ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION;Part
KJV Matthew 24:15 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:)
Abomination is a world not frequent in our daily language. In fact I’m tempted to make a conclusion that it is not a Household name. How frequent Do you use it?
Nonetheless, Oxford Dictionary backdates this word to 1350, from Middle English abominacioun, from Middle French abomination (“horror, disgust”), from Late Latin abōminātiō (“abomination”); ab (“away from”) + ōminārī (“prophesy, foreboding”), from ōmin (“omen”).
We are not linguistics class so we will leave those technicalities at that point it time. So what are some of the instance ot its usage?
KJV Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
In the above instance we see homosexuality being condemned as an Abomination. so if we think about aloud, we may say will fornication is sin, Homosexuality is abominable. Abomination is therefore, for the sake of this write up is taken as hateful Sin. A sinful practice which is unacceptable even before heathens. No wonder in the antiquity, the abominable were to be cut off from among the Covenant people. With this concrete foundation, we can dare delve into the study.
So, what were God’s people supposed to do when they saw the Abomination of Desolation?
KJV Matthew 24:16-21 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Presence of Abomination of Desolation is a sign of departure. It is a sign that people must seek safety away from the danger zone. So what exactly is the abomination of Desolation?
Again to make things easier I want us to see what the synoptic gospel has to say about this issue. Luke the beloved Physician wrote this: KJV Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
And John Mark had this to say:
KJV Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
Something is clear here: Abomination of Desolation is synonymous to Jerusalem being surrounded with Armies. So when did this happen? And what was abominable about this? And what made it Necessary for the City to be under siege?
Why Jerusalem Had to be Destroyed.
Christ had His ministry in three and half years and the World could not endure His truths anymore. To the Jewish leaders, He had to die. In fact Caiaphas the Chief priest declared that it was expedient for one man to die than for the whole nation to Perish. While He went about doing good and restoring life, His very death was eagerly desired by the very people He was in the business of saving from the possibility of eternal loss. Many prophets had sealed their testimonies with their own blood, and it was apparent, the Desire of all Nations was following the Suit. While making His final trip to Jerusalem, to witness the last time to the city that was rushing down to meet its doom, He wept over the City. And with final painful appeal he uttered His final irrevocable statements:
KJV Matthew 23:37-38 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
The warning was rejected and National apostasy preceded National ruin.
The Majesty of heaven in tears! the Son of the infinite God troubled in spirit, bowed down with anguish! The scene filled all heaven with wonder. That scene reveals to us the exceeding sinfulness of sin; it shows how hard a task it is, even for Infinite Power, to save the guilty from the consequences of transgressing the law of God. Jesus, looking down to the last generation, saw the world involved in a deception similar to that which caused the destruction of Jerusalem. The great sin of the Jews was their rejection of Christ; the great sin of the Christian world would be their rejection of the law of God, the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. The precepts of Jehovah would be despised and set at nought. Millions in bondage to sin, slaves of Satan, doomed to suffer the second death, would refuse to listen to the words of truth in their day of visitation. Terrible blindness! strange infatuation! – Great Controversy 22.2
Jerusalem Under Siege; Probation Despised.
Jerusalem as a holy City was out of access to the heathens especially the Temple. So at the foundation of the Abomination, we have the Roman army surrounding the City. When the idolatrous standards of the Romans should be set up in the holy ground, which extended some furlongs outside the city walls, then the followers of Christ were to find safety in flight. When the warning sign should be seen, those who would escape must make no delay. – Great Controversy 25.4
This took place almost forty years after The warning of Christ in AD 31. The young and the ignorant had the opportunity to know the truth at personal level no wonder the retribution was delayed. But the long-suffering of God only confirmed them in disobedience. With terrible hatred, they persecuted the disciples from city to City, thus rejecting the delayed probation. By the way How are you using the probation granted you? Many are qualifying for terrible retribution because they are piling sin upon sin.
Having chosen to serve satan and rejected God, He left them to serve the master they had chosen. The greatest manifestations of vain passions were seen in Spiritless individuals and they became satanic in their Cruelty. The rulers losing their control over the people, became tyrants.
The leaders of the opposing factions at times united to plunder and torture their wretched victims, and again they fell upon each other’s forces and slaughtered without mercy. Even the sanctity of the temple could not restrain their horrible ferocity. The worshipers were stricken down before the altar, and the sanctuary was polluted with the bodies of the slain. Yet in their blind and blasphemous presumption the instigators of this hellish work publicly declared that they had no fear that Jerusalem would be destroyed, for it was God’s own city. To establish their power more firmly, they bribed false prophets to proclaim, even while Roman legions were besieging the temple, that the people were to wait for deliverance from God. To the last, multitudes held fast to the belief that the Most High would interpose for the defeat of their adversaries. But Israel had spurned the divine protection, and now she had no defense. Unhappy Jerusalem! rent by internal dissensions, the blood of her children slain by one another’s hands crimsoning her streets, while alien armies beat down her fortifications and slew her men of war! – Great Controversy 29.1
- Signs and Wonders
Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom. In the midst of the night an unnatural light shone over the temple and the altar. Upon the clouds at sunset were pictured chariots and men of war gathering for battle. The priests ministering by night in the sanctuary were terrified by mysterious sounds; the earth trembled, and a multitude of voices were heard crying: “Let us depart hence.” The great eastern gate, which was so heavy that it could hardly be shut by a score of men, and which was secured by immense bars of iron fastened deep in the pavement of solid stone, opened at midnight, without visible agency.—Milman, The History of the Jews, book 13
- A Lost Preacher
For seven years a man continued to go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, declaring the woes that were to come upon the city. By day and by night he chanted the wild dirge: “A voice from the east! a voice from the west! a voice from the four winds! a voice against Jerusalem and against the temple! a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides! a voice against the whole people!” This strange being was imprisoned and scourged, but no complaint escaped his lips. To insult and abuse he answered only: “Woe, woe to Jerusalem!” “woe, woe to the inhabitants thereof!” His warning cry ceased not until he was slain in the siege he had foretold.—Milman, The History of the Jews, book 13
This is a warning to the preachers. “Jesus is coming again” you preach, but are preparing? Could you having preached the Advent message will not be ready to Meet Him?
