Only as he swirled to his death in the waters of the Red Sea did he fully realize Who Jehovah is. Nebuchadnezzar’s great sin was pride in exalting himself above God. And he became like a beast of the field to remind him of what he actually was. The Herods coveted the worship of men, and they perished in their evil corruption. Yet their sin is no different from the sin of the Rich Fool, whose only recorded sin was that he boasted: “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” For the cardinal sin of mankind is the sin of unbelief: Jesus reminds us, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” He is given over to his sin until the time when nothing is restrained from him that he imagines to do. Genesis 11:6.
That Abominable One is given over by God to make desolation.
As I sit here typing I can hear the groan of creation. No, I hear no chirp of the cricket, no hum of the bee, no song of the birds. These are drowned out by the swishing of racing cars on the freeway, interspersed by the rumble of heavy trucks. Every now and then there is a deafening roar of a heavy transport plane struggling to gain altitude, while from somewhere comes the blare of a radio or a TV set.
With my mind’s eye I see the soil pollution, the contamination of once crystal clear streams, the oil slick on the waters of the ocean, the yellowish, stinking smog creeping in from the west, the dead orange groves making room for smoke belching factories, the junk yards heaped high with the crumpled and broken gods of vain man, the beer can strewn highways, the billboards, painted signs of protest, the endless array of devastation that wipes out all the beauty of creation.
It is not hard to imagine the day when the church doors will be closed, the voice of the two witnesses will be silenced, as they lie dead on the streets of Jerusalem. Revelation 11.
The wrath of God is revealed from heaven also in that.
Man cannot help doing his share in bringing about the devastation of the vials mentioned in Revelation 19.
Sin breeds sin, even unto death; for the soul that sins must die.
Let the church of Jesus Christ take time out to read the signs of the times. Let her note that there is no fellowship between God and Mammon, between light and darkness.
And let her heed the call: “Come ye out from among her, and be ye separate,” saith your God.
And by all means keep on praying: “Come, Lord Jesus, yea, come quickly.”