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Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)  16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains

No Christian would deny that the blasphemous Islamic Shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is AN abomination with it's mosaic declarations of:  "God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son." and "God, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son".

That is of course the exact opposite of what the Gospel teaches, through hundreds of verses that confirm Jesus is the Son of God and God His Father, such as....

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Surah 2:116 They say: "allah hath begotten a son": Glory be to Him.-Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him.

Surah 19:88 They say: "(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!" 89 Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous!

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

If a Muslim were to confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God he would be committing the most egregious sin in the false prophet Muhammad's stand-alone, 7th century, counter-gospel, anti-religion.

1John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Yet Muslims are taught that if they were to confess that Jesus is the Son of God or even pray in Jesus' name, they would commit the single most "heinous" and only unforgivable sin in Islam, known as "shirk". As compared to child rape or cold blooded mass murder, for example, which may be forgiven.

Thus Christians can readily identify Islam's and the Dome of the Rock's blasphemy, of denying that Jesus is the Son of God, as coming directly through Satan's spirit of antichrist.  

1 John 2:22  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also].

There is certainly no shortage of Jews in Israel that consider the Dome of the Rock to be an abomination of desolation as any worship on the temple mount is precluded by the existence of this Islamic abomination, with the Islam's leaders even declaring the temple mount a "no prayer zone". The Israelis regained control of the temple mount in the 7-day war, but were later talked into handing it back to the Muslims, in exchange for yet another false promise of peace.

Muhammad wholesale slaughtered Jewish farmers, abused and enslaved their wives and children, and stole their property. Muhammad's hatred of Jews lives on throughout Islam's books, as in this example from Islam's Sunnah:

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight wi the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.”  

Amazingly, the only claim that Islam has to Jerusalem whatsoever, comes from a tall tale that Muhammad told wherein he claimed to have ridden on a flying donkey-mule styled creature from Mecca to Jerusalem, where he further claimed to have prayed in a temple that the historical record informs us had been torn down over 500 years prior to Muhammad's claim to have prayed in it. Thus it should be no surprise to learn that he claimed the next leg of his fanciful "night journey" took him up to "paradise" where he met with Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others, followed by riding his flying donkey-mule back to Mecca by morning!

But could the blasphemous Islamic structure on the temple mount be THE abomination of desolation "spoken of by Daniel the prophet" that was "set up" (or "placed") to "stand" in the holy place?

Daniel 12:11 And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.  
(Tanach) -  Daniel 12:11 And from the time the daily sacrifice was removed and the silent abomination placed, is one thousand, two hundred, and ninety.

Mark confirms it to be "standing" and tells us that the abomination is an "it":

Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

(URL) Luke tells us that it is Jerusalem that is desolated, in his parallel verse:

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains...

All three apostles also confirm something about the timing, because we find it is written about a future event as in "... ye shall see...", so we can conclude that it was to be an abomination, associated with the desolation of Jerusalem, in the future to the time at which Jesus delivered this discourse, even though it was "spoken of by Daniel the prophet" well over 500 years prior to when Jesus delivered this Olivet Discourse.

Jerusalem was compassed with armies on many occasions after the discourse was delivered including 70 AD, 132, 639, 1099, 1187, 1948, 1967 and indeed even as of this writing.  In 70 AD, a million Jews were killed, and an already long desolate temple was torn down.  Jesus had declared almost 40 years earlier: Matt 23:38 "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.", in part because the Pharisees had made "...the word of God of none effect through your tradition..." (Mark 7:13), a condition in which we seem to find much of today's church. If the temple had not already been rendered desolate as Jesus' declaration above would seem to suggest, then it was certainly rendered desolate through Jesus' shed blood on the Cross, almost 40 years before the temple was torn down in 70 AD.  That is also why "...the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom..."  after Jesus had "...yielded up the ghost..." on the Cross (Matt 27:50-51).  In 70 AD the Christians escaped, and were saved from the slaughter of the Romans, not even desolating the Christian community.

Though a significant and horrific event in 70 AD, the Roman Gentiles came back to slaughter another 600,000-750,000 Jews less than 65 years later, in the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-135 AD.

