We are all aware of the situation before us. This seven year covenant is approaching its midpoint. We are all aware that certain things happen around the midpoint. It is agreed that these certain things must happen by a certain point or else our position, by our own admission, becomes untenable no later than August (by August, there is less than 1260 days to the end of the ENPI and the AC must have control for 42 months).
One of those midpoint events is the infamous "abomination of desolation" spoken of by Jesus and the prophet Daniel.
I would say this abomination event would be required to happen before the beast is given authority for 42 months. This is the case is because Matthew 24:15-16 shows that the Judean residents must immediately flee the area following this event. If we go to Revelation 12, we see the same picture, of Satan pursuing the woman (Israel) as she flees into the desert. She ultimately makes it to safety and is protected for 1260 days. This infuriates Satan, so he goes off to make war with the rest of God's people (end of Revelation 12). It seems to me that it is at this point (Revelation 13:1-5), where Satan hands over his authority to the Antichrist to have dictatorship for 42 months.
That being said, the issue of the abomination of desolation becomes paramount for this ENPI theory. The issue here I would like to focus on is not the idolatry aspect, but the holy place and temple aspect.
So here is how I see it. I CANNOT shake the ENPI. If I was to concede that, I would concede the entire prophetic scenario we have seen happened completely by accident and for no apparent reason. The chances of that are absolutely staggeringly low. If it was just one thing (like JUST a seven year covenant with Israel, no 10 nation alliance, etc.) I might be able to say that could have just inadvertadly happened. However, with this I cannot, especially knowing that these VERY THINGS are prophesied to happen at some point.
No matter how I look at it. I don't believe Satan is allowed to replicate prophecy exactly in order to mislead. In that case we would not be able to tell the difference from the real or the fake prophecies. In that case, we could just tell Jesus he is not the Messiah because the Devil made all of those prophecies about the Messiah come true in Jesus. I am not able to accept the idea that Satan can replicate prophecy to the letter, nor do I think he wants to.
Also, I cannot accept the idea that God would want to deliberately plan to mislead a group of people and make a spectacle of their faith. He might allow it to happen, but to deliberately do it is untenable to me. We hung on to this ENPI because we think its what the prophecy REALLY said, meaning, that God said it, so its going to happen against all odds, regardless of the candidate's retirement. If God deliberately did this, that would mean he is intentionally deceiving people, which is extremely problematic theologically. Also, it would cause people in the future to be completely and absolutely oblivious, because they could not only say that they're have been many failed end time predictions in the past, but that the very PROPHECIES themselves happened but they failed to follow through. I honestly think the failure of this theory would make God look bad, especially to all those atheists who are aware of this theory (yes, they are out there). He has his own purposes above and beyond us and what we can know, but this would be beyond me as to why he would deliberately make this happen, with the intention of it failing.
With that being said, I am holding fast to the ENPI, right or wrong. Here is our problem:
I have just learned that the Mitzpe Yericho project completely failed and the lot remains empty. Here is how I know that:
We really need something to qualify as a temple in about 1 month. Here is how I see things.
If I approach end time prophecy without considering the ENPI, I also cannot shake the idea of the temple. Here is why.
Here is a collection of the verses in concern. All verses in the very literal NASB:
15"Therefore when you see the (A)ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in (B)the holy place ((C)let the reader understand),
14"But (A)when you see the (B)ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
11"From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the (A)abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
27"And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of (A)abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a (B)complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
2 Thessalonians 2:4
4who opposes and exalts himself above (A)every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, (B)displaying himself as being God.
1Then there was given me a (A)measuring rod like a staff; and (B)someone said, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2"Leave out the (C)court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for (D)it has been given to the nations; and they will (E)tread under foot (F)the holy city for (G)forty-two months.
Here is what I gather from my own opinion of reading the prophecies without any consideration of the ENPI from an unbiased perspective. Keep these facts in mind when I present my conclusions and the problem:
-When Antiochus epiphanes ordered the first AOD to be set up (Daniel 11:31), they stopped the sacrifice on the altar they placed an idol of Zeus made to look like Antiochus. So when Jesus uses the term "Abomination of desolation" this is the only "precedent" (to speak in court case terms) that they can appeal to in order to understand the future one. Its a same situation for us, if hypothetically speaking, Jesus told us now in 2010 AD that when we when we heard the "shot fired round the world" we could know the American Revolutionary War was near. Now, this would confuse us, as an american revolution already happened, so we would study the first one to get an idea of the second one. By virtue of "precedent" I would assume, at least initially, that the AOD involves the temple
-"the Holy Place" is a technical term for the inner sanctuary of the temple structure. (see hebrews 9, the old testament, and many charts in a bible with footnotes with a temple chart in it). This would technically exclude the holy of holies itself, but the main sanctuary room is what "holy place" is a technical term for. Whether it specifically means that in Matthew 24, i don't know, but with an unbiased look at it I would definitely say probably.
