Of all the signs leading to the end of the age, Jesus mentioned one specific event that instructs his followers to perform a unique action in order to save their lives. He said, "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). Those who are wise will need to become very knowledgeable in Law of Moses and Prophets to comprehend exactly what will trigger the critical response.
Christ’s warning was reiterated in the book of Matthew and some additional information was provided there as well. Jesus said, "When you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation, SPOKEN OF THROUGH THE PROPHET DANIEL —let the reader understand” (Matthew 24:15). Here Jesus gives us a valuable clue, but exactly where in the book of Daniel should the wise turn to receive the prophet’s insight?
That clue is found in Daniel chapter eight asking "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?" He said to me, "It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings" (Daniel 8:13-14). Consider carefully that the rebellion that causes desolation and the abomination that causes desolation are one and the same. And here Daniel’s prophecy foretells that the rebellion will take place specifically among the religious community that emerges after 1843 AD.
It is important to understand that “the rebellion” is central to this prophecy; and when the rebellion reaches its apex, the Roman power (the Beast) will be given authority by YHWH to trample upon the rebels. This is specifically addressed later in the interpretation of the prophecy “WHEN THE TRANSGRESSORS ARE COME TO THE FULL, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23).
“The abomination that causes desolation” It is a phrase that sounds so ominous and foreboding! But just what is this term trying to describe? We can break it down into the following verse “He that turns away his ear from hearing the law (Torah), even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). The rebellion is actively growing just as Daniel’s prophecy predicted. Yet it is not something that the common man can see on the worlds political stage; at least not yet.
Many outside the Jewish communities in the first century AD were unaware that a rebellion was under way among the Jews. And today, many outside the congregations that emerged from 1843 are unaware that a similar rebellion against the Law of Moses is growing within these institutions as well. And it is their rebellion/abomination will come to a climax and cause desolation. Like the Gentiles 2000 years ago, many outsiders will see it, but due to their ignorance of biblical matters, they will not be able to comprehend it at first. But as the years of the great tribulation draw to a close, all nations will have enough knowledge to formulate a proper assessment concerning the rebellion and make their decision.
For those who have ears to hear:
It is critical that the reader understands a deeper context of the word “desolation”. At first glance, one might think the word means destruction. But as we read through the covenant made with Israel, a better English phrase would be “the abomination that causes desertion”. In the book of Deuteronomy, YHWH warns that he will desert the Holy People because of their rebellion against the holy covenant. Observe the following:
"You (Moses) are going to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, 'Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?' And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods” (Deuteronomy 31:16-18).
The sign we should be watching for:
Many anxiously await the approach of the end of the age so that mankind can move into a world without heartache and corruption. Millions gravitate to sensational news events, war and natural disasters; thinking that these are the signs that we are about to enter the great tribulation. But remember that in Christ’s discourse on the end of the age, he specifically said that the events I just mentioned are not things we should be watching for. He said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but SEE TO IT THAT YOU ARE NOT ALARMED! Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (Matthew 24:6).
Occurrences of wars, floods earthquakes and pestilences have always captivated the imaginations of end time event watchers despite the fact Jesus specifically said these are not the events we should become alarmed about! Even the Apostolic Jewish community 2000 years ago struggled with such signals. But notice what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about this very topic. “Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day (the day of the Lord) will not come until (1) the rebellion occurs and (2) the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). As we align Paul’s words with those of Moses and the Prophets, we see that Paul was pointing to the rebellion of the people of Israel as the cause of the great tribulation.
With the coming rebellion in mind, it is vital that we understand what Jesus meant when he warned of the “abomination…standing where it does not belong”. What does prophecy mean by “standing”? More clues about this are available in the book of Daniel. Remember that Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 8 is also amplified in chapter 11. There it says “And arms SHALL STAND on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength” (Daniel 11:31).
The Hebrew word for “stand” in this verse is “amad” and relates to great men, those whom congregations have depend upon for guidance. These men will stand with the “man who is doomed to destruction” the man who “thinks to change times and laws”. And for this act, the God of Israel is going to desert them and their prayers will be unheard. They will have no protection as they seek to promote the message of Christ's second coming to the world. Now we await the time when those who emerged from 1843 will come to a full rebellion against the holy covenant.
Are you relying upon the pillars to determine what is truth and what is error in light of these coming prophetic events? This will be the fatal mistake of many. Unless you approach the study of the scriptures with the Law of Moses and the prophets leading, you risk becoming caught up in errant interpretations of the scriptures. Many will be wrestling with the wide variety of interpretations of this prophecy and risk missing that short opportunity to escape into the wilderness.