BEHOLD THE BEAST
The False Prophet
Be not ye like your fathers,
which trespassed against the
LORD God of their fathers,
who therefore gave them up
to desolation, as ye see.
2 CHRONICLES 30:7
WHEN I began this study of Revelation twenty-two years ago,
what I really had in mind was finding scriptural support for the
Seven-Year Tribulation view that I was so confidently teaching. I
was just as convinced as everyone else that there was going to be
one. So the surprise of my life came when I couldn't prove that
view from Scripture. Major pillars of that view are the prophetic
"days" of Dan 12:11-12 . We now realize we should probably
interpret those days as years. But if they are years, how do we
know when they began or when they end? For that, we need look
at when the Lord gave this prophecy to Daniel:
Daniel 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus the Persian, a thing was
revealed unto Daniel ... but the appointed time was long:
and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the
Daniel 10:1 to Daniel 12:13 is the final vision of Daniel's prophetic
ministry. The year was 533BC and the prophecy is obviously about
the future of Daniel's people, the Jews then in captivity. A major
portion of this prophecy is a detailed account of the Medo-Persian
and Greek control of the Jews in the Holy Land during
the next 400 years. The Babylonian empire had fallen some three
years earlier and Daniel was now a very old man, probably in his
nineties. He had been a captive in Babylon for 73 years. According
to Ezr 3:2, the Jews had just begun their trek back to the Holy
Land under the leadership of a Jewish prince named Zerubbabel
and a high priest named Jeshua. That is the historic setting for
Daniel's final prophecy, within which is a curious passage about
"times" and another about days:
Daniel 12:11 (NASB) And from the time that the regular
sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is
set up, there will be 1,290 days.
Curious, indeed. Are these prophetic "days" just ordinary
twenty-four hour days, or could they be years again, like they
were in the 69 weeks ... and if they are years, what is an "Abom-
ination that maketh Desolate," as the King James calls it? Well, the
verse refers to the "daily sacrifice" and since those sacrifices were
only offered at the temple in Jerusalem, then temple sacrifices
were probably involved. As a result, that abomination would have
to be something done to God's temple site that would defile it and
make it impossible for the priests to offer sacrifices there. It was
true in Daniel's time and it is true now. God has not changed
where sacrifices should be offered anywhere in the Bible.1
But to which abolition of sacrifices is the Lord referring in this
"1290-day" prophecy? Now please, let's not try to make a New
Testament doctrine out of this Old Testament Scripture. The
1 The OT continually corrects Israel's people for offering on the "high places,"
instructing them to bring their offerings to the temple instead (2 Ch 28:24-25).
Priests were authorized to sacrifice only on the Altar of Burnt Offering (Deu 12:10-
14); so to the Jews, an Abomination that made Desolate would be anything that
kept them from offering sacrifices on the temple site. Levitical law dictated that
anyone who desecrated the temple was to be stoned with stones until dead. In
defiance of this, a Greek king, Antiochus Epiphanies, sacrificed a pig on the altar
of burnt offering (circa 168BC). That started the Maccabean revolt, and the
incident has been known ever since as an "abomination that made desolate." After
that desecration, the priests had to perform extensive purification of the altar
before they could again offer sacrifices upon it.
addressees are clearly defined. It is in Hebrew, to the Jews. It is
about the Holy Land while Gentile powers were ruling there.
Context refers to "thy people" (Dan 12:1). Daniel was a Jew and
the prophecy was given to him, so it is to and about the Jews
during the Time of the Gentiles. There is no reason to believe the
Lord was telling Daniel about an abolition of sacrifices that might
take place 2500 years later, at the end of the Christian Era.
Sacrifices were suspended three times in the Old Testament:
once before Daniel (2Ch 28:24-25), once during the Babylonian
captivity (2Ch 36:19 and Ezr 3:6), and once, about four hundred
years later, by the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanies. So to which
event do you suppose the Lord might be referring?
Well, to whom was this prophecy given? To Daniel in 533BC.
Result: we have every reason to believe that the Lord was
referring to sacrifices that were abolished during Daniel's own life-
time: to an abolition of sacrifices to which Daniel could relate!
Was it at the time of destruction of the temple? It doesn't
seem so. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in 586BC, but the
prophet Jeremiah tells us that temple sacrifices continued long
after the temple was burned:
Jeremiah 41:5 ... from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria,
even fourscore men ... with offerings and incense in their
hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD.
Those men came to the temple at the end of the governorship
of Gedaliah (seven to ten months after the temple was burned), so
there had to be some purified priests in Jerusalem who were still
carrying on. Two more years pass, then in the very last chapter of
Jeremiah we read:
Jeremiah 52:30 In the three and twentieth year of
Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard
carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and
Nebuchadnezzar ascended the throne of Babylon in 606-
605BC. Twenty-three years later is 583BC. Therefore, this final
captivity of 583BC is a scripturally supportable time for the
sacrifices to have been abolished. Babylonians took the nobles,
artisans and priests captive; they left only the poorest people in
the land. There were apparently no purified priests left in the land
who could offer sacrifices. What a devastating experience this
must have been for God's people in captivity.
