Daniel 8: The Ram and the Goat
The Abomination of Desolation
If this isn't an outrageous question for you, keep reading. You've been probably thinking about these things and you've made up your mind.
If this is an outrageous question for you, keep reading, also. Neither you nor I have made this world to a so polarized one, and neither you nor I will turn back in a time machine to change things. But both you and I can think about the things you can read about here, and make up our minds.
Zionism is a belief that Israel is the land of the Jews. It is no more than that and no less than that. If you're going to live in Japan, France or Canada, and you're not a Japanese, Frenchman or Canadian, most probably you'll have to learn the language and become a citizen. Fortunately, you don't need to believe in "Japanism" , "Frenchism" or "Canadianism" because nobody is questioning the right of Japanese, Frenchmen or Canadians to live in their country. But it is a different thing in Israel. And it is different because of anti-Semitism. The Zionist belief appeared later in the XIX century, and the State of Israel, in 1948. But the restoration of Israel was prophesied in USA more than a century before the proclamation of the Jewish State, and in the Bible from some millennia ago. And it was prophesied, in the XIX century, in a time when almost the whole church was anti-Semitic.
What is this prophecy?
And why was the church anti-Semitic?
Let me begin with the first question. Imagine you're sitting under a lonely tree in the African savanna, beside a river. In the river you can see some fishes escaping a crocodile, there are some birds flying in the air, and there is a group of zebras grazing on the distance, being observed by a hungry cheetah who's thinking if she was able to take down one of them.
Now, this is the world in 2017 AD. If you could take a time machine and travel 150 million years back, you would have seen flying dinosaurs instead of birds, swimming dinosaurs instead of fish, grass-eating dinosaurs and a T-rex hunting the grass-eaters. Because you would be in the Jurassic Period, called "the age of reptiles". That was another world, a very different one than this. We live in a different "period".
If you study history, you'll become acquainted with Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Modern Era, and Contemporary (after 1914) If you study music, then it will be Antiquity, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Clasical, Romantic and Contemporary. In any discipline you'll find that things usually happened some way, and then it comes a change and things begin to happen another way, which originates "periods" in the history of the world.
The doctrine considering Israel's restoration is called "Dispensationalism" and considers the Bible in periods as well. Some of these periods are found under other theological labels in other theologies, as "the promise" - related to God's pact with Abraham - "the law" - related to the Law God gave Moses on mount Sinai - and "the grace" - related to the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the new pact in His blood, known as the New Testament. Israel's restoration was the belief of some isolated voices in the church before Dispensationalism. John Owen (1616-1683) John Gill (1697-1771) and Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) among a few other ones, saw Israel's restoration as possible, and as a fulfilment of the OT prophecies. But a doctrine that should explain it, and see the order in God's "administration" didn't exist. Replacement Theology was mainstream in the church. And this Replacement Theology is the main reason the church was anti-Semite.
What is this Replacement Theology?
Replacement Theology exists not only in some churches. If you ask any Muslim scholar, Islam is the last revelation of the same God of the Bible, and both Judaism and Christianíty have been replaced by Islam. If the Bible contradicts the Quran - as it often happens - then it is the Bible which is wrong and Muhammed who is right.
How did Replacement Theology appear in the church?
For almost 20 years, the Christian church was mainly made up of Jews. They kept Mosaic Law, went to the synagogues and considered themselves "other Jews", a new sect not very different from Sadducees or Pharisees. It would be an outrage for those Jews - including the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ - that somebody should say that Judaism was dead and replaced.
Then the Council of Jerusalem took place. It is the first inflection point where Christianity became "another religion", because the apostles decided not to coerce Gentiles who converted to Christianity to become Jews first. The church was then considered a mix of Jews and Gentiles.
After the Council of Jerusalem, the church began to increase with non-Jews, and some decades later, Rome conquered Israel and renamed it to "Syria Palaestina" and Jerusalem to "Aelia Capitolina". The church was mostly made up of Gentiles by that time, and Jerusalem's fall killed the last connection between Christians and Jews. Christian Jews grouped with their Gentile brethren in the Roman Empire, and the non-Christian Jews became only "the Jews", whose country didn't exist anymore.
It was at that time that Replacement Theology began. From Justin Martyr (100-165 AD) Origen (185-254 AD) to Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) the Jews were seen as rejected by God forever and replaced by Christians. The "real" Israel who would inherit all the OT's promises of God was the church, the "spiritual Israel". This anti-Semitic idea was mainstream doctrine in the church until 1800.
