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FUTURISM AND DISPENSATIONALISM
The eschatology of Futurism is largely credited to the early-mid 19th century interpretation of John Nelson Darby, widely recognized as "the father of modern Dispensationalism and Futurism", whose eschatological scheme was popularized in the 20th century church through the annotated Scofield Reference Bible. Unique to this eschatology is a "pre-tribulation" "rapture", in which born again believers are to be removed from the world, prior to a seven-year period of great tribulation that is to beset the rest of humanity. Futurism is also pre-millennial, expecting that Christ will return to rule and reign on earth for a period of a thousand years, in a temple that is to be built on the temple mount in Jerusalem. But is an understanding of apocalyptic prophecy to be found by studying charts and graphs produced by modern day men? What might we find when we look to the scriptures, and those of the former age, as scripture instructs?

It is interesting to note that the approach to eschatology of futurism, necessarily precludes even considering that Muhammad could be the false prophet of the book of Revelation, just as the approach of partial-preterism necessarily precludes the very same. This even though one-quarter of mankind in the world today are required to specifically disbelieve that Christ was crucified and thus reject the blood He shed for us all, and to deny the Son of God, as articles of their faith in the false prophet Muhammad alone. Indeed Muslims are taught that to confess that Jesus is the Son of God or even to pray in Jesus' name, would be to commit the single most "heinous" and only unforgivable sin ("shirk"), in Muhammad's counter-gospel, anti-religion of Islam. It should be no surprise then that Muhammad's followers have been slaughtering and subduing Christians and Jews, and subjugating non-Muslims for 1400 years.

Sections on this page include The "time of the end", History of Futurism in the Church, Futurism VS the Gospel, Jesuit Francisco Ribera, The Revived Roman Empire, the Abomination of Desolation, the "Pre-Trib" "Rapture" and Premillennialism.
 
The "time of the end" (URL)

Since the Scofield Reference Bible popularized John Darby's dispensational/futurist eschatological scheme in the 20th century church, as it remains today, let's look at Scofield notes on Daniel's "time of the end":

" (1) The time of the end in Daniel begins with the violation by "the prince that shall come" (i.e. "little horn," "man of sin," "Beast") of his covenant with the Jews for the restoration of the temple and sacrifice Daniel 9:27 and his presentation of himself as God; Daniel 9:27; 11:36-38; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:4-6 and ends with his destruction by the appearing of the Lord in glory. ; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:19,20.

(2) The duration of the "time of the end" is three and one half years, coinciding with the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel. Daniel 7:25; 12:7; Revelation 13:5."

So the "time of the end" isn't supposed to begin until the middle of the 7-year tribulation at some point in the future, which would be 3-1/2 years after Christians are to have been removed from the earth, during the "pre-tribulation" "rapture". Here's how Daniel's book closes:

Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Since the book of Daniel was "shut up" and sealed until the "time of the end", and Scofield suggests that time is not supposed to begin until the middle of some seven-year period yet in the future, then how could any 19th century interpretation of the figurative language of Daniel's prophetic vision from prior to the "time of the end", be considered other than hopelessly compromised? Yet the seven-year tribulation - upon which Darby's eschatological scheme is based, as held throughout the 20th century futurist church - comes directly from John Darby's early 19th century interpretation of Daniel's 70th week, which is the most contentious and hotly debated element in the book of Daniel! Was John Darby given an exclusive franchise and access through the seal on the book of Daniel in the early 19th century, prior to when futurists themselves are expected to believe the book will be unsealed yet in the future?
 
History of Futurism in the Church (URL)

There was such a vast volume of speculative interpretation penned by the early church fathers, that futurists, preterists and historicists can all find tidbits here and there that seem to provide support for our chosen eschatology. Sometimes when the ECFs writings happen to offer the appearance of support, for one's chosen doctrine, they are sometimes accorded the respect given to Holy writ. But there is good reason their writings were not cannonized. In regard to a history of futurism in the church prior to John Nelson Darby, one of the most heavily studied and highly regarded futurists, Dr. Harry Ironside, wrote the following in his "Mysteries of God":

