The Abomination of Desolation

The Abomination of Desolation


“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the holy place (whosoever reads let him understand): then let them that be in Judea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child and to those that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matt. 24:15-22; Mark 13:14-20

The statement by our Lord, “Whosoever reads let him understand (i.e. consider)”, implied that there would be a danger that some would misunderstand the real abomination spoken of.

In order to understand “What” or “Who” the “Abomination that causes desolation” is, it is first necessary to understand a little history, which led up to this desolating abomination.

The usual inference by the church nominal, orthodoxy, in regards to this prophecy of Daniel’s, is that the “Abomination that causes desolation” represents the fact that even though Christ had paid the price in full, that he had fulfilled the type, becoming the antitypical sacrifice, thus causing the sacrifices and oblations of the Law to have ceased, some of the Jews continued, (due to their lack of acceptance of our Lord as the one true sacrifice), to offer up the typical sacrifices, this the prophet states is the “overspreading (prevailing or continuance in) abominationsDan 9:27.

Although it is true that their religion became an abomination, an empty form, a mark of their repudiation of the one sacrifice for sins, which God had provided, and thus they invoked upon themselves (“blindness”, Matt 27:25) and became a “desolate” (rejected nation), this was not merely a prophecy in regards to this abomination.

Daniel’s prophecy has much to say about the Abomination that makes Desolate in nominal spiritual Israel (i.e. the church nominal), which was set up in power representatively in Papacy, and which has exercised a great and baneful influence of spiritual desolation in the spiritual house or temple of God, the Church of Christ. This abominable system of error was to continue until the cleansing of the sanctuary class; and beyond that it was to prosper greatly and lead many in nominal spiritual Israel to repudiate the ransom-sacrifice, given once for all; and the result of its overspreading influence would be the desolation of rejected Christendom.

In the second chapter of Daniel we read of how Daniel when interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, revealed that the “great image” which the King saw was indeed a representation of the four universal empires, which would rule the world (This is what the scriptures designate “The times of the Gentiles), theses empires consisted of the following,

The first one ruled by King Nebuchadnezzar, (The Head of fine gold) was the Babylonian Empire, next came (The Breast and arms of silver), representing the Medo-Persian Empire, after this came the (Belly and thighs of brass) representing the Grecian Empire, and last (The legs of iron) representing the Roman Empire.

The two legs represent both Rome and Constantinople each of which at one time was the Roman capital. The “feet and toes” of the image (part iron and part clay) consisted of the ten toes, which are kingdoms, corresponding to the ten horns of the beast of Dan 7:7. The commingling of the iron and clay represented the blending of church and state known as the Holy Roman Empire.

We jump now to the Eleventh Chapter of Daniel Verse 2, which begins with the Medo-Persian Empire, the fourth and last king being Darius III Codomanus.

“And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the Realm of Grecian.” (Verse 2)

“And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.” (Verse 3)

The mighty king of Verse 3 is indeed Alexander the Great, of Greece.

“And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those” (Verse 4)

Though Alexander conquered the world in the short period of thirteen years, the kingdom did not continue as one nation in his family after his death, but was divided by his four generals and broken into fragments generally, as was stated in Verse 4. Notice here the correspondence of this prophesy with that of Dan: 8:3-9, 20-25. Here it is shown that out of one of the divisions of Alexander’s empire (compare Verses 8, 9 and 21) would come forth a “little horn” or power, which would become exceedingly great. This evidently refers to Rome, which rose to influence upon the ruins of Greece. From being an insignificant subject whose ambassadors hastened to acknowledge the Grecian supremacy, and to become part of the empire at the feet of Alexander the Great, Rome rose gradually to supremacy.

As we had mention the “feet” of the image consisted of both iron and clay, the iron representing the civil powers, and the clay representing the clerical powers of ecclesiasticism, as the Imperial power of Rome began to wane and the Clerical power slowly came to both life and ambition, each sought to use the other for its own selfish ends, while denying such designs. And so it reads in Dan 11:27,

“And the heart of the two kings shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper [come to be, then at that time], because as yet the end is unto another time.”

Or, to express the thought more plainly, a certain period of 1260 years had been appointed of God as the length of Papacy’s persecuting power; hence the union or league between the clergy and the civil power could “not prosper” (begin) then, because the 1260 years counted from that date would have brought “the end” too soon; therefore it must be put off, or held back, and allowed to come about gradually by the decay of the empire in Italy.

