This explanation comes as a subsection in my post “A Basic Examination of End-Time Prophecy.” I highly encourage you, if you were not referred here from that post, that you follow up your reading by following the link.
In this subsection, I will mention a the other books in the bible which describe the forty-two month reign of the anti-Christ, which specifically reference the “abomination of desolation.”. In doing so, I will look at the following biblical books: Daniel, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. To begin, I will start off with Daniel exploring his prophesies as they parallel with the prophesy awaited by Paul and foretold by John in the book of Revelation. We will conclude with the Olivet prophecy, but before we do, we will begin by exploring the book of Daniel.
31 “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”
32 “He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.”
In reading through the entire chapter of Daniel 11, there is commonly referred to a king of the North who deals with the South. This king of the North is in fact associated to the anti-Christ himself, as we see him referenced in the following verses.
[Daniel 11: 36-37]
36 “And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.”
37 “He shall pay no attention to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women. He shall not pay attention to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all.”
In regards, the king of the North will literally be some figure from a territory directly north on an origin point that divides the Earth into four. Determining the exact location is quite speculative, but naturally it should reside in a location that is consistent with Daniel’s point of view. Furthermore, determining the exact meaning of Daniel’s prophecy, and who each figure is, is also something that is quite speculative with many possible interpretations. What is to note though, for this chapter’s purposes, is that Daniel chapter 11, specifically from verse 29, deals with the same prophecy mentioned in Revelation 13.
5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream.
6 And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?”
7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished.
A “time” is commonly believed to be ‘one year,’ “times” is commonly believe to be ‘two years,’ and a “half” is thought to be a half a year. This would add to three and a half years. In scriptural interpretation, it also common to define a month as being 30 days. So if you multiply 30 days X 42 (which is three and a half years) you get 1,260 days.
In this first passage, we read about two figures standing on the sides of two different river banks. In purely my own intuition, I interpret this be the “two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth (Revelation 11:4),” or otherwise known in Revelation 11 as God’s final witnesses (who are presumably an incarnation of the angels Michael and Gabriel). The man in which they are speaking too, the man clothed in linen, is more than likely the Son of Man, existing in the role of creator of Earth.
What the man clothed in linen declares, as defined is the length of time for the faithful in God to lose all authority in the earth. Because of some correlations to the end-times mentioned in coming verses, it is quite rational to assume that, this man in linen, is referring to the same 42 month period mentioned in revelations where the beast is given its power to make war with the saints. As we will see.
8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9 And he said, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”
10 “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
(So forth, it is during this period of Tribulations that the righteous are truly separated from the world)
11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days (1,290).”
The ‘abomination that makes desolate‘ is likely to be the anti-Christ OR a system of world unity under satan’s influence, because he will have the power to kill all of God’s saints on the earth. The statement that he will be able to stand in God’s temple could therefore be an allusion to the reality that he has the ability to act as God over the earth, ruling over all four corners.
As a side note, the extra 30 days (30 days on top of 1,260) could be referring to some period of time before the beast truly has the power to “slay” the holy people. So basically, the anti-Christ will be established then, after a little time, seize the power over the world – if we follow the assumption that being in the Holy Temple (the reference to the Holy Temple will be revealed when we get to the Olivet prophecy) represents having full authority over the earth – and he will then start his rebellious and destructive campaign.
12 “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days (1,335).”
I imagine that this verse is making a reference to the rapture (Rev 14:16). This would then imply there is even some more time after the ‘Two Witnesses’ ascend into heaven, one being presumably Michael who then shortly casts satan down to the earth, and before the anti-Christ is ultimately in power (75 days to be exact in the literal view of Revelation’s interpretation). As we will see later on, what ends the anti-Christ’s reign of forty-two months will be the total annihilation of God’s children by evil, and it will be the full outpouring of God’s wrath on those who chose to worship the beast.
Moving on from here, the next three books I will mention supplement the prophecy given by Daniel. In gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus spoke about the end of days while on Mount Olive. So forth, this account is commonly referred to as the Olivet prophecy. We will see here that a lot of the same words and descriptions in Daniel are used there as well. For anyone who is reading this, unless you are already familiar with the material, I would recommend you read the whole chapter of each of these books.
15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),”
This is clearly referencing the same time period spoken of in Daniel 12:11. More or less, he will make the Holy Temple his own temple as he blasphemes the things of God (rules the earth as if he is God). It is also possible, as per scripture, that in a similar fashion to Hitler the anti-Christ will have a particular aversion to the Jews themselves, at the very least towards those loyal to the God of Abraham.
16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
17 “Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,”
18 “and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.“
19 “And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!“
20 “Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.“
21 “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.“
Let those “in Judea flee” when the anti-Christ steps foot in the Holy Temple. At this point, the beast will be bearing down on them about to persecute them like never before. I would also like to point out verse 21. As we can see here, the reason why biblical prophecy still remains is largely because of just this one statement. The tribulation period in which it describes will be the greatest conflict in the history of the entire world. It will be so immense, there will be nothing to compare it too. In this way, even with the events of World War II, we still see the stage set up for an even greater war. Because of where the world stands today, whatever conflict which may have been foretold in scripture, may very well be closer to us than it is further away.
14 “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.“
In Mark, Christ is once again recorded as referencing the “abomination of desolation.” Remember that the abomination of desolation is “set up” at the beginning of the 1,290 day period (Daniel 12:11). So we might conclude that there will be a month’s time for the people in “Judea,” either figurative or literal, to get out of Judea and move once this sign is made evident.
20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.“
What is recorded in Luke is simply how we are to recognize when the last days are near. As it would be, this has been Jerusalem status for a while now. Though I would offer speculation that, as given by Daniel chapter 11, these armies will be more than people with guns. Instead they will be more or less a greater world agenda which compromises the integrity of their faith. Something of which, if Christian eschatology is true in its principal that satan will have the motive to unseat all god’s from worship, then surely he will set his sights, through the manipulation of the world, against Israel and the faith of all of His people.
(Return to “A Basic Examination of End-Time Prophecy“)