Daniel—Unsealed at Last!
God’s time has come to reveal some of the most profound prophecies ever in the book of Daniel. It should inspire spellbinding wonder and awe in God’s people and the world. You will have to study hard to understand and retain this astonishing revelation.
Satan clearly understands what this revelation means for his evil plans and for God’s Work. He exerts Herculean effort to stop such vital prophecy.
Daniel taught Nebuchadnezzar that “there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets” (Daniel 2:28). This prophet chastened himself before God gave him those secrets (Daniel 10:3-5, 12). Those secrets opened Daniel to Satan’s most vicious attack!
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (verse 13). Satan fought against the two great archangels, Michael and Gabriel, for 21 days. It took that long for God’s two most powerful archangels to prevail! Satan was trying to prevent God’s secrets from being revealed.
“Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days” (verse 14). This vision was for the latter days—the time we are living in now. In fact, the whole book is for this end time (Daniel 12:4, 9). Satan tried extremely hard to keep God’s vision from being revealed to Daniel. How much harder would he work to stop these secrets from being revealed and proclaimed today—since they are for the time we are living in right now? Perhaps he would try about a hundred times harder.
Daniel had to fast to hang on to those secrets. And we have to stay close to God and use His power today or we will lose God’s precious secrets—His revealed truth. We stand no chance against Satan without God’s power!
“Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will show thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince” (Daniel 10:18-21). The prince of Persia is Satan. Here Satan is struggling to change the mind of a Persian king and shift world power to work out his Earth-ruling strategy.
But before Satan did that, he tried to destroy God’s secrets given to Daniel! His first priority is always to attack God’s people—God’s secrets.
Both archangels, Michael and Gabriel, are fighting against a very powerful devil.
The demons, “rulers of the darkness,” fight and wrestle for men’s minds—especially the minds of God’s own people! (Ephesians 6:12). That is why God’s last Church era becomes lukewarm and blind (Revelation 3:14-19). Where you find God’s truth, you always find Satan’s strongest attack!
Like God, Satan finds a man to work through. Satan is the power behind both the political and spiritual beasts of Revelation 13. “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? … And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” (verses 4, 11). Satan will have absolute control of the world’s greatest superpower at that time. The whole Earth will worship him (verse 8).
Satan makes war against God’s lukewarm saints and overcomes them (verse 7). This evil power is being built in Europe even as you read this. In fact, it already virtually controls Europe.
The good news is that this same power will be conquered by Jesus Christ. But look at the suffering Satan inflicts before Christ gets here. God will allow this suffering because people won’t heed His warning message now—even His own lukewarm Church!
Christ promises His people that they can share His throne—if they overcome as He overcame (Revelation 3:21). Since Christ overcame Satan, we must also overcome Satan—or we will fail to make it into God’s Kingdom. There is an awesome reward for those called today. But it is not easy!
The new revelation from Daniel taught in this booklet exposes Satan’s evil much more clearly. All his raging power will be aimed first of all against God’s end-time Philadelphians (verses 7-22). We have received this staggering revelation. Now we must digest and proclaim it to Satan’s world. Only we are standing up and conquering the devil. That is why God continues to reveal such powerful truth only to His loyal Philadelphians. This is God’s way of encouraging us to continue to fight against Satan and this world.
Most people are unaware that there even is a devil. That is why Satan is the god of this world and deceives the whole world (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9).
Today, Satan is full of wrath because he knows he has but a short time to rule (Revelation 12:12). Therefore, he is on a lion-roaring rampage. The mind-defying problems in this world are no coincidence. And it will get much worse very quickly. Human beings must learn how helpless they are without God’s power in a world ruled by Satan.
God has now revealed prophecy from Daniel that should cause us to soar spiritually! Satan is no match for the God of Gabriel, Michael and Daniel. Now we must deliver this message and give the world a taste of God’s phenomenal power!
A casual reading of this new truth is not nearly enough to understand. You can’t comprehend this profound revelation unless you really study this booklet. If you do that, your Bible will come alive in a specific and detailed way. You will become spiritually rich and very inspired!
Chapter 1: The Daily
Just three weeks before he died, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote these words to the members and co-workers of the Worldwide Church of God: “Until the present moment I felt that God might provide a way for complete recovery, and He still may. So I have withheld this statement until now, but I feel it is better that you all know the condition. I am now in my 94th year. God may grant that I continue in this very limited manner to direct the Work for some time, but the occasional severe heart pains that I have endured have made me feel the necessity of letting our co-workers know of the condition as it is.
“Remember, this is the Work of the living Creator God. We are now very near the end of this present age. I will continue to give my all to the Work of God up to the last breath. I hope you will all realize the seriousness of the time in which we live and that nothing is important any longer other than to be close to God and assured of a place in His very soon-coming Kingdom.
“This world is not God’s world, and of that we may all be thankful. It is now in its very last days. This illness has impressed heavily on my mind, more than ever before, the uselessness of this present evil world. Thank God we are all very near to its end. …
“Regardless of the outcome of my present illness, the Work will continue right on to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, dear brethren and co-workers, I and the Work of God need, as never before, your continued fervent prayers for the continued progress of this great Work. Christ is the living Head of this Work, and He will continue guiding those He has chosen right up to His Second Coming, which grows daily nearer at hand” (emphasis mine throughout).
During the final days of his life, Mr. Armstrong was concerned most about the Work continuing. After he died, however, there was a massive revolt against what he taught. The Laodicean era began.
This marked a monumental shift in the history of the Church. Of course, God was watching over events, paying very close attention. And, as we have shown repeatedly in our literature, He was allowing things to fall apart quickly for specific reasons. It was all happening according to His prophetic plan.
The Work did continue after Mr. Armstrong died. But not in the way he expected.
As we will see in this booklet, God’s plan was much more detailed than we have ever understood before. You will see God’s extreme concern for His people—those who do His Work. But you will also notice that wherever God—and His Work—is, Satan is close by. And the war between the two is always intense.
Remember Mr. Armstrong’s letter in light of this scripture: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11). The word “sacrifice” is in italics in the King James Version of the Bible. That means the translators added it.
The only word that Daniel used is daily. That word is used about 100 times in the Old Testament. And 80 percent of the time it is translated continual or continually. It is translated always about 5 percent of the time. The Cambridge Bible reads, “the continual shall be taken away.” Our focus needs to be on the daily, or continual—not on a word (sacrifice) that is not even in the original Hebrew text.
The International Critical Commentary translates it this way: “And from the time that the constant (sacrifice) is taken away and the abomination-appalling set up there are a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
Strong’s Concordance and Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon define the Hebrew word for daily as perpetual. Webster’s Dictionary defines perpetual as “continuing forever, everlasting, valid for all time.”
There is only one Hebrew word for “daily sacrifice” in verse 11. So we will emphasize the word continual. The continual is far more than just a word. It is a vision of God’s Work from the beginning! It goes back to the time Christ built His Church (Matthew 16:18) and before. It continued from that Ephesus era to Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea (Revelation 2 and 3).
Only in the first and last centuries was the gospel preached around the world. Still, the organized work of God’s Church continues from the time of Christ’s first coming until His Second Coming. The Work is to be taken away and God’s people delivered to a place of safety (Revelation 12:14). The Work, however, will continue through the time of the two witnesses during the Great Tribulation.
The daily is God’s Work. It must continue because Christ prophesied that it would. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of [the grave] shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). The work of God’s Church is the continual. That means it will never die, or Christ is a liar. The Work is continual!
That doesn’t mean all of God’s people do His Work. In fact, most of them do not (Matthew 24:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; Revelation 3:14-17). That is why God shatters their power during the Tribulation (Daniel 12:7). The Laodicean, or lukewarm, churches fail to continue doing God’s Work. They fail to continue the Elijah work (Malachi 4:5-6; Matthew 17:10-11; 24:12-14). They will be cast into the Tribulation because of this great sin. Christ is continuing His Work today, but they are not a part of it.
Only the very elect are taken to a place of safety. Only they continue doing the Work of God. “Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Matthew 24:41). The Philadelphian woman (or Church) is taken to a place of safety. The Laodicean woman is left behind.
“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing” (verse 46). Only the Philadelphians will be found doing, or continuing, God’s Work. Christ is not living in the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:20). That is their cardinal sin.
It’s one thing to be God’s people. It’s another to be doing His Work. The big question is not “Are we God’s Church?” It’s “Are we doing the continual Work of God?”
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (verses 14-19). We are commissioned to tell the Laodiceans what God says about them! “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (verse 20).
Christ has always worked through men. The Philadelphia Church has been commissioned to knock for Christ and tell the Laodiceans that they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked”! That is God’s loving rebuke. Hearing that rebuke is their only hope to escape the
God plunges the Laodiceans into the Great Tribulation to show how He feels about us when we fail to continue His Work. God’s Work is paramount. If we can continue to do the work of the end-time Elijah, then we can continue the very Work that Christ Himself established at His first coming!
It is not easy to continue the very Work Christ started! Christ continues to do the Work through His firstfruits today. It is very hard work, but the rewards are truly phenomenal!
The Work may change its emphasis. Spiritual seasons change. But it is still God’s Work. God’s Work did not die with Mr. Armstrong. It has continued.
The book of Daniel is for this end time, even though it was written hundreds of years before Christ. Through Daniel, God has communicated an end-time message to His very elect that they must continue doing the same Work. Daniel will have lived in vain if we do not deliver his message!
We can’t be a part of the continual if we forget what God taught us. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). Only God’s people, who are written in a book, are delivered. This is a physical deliverance. The Hebrew word for delivered is translated as a physical “escape” 75 percent of the time. Why does God deliver His very elect?
The book mentioned here is not the book of life. It is the book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16). Most commentaries state that this refers to a minority of God’s people. The context makes that point very clear. A remnant fear God, and their names are in a “book of remembrance.” That means they are a part of the continual. They remember and continue God’s Work.
The majority of God’s own people forgot part or all of what God had taught them. They became Laodicean.
Philadelphians remember what God taught. “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him” (verse 17). The word jewels is a bad translation. The context of the verse tells you that. A better translation is God’s “special treasure.” Why are these people so special? God says He will “spare them as a man spares his own son” from the Great Tribulation. He will protect His Family members who remember. They remember God’s Family government, as taught by an end-time Elijah, and submit totally to their Father. They continue God’s Family government and Work.
The Laodiceans, however, stopped honoring their Father (Malachi 1:6). God cannot rule them as their Father. That is why they must be punished in the Tribulation. They didn’t continue God’s Work.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6). We are commanded to “remember the law” (verse 4). God sent an end-time Elijah—Herbert W. Armstrong—who did remember the law. God gave him His government to implement that law and establish His Family. He taught us that marriage and family are God-plane relationships.
If we continue the family government and Work Mr. Armstrong taught, then we can escape the great and dreadful Day of the Lord. But that is only the physical reward. The very elect will also rule with Christ from His headquarters forever (Revelation 3:12, 21).
Here is the big question today. “Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:18). This thought switches back to verses 13-15. The big question is, who is serving God and who is not? Those who answer that question correctly will receive some fabulous rewards! Most of God’s own people are not serving God by doing His Work! The question revolves around God’s end-time Elijah and his message. Who is continuing the Work he established? Who remembered the government he proclaimed? Who continues to honor our Father as Elijah did?
The Present Truth
Many of the Laodiceans are stuck in the past. They have no new revelation—no “present truth.” God is not revealing His secret to them.
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). The Laodiceans should have some secret prophecies to teach the world in its greatest crisis ever! But they don’t. They are stuck in a degenerating past.
