THE GREAT TRIBULATION
We saw from Daniel 9, and 12:11, our first testimony regarding the immediate abomination of the desolation of the kingdom of heaven. That testimony was in relation to the desolation during Babylonian captivity. But in Daniel there is a second revealing testimony of the desolation of the kingdom of heaven that is in relation to yet another time and event in history. This has to do with the desolation of the temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (“the shining one”).
It is generally regarded that, historically, Daniel 8:9-14 and 23-25, as well as 11:21-35, speak of the overtaking of Jerusalem by Antiochus in 167 B.C. In December of that year, the temple was desecrated when pigs were slaughtered on the altar and it was dedicated to the god, Zeus, Antiochus erecting in it a statue of Zeus in the image of himself. Thereafter, the temple was filled with debauchery, and harlotry was committed in it. During that time the Jews could neither circumcise nor keep the sabbath. In Daniel 11:31 we read:
Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
Of course this is strikingly similar to that which is written in Daniel 9:26-27. This is why the translators tried to force the translation that they did in those verses, desecrating the passage in the same way the temple was desecrated by Antiochus. And they do so out of natural understanding. Though obviously the two are similar, they are in two completely separate settings – the first being tied to the seventy years of captivity in Babylon, and here relative to Antiochus IV. The similarity in the two is that they both speak of the same fulfillment – the same thing that Jerusalem always looks to, and that is the desolation of the kingdom of heaven, the new Jerusalem, for 2,000 years.
But what makes this latter prophetic testimony so unique is that the correlating historical event at the nations level speaks of a desolation that would last for the full period of the church – for 3,000 years.
The temple desolation by Antiochus lasted exactly three years. Exactly three years after its initial desolation, on December 14, 164 B.C., or the 25th of Kislev, the temple service was restored by Judas Maccabeus. That restoration is celebrated by the Feast of Lights, or Hanukkah.
The emphasis in the prophecy in Daniel 9:26-27 was that “the people of the Prince who shall come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” But once again this like account in Daniel 11 affords a different testimony. Here the emphasis is not the people, but the head of the desecration itself. In the case of this prophetic historical account, Antiochus is the attesting figure. As it is written in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “That which has been [in history] is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” Antiochus’ desecration of the temple and Jerusalem was itself not even the true fulfillment, but a revealing testimony to that which would take place in the true fulfillment and focus and intent of Yahweh, and that is His kingdom on this earth – the true temple, the true Jerusalem.
In 164 B.C., Antiochus was enraged with Judas Maccabeus’ military successes, and he personally led an army to Jerusalem to exterminate them. But totally unexpectedly, on the way there Antiochus suddenly died, and the battle was lost, making way for the restoration of the temple and Jerusalem.
Also, in Daniel 9 the bondage and desolation spoken of there was relative to a prophetic period of seventy years. Here the desolation is relative to three years. Once again, both of these prophetically speak of the same thing – the desolation of the kingdom. The first is relative to the testimony of mystery Babylon the Great. This like second testimony is relative to a three-part period under Antiochus. Let us now see exactly who Antiochus represents.
First, we have noted many times that the church was supposed to have received 3,000 years. Thus, it is abundantly clear that these three years under the conquest of Antiochus are a revealing type of what would take place in the church for 3,000 years if Yahweh did not have mercy and cut those days short. If the church was left to continue as it has for 2,000 years, it would be as Yahshua’s cry after three hours of darkness – “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
So who then is the one who has maintained this conquest over the church for 2,000 years? Clearly, it is the one to whom Yahshua gave that right as the replacement of Judas – “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is the devil?” For 2,000 years Satan has occupied the place as the rightful head over the church, and for 2,000 years he has dearthed the church. For 2,000 years swine have been placed on Yahweh’s altar, even as we read in Christianity Mark that Legion took 2,000 swine to the sea of death (Mark 5:9-13). For 2,000 years the church has served an image that is not the image of Yahshua, but they have made an image in the likeness of Satan. For 2,000 years the church has been filled with debauchery, and harlotry of every nature has been committed in it. Nor has Yahweh taken full responsibility for them, for they are uncircumcised, and the only offspring they can bring forth are unacceptable Ishmaels. Nor has the church entered into Yahweh’s sabbath rest, for they labor in their own Babylonian tower-of-Babel efforts that reach up to heaven, and yet fall far short and bring nothing but confusion.
Daniel 11:32-35 aptly describes that which has taken place in this time of the desolation of the kingdom of heaven. But it also addresses, once again, the abomination that causes this desolation – acting wickedly toward the seven-year covenant that Yahweh has with the many.
“By smooth words he [Satan] will profane those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will be strong and take action.
As these verses continue, you will see that despite the insight given to the first Remnant; nonetheless, they were consumed by hypocrisy and fell, along with Christians after them. The reason? They were all too early. As it is concluded here, the fulfillment they so desperately needed was appointed for a time that was still to come – the second Remnant.
Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days. Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy. Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; for it is yet for a time appointed.”
Before we continue with examining the desolation of the church, we must address something here. Christians alter the meaning of the subject covenant to make it something evil. But that is not intellectual honesty. Let us examine every place in Daniel where this covenant is mentioned and see what is truly being said about it.
