95) From Forsaking To Abomination To Desolation

the Sinners prayer is what could be termed a modern method in evangelism.  No occurrence of a suggested prayer, and certainly not the Sinners Prayer, appears in evangelistic tracts published by the American Tract Society before…

the summer of 1958, during a training session at the ministry’s new headquarters…[Bright] explains[:] “[O]ne of our speakers for staff training that summer was a Christian layman who was an outstanding sales consultant, a man who had taught thousands of salesmen how to sell. . . . One of the main points of his addresses was that to be a successful salesman a man must have a pitch. . . . He compared the witnessing Christian to the secular salesman.  To be effective . . . we must have, in his words, ‘a spiritual pitch.’”…

[T]he Sinners prayer indicates…an entire shift of focus has taken place.  The question was once phrased, “Will you accept me?”  Now the statement is made, “I will accept You.” . . . God’s sovereignty was once in the forefront of decision counseling and prayer…

the use of the Sinners prayer in evangelistic invitations…does not represent biblical evangelism…of repentance…When it comes to a matter as important as one’s salvation, a proper understanding of what it means to embrace the gospel…should be explicitly stated…turning from sin to Christ…The point being made here is that most versions of the prayer that some have come to put their trust in do not even express the biblical requirements for salvation. . . .

[O]ftentimes [the] prayer becomes the object of faith. . . .[P]ersons who have prayed the prayer associate their salvation more with the act of repeating the words than with the work of Christ made manifest in their life. . . . [T]he idea of a person inviting Christ into his/her life is not biblical. . . .is not always an easy thing to do.  For children, who have not yet develope[d] abstract thinking skills and struggle to understand symbolism, the idea can be most confusing. . . . Even for adults the notion may seem obscure, even unintelligible. . . . [A]ltar call respondents who have prayed the Sinners prayer are then introduced as being “in Christ” . . . to ensure persons of their salvation based upon this criterion is a grave error . . . we seal people in deception. . . .

becoming a Christian cannot be biblically defined as simply making a decision…this method is faulty at its root…it does not seem to go far enough in establishing an individual’s spiritual condition, nor does it teach adequately the doctrines of the nature of God, sin and salvation, particularly in the case of those unfamiliar with biblical concepts. . . . Can a person be a Christian who professes Christ as Savior but does not follow Him as Lord?  Or, to apply this question to the current discussion, is the person saved who has “prayed the prayer” but not lived as a Christian? The magnitude of this question for contemporary Evangelicalism is difficult to overstate because it applies to countless thousands of souls. . . . It would be impossible to estimate the number of persons who are convinced that simply because they have prayed the Sinners prayer they are Christians and, therefore, bound for heaven.  While there is no evidence of genuine conversion in their lives, they rest on the “assurance” of their accurate recitation of the words of the Sinners prayer.  Many ministers of the gospel will have to accept blame for promoting this notion. . . .

As the salesman’s success is judged by his/her ability to “close” the deal, so evangelistic efforts are often deemed successful to the degree that they produce “decisions” for Christ.  In our day, a decision is indicated by the willingness of a lost individual to repeat the Sinners prayer. . . . God is looking for more than professions of faith…A genuine conversion is the ultimate goal…A new disciple…

The Sinners prayer represents an unmistakable and dramatic shift in the theology of evangelism. . . . Most versions are weak in the area of repentance, fail to distinguish between intellectual belief and personal trust, and use symbolic language that may lead to confusion.  Further, the prayer represents an approach . . . bordering at times on sacramentalism. . . . The method itself may . . . come to be thought of as having saving power. . . . [W]e may . . . bring people to belief in the efficacy of a prayer and not the efficacy of Christ’s work . . . when we do so, the prayer become a stumbling block to that person’s salvation, the chief stumbling block indeed.  On the other hand, we may communicate to people who have not prayed the prayer that they are lost and without praying the prayer they cannot be saved. . . . Therefore, the Sinners prayer must not be understood as the means by which a person is saved. . . . The evangelist must clarify the need for genuine faith, as opposed to the need for words. . . . Given these findings, the Sinners prayer as it is often used has possibly become a more valuable tool in service to the Enemy than it is in service to Christ. . . .