“The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (verse 8). The lion has roared! It is time to prophesy about
The Laodiceans are rejecting many of the prophecies they were taught (Amos 2:11-12). This is one big reason God is not revealing prophecy to them now.
“Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12). Peter knew he had a twofold commission. First, he taught God’s people to remember what Christ had taught. Second, he admonished them to be grounded in the newly revealed truth. And even though Christ is no longer here on Earth, He still reveals new truth—the present truth—to His Church in every age.
God only reveals the present truth to those who remember what He taught in the past! This is precisely why the Laodiceans have no present truth. They don’t have God’s revealed secret or prophecy. They are not doing the continual Work of God. They are not being led by Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:20). Many have forgotten part or all of the truth they knew from the past. This attitude prevents God from revealing new truth. That is why Peter said we must be “established in the present truth.” Receiving it is not enough. We must be deeply grounded in the present truth to continue in God’s present Work! How can it be otherwise with Christ as the living Head of His Church?
God has given the Philadelphia Church very abundant truth in the major and minor prophets and other books like Lamentations and Daniel. He is using us as He did Daniel and the other prophets. We continue the same work!
Moving the Lamp
God’s tabernacle in ancient Israel had a lamp that was continually burning. It was a type of God’s spiritual lamp today.
Israel was told how to build the tabernacle (Exodus 26:1). The altar also had to be built (Exodus 27:1). There also was a lamp. “And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always” (verse 20). The lamp was to burn always, continually.
God also has a lamp in His New Testament Church. First, we are taught about the great God who keeps the lamp burning. “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks” (Revelation 1:12). That would be better translated as seven lamps—or seven Church eras.
Jesus Christ is in the midst of these seven lamps (verses 13-16). His countenance shines like the sun in its full strength. His eyes are like flames of fire.
Then God lists the seven Church eras He leads. “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden [lamps] …. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy [lamp] out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:1, 5). The Ephesus era lost its first love and so the lamp was removed. God’s people failed to continue what Christ Himself started!
There are seven eras, and one lamp in each era. God’s loyal ministers and people must keep it continually burning. Christ promised it would never go out (Matthew 16:18). The lamp had to be moved from the Ephesus era to the Smyrna era. God also had to move His lamp in the Laodicean era to another Church.
“And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:10‑11). God moved His lamp and commanded His Church to “prophesy again.” The Laodiceans have stopped prophesying (Amos 2:11-12). However, God still continues to reveal His prophecy (Amos 3:7-8).
The “little book” is the primary thrust of this “prophesy again” message. The little book’s message is directed at the Laodiceans who do not continue to keep God’s lamp burning. Their eternal lives are at stake.
So God revealed prophecy of what was happening in His own Church. The very elect focus on who says “prophesy again”—the great God of Revelation chapter 1. They don’t focus primarily on the prophecy itself, but on the Revealer.
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (Revelation 11:1-2). The word temple is from the Greek naos, meaning inner temple. That is where the Christ of Revelation 1 dwells! These saints continue to let Christ rule and do His Work through them.
Those comprising the altar, or ministry, let God measure them. This means these ministers tremble before God’s Word. And so do these very elect members.
The majority of God’s people are Laodicean and refuse to let God measure and correct them. So they have to be put in the outer court. They go into the Great Tribulation where 50 percent will repent and 50 percent will die forever!
At that time God’s very elect will be in a place of safety. The two witnesses do the continual at that time. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth” (verse 3). For the world, the flame continues to burn through the two witnesses.
When the organized Church continual is taken away, it causes many people to panic. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). The continual, or spiritual daily sacrifice, is taken away. People run to the north, south, east and west; but they can’t find God’s message as they could before. When they finally wake up, it will be too late physically! (see also Ezekiel 33:30-33).
Could one of these people be you? May God help each one of us heed this message now!
“And now, O Daniel, keep all this a close secret and keep the book shut as a secret, till the crisis at the end; ere then many shall give way and trouble shall be multiplied on earth” (Daniel 12:4; Moffatt translation). We are now in the “crisis at the end.” The trouble is not just doubled, it is multiplied! Terrifying times are here now—worse than any time in history!
The phrase “many shall give way” refers to God’s own people. As the trouble multiplies, they turn from God and give in to the world’s evil way. They quit doing God’s continual (see Matthew 24:12).
“And from the time that the daily shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11). The continual is not a physical sacrifice—it is a mind-stirring vision! This daily refers to a spiritual Work of God during all of man’s history—even before that in God’s mind.
This vision connects us to the eternal past AND the eternal future. It is a continuation of God’s great Work—without beginning or end of days!
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (verse 12). Blessed could read “oh, the blisses.” If we wait for God, what a blessing. Soon we shall be counting days until we marry Christ—“oh the blisses”! What a vision for those saints loyal to God.
If you look at its history, God’s Church often turns astray. God’s people frequently lose the vision. They fail to continue in God’s great Work. They lose their greatest reward. (For more information, request my book The True History of God’s True Church.)
Many horrendous trials lie ahead. But it is what lies beyond those trials that should excite us beyond words to describe. An excitement that will last forever!
Chapter 2: 1,150 Days
Of all the prophecies in the book of Daniel, the one in chapter 8 has been most misunderstood. Just look into the commentaries on this chapter. Many churches admit they do not understand it. But God has now revealed the full meaning behind this fascinating chapter. Understanding Daniel 8 will make Bible prophecy come alive!
In verse 26, God told Daniel to seal up the vision, “for it relates to the far future” (Moffatt). It was not to be understood until the end time because that is when it was to be fulfilled. Notice verse 17: “… Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end” (Revised Standard Version).
Now is the time of the end! Let’s understand this vitally important, end-time prophecy.
Verse 1 dates when the prophecy was written. Daniel recorded the vision in the third year of the reign of Belshazzar—550 b.c. He was at Shushan, at the palace in the province of Elam (verse 2).
The vision begins in verse 3: “Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great” (verses 3-4).
Just what is this mysterious ram referred to in verse 3? God reveals the answer in verse 20: “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.” Daniel lived during the time of the first world-ruling empire—Babylonia. This prophecy begins by discussing the next major empire—the Medo-Persian Empire. The Medo-Persian Empire destroyed the Babylonian Empire in 539 b.c. and ruled until 331 b.c.
Verse 5 continues the prophecy: “And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.” Who or what is this he goat, and what does the “notable horn” represent? Again, the Bible interprets itself. Continue in verse 21: “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.” How clear! The goat represents the Greco-Macedonian Empire, and the notable horn stands for its first king—Alexander the Great. Alexander’s empire overwhelmed the Medo-Persians in 331 b.c., just as verses 6 and 7 prophesied!
Continue in verse 8: “Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and [in its place] came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.” The horn that represented the first Grecian king, Alexander, was suddenly broken. Alexander the Great, at the height of his power, died of fever suddenly while in Babylon. He was only 33 years old.
Verse 22 reveals what was to happen after Alexander’s death: “Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” After Alexander died in 323 b.c., his kingdom was divided into four major parts, none of which were as strong as Alexander’s empire.
Keep in mind the time sequence as we proceed. Daniel recorded the vision in 550 b.c., while the Babylonian Empire ruled. It was destroyed in 539 b.c. by the Medo-Persians, who were then crushed by the Grecians in 331 b.c. Alexander died in 323 b.c. So the rest of this prophecy in Daniel could not have been fulfilled before 323 b.c.
The Little Horn
Let’s continue the prophecy in Daniel 8:9: “And 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.” Some say this little horn arose before Alexander’s empire. But that’s impossible. It came forth out of the four divisions of the Grecian Empire. Whatever this horn is, it came on the scene after Alexander the Great, after the four divisions of his empire.
First, so there is no confusion, this is not referring to the little horn mentioned in Daniel 7:8. That little horn rose up in the midst of the other horns. In Daniel 8:9, the little horn springs up out of one of the four horns from Alexander’s empire.
Virtually all commentaries agree on who this little horn in Daniel 8 is: Antiochus Epiphanes. He came up out of one of the four divisions and, in a sense, bridged the gap between the Greco-Macedonian Empire and the Roman Empire. Antiochus was a ruthless dictator who, through deceitful lies and flatteries, obtained rule in Palestine in 176 b.c. He was responsible for setting up the abomination of desolation. In 168 b.c., Antiochus pillaged and desecrated the Jews’ temple in Jerusalem. Greek historian Polybius observed that he “despoiled most sanctuaries.” He also burdened the Jews with unbearable taxes. “Throughout the turbulent changes of its past history,” wrote Werner Keller in The Bible as History, “Israel had been spared none of the horror and ignominy which could befall a nation. But never before, neither under the Assyrians nor under the Babylonians, had it received such a blow as the edict issued by Antiochus Epiphanes by which he hoped to crush and destroy the faith of Israel” (see also 1 Maccabees 1:44, Jewish history).
This prophecy in Daniel also applies to an end-time Antiochus. His goal will be to crush the faith of spiritual Israel—God’s Church.
There is also an end-time abomination of desolation, as prophesied here in Daniel 8 and in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. This we have known for many years. But what we have not understood is the spiritual dimension to this prophecy.
As we have already noted, the last part of Daniel 8:17 reads, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end” (rsv). While there certainly is a historical fulfillment to this passage, most of it is to occur in our time today. Verse 23 verifies this: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full ….”
This whole vision is about an evening and morning sacrifice in the temple. The temple, today, is God’s Church (Ephesians 2:20-21). So the whole vision, as we shall see, is mainly about God’s Church! We have always taught that Antiochus is a type of one who will rule the resurrected Roman Empire in this end time. But he is also a type of one who would rule in God’s end-time Church!
Anciently, Antiochus went to Jerusalem and desecrated the temple first. Afterward, he ransacked the whole city. It’s important that we understand this critical time sequence.
“Yea, he magnified himself even to [margin reads ‘against’] 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 practised, and prospered” (Daniel 8:11-12). There are several things to note here. Verse 11 is speaking in military terms. Someone, somewhere, has the gall to take on Jesus Christ, our military Commander. Only Satan could motivate a man to operate so boldly.
Verse 12 says an army was given to Satan “against the daily.” By him the “daily” was taken away. Just as in Daniel 12:11, “sacrifice” is in italics and should be left out of the translation. Anciently, the daily sacrifice was offered in the temple. Today, the temple is the Church—so, again, the daily in prophecy refers to the sacrifice, or work, of the Church.
Notice, here the daily is taken away because of transgression. So this is a different event than in Daniel 12:11, where there is a “daily” taken away because of righteousness—to the place of safety. Also, in Daniel 12 an end-time Antiochus violently shatters the power of the holy people. But here in Daniel 8, he subtly comes to the temple with flatteries.
Daniel 8 is discussing transgression, truth being cast to the ground—a satanic host practicing and prospering at destroying the daily—all from within the sanctuary, God’s own Church. This is not the destruction to occur in the Tribulation. It’s going on within the Church before the Tribulation. Inside the Church, a man is acting like God, magnifying himself even to the prince of the host, casting truth to the ground. Satan is behind him. This man took away the daily—the continual—the Work of God.
The word transgression in verse 12 means revolt, rebellion, sin against lawful authority. The daily was taken away because of sin. The Church of God was attacked from within. It doesn’t say the Church died or that the Work ended. The Work was just temporarily stopped because of sin. Satan, in a warlike expedition (like Antiochus anciently), took away the daily. He destroyed the faith of God’s people to do God’s Work—the same goal Antiochus had anciently!
“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” (verse 13). In other words, how long shall the daily—the Work of God—be suspended?
