|THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
PART 1, THE LAST WARNING
While V.T. Houteff wrote about the abomination of desolation, he considered it in a historical light, and
placed it in the Christian era. He ended it in 1844, with its end coinciding with the end of the 2300 days. At
that time the cleansing of the sanctuary had begun. (See chart above.) Houteff's interpretation can be
studied in "The Shepherd's Rod," Volume 2, pages 126-133 (which explains Daniel 8), and "The Judgment
and the Harvest," pages 24-33 (which explains the 2300 days), and in "The World, Yesterday, Today,
Tomorrow," pages 57-91 (which explains Daniel 11). All of these commentaries deal with the same
subjects, the 2300 days, the pollution of the sanctuary and its cleansing.
While I do agree with Houteff's statements and conclusions, I also believe that more needs to be said
about the abomination of desolation. Christ obviously means it to be a warning to His people to flee a
devastating destruction. While I can't predict the exact time of the devastating destruction, I do have
insight on exactly how to recognise the signs that will precede it.
The first thing to know about the abomination of desolation is that Christ discusses it as a sign of both
His Coming and the end of the world (as we know it). "And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the
disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign
of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24:3).
Christ begins by stating what must happen first. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all
the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 24:14). Christians have
concentrated on preaching Christ's sacrifice to free all men of sin and His resurrection. The Kingdom
which God will establish on earth through Christ must also be preached.
Next Christ spoke of the abomination of desolation. "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:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop
not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take
his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye
that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such
as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days
should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be
shortened." (Matt. 24:15-22).
This is obviously a catastrophe. Where does it take place? It takes place in Judaea, which in modern
times is called Judah, so this is a warning specifically for Christ's people in the nation Israel.
Christ continues, after a parable, to discuss the immediacy of the warning. "Heaven and earth shall pass
away, but My words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of
heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of
man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving
in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them
all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be
taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other
left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." (Matt. 24:35-42).
In the days of Noah, people had a week of warning before the flood. "And the Lord said unto Noah, Come
thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation. For yet
seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living
substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all
that the Lord commanded him. There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the
female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood
were upon the earth." (Gen. 7:1,4,5,9,10).
That the flood would come a week after Noah loaded and closed the ark was either unknown to his
neighbors or they refused to believe it. However, it is given to Christ's people in Israel as a sign of
In Luke, Christ's warning is even more specific. "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the
days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until
the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was
in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the
same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the
housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let
him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife (who thought to turn back and died). Whosoever shall
seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that
night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women
shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the
one shall be taken, and the other left." (Luke 17:26-36).
These verses are about the time that Christ's King, the Son of man, is to be revealed. He will return to the
Holy Land with the 144,000 (see Rev. 14:1-5), and be crowned (revealed) on Mount Zion by the Holy Ghost.
"Who art thou, O great mountain (the Christian church)? before Zerubbabel (born in Babylon, the Holy
Ghost) thou shalt become a plain (fall flat on your faces): and (s)he shall bring forth the headstone
(Christ's King) thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." (Zech. 4:7). Remember, Christ
referred to Himself as a headstone. "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The
stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvellous in our eyes?" (Matt. 21:42). Since the temple has four upper corners, there are four
upper corner stones, heads of the corners. Standing in for Christ, Christ's King is one of them.
In the midst of the warnings to flee at once, Christ makes what seems to be a contradictory statement.
"Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it."
This is directed to those citizens of Israel who fight against the fulfillment of these prophecies. If they
fear God's work and try to stop it, they will die, "whosoever shall seek to save his life (by fighting
prophecy) shall lose it." If they risk their lives, trusting in God to do His work in their nation, they will
survive, "whosoever shall (take a risk that he might) lose his life (by trusting in God) shall preserve it."
Moreover, the angels who record who has faith in Israel (and who fights God), will be very specific about
who dies and who lives. Immediately after His warning against trying to survive by thwarting prophecy,
Christ says: "I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the
other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two
men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left."
Faith in God has two dimensions. First, God will fulfill all His promises. Second, all religious activities of
any faith, that are not in accordance with God's will, must surely fail. God is both just and vengeful. His
angels will kill those who oppose Him, and spare those who do not, "two men shall be in the field; the
one shall be taken, and the other left." This judgment is as the Passover to God. It is a mark of faith in
God that you do not interfere with those who say they are fulfilling prophecy!
In the scripture from Luke quoted above, Christ gave two warnings. The first was from the days of Noe
(Noah), the second from the days of Lot. "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they
drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it
rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the
Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let
him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember
Lot’s wife." (Luke 17:28-32). The warning from the days of Noah, was a week. But the warning from the
days of Lot is a same day warning, "the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone
from heaven, and destroyed them all!"
To understand the difference in the warnings, one must understand the difference between Noah and
Lot. Noah and his family were the entire Kingdom of God in the days of the flood. Noah was their prophet,
God warned and instructed him. Like Noah, the Kingdom of God will have a seven day warning of the
great destruction Christ predicted, through the words of God to their prophets. They will respond by
removing their missionaries from the cities all over the earth. They will "shut up the ark." Men will look
for them, they will be gone. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the
land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall
wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of
the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:11,12).