"CHAPTER V

THE GREAT MYSTERY OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH

Throughout the writings of the apostle Paul he again and again refers to a wondrous secret, which he designates in a special way as "the mystery," or "the great mystery." Other mysteries he treats of, as we have seen, and shall notice later; but there is one that is preeminently such. It occupies much of his ministry, and is clearly the chief gem in the diadem of the truth of Christianity; yet for centuries it was almost entirely lost sight of. In fact, until brought to the fore through the writings and the preaching and teaching of a distinguished ex-clergyman, Mr. J. N. Darby, in the early part of the last century, it is scarcely to be found in a single book or sermon throughout a period of sixteen hundred years! If any doubt this statement, let them search, as the writer has in measure done, the remarks of the so-called Fathers, both pre- and post-Nicene; the theological treatises of the scholastic divines; Roman Catholic writers of all shades of thought; the literature of the Reformation; the sermons and expositions of the Puritans; and the general theological works of the day. He will find "the mystery" conspicuous by its absence. Of ordinances exalted to the place of mysteries, as in heathen rites, he will find much; but as to the mystery, which to the apostle was so unspeakably precious, rarely a reference!"

Job 8:8 For enquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare thyself to the search of their fathers: 9 (For we [are but of] yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth [are] a shadow:)

Beyond the absence of a history of futurism in the church over a period of sixteen hundred years, is the greater difficulty of squaring it with the Gospel. If you become stumped regarding the questions in the section that follow, we encourage you to ask your pastor for some answers to share with us in the forum so we can edit this web page and the forum, if warranted.

This is a link to a section further down this page with more on futurism's history in the church.
 
Futurism VS the Gospel (URL) (for a PDF tract of this section please click here)

The old covenant prophet Jeremiah prophesied of a new covenant:

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:


The following literal verses are found in literal passages of the new covenant ("diatheke" or "New Testament") scriptures and are not open to interpretation. The New Testament confirms Jeremiah's prophecy as fulfilled (click on the verse number for the whole passage):

Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Fulfilled through the perfect, complete and finished sacrifice of the sinless Lamb of God.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

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.

Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.

Jesus ushered in the new covenant, and thus Herod's temple was thrown down every stone just as Jesus prophesied, further confirming the way to the Father in this new covenant era.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Through the one sacrifice for sins forever:

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

The Jews at "Jews for Jesus" certainly aren't ashamed of the Gospel!

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Jesus built His temple in three days, just as He prophesied:

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

His people are His temple:

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.

Fellow citizens with the saints, in the whole household of God, both on this side of the kingdom and the other.

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The one true tabernacle that the Lord pitched and not man:

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken [this is] the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

Indeed, God doesn't dwell in temples made with hands, in this new covenant era:

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

For much more on the "temple of God" you can visit that page at BeholdTheBeast.com
It is very telling that not a single futurist in a very popular Christian forum, has yet stepped up to defend futurist doctrine in the light of the Gospel. You can visit the thread at this link.

The Messiah, Jesus Christ, having built His temple in three days, while ushering in His kingdom in the first century, through His crucifixion, death and resurrection:

Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

I will remain humbly honored as my brother John's companion in the kingdom of Jesus Christ:

Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

That is a definite article "the" before kingdom (as well as before tribulation) in the Koine Greek.
The kingdom of Jesus Christ is, and will remain, specifically not of this world:

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

James Grant wrote: "With the deadly heresies entertained and taught by the Plymouth Brethren, in relation to some of the most momentous of all the doctrines of the gospel, and to which I have adverted at some length, I feel assured that my readers will not be surprised at any other views, however unscriptual and pernicious they may be, which the Darbyites have embraced and zealously seek to propagate"[16]

In reading the above verses why would futurists, who otherwise seem to love Jews, desire to:

1. Exclude Jews from the new covenant?
2. Cheer on a restoration of the old covenant that waxed away?
3. Suggest that Jesus' one sacrifice for sins forever was somehow so insufficient, incomplete and unfinished, that a resumption of animal sacrifices in the future would be appropriate or sanctified for any reason?
4. Take salvation through the Gospel away from Jews when it was specifically given to the Jew first?
5. Denigrate the temple that Jesus built in three days, by cheering on a future physical temple, made with hands?
6. Believe that God would dwell in a temple made with hands?
7. Believe such a temple could ever be consecrated, to then be desolated, when our high priest is seated in the true tabernacle that the Lord pitched, and rules in His kingdom today?
8. Reject the kingdom of Jesus Christ that arrived in the first century, to cheer on some future kingdom on earth, when Jesus told us His kingdom is specifically not of this world?

Could the answer to all those questions boil down to John Darby's 19th century interpretation of the figurative language of Daniel's Old Testament prophetic dream?

Sound doctrine must obviously begin with literal verses in literal passages that are not open to interpretation, before even beginning to try to interpret, the figurative language of dreams and visions in prophecy.

