“Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment), then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains.”
An integral part of Jesus’ detailed prophecy concerning his return and the conclusion of the system of things focused on the desolation of Jerusalem by a “disgusting thing.” And it was in that context that Jesus referred the reader to the prophecy of Daniel.
(Most modern translations use the term “abomination,” rather than “disgusting thing.’ For comparison check out Bible Hub)
Concerning this a number of questions come to mind – foremost being: What is this disgusting thing? What is the holy place and how will it be brought to desolation?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are well aware that the disgusting thing originally appeared in the form of the Roman armies, which was foretold in the 9th chapter of Daniel. It was in the year 66 C.E. that Roman legions marched on Jerusalem to put down a revolt. Soldiers even began undermining the wall of the temple to get at the militant zealots who were holed up in it. But inexplicably the army withdrew. The zealots even triumphantly gave chase.
Calling to mind the words of the Lord Jesus, discerning Christians living in Judea and Jerusalem seized the opportunity to flee before the disgusting thing returned three and a half years later – bringing utter desolation upon the holy city.
The death toll reached over a million due to the fact that the Romans besieged the city during Passover when Jerusalem was packed with worshippers and sojourners from faraway. More than likely even some negligent Christians failed to escape Jerusalem’s awful fate.
Here is a link to a Watchtower article fleshing out the setting leading up to the desolation of Jerusalem.
Obviously, the desolation of Jerusalem, as horrific as it was, did not result in a great tribulation that obliged God to cut short on account of the chosen ones. That terrible time of trouble is destined to coincide with the coming of Christ. And the appearance of the antitypical disgusting thing standing in a holy place is an immediate precursor of a time of tribulation that will bring the entire world to the brink of extinction.
“THEY WILL PUT IN PLACE THE DISGUSTING THING”
According to the prophecy of Daniel (11:31) the disgusting thing is put into place by “they” – an apparent reference to both the kings of the north and south.
So, since the Watchtower teaches that Germany was the king of the north during the first half of the 20th century, followed by the USSR, the “they” is ostensibly understood by Jehovah’s Witnesses to be the Anglo-American kings of the south and the Nazi/Soviet kings of the north.
The Watchtower first began teaching that the League of Nations was the original abomination – as well as the manifestation of the symbolic scarlet-colored beast of Revelation – back around 1929. But, alas, post-WWI Germany did not have anything to do with setting up the League. Besides that inconvenient fact, the U.S. was not even a member of it. Nevertheless, when the League was dissolved at the outbreak of the Second World War and the United United Nations was established in the aftermath of the war, the Watchtower then proclaimed that the scarlet beast had ascended from the symbolic abyss.
Up until relatively recently (1999) Jehovah’s Witnesses believed that the United Nations was already standing in the holy place, which I will not bother to explain the convoluted rationale behind since it has been discarded. Now, though, Jehovah’s Witnesses expect Jesus’ words to be realized in the future, coinciding with the attack of the beast upon the harlot.
Is the Watchtower’s interpretation that the disgusting thing is presently the U.N. correct? It may well be. However, there are still a number of serious problems with Bethel’s latest, revised interpretation –foremost being, that the eighth king, symbolized by the scarlet-colored wild beast from the abyss – regardless of what agency ultimately fulfills the role – has not begun ruling for the prophesied “one hour.”
How do we know the eighth king has not begun ruling? Because the emergence of the last kingdom initiates God’s hour of judgment upon the world and the book of Revelation is quite clear that all who give their allegiance to the wild beast after it emerges from a death-like state, from the abyss, do not have their names written in the book of life. In other words, they receive the judgment of the second death, which Jehovah’s Witnesses correctly understand to mean permanent death – no resurrection.
It seems likely that the numerous institutions of the United Nations, as well as associated institutions like the IMF, Bank of International Settlements, and the World Bank, stand poised to become a functioning world government in the future – in the aftermath of the inevitable crash of the present economic and political system.
However, for the reason previously stated it simply cannot be true that the U.N. is presently in the role of the image – the idol brought to life by the resuscitated beast. (Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures idols and the false gods they represented are depicted as disgusting things. See Insight on the Scriptures – Disgusting thing)
As regards the proper identification of the “they” who put in place the disgusting thing, we must look to the 13th chapter of Revelation, where we are informed that a two-horned beast will ascend from the bowels of the earth and authoritatively speak as a dragon – commanding that an image of the seven-headed beast be made, which then comes to life. That two-horned beast is properly understood to be the Anglo-American dyad. However, it’s ascending up from the earth symbolizes its recovery from death – as if coming out of grave – the abyss.
While Jehovah’s Witnesses are under the delusion that the beast received the death-stroke back during WWI, the reality is that the Anglo-American system is now facing imminent collapse, which is why there is a relentless drive to ignite a global war. Already a winner-takes-all economic war is underway.
So, the “they” who put in place the disgusting thing is the Anglo-American duo, who are presently in the role of the king of the north and south, respectively.
Not only were the United States and the British Empire the principal creators of the United Nations Organization during the Second World War, but they will force the nations to accept the United Nations as a world government in the future. This is what is symbolized in Revelation the 17th chapter where the 10 kings, symbolizing all the national governments, give their kingdom to the wild beast until the will of God is accomplished. It is then, in the future, when the disgusting thing will be put into place. And since that is prior to the destruction of Babylon the Great the disgusting thing includes the harlot with her cup full of disgusting things.
What is the holy place?
Now, let’s consider Daniel 11:31 more closely. It states: “And arms will stand up, proceeding from him; and they will profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and remove the constant feature. And they will put in place the disgusting thing that causes desolation.”
First, it is important to note that there is an obvious connection between the profanation of the sanctuary, the fortress and the removal of the so-called constant feature, as well as the putting in place of the disgusting thing that causes desolation. And discerning students of prophecy well know that this is not the only place in Daniel where these things appear together in context. In the concluding words of the prophecy Daniel recorded the words of an angel who said: “And from the time that the constant feature has been removed and the disgusting thing that causes desolation has been put in place, there will be 1,290 days.”
It is apparent that the removal of the constant feature and the placing of the disgusting thing are inseparable. That connection is confirmed in the 8th chapter of Daniel as well, where we read regarding the fierce-looking king: “It exalted itself even against the Prince of the army, and from him the constant feature was taken away, and the established place of his sanctuary was thrown down. And an army was given over, together with the constant feature, because of transgression; and it kept throwing truth to the earth, and it acted and had success.”
In the next verse the fierce-looking king is shown to also bring desolation upon a holy place. The angel goes on to relate: “How long will the vision of the constant feature and of the transgression causing desolation continue, to make both the holy place and the army things to trample on?”