It is clear from the preceding verses of Amos 8 that this famine of hearing the word of God accompanies
a harsh judgment. "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go
down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: and I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all
your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head;
and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day." (Amos 8:9,10).
Lot and his family were friends with and related to Abraham, whose family was the Kingdom of God in
Abraham's time. Lot was both Abraham's friend and his nephew. So friends and relatives of God's
Kingdom will also receive warnings and take flight. As in the days of Lot, some may even have the help of
angels. "And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy
two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered,
the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters;
the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city." (Gen. 19:
15,16). We can expect help from God's hosts in every gathering of the Kingdom of God.
Since we are discussing warnings, it is instructive to review the warning Christ gave to His church in
Judah prior to the destruction of Jerusalem that occurred about 70 AD. Here is the prophecy of the
coming of the Messiah (and the destruction that followed) as explained by V. T. Houteff.
""Dan. 9:24 --"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the
transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in
everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy."
""Since Gabriel is here explaining the vision of chapter 8 -- the things that were to take place during the
2300 days -- the seventy weeks are therefore a part of the 2300 days."
""The seventy weeks are actually 490 years. Mark that during these 490 years, Daniel's people, the Jews,
were to make an end of sin and make reconciliation for their iniquity, or else be hopelessly given up.
Next Daniel was told where the 70 weeks begin:"
""Dan. 9:25 --"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore
and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two
weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."
""From the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem to Messiah the Prince, to Christ, there
were to be 7 weeks (49 years), and 62 weeks (434 years) -- 69 weeks in all, or 483 years. History shows
that the decree to rebuild the ancient city went forth in 457 B.C. Hence 483 years from 457 B.C. bring us to
27 A.D., to the year Christ, the Messiah, was baptized. (This incident, too, proves that the 2300 days are
computed a day for a year, and that the seventy weeks are the first block of time from within the 2300
days...) We should now remember that after cutting off the 69 weeks from the 70 weeks there is yet one
week left. What takes place during this week is told in the verses that follow:"
""Dan. 9:26, 27 -- "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and
the people of the prince that shall 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. And He shall confirm the
covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the
consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
""Just what was to take place during the first seven weeks or 49 years I am not prepared to say, but in
the end of the next 62 weeks, or 434 years the Messiah was to be cut off, crucified. During the remaining
week, the 70th, He was to confirm the covenant with many, and in the midst of it He was to be cut off,
crucified; that is, there were to be 3 1/2 years from His baptism to the crucifixion, and 3 1/2 years after the
crucifixion in which He was to confirm the covenant. This completes the 70 weeks and brings us to the
time the apostles were commanded to go out and preach the Gospel to the Gentiles: One named
Cornelius (a Gentile), and Peter (a Jew and an Apostle) were both given a vision: Cornelius was
instructed to see Peter and Peter was commanded to meet Cornelius. See Acts, chapter 10. The Jews as
a nation failed to make an end of sin and were therefore rejected, given up."
""Christ's own sacrifice at the end of the first 3 1/2 years replaced the sacrificial ceremonial system, and
thus He caused the sacrifice to cease in the midst of the week. All this, time and event, you see, took
place exactly as Gabriel predicted."" (V. T. Houteff, Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 33, 1948).
Following the crucifixion of Christ, a great destruction was to fall on the land of Judah, "for the
overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that
determined shall be poured upon the desolate." Not only did the Jews continue to sacrifice animals (a
practice that Christ had done away with), they persecuted and killed the followers of Christ. This was "the
overspreading of abominations."
Expecting the judgment that was to come, Christ warned His disciples so that His church would be saved
from its destruction. "And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts,
He (Christ) said, as for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be
left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they asked Him, saying, Master, but
when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And
(Christ answered,) 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. For these be the days of
vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to
them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this
people. 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." (Luke 21:5-
When Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem, the Christians took note of Christ's warning, and when the
Roman armies drew back, they fled into the mountains of Judah and from there most departed to the
churches Paul had established among the Gentiles. As Christ prophesied, the temple was torn down. As
the early Christian church found warning in the words of Christ, so the latter day Christian church must
also take warning from His words.
Who is the latter day Christian church? Like the first Christian church, they are Messianic Jews, although
most are probably more comfortable calling themselves Sabbath and feast keeping Christians. These are
people who now keep the daily. They return to Israel in a great army of Christian soldiers to meet with the
Lamb on Mount Zion, at which time the 144,000 are chosen as Revelation 14:1-5 is fulfilled. Many stay on
It is my belief that the abomination of desolation spoken of by Christ involves one or more Messianic
Jews. However there is a lot more to Christ's prophecy, a mystery to be solved. Remember, He said:
"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:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the
mountains..." (Matt. 24:15,16).
Daniel mentions "the abomination that maketh desolate" twice.
"And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away
the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate." (Dan. 11:31).
"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." (Dan. 12:11).
V. H. Houteff has dealt with this prophecy in history, next time I will start there. Due to the complexity of
the subject and the need for inspiration from the Holy Ghost to understand it, I may not be back with you
next week. Soon!
Amo Paul Bishop Roden
|Houteff's illustration of the 2300 days