By Gerald Flurry
The prophet, Daniel, spoke about the “abomination of desolation.” Now, Jesus Christ later on in the New Testament referred to those statements of Daniel’s, and said that we need to understand about this abomination of desolation. And yet I think if you discuss this with many religious people, you’ll find that they don’t know very much at all about the abomination of desolation. Now, I talked about the physical abomination last week. I talked about who is the beast, and it really is the same thing as that abomination of desolation.
But there is a second abomination. A second abomination that is spiritual, and it does great spiritual destruction and causes desolation in God’s own Church. Now, that spiritual abomination is invisible, virtually invisible, and it’s hidden from this world. And yet it’s more real and more deadly because it has eternal consequences, and even destroys spiritual lives as well as causing a lot of physical destruction.
The Bible places greater emphasis on the spiritual abomination, or that second abomination (if you want to put it that way), than He does the first one, and Christ said, now, look, we need to understand this. And Daniel said in Daniel 11:31 that it “causes desolation.” Enormous desolation! And again, I believe it to be the strongest expression of evil in all the Bible when God talks about this abomination of desolation.
Let’s notice what Christ said about this great evil power in Matthew 24: 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
So this is about the Second Coming and the end of this world ruled by man. Notice verse 15. Christ, Himself, said this. 15When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
So these are Christ’s own words and He says, now, when you see this abomination – it’s something you can see, certainly the physical one is and you should be able to see a lot of the spiritual one if you really listen and heeded what Christ said. He said this abomination here, though, stands in the Holy place. That’s dual, really. It’s physical Jerusalem and also spiritual Jerusalem, which is the Church. That’s the spiritual abomination in spiritual Jerusalem. And Christ said, now, look, you can understand this; it’s not something that’s too complicated. And we have a little book we’re going to send you that will make it all very clear to you because this is such a vital subject for us to understand.
Mark 13:15 talks about the very same abomination and is actually reinforcing, again, what Daniel said about it. And there it also says that you’re going to have to flee and all of that, and it’s the strongest kind of warning there is in the Bible. But notice Luke 21 where it also talks about this abomination – both physically and spiritually. 20And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed…
Or surrounded. …with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21Then let them which are in Judaea flee…
There it is again. Flee. …to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
Now, this gospel doesn’t name the abomination, but all you have to do is get a Harmony of the Gospels and it will show you that this one ties right in with Matthew 24 and Mark 13, and it’s the same evil power. And the context you can see very clearly also shows you that this is the abomination.
But it’s comprised of armies and they surround Jerusalem, but what almost nobody understands is that is also a type of armies that surround spiritual Jerusalem. But these are spiritual armies, or demon armies that destroy spiritually, and that’s why I call it the spiritual abomination and why, really, it’s called that in the Bible. But the city of Jerusalem is surrounded, and also God’s Church is surrounded by evil armies that are invisible. Now, do you believe that? I’m telling you, I’m going to show you it’s right here in your Bible and all you have to do is look even at Revelation 13 and Chapter 17 and see that this beast power, or this abomination actually worships the Devil! Now, he’s invisible and his demons are invisible, so this is not something that’s fantasy that I’m talking to you about, it’s very, very real, even though it’s invisible to the human eye. It’s certainly very real and you can prove it, and you can also prove that these same demon armies are surrounding God’s Church in this end time and causing massive desolation.
The abomination that causes desolation.
Notice Daniel 12:4. We’ll be getting into some very specific scriptures where you can understand exactly what God means by this. 4But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Now, this is the time of the end, but it’s a bad translation here. Where it talks about “running to and fro,” it means “apostatize” or turn people away from God. That’s what it means. Look it up in some of the Bible study aids. MANY shall apostatize; MANY shall turn people away from God’s Church. That is the spiritual abomination that Daniel is talking about. And it turns people away from God. Have you seen that happen in this end time? Remember Daniel’s book is just for this end time. Have you seen that happen? I mean He places great emphasis on this abomination, more than the other one, the physical one.
Verse 9 reads, And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. So He’s repeating that, now. This is happening in the end time when you see the physical and the spiritual abomination, but I’m focusing on the spiritual abomination today.
Then in verse 11 of Daniel it reads, And from the time that the daily sacrifice… Or the Work of God (and we’ll prove that to you in this little booklet). …shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Or 1290 days. Now, Daniel didn’t understand this, but God said (and makes a promise to you, to all of us) that we will understand it in this end time. That’s why it was written down so that we can understand it today.
