Whoever reads, let him understand, said Jesus. Or was it Matthew's comment? Regardless, it comes from the Spirit of God to us today. The quote is from Matthew 24:15, and has to do with the sign Jesus gave to His disciples regarding the coming holocaust and the end of the world as we know it. It's a very important directive.
Jesus said that the visible signal of the beginning of the end is when the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet is standing in the Holy Place. For years I have thought and taught that the command to understand had to do with the words of Jesus in this passage. I believe it could just as easily, and with even more meaning, be applied to the book of Daniel, a truly mysterious collection of prophecies!
My own experience with Daniel and Revelation has been that when one pursues the Truth in these and any books from God, he will sooner or later begin to gain ground which can be held as further truths are unvailed. But the warning is meaningful. Let him that reads Daniel be understanding that there are a few problems here, one of the most serious being that history repeats itself. For example, there is at least one series of events mentioned in the book that has already happened in history, but clearly will happen again. And this is the history that involves the abomination of desolation.
Anyone who has studied Bible prophecy with any seriousness knows that the abomination of desolation is the placing of unauthorized objects of worship in the Temple, that was set aside for the worship of the one true God only. Daniel 11 prophesies that the vile king that history has identified as Antiochus Epiphanes will make the standard Jewish sacrifices stop and replace this worship with some abomination, as a pig. Following this outrage, judgment will fall, and many godly will suffer. Desolation of the area will be accomplished by horrendous war and all the rest.
Trouble for some people is that this indeed did happen. It's over. But Jesus could not have been referring to a past historic act in his giving of a sign. He was talking about something that is future, and he used that same prophet. This is where digging pays off. Pursuing. Believing God's Word cannot be false.
For you see, the taking away of Jewish sacrifices and the setting up of the abomination of desolation is mentioned three other times in Daniel. And in every instance the event is tied in to the end of the world, not local Greek history. And by the way, not local Roman history either. Saying that Matthew 24 and Luke 21 refer to Titus' destruction in A.D. 70 will not fit with Daniel, or even with Jesus' words. According to Jesus, the abomination is followed soon by unprecedented tribulation, and then immediately by His return. That's why he gave the sign, to let us know we're almost there.
Here are the 3 other listings: I offer a summary of the texts.
1. Daniel 8:11 ff, The little horn grew and exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away. An army helped him do this. Immediately an angel encourages the prophet by letting him know that this vision refers to the time of the end. Yes, the fierce-featured king will arise and oppose the Prince (Jesus, Revelation 19), but he shall be broken without human hand.
2. Daniel 9:27 The prince (antichrist) who is to come will confirm a covenant with Israel for 7 years, but half way through that time he will bring an end to sacrifice and offering. On the edge, or wing, of the abomination shall be one who makes desolate. (This is the conclusion of the famous 70-weeks prophecy. The 70th week is the last of earth's history.)
3. Daniel 12:11 The countdown begins at the abomination of desolation. 1290 days to the end. (This obviously did not happen in Antiochus' time or later in Titus' time.The prophecy has not been fulfilled yet)
Yes, this happened in history, in one form. But it will happen in the future, in quite another form. The apostle Paul weighs in here by saying (II Thessalonians 2) that the man of sin himself will sit in the Temple, an abomination to top all abominations, that a man would claim to be God Almighty. That is, any Man except the Man Christ Jesus, Who truly is God!
Daniel does have the key to end time prophecy. But whoever reads, let him understand!
Let us pray together that we who have access to the truth of God's Word will always take advantage of our opportunities to know the truth. Let us also pray that those believers that do not have access to this Book, as in North Korea and so many other places, will gain that access more and more.
http://chosunhouse.com is a website I put together a few months back to get the word out to believers that they need to pray for North Korea. I have created over 200 blogs and the site features a live news feed, lists of resources, picture essays, and ways to respond to the overwhelming need in North Korea. Let's love Chosun together! Contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
And who am I? A man found of God over 50 years ago, called to the ministry, serving the Lord as needed in my world. Married, member of a local church in the Chicago area, with full time work in public education. I love to write Scriptural works. Who are you? Would love to fellowship with believers who respond.