Later in the Olivet Discourse we find:

Luke 21:24  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

So Luke gives us another historical time pin.  It would seem problematic indeed to suggest that the "times of the Gentiles" were fulfilled in 70 AD since the Roman Gentiles came back for a double dip of Jewish slaughter less than 65 years later.  Let alone the list of Gentile armies from throughout the Christian era listed earlier. Blessedly, as Daniel's "times" seem to demonstrate - both mathematically and textually - the "times of the Gentiles" were fulfilled in 1967, when the Jews were restored to power and control of Jerusalem for the first time in over 2500 years.  We read "... when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people..." - the end of the scattering of the power of the Jews - the only "holy people" of Daniel's day.
The desolation of Jerusalem (link to this spot)

Jerusalem was temporarily desolated in 70 AD, again in 132 AD, with the final desolation beginning in 639 AD when Khalifah Omar marched into town during the Islamic First Jihad.  The church was alive and well since history tells us that Bishop Sophronius was compelled to show Khalifah Omar around town.  History has also shown that nothing was more physically or spiritually desolating to Jerusalem than 1200 years of Islamization and accompanying exile of Christians and Jews.  By the early 1800's the population had been reduced to just 550.  This is why the historical record of Jerusalem, in first quarter of the 19th century, is sketchy and anecdotal at best.

While there was at least a remnant of Jews living in Israel, continuously throughout thousands of years, in "A History of the Jews" Paul Johnson writes on page 321:  "Between 1827 and 1839, largely through British efforts, the population of Jerusalem rose from 550 to 5,500 and in all Palestine it topped 10,000 - the real beginning of the Jewish return to the Promised Land. In 1838 Palmerston appointed the first western vice-consul in Jerusalem, W.T. Young, and told him 'to afford protection to the Jews generally'."

Even 30 years later in 1867 Mark Twain described it thus: “ ...[a] desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds-a silent mournful expanse....A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action....We never saw a human being on the whole route....There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

In 1874, Reverend Samuel Manning wrote: “But where were the inhabitants? This fertile plain, which might support an immense population, is almost a solitude…. Day by day we were to learn afresh the lesson now forced upon us, that the denunciations of ancient prophecy have been fulfilled to the very letter — “the land is left void and desolate and without inhabitants.” (Jeremiah, ch.44 v.22)[12]

No surprise then when we find the founding verses on the Islamic abomination the Dome of the Rock read: O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning God save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and say not 'Three' - Cease! (it is) better for you! - God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son.

It helps to get to know The History of Mecca and the origins of Islamic "traditions".

Photo attributed to the uploader at this link.

When we read: Matt 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains...
it becomes pretty clear that this would apply to all of the compassings of Jerusalem, but the desolation symbolized by the Dome of the Rock would seem confirmed when we consider the text and math of this verse:  

Revelation 12:6 (KJV): And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.

It was 1260 "days" (as years) from the founding of the Dome of the Rock in 688, representing the exile of Jews and Christians, until the declaration of an independent Israel in 1948.  It was 42 prophetic "months" from 688 to 1967 as the beast continued.  The date of 688 is also confirmed mathematically and textually by Daniel's 1290, and the 1290 is confirmed by his 1335.

Regarding the relevance of that site in this Christian era:

2Ch 7:12 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

Why did God restore His people to the land He gave them as an everlasting possession through an everlasting covenant?

Eze 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake.....
24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

Within the traditional continuous-historic context of prophecy it is then easy to understand that the Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock, is THE abomination of desolation that was "set up" and is "standing where it ought not" on the temple mount - the "holy place".  Indeed desolation of the mount is the order of the day through Islamic prohibition of prayer, and the bringing of "Holy objects" like bibles, onto the mount.  Not a very good fit with 2 Thessalonians "man of sin", as Darby contended, since he "sitteth" or is seated rather than "stands", and a man is not an "it".  Nor would it seem a very apt description of the conflagration of 70 AD, particularly since that was not at all desolating to the Christian community.  The Dome of the Rock would, however, seem a very apt symbol for Islam, as representing the "beast" of the "time of the end". The final kingdom that oppresses God's people, just as we see Islamic blasphemy stand in the holy place, we can also see Islamic desolation of 55 countries today, with two million slain in the Sudan alone.