Jesus IS everlasting righteousness:

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
 
Jesuit Francisco Ribera (URL)

Not unlike preterism's Luis del Alcazar, a Roman Catholic Jesuit named Francisco Ribera's 16th century counter-reformation eschatology, may be credited with the presence of futurism in the modern church. From Wikipedia: "In order to remove the papacy of the Catholic Church from consideration as the Antichrist (as an act of countering the Protestant Reformation), Ribera began writing a lengthy (500 page) commentary in 1585 on the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) titled In Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentarij, proposing that the first few chapters of the Apocalypse apply to ancient pagan Rome, and the rest he limited to a yet future period of 3½ literal years, immediately prior to the second coming."

Ribera taught that Revelation would not be fulfilled until the end of the Christian Era, including a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, an end-time "The" "Antichrist" individual who would persecute and blaspheme the saints of God, abolish the Christian religion, deny Jesus Christ, pretend to be God, kill the two witnesses of God and conquer the world.

Jesuit Ribera was followed in the 18th century by a Roman Catholic priest named Manuel Diaz Lacunza S.J., who moved from Spain to Imola, Italy where he claimed to be a converted Jew named Rabbi Juan Jushafat Ben-Ezra. Under that alias, he wrote "The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty". In it, Lacunza theorized that the Church would be taken to be with the Lord some 45 days before Jesus' final return to Earth, during which God was going to pour out His wrath upon the wicked still on Earth. In his letters Darby noted that he had "come to an understanding of this new truth" regarding his having been influenced by de Lacunza's writings. More on this subject at Behold the Beast.

The reality is that 1.5 billion antichrists - one quarter of mankind in the world today - are commanded by the false prophet Muhammad to conquer all kingdoms, and subjugate all people to denying the Son of God and rejecting His shed blood, as articles of faith in Muhammad.

For a PDF tract of this section please click here. Print, rotate, print on back, then Z-fold in two directions.
 
The Revived Roman Empire (URL)

Let's take a look at the growth of the Islamic slave state, in the region of the "Revived Roman Empire", that has been anticipated by futurists for the last century or so to play a central role in end-time events. The following is from the Gatestone Institute (best read on this link to their site)

"Muslims Converting Empty European Churches into Mosques

by Soeren Kern (at this link are many more very informative articles by this author)

Muslims in Europe are increasingly converting empty Christian churches into mosques.

The proliferation of mosques housed in former churches reflects the rise of Islam as the fastest growing religion in post-Christian Europe.

There are now more practicing Muslims than practicing Christians in many parts of Europe, not only in large urban centers, but also in smaller towns and cities across the continent.

As Islam replaces Christianity as the dominant religion in Europe, more and more churches are set to become mosques, which increasingly serve not only as religious institutions but also function as the foundational political building blocks for the establishment of separate, parallel Muslim communities in Europe that are based on Islamic Sharia law.

The latest churches destined to become mosques are located in Germany, where the Roman Catholic Church has announced plans to close up to six churches in Duisburg, an industrial city in northwestern part of the country, due to falling church attendance.

Duisburg, which has a total population of 500,000, is home to around 100,000 mostly Turkish Muslims, making it one of the most Islamized cities in Germany.

Muslims in Duisburg are now clamoring to turn empty churches in the city into mosques, according to the Germany daily newspaper, Der Westen.

All of the churches slated for closing are located in the gritty Hamborn and Marxloh districts in northern Duisburg where Islam has already replaced Christianity as the dominant religion, and where several Catholic churches have already been abandoned in a previous round of church closings.

In Marxloh, all eyes are set on the Church of Saint Peter and Paul, which is the last remaining church in a part of Duisburg that is now almost completely Muslim. The church may be closed as early as the end of January 2012.

Marxloh also happens to be home to the Duisburg Merkez Mosque, the largest mosque in Germany. Completed in 2008 at a cost of more than 7.5 million ($10 million), the Ottoman-style mega-mosque can accommodate more than 1,200 Muslim worshippers at a time.

Merkez now wants to turn the churches in Hamborn and Marxloh into mosques and prayer centers that would serve as extensions of the mega-mosque. According to the chairman of the Merkez Mosque, Mohammed Al, "Regardless of whether it is a church or a mosque, it is a house of God."

In addition to Roman Catholic churches, some Protestant churches have also been converted into mosques in Germany, where the Muslim population has jumped from around 50,000 in the early 1980s to more than 4 million today.

In Germany as a whole, more than 400 Roman Catholic churches and more than 100 Protestant churches have been closed since 2000, according to one estimate. Another 700 Roman Catholic churches are slated to be closed over the next several years.

