Friday, January 5, 2018

The Olivet Discourse: Abomination of Desolation Part II

Primarily, there are two things occurring in regard to the Abomination of Daniel referenced by Christ in the Olivet Discourse: suppression and replacement. The normal activities in the Temple have to be stopped, and other ones, unclean ones, have to take their place. Antiochus models that, but doesn't fulfill it, the Romans did one but not the other. What does fit the bill, for both Daniel and the Olivet Discourse, is described in Revelation 13:14-15, even though its location is merely implied by Revelation 13:5-6 (see Daniel 9:27) rather than specified.

Since Jesus did command the reader of Daniel's prophecy to understand, particularly as it relates to the end Jesus is prophesying, the Abomination of Desolation at the end of the age spoken of by Daniel was clearly meant to be understood. Oh, it may take some consideration, some thought (which is the burden of the Koine "noeito" which is translated "understand"), but it was certainly meant to be understood. I think that principle of perspicuity holds for all end-time prophesy. Without a doubt, such prophecy becomes clearer the closer we get to its fulfillment (Daniel 12:9-10).

The elephant in the room in all this unpacking is that the Abomination of Desolation presumes a place that can be abominably desolated. I think I have well established that the destruction of that location in 70 CE was not part of its ultimate desolation as envisioned by Daniel and Jesus and which still awaits. That can only mean that at sometime, the holy place must be rebuilt according to biblical standards and prepared for the offering of holy sacrifices once again. Make no mistake about it, the Temple will be rebuilt, it must be in order to fulfill that spoken by the prophet and by the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

At some point after the Temple is in place, the Abomination will be stood up, and those in Judea at that time are told to hit the pike; however, they are not directed to a location in the Olivet Discourse, or in Revelation 12, or anywhere in Daniel. Though Petra is often offered as a possibility by commentators, that is sheer speculation without so much as a shred of definitive biblical proof. At best, we can say that the refugees will probably run into the desert more than a Sabbath Day’s journey (~ ¾ of a mile) to a place where God will take care of them for 1260 days (3 ½ years). What is certain is that they are in hiding after their flight and are not to let anything (like purported sightings of the Messiah, even if evidenced by great miracles) draw them out.

That these refugees are believing Jews is easy enough to deduce: they are in Judea; they are sabbath keepers; they are actively looking for the Messiah. Furthermore, they must be those that would be mindful of the words of Jesus or this section of the discourse, which counsels them, would be fruitless. God's word never goes out void, so it seems to me, that some of those Jews, maybe a lot of those Jews, maybe even all of those Jews would be Messianic. It is easy enough to put together the pieces and see that the Abomination of Desolation will occur after Jews have rebuilt the Temple, and that many of them have turned to Jesus as Messiah.