One thing to consider is the nature of abomination; consider the defilements that happened in with Eli's sons, and when Israel was going after other gods, etc.
Notice that God speaks most strongly about the defilement of His temple by His own people. God doesn't seem to be nearly as upset when the temple falls to Babylon or other pagan armies; in those cases there is no close betrayal as in the case of God's own people.
The kind of betrayal that most displeases God is the betrayal by His own people. This is what causes Him to visit in judgment; it would be the same in the case of adultery (which God charges Israel with), and in the case of treason against one's own nation.
Only a citizen can commit treason; a foreigner can't. Only a spouse can commit adultery. consider only God's people can really commit an abomination of desolation.
Along with this thought, consider Christ incarnating, and coming to His temple - not just as a man, but entering it as the true high priest. What does He do? He inspects His temple. He finds corruption there, and He charges them with corruption, and He cleanses His temple.
Compare this scene with the cleansing of a house that is found with leprosy in Levitical law. In that case, such a house is to be cleansed of leprosy.
After the house is cleansed, the priest is to return and inspect again some time later. If the leprosy has returned, the priest is to condemn the house, and tear apart the stones - not one stone is to be left on another.
This is the passage Christ alluded to concerning the destruction of the temple; it had become a leprous house.
But who had defiled it? Was it the gentiles? No, it was God's own people who defiled it.
And the end of the age of types and shadows and sacrifices came to an end in that generation.
Anyway, something to consider.
There is a number of such things that suggest the abomination of desolation is really only something God's own people could commit... just like treason or adultery.
It is quite fascinating, the parallels of the Levitical proscription concerning a leprous house; one might wonder why God would go into such detail about such a thing in Leviticus, but then we see a fulfillment in Christ's generation, and we go "aha, now all of that detail makes sense".
Another thing to consider is that the apostles seem rather commited to the idea that they were living in the end of the age. We are puzzled by this language because we identify with a concept about the end of the universe, and of space-time itself.
But it is interesting to consider that it really was the last hour of THEIR age. it was drawing to a close.
When Messiah comes, we are told that He will bear the sins of His people. by His stripes they will be healed. this is a sacrifice to end all sacrifice, as Paul indicates.
We learn that all of the animal sacrifices were a type and foreshadow of Christ, the perfect Lamb; so when the perfect has come, the type and foreshadow fades away, because its role has been accomplished. Christ is the end (telos = goal, purpose) of the Law.
So with Christ comes the end of the Judaic age of types and shadows; the apostles understand this, and speak of a new temple, made with living stones, a house of God which comes down from heaven, a New Jerusalem. The old things were passing away, it was the last hour, the kingdom had arrived.
They were expecting an age to come... an age of Christ's kingdom... an age beyond the types and shadows and temple observances. The age to come is an age of Christ's kingdom, but how would it look? How would it appear? Jesus said that it would appear tiny at first, like a mustard seed.
But Jesus says that it will begin to work, like leaven, transforming the whole loaf. It will be carried to the four corners of the earth, it will begin like a small trickle from the floor of the altar, and become a mighty river that no man can cross.
It will flow into the sea (a type often indicating gentiles), and the sea will become fresh water.
Jesus then tells His disciples, "if you have faith like a mustard seed (note the connection), then say to this mountain (Zion?), "be cast into the sea (gentiles?)"."
Jesus had come to His own people, but was rejected by them. So the kingdom which He brings was being given to another people, those who were found believing and would bear the fruit of this kingdom - the gentiles.
The "age to come" was a transition from the Judaic age into a new age where the kingdom would be given to the believing gentiles who would bear the fruit of it. This is what we see in history since the first century, we see Israel hardened, and gentile nations streaming into the kingdom.
We see Christ proclaiming, at His ascension, that all authority, in heaven *and on earth* has been given to Him. He says "go therefore", and baptize the nations (flooding them with fresh water), and make them (the nations) His disciples.
The typology is simply amazing. Jesus says that those who believe in Him, from their innermost being shall flow rivers of living water, to flood the whole earth. The direction of redemptive history is not from earth to heaven, but rather from heaven to earth. In Christ, heaven breaks out on the earth, and floods it, and redeems it. The meek inherit the earth with Christ.
We are told even in the OT, that in this new covenant, God will sprinkle the nations (a picture of baptism of the nations), and that kings will then see what they had not been told, and understand what they had not heard.
There is lots more where this comes from.
Jesus speaks to the high priest and says that this same high priest will see the Son of Man "coming on the clouds of heaven". The high priest then takes offense and tears his robe. Why? He knows that the Son of Man is spoken of in Daniel.
Daniel speaks about the Son of Man "coming in the clouds".
Where? Up in heaven, to the Ancient of Days.
Why? To receive his kingdom. The Ancient of Days says to the Son of Man, "ask of me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance". the nations are all given to Jesus at His ascension. He says "go therefore".
So, Jesus says that He is ascending to His Father's throne.
To rest? no, to rule.
Jesus is seated on His throne, and the Father says to Him, "Rule in the midst of Your enemies".
He says, sit here until I make your enemies a footstool.
I certainly wasn't raised to think along these lines. it wasn't an easy transition for me. 8)
I will say that my expectations for the gospel have changed dramatically. I now expect Christ to inherit the nations in history, through the gospel, and so I can now pray, with my whole heart, for God's will to be done *on the earth* as it is in heaven - because I truly believe that is what He intends to do.
End-times issues can be rather sensitive and controversial. some people are very attached to certain paradigms.
You don't have to worry about offending me on this general topic - even if you simply disagree with some notion of mine, that's okay... I still enjoy the topic.
So thanks again for the chat. We can pick it up another time.