By contrast, there are now more than 200 mosques (including more than 40 mega-mosques), 2,600 Muslim prayer halls and a countless number unofficial mosques in Germany. Another 128 mosques are currently under construction, according to the Zentralinstitut Islam-Archiv, a Muslim organization based in Germany.

In neighboring France, mosques are being built more often than Roman Catholic churches, and there now are more practicing Muslims in the country than practicing Catholics.

Nearly 150 new mosques are currently under construction in France, home to the biggest Muslim community in Europe.

The total number of mosques in France has already doubled to more than 2,000 during just the past ten years, according to a research report, "Constructing Mosques: The Governance of Islam in France and the Netherlands." The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, has called for the number of mosques in the country to be doubled again -- to 4,000 -- to meet growing demand.

By contrast, the Roman Catholic Church in France has built only 20 new churches during the past decade, and has formally closed more than 60 churches, many of which are destined to become mosques, according to research conducted by La Croix, a Roman Catholic daily newspaper based in Paris.

Although 64% of the French population (or 41.6 million of France's 65 million inhabitants) identifies itself as Roman Catholic, only 4.5% (or 1.9 million) of those actually are practicing Catholics, according to the French Institute of Public Opinion (or Ifop, as it is usually called).

By way of comparison, 75% (or 4.5 million) of the estimated 6 million mostly ethnic North African and sub-Saharan Muslims in France identify themselves as "believers" and 41% (or 2.5 million) say they are "practicing" Muslims, according to an in-depth research report on Islam in France published by Ifop.

Taken together, the research data provides empirical evidence that Islam is well on its way to overtaking Roman Catholicism as the dominant religion in France.

In Britain, Islam has overtaken Anglicanism as the dominant religion as more people attend mosques than the Church of England. According to one survey, 930,000 Muslims attend a place of worship at least once a week, whereas only 916,000 Anglicans do the same.

Muslim leaders are now claiming that, given such a rise of Islam in Britain, Muslims should receive a share of the privileged status of the Church of England.

Overall, at least 10,000 churches have been closed in Britain since 1960, including 8,000 Methodist churches and 1,700 Anglican churches. Another 4,000 churches are set to be closed by 2020, according to Christian Research, an organization that tracks religious trends in Britain.

By contrast, there are now more than 1,700 official mosques in Britain, many converted from former churches. In addition, there are an estimated 2,000 Muslim prayer halls and unknown thousands of unofficial mosques in garages or warehouses scattered throughout the country.

Islam is set to displace Christianity in Britain even further in the years ahead. The number of Muslims in Britain is forecast to double to 5.5 million, or 8% of the total British population, by 2030, according to the Washington, DC-based Pew Research Center.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, in a December 2011 speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, said Britain is a "Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so."

But the official Citizenship Survey published on December 21 found that the number of people who call themselves Christians in England and Wales fell by nearly 10% over the past five years.

Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook."

At this link are many more articles by this author regarding what futurists expect to become the "revived Roman Empire".

This "falling away" or apostasy, as prophesied, would seem perhaps right on schedule:

2 Thessalonians 2:3 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; 4  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 have a page on this site dedicated to this subject at this link. It is important to understand where the "temple of God" is, in order to recognize where to expect "that man of sin" to be seated. It's understandable that those prior to this prophesied apostasy in the early 19th century, and couldn't understand the book of Daniel before it was unsealed, and before the false prophet Muhammad's Islamic kingdom "beast" was healed. But can we today? This is a link to the page dedicated to that subject:

A link to BeholdTheBeast.com on the "temple of God", and another on "that man of sin".
 
The Abomination of Desolation (URL)

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

It would be difficult for a Christian to deny that the blasphemous Islamic Mosque, 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.

When a Muslim confesses that Jesus Christ is the Son of God he has committed the most egregious, and only unpardonable, sin in Muhammad's stand-alone 7th century religion.

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

For a Muslim to confessing that Jesus is the Son of God would be to commit the single most egregious, and only unforgivable sin of "shirk", according to Muhammad. Even praying in Jesus' name, would constitute a sin worse than child rape, or cold blooded mass murder. However Christians recognize that for someone to deny that Jesus is the Son of God is a manifestation of the 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 Muslim 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 convinced to negotiate control away to the Muslims. Amazingly, the only claim that the religion of Islam has to anything whatsoever to do with Israel, springs from a tall tale that Muhammad told about having ridden to Jerusalem, up to "paradise" and back to Mecca one night, on a flying donkey-mule type creature. In the second year of the Islamic calendar Muhammad even switched the direction Muslims were to pray, from Jerusalem, to the Quraish pagan's kaaba in Mecca.

