The Antichrist ushers in the tribulation in the pattern of Antiochus Epiphanes of Hanukkah. In Matthew 24, Yeshua predicts the signs at the end of the age. His talmidim (disciples) ask Yeshua what will be the signs of the end of the age.
Yeshua(Jesus) exhorts his talmidim and future reads to understand “When you see the Abomination, that makes everything desolate, standing in the Holy Place (Temple) just as Daniel had spoken” then know that tribulation is close at hand.
This is an interesting statement of Yeshua’s because we know that Daniels prophecy came true in the person of Antiochus Epiphanes. However, Yeshua seems to point to another fulfilment of this prophecy in the future. In Verse 20 He exhorts us to pray that this won’t happen on the Sabbath or in winter. We understand that Hanukkah is in winter. Yeshua, in John 10:22, was in Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) and it was winter.
Of particular emphasis, is how the book of Daniel deals with spiritual themes for the faithful surrounding the events of Hanukkah. The depiction of a time when sacrifices cease, of the mad king Antiochus, of the faithful believing in God’s power in history mediated through angels, of being prepared for the time of the end, of the prophecy being sealed for future reference, of the analogy between Antiochus and anti-Messiahs to come, of keeping faith through faith-shattering times, fascinates me.
It seems that Daniel, though used often by the “Rapture” or “Great Escape” theologies, argues against those theologies. In Daniel the saints live through the turbulent time. What gives them faith in these world-turned-upside-down eras Dan 12:11-12 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.”
We can take great comfort from knowing the story of Hanukkah and understanding its pattern because when the end of the age comes and a wicked person arises like Antiochus Epiphanes that will try to stop anything to do with God we know that God will help all those who do not submit to the antichrist and his system.
Even though the Maccabees were a small band of fighters, compared to the Syrian Army, they were able to throw them off. In the same way we can be confident that God will help us to stand against the antichrist system. Yeshua promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Yeshua, just like Judas Maccabee (whose name means praise) will lead us and guide us.
Yes, a statue of Zeus can be set up in the Temple. Yes, offerings can be brought to an end. Yes, all people around us can fall and be deceived. Blessed are those who know God for they will do great exploits.