“So when you see the abomination of desolation
spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place
(let the reader understand),
This has always been a difficult passage to understand, and most people will explain it from a historical perspective, which is quite legitimate. In a prophetic vision, Daniel experiences the revelation that there will be an atrocity committed against the holy place of God. And it will cause great desolation, or misery and bleakness.
This certainly happened around 170 BC, when Antiochus Epiphanes, ruler of Greece during the Seleucid Empire, committed a great travesty against the Temple in Jerusalem. He not only sacrificed unclean animals upon the altars, but he erected a statue of his false god Jupiter in the Holy of Holies within the Temple, and forced the Hebrew people to worship it. What a detestable insult to the One True God!
But Jesus warns that there will one day be another such abomination against the holy place, and it will be a sign of His imminent return. In the intervening centuries since that prediction, mankind has attempted to figure out exactly what this means. Jesus, says it "was spoken of by the prophet Daniel", so does that mean it will be an exact replication of what happened during Antiochus Epiphanes' reign? It certainly could be!
But I am a firm believer that the Bible speaks to us on different levels and presents knowledge in different layers. So let me propose a strikingly different possibility for the meaning of this Scripture. It is an explanation that I feel God has slowly been revealing to me as I delve deeper into His Word and try to discern what He would have me know about these times in which we live.
In the original explanation of this passage, it is understood that the abomination took place within the structure or building called the Temple. This edifice was known to be the House of God; where God resided with His chosen people. I believe the relevance to us today has a much different meaning.
It is a fact that there is no physical structure known as the Temple. Each of us has become where God resides. Our physical bodies are now His Temple. Instead of a stone edifice, He lives within us in the person of His Holy Spirit. And when we become consecrated to Him, we are now "the holy place".
So what is the abomination of desolation? I propose that it could be the Mark of the Beast which will be forced upon mankind. This Mark would be obscene, if placed upon our body (God's Temple). And what could be more bleak, dark, dismal and hopeless (desolate) than to lose eternity with God because we submitted to the Destroyer's fearful and false promises?
I admit that this interpretation is unconventional and not recognized, but I am becoming more and more convinced that it is just one of the legitimate layers of prophecy. And even if I am misguided, the truth of my theory is sound. God resides in each Believer, through the indwelling Holy Spirit. We must stand strong and resist the attempt of Satan to deface our holy vessels with anything that would offend God or put our eternal life in jeopardy. Endure and Believe!