So how can a covenant be evil which Yahweh keeps, along with His lovingkindness? How can a covenant be evil that Messiah the Prince prevails in, that three times is called the “holy covenant,” and that Satan is enraged against and wants to act wickedly toward? The word “holy” here is the same Hebrew word for the Holy Spirit, Yahweh’s holy name and His own person, the holy temple, the holy place, the holy mountain, the holy people, contrasting the holy and the profane, and the list goes on and on. Any translation of this covenant as evil is simply a case where good is called evil.
Returning to this matter of the abomination of the desolation of the church; as we see attested with Antiochus, this desolation would continue for another 1,000 years if Yahweh did not have mercy and cut this time short and bring Antiochus Satan to death early. And to whom did the office that Satan has occupied for 2,000 years first belong? Did it not belong to a man, Judas Iscariot? And to whom must that office return when Satan’s days are cut short to two? It must return to a man – the Elijah. As the Elijah, Judas baptized Yahshua into death. As the continuing Elijah, Satan baptized the body of Christ into death. But there must now come another, the third fulfilling Elijah who will draw man out of those waters of death unto resurrection. He too is a Judas, in that he stands in the redeemed office that Judas first occupied. So is it any wonder that the name of the man who defeated the armies of Antiochus and restored the temple was equally a Judas? Judas Maccabeus prophesied of the man who would come in the office of Judas and stop the desolation of the temple and Jerusalem, ending the abomination of desolation by Satan.
But here is the wonder of prophecy. Though Yahweh had given the church the 3,000 years as prophesied here, those years will be cut short and a Judas will effect that cleansing work after 2,000 years. Thus, we see two prophesies, both pertaining to the same fulfillment, but providing two testimonies affording different aspects of revealing and confirming truth – Daniel 9 and Daniel 11.
So let us ask once again: Who was Antiochus? He was in fact a type of the one prophesied in Daniel 8 and 11 – Satan! Therefore we see yet a second testimony that the abomination of desolation took place at the beginning of the church, effecting the great tribulation:
2. Attesting to the church, Antiochus IV Epiphanes desolated the temple and Jerusalem for three years, concluded by the acts of a Judas.
Now let us take this testimony regarding Antiochus and find even more truth. Here we will discover further evidence as to when this abomination of desolation did indeed take place.
We have already seen one highly specific testimony regarding when and how the abomination of desolation took place – when the apostles stood in the place of the Holy One, Yahshua, establishing a man in an office who could never effect the work that that office both looked to and required. When you see what that office had to effect 2,000 years later, you can now see how inadequate, shortsighted, blind, and wholly wrong it was to place any man at that time in it. Remember, whoever replaced Judas had to stop the 2,000 years of the abomination of desolation, and neither Matthias nor Paul could do so. They both fell far short, both having died. In fact, as we have seen, attempting to place those men in that office only established the abomination of desolation!
Let us now take this testimony one important and obviously revealing step further. We have noted in other writings that King Saul is a type of Christianity. He was made king at Pentecost, the wheat harvest; received two of three loaves of Pentecost bread, the two of three thousand years; and was equally before the time, before the time that the true and lasting throne of David would come. And quite appropriately, the main teacher of this Saul period of the church was a man equally named Saul, who became Paul.
As we will see, there are numerous evidences that the abomination of desolation occurred at the beginning of the church. Another evidence of this is when the one who would persecute the church first made his appearance. Stephen was taken before the Council of elders and condemned to death by stoning. We read in Acts 7:58 that the false witnesses who stoned him laid their robes at the feet of Saul, in great similarity to those who laid their robes before Yahshua, preparing His way into Jerusalem. It was as though, and speaks of, Saul’s way into the church was being prepared by false witnesses. Remember, Saul/Paul is presented by many as the one who stands in the office as the apostle who replaced Judas. The church still has its false witnesses who stone the truth.
Next we read in Acts 8:1:
Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
What actually took place here? At the higher fulfilling realm of the kingdom of heaven, we see a fulfillment of that which was written in Matthew 24:15-16 and Mark 13:14:
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
What we see here once again is the testimony of the abomination of desolation, evidenced by the first flight of the church after the stoning of Stephen and the beginning of persecution that would be fomented by Saul/Paul.
And giving further evidence of this desolation that would come to the church under the teachings of Paul, it is highly meaningful that his ministry was based in Antioch, the very city founded by the family of Antiochus, who effected the like attested abomination of desolation. Antioch is the mother church of Christianity; and rightfully so, for it clearly speaks of the same fate that was brought by Antiochus. Attested in like regard, Antioch Christianity is the abomination of desolation, bringing 2,000 years/2,000 swine in the temple. Thus we add yet a third and even fourth evidence that the abomination of desolation occurred at the beginning of the church:
3. As it was written, the first Remnant fled when they saw Stephen stoned and the garments of the false witnesses were placed at the feet of Saul.
4. Christianity began in Antioch under Saul/Paul, the very city founded by Antiochus.
Continue to page 4 of The Great Tribulation for MORE EVIDENCE