The Antichrist, and the Sin that Caused Desolation
Antichrist in Greek means “opposed to Christ” or “substitute Christ.” Here, in Daniel 8, we find the best explanation of the