Objections raised to the manner in which the Sinners prayer is utilized as a tool in evangelism are more than theological and methodological in nature;  they entail ethical considerations. . . .we simply have an ethical obligation to present the full truth of the gospel and make certain that it is understood and embraced in its entirety[.] . . . Paul’s ethic of evangelism ensures that the gospel, not the method of presenting the gospel, is the stumbling block for those who refuse to believe.

The Sinner’s Prayer matches Daniel’s and Jesus’ prophecies of abominations that cause desolation.

“[The vile king] shall…

    • have indignation against the holy covenant
    • and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant..
    • corrupt by flatteries such as do wickedly against the covenant

Let’s pause right here and make sure we understand what is meant by “the holy covenant”.

the holy covenant, that covenant of peculiarity by which the Jews were incorporated a people distinct from all other nations…the law of Moses and…the promises made to them. Note, That which is the hope and joy of the people of God is the envy of their neighbours, and that is the holy covenant. Esau hated Jacob because he had got the blessing. Those that are strangers to the covenant are often enemies to it.

This Blue Letter Bible Commentary has done a poor job of exegeting Daniel’s passage. The attribution of any pre-Christian covenant to The Jews is evident that this is based on a dispensationalist or supersessionalist theological system of interpretation.

For starters, this assumption vaguely acknowledges that Jacob received this blessing from his father Isaac, who got it from his father Abraham, well before there was any law of Moses. What was the covenant? That the Order / Seed of the first Melchizedek / Priest-King Adam retaking dominion from the Serpent and his Seed would be carried through Abraham and his seed.

and THEM that forsake the holy covenant

some of the Jews that…introduced the customs of the heathen…swine’s flesh

    • shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and
    • shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they

Because the Commentary has missed the complete meaning of “the holy covenant” and instead focused on the superficiality of Israel’s ritual law, it doesn’t plumb the depths of the meaning of the law therefore the consequences of forsaking the law. Even when it acknowledges the “customs of the heathen” it maintains a superficial interpretation, transparently in the use of the term “customs” and limitation to material sacrifice.

Sacrificing an unclean instead of a clean animal is not “customary” to a society based on geography, weather, or available food sources. As detailed in the post Covenant vs Contract, the approved sacrifices were defined by the God or gods to whom they were given.

Ahaziah provides an example of such an occasion.

Ahaz…reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and…he walked in the way of the kings of Israel

  • made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen
  • he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
  • sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me [clearly substituting Tiglathpileser / a pagan god’s representative for YHVH]
  • took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria.
  • went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria
  • saw an altar that was at Damascus: and [had] Urijah the priest built an altar [just like it]
  • and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon [acting as the priest to the pagan god]
  • And he brought also the Braden altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar…to enquire by [a pagan practice as a seer of the future, most likely by haruspication]
  • And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.

YHVH is unparalleled. Unlike the gods of Sumer to Egypt to Greece to Rome, his identity was not to be blurred with any other god.

coexist_-1024x335-1

Worst of all, by missing all the signs pointing the way to the conclusion of the matter, the Blue Letter Bible Commentary is totally off track when it comes to understanding

  • shall place the abomination that maketh desolate” (Daniel 11:30-31)

There are plenty of abominations. They don’t all make Jerusalem and Judea desolate. If we don’t understand what abominations are in general, we won’t recognize the specific abomination when we see it.

the Egyptians / pagans might not eat bread with the Hebrews / God’s people; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.” (Genesis 43:22)

when Peter was come up to Jerusalem [from the mission trip to Cornelius the Roman centurion], they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying…What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common…the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning…Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God.” (Acts11)

when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision…do not frustrate the grace of God…For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ…are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 2-3)

When I was a 13 year old on a visit to Tennessee, I found myself in the awkward position of having sat at the counter of a diner instead of a booth. Unbeknownst to me, that backwater area still practiced segregation, and Whites and African-Americans did not sit together.

