When You See 'The Abomination that causes Desolation'
Jesus said, “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation.’” He is giving us a specific sign and reference point for the timing to His return. The sign is the “the abomination that causes desolation.” This is how it is recorded in the gospels.
So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains (Matthew 24:15-16).
When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand--then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains (Mark 13:14).
Not only does Jesus refer to “the abomination that causes desolation,” but He tells us to find its description in the prophecies of Daniel and commands that we understand what He is talking about.
Daniel’s first reference to the “the abomination that causes desolation” is found in a portion of the ‘Seventy sevens’ prophecy.
The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He [Antichrist] will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he [Antichrist] will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he [Antichrist] will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him [Antichrist] (Daniel 9:26-27).
In Daniel’s ‘Seventy sevens’ prophecy the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘him’ refer back to the previous proper noun “the ruler who will come.” We find out that this is the Antichrist because as we examine Daniel’s prophecies regarding the ruler, he is described in considerable detail. As we read in Daniel 11, look for the clues.
His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. "The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all (Daniel 11:31-37).
The Apostle Paul also describes “the abomination that causes desolation” when he says, “he [Antichrist] sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Notice the similarities between Paul (below) and Daniel (above) as they describe the Antichrist.
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
Note that Paul, like Jesus, uses this event as a reference point to “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him.”
Therefore, we should conclude that Jesus wants us to understand this important event. If we understand about ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, the Second Coming cannot surprise us like a thief. Therefore, keep watch.
Richard H Perry