In the message on the link Daniel 7:13-14 in this blog you can read or watch in video the prophecy about Israel's restoration (the land, the religion, the Messiah, the temple)
There you can read or watch also about the Kingdom of God in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah, and the Kingdom of God in the New Testament, WHICH IS THE SAME KINGDOM. It would come after the "times of the Gentiles" (Lk 21:24) or the time of "breaking in pieces the power of the holy people" (Dn 12:7) This period is the one between the "weeks" 69 and 70 of Daniel 9 (or "sevens", periods of seven years)
It's evident that after these "times of the Gentiles" when the "power of the holy people" was being "broken in pieces", the "times of the Jews" would be back, their "power" restored, with their nation, their temple and their religion. THEN Jesus would come back (Luke 21:25-28)
The main proclamation about Israel's eternal pact with God in the NT is that of the apostle Paul in Romans 11:29, "for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable". This only verse destroys thoroughly the whole replacement lie, because Paul is saying here that God would never take back Israel's call and the promises He gave them. The Jews would be and were rejected for many years, in the same way they were slaves in Egypt or captives in Babylonia, it is, "under God's discipline". But as he always restored Israel in the OT, he did in 1948. To support Replacement Theology NOW is more anti-Semitic than in any period of the history of the church.
The verses in Daniel 8:13-14 which we want to share today are a strong biblical evidence that Daniel's book is not about fullfilled prophecy only, a claim some need to support in order to believe in Replacement Theology. Because you can't assign all prophecies to Antiochus IV, it is clear that Daniel talked also about the Antichrist. Let's read the revelation Daniel got in these verses:
"Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled - the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?"
"He said to me, "It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated."
"Vaeshmeá ekhád-kadósh medabér, vayómer ekhád kadósh lapalmoní hamedabér, ad matáy hekhazón hatamíd vehapésha shomém tet vekódesh vetzabá mirmás?"
"Vayómer eláy, ad éreb bóker alpáyim ushelósh meót, venitzdák kódesh"
The "rebellion that causes desolation" is "hapésha shomém" in Hebrew, in ASV translated as the "transgression that maketh desolate", and KJV as the "transgression of desolation". It is called "abomination of desolation" in Matthew 24:15 by Our Lord Jesus Christ. For the rest, the rendering is a rather literal one.
The "daily sacrifice" was burnt two times a day, that's why we understand that "2300 evenings and mornings" are 2300 sacrifices, or 1150 days. It means that ANTIOCHUS IV's "abomination of desolation" would be in its place for three years and two months. 3 YEARS AND 2 MONTHS. Do you remember the 3 1/2 years about the antichrist? We'll come back to it.
In the previous message - Daniel 8:9-12 - you can read:
"The "sanctuary" - Jerusalem's temple - and the "daily sacrifice" - the ritual sacrifices offered there - were desecrated by Antiochus IV by constructing a pagan altar upon the holy one, sacrificing unclean animals and prohibiting the sacrifices established by God's law."
That "pagan altar" is the "abomination of desolation" with which Antiochus IV desecrated the temple. The fulfilment of this prophecy is found in the 1st Book of Maccabees, chapter 1 (observe the dates of the events, given from a greek calendar) :
1:20 "In the year 143 [169 BC], after the conquest of Egypt, Antiochus marched with a great army against the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem"
1:29: "Two years later [167 BC] Antiochus sent a large army from Mysia against the towns of Judea."
1:44 "The king also sent messengers with a decree to Jerusalem and all the towns of Judea, ordering the people to follow customs that were foreign to the country"
There is evidence that in october 167 BC was this order sent to Jerusalem.
1:54 "On the fifteenth day of the month of Kislev [december] in the year 145 [167 BC], King Antiochus set up The Awful Horror on the altar of the Temple, and pagan altars were built in the towns throughout Judea."
It is known that Antiochus IV was defeated by the Maccabees, his abomination destroyed and the sanctuary reconsecrated on december 164 BC (the event which Jews celebrate each year in the Hanukkah) Three years and two months is the exact period of time between october 167 and december 164!
Now let us remember the Maccabean Thesis which tried to make the whole prophecy of Daniel about Antiochus IV. There are two different periods of abomination, one for Antiochus IV and one for the Antichrist. The only prophecies about Antiochus IV in Daniel are in Dn 8:9-14, 23-26; 11:21-35, You can't find any "time, times and a half time" there!
On the other hand, the prophecy about the Antichrist in Daniel is found in Dn 7:8, 11, 19-26; 9:26-27; 11:36-45; 12:7. It mentions "time, times and half a time" = "year, two years and a half year" or 3 1/2 years (a "half 'seven'" in 9:27) The book of Revelation retakes this period in the prophecy in several verses:
Revelation:11:2 - - - - - (42 months, 12 x 3,5)
11:3; 12:6 - - (1260 days, 30 x 42 months)
12:14 - - - - - ("time, times and half a time")
The "abomination of desolation" that Our Lord mentioned in Matthew 24:15 is not the same Antiochus IV ordered to put on the altar, because Our Lord prophesied almost 200 years later. But the Antichrist shall also fulfil this prophecy in another time. Keep reading and you'll know!
In the love of Christ, your brother
PS. Jesus is coming soon!