In ancient times food was precious, blessed and dedicated to the body’s service to the God or gods upon whom one relied for life. Exactly like communion at a Baptist or Catholic Church, the meal is not shared with non-converts.

Also, the pagan sacrifice was made to cajole an unreliable god whose power waxed and waned. YHVH’s covenant established unchanging rules for guaranteed success.

The abomination that causes desolation is so well defined in scripture that there should be no misunderstanding of what Jesus was referencing. As detailed in the post Seed of the Serpent, an abomination is any collaboration between God’s material beings and hyper dimensional evil spirits human that allows the evil spirit to interact, for the purpose of sucking the life out of, the four-dimensional human environment.

bloodsucking

The popularity and influx of vampire movies and TV series have presented teenagers with a new idea for a fad. Teenagers are getting their enjoyment by biting one another hard enough to draw blood in order to drink it. The problem with this fad is that a human mouth has over 101 known types of bacteria, worse than any cat or dog. Doctors say that 10 to 15 percent of the human bite wounds become infected.

The abomination that causes desolation of the center of God’s worship is not simply an idol in the temple or an unclean animal being sacrificed. It is the unrighteous behavior of his chosen people.

This interpretation of abomination causing desolation is confirmed by many prophets, beginning, significantly, with the foundational prophet Moses.

Moses, prophesying at the installation of the nation of Israel:

  • Ye shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
  • (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
  • For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
  • Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God. 

Jeremiah, prophesying when

“the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem:…the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, upon whose roofs they have offered incense unto Baal, and poured out drink offerings unto other gods, have only done evil before me from their youth…they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it, And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom…cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech…this abomination…(Jeremiah 32)

Desolation is also documented as occurring throughout history. It is the guaranteed consequence of abomination. It is war. Yes, the instrument is temporal power, but the one who wields the sword is Almighty God.

1. Moses

“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant…I will bring the land into desolation.” (Leviticus 26)

2. Isaiah

“And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.” (Isaiah 10, 66)

3. Ezekiel

I will lay the land most desolate…the mountains of Israel shall be desolate…I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.(Ezekiel 33)

The Babylonian Exile was not simply a punishment to balance the scales of justice. It was doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness. And when it wasn’t adequate, God extended the time frame for achieving it.

“Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings.”(Daniel 2:36)

I’m afraid we miss the the long range focus of the prophecy. “In the days of these kings” – all the kings beginning with Nebuchadnezzar through the entire duration of Gentile rule – God is setting up his righteous kingdom. And his kingdom is more powerful than the fiercesome Roman dominion and consumes all the kingdoms – the whole world, not just Israel. Like Washington, his geographical base of operations is clearly stated to be Jerusalem, but his field of operations has always been control over the whole world.

The extended period of chastening included domination of Israel by the Persian, Greek and Roman cruel taskmasters under God’s control for his purposes until, like the Hebrews in Egypt, his people voluntarily cried out for salvation.

“Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the LORD God; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations? For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day…As I live, saith the LORD God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out

  • I will rule over you…
  • I will cause you to pass under the rod
  • I will bring you into the bond of the covenant
  • I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me…(Ezekiel 20)

With this in mind, it should make sense that the specific abomination described in Daniel’s prophecy of the future, while within the general category of human collaboration with evil spirit empowerment, is a specific type of collaboration.

It is the political alliance of the Jewish leadership with any military power which begins with the Jews voluntarily collaborating with a warmongering nation in the delusion that this nation will protect them from their enemies.

“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared…if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries…Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods… it will surely be a snare unto thee.” (Exodus 23)

king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah [offer of alliance]. And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them…all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not [as part of the terms of the alliance]. Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said…Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 39)

Bear in mind that Hezekiah was the most exemplary king in all of ancient Judah.

“He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.” (II Kings 18:5-6)

So why such harsh judgment on the alliance with Babylon?

Who says it is judgment? There is a difference between punishment and consequences. Look back at the original commandment against making a covenant with idolatrous nations in Exodus 23 where the LORD says not to do it because “it will surely be a snare unto thee.” The bottom line is simply that two cannot walk together except they be agreed.

