Out of one of these divisions of the empire of Alexander, the prophet next saw that there "came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land." The directions named show that this power rose and waxed exceeding great from the west. This is explained by the angel to mean, "in the latter time of their kingdom [the four divisions of Grecia], when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up." "And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them." "And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes ["He magnified himself even to the prince of the host." Verse 11]; but he shall be broken without hand."
These specifications show that the little horn of the eighth chapter of Daniel represents Rome from the time of its rise, at the destruction of the Grecian Empire, to the end of the world, when it is "broken without hand" by that stone "cut out of the mountain without hands," which then breaks in pieces and consumes all earthly kingdoms. Dan. 2:34, 35, 44, 45.
We have seen that in the seventh chapter of Daniel the little horn, though as such representing only the latter phase of Rome, yet does really represent Rome in both its phases--Rome from beginning to end, because when the time comes that the "little horn" is to be broken and destroyed, it is indeed "the beast" that is "slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." Thus the thought with which the story of the little horn closes in Daniel 7 is continued in Daniel 8 with reference to the same power. In Daniel 8 the expression "little horn" covers the whole of Rome in both its phases, just as is shown in the closing expressions concerning the "little horn" in Daniel 7; as is shown also by the expressions "the abomination of desolation" and "the transgression of desolation," being applied to Rome in both its phases (Dan. 9:26, 27; Matt. 24:15; Dan. 11:31; 12:11; 8:11, 13); and as is confirmed by the teaching and history of latter Rome itself. It is all one, except only that all that is stated of the former Rome is true and intensified in the latter Rome.
And now let us consider further the scripture expressions in Daniel 8 concerning this little horn power. In verses 11 and 25, of this little horn power it is said: "He shall magnify himself in his heart." "He magnified himself even to [or against] the prince of the host;" and "he shall also stand up against [or reign in opposition to] the Prince of princes." This is explained in 2 Thessalonians, second chapter, where the apostle, in correcting wrong impressions which the Thessalonians had received concerning the immediate coming of the Lord, says: "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?" 2 Thess. 2:3-5.
Plainly this scripture describes the same power that is represented by the little horn in Daniel 8.
But there are other considerations which more fully show it. He says that when he was at Thessalonica with the brethren he had told them these very things which now he writes. In Acts 17:1-3, is the record concerning Paul when he was yet with the Thessalonians, as follows: "Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures." And in this reasoning with them out of the Scriptures, he told them about this falling away which should come, in which would be the revealing of the man of sin, the mystery of iniquity, the son of perdition, who would oppose himself to God and would exalt himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, even putting himself in the place of God and passing himself off for God.
In reasoning with the people out of the Scriptures, where in the Scriptures did Paul find the revelation from which he could tell to the Thessalonians all this? It was in this eighth chapter of Daniel where the apostle found it, and from this it was that he told it to them while he was there. For in the eighth chapter of Daniel are the very expressions which he uses in 2 Thessalonians, of which he says, "Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?" This fixes the time to be after the apostles' days, when Rome magnified itself "even to the Prince of the host" and "against the Prince of princes;" and connects it directly with the falling away, or apostasy, which developed the Papacy, or Rome, in its latter and ultimate phase.
Now let us read verses 11 and 12 of Daniel 8 and it will be plainly seen that here is exactly the place where Paul found the scripture from which he taught the Thessalonians concerning the "man of sin" and the "mystery of iniquity:" "Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced and prospered."
This plainly points out that which took away the priesthood, the ministry, and the sanctuary of God and of Christianity.
Let us read it again. "Yea, he [the little horn--the man of sin] magnified himself even to the Prince of the host ["against the Prince of princes"--Christ], and by him [the man of sin] the daily sacrifice [the continual service, the ministry, and the priesthood of Christ] was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary [the sanctuary of the prince of the host, of the Prince of princes--Christ] was cast down. And an host was given him [the man of sin] against the daily sacrifice [against the continual service, of the ministry of Christ, the Prince of the host] by reason of transgression cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered."
It was "by reason of transgression," that is, by reason of sin, that this power gained "the host" that was used to cast down the truth to the ground, to shut away from the church and the world Christ's priesthood, His ministry, and His sanctuary; and to cast it all down to the ground and tread it underfoot. It was by reason of transgression that this was accomplished. Transgression is sin, and this is the consideration and the revelation upon which the apostle in 2 Thessalonians defines this power as the "man of sin" and the "mystery of iniquity."
