END TIMES SIGN POSTS

The abomination of desolation is one of the primary end-time signposts Jesus emphasizes in his Olivet Discourse teaching Matthew 24 & 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21. And we should not forget Daniel 9:27 spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:15. This prophecy should be a central part of the Messianic community’s broader teaching on eschatology, especially as we draw closer to the return of Jesus.

Scripture is clear that the abomination of desolation relates to some action the Antichrist will take in the Temple, midway through the 70th week (the final year before Jesus returns to earth, first to rapture the Saints and then to pour out His wrath upon unrepentant earth.). Beyond this general description, we are not given too many other details that explain what exactly the Antichrist will do at this time. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 offers some information when it states that the Antichrist will “take his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as God.” Jesus also mentions that the abomination of desolation will be seen “standing in the holy place.” In a sense, both Jesus and Paul seem to refer to the Antichrist himself as the abomination of desolation. At the same time, Daniel 12:11 says the abomination of desolation will be “set up.” This language could point to some type of idolatrous image or idol of the Antichrist that will be will be set up in the Temple (Revelation 13:15).

The fact that Jesus drew an analogy between the past actions of Antiochus and the future actions of the Antichrist, further proves that the abomination of desolation will involve events that transpire within the Temple’s holy place while the Temple is still intact.

When Daniel 8:11 says the Antichrist will cause the sanctuary to be “thrown down,” this language indicates that he will not merely defile the Temple, but instead, he will also destroy it, which is something Antiochus never did. Antiochus only plundered and profaned the Temple. It appears the Antichrist will go one step further.

Luke also adds some important details that are left out of Matthew and Mark’s accounts. We read:

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; because these are days of vengeance so that all things which are written must be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.Luke 21:20-24

Luke does not mention “the abomination of desolation” in the holy place. Instead, he mentions that Jerusalem will be “surrounded by armies” and invaded. This invasion will lead to a time of “great distress” and a period of captivity for the Jewish nation. At the midpoint of the 70th week, right after the Antichrist fulfills the abomination of desolation prophecies of Daniel, his armies will conquer Israel, and the nation will remain under the control of the Antichrist until Jesus returns (Luke 21:27).

Hence, Luke 21:20–24 adds the important detail that not only will people see the Antichrist in the Jewish sanctuary at this time, but they will also see Jerusalem surrounded by armies. When the Lord’s people in Jerusalem witness these events, they should recognize them as a sign of imminent destruction, and as a final opportunity to “flee to the mountains” (Lk. 21:21).

As difficult as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble will be, Revelation 12:6 and 12:13–16 do also make clear that a Jewish remnant that heeds Jesus’ advice to “flee to the mountains” will be protected and preserved in the wilderness during the last half of the 70th week. God’s preservation of the Jewish remnant during the final half of the 70th week also raises an important practical point for the followers of Jesus today. We need to alert Jews, particularly Messianic Jews to the protection that is available to them during the great tribulation (3 1/2 years).

The abomination of desolation will lead to Israel’s final period of purging and discipline before the Messianic Age. According to Daniel, this time will last for three-and-a-half years (1,260-1,290 days; Daniel12:11). Also, Daniel 12:7 says, Israel will suffer at the hands of the Antichrist “for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people [i..e Israel], all these events will be completed,” 1,290 days after “the abomination of desolation” is set up (Daniel 12:11–13).

This information is extracted from Travis Snow’s excellent book “The Seventy Weeks Jubilee”.

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