By Gary Gibbs "When you see that the abomination of desolation, predicted by the prophet Daniel, is in the holy place (the one who reads, understand :) Then, those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Because there will be great tribulation then, as never before it was from the beginning of the world until now, nor will it ever be " (Matthew 24: 15, 16, 21). What does this prophecy mean, does it really affect Christians in today's world? One of the most interesting prophecies in the Bible concerns the abomination of desolation. The element that makes this prophecy especially intriguing is that Jesus identifies it as a specific sign that the end is near. It was in response to the disciples' question: "When will these things happen and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the world?"that Jesus spoke of the abomination of desolation. He said: "When you then see that the abomination of desolation, predicted by the prophet Daniel, is in the holy place (the one who reads, understand :) Then, those in Judea flee to the mountains. Because then there will be great tribulation, as never before it was from the beginning of the world until now, nor will it ever be " (Matthew 24: 3,15-21) . Christians from many quarters recognize this text as a definitive and peculiar sign regarding the last days. However, while most of them agree that the abomination of desolation is an important sign, they seem to be unable to agree on its specific nature. Even preachers are thrown into a swamp of confusion "looking for something that no one is quite sure about. Of course, some believe they know the identity of the abomination of desolation. Some teach that this prophecy was fulfilled when Antiochus Epiphanes interrupted the sacrifice service of the sanctuary between 168 and 165 BC. The abomination they point to the pig that Antiochus had offered on the altar in the temple. Others believe that the abomination of desolation refers to a future time when an atheistic antichrist will overthrow the temple in Jerusalem and use it as his throne. Then there are those who believe that the abomination of desolation was the Roman norms that were worshiped in Jerusalem in AD 70, at the time of its destruction by Titus. So what exactly is the abomination of desolation? is any of these alternatives? Is it all of them at the same time? Or is it possible that not all of these interpretations are correct? The answer to these questions is of vital importance. Jesus clearly indicates that our life could be at stake in this matter. Jesus tells us that our study of the abomination of desolation must focus on the book of Daniel (Matthew 24:15). When we make a more careful study of this book, we find that the abomination of desolation can be divided into three parts. These parts are: the abomination of desolation in the days of Daniel (which involve the first temple), the abomination of desolation in the time of Jesus (which involve the second temple) and, finally, theabomination of desolation in the time of the end (involving the whole Christian church). The issues that come into play in the abomination of desolation as dealt with in the book of Daniel remain consistent in each of the three phases. Therefore, they are types, or examples, of each other.
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