Oh, how the Jews repented. From the Babylonian captivity to
this very day, they have not departed from the Lord their God, nor
has an idol been seen among them. As a conquered people in
exile, they had 70 years to regret their waywardness, and they
never forgot it. Their repentance is poignantly recorded in this
short quote from an unknown psalmist:
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down.
Yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
We hanged our harps
upon the willows in the midst thereof.
For there they that carried us away captive
required of us a song;
and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying,
Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
How shall we sing the LORD's song
in a strange land?
Though he was hundreds of miles from Jerusalem, Daniel knew all
about these new hostages. Another group of Jewish captives being
brought back to Babylon by Nebuzaradan, captain of the king's
guard, could not have escaped Daniel's notice.1 He was daily in
1 For details on the Babylonian captivity, please refer to Graph No.1 on p24. It
cannot be positively proven from Jer 41:5 and 52:30 that sacrifices were abolished
in 583BC. However, there are N.T. prophecies that give ample support for that
date. Those prophecies will be discussed in later chapters.
King Nebuchadnezzar's court (Dan 2:48-49). Oh, how it must have
hurt that saintly man to hear of the sacrifices being stopped and
of the Lord's temple in utter ruin. We can prove that the temple
site was abandoned during Daniel's lifetime from Dan 9:17 and
Ezr 3:2-3. With that historic background in place, let's look at Dan
Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the regular sacrifice is
abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there
will be 1,290 days.
By applying the day=year unit of measure to that verse,
Daniel could understand the vision. He remembered when the
regular evening and morning sacrifices were abolished. He looked
from that time on down 1290 Hebrew years into the future. He
knew that an unbelievable abomination was going to trespass on
the temple mount.1 An atrocity that would make it desolate. The
abomination to come would defile the site and prevent all future
sacrifices. What could that terrible thing be? Daniel could not
know, but we can because 1290 years since the sacrifices were
abolished have already passed. They were over in 688AD.2
So what happened in 688AD? Well, from 685 to 705AD, the
Moslem Kalifah, Abd el Malik ibn Marwan, built a memorial to
1 This is how Daniel could understand the vision. God gave the 1290-day vision
fifty years after the regular sacrifices had been abolished. Looking back, Daniel
could see that nothing of any special significance had taken place just 1290
ordinary days after their abolition, so he knew the Lord was speaking of some-thing
other than ordinary 24 hour days. Daniel then put together when sacrifices were
abolished with the definition for prophetic days given by the prophet Ezekiel (Eze
4:6 "I have appointed thee each day for a year.") and saw that the abomination
was still 1290 years in his future.
2 Some may argue that sacrifices could have been abolished a year or two earlier,
or a couple of years later than 583BC, as suggested by the author. But none argue
that they were abolished earlier than the destruction of the temple (586BC), nor
more than ten years later. The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque were under
construction on the temple mount for about 20 years, from 685 to 705AD. Leaving
the widest latitude for scholarly argument, that 20-year window cannot be
Muhammad, the Dome of the Rock, on God's temple mount! Thus,
we now have a positive identification:
The Dome of the Rock is the Abomination of Desolation!
That is not just coincidence or suppositional theology. The
day=year interpretation fits the words of Daniel 12:11 exactly and
it fits known history TO THE YEAR. The construction date of the
Dome of the Rock is a plain historic fact that you can prove for
yourself from any good encyclopedia or world history.
And so, for the first time in Scripture, we run into the
Moslems. Islam, and nobody else, was responsible for the
construction of the Abomination that maketh Desolate!1
That temple mount of God Most Holy was made spiritually
desolate over 1300 years ago and it remains so today. The Jews
can't offer sacrifices to the Lord on His holy mountain while that
structure to THE false prophet remains there. That is why there is
such an interest among conservative Jews about tearing it down.
It is no secret to the Jewish Rabbis that the Dome of the Rock is
an abomination that makes desolate. In the following chapters we
will see how the New Testament fully supports the identity of the
dome as the Abomination that maketh Desolate.
Now don't forget 688AD and the Dome of the Rock. We're
going to run into that date, and Islam, again and again. And
remember 583BC, too. Both dates are important.
1 Jerry Landay in his book, The Dome of the Rock (Newsweek, New York, NY, 1972)
p. 18, records that when Khalifah Omar entered Jerusalem in 639AD, he was met
by Sophronius, Bishop of the Jerusalem Church, who showed him around the city.
Seeing the temple mount (then in rubble), Omar declared that he was going to
build a memorial to Muhammad on the original site of the temple of God.
Sophronius exclaimed in horror, "Verily, this is the Abomination of Desolation as
spoken of by Daniel the prophet," and it now stands in the holy place. Though
Sophronius was a very old man of about 80, Khalifah Omar put him in prison and
to forced labor, the severities of which killed him.
The Dome of the Rock being the Abomination that maketh Desolate is not a
new theology. It's a truth that's been with the Church for over 1300 years, but
somehow we have managed to forget the prophetic words of Sophronius, Bishop
of the Jerusalem Church.
If you arrived at this spot through a link, it would be better if you
started this book from the beginning rather than clicking "next
chapter" as it is a brick by brick discussion. Click here for chapter 1