If you are intrigued by history, arranged marriages, love triangles, murderous plots, power grabs and the rise and fall of kingdoms at the hands of manipulative queens, Daniel 11 should be intriguing to you as well. (For incredible details on the fall of the Greek Empire and its’ corresponding predictions by Daniel, visit the Enduring Word App. )
Daniel’s prophecies proved so very accurate.
That’s why Dan 11:36 and beyond should truly grab our attention, and warrant our study because this is where Daniel’s prediction turns to events still yet to come, and to the emergence of the AnriChrist who will come on the scene.
Honestly, this is the reason many are drawn to study the book of Daniel.
We want to know what the future holds, and we know Daniel has a great track record in this department. We want to know about the Antichrist of the future and the End of Days.
And there is A LOT to talk about here. In fact, you might want to grab another cup of coffee as we talk about this—
So here we go—
We know, from study, that the Antichrist will have similarities to the evil “antichrist-like”, Antiochus of Epiphanes( referred to previously in Daniel’s prophecies), and the Antichrist of the End Times will actually set himself up as God.
“Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.” (Dan 11:36)
The Apostle Paul, also, speaks of the coming Antichrist: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
But WHEN will this happen??
Jesus said, “‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains’” (Matt 24:15-16).
From this, we can consider that a final abomination of desolation is still to come.
But what exactly is the abomination of desolation?
Well, “In 167 B.C. Antiochus of Epiphanes erected a statue of the Greek god Zeus in the Jerusalem temple. He also ordered that swine, biblically unclean animals, be offered on the temple altar, desecrating the holy place (fulfilling Daniel’s prophecy). These acts were loathsome, abhorrent and detestable to the Jewish people and were the first fulfillment of the abomination of desolation.” (Lifeandhopandtruth.com)
But remember, Antiochus of Epiphanes was a foreshadow of the future Antichrist spoken of in the latter part of Daniel, and also by the Apostle Paul, and Jesus, Himself.
Daniel 12:11, mentions a future abomination of desolation being set up, and states that the daily sacrifices will be taken away. (The Jews are not currently offering any daily sacrifices in Jerusalem, so, we can assume this means that daily sacrifices will be reestablished at some point in the future.)
This is why many, who study prophecy, are looking for the sacrifices to begin again at the temple in Jerusalem. These daily sacrifices will then be stopped and the future “abomination of desolation” ,that Jesus referred to, will occur.
After Jesus mentioned the end-time “abomination of desolation,” He warned that God’s people will have to flee (Matthew 24:16-20) because shortly after the “abomination of desolation” is set up, “there will be great tribulation” .
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.”(Matthew 24:21)
This is why the “abomination of desolation” is such an important prophetic marker for us to watch—because it predicts the Great Tribulation (an unprecedented 3½-year period of global war and suffering) is about to begin.
And many Christians today argue about the Tribulation.
We disagree as to whether Christians will be here for any of the Tribulation (some believe the church is raptured before the Tribulation- “Pre-Trib”), some believe we will be here for part of the Tribulation (they believe we are raptured “Mid-Trib”), and some believe we will be here for all of the Tribulation (“Post-Trib”).
Now, I know which one I would vote for given a choice…. and I know some of you have strong opinions on the way you think it will go.
Jesus, did say, when we see the abomination of desolation, we need to prepare to flee. (So, this makes me think it’s probably not Pre-Trib )
Jesus, Himself, tells us “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. ” (Matt 24:15-22)
We don’t know exactly what all this will look like; but we know it will be hard; and if the days are not cut short for the sake of the elect, no one would be saved. (Anyone need a headache pill, after thinking about all this? …just kidding!)
But, in all seriousness, Jesus doesn’t tell us to fear. He tells us to watch and be ready!
He says, “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. (Luke 21:29-31)
What a DAY that will be!!!!
Jesus goes on to say, “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)
Watch. Be ready. Don’t get bogged down with the cares of this life. Pray, so you’ve got the strength to stand!!
The same God who strengthened Daniel when he was flat on his face (see yesterday’s post) will be our strength for whatever comes!
Now, more than ever, as we look at our world and things that look like birth pains of our Saviors return, let’s hold tight to the source of our strength! Let’s read the Word! Let’s pray!
And as we think about all this, let’s remember—
“Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers,a you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.“ (1 Thess 5:1-23)
HE IS FAITHFUL! HE WILL DO IT!
(Thanks for sticking with me! That was a long one!! 😳)