The answer is in Daniel 8:14: “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” The King James is not the best translation for this verse. The Revised Standard Version says, “For two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings” (see margin of kjv). Not 2,300 days—2,300 evenings and mornings. Verse 26 even calls this the vision of the “evening and the morning.” Leviticus 6:9 and 12 show that the daily sacrifice was offered in the evening and in the morning.
The meaning of this prophecy is clear: The daily was to stop, because of sin, for 2,300 evening and morning sacrifices. As Mr. Armstrong always taught, since the sacrifices were offered twice a day anciently, the duration is actually 1,150 days. At the end of 1,150 days, “then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” The word cleansed at the end of the verse means to be made right, straight, true, just or righteous. The Revised Standard Version says the sanctuary “shall be restored to its rightful state.” When? After 1,150 days from the time it was taken away because of sin.
Remember, here in Daniel 8, Satan takes away the daily because of sin. In Daniel 12:11, God takes it away because of righteousness when the Tribulation begins. The stoppage in God’s Work here in Daniel 8 actually occurs well before the Tribulation begins. The question is, when did Satan take away the daily because of sin, and when did the 1,150 days end?
The Man of Sin
2 Thessalonians 2 reveals when the 1,150 days began. It is a parallel passage to Daniel 8:10-12. The brethren in Thessalonica had been shaken by dissident literature and lies about Christ’s return. Paul wrote to clear up the confusion. “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 worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). Malachi’s Message irrefutably proves that the temple of God is the Church in this end time—meaning this man of sin infiltrated the Church of God through craft and deceit, just as Antiochus did to the Jews anciently. This end-time man of sin exalts, or magnifies, himself above God, not by words necessarily, but by his actions. His primary mission is to stop the daily and cast God’s truth to the ground—but all in the name of “love” and “peace.”
“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time” (verses 5-6). This sinful leader would have emerged sooner had it not been for a restraint, as it says in the Revised Standard Version. Someone held this man back. “For the mystery of iniquity [or sin] doth already work: only he who now letteth [or restrains] will let [restrain], until he be taken out of the way” (verse 7). Someone restrained this man of sin. Then the man who did the restraining was taken out of the way.
Those familiar with Herbert W. Armstrong and his writings know that over the course of his ministry he suppressed and restrained numerous rebellions and betrayals—especially during the 1970s when dozens of ministers, including his own son, had to be put out of the Church. Liberals wanted to water down God’s truth while Mr. Armstrong was away from headquarters visiting world leaders.
Shortly before his death in 1986, even though the Work had grown abundantly for seven years, Mr. Armstrong still perceived a liberal undercurrent within the Church. He even said there were those who, like vultures, wanted him to die so they could take over the Church!
Then, on Jan. 16, 1986, Mr. Armstrong was taken out of the way. On that day, the great spiritual war of Daniel 8 began. On that day, Satan began working mainly through one man, systematically dismantling and casting to the ground the truth that Mr. Armstrong had taught.
The 1,150 Days
This spiritual destruction has been well documented—even admitted to by those who have worked so hard to destroy any last vestige of Mr. Armstrong’s lifelong work. On Jan. 16, 1986, the daily was taken away, signaling the beginning of the 1,150 days.
Using Jan. 16, 1986, as our beginning point makes Saturday, March 11, 1989, the end of the 1,150 days. I was fired from the Worldwide Church of God on Dec. 7, 1989, for upholding what Mr. Armstrong taught. That was nearly nine months after the 1,150 days ended. I was fired for what I had been writing in my manuscript later printed as Malachi’s Message. And I had been working on the manuscript for nearly nine months! Though I do not remember the exact date God began revealing Malachi’s Message to me, it is safe to say that it was on or around March 11, 1989. Malachi’s Message exposed the great treachery and deceit going on within the Church at that time. It showed how the Work had been stopped because of sin—a “man of sin.”
God always starts things small (see Zechariah 4:10). Christ compared His Kingdom to a mustard seed, which is the smallest of seeds, but when fully grown, greatest among herbs (Matthew 13:31-32). On March 11, 1989, God began to cleanse the sanctuary. True, it began with just me. But doesn’t God always work through one man? God revealed Malachi’s Message to one man. Over the course of 1989, He did that—to me. Then on December 7, my assistant, John Amos, and I were summoned to Pasadena, California, where we were summarily fired from the ministry and excommunicated from the Worldwide Church of God because of Malachi’s Message. And just look at what God has done since—even after a most humble beginning. Where is the daily today? Which group continues with Mr. Armstrong’s work? For those with eyes to see, it is clear. Mr. Armstrong’s work has been revived. His work was stopped, but it did not die—thanks to what God has done through the Philadelphia Church of God. God has cleansed the sanctuary. He has cleansed those who have been willing to be measured.
We need to clearly understand the meaning of the word host. “And 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” (Daniel 8:9). The little horn is Antiochus. Again, this is a type of the coming leader of the Holy Roman Empire. But it is also a type of a leader inside God’s own Church.
There is a duality here. First, there is an Antiochus used by Satan to destroy God’s Church, spiritual Israel, from the inside. Then there is an Antiochus, leading the Holy Roman Empire, who destroys the nations of Israel.
“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” (verse 10). The Revised Standard Version reads “of the host of the stars.” God’s own people are helped by the stars, or angels, of God (Revelation 1:20), if they desire help. This evil power “stamped upon them”—the end-time Laodiceans—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, army.” The expression also means to muster soldiers for warfare.
Host 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.
“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” (Daniel 8:11). These words are written in military terms. The Prince of the host is Christ. The word to should be against. This Antiochus, inside God’s Church, is fighting against Christ.
There are two great sins. The daily, or Work of God, has been taken away by this evil man. Also, the place of the sanctuary, the place where God’s Work was being done, was cast down.
This evil Antiochus took over God’s Church. Only the very elect remained loyal to God and were used to continue His Work.
God’s Work is always done through men and women. It takes time to continue God’s Work when it has been destroyed.
“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” (verse 12). This evil Antiochus was given an army of God’s own people to fight against God! Satan gave him this army because God’s people sinned.
In 2 Thessalonians 2, this same event is called “a great falling away” in the Greek. That is another way of saying they were “casting truth to the ground,” or destroying the faith of God’s people.
First you must have the truth to cast it to the ground! Who had the truth in this end time? God sent an end-time Elijah (Herbert W. Armstrong) to “restore all things” (Matthew 17:10-11).
Elijah had to be the source of this truth discussed in Daniel 8, because he restored all things—all major truth in this end time!
Then, after the Church rebelled, God commanded His very elect to “prophesy again” (Revelation 10:11). We must do the continual by prophesying again as Mr. Armstrong did—with new revelation added, as always.
This is all so very simple and logical if we understand God’s truth.
The great responsibility that each of God’s members has is to keep the world and sin out of God’s Church. It is a continual battle when you have God’s truth. Satan is totally committed to destroying that truth.
We must fight to keep Satan and transgression out. That means you must have God’s government—headed by a leader like Mr. Armstrong—to implement God’s law. This is where the Laodiceans have transgressed. They rejected the government God gave to Mr. Armstrong. Only the pcg continues that same identical government. Every one of the Laodicean groups have rejected God’s government. That is why they are Laodicean!
What is our spiritual war about? It’s about fighting for truth. Once we have the truth, it is our basic duty to keep Satan from casting it to the ground. We are God’s loyal host—defenders of the faith.
Implementing God’s government and law is the only way to protect God’s precious truth.
God’s Church has suffered probably the worst defeat ever in this end time. And it all revolves around rejecting God’s government. That is where the great transgression lies.
Where do you find this war of Daniel chapter 8 today? If we know God’s truth, the answer is painfully clear!
The host, or God’s own army, has been “trodden under foot” because of its rebellion (verse 13). This is the greatest crisis in this end time! Why? Because many of those Laodicean people will lose their salvation. Nothing could be more serious.
The Last End
Daniel didn’t understand this vision God was giving him. God sent the archangel Gabriel to Daniel to explain (Daniel 8:15-16). “Understand, O son of man,” Gabriel said, “for at the time of the end shall be the vision” (verse 17). That means what it says! Though prophecy is dual, and this passage was fulfilled in part by Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century b.c., its main fulfillment is for “the time of the end”—the time immediately preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this Earth.
“Now as he was speaking with me,” Daniel wrote, “I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be” (verses 18-19). This all unfolds in the “last end”—the end of the end time, as we have often said. We are in that time! Notice it says, “for at the time appointed the end shall be.” The time appointed at the “last end” means the 1,150 days. That has come and gone—meaning there is not much more time left before Christ returns.
Skip down to verse 23: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” Keep in mind the context. The main fulfillment of this is for the time of the end. It’s still speaking about what’s happening inside the Church. It’s a time when transgressors, or sinners, “are come to the full”—during the Laodicean era, led by a man of sin.
“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (verse 24). There is a far greater power here than just a physical being. Satan is behind this man. As we have taught in the past, this verse does refer to a Satan-inspired man in league with the great false church to rally a united Europe. In type, this verse applies to that Hitler-type leader. He will be the leader of the Holy Roman Empire.
The next verse is even more descriptive: “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; but he shall be broken without hand” (verse 25). This man will destroy many people by preaching peace, peace—or love, love—but he practices the opposite. His is a policy of craft, or deceit, as it reads in the Revised Standard Version.
Satan is to blame above all. He is the father of lies and deceit (John 8:44). He never comes with warlike rhetoric—it’s always with words of “love” and “peace.” (Paul even said the devil is disguised as an “angel of light” in 2 Corinthians 11:14.) But make no mistake, Satan comes to destroy! He destroys by peace and, as Lange’s Commentary adds, “with suddenness, by a malignant purpose.”
In verse 26 of chapter 8, Daniel writes, “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.” Today we are right in the midst of it. This is happening in God’s temple. This whole vision is about God’s Church right now—the last end. Daniel is trying to get us to see the kind of warfare going on behind the scenes.
This is the only time of salvation for those members called into the Church of God today. Judgment is now on us. If we fail this time, there is no second chance.
God gets very specific with this prophecy. It’s carefully planned to the very day! What a loving God we have. If God did so much to help Daniel fight against Satan while this was being revealed, what kind of battle do you think we will face as God opens our minds to actually understand and proclaim this message? Satan is raging mad right now. He’s been cast down to this Earth and his sight is fixed on you—your faith. How will you respond to his attack? Will you be like so many Laodiceans who have caved in to the pressure? Or will you respond as Daniel did?
“And 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” (verse 27). He was astonished, and he didn’t even understand it! Now that you understand, how astonished are you?
Chapter 3: The Two Abominations
Abomination of desolation—those are, I believe, the strongest, most condemning words in the Bible! If God inspires these to be the strongest words in the Bible, He does so for good reason. So please read and study carefully to make certain that you understand.
The physical abomination of desolation will appear in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Tribulation, just as the Church has always taught. But let’s remember, there is also a spiritual abomination of desolation that has already been set up within God’s Church in this end time.
We see the desolation of this spiritual abomination all around us: 95 percent of God’s people are greatly wounded spiritually, if not already dead, because of it. God gives clear instruction about how we ought to react: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-16). God says when you see this abomination surrounding Jerusalem, run from it just as fast as you can!
The Antiochus spoken of by Daniel has a physical and a spiritual end-time fulfillment. “And out of one of them came forth a little horn [Antiochus], which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. 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” (Daniel 8:9-10).
