Does the abomination of desolation refer to the antichrist as well?
Indeed it does. The abomination of desolation was first prophesied by Daniel (Daniel 12:11). The idea of the prophecy is that the Temple will be violated in some way. We talked earlier about the telescopic nature of prophecy.
In the second century BC, a conqueror by the name of Antiochus Epiphanies IV conquered Palestine and erected a statue of Zeus in the Temple. This incensed the Jews and a man named Judas Maccabeus rose up against him and defeated him through guerrilla warfare.
In 164 BC Maccabeus was able to cleanse the temple. But the damage had been done, and the first minor fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation occurred. But that’s not all.
Later in the Gospels, Jesus would continue the prophecy about the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15). He pointed it toward the end times and the chaos that ensued in that future era. Surely Jesus along with every other Jew in the first century had not forgotten what Maccabeus had done for them.
But Jesus wasn’t talking about the past. He was talking about the future. Jesus continues to speak of this end times era and talks about great tribulation that had never been known before (Matthew 24:22). This all points to the time of the antichrist.
Even clearer than what Jesus has already said, Paul speaks of the “man of lawlessness,” who matches the person John describes as the “Antichrist” (1 John 2:28). In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, Paul describes the man of lawlessness as someone who will once again commit the abomination of desolation. He will sit as a god in the temple and stand against all things God. This will be the final fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy about the abomination of desolation.