Our Lord and Savior's return may truly be at hand when we consider: Matthew 24:32-34  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh: 33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

The times of the Gentiles is one of the last of the "things" on the Olivet Discourse list to be fulfilled.  The same generation that sees all "these things" in this passage fulfilled will not pass before Jesus' return.  Whether a biblical or literal or metaphorical generation is meant is uncertain.  But if the shortest possible time span is considered, enough bible prophecy has been fulfilled for Jesus to return .... TODAY!

Strong's definitions:
the abomination - Check Strong's here
New Testament Greek Definition:
946 bdelugma {bdel'-oog-mah}
from 948; TDNT - 1:598,103; n n
AV - abomination 6; 6
1) a foul thing, a detestable thing
1a) of idols and things pertaining to idolatry
of desolation Check Strong's here
New Testament Greek Definition:
2050 eremosis {er-ay'-mo-sis}
from 2049; TDNT - 2:660,255; n f
AV - desolation 3; 3
1) a making desolate, desolation
desolate - Check Strong's here
New Testament Greek Definition:
2048 eremos {er'-ay-mos}
of uncertain affinity; TDNT - 2:657,255; adjective
AV - wilderness 32, desert 13, desolate 4, solitary 1; 50
1) solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited
1a) used of places
1a1) a desert, wilderness
1a2) deserted places, lonely regions
1a3) an uncultivated region fit for pasturage
1b) used of persons
1b1) deserted by others
1b2) deprived of the aid and protection of others,
especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred
1b3) bereft
1b3a) of a flock deserted by the shepherd
1b3b) of a woman neglected by her husband,
from whom the husband withholds himself
stand - Check Strong's here
New Testament Greek Definition:
2476 histemi {his'-tay-mee}
a prolonged form of a primary stao {stah'-o} (of the same
meaning, and used for it in certain tenses); TDNT - 7:638,1082; v
AV - stand 116, set 11, establish 5, stand still 4, stand by 3,
misc 17, vr stand 2; 158
1) to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set
1a) to bid to stand by, [set up]
1a1) in the presence of others, in the midst, before judges,
before members of the Sanhedrin;
1a2) to place
1b) to make firm, fix establish
1b1) to cause a person or a thing to keep his or its place
1b2) to stand, be kept intact (of family, a kingdom), to escape
in safety
1b3) to establish a thing, cause it to stand
1b31) to uphold or sustain the authority or force of anything
1c) to set or place in a balance
1c1) to weigh: money to one (because in very early times before
the introduction of coinage, the metals used to be weighed)
2) to stand
2a) to stand by or near
2a1) to stop, stand still, to stand immovable, stand firm
2a1a) of the foundation of a building
2b) to stand
2b1) continue safe and sound, stand unharmed, to stand ready or
2b2) to be of a steadfast mind
2b3) of quality, one who does not hesitate, does not waiver
New Testament Greek Definition:
1722 en {en}
a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time
or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or
constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between
1519 and 1537); TDNT - 2:537,233; prep
AV - in 1874, by 141, with 134, among 117, at 112, on 46,
through 37, misc 321; 2782
1) in, by, with etc.
Wigram's frequency count is 2799 not 2782.
set up - Check Strong's here
Old Testament Hebrew Definition:
05414 nathan {naw-than'}
a primitive root; TWOT - 1443; v
AV - give 1078, put 191, deliver 174, made 107, set 99, up 26, lay 22,
grant 21, suffer 18, yield 15, bring 15, cause 13, utter 12,
laid 11, send 11, recompense 11, appoint 10, shew 7, misc 167; 2008
1) to give, put, set
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to give, bestow, grant, permit, ascribe, employ, devote,
consecrate, dedicate, pay wages, sell, exchange, lend,
commit, entrust, give over, deliver up, yield produce,
occasion, produce, requite to, report, mention, utter,
stretch out, extend
1a2) to put, set, put on, put upon, set, appoint, assign,
1a3) to make, constitute
1b) (Niphal)
1b1) to be given, be bestowed, be provided, be entrusted to, be
granted to, be permitted, be issued, be published, be
uttered, be assigned
1b2) to be set, be put, be made, be inflicted
1c) (Hophal)
1c1) to be given, be bestowed, be given up, be delivered up
1c2) to be put upon