The Revised Standard Version reads, “of the host of the stars”; in other words, it’s talking about those people the angels of God are to protect, if they remain obedient to God. The spiritual Antiochus has cast some of God’s saints into very dangerous spiritual territory.
You can see from verses 23-24 that even the physical abomination in the Tribulation will have as its primary goal the destruction of God’s people. God’s people are always the target of Satan’s malicious power.
That is also the goal of the spiritual Antiochus—the false leader within God’s end-time Church. Both the physical and the spiritual abominations are led by a man—a man controlled by Satan the devil. And by spiritual, I mean this abomination destroys God’s people spiritually. Verse 12 says that the spiritual Antiochus casts the truth to the ground. This abomination is destroying the faith and love of God’s people, as well as the doctrines within the Church!
Verse 25 is also talking about the physical abomination, but notice that in verse 26 the focus is back on events within the Church. God primarily wants His people to focus on this spiritual abomination, the spiritual Antiochus. He comes on the scene before the physical abomination of desolation, before the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.
Truth to the Ground
Let’s go back to a few of the initial verses to make certain that we understand. “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” (Daniel 8:13). What brings the desolation? Transgression! Transgression of God’s law. It causes cataclysmic destruction to God’s Church.
We must understand that there is an all-out spiritual war raging right now! And most of God’s people are losing that war. They’re being defeated by the spiritual abomination of desolation, cast to the ground and stamped upon! (verse 10). They’ve lost their faith because they’re transgressing the law and rejecting the government of God, which teaches that law. It’s all happening because of transgression. Can we grasp how dangerous this is?
This is one battle we cannot afford to lose. Yet 95 percent of God’s people are losing it. And half of them will never recover. We are probably witnessing the most spiritual casualties ever in the history of God’s Church! That must serve as a warning to God’s very elect. The abomination is surely going to work hard to destroy you. But we do have an angelic army fighting for us. Nobody can stamp upon us if we’re loyal to God, because God’s angels will protect us.
This spiritual Antiochus is extremely arrogant. “Yea, he magnified himself even [against] the prince of the host [Jesus Christ Himself!], and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down” (verse 11). Through transgression this man actually got an army of God’s own people to fight against God! This does not happen in the Tribulation; they’ll be repenting of sin in the Tribulation. This has already happened.
“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 practised, and prospered” (verse 12). Have we seen someone in God’s Church raise himself up to God’s level and cast truth to the ground in this end time? Oh yes! Would you say the abomination is prospering today at casting down truth? Just look at all the Laodicean groups! Daniel 11:31 and 12:11 call it “the abomination that maketh desolate.” That’s a very accurate description of what has happened to God’s Church.
We’ve seen that Satan was able to take away the daily. He destroyed God’s Work. It takes time, once that happens, to move the lamp and raise up another work. It took 1,150 days for God to get something to start with—to cleanse the sanctuary and begin again (Daniel 8:14).
There is a little group resisting the spiritual Antiochus, fighting that abomination. Satan is absolutely wrathful toward us because we’re proclaiming to the world a warning about the physical abomination that’s coming, and about the spiritual abomination in God’s Church today.
Are we absolutely determined that we will never, ever be a part of casting God’s truth to the ground? Has Satan been successful at casting any truth to the ground in your life?
Realize, we don’t even know what that truth is unless we know what Mr. Armstrong taught. He restored all things. I only know what he taught me, and what God has revealed since. So many of God’s people weren’t close to God and didn’t even remember what Mr. Armstrong taught. That’s why the spiritual Antiochus was so successful with his deceit, fraud and lies.
What was our court battle about? It was about fighting to keep God’s truth from being cast to the ground! That physical struggle was just a reflection of the spiritual war going on. Who else on this Earth would fight for Mystery of the Ages? We are it! We’re in a war over truth. Who is teaching the truth as Mr. Armstrong restored it? It’s your responsibility to get detailed in your Bible study and prove who is.
Here is another description of this war over the truth: “Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame” (Micah 2:6). We are living this verse today! This is the warfare we’re engaged in: a war over God’s message.
“They shall not take shame” is rendered in the Revised Standard Version, “disgrace will not overtake us.” That’s what the Laodiceans are saying, as they try to suppress the truth. But God thunders back, Disgrace will overtake you! Those people trying to stop our message will soon be very disgraced!
By their deeds, the Laodiceans are saying, Don’t prophesy what God says. Here is God’s rebuttal: “Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war” (verse 8). All of the Laodiceans are fighting against God! They are casting truth to the ground! They are transgressing the law, because they are rejecting the government of God! And so God calls them His enemy.
If you are a Laodicean, or lukewarm, you are part of the abomination of desolation!
These people had God’s prophecy in the past, but now they want to stop it. Instead of going out and proclaiming to the world a message about the physical abomination of desolation, they’ve become the spiritual abomination of desolation! They’re destroying the message they’re supposed to be proclaiming!
We can’t be naive about what we are fighting against. Satan is behind these two abominations—the physical and the spiritual. We’re not simply fighting a man! We’re fighting Satan, who empowers a man. And we’re fighting all those who support him—even those who may not be fully supportive but are still casting truth to the ground. Those people have been greatly wounded by the spiritual army that’s attacking them.
Even if they consider themselves neutral, they are still aiding Satan.
Remember, Daniel 8:19 talks about the “last end of the indignation.” This is not the end that Daniel talks about most of the time, but the last end. This is after Elijah restored all things, and after all that truth was cast to the ground. It’s the time when a new work is raised up to fight against that abomination. It’s also a time when the physical abomination is fast rising on the scene. It’s a time when the nations of Israel are collapsing morally and spiritually.
You know that the spiritual desolation we see today never would have occurred while Mr. Armstrong was the head of God’s Church. But God took him out of the way. And then along came a man who sat in the temple acting like God, but casting the truth of God to the ground! What an abomination. (When Mr. Armstrong was alive, we thought that 2 Thessalonians 2 was about the abomination of desolation. We were only half right: It’s about the spiritual abomination! And at the same time, it gives us an insight into how the physical abomination will operate.)
God took Mr. Armstrong out of the way to see how much we love the truth. He wants each of His people to take responsibility for fighting against that truth being cast to the ground! He wants to know if we really want to be part of His army, the army that will defeat Satan.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). This is talking about the Great Tribulation. But if you look at it spiritually, we’re already in the worst time of suffering ever on this Earth! God’s Church has never suffered such a defeat by Satan!
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (verse 3). This is all in the context of the battle we’re fighting today. “Run to and fro” in verse 4 means apostatize, or turn people away from God. That’s the spiritual abomination. Now, we could say, God, how can you expect me to turn people to righteousness when 95 percent of your people are turning away from the truth? Yet God says there is a very elect turning people to righteousness in the midst of these terrible times. Just as God’s repentant people will have to battle the physical abomination in the Tribulation, we have to battle the spiritual abomination today.
A Place of Safety
Here’s what happens in the Tribulation: “… it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to [shatter] the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7).
Who is doing battle for God? “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried …” (verse 10). Are we being purified and tried? More than we ever have been in our lives! The Laodiceans are not accepting the trial and test and correction of God through God’s government: “… but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (verse 10). Accepting that correction shows that we are wise and that the Laodiceans are wicked.
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice [God’s Work] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (verse 11). Look at the contrast in this verse. One group is doing the daily, and they are taken away; another is left behind to deal with the physical abomination of desolation. There is a tremendous message here: You either do the Work of God, or you go into the Tribulation! God will take those who do His Work to a place of safety on the wings of an eagle. They will just fly away, because they have been soaring spiritually! Because they were tried and purified and made white, and because they conquered the abomination that made desolate inside God’s Church, they escape the worst physical suffering ever.
Contrast this daily with the daily in Daniel 8:11-12. One group of God’s people was conquered inside God’s Church because they transgressed. The other kept the law and government, and God used them to raise up His Work again and do it until the very end! The first daily is done several years before the Tribulation, while the second daily is taken away only days before the Tribulation, when God’s people are taken to a place of safety.
Matthew 24 provides a parallel account. “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?” (verse 3). That’s the time setting. Notice: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many [or the majority in some translations] shall wax cold” (verse 12). This is agape love, which only God’s people have. This verse is about the truth being cast to the ground in this end time.
Then comes this prophecy: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (verses 15-16).
Remember, there are two abominations—spiritual and physical. Christ was speaking directly to His disciples. The world has never understood Christ’s message to His disciples. But He was also speaking to the whole world in these prophecies. That means we must understand this on two levels.
The abomination is standing in the “holy place.” Spiritually, that means God’s Church—spiritual Jerusalem (“Jerusalem, which is above … is the mother of us all”—Galatians 4:26). It has been conquered by the spiritual abomination, with its army of evil spirit beings.
There is also a physical army about to surround the city of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-23). This city is called the “holy place” because of its history and because it is about to be ruled by Jesus Christ. The plan is already in place. God “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). Whoever believes Christ, for example, “has everlasting life” (John 6:47), even though that condition is not yet a reality.
Hosea 5:5 says that Ephraim (Britain), Manasseh (America) and Judah (Israel) will all fall together. God’s people in all of those nations will need to flee, not just those “in Judaea.”
In Revelation 3:9, God condemns some people for lying by saying they are spiritual Jews. Those who flee before the Tribulation will be true spiritual Jews. Spiritually speaking, they are in Judaea. That means they have the number one spiritual Jew, Christ, living in them! They’ve been promised protection from the Tribulation (verse 10).
Just by looking at some of the statements the Laodicean leaders and members are making, you can see that they’re in complete doctrinal confusion. They don’t believe in God’s government. That is because they’ve been battered about by the abomination of desolation! They’ve all been conquered!
But when God’s spiritual Jews see the abomination, they get out of that church and “flee into the mountains”—to God’s spiritual mountains, or Philadelphian churches around the world, where God dwells. If they don’t flee, Satan destroys them! The same is true of both abominations. We must flee when we see these terrible things happening, or when they are about to happen.
A mountain is a symbol of government (Daniel 2:44-45; Ezekiel 28:14). Spiritually, God’s people are told to flee to the mountains, or churches of God around the world. This has been occurring since God’s Philadelphia Church was raised up.
Those who fail to flee become Laodicean.
Most prophecies are dual. There appears to be a physical and spiritual duality in this prophecy.
America and Britain are going to have deadly internal problems before the great tribulation even begins (Ezekiel 5). It is conceivable that God’s very elect from those two nations could be taken to Judea or Judah (called Israel today), shortly before the tribulation begins.
There is a prophecy where God’s leaders and supporters are in great conflict with their government and are commanded to flee to Judah (Amos 7:10-17). God could allow this to happen to protect some of His people before they get to a place of protection.
A certain number of God’s very elect could live and do God’s work in Judah (Isaiah 40:9) and then flee to a place of safety from there. That would serve as a signal for all of God’s people around the world to flee.
Regardless, when we see the city of Jerusalem surrounded by European armies, it is a signal for God’s people to flee, wherever they may be living.
The Place of His Sanctuary
Let’s look more deeply into what the spiritual Antiochus did. “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” (Daniel 8:11). This man took the daily, the Work of God, away: the 400 television stations, the 8 million Plain Truth circulation, the $200 million annual income.
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 verse 11, however, refers to a physical place. Strong’s Concordance calls it “an abode, a foundation.” Gesenius’ Lexicon 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. A construction that was built, or a dwelling, and so used especially of God’s abode.”
What happened to this “place?” The words cast down imply it was both thrown down and thrown away. Commentaries describe it as having been laid waste like a wilderness.
