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In Matthew 24, the Lord is speaking to His disciples concerning future events that involve the nation of Israel.  He tells them of a time of great tribulation.  We read in Matthew 24:15-21, “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.”  The abomination of desolation is only mentioned here and in Mark 13:14.  As we just read, this abomination of desolation was spoken of in the book of Daniel.  Daniel 12:11 says, “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.”

Daniel tells us this incident will happen during the time of tribulation.  Daniel 12:1 tells us, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”  Let’s compare that verse to what we read in Matthew 24:21, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”  We know this is speaking of that seven year period known as the tribulation period.  Using a week to indicate a period of not seven days, but seven years we read in Daniel 9:27, “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.”  This abomination of desolation happens in the middle of the tribulation period.

The term, ‘abomination of desolation’ really means the detestable one that brings destruction.  Who or what is this?  Let’s read 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “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.”  We read in Matthew 24:15 that this man would stand in the holy place, even as we read in 1 Thessalonians 2:4 that this man of sin, this son of perdition would exalt himself above all that is called God.  He will sit in the temple of God and declare that he is God.  Lucifer, or Satan, is the great usurper who would exalt himself above God.  We read of him in Isaiah 14:12-15 which says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

To recap what we have read, Satan is the abomination of desolation.  In the middle of the seven year tribulation period, he will present himself in the temple, declaring that he is God.  What will happen to him?  Let’s read Isaiah 14:15 again, “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”  We can take great comfort in knowing that Satan has been defeated and will be cast into hell as we read in Revelation 20:10, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”