Verse 31 “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.”
“This we interpret to mean that, though neither the church nor the civil power succeeded in swallowing up the other, as at one time seemed probable, yet “strong ones” arose, who polluted the fundamental principles both of the civil government and also of true religion. The “sanctuary of strength,” the sacred precincts of civil authority, which for the time God had delivered over to the Gentiles, to the kingdoms of this world, was undermined by those in the Church who thirsted for present dominion, and who sought by every device to obtain civil power to help forward their ecclesiastical schemes; and the sanctuary of God (his sacred dwelling–the Church) was defiled and degraded by the persistent efforts of these “strong ones” to obtain power with the civil rulers, and numbers, and influence with the people. This was Papacy in embryo, scheming to set itself up in power as a sacerdotal empire.” (C 36)
“They shall pollute the sanctuary of strength [the true Church], and shall take away the daily sacrifice [the continual sacrifice].”
The doctrine of the Mass or Transubstantiation nullifies Christ’s continual sacrifice. In the ceremony Christ dies every time the Mass is said. The bread is supposed to be his actual flesh and the wine his blood. There is said to be a fresh death with every Mass. Roman Catholicism teaches that Christ started the Christian Church, but through their priesthood the communicants’ condition has to be refreshed. They claim that all are sinners and thus all need absolution of sins committed daily. “They shall place there (in the sanctuary of strength) the abomination that makes desolate [the doctrine of the Mass or Transubstantiation].”
“It should be noted that Matthew 24:15, 16 proves conclusively that the “abomination that makes desolate” still had not been fulfilled in Jesus’ day. Since Antiochus Epiphanes lived prior to Christ, he clearly cannot be the fulfillment. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” Jesus was warning his followers to look into the future for the fulfillment.” (The Book of Daniel, Page 142)
Verse 32 and 33 “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.”
“Those in the Church who failed to live up to their covenant with the Lord fell an easy prey to the flatteries, honors, titles, etc., held before them by the Papal hierarchy as it began to have influence. But though many yielded to the errors, all did not; for we read, “But the people that do know their God shall be strong and deal valiantly; and they that understand among the people shall instruct many.”
Thus is shown a division of the Church into two marked classes, distinguished in Dan. 8:11-14 as the sanctuary and the host: one class, corrupted by the flattering honors of the world, violated its covenant with God, while the other class was really strengthened by the persecutions to which their loyalty to God exposed them. Among the latter class were some who understood the situation, and taught the faithful that thus it was written in the Scriptures that the Antichrist, or Man of Sin, would develop from a great falling away in the Church.” (C 37)
“But the people that do know their God [the faithful or truly consecrated] shall be strong, and do exploits.” Revelation 2:13 speaks of them as “Antipas,” meaning “against the fathers.” “Thou holds fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells” (Rev 2:13). The faithful minority who did “know their God” were “strong,” boldly risking their lives unto death. The Pergamos period extended from 313 A.D. to 1157 A.D. “many days.” (The Book of Daniel, Page 143)
Verse 34 and 35 “Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.”
“The full period of the persecutor’s (Papacy’s) power, 1260 years, would not end until 1799; but before its end God granted a little help through the Reformation movement, which, though at first it rather increased persecution, afterward gave some comfort and protection to those falling because of fidelity to God’s Word. The Reformation prevented the complete crushing out of the truth from the world. But, alas! With the little help came the “flatterers” again. As soon as persecution began to abate the adversary resorted to the same device, by which he had formerly succeeded in corrupting and degrading the church, to now overcome the reform movements. Kings and princes began to give honors and titles to Protestants and to unite with Protestantism; and this led to serious evil results and deflection from the covenant, as we read: “But many shall cleave to them with flatteries; and some of them of understanding [leaders, reformers, teachers, who had been able to instruct many concerning Papacy’s errors] shall fall; to try them [the faithful few] and to purge and to make them white.”
Tracing the prophecy further, we find that as the previous verses pointedly describe the leading characters prominently connected with the transfer of dominion to Greece and then to Rome, and then craftily, gradually, stealthily to Papacy as a power which grew up out of civil Rome, so also when it comes to the very important point of noting where Papal dominion was broken, it is but reasonable to expect that Napoleon Bonaparte, the leading character associated with this change, should be marked out; and that, too, not by a description of his personal appearance, but by a description of his peculiar characteristics, just as Augustus and Tiberius Caesar were indicated. Such a description we do find; and Napoleon Bonaparte’s career corresponds exactly with that description.
Verses 31-35 describe Papacy, its errors and abominations, and the Reformation and its “little help” yet partial failure through flatteries; and these verses bring us down to the “Time of the End,” and show us that, notwithstanding the little help afforded, some would fall by persecution until the Time of the End. And so it was: in all the countries subject to Papacy–Spain, France, etc.–persecution through the terrible Inquisition continued, until broken effectually by Napoleon.
Next follow the verses descriptive of Napoleon, the instrument employed by Providence to break Papacy’s power and to begin her torture, which will end in utter destruction, to be accomplished later on; as it is written, “Whom the Lord shall destroy with the bright shining of his presence.” 2 Thess 2:8 (C 38, 39)
Continued with next post.