This is exactly what is happening to the Ambassador Auditorium, the building Mr. Armstrong and the Church called “God’s house.” That would have to be Satan’s first physical target, after God’s people: the place of God’s sanctuary.
Looking through the verses in Daniel 8, we can see that when “the transgressors are come to the full,” that Antiochus, “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,” will “stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power,” but Satan’s power. He will “cause craft to prosper in his hand … and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes ….” He stands up against Jesus Christ. This is in the context of the physical abomination.
But verse 26 calls this “the vision of the evening and the morning”—or the temple, and the sacrifices there. The International Critical Commentary says that is like a summary title of the whole vision. In other words, the vision is primarily about the temple and the “place” of God’s sanctuary.
Love Waxes Cold
Again, we are to flee from the abomination. “Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing 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 them that give suck [those suckling—spiritual infants] in those days!” (Matthew 24:16-19). Let’s quickly review what this verse is talking about.
It says in Isaiah 28:9 that God will teach His knowledge and doctrine to those who are “weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” This reveals the Laodiceans’ weakness. They were absolutely dependent upon a strong leader, Mr. Armstrong, to stick with God. Their spiritual immaturity was exposed when he died. They had never been weaned from the milk. They failed to really grasp what Mr. Armstrong taught, and now they reject him as God’s end-time Elijah.
The Laodiceans didn’t truly grasp what Mr. Armstrong taught about the abomination of desolation, and now they’ll have to experience it—spiritually and physically!
It isn’t accidental for Satan to be able to strike and conquer an entire Church. He had to get them ready, he had to prepare for it, just like he’s preparing the physical abomination of desolation right now. Matthew 24:12 shows that iniquity was abounding in the Church. That happened in the ’70s. And once God’s people lost the law, they no longer knew what love was. Their love just waxed cold! What a warning to us! Do you realize your love can wax cold even as you’re sitting in God’s true Church? Then it’s just a matter of time before Satan conquers us. 2 Thessalonians 2 says the Laodiceans are perishing for not loving the truth.
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). This refers to the end of this age. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (verse 14). Thayer’s says, “What end is intended the reader must determine by the context.” That verse is discussing the end of the Philadelphia era. Of course, it’s referring to Mr. Armstrong’s work. After he died, we entered the last end. That gives us a very good idea of where we are in prophecy. The commission is no longer to preach the gospel to the world. Now the commission centers around warning about what comes on the scene immediately after his death: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation …” (verse 15). After Mr. Armstrong died, we entered into two periods. The spiritual abomination began immediately, and that leads into the physical abomination. (Then follows verse 16, where we’re told to flee from both.) This last end is a lot rougher time in many ways.
Hitler once said, “What you tell people in the mass in a receptive state of fanatic devotion will remain; words received under a hypnotic influence are radical and impervious to every reasonable explanation.” You can’t reasonably explain this hypnotic influence. He said, “A new age of magic interpretation of the world is coming, of interpretation in terms of the will and not of the intelligence.”
In Colossians, Paul talks about what happened to the Colossians and Laodiceans anciently and today. “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of [demons], intruding into those things which he [has] seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head …” (Colossians 2:18-19). They lost the government and law of God. More explanation of these verses can be found in our booklet Colossians: First-Century Parallels.
But notice verse 23: “Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship ….” That’s what the Laodiceans have gotten into. And that’s what Hitler was talking about!—“magic interpretation … in terms of the will.”
If Satan had conquered God, that is the kind of world we would have. That is what is coming out of Pasadena. When I was fired, it wasn’t a matter of the wcg leaders’ looking into the Bible for answers; they just had a magic interpretation of things and said, by implication, You follow our will, which happened to be Satan’s will. And many of God’s people have followed that will. “Will worship” essentially comes down to worshiping demons. That’s the new age Hitler wanted to usher in. That’s the world Satan wants.
Wicked Compass the Righteous
Habakkuk also describes the spiritual abomination of desolation. He saw a great deal of violence, and he cried to God, “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!” (Habakkuk 1:2). These are the same questions we were asking after Mr. Armstrong died. But God wouldn’t save the Church. Why?
“Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass [or surround] about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth” (verse 4). The wicked are surrounding the righteous—the same picture that Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 give: wicked demons and people, the abomination of desolation, surrounding spiritual Jerusalem, God’s Church. A hostile takeover. Habakkuk saw it happen to the physical temple anciently. You could tie it in with Daniel 8 and the place of His sanctuary today.
What did this demon army first attack? God’s law! And those who enforced that law! That’s always where the abomination strikes first! Now wickedness surrounds spiritual Jerusalem, just like it will physical Jerusalem shortly.
Now, what happened after the law was slacked? God came up with a masterful solution. “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you” (Habakkuk 1:5). God raised up a new work through people with the faith to follow God. They kept the law—which is God’s love (1 John 5:3). The Laodiceans don’t believe that this is actually the Work of the living God. But we need to be aware of who we are!
“For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation …” (Habakkuk 1:6). That’s the physical abomination.
Did you notice how our work is sandwiched between these two abominations? Where would the world be without this Work?
We must be prepared now, because as we do our work, the physical abomination is getting ready to do its work.
Understanding this subject helps us to clearly see what Satan is doing, both in the Church and in the world. It also helps us to see what we’re doing. What a great honor to be able to serve God in this way: to tell everyone what is happening inside God’s Church and to prepare them for what Europe is going to do.
We must tell the world about the two abominations. God has raised up this Work. People, by and large, don’t believe it. But through us God will turn many to righteousness! That will be the greatest glory we’ll have ever been a part of!
Chapter 4: Spiritual Warfare
While most of the book of Daniel is recorded prophecy for our time today, there are some passages that give us insight into Daniel himself and the task God set before him. Daniel 9 and 10 are good examples. Let’s consider Daniel and the spiritual war he waged against satanic forces.
“In the first year of [Darius the king] I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:2). Daniel understood by books. He studied hard and was brilliant because of it. God wants us to bear down like Daniel and understand what these prophecies are all about. That means putting in diligent, earnest study. God is making us study hard to really get it!
“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (verse 3). Daniel prayed and fasted—and he was doing it with a humble attitude. This is how Daniel prepared to receive the revelation—he got himself totally out of the way. And so God opened his mind and gave him what he needed to know.
“And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments” (verse 4). Here Daniel begins praying to God. And notice, he understood that loving God revolved around keeping His commandments.
Continuing with Daniel’s prayer: “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments” (verse 5). Do you see how Daniel approached God? He said we. His people had departed from God’s precepts and judgments. Although Daniel himself had not forsaken God, he knew his people had. The Revised Standard Version says they “turned aside.” These people turned aside from God’s commandments and judgments. That in itself implies that they turned aside from someone who had been teaching God’s law in this end time—someone who had made just judgments. (The word judgments in verse 5 means decisions, based on God’s law, which are binding.)
Daniel is talking about a covenant, the commandments and God’s government. If we are to do a powerful work, someone has to make judgments when God opens doors. That requires authority. The Philadelphia Church of God produces so much fruit because we have God’s government! Going through open doors requires judgment from someone with the authority to make decisions. You cannot build a house for God without His government. Without one man at the top with full authority, it will fail 100 percent of the time. This is so important because if we do not get this government right, we will not rule this Earth!
This verse in Daniel tells us what happened to God’s Church in this end time. Mr. Armstrong’s judgments are legally binding on us. God condemns His Church for “departing” from “judgments” made by His apostle. Now if Mr. Armstrong wanted Mystery of the Ages to reach the largest audience possible, is that judgment legally binding on God’s people today? Remember, the daily is also translated as the “continual.” Aren’t we bound to continue doing what the Elijah wanted done? God gave the message to Mr. Armstrong, who then gave it to the people. That’s why there was so much fruit.
Of course, there are risks when one man is in authority. But there is no risk at all when Christ leads that man. God has given us a beautiful form of government. All we have to do is hold on to the Head. Christ will take care of us.
Other Laodicean groups are trying to justify a government that is not God’s. One Laodicean even said that the Church of God must structure itself, since Jesus did not teach His disciples how to structure the government in the Church.
We must understand this! We are about to rule the world. Unless the government is right, nothing is right! Our whole life is hanging in the balance. If we follow God, we’re in good hands. He has given us everything. We don’t have to guess.
Getting God Renown
Daniel loved his family enough to cry out to God, “We have sinned.” Daniel had so much depth! That’s because he had God’s love.
We cannot let our love become shallow. We are Christ’s Bride. And some of the members of that Body have turned away from their Husband. Then there are those in the world, all of whom have the potential to be born into God’s Family as children. Are we motivated to reach God’s Family—even those who are only potential members of that Family? Jesus Christ died for all humanity. Is there that much depth to our love?
Daniel’s prayer continues in Daniel 9:6: “Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.” The problem with the Laodiceans is that they refuse to hearken to God’s message and accept His government. Their problem is not in finding it. They just won’t accept it.
“O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee” (verse 7). It takes humility to listen to what Christ is teaching. Laodiceans do not have that. They trespass against God—they have betrayed Him (see also verse 9).
“Neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets” (verse 10). God placed His law before them. He made a covenant with them. So these rebellious people are condemning themselves. They ought to know the very things they reason around.
In verses 11-14, you will notice more of the same technical, legal terminology. They have transgressed the law of God. And so God pours curses upon them. All of these prophecies are coming to pass.
Notice verse 15: “And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.” There was a time when the Church really got God a lot of renown. Now, since so many have committed treacherous acts against God, our job is to get renown for God. If we do not, we are condemned by our own history. God brought us out of Egypt. What is there in this world that could ever lead us back into captivity? That’s all Satan wants—for us to turn back. We have to remember who brought us out of bondage. That’s our history. We owe our lives to God. Never forget that we were brought out of this world so that we might get God renown!
You will notice that through this entire prayer, Daniel continues using terms like “we” and “our.” He was concerned about his end-time family. They had become a reproach.
“Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake” (verse 17). In this end time, the sanctuary is again desolate. God has had to raise up another work to continue what never should have stopped.
“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name” (verse 19). Do you get the feeling that Daniel is pouring his heart into this? This was his life! “Oh Lord,” he said, “hearken and do.“ These people were called by God’s name, but they had stopped doing the daily.
“Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation” (verse 21). This is still temple language. The archangel flew swiftly to Daniel. He was urgent about this work just as Daniel was—even more so! That is the way we must be.
How much more revelation will God give to this little Church? How urgent is this revelation? God has put so many of the puzzle pieces in place. Let’s become urgent as God is!
“At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision” (verse 23). Anyone delivering this revelation is greatly beloved! All through this book, you see how eager the archangels were to do what God wanted done. You see that same attitude in Daniel. He wanted to do great things for God. There is nothing wrong with that kind of ambition—as long as it is for God.
Daniel 10:1 says the vision given to Daniel “was true, but the time appointed was long.” Moffatt translates this better: “the true revelation of a great conflict.” This prophecy is about great conflict. Lange’s Commentary titles this vision of Daniel “great tribulation.” It’s a vision about violence, warfare and bloodshed. And the warfare is over God’s revelation! Do we put as much importance on God’s revelation as Satan does?
Revelation 12:7 mentions a war in heaven that occurred in this end time between Satan the devil and the archangel Michael, along with his angels. Michael prevailed and cast the great dragon down to this Earth. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (Revelation 12:13). Satan has been cast down! It happened about the time of Mr. Armstrong’s death. And his first attack was against the Church. The evidence of that attack is all around. God’s people have been shamefully scattered.
God wants us to know that Daniel 10:1 is about a great spiritual war. “In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled” (Daniel 10:2-3). For three weeks, Daniel fasted. Here is a man who knew he was involved in a titanic spiritual war.