In Daniel 8:11-13; 11:31; and 12:11, it will be noticed that the word "sacrifice" is in every case supplied. And it is wholly supplied, for in its place in the original there is no word at all. In the original the only word that stands in this place is the word tamid, that is here translated "daily." And in these places the expression "daily" does not refer to the daily sacrifice any more than it refers to the whole daily ministry or continual service of the sanctuary, of which the sacrifice was only a part. The word tamid in itself signifies "continuous or continual," "constant," "stable," "sure," "constantly," "evermore." Only such words as these express the thought of the original word, which, in the text under consideration, is translated "daily." In Numbers 28 and 29 alone, the word is used seventeen times, referring to the continual service in the sanctuary.
And it is this continual service of Christ, the true High Priest, "who continueth ever," and "who is consecrated forevermore" in "an unchangeable priesthood"--it is this continual service of our great High Priest, which the man of sin, the Papacy, has taken away. It is the sanctuary and the true tabernacle in which this true High Priest exercises His continual ministry that has been cast down by "the transgression of desolation." It is this ministry and this sanctuary that the "man of sin" has taken away from the church and shut away from the world and has cast down to the ground and stamped upon and in place of which it has set up itself "the abomination that maketh desolate." What the former Rome did physically to the visible or earthly sanctuary, which was "the figure of the true" (Dan. 9:26, 27; Matt. 24:15), that the latter Rome has done spiritually to the invisible or heavenly sanctuary that is in itself the true." Dan. 11:31; 12:11; 8:11, 13.
In the footnote quotation on page 91 [see below] it is shown that in the apostasy, the bishops, presbyters, deacons, and the eucharist were made to succeed the high priest, priests, Levites and sacrifices of the Levitical system. Now by every evidence of the Scriptures, it is certain that, in the order of God it was Christ and His ministry and sanctuary in heaven and this alone, that in truth was the object of the Levitical system and that is truly the Christian succession to that system.
Therefore when in and by the apostasy the system of bishops as high priests, presbyters as priests, deacons as Levites, and the Supper as a sacrifice was insinuated as the Christian succession to the Levitical system, this of itself was nothing else than to put this false system of the apostasy in the place of the true, completely to shut out the true, and finally, to cast it down to the ground and stamp upon it.
And this is how it is that this great Christian truth of the true priesthood, ministry, and sanctuary of Christ is not known to the Christian world today. The "man of sin" has taken it away and cast it down to the ground and stamped upon it. The "mystery of iniquity" has hid this great truth from the church and the world during all these ages in which the man of sin has held place in the world and has passed itself off as God and its iniquitous host as the church of God.
And yet, even the "man of sin," the "mystery of iniquity," itself bears witness to the necessity of such a service in the church in behalf of sins. For though the "man of sin," the "mystery of iniquity," has taken away the true priesthood, ministry, and sanctuary of Christ and has cast these down to the ground to be stamped upon and has completely hid them from the eyes of the Christian world, yet she did not utterly throw away the idea. No, she threw away the true and cast down the true to the ground but, retaining the idea in the place of the true, she built up in her own realm an utterly false structure.
In the place of Christ, the true and divine High Priest of God's own appointment in heaven, she has substituted a human, sinful, and sinning priesthood on earth. In the place of the continual, heavenly ministry of Christ in His true priesthood upon His true sacrifice, she has substituted only an interval ministry of a human, earthly, sinful, and sinning priesthood in the once-a-day "daily sacrifice of the mass." And in the place of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man, she has substituted her own meeting-places of wood and stone, to which she applies the term "sanctuary." Thus, instead of the one continual High Priest, the one continual ministry, and the one continual sanctuary in heaven, which God has ordained and which is the only true, she has devised out of her own heart and substituted for the only true, many high priests, many ministries, many sacrifices, and many sanctuaries, on earth, which in every possible relation are only human and utterly false.
And it can never take away sin. No earthly priesthood, no earthly ministry, no earthly sacrifice or service in any earthly sanctuary can ever take away sin. In the book of Hebrews we have seen that even the priesthood, the ministry, the sacrifice, and the service in the earthly sanctuary--the very service which the Lord Himself ordained on earth--never took away sin. The inspired record is that they never did take away sin, and that they never could take away sin.
It is only the priesthood and the ministry of Christ that can ever take away sin.
