127) The Last Abomination That Makes Desolate Rev 11

I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof…Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.” (Zechariah 2:1-7)

“This is the interpretation of the thing:

  • Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
  • Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
  • Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:26-28)

I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof…Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.” (Zechariah 2:1-7)

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” (Revelation 11:1-

We get a better grip on the message when we apply the same abstraction about the “tools” used to “measure” the degree  of function vs dysfunction of individuals when we apply this concept to those used by clinicians to assess for psychological problems or qualifications for certain jobs.

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)

Patient name: __________________________________ Date: ___________________

Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems (a-h)?

Not at all (0)  Several days (1).  More than half the days (2).  Nearly every day (3)

Guide for Interpreting PHQ-9 Scores and Recommended Actions

Score 0-4 Normal range or full remission. The score suggests the patient may not need depression treatment.

Score 5-9 Minimal depressive symptoms. Support, educate, call if worse, return in 1 month.

Score 10-14 Major depression, mild severity. Use clinical judgment about treatment, based on patient’s duration of symptoms and functional impairment. Treat with antidepressant or psychotherapy.

Score 15-19 Major depression, moderate severity. Warrants treatment for depression, using antidepressant, psychotherapy or a combination of treatment.

Score 20 or higher Major depression, severe severity. Warrants treatment with antidepressant and psychotherapy, especially if not improved on monotherapy; follow frequently.

The people in the first century AD who read John’s account would have filtered them through the Old Testament prophecies and analoges, and so should we as we read the following.

“There was given me [John] a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 

This was to measure to what extent either functional spirituality or dysfunctional apostasy exists, not in the building, but in the people in the building.

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months [1,240 days]

This provides a timeline with additional events provided by Daniel’s.

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy…and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 

  • Andpower was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,240 days]. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations…
  • from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be 1,290 days. 
  • Blessed is he that waiteth [45 days], and cometh to the 1335 days.” (Daniel 12:10-12)

While there are many forms of abomination, as detailed in the previous post Abominations that Make Desolate, this particular abomination references the hybrid seed of the dragon.

“be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ‘s return is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.(II Thessalonians 2:2-4)

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy 1260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:1-4) 

The lack of adequate, or any, godly leadership at the house that belongs to God, as with an abysmal psychological rating score, requires a response of treating the disorder.

Naturally we’re obtaining the necessary information on these newly introduced key players from their records. It’s always helpful to start with the background history on people being investigated. Patterns, remember. God uses the same strategy of relying on his Spirit-empowered mortals to demonstrate his superior power.

The first account of re-building God’s original temple, AKA Solomon’s temple, is key to recognizing the pattern of events in the last account of re-building the temple destroyed by Babylon.

After conquering Babylon and absorbing its territories into its empire, Persia not only allowed, but supported the rebuilding of the temple and re-establishment of temple worship by

  • suppression of opposition from Israel’s enemies,
  • security around the perimeter,
  • and financing.

Notice, this was done by a foreign king who by all accounts became a worshipper of the LORD God of heaven, no doubt influenced by the monotheistic Zoroastrianism of his Persian upbringing.

hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen…thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars…That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers…

That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” (Isaiah 44-45:1) 

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia...he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in JudahWho is there among you of all his people? go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem…(Ezra 1:1-3)

“Now these are the children of [Babylon’s] province [of Judah] that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away…and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah…

    1. with Zerubbabel [reinstated heir of the deposed king, ruling as governor under Persian oversight],  
    2. Jeshua [the High Priest],
    3. Nehemiah [the treasurer]“(Ezra 2:1-2)

About 25 years later In the second year of Darius the king came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel…governor of Judah, and to Joshua…the high priest, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD‘s house should be built. Then [in response] Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

Then Zerubbabel…and Joshua…the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophetand they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.” (Haggai 1)

Notice how God doesn’t work anything single-handedly. After Cyrus completed his assigned task of enabling the rebuilding of the temple, Zerubbabel and Joshua pick up the reins of leadership to ensure the completion of the project, which naturally encounters opposition.

And he shewed me Joshua / Yeshua / Jesus  [the human High Priest] standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?…And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts;

    • If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house,
    • and shalt also keep my courts,[instead of having them given over to the Gentiles to tread down] and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
    • Hear now, O Joshua / Yeshua / Jesus the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold,
    • I will bring forth my servant the Branch and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.”(Zechariah 3)

Here is the Yeshua whose name the human high priest takes to identify himself as one with him. We can expect a repetition in the future, a Messianic Jewish priest / advocate at the once-again rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

f2e482e5-a65c-4d81-a82f-d1ed062944edAnd the angel that talked with me came again, and…said unto me, What seest thou? And I said…a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof….