“And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude” (verses 4-6). Here is a great and powerful angelic being with features similar to God.
Daniel alone saw the vision, but still the men with him were overcome with fear, and they fled (verse 7). Daniel himself lost all strength, turned pale and fainted, falling to the ground. “And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling” (verses 10-11). The archangel Gabriel was sent to Daniel. In awe, Daniel stood trembling.
“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words” (verse 12). God heard Daniel on the first day, yet something held back His answer! But what a beautiful attitude Daniel maintained. He kept right on praying and fasting for three full weeks.
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (verse 13). Gabriel is speaking here. He needed help from another archangel, Michael, to deliver this revelation. God allowed satanic interference so that Daniel might beseech Him for even more strength. God wanted Daniel to realize what kind of spiritual warfare is fought over His revelation!
There is a vision in Ezekiel 8 and 9 that, like Daniel 8, is being fulfilled right now. It’s about Jesus Christ and His wife—the Church. Chapter 8 describes how that wife has turned her back on her Husband. Chapter 9 describes God’s punishment against this treachery.
As in Daniel 8:11-12 and Revelation 12:13, Satan attacks God’s Church before the Great Tribulation begins. The attack intensifies greatly during the Tribulation. Both before and during the Tribulation are emphasized in Ezekiel 9.
“He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar” (Ezekiel 9:1-2). The context here reveals these “men” to actually be angels who report directly to God (see verse 11). So there are six angels with slaughter weapons standing by the brasen altar about to slaughter, not animals, but God’s own sinning people—ministers especially.
These angels are “beside the brasen altar,” which was in the temple. Many scriptures relate that the temple today is God’s Church. God always has angels helping to protect His very elect.
The focus of these events is the end time.
“And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (verses 3-4). Jerusalem, a type of all Israel, is to be destroyed. But there is some destruction before the Great Tribulation.
God has a “mark” placed upon the foreheads of the saints who sigh and cry for the abominations being committed in Israel. God’s people won’t see abominations in a place of safety. This time period is before the Tribulation begins.
These people sigh and cry. They are doing God’s warning Work. They have a protective mark which they will not need in a place of safety during the Tribulation (Revelation 12:12-14). So the time setting, again, is before the Tribulation.
They need protection now from Satan’s worst wrath, because he knows he has only a short time left.
“And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house” (Ezekiel 9:5-6). The worst slaughter physically is in the Tribulation. But the spiritual slaughter BEGINS in God’s sanctuary—His Church.
God’s people are dying now (2 Thessalonians 2:10). If 95 percent of them are dying now, some must already be dead spiritually!
“And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city” (Ezekiel 9:7). God’s house, His Church, is defiled. That also happens now—before the Tribulation.
The “courts” of the temple are filled with the slain. The emphasis here is also on the spiritual—what is happening in God’s Church today. It is under a curse, and members “are perishing” spiritually (Malachi 2:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:10, original text).
After the temple destruction, the angels move on to the city, which is the Great Tribulation time period.
But it all is prophesied to “begin” in God’s Church. And the angels began with the “ancients,” the ministers in the Church. Satan is attacking God’s Church, and God is cursing it! God is doing some selective destroying. He watches over and brings the evil upon this sinning Church (Daniel 9:13-14).
Pity the poor Laodiceans!
Pity all Israel. It gets so bad during the Tribulation that Ezekiel thought God was going to destroy all of Israel! (Ezekiel 9:8-11).
Still, God is most concerned about the spiritual death of many Laodiceans. God wants to correct and punish His Church now so He can spare them from the Great Tribulation—before it is too late!
For the Latter Days
“Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days” (Daniel 10:14). God recorded all these details about Daniel, his fast, his fainting before the angel—for what? He wants us to know what is to happen in the latter days.
Who is doing the work of Daniel today? Who else has God’s revelation? The biggest challenge facing us is knowing who we are and who we serve!
Satan was so concerned about God’s revelation that he personally came to try and stop it! And if God has given us the key to understanding this vision, and the commission to proclaim it, how much more eager do you think Satan will be to stop the revelation today? Satan is doing everything he can to stop the revelation today—and he starts with the Church. Satan is leading the battle against us, and he has already destroyed many.
In verses 15-17, we see why Daniel remained so strong and able to fight in this spiritual war. He was humble. Daniel knew that one day man’s destiny was to rule over the angels, and yet, before these two great beings he trembled, saying, Who am I to stand before you?
It does not take long for Satan to pick us off if we don’t continually go to God on our knees. We cannot survive without that spiritual strength. We must have the power of God if we are to get through this war! Look at history. Look at what happened to God’s Church in this end time. We simply will not make it unless the inner man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Daniel received awesome strength. Remember, he prayed and fasted for three weeks. “Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me” (Daniel 10:18-19). Daniel was encouraged and uplifted. He was greatly beloved. And so are you. We are all greatly beloved. Be encouraged by that and receive God’s strength, for God has a mighty work for us to do. That requires much planning and determination on our part.
In verses 20 and 21, Gabriel tells Daniel of future struggles he would wage against Satan’s forces. He had to plan ahead for these Herculean struggles! And so must we. That’s what God is trying to teach us. Satan will not let up until God supernaturally binds him in chains.
If we plan ahead and arm ourselves with what is “noted in the scripture of truth” (verse 21), then we will be prepared. It does mean endless warfare. But we’ll have the awesome help of Michael our prince and his companion Gabriel.
Chapter 5: The Sanctuary
Though much of the vision from Daniel 10:10 to 12:4 has already been fulfilled, it is important to understand the main purpose for which God recorded it. In Daniel 10:14, God said He preserved this prophecy that we might “understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days.” There is much prophecy in the book of Daniel that has been fulfilled. There is also a great deal that has not yet been fulfilled. In addition, some critical passages are dual—meaning they have a historical and an end-time fulfillment.
This is significant because God’s overall purpose—His plan for man—works in a process of duality. John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Christ’s first coming, was a type, or forerunner, of one who would come in this end time to prepare the way for His Second Coming. When Jesus came the first time, He came to a physical temple composed of building materials—wood, stone, precious metals, etc. In this end time, however, Christ is returning to a glorified spiritual temple—a group of called-out individuals who make up His Church (Ephesians 2:19-22). Haggai 2:9 says this latter, spiritual house for God will be far greater than the former, physical house.
The duality in Daniel 8 and 11 revolves around this physical/spiritual temple. In chapter 8, when we read about the daily being taken away or the sanctuary desecrated, that is temple language, meaning there is duality! Anciently, an evil man entered the holy land, stopped the daily sacrifice and desecrated the temple. In 2 Thessalonians 2, we read about an evil man in this end time who exalts himself above God, stops the Work of God and desecrates the spiritual temple—God’s Church.
A similar story is related in Daniel 11. Antiochus Epiphanes entered the holy land, profaned the temple, and subdued all resistance through deceitful lies and flatteries (verse 21). Antiochus was known for his raging hatred against Jews. He set out to crush Judaism altogether.
The fact that today the Church is the spiritual temple, its members are spiritual Jews and their work is the spiritual daily, or continual, makes the last half of Daniel 11 especially interesting.
Someone in this end time, a man of sin (2 Thessalonians 2:3), infiltrated the Church “peaceably” and obtained rule by “flatteries” (Daniel 11:21, 24). He rose to power “by aid only of a small party” (verse 23; Moffatt). He is well-known for speaking lies and doing mischief (verse 27), though he has an outwardly righteous appearance.
At this point, the prophecy narrows further, specifically addressing the sanctuary and temple worship. In verse 28, we read that this man is against the “holy covenant,” or true religion—God’s holy people. Anciently, Antiochus massacred the Jews and stopped the daily sacrifices. Spiritually speaking, this end-time Antiochus has been far more destructive.
Verse 29 relates that after two successful campaigns into Egypt, Antiochus finally suffered defeat. He returned to Judea enraged, and the first place he stopped to vent his anger was the sanctuary. “For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant” (verse 30). Notice, Antiochus didn’t just come back to destroy the temple—he cut a deal with those on the inside. He had “intelligence with them”—the traitors! It was all done through deceit and flatteries.
This doesn’t happen during the Tribulation. It has already happened! Those familiar with Worldwide Church of God history know that Satan did not level that church with one mighty death blow. It happened gradually, brought about by a deceitful band of insiders who set out to destroy the holy covenant—to stop the Work of God!
Daniel 12:7 says that in the Tribulation, Satan will “have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people.” But Daniel 11 and many other passages draw attention to another attack on the holy covenant before the Tribulation.
Notice Revelation 12:9: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” This happens before the Tribulation. In fact, this verse is a companion scripture to Daniel 11:30.
When we consider the deceitful works of Antiochus, anciently or in this end time, we had better see Satan behind them! Like Antiochus, Satan has led many successful campaigns against God’s plan. He attacked God in the Garden of Eden, establishing this world on a fundamentally false premise. He went after Christ in the New Testament. And though Christ claimed the ultimate victory in that titanic battle of the ages, still Satan lashed out in fury against the Messiah and His followers—persecuting, even crucifying them. In this end time, Satan has gone after God again—a third time, you might say. And this time he attacked God Himself on His throne. But God slapped him right back to Earth, barring him from any further access to His throne.
Like Antiochus returned to Judea frustrated after failing in Egypt, Satan returned to this Earth enraged, filled with wrath. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12). Satan is grievously troubled. He is bitter and filled with wrath. And even worse, he knows he only has a short time.
So what do you suppose he does? Where did Satan go immediately after his unsuccessful campaign against God? Where did Antiochus go after his failure in Egypt? Verse 13: “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” The woman in this passage represents God’s Church—the sanctuary! Verse 14 shows how this woman will be persecuted right up to the point that the Tribulation begins, when she is taken to a place of safety. So this happens before the Tribulation. But once the Tribulation begins, many Laodiceans will wake up and recognize the error of their ways. That’s why Satan again goes after them in verse 17.
The point I want to emphasize is that after Satan was cast back to this Earth, which happened around the time of Mr. Armstrong’s death in 1986, he targeted his rage at the sanctuary. Daniel 11:30 reveals a treacherous plot within the sanctuary. Satan’s man had intelligence with those who forsook the covenant. Malachi 2:12 refers to these men as “scholars in the tabernacle”—puffed up with vanity. These are the fellows that this end-time Antiochus plotted with. These men who have intelligence, the scholars, are allied with the devil. Satan is getting the “intelligent” ones. Senior evangelists have proven to be no match for the devil.
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). Here is a revealing verse. Those who do wickedness to the covenant are corrupted by flatteries—lying words that deceive God’s own people. This is not a time when Satan is smashing. He is seducing! (The Revised Standard Version uses the word seduce.) Satan knows just what words to use. If we are the least bit vain, Satan knows how to reach our minds.
The Anchor Bible translates “corrupt by flatteries” as apostatize—a great falling away! That’s what 2 Thessalonians 2 is all about. Write for Malachi’s Message to understand more about 2 Thessalonians 2.
God’s very elect know what is happening. They remain as part of the sanctuary of strength. Notice in Daniel 11:31 that the “intelligent” ones pollute the sanctuary of strength—they don’t destroy it. Looking at the sanctuary today, if we can recognize that it was polluted, surely we can identify who first established it in purity and righteousness with the government of God.