And this is a priesthood and a ministry in heaven and of a sanctuary that is in heaven. For when Christ was on earth he was not a priest and if He had remained on earth until this hour, He would not yet be a priest, as it stands written, "If he were on earth, He should not be a priest." Heb. 8:4. Thus, by plain word and abundant illustration, God has demonstrated that no earthly priesthood, sacrifice, or ministry can ever take away sin.
If any such could take away sin, then why could not that which God Himself ordained on earth take away sin? If any such could take away sin, then why change the priesthood and the ministry from earth to heaven? Therefore, by the plain word of the Lord, it is plain that the priesthood, the ministry, the sacrifice, and the sanctuary which the Papacy has set up and operates on earth can never take away sin, but, instead, only perpetuates sin, is a fraud, an imposture, and the very "transgression" and "abomination of desolation" is [sic.] the most holy place.
And that this conclusion and statement as to what the papal system really is is not extravagant nor far-fetched, is confirmed by the words of Cardinal Baronius, the standard annalist of the papacy. Writing of the tenth century, he says: "In this century the abomination of desolation was seen in the temple of the Lord; and in the See of St. Peter, reverenced by angels, were placed the most wicked of men; not pontiffs, but monsters." And the council of Rheims in 991 declared the papacy to be "the man of sin, the mystery of iniquity."
In the days of Christ and His apostles, the mystery of God was revealed in a fulness never before known and was preached "to all nations for the obedience of faith." Rom. 16:25, 26. From the beginning of the world unto that time this mystery had "been hid in God," had "been hid from ages and from generations," but was then "made manifest to His saints" to whom "God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." Col. 1:26-29; Eph. 3:3, 5, 9.
But even at that same time, in the very days of the apostles, the "mystery of iniquity" did "already work." And it continued to work until it gained world-power and supremacy and even power over the saints, the times, and the law of the Most High--standing up against the Prince of princes, magnifying itself even to the Prince of the host, putting itself in the place of worship of God, and passing itself off for God. And thus, again, but not this time in God, the mystery of God was "hid from ages and from generations." But now, again, in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, even now, the mystery of God which hath again been hid from ages and generations, is made manifest to His saints to whom now "God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus."
And this, as we have already quoted, is itself according "as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." It is not alone the prophet of Patmos who declared that in this time, even now in our day, "the mystery of God should be finished." For when the angel of God made this proclamation in the vision of the prophet of Patmos, he had already, and long before, declared the same thing to His servants the prophets. And this proclamation on Patmos was only the declaration of the angels that that which God had long before declared to His servants the prophets should now surely be accomplished and that with no more delay. The full proclamation of the angel is this: "and the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time ["delay," R.V.] no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." Rev. 10:5-7
. The one prophet to whom this thing was more fully and more plainly declared than to any other was the prophet Daniel. For not only did Daniel see the rise of this little horn and see it magnify itself "even to the Prince of the host," and "stand up against the Prince of princes," and cast down to the ground His truth and His sanctuary and stamp upon them, but he also, and in the same vision, saw the truth and the sanctuary of Christ delivered from this little horn power, rescued from its blasphemous stamping, lifted up from the earth and exalted to the heaven where it belongs. And it was in this part of the transactions in the vision that the heavenly ones seemed to be most interested; for, says Daniel: "Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint ["the Wonderful Numberer"] which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice [the continual service], and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot? And He ["the Wonderful Numberer"] said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Dan. 8:13, 14.
Then the angel Gabriel was commanded to make Daniel understand the vision. He began to do so, but when in the explanation he had reached the point concerning the many days of this vision, the astonishing and terrible things revealed in the vision overcame the prophet, and says he: "I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it." Dan. 8:27. So far as the explanation had proceeded, it was easily understood: for it was plainly spoken that the ram represented the kings of Media and Persia; and the rough goat the king of Grecia; and, in view of the explanation that had already been made in the second and seventh chapters of Daniel, the description of the next great power after Grecia was easily understood so far as the angel could then go with the explanation. But in the very midst of the explanation of the most important part of it, Daniel fainted, and so the most material and essential part of the explanation was missed, and "none understood it."
However, the prophet sought diligently for an understanding of the vision. And after the destruction of Babylon, in the first year of the king of the Medes and Persians the angel Gabriel came to Daniel again and said: "O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding." Dan. 9:1, 22. And it was understanding in this particular vision which he was explaining when Daniel fainted that he now came to give. Accordingly he directs Daniel's attention first of all to that vision, for he said: "At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." Verse 23. Having thus directed the prophet's attention to the vision, the angel begins immediately to discuss the time mentioned in the vision--the very part of the vision which, because of Daniel's fainting, had been left unexplained. Thus he says: "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city." Verse 24.