  • An unjust man is an abomination to the just:
  • and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.” (Proverbs 29:27)

Hezekiah’s interaction with Babylon is documented for our learning. Any time God’s people trust in an ungodly political alliance for their economic and military safety, we are inevitably doomed due to the perfidy of the enemy.

In case you miss that, that means the Moral Majority and the Religious Right.

The following writer provides a hermeneutical analysis of what are obtuse prophetic statements for those who don’t have their own background of scripture to understand Daniel.

Daniel 9:24-27

These four verses are not only prophecy, but they are also poetry. A poet can take a bit of license, especially with form. Hebrew poets (and angelic ones) are no different, and one of their favorite devices was contrast. They would take subject A and contrast it with subject B, as in Proverbs 15:18: “A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.”

Gabriel does the same with this prophecy. It is composed of two similar contrasts that we will label A1/B1/A2/B2…The verses below are formatted this way to help in understanding the prophecy. This is very important because if it is not heeded, one will credit Antichrist with things that should be credited to the true Messiah…

A1: seven weeks and sixty-two weeks…And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;

B1: and the people of “the prince who is to come” shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

A2: He / Messiah shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.

B2: And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.

Christ makes the covenant, not Antichrist!

There is historic biblical precedence for a covenant made between Jewish rulers who forsake YHVH’s covenant to make alliance with the rulers of Daniel’s four prophetic kingdoms. They do not, however, fit into the Dispensationalist schedule of a 7 year tribulation period.

“ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

  • Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
  • Therefore thus saith the LORD God…your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. For the LORD shall rise up…he shall be wroth…and bring to pass his act, his strange act.(Isaiah 28:14-21)

In conformity with the Mosaic code, the precedent set with Manassas, the thundering denouncements made by multiple prophets, and history providing unquestionable validation, the abomination that causes desolation is defined as an unholy alliance with foreign powers.

Daniel’s prophecy first came to pass in the second century BC under the Greek Seleucids and gives us a solid basis for understanding its future recurrence. Don’t overlook the fact that Daniel described a single abomination, while Yeshua reports “overspreading” of multiple “abominations”.

The Seleucids gained supremacy in Palestine through the victories of Antiochus III in the Fifth Syrian [northern] War at the beginning of the second century B.C. The king entrenched his success by showing favor to the Jews for their assistance against his Ptolemaic [southern Egyptian] rivals….[Emphases added here and below.] Those benefactions set the tone for three decades of cordial collaboration between the Seleucid regime and the Jewish nation. Greek poleis [cities] flourished in Palestine, and Jewish intellectuals felt the influence of Hellenic culture. Appointment of the high priest, it appears, was subject to the approval of the Seleucid monarch…

Trouble began…from individual ambitions and family rivalries within the Jewish state...

Jason seized the occasion to aim for the High Priesthood [held by Onias]…[had intelligence] shrewdly offered…a promise to increase revenues through higher taxes…

The Jewish leader, who had already changed his given name from Jesus [with its Jewish cultural implications] to Jason [with its Greek cultural implications]…offered…to register the “Antiochenes” in Jerusalem…as the installation of a Greek politeuma of Hellenized Jews within the city of Jerusalem…

The installation of a Greek politeuma, i.e. a government for the administration of civil affairs applicable to the Antiochenes living in Jerusalem, has major implications which is well worth taking our time to understand.

Antioch was founded near the end of the fourth century BCby Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Greats generals…eventually rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East…the capital of the Seleucid Empire63 BC, when the Romans took control, making it the seat of the governor of the province of Syria

It was also the main center of Hellenistic Judaism – ‘”The main religious issue dividing Hellenized Jews from traditional Jews was the application of biblical laws.”

What Jason was offering was to transfer the civic duties, such as paying taxes in the form of both money and sacrifices, of the Hellenized Jews from the theocratic Commonwealth of Israel to the Greek ruler. This was a slippery slope indeed, as will be seen as we return to our episode in Jewish history.