This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel / son of David, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain [symbol of insurmountable obstacle]? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone [of the temple] thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto itThe hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” (Zechariah 4:1-10)

“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And…What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said…These are the two anointed ones / Messiahs, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.

“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying…take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua / Yeshua / Jesus the son of Josedech, the high priest; And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying,

Behold the man whose name / identity is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LordEven he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory,

      • and shall sit and rule upon his throne;
      • and he shall be a priest upon his throne:
      • and the counsel of peace shall be between them both positions of Priest and King in one Vicar of God.
      • And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.” (Zechariah 6:9-15)

“Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (II Corinthians 6:14-18)

Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until…the days of Artaxerxes…king of Persia…

And the elders of the Jews builded / persevered through persecution, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished…in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king. [Taking about 43 years.]” (Ezra 4:1 – 6:16)

This is entirely different from the attitude and behavior of the priests who welcomed Alexander the Great as their Savior from Persian taxation.

And when [the High Priest] Jaddus understood that Alexander was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests and the multitude of the citizens. The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of other nations…Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high-priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself…saluted the high-priest. The Jews / priestly rulers also did all together, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about…And when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high-priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the high-priest and the priests…the next day he called them to him, and bid them ask what favors they pleased of him; whereupon the high-priest desired that they might…pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired.

Allowing Alexander to act as priest in offering sacrifice is a pagan custom demonstrating the sonship of the acting priest to the god to whom sacrifice is being made. The closest modern action is Decoration Day, the Southern tradition of families gathering once a year to clean up their cemetery plot, put fresh flowers on your ancestor’s graves, share a potluck lunch with visiting relatives, and sing gospel songs to form a spiritual bond with those who have gone on before.

Alexander’s presumptuous self-identification with the God of Israel, and the priests’ collaboration with it, was blasphemy.

“Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem…And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper…And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed…Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests…thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.” (II Chronicles 26)

The second temple was just a paltry little house, that all the poor refugees could cobble together with their limited resources.

“many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice… Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” (Ezra 3:12, Haggai 2:3)

Solomon.jpg

History records that King Herod I remodeled the Jewish temple in hopes of creating an eternal legacy focused on him. Because of the magnificence of the remodeling, the second temple is most often referred to as Herod’s Temple. This temple stood until destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Roman General Titus.

Clearly this was not the house of the God of Israel. It was an abomination, a hybridization of God’s chosen – humanity in general and the nation of Israel in particular – with the pagan Roman rulers.

Solomon v Herod.jpg

King Herod put a golden eagle outside of the Temple of Jerusalem. Like other military standards, this eagle was carried into battle. The presence of the eagle meant the presence of the Roman Legion. By placing one at the gates, Herod was making a powerful statement regarding Jerusalem’s sovereignty under Rome.

Making idols was forbidden to the Jewish people, even if there was no attempt to worship them. Yet the Romans regarded eagle standards as holy symbols, anointing them on special days. Two respected teachers of the law, Judas and Matthias, spoke to religious scholars about this violation.

A group of these men pulled down the golden eagle and cut it into pieces. The king’s captain detained 40 participants, along with Matthias and Judas, and brought them before Herod…Herod had those responsible for the sedition burned alive. He appointed a new high priest: one subordinate to Herod and Rome…

The eagle standard accompanied Titus during his siege of Jerusalem. This led to the demolition of the Second Temple. As for Herod, his heirs continued to rule, even after the destruction of Judea and the Diaspora of the Jewish people.

Israel, choose your leaders and your allies wisely.

You may remember that Jesus Christ also rebuked the temple rulers for, not paganism exactly, but, well, capitalism. And he, too, was put to death.

According to biblical prophecy, the end of the world, AKA the Day of the LORD, explodes into action when his chosen ones / messiahs speak out for him at a newly built temple.

We can be sure that this latest temple will, like the previous, be built by permission of Israel’s current political ally which procures concessions from hostile opponents to allow construction, provides military protection against attacks, and promotes itself as the Savior from War and Securer of Peace. This will be another monument to hubris, no house of prayer, another den of thieves raking in a fortune from tourism.

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