The word "determined" signifies "limited," "restricted within bounds," "to mark off and fix the bounds." In explaining the vision at the first, the angel had come to the point of the time--the "many days," the "two thousand and three hundred days" of the vision. Now, he tells Daniel to consider the vision; he begins immediately to speak concerning these days and to explain the events of them. "Seventy weeks," or four hundred and ninety of these days are limited and restricted to the Jews and Jerusalem, and this also marks the limitation of the Jews and Jerusalem as God's special people and city. For these are prophetic days, in which each day is a year: the seventy weeks, or the four hundred and ninety days, thus making four hundred and ninety years of the two thousand and three hundred days which are two thousand and three hundred years. The beginning of the four hundred and ninety years is thus also the beginning of the two thousand and three hundred years.
The story of the "seventy weeks," or four hundred and ninety years, is given by the angel as follows: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifices and oblation to cease," and "upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate, ["and upon the battlements shall be the idols of the desolator."--A.V. margin] even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolator." Dan. 9:25-27; 9:27, R.V.; 9:27, margin.
The commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem here referred to went forth in the year 457 B. C. and is recorded in the seventh chapter of Ezra. The decree was issued from Babylon and was addressed, first, to Ezra, empowering him to leave Babylon and to take with him such people and materials as were supplied for the work of restoring Jerusalem and the worship of God therein, and secondly "to all the treasurers which are beyond the river" Euphrates, directing them to supply whatever was required by Ezra for the carrying on of the work. It was the fifth month of the year when Ezra reached Jerusalem, so that about half the year 457 B. C. was gone, which would give about the year 456-1/2 as the time of the beginning of the four hundred and ninety years and the two thousand and three hundred years.
From that time four hundred and eighty-three years were to reach "to the Messiah the Prince," which would reach twenty-six and one-half years into the Christian era or into the year A. D. 27, which is the very year of Christ's appearance as the Messiah in His public ministry, when He was baptized in Jordan and anointed with the Holy Ghost. Mark 7:9-11; Matt. 3:13-17. After this He, the Messiah, was to "confirm the covenant" "for one week"--the remaining week of the seventy. But in the midst of that week He would "cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" by the sacrifice of Himself on the cross. In the midst of the week would be at the end of three and a half of the seven years from the fall of A. D. 27. This gives the date the spring of A.D. 31, the very time when the Saviour was crucified, and thus by the sacrifice of Himself--the only sacrifice for sins--forever caused the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. Then the veil of the earthly temple "was rent in twain from the top to the bottom," showing that the service of God there was ended and the earthly house was desolate.
There was yet the last half of the seventieth week remaining as the limit of the time of special favor to the Jews and Jerusalem. This half of the week, beginning in the spring of A.D. 31, extended to the fall of A.D. 34. In that time "they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen ["went everywhere preaching the word"] traveled as far as Phenice and Cyprus and Antioch preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only." Acts 11:19; 8:4. But when this time was expired and the Jews had confirmed themselves in the rejection of the Messiah and His gospel, then was their decision accepted and under the leadership of both Peter and Paul the door of faith was opened fully to the Gentiles, to whom pertains the remaining portion of the two thousand and three hundred years.
After the four hundred and ninety years of the limitation upon the Jews and Jerusalem, there yet remained one thousand eight hundred and ten years to the Gentiles. This period, beginning, as we have found, in the fall of A.D. 34, reaches inevitably to the fall of A.D. 1844 and marks that date as the expiration of the two thousand and three hundred years. And at that time, upon the word of the "Wonderful Numberer" in Daniel 8:14, "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." In 1844 also was the very time of "the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound" and when "the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets."
At that time there would be broken up the horror of great darkness by which the mystery of iniquity had hid from ages and generations the mystery of God. At that time the sanctuary and the true tabernacle and the truth of it would be lifted up from the ground where the man of sin had cast them down and stamped upon them and would be exalted to the heaven where they belong and whence they will shine forth in such light as that the earth shall be lightened with the glory. At that time the transcendent truth of the priesthood and ministry of Christ would be rescued from the oblivion to which the abomination and transgression of desolation had consigned it and would once more and forever stand in its true and heavenly place in the faith of the church, accomplishing in every true believer that perfection which is the eternal purpose of God which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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