But here God says just before a lot of this that Christ returns, this “daily” or Work of God is going to be taken away. God’s people are going to be taken away from a lot of destruction. He’s going to protect them from the physical abomination. I’m just giving you a little background here before I get into the specific scriptures about the spiritual abomination. And all of this is happening just before Jesus Christ returns. He even gets down to counting the days, 1290 days! That’s the period of time that God’s people are going to have to flee. Now, they’re going to have to flee in this end time; that’s in your Bible. Many scriptures tell you that and God says, look, “You don’t have to worry about all the problems in the world. I’ll protect you if you will do this for Me – if you’ll do My Work and get the “daily” out or get the Work out continually on and on and on, and never let this Work die.”
But you see that’s what the spiritual abomination is all about, is stopping the very Work of the Living God – but only temporarily. But it does show you the power of these demon armies behind the scenes and what they can do. And yet, do you believe that? Are we able to really believe God? And believe these prophecies specifically for the end time, right now, the time we’re living in? Well, now, that takes some faith, doesn’t it? But God said He would give that faith; He would give it to us. But God only protects people who understand about the physical and the spiritual abomination.
Notice Daniel 8:9 and we’ll see a lot about the spiritual abomination. 9And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. Or Jerusalem. Anciently, Antiochus was a type of this evil leader of the physical abomination, but he’s also a type of an evil leader that’s actually going to do all this damage inside of God’s own Church! A man is going to do that in this end time. Now, I’m going to show you that it’s a different kind of warfare and it’s a different goal that this abomination has, spiritually. It’s a war between angels and the demons, both groups of Spirit beings – the evil ones and the angels of God.
Notice verse 10 of Daniel 8, 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. Now, this is getting to be pretty brutal spiritually, but notice what I wrote in this little booklet on Daniel (and you’ll be able to read this when you order this little booklet, which is free). Notice what I wrote, though. “The Revised Standard Version reads ‘of the host of the stars’… God’s own people are helped by the stars, or angels of God (you can see that in Revelation 1:20), if they desire help. This evil power stamped upon them. The end time Laodecians (that is God’s own Church), those saints of God who transgressed God’s law.
Strong’s Concordance defines “host” this way: “A mass of persons, especially organized for war, and soldiers or army.” The expression also means “to muster soldiers for warfare.” I mean we’re talking about real war, but we’re talking about Spirit beings who are at war, fighting for or against God’s people. “Hosts” can refer to an army of demons, angels or men. God has an army of angels and saints; Satan has an army of demons and men – in this case, sinning saints. In other words, they’re working through rebels within God’s own Church, if you can fathom that. God’s people are at war. It’s not easy obeying God. God never said that it would be, but the great wars that are going on around this earth are really invisible, for the most part. They’re hidden from this world. And yet how many Christians do you think – how many people – Christians in this world do you think would say, “Well, yeah, I really believe that,” or “I would stake my life on that” ? And yet it’s very much a part of the Bible and God said it’s not even for any time except this very end time that you and I are living in right now.
Now, the good news is – that little remnant is going to win out because that angelic army has a lot more power, and even though it’s a small little group, it trusts God and prevails, as you always do if you trust God. Always! Whether it’s an individual or a little group of God’s people. I’m telling you, you can’t lose if God is with you. That’s the good news in all of this.
But you see, if you do turn away from God, then there is a terrifying price that has to be paid because here the demon army has actually defeated most of God’s own people and turned them away from God. This great apostasy – 50% of them are going to have to go in the Great Tribulation and won’t be protected by God, and will repent there. And 50% are going to go in and will not repent and will lose their eternal lives. So you can see why this spiritual abomination is so much more important than any physical abomination could ever be.
Notice verse 11Yea, he magnified himself… This evil man who led the spiritual abomination, that did so much destruction in God’s Church. 11Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host… That’s Christ. …and by him the daily sacrifice… Or the Work of God. …was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
Where it says “to the prince of the host,” it should be “against.” It’s against Christ! He’s fighting against Christ and doing a lot of damage because of rebels within God’s Church who just surrender to the devil. And it’s so bad that the Work of God is stopped temporarily. That’s how bad it is. You can read about that also in II Thessalonians 2, if you’d like to study that.
But how did he do that? See, how did Satan and his demons, how did they destroy so much within God’s Church? Because of these sinning members, these lukewarm Laodecians that Revelation 3 talks about and says that they’ve become Laodecian in this end time – the whole Era is Laodecian, which means most of them turned away from God. That’s why it’s called the Laodecian Era, the very last one on this earth before Christ returns. But there’s two great sins here: God’s Work is stopped, and the place of His sanctuary is cast down. What does that mean? A physical place? It surely does. Let me read you what I wrote in the booklet on Daniel. ‘It also says he cast down “the place of His sanctuary.”