Verse 32 says those people who know their God—Elohim—“shall be strong, and do exploits.” They know the God of Genesis 1:26—Elohim. These people know the Hebrew word Elohim is a plural word like family. They know all about family. They were taught that by the one who established the sanctuary in purity. And they are strong! Because they are strong, they do a work—they do exploits. Look at how specific God is getting in this prophecy! The people who know God “stand firm and take action,” it says in the Revised Standard Version. That’s what the King James means by doing exploits (“exploit” means a heroic act).
Now you can either compare works and judge by fruits like God does, or you can listen to Satan’s flattering words! Jesus Christ’s Bride will not be led away by words and flatteries. She stays faithful to her Husband and does the continual.
All those who are part of Christ’s Bride will have proven themselves to be the very elect who cannot be deceived (Matthew 24:24).
“And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they [the many] shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days” (Daniel 11:33). One group understands and instructs many. God’s very elect instruct the many, or the Laodiceans. However, most of them reject the message and fall spiritually. But be assured that God did warn them before they fell.
God’s people have always understood that their sword is the Word of God—the Holy Bible (Ephesians 6:17). But Satan has a sword too—a sword of lies and flatteries. Fifty percent of the Laodiceans will fall by this sword—forever. If you look at this spiritually, God’s people have fallen by the sword, the flame and captivity!
We cannot kid ourselves. God knows His troops—He knows our every thought. He knows those who will fight with His sword. If we volunteer and take the initiative, He will build His character within us. We will become like our Father. On the other hand, if we do not really want it, if we don’t fight for what we have, it will slip away and we will end up falling by the sword.
“Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help [or ‘receive a little help’]: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries” (Daniel 11:34). When the Laodiceans fall, God’s very elect (who instruct many) will offer some help. But nobody inside of Laodicea will help. All the intelligent ones have fallen spiritually!
It says many will cling to these faithful few “with flatteries.” What does that mean? Notice Ezekiel 33:30: “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee [or, ‘about you’] by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord.” The Laodiceans know about God’s true Work. They talk with each other about the Key of David program and read the Trumpet. Many of them were even behind us in our struggle to print Mr. Armstrong’s books and booklets. These people are cleaving to God’s very elect with flatteries.
“And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness” (verse 31). Many even have nice things to say about God’s Work. With their mouths, they show much love. But they will not do anything about it. They won’t act! They hear our words, verse 32 says, “but they do them not.” They cleave to us only with their words—with flatteries.
So what will be their end? “And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (verse 33). In the Tribulation they will know. But right up until that time, they will only play the game of flatteries. They don’t have the faith to know that a prophet is among them now, because they don’t believe in one-man government. God gives a choice between knowing it now to escape the suffering or knowing it during the Tribulation to escape losing everything—for all eternity.
Continuing in Daniel 11: “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed” (verse 35). Now God directs His warning specifically to those doing the daily. Verse 33 says many will fall. That refers to the Laodiceans. Here it says some. So even some of those who understand will fall.
God is talking to the end-time Philadelphians directly! Daniel said this was for a “time appointed.” It’s for a specific time period—our time. And right up to the very end, some of us will fall. Haven’t we all seen that happen? The word try in verse 35 means to smelt, like smelting metal. It means a fiery trial. Even when people come into this remnant and understand, they can still fall.
Should we be shocked if some leave? God says it will happen right up to the end. We are in a war. And in a war, there are casualties. Will you be a casualty? It will happen “even to the time of the end.”
When you read the book of Daniel, you realize how much God knows about His troops. This is our moment. If we apply this instruction, we will perform “exploits” because we are in the sanctuary of strength.
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done” (verse 36). This is still within the context of the sanctuary. God says that which “is determined [or decreed] shall be done.” This is prophecy! In this end time, it is happening within God’s Church. There is a man of sin within God’s Church, the “king” mentioned here in verse 36, who does “according to his will” and exalts himself above all else (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
This man cares nothing for past instruction or traditions. “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all” (Daniel 11:37). He does not regard the Elohim of his fathers. One of his spiritual fathers, Herbert W. Armstrong, taught about this Elohim. This man learned it, but he did not believe it. This is all plain and understandable if we just look at these verses spiritually. It is the same story as that in 2 Thessalonians 2, which Paul said would happen inside the Church just before Christ returns.
“But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things” (Daniel 11:38). The King James Version contains four different references in the margin to help clarify this obscure verse.
First of all, where it says “God of forces,” god should not be capitalized. This man is worshiping a god his spiritual fathers did not know.
“In his estate” means he’s sitting in the seat of the God of gods. This is a parallel prophecy to 2 Thessalonians 2:4. He’s in God’s seat saying that he is God—not by his words, but by his deeds! For the word estate, the margin says stead. (Gesenius’ Lexicon says “in his place.”) He’s in the place of Christ. This is happening in God’s sanctuary. This man betrayed God. Notice the margin for the first part of this verse. It should read, “But, as for the Almighty God, in his seat [in other words, in the seat of the true God] he shall honor a god” of forces—the devil! He honors the god of gold, silver and precious stones; in others words, he and his followers are “rich and increased with goods” (see Revelation 3:17).
“Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain” (Daniel 11:39). This man follows a strange god and destroys the strongholds within the Church. This foreign god is over many. His leader works for hire.
That brings us to the verses of Daniel 11 that we have quoted so many times before.
The Great Tribulation
The verses preceding Daniel 11:40 discuss what happens in the Church prior to the Tribulation. Then verse 40 describes what happens at the outset of the Tribulation. The king of the south, radical Islam, will push at the king of the north, the European Union. This push prompts the Eurobeast to come against Islam like a whirlwind. It all begins around Jerusalem.
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (verse 41). The last part of this verse is interesting. God will spare Edom, Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon—or the sons of Ammon. The word chief means “with regard to time, first fruits” (see Gesenius’ Lexicon). This undoubtedly is referring to God’s people who, as Mr. Armstrong taught for so many years, are the firstfruits to be harvested in God’s plan. These people will be saved out of the beast’s hand.
Understand the context here! To this point in Daniel 11, we have seen how Satan has literally destroyed a whole Church of God, except for the few who understand and who instruct many. Satan could not spiritually get to the very elect. So now he tries to get to them physically, through the beast. But God will protect us from the wrath of Satan the devil. He will save this little sanctuary of strength.
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (verse 44). Tidings out of Russia and China only expedite the beast power’s plans to “destroy, and utterly to make away many”—or, as the Companion Bible says, “to devote many to extermination.”
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (verse 45). The great false church will have established itself in Jerusalem. But its end is near.
Turning Many to Righteousness
Remember, this is all one vision. There is a chronological flow here, so don’t let the chapter break distract you. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). It says “at that time.” When? At the time of the clash between the king of the north and the king of the south. Shortly after that clash, God’s people will be delivered. Then the king of the north will attack America, Britain and the land of Judah (Hosea 5:5).
The archangel Gabriel is still dictating this message. He refers to the archangel Michael, who stands up for the “sons [it should read] of your people.” He stands for the sons of God—it’s a military expression. He is armed and he takes his stand, ready to fight. That’s his job. Unless we know what Michael’s role is, we will not be protected.
The people taken to a place of safety are found written in the book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16). What did they remember? Well, just look at what they continued doing once all the “intelligent” ones were moved aside. You cannot continue to do the Work unless you remember God’s revelation—remember what you were taught before. God tells Michael to go and fight for these people so they might be protected. We don’t have a thing to worry about except keeping our faith strong. Our names are right there in the book of remembrance. Only you can take your own name out.
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). Some will make it; some won’t. Notice it does not say “everlasting death”—it says “shame and everlasting contempt.” That’s because it is totally unnecessary. It all could have been avoided. But because those who don’t make it polluted the sanctuary and did not repent, God makes them a shameful, contemptible example for all eternity.
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (verse 3). Those who turn people to God, in spite of this corruption in the temple, will shine as the stars for ever and ever! How many have you turned to righteousness? We have to do everything possible to turn people to righteousness. If we do, we will shine with greater brilliance than even Michael and Gabriel. We have the opportunity of a lifetime—the opportunity to serve God’s people and turn many to righteousness.
“But 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” (verse 4). The Companion Bible says “running to and fro” means to apostatize. The word knowledge in this verse means calamities or wickedness. The Anchor Bible says many will apostatize, or turn people away from God. That’s what the original Hebrew manuscripts say. Every verse in Daniel 12 is about the Church. It’s all about the temple.
Do you see why God is so concerned about people turning others to righteousness? There is an apostasy going on right now. Is this work of turning people to God important? We owe this world unselfish service. We owe it to these Laodiceans who have been so abused. What does it mean when we turn people to righteousness? Those who really work to do this will shine like the stars for ever and ever. What a reward! Why worry about receiving a reward now when we have such an awesome future ahead of us? Isn’t that reward enough? Today is our day. So many end-time prophecies place us right in the spotlight. God is offering us everything, if we will just turn people to righteousness.
We have always understood that the book of Daniel was for the end time (verses 4, 9). We just did not know how much of it referred to events within the Church during the last days. The final chapter in Daniel reveals where all these events lead.
“Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half [3½ years]; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (verses 5-7). It will all be fulfilled once the power of God’s Church is shattered.
“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (verses 8-10). This is still within the context of the temple, or the sanctuary. God says the wise will understand. They always do.
The Abomination of Desolation
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11). Remember, in Daniel 8, the daily was removed because of transgression, before the Tribulation. The events of Daniel 12 revolve around the 3½-year Tribulation (verse 7). The daily is taken away. God’s righteous people are delivered to a place of safety from the Great Tribulation.
In Matthew 24:15, Jesus Christ said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:).” As proven in this study on Daniel, the abomination of desolation has a physical and spiritual fulfillment. In Matthew 24, it is referring to both.
Compare Matthew 24:15 with Luke 21:20: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” This is the physical abomination of desolation that Matthew refers to. God calls these armies surrounding Jerusalem by that name because, as it says in Daniel 12:11, it is the abomination that makes desolate. It makes great desolation of nations. God is talking about a problem like you have never seen before. It will get so bad that no flesh would be saved alive were it not for Christ’s intervention to put a stop to it (see Matthew 24:21-22).
Notice what God’s people are admonished to do when they see these European armies surround Jerusalem: “Then let them which are in Judaea 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” (Luke 21:21). God wants His people to be ready to run once they see this abomination. These are people who walk by faith. They are keyed in to prophecy.
‘Let Us Remove Hence’
Looking at the pages of history, we gain insight into the kind of faith it will take to “flee to the mountains.” There was an ancient fulfillment of the abomination of desolation that happened in the first century.
In a.d. 70, when Roman armies were sweeping through the Middle East, they stopped just short of Jerusalem—surrounding it, in effect. Just prior to Jerusalem’s destruction, according to Jewish historian Josephus, there was a great earthquake, and the Jews heard the sound of a great multitude saying, “Let us remove hence” (Wars of the Jews, vi, v, 3). Upon hearing the warning, those who heeded quickly fled to Pella, a secluded, mountainous location northeast of Jerusalem.
All of this was just a type of what Jesus said would happen again, shortly before His Second Coming. Our job right now is to build faith so that when the time comes, we will listen to our Father and act! We cannot be looking for a specific date. Jesus told us to watch for an event—the armies surrounding Jerusalem—and to pray always, that we might escape (Luke 21:36).
Once the abomination of desolation is set up, it says in Daniel 12:11, there will be 1,290 days. We have already seen that the length of the Tribulation is 3½ years—or 1,260 days. Since verse 11 says 1,290 days, that means the abomination is set up 30 days before the actual outbreak of the Tribulation. This 30-day period is the time God allows for His people to flee to their place of protection.