Menelaus, the envoy sent by Jason with revenues for the king, lusted after supreme power himself. He took a leaf from Jason’s book, promised Antiochus more money than his superior had provided, and won the king’s consent for his own appointment as High Priest. The new appointee was…a sharp break with Jewish tradition…

Menelaus’ tenure as High Priest intensified turmoil and civil upheaval. The new High Priest, we are told, acted in an arbitrary and tyrannical fashion, even expropriating gold plate from the Temple treasury…arranging for Onias’ [rightful high priest overthrown by Jason] assassination…through the connivance of…one of the king’s chief ministers…

[Backed by Menelaus] Antiochus did not scruple to march troops into the holy city, enter the Temple, and cart off priceless treasures to Syria…

A report reached Palestine that Antiochus had been slain in battle, thus inspiring dissidents to grasp at opportunity. Jason returned from exile, crossing the Jordan with a thousand men, and attacked Jerusalem…wreaked vengeance for his setbacks by conducting murderous purges of his fellow citizens…

Antiochus…returned to Jerusalem in a fury, ordering his soldiers to conduct a massacre in the city, the outcome of which, according to II Maccabees, was the death of 40,000 Jews and a like number sold into slavery. His authority was to be established unambiguously and ruthlesslySome time in 167 he dispatched…a force of 22,000 men, to terrorize the populace of Jerusalem. His orders, according to II Maccabees, were to massacre all adult males and sell women and children into slavery…launched an attack on the Sabbath when unsuspecting crowds had gathered on his invitation to review a military parade. Numerous innocent citizens were slain, the city ransacked, and parts of it se on fire…succeeded by a more permanent presence. Seleucid forces occupied a citadel, the Akra and installed there a military colony, an “abode of aliens” according to I Maccabees, a place for “a sinful race and lawless men.” In all likelihood, the garrison expanded with the addition of renegade Jews, the “Antiochenes” enrolled by Jason as citizens of the polis or politeuma a few years earlier; and foreign settlers, the “people of a foreign god” as designated by the author of Daniel. The Akra would serve as a rampart of Seleucid strength in Jerusalem for the next quarter of a century. Dissident Jews took the only recourse remaining to them: flight, escape to the desert and mountains, and preparations for guerilla resistance.

Antiochus IV Epiphanes now readied his most extreme measures…direct interference in the spiritual realm. All previous policy by his predecessors was cast to the winds. To the shock and consternation of the Jews, Antiochus seemed determined to stamp out their religion itself. The king implemented this extraordinary scheme through a series of drastic decrees in the latter part of 167…a general call for allegiance in the Seleucid kingdom. In any case, Antiochus directed subsequent measures quite specifically at Jewish practices, in damaging and disastrous fashion. He forbade burnt offerings, sacrifices, and libations in the Temple; he ordered the erection of altars, shrines, and images, the sacrifice of pigs and other impure animals, the elimination of circumcision, the burning of the Torah, and a range of activities that would require violation of Jewish practices and profanation of religious life. The dictates applied not just to Jerusalem but to the towns of Judaea generally, and evidently also to Samaria. Disobedience brought the death penalty…

His agents entered the Temple, defiled it with illicit intercourse, piled unclean offerings upon the altar, and compelled Jews to eat pagan sacrificial victims and to parade with wreaths of ivy at Dionysiac festivals. The Temple itself was now rededicated to Zeus Olympios and the sanctuary at Mount Gerizim to Zeus Xenios….the introduction of a pagan altar into the Temple at Jerusalem…the first sacrifice of a pig o that altar, an act of unspeakable desecration for the people of Judaea. There was valiant resistance among many of the citizenry. But the soldiers of Antiochus ruthlessly punished dissent, torturing and executing those who preferred martyrdom to capitulation. The measures of the king were devastating and calamitous.

By now the modern mind should be able to grasp that

  • the abomination that makes the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel desolate
  • is the combination of the true God with a false god.

keep-calm-god-is-in-control-167For certain, the minds of Jesus’ apostles were fixed on their recent history of the Maccabees and the Romans when Jesus reiterated them to his disciples.

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.” (Luke 21:20-21)

The following excerpt is from an excellent hermeneutical deduction of “the abomination of desolation” as being the army, i.e. “the people of the prince that shall come” (Daniel 9:26).