Safe on the LORD’s Side.
No Christian Perished in the Destruction of Jerusalem.Christ had given warning to His disciples and all who believed His words watched for the promised warning.
After the Romans under Cestius had surrounded the city, they unexpectedly abandoned the siege when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack. The besieged, despairing of successful resistance, were on the point of surrender, when the Roman general withdrew his forces without the least apparent reason. But God’s merciful providence was directing events for the good of His own people. The promised sign had been given to the waiting Christians, and now an opportunity was offered for all who would, to obey the Saviour’s warning. Events were so overruled that neither Jews nor Romans should hinder the flight of the Christians. Upon the retreat of Cestius, the Jews, sallying from Jerusalem, pursued after his retiring army; and while both forces were thus fully engaged, the Christians had an opportunity to leave the city. At this time the country also had been cleared of enemies who might have endeavored to intercept them. At the time of the siege, the Jews were assembled at Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, and thus the Christians throughout the land were able to make their escape unmolested. Without delay they fled to a place of safety—the city of Pella, in the land of Perea, beyond Jordan. – Great Controversy 30.2
2nd Roman Expedition Under Titus; March -September 70AD
Having been pursued in a hot pursuit by Jews in their recession under Cestius, the Roman soldiers were in their counterattack and were out to prove their Prowess. They established thèir siege during a Passover When everyone was assembled in the City. The great stores of food of the Jews had been destroyed in the previous contention of the factions, they were exposed to great hunger, embolding the Roman siege.
So fierce were the pangs of hunger that men would gnaw the leather of their belts and sandals and the covering of their shields. Great numbers of the people would steal out at night to gather wild plants growing outside the city walls, though many were seized and put to death with cruel torture, and often those who returned in safety were robbed of what they had gleaned at so great peril. The most inhuman tortures were inflicted by those in power, to force from the want-stricken people the last scanty supplies which they might have concealed. And these cruelties were not infrequently practiced by men who were themselves well fed, and who were merely desirous of laying up a store of provision for the future. – Great Controversy 31.2
- Mass Crucifixion
The Roman leaders endeavored to strike terror to the Jews and thus cause them to surrender. Those prisoners who resisted when taken, were scourged, tortured, and crucified before the wall of the city. Hundreds were daily put to death in this manner, and the dreadful work continued until, along the Valley of Jehoshaphat and at Calvary, crosses were erected in so great numbers that there was scarcely room to move among them. So terribly was visited that awful imprecation uttered before the judgment seat of Pilate: “His blood be on us, and on our children.”
- Desperate Efforts to Prevent Destruction.
Titus was willing to take the city without bloodshed. He made several appeals to the Jewish leaders to surrender but they refused. Josephus, a rebel who was not trusted by the Romans and despised by the Jews, entreated the Jewish Leaders to give in, but he was ignored. In vain were the efforts of Titus to save the temple; One greater than he had declared that not one stone was to be left upon another.
- Terrible Bloodshed
The Jews refused to surrender and saw they qualified for war. Titus was still keen to save the Temple. But while in his tent, The Jews attacked the soldiers without and the war began, in the scufflea Roman soldier flung a firebrand which set the temple ablaze. Efforts by the Roman Emperor to save the City failed. He lost control over His Soldiers. Having catalysed the inferno, they slaughtered those who were hiding in the temple and a river of blood from the temple down its steps.After the destruction of the temple the entire City was in the Hands of the Romans. In the siege and the slaughter that followed, more than a million of the people perished; the survivors were carried away as captives, sold as slaves, dragged to Rome to grace the conqueror’s triumph, thrown to wild beasts in the amphitheaters, or scattered as homeless wanderers throughout the earth.
We cannot know how much we owe to Christ for the peace and protection which we enjoy. It is the restraining power of God that prevents mankind from passing fully under the control of Satan. The disobedient and unthankful have great reason for gratitude for God’s mercy and long-suffering in holding in check the cruel, malignant power of the evil one. But when men pass the limits of divine forbearance, that restraint is removed. God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejectors of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown. Every ray of light rejected, every warning despised or unheeded, every passion indulged, every transgression of the law of God, is a seed sown which yields its unfailing harvest. The Spirit of God, persistently resisted, is at last withdrawn from the sinner, and then there is left no power to control the evil passions of the soul, and no protection from the malice and enmity of Satan. The destruction of Jerusalem is a fearful and solemn warning to all who are trifling with the offers of divine grace and resisting the pleadings of divine mercy. Never was there given a more decisive testimony to God’s hatred of sin and to the certain punishment that will fall upon the guilty.
– Great Controversy 36.1