(NOTE: All Scripture verses are taken from the New International Version, unless otherwise stated.)
FOCUS: The King Who Will Set Up an Abomination in the Temple
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Daniel 12:1-13
A supernatural messenger gave God’s servant Daniel a detailed prophecy (see Part 6) concerning men who would be pagan kings over Judah – the southern kingdom of Jacob’s remaining descendants who were held captive in Babylon for 70 years. (The northern kingdom of Israel had been taken captive years earlier by the king of Assyria, and a majority of the people who belonged to those 10 tribes were scattered throughout the nations.) The “man clothed in linen” told Daniel about a future king, who “will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain” – the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Then he ended the prophecy with these words:
“’At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people [the Jews], will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of the nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes to sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
“’Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end.. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.’
“Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others . . . One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, ‘How long will it be until these astonishing things are fulfilled?’
“The man clothed in linen . . . lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by Him who lives forever, saying, ‘It will be for a time, times, and half a time*. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.’
“I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, ‘My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?’
“He replied, ‘Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.
“’From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days**. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.
“’As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.’
* “a time, times, and half a time” = 1 year + 2 years + ½ a year OR 3 ½ years (30-day months)
** 1,290 days = 3 years and 7 months (30-day months)
PROPHECY CONNECTION #1: Daniel 9:27 and Matthew 24:15-22
The angel Gabriel gave Daniel a prophecy which Jesus referred to when He was asked about “the end of the age” . . .
Daniel 9:25-27: “’Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [Jesus], the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens’ . . . the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing [Jesus was crucified and left “nothing” after His death – soldiers even cast lots for His one piece of clothing].
“’The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary [Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by Roman armies in 70 A.D.] The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He [another “ruler who will come”] will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’ [7 years]. In the middle of the ‘seven’ [3 ½ years] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering [see Daniel 12:11]. And on a wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation [Daniel 12:11], until the end that is decreed is poured out on him’” [see Daniel 11:45].
Matthew 24:4-25: “Jesus answered, ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come….
“’So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. . . . For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again [see Daniel 12:2].
“’If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened. . . . See, I have told you ahead of time.’”
PROPHECY CONNECTION #2: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
The apostle Paul wrote about a man who would set himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God (Remember what Antiochus IV Epiphanes did back in Study #6, Prophecy Connection #2?) . . .
“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you brothers not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter . . . Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction [Daniel 9:27]. He will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. . . .
“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
PROPHECY CONNECTION #3: Revelation 13:1-18
Jesus’ best friend, John, also wrote about a man who would “blaspheme God” and “slander His name and His dwelling place” whom he called “the beast.” And he introduced a second man – identified in Rev. 20:10 as “the false prophet” – who will be responsible for promoting the man of lawlessness . . .
“And the dragon [Satan] stood on the shore of the sea.
“And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?”
“The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months [3 1/2 years]. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
“He who has an ear, let him hear.
If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
with the sword he will be killed.
“This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
“Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword* and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
“This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.”
* The Greek word used for “sword” in this verse could mean “judicial punishment” rather than a literal injury inflicted by a weapon. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; 3162 – “machaira” = “judicial punishment”) Presidential impeachment is one example of judicial punishment.
WHAT’S THE POINT?
With so many prophecies concerning “the end of the age” being fulfilled since the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948, and with the 40th anniversary (in 2007) of the Six-Day War when Israel recaptured Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, many students of Bible prophecy are carefully watching the world stage for the announcement of a “covenant with many for seven years” in the Middle East; for the rebuilding of God’s temple on Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount); and for the emergence of a “man of lawlessness” who seems to have had a “fatal wound” — inflicted by a “sword” of judicial punishment — that has been healed.
HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND?
Jesus forewarned His disciples concerning “end times” signs to watch for and the persecution that His followers would be subject to (Matthew 24:3-14). He also gave instructions on WHAT TO DO “when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew 24:15-28). The gospel-writer Luke, quoted Jesus as saying: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. . . . Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. . . . nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive at what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time, they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:20-28).
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Jews who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior are still waiting for their Messiah to appear. They know that prophecy says the Messiah WILL BE A DIRECT DESCENDANT OF KING DAVID.
THINK ABOUT IT: Currently, Jerusalem is being surrounded by hostile armies; nations are in anguish and perplexity; men “faint from terror” and people are apprehensive about what is coming on the world. And the lie is being spread world-wide that, to this day, Jesus’ blood flows through the veins of living descendants, called the Merovingian bloodline* – who claim to be “direct descendants” of Mary Magdalene. . . and King David.
* The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
“This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“’I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.
“’There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them.
“‘They will be my people, and I will be their God.
“‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd.
“’They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.
“’They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived.
“’They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever.’”