-The word used for temple in both verses mentioning the temple are "naos." This is the word that means shrine or sanctuary, as opposed to heiron, which means the entire structure or "campus" if you will. Naos basically just means the main building in the center with the holy of holies and the holy place (does not include the altar).
-A "who" is the one that idolizes themselves in this case. The idol in this holy place is a human being (see Daniel 9:27-the "who" makes desolate.; Mark 13:14, which uses masculine in Greek, 2 Thessalonians 2:4- a man idolizes himself in the temple, possibly Daniel 11:36-39, describes a person idolizing themselves).
-2 Thessalonians 2:4 is paul describing the AOD. In the AOD, someone idolizes themselves (see mark13:14, Daniel 9:27, Daniel 11:36-39). Immediate desolation is associated with this (Judeans flee). Also, with AOD, no words are necessarily spoken, he stands there and is an abomination (idol). in the same way 2 Thessalonians 2 is a person who enters the sanctuary ("holy place", and "naos" both refer to the main inner sanctuary of the temple) sits there, and shows off himself to be God. Since both events seem to be virtually identical, and history shows that an AOD is generally a temple desecration with an idol, I would contend they are one and the same event. Paul could be introducing new revelation, but I view that as highly unlikely, as all other concepts he introduces can be found by Jesus in Matthew 24 or the Old Testament, including the rapture (see various passages in John and the end of Matthew 24).
-the stopping of sacrifice also takes place, as it did with Antiochus. I have considered the idea that the antichrist simply prevents sacrifices from being offered for 3.5 years. This would be significant to Jews, since it would be highly offensive to prevent them from doing so. However, I have looked at the hebrew words and it seems to argue against that in my opinion. Also, the altar is present, so why they would not offer any sacrifices on it is beyond me.
So in light of all this, I personally cannot shake the idea that there can be no AOD without a sanctuary to a "temple" of some kind.
So my question is, how can this still be fulfilled in the allotted time? I have a few ideas I have heard, I will present them, and present the pros and cons to each. Basically, what I am asking is what is a feasible way for the "temple" or sanctuary to be present and also sacrifices be stopped before the latest, July 20, 2010??
Here is list of ideas and pros and cons:
1) The Mitzpe Yericho project suddenly gets funding and builds the structure just in time.
We would have a "temple" and an altar, as Revelation indicates.
Its in Judea. We know the Judeans are the one's who flee the AOD.
It is already planned and mapped out, not built yet.
It is unlikely if not impossible, for this task to be completed if it already hasn't been started.
Its not on the traditional site. (which may not be required)
2) The Dome of the Rock
-It is on the site of the Holy of Holies
-It is a building and called even a "sanctuary" by Wikipedia
-It has been associated with Jewish worship before, if I understand correctly
-The Jewish connection is completely obsolete at this point. DIfficult to see Jews using that as a place of worship and used in conjunction with sacrifices.
-Difficult to see Jews being allowed in there, or why it would offend Jews more than muslims if the AC declared himself God, or why just standing there is the same as making himself out to be God.
-Is not to specification of the inner sanctuary of the temple.
-It may have been modelled partially after a temple.
-It has an "altar" (though not used for sacrifices) inside
-A very special synagogue of great national value
-Not on traditional site
-No reason for sacrifices offered there or near it. It's altar would have no significance
-Just a synagogue
4)An actual rebuilt temple on the site
Would meet every specification we need it to. Would trump all other suggestions.
Impossible to complete in the time needed.
5) A rebuilt tabernacle.
Pros: Seems to also meet specifications very well
Probably wouldn't be on site
Jews are against building a tabernacle again. (see letter from Sanhedrin in another thread)
6) Stands on top of wailing wall and says he is God
Pros: close to actual site and shock value would be involved. Site would be very holy to Jews
Cons: No actual building is involved, as it seems that is required.
Here are some more suggestions that I am just throwing out there, not because I necessarily think they are viable, but for sake of helping us brainstorm as to what could possibly fulfill these prophecies. I will simply list them off.
1) AC enters temple model on top of AIsh hatorah museum. Very close to actual site and would be visible by all. However, he probably cannot fit in there at all.
2)The AC enters some existing temple or tabernacle model in Israel. Example below.
3)The AC builds his own structure just for sake of defiling it.
4) The AC sets up a large television presentation of himself entering a mock temple structure or a virtual computer model of the temple, and use that as the way to symbolically desecrate it and show himself to the world and make an image of himself that speaks.
And on and on it goes...
So basically what I am asking is this. Any ideas of what he could do to fulfill this prophecy and still be faithful to the text? Feel free to disagree or agree with me on any point, I am just trying to find a way for the prophecy to be fulfilled within 2 months without stretching it.