Verse 12 then says, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” Here God draws attention to 1,335 days and says those who make it to the beginning of this time period are blessed. This is probably when the work of the Philadelphia Church of God will end—1,335 days before Christ returns. Then God’s people would have 45 days to prepare for their flight. Then there are 30 days to flee, after which the 1,260 days begin—the Great Tribulation.
How long before that time arrives? Well, again, God wants us to focus on events—not dates. He just wants us to be ready because it is coming. But take note of this fact: If the 1,150 days have already been fulfilled, how much longer until these days are fulfilled? Not long!
And so God concludes the revelation by exhorting us to remain steadfast and true until the end. “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” (verse 13).
How, then, do we make sure we hang on and endure until the very end? The next chapter will answer that question.
Chapter 6: The Apocalypse
When you look at the Old Testament, you find many prophetic books. But in the New Testament there is really only one book devoted, in its entirety, to prophecy—the book of Revelation. And the Old Testament book it parallels most is Daniel.
The Anchor Bible calls the four major visions of Daniel “the four apocalypses.” That’s because they are similar to the apocalypse—the book of Revelation. We already covered in brief the great image of Daniel 2, which represents four world-ruling empires to reign successively right up to the return of Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation’s main focus is on the fourth of those four empires—the Roman Empire.
Concerning similarities between the two books, Sir Isaac Newton once said, “The apocalypse of John is written in the same style and language with the prophecies of Daniel and has the same relation to them which they have to one another so that all of them together make but one complete prophecy.” I believe that is a pretty good observation.
Doing the Continual
Mr. Armstrong often spoke about how Satan is always battling to get false doctrines into God’s Church. We battle to keep them out. The battle continues.
We have already seen in Daniel 8 how there was to be a man in this end time who would work against the continual. Daniel 8:11 says that by this man “the daily was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” For 1,150 days, this man (actually Satan, the power behind this man) was able to stop the daily. But God responded to that betrayal by raising up a new work.
Daniel 12 shows what happens to those who betray the daily and who work against it. “And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half [that is Revelation-type language]; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter [or shatter] the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (verse 7). This is the 31/2-year Tribulation. At that time, God says He will shatter and destroy anything that is not built on His truth. That is an absolute.
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (verse 11). Again, this is language very similar to what we read in the book of Revelation. “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (verse 12). Only a little remnant in this end time will continue what God started. Only a small group of people continues to fight against those who would try to destroy God’s truth.
Now let’s go to the book of Revelation. God has a lot to say about the continual in the vision He gave to John. Notice Revelation 2:25-26: “But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Why do we have to keep holding on? That’s how we qualify!
Those who qualify receive great power from God. “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star” (verses 27-28). The morning star is Jesus Christ! We are His Bride. God says He will give us this reward if we hold fast. God will surely see that we are amply rewarded.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (verse 29). But how many of them do not hear? Just look at what happened to the next Church era.
“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1). That Church was raised up during the Middle Ages. But by the time Mr. Armstrong came on the scene in the 1930s, it was dead. The Sardis people would not accept truth! They thought they were righteous, but God says they were dead.
So God raised up another era through that one man—Herbert W. Armstrong. And that end-time Elijah was loyal from beginning to end. He never faltered. He restored all things. What a servant of God! He would not compromise. Look at what one man can do.
God wants more effort from each one of us. He wants more from you. God is about to give us power over the nations. We have a big job to do. One person can do some tremendous things if he just relies on the power of God.
Notice what God prophesied about the Philadelphia era of His Church—the era in which Mr. Armstrong restored all things. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name”—or authority (verses 7-8). Mr. Armstrong didn’t deny God’s government. He restored all things!
The word Philadelphia means brotherly love. God was able to build so much through that Work because of how unified its supporters were. God wants His Church to be close, because we are family and because of what He needs that family to do. God’s Family is the solution to the world’s problems. This world needs to see a loving family—people who will die for each other, not kill each other! We cannot just talk about love—we have to show it—live by it. We have to set the example for the people of this world—show them how to love each other, how to pray together, how to rear their children.
If we love each other the way God says we should, it will get us through anything. Are we too sophisticated to get as close as God wants His Family to be?
Notice in verse 8 that God says He has set before us an “open door.” That is the daily. God keeps opening doors today, but most do not walk through them. Our battle is to make sure we do not separate ourselves from the open door, the daily. How do we do that? This is where this godly love comes in. First we must love God and His Work above everything else. Why does God love this Work so much? Because He really loves this world. If we love it as much as He does, we will deliver the daily. That is what this world needs to solve its problems.
Why does Satan attack this Work with such wrathful rage? Because he knows what people will do if they really listen to this message: They will believe it.
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (verse 9). There is a group of people on this Earth that God really loves. They have God’s government. God says He will force all of these dissenting groups that have rejected Mr. Armstrong’s teachings to come back and know that He has loved His very elect. In fact, God will make the whole world know that He loved us. Then we will show them how to love each other.
Isn’t it easy to act like we have love? That’s phony love. God wants us to prove our love to Him and to each other by accepting His government. That’s what the subject is about right here in verse 9—God’s government. Satan knows that, so what do you suppose he destroys first of all? Satan had a synagogue inside the Church of God dedicated to destroying God’s government! That’s how Satan gets people to transgress. He destroys God’s government.
Where is God’s government on this Earth? There is only one place. The government in God’s true Church is the same government that will rule the Earth and the universe for all eternity! I’m talking about something big! It will keep right on growing forever and ever. Where is this daily? Where is this government?
This is what the battle is all about in Daniel 8 and 11. Government is everything. If we lose that, we lose it all. Without God’s government, we will not go through the open door.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (verse 20). Christ is on the outside knocking on the Laodiceans’ door. But who is He using to knock? Where is His government on this Earth? We need to know.
The Value of Revelation
Let’s move ahead to Revelation 10. Notice verse 6: “And sware by him that liveth for ever 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 no longer”—or “no more delay,” as it is translated in the Revised Standard Version. But when were events ever delayed? Mr. Armstrong wrote in 1984: “So Revelation 10 shows that when our work appeared to be close to finished more than a decade ago, God held up world events, and I was commissioned now to go with the Kingdom message to many kings or many nations and speaking different languages. That is what, as I now look back, I have been doing especially since 1972.” Mr. Armstrong knew that God had delayed world events.
But now we are in the time of the little book, and there is no more delay. Events are moving along at lightning-quick speed. The United States is still a strong military power in the world, but it is about to collapse. And Revelation 10 shows that it is all tied to a little book with a thunderous message! We must get the daily out to the world. We are reaching a lot of people because God, in His love, is warning people of what is about to happen.
If we are doing our job, we don’t have to worry about physical events. We need to worry about our spiritual understanding. God has given us so much revelation. He is telling us what will happen. There is no time to worry about physical things. There is no more delay.
“And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter” (verses 9-10). When God gives revelation, eat it up and let it direct your life. We have to really digest all of this. God has given us so much revelation that it is hard to keep up with it. Yet, still, there are some few who find time to study poisonous literature and neglect what God has revealed to us. If you do not understand the importance of what God has given us, something is not right!
We must realize the value of revelation. It comes from the mind of God. He wants His revelation drilled into our minds. He wants us to eat it up and digest it. How else could we deliver this message? Digesting this message dramatically changes the way we act.
“And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (verse 11). Here we see a new work. We have to do it again!
“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein” (Revelation 11:1). There was no physical temple when John wrote this. He’s talking spiritually. God wants to know if we will be measured by Christ. If we are to measure the Laodiceans, we must first measure ourselves.
“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (verse 2). Those who will not be measured will be punished in the Great Tribulation.
The Church and the Dragon
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1). Here is a woman, the Church of God, clothed with the sun.
“And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads” (verses 2-3). Revelation 12 mentions 1) the Church of God and 2) the great red dragon that has seven heads and 10 horns. Is there any doubt about where our opposition comes from?
Satan the devil is this great red dragon. Historically he has used a political-religious union in Europe—the Holy Roman Empire—to wreak havoc on the whole world. But don’t forget who is the archenemy of this dragon. It is God’s Church. In the very near future, you will see the blood of God’s people, and a lot of other people, spilled all over this Earth because of a great false church.
That’s what the abomination of desolation is all about. This is what it is all leading up to. It’s a confrontation between God’s people and the devil. And the fight is over the daily. Any place you find the daily, you will find Satan there trying to destroy it. God lets Satan war against the Church to help us qualify for positions of rule.
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (verse 14). Daniel and John are the only two biblical writers who wrote about the Tribulation in this way. At the same time that the Laodiceans have their power completely shattered, God says He will deliver His faithful remnant to its place. This is the same message as we read in Daniel 12:11.
Words or Blood
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12). The Russians and Chinese will destroy most of the beast power. Request our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy, which explains this in greater detail.
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet” (verse 13). This is an ugly picture. We are up against perverted demons. Do you see why people who turn against the daily become so bitter?
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (verse 15). God has clothed us with the sun. There is no excuse for us to be naked. But we will end that way if we stop watching and fail to keep what God has given us.
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (verse 16). Here we see this European army rising on the scene—a political force that will soon be guided by the great false church. God says He will gather these armies, along with the Asiatic hordes, in Armageddon and then bring them down to Jerusalem where they will fight against Christ. And it will get so bad that the Valley of Jehoshaphat will fill up with blood to the horses’ bridles—a river of blood!
Then man will begin to get the message. It’s either words or blood. God is preparing to rule this Earth, and this is the only way He can save mankind.
There are those in God’s own Church who have rejected these prophecies just as they are about to come to pass. Satan has done a masterful job at deceiving most of God’s people.
The Fifth Kingdom
Let’s conclude this study back in the book of Daniel. How will all of this end? “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44). This is something that will last forever. God will have His own kings and priests there. He won’t leave it to anyone else. He has selected His troops—His officers. And He will use them to rule the world.
Daniel 7 likens the four world-ruling empires of man’s history to four dreadful beasts, the fourth beast the most terrible of all (Daniel 7:7). But notice where it leads. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire” (verse 9). This is our future!
“I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the Earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (verses 15-18). We have often referred to the four world-ruling kingdoms that Satan has ruled over throughout history. But it is the fifth Kingdom that will never die!
God is trying and testing us now as never before so that we can qualify for that fifth Kingdom. It’s about a world-ruling empire. Today, as men fight and struggle to gain control of the Earth, God says to those who remain faithful to the end, All that these men fight for, I will give to you.
“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (verse 27). We will be right there ruling with the Most High.
“Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart” (verse 28). This is the end of the matter! There will never be another opportunity like this for the people of God. We are doing the daily in the end time, just before Christ returns to this Earth. What a time to be alive!
When the Roman Empire swept through Jerusalem in a.d. 70, it had never experienced such fanatical resistance from a small band of people. That’s because the Jews believed the prophecies of Daniel—they thought the Messiah was coming then. And that filled them with hope and courage. It filled Rome with rage! The Romans were determined to destroy every Jew in Jerusalem because they knew they had to stamp out the idea that the Messiah is coming!
If you really believe that the Messiah is coming, you will be one fierce warrior! If you really believe this—if you have eaten it up and digested it—you will be one tough Christian. You will fight like no warrior has ever fought. People will marvel, What is it that makes him fight like that? And if that doesn’t motivate others now—if that doesn’t turn many to righteousness now—it will in the World Tomorrow. Then they will know what it was that motivated us. They will see how it changed us and made us a different kind of people.
The Messiah is coming. Now is the time for us to seize the moment and fight for God’s truth! We will never have another opportunity like this for all eternity!