What does Jesus teach about the Antichrist?
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)," (Matthew 24:15 ESV)
Here Jesus mentions the "abomination of desolation.” Jesus makes special note that the reader of the book of Daniel should understand what the term means. Though confusing for us, his wise listeners would be familiar with this term, as they were aware of the story behind Hanukah.
The abomination of desolation is referenced only three times in the Old Testament, all of which are in the book of Daniel. Daniel 11:31 says:
Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. (Daniel 11:31)
This was fulfilled in 168 B.C. when Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Israel. He set up an altar and idol of Zeus on the temple altar. After a successful revolt, the temple was rededicated. This rededication is celebrated every year during Hanukkah. Throughout the Old Testament, “abominations” often refer to idols. Furthermore, the image set up by Antiochus caused the temple area to be abandoned in disgust and horror, making it “desolate.” This historical fulfillment, as well as the language itself, show that the phrase “abomination of desolation” is a technical term for an idol in the Jewish temple.
However, Daniel 9:27 implies the end time abomination of desolation is a person, not just a statue. It says:
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. (Daniel 9:27)
Jesus also indicates this in Mark 13, which is the parallel passage to Matthew 24:
But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Mark 13:14)
In the end times, the idol is the Antichrist himself. Paul clarifies this for us when he says:
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
Revelation goes into more detail on the surrounding events. The Antichrist’s sidekick, the False Prophet, orders an image to be set up of the Antichrist. Revelation 13 says:
And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. (Revelation 13:15)
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MacArthur, John. "The Abomination of Desolation." Grace to You. October 16, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2018. http://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/QA0093/the-abomination-of-desolation.
Price, Randall. "Abomination of Desolation :: By Randall Price (PDF)." Rapture Ready. January 24, 2017. Accessed November 2, 2018. http://www.raptureready.com/2015/04/07/abomination-of-desolation-by-randall-price-pdf.
Zuck, Roy B., and John F. Walvoord. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty: Old Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985.
Ice, Thomas. "Part 13 - Matthew 24:15 The Abomination of Desolation by Thomas Ice." Blue Letter Bible. Accessed November 2, 2018. https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/ice_thomas/Mat24-25/Mat24-25_Part13.cfm.
“Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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