The disciples had asked Christ for the sign of His coming again and of the end of the age (Matt. 24:3). Note that they wanted “the sign.” Christ answered, “When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place – whoever reads this, let him understand” (Matt. 24:15). The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet refers directly to Daniel 9:27. This passage reads, “And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined is poured out on the desolate.” “One who makes desolate” refers to the very person that Christ called “the abomination of desolation.” Can’t miss this!
Now don’t let this next point throw you. This “abomination of desolation” was just one piece placed within a gigantic puzzle that our Lord called “the times of the Gentiles.” Said another way, the “times of the Gentiles” forms the glue that holds the puzzle together. The “times of the Gentiles” is a period of indefinite length, lasting from the beginning of the Babylonian captivity (586 BC) to the end of the tribulation period (which is yet to come). It is that time during which Israel is out of their land, having no king and no temple. Israel is now back in their land, but they have no king and no control over their temple. They are still under the disciplining hand of God. This time will grow stronger until it reaches the greatest persecution that Israel – and the world – has ever known, and I think it is close.
This persecution will be led by the one that our Lord called “the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet.” He is also called in the Bible the Antichrist, the Assyrian, the beast, the man of sin, the little horn, and alongside him will be his press agent called “the false prophet.” They will be the dynamic duo. In order to understand this complete puzzle one must begin with five pieces found in Dan. 2:31-45; Dan. 7:1-28; Rev. 13:1-10; Rev. 17:1-14 and Dan. 9:24-27.
Let’s begin to put this puzzle together. Throughout history, many Gentile leaders have desired to be king over all the earth. There was Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Cyrus the Persian, Darius the Mede, the Caesars of Rome, Alexander the Great, Constantine, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, among others. But no one has ever been king over all the earth. God’s unchanging Word says that One is coming who is to be that King: “And the Lord [the Lord Jesus Christ] shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—The Lord is one, and His name one” (Zech. 14:9).
The Hebrew language says that Yahweh shall be King. Yahweh, the great I Am in the Old Testament (Ex. 3:14), is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ of the New Testament (Jn. 8:58; 10:30). (See A Glimpse of the Christ). Let’s go back to the “abomination of desolation” mentioned by Christ. King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a great image with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs of iron, and feet and toes, part iron and clay. It ended with a stone cut out without hands destroying the image (Dan.2:31-45). The background is this (Dan. 2:1-30). The king had a dream that disturbed. He sought an explanation. He first went to his leaders. He demanded that they first tell him the dream and then the explanation. He realized that if he told them the dream, they would come up with their own explanation. Nebuchadnezzar was very wise. They obviously refused saying no one could do that.
Enter Daniel! Daniel told the Babylonian king that there is a God in heaven that could give him the answer (Dan. 2:28). Daniel was always careful to give God the glory. The king’s image is a picture of world history written in advance. Amazing! Daniel began. He told the king that his dream involved a giant image with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs of iron, and feet and toes of iron and clay. The metals represent nations that would control the world. The head was Babylon. The chest and arms of silver were the Medes and the Persians. The belly and thighs of brass were the Greeks (Hellenists). The legs of iron speak of Rome. The feet and toes of iron and clay represents the spread of the Roman empire throughout the world. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream ended by the image being destroyed by a stone cut out without hands. This refers to the divine origin of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the stone became a great mountain that filled the entire earth – the mountain spoken of in our last post. Daniel will now begin to explain this image. Stay safe and stay tuned.