We know that in the end of this contest between the civil and religious rulers Papacy was victorious; and the prophecy reads, “Arms shall stand on his part [or, “strong ones out of him stand up”–Young’s translation], and shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice, and they will set up the desolating abomination (Dan 11:31).

Christ’s continual sacrifice was not actually canceled or abolished by Papacy, but it was set aside by a false doctrine advanced by that system — which gradually, but in the end fully and completely, set aside the merit of Christ’s sacrifice as a continual and ever-efficacious one. This false doctrine is known as the Mass or Sacrifice of the Mass.”

“The death of Christ, they claim, canceled Adamic or original sin, but is not applicable for our daily shortcomings, weaknesses, sins and omissions; it is not a continual sacrifice, ever meritorious for all our sins, ever sufficient and efficacious to cover as a robe every sinner and every sin, so as to permit the contrite one to come back into union and fellowship with God. For such sins the Sacrifice of the Mass was instituted. High mass is a particular sacrifice of Christ for a particular individual. Low mass is a sacrifice of Christ for the general sins of a congregation.

Some may query, is not the mass merely the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, under another name? (No!) It is wholly different. The Lord’s Supper celebrates the death of Christ accomplished at Calvary; the mass represents a new sacrifice for sins made every time it is performed.”

The Christ to be thus sacrificed afresh is first ‘created’ from wheat bread and wine by the officiating priest. They are ordinary bread and wine until laid upon the altar, when certain words of consecration, it is claimed, change the bread and wine into the actual flesh and blood of Christ. Then they are bread and wine no longer, though they still have such an appearance. This change is called the transubstantiation— change of substance.”

This in the Scriptures is called an ‘abomination’ in God’s sight, because it disregards, sets at naught, the statement of the Scriptures that Christ dies no more, that by one sacrifice he hath perfected forever all who come unto the Father through him…” (Rom.6: 9): “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead Dies no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”

The following are some scripture proofs of the error of Mass,

“Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Heb 7:25, 27)

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb 9:28)

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb 10:12-14)

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim 2:5, 6)

As stated the “continual sacrifice” is generally supposed by Orthodoxy to be referring to the daily or continual burnt-offerings of the Jews at Jerusalem; however the prophecy, passes by the typical burnt-offerings, and deals with the antitypical, Christ’s meritorious sacrifice once for all and forever — a continual, ever-efficacious sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world.”

 As for when it was “set up” the scriptures give the answer, (proving that it is not something to be set up in the future, but rather something which was set up in the past).

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days (1290 days).” Dan 12:11

The fall of the Ostrogothic kingdom in A.D.539 was, clearly indicated by the prophetic measure (1260 years), the exact point of time when this desolating and, in the sight of God, abominable system was ‘set up.’”

Romanists claim that Christ and the apostles instituted the Mass; but the earliest mention of it we have been able to find was at the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381. However, the date of the introduction of this defiling error is not particularly referred to in the prophecy, except that by reason of this fundamental error Papacy became the ‘Abomination of Desolationbefore it was, as such, ‘set up’ in power which, we have stated, was in A.D. 539.”

Looking at the Typical and Anti-Typical fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation, we see that although it may have had a typical application to the trouble in the end of the Jewish age, its real or most important application belongs to the trouble with which the Gospel age terminates. We see in this another parallelism between the end of the Jewish harvest and the end of the Gospel harvest. Fleshly Israel’s rejection of the true sacrifice for sins, and their retention of the typical sacrifices which were no longer acceptable to God, but abominations, was an important incident in connection with their national and ecclesiastical fall. So here, the rejection of the doctrine of the ransom and the acceptance of either masses or good works or penances instead, is an important incident in connection with the fall of Christendom, civil and ecclesiastical.

The Importance of recognizing this “abomination” in the “Time of the End” is stressed by our Lord as an important matter, not only to ones faith, but also as an evidence of the Lord’s “parousia” (presence).

“When ye therefore shall see (grasp, understand, perceive, recognize, who or what) the abomination of desolation (is, which was), spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoever reads, let him understand) Matt.24: 15

As stated the implication is that there would be a danger in misunderstanding, (i.e. not recognizing) “what” or “who” the real abomination was. The correct identification of this abomination is  another essential clue or evidence as to who the “Man of Sin” or “ANTICHRIST” is.

“He who has an ear (a disposition to hearken to and heed the word of the Lord) let him hear” Rev 3:22

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