Muhammad wholesale slaughtered Jewish farmers, abused and enslaved their wives and children, and stole their property, and his hatred of Jews is expressed throughout Islam's books as in this example from Islam's Hadith:

Sahih Bukhari B52 #177 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 story that Muhammad told wherein he declared that he rode on a flying animal one night from Mecca, to Jerusalem where he claimed that he had prayed in a temple that had been torn down over 500 years previously, then went on a leg of his journey up to "paradise" to meet with Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others, then rode 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:

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.

Jerusalem was temporarily desolated in 70 AD, again in 132 AD, and conquered again 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 shown that nothing was more physically or spiritually desolating to Jerusalem than 1100 years of Islamization and accompanying exile of Christians and Jews.  By the early 1800's there were just 550 residents.  This is why the historical record of Jerusalem in first quarter of the 19th century is sketchy and anecdotal at best.

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.

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, considering that by the early 19th century Jerusalem had been rendered spiritually desolated as well as physically, deforested, denuded, desertified, barren, desolate wasteland:  

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.

Within the traditional historicist context of prophecy it is then easy to understand that the Islamic Mosque, 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.  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 54 countries today, with two million innocents slain or displaced 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. Using Strong's in conjunction with a Greek/English interlinear the verse may be rendered:

Matthew 24:34  Verily I say unto you, {the same} generation shall not pass, {whereinsoever} all these things {shall have taken place}.

 Whether a biblical or literal or metaphorical generation is meant doesn't matter, since a literal generation could indicate that before the last person in the generation that was around when the "fig tree" took on leaves in 1948, or the "times of the Gentiles" were fulfilled in Jerusalem in 1967, will not pass until Christ returns. The way things are going with the church apostasing and Islam displacing Christianity, divine judgment may not perhaps be too far away, perhaps even today! I doubt Jesus wants to wait until the whole world is subjugated to denying the Son of God and rejecting His shed blood as articles of faith in Muhammad, as 1/4 of mankind is already required to do today. Not any more than He wanted to sit back and watch the Canaanites poison His people with their idol worship. Particularly since, with the exception of that tiny strip of land of Israel, almost the entirely of John's "whole world", carries the name of the beast - Islam - today. The tiny remnant of Jews and Christians left in a few Middle East countries is being persecuted and killed as churches are burned by the beast during this "Arab Spring" prelude perhaps to nuclear winter.

 
The "Pre-Trib" "Rapture" (URL)

The "pre-trib" "rapture" in scripture is covered in depth on our companion site at this link:
http://www.beholdthebeast.com/great_tribulation.htm#pre_trib_rapture

The concept of a pre-trib rapture doctrine was unknown in the church before Manuel Diaz Lacunza S.J. penned the view, whom Darby mentioned in his writings as having influenced his eschatology. The only other known suggestion of it is from the pen of another individual, this one from the 18th century, named Morgan Edwards, but it wouldn't seem his paper had any influence on the church. To this writer's knowledge there is not a man on earth that has placed this pre-trib rapture prior to Edwards, though some suggest a paper penned in the 7th century under the assumed name of "Pseudo-Ephraem", though the available evidence weighs in against this suggestion. Particularly since the actual Ephraem the Syrian is known to have held a post-tribulation view.

More on the history of this doctrine in the church in the Islam-Christian Forum at this link.

What would the purpose of a thousand year reign of Christ on earth be when his kingdom is specifically not of this world, and the Son of man Himself prophesied He would usher in His kingdom, in the first century? More on the subject of the Millennial Reign at this link.

The New Testament warns:

2Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Were you unable to answer the questions in the "Futurism VS the Gospel" section? Click here to consider what else the 19th century ushered into the church, seemingly right on schedule.
 
Premillennialism (URL)

Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

Did Jesus usher in his kingdom in the first century or was that a false prophecy? What about our brother and companion John? That's a definite article "the" in the Koine Greek.

Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

2Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Is it difficult to see that the Second Coming of Christ is "the day of judgment" and "day of the Lord" and simultaneous with and destruction of the earth?

Here's a link to a webpage on The Millennial Reign by Ellis Skolfield

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
prepared
2b2) to be of a steadfast mind
2b3) of quality, one who does not hesitate, does not waiver
 
in
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,
designate
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
 
mountain
Jeremiah 51:25 Behold, I [am] against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
Jeremiah 51:26  And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.