Mark 13:14 and Luke 21:20-21 record Jesus’ words during the Olivet discourse very similarly. The biggest difference between these two gospels is that instead of saying, “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong” . . . .” Luke says, “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies . . . .”  Luke appears to be defining the abomination that causes desolation…

bearGraven images and foreign gods are an abomination according to the Law of Moses.  The spiritual presence of the deity in the idol was expected to ensure martial victory to its devotees.  Through faith in their idols of Zeus, two pagan armies caused the desolation of Israel.  The Greeks were the first to do so in the second century B.C. during the Maccabean Wars.  Then in the first century A.D., the Romans caused even greater havoc during the Jewish War.  The abomination that causes desolation is the Greek and Roman armies with their pagan idols of Zeus and Jupiter on their ensigns that literally caused the desolation of the Holy Land

The Romans did almost exactly the same thing in A.D. 70!  Upon seizing the Temple, the Romans set up their ensigns on the eastern gate and aquilaoffered sacrifices to them (Wars 6.6.1).  The main ensign was Aquila, the eagle that carries ZEUS’ lightning bolt.  Here we see a veritable idol of Zeus like that erected 200 years earlier by the Greek army in the Jewish Temple during the Maccabean Wars.

Jerusalem is often called the “holy city” (Daniel 9:24, Matthew 4:5 and Revelation 11:2)…The Roman army surrounded Jerusalem three times during Israel’s first century war with Rome.

In Iyyar A.D. 66, Gessius Florus entered Jerusalem with the Roman army and killed almost four thousand people in the city.  Later that year Cestius surrounded Jerusalem with the 12th Legion. The third time the Roman army encompassed Jerusalem was in A.D. 70 under the command of Caesar Titus.

The presence of the Roman army outside of Jerusalem…was Jesus’ sign to His people to quickly flee the city in fulfillment of Luke 21:20-21.  The massacre that ensued in Iyyar of A.D. 66 in the Upper Marketplace immediately after the Roman army entered the city explains why Jesus told his people to drop everything and leave after seeing Jerusalem surrounded by armies in Luke 21:20-21.  Similarly Cestius’ arrival to and abrupt departure from Jerusalem in Tishri of A.D. 66 preceded a violent civil war in the city.  In both occasions those who failed to quickly leave Jerusalem after seeing these armies put their lives in great risk…

Thus in both Matthew 24:15 and Luke 21:20-21 Jesus tells His people to flee to the mountains when they first see the Romans.  

And this is exactly what they did. They understood what Jesus had warned them would happen because it was a repeat of what Daniel had prophesied that had come true in the not-too-distant past.

As Roman armies gathered to besiege Jerusalem, Believers were able to flee the city, heeding Yeshua’s words in Matt 24..

Bringing the Holy Covenant forsaking up to the present day:

Israeli governments have been promoting social equality for LGBT people for more than a decade. So it should come as no surprise that Israel’s capital of cool, Tel Aviv, where 25% of the population is estimated to be LGBT, has gained an international reputation as one of the world’s top destinations for gay men

Tel Aviv’s nightlife is generally regarded as among the best in the world. This is particularly the case when it comes to gay establishments. One reason gay nightlife in Tel Aviv is so exciting is that the Tel Aviv gay scene revolves around weekly parties, rather than specific bars or clubs like most cities around the world…Israelis know how to let loose like no other people in the world, so prepare for balagan. Copious amounts of alcohol, dancing, and other fun things can always be found.

Tel Aviv Pride has quickly become one of the most popular pride events in the entire world. Numbers sometimes hit more than 100,000 people, both Israeli and foreign…Tel Aviv’s gay nightlife gets even wilder during pride!…get ready to have the experience of a lifetime.

Pride in Israel is an unforgettable experience unlike any other city in the world!

Israel has always had a liberal stance on abortion…[as of 2014] free-of-charge abortions for women ages 20-33. No medical reason for the abortion is required…

The number of nations that now take a stance as liberal as Israel’s on abortion can be counted on one hand.

Israeli girls under the age of 19 are entitled to have an abortion without parental knowledge.

And what is going on in Christian America!!

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