Not the sanctuary itself. Notice, in verse 14 it says the sanctuary itself is cleansed. That refers to God’s people, the Church. The word “place” in Daniel 8:11, however, refers to a physical place. Strong’s calls it “an abode, a foundation.” Gesenius says it is “the dwelling of God’s temple.” The International Critical Commentary says, “The word for place, not the usual Hebrew word, is rare, implying a construction, a base (Ezra 3:3), the base of the altar.”
The place of His sanctuary has been cast down. The Work was stopped there. But later on it says the sanctuary was cleansed. That means God’s people – that is the sanctuary. The temple is the Church today and it’s the people of God. Now, do you know about a Work being stopped at a physical place on this earth, a physical place it was actually stopped? When did that happen? Where did it happen?
Why did it happen? How did that happen? It happened within God’s own Church in this end time, and Daniel puts the most emphasis on that, of all the sins in this end time. Can you believe that?
How much do people understand about this spiritual abomination? Do you really understand this? I tell you, this is the most exciting truth you could ever possibly study. There’s nothing more thrilling than this, but there’s a lot of sadness, too, because of the great desolation that this abomination causes. That’s the sad part of this whole scene. But the sanctuary is cleansed, you see, or the lamp was moved, it says in other places. Did you see a lamp moved in this end time? The very lamp of God was moved! These are invisible armies. But notice what these invisible armies did. You see, we have to really be tuned in to God to understand his.
Notice verse 12And an host was given him against the daily… Or the Work of God. …by reason of transgression… A lot of God’s people turned away. …and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. He’s talking about an host – an host was doing that, this spiritual army of demons was casting down the truth of God to the ground, and yet you couldn’t see that army but you could certainly see the people that that army used to tear apart God’s Church and destroy God’s Work, temporarily, until God could resurrect it through a loyal, little remnant that knew they could trust God and knew that they must hang on to God’s truth and not let anybody cast it to the ground. Now, that is a great honor to be a part of that!
But you see, that could never have happened if rebellious people within God’s Church had not surrendered to that demon army that you cannot see. You simply can’t see it. This is not a physical army we’re talking about here. Think about that. It’s not a physical army. It’s a spiritual army or an army that’s causing spiritual destruction UNPARALLED in the history of God’s Church. There’s never been anything like it – never! I mean, this is a war more damaging than anything that’s ever happened in God’s Church. And why is it so damaging? Because it’s destroying love and faith and hope, and God’s people ought to be full of love and faith and hope and all of these wonderful characteristics, the very character of God. But Satan has destroyed that and weak people have allowed it to happen. Remember, you see, this is a spiritual abomination but it’s still an army and God says its goal is to cast truth to the ground, the very truth of God.
Now, where did that truth come from? Well, Matthew 17:10-11 says there was an end time Elijah who came and restored ALL things just before the Second Coming of Christ. When did that happen? He restored ALL things, spiritually. Did you see that happen?
Well, not many people did, I’m afraid, but certainly there are some who did and there are some who cling to that with every fiber of their being because it’s so important. But most of that is hidden and invisible to this world. But notice verse 13, let’s go on with this. 13Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily… Work of God.
…and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host…
That army of angels. …to be trodden under foot? That is, their work. 14And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Now, note that carefully – both the sanctuary (the people of God) and the host (that angelic army with them) were trodden underfoot, as far as that Work is concerned, until 1150 days. I’ll explain that in a moment. But here you can see that the bad guys won in this war. They won by casting down all of that truth. But if you look at any commentary you can see that 2300 evening and morning sacrifices really adds up to 1150 days, so God is getting very specific and said something really fantastic happened after 1150 days! Now, I mean, you have to really know something about God and you certainly know how to count, to be able to understand this. It’s all in this little booklet on Daniel, and I’ll tell you, it is some of the most amazing truth you will ever read in your life! This all happens 1150 days, you see, after the spiritual abomination attacked God’s Church, and this demon army prevailed. It all happened then. You can see that this was great, great damage, but it’s also exciting because of the wonderful outcome. You can read verses 17, 19, 23 and see that it’s all for the end time.
And verse 24 says that And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:… This real power behind all of these men are armies you can’t see – invisible armies, either of the devil or of God, the angelic armies. Then you can go on and read verse 25 where it talks about this is happening against Jesus Christ, the Prince of Princes, and He’s going to return and put an end to all of it. Both abominations stand up and fight against Jesus Christ, but Jesus Christ said, look, “If you will get this message out to the whole world, then you’re going to rule over the whole world with Me, if you’ll just do that.”
And then verse 26 goes on to tell you that this vision about the evening and the morning sacrifices is all within God’s Church. It’s focused on the Church or the temple work or the work of getting this wonderful message out to the world that Jesus Christ is going to return to this earth and put down those abominations of desolation forever.
Source: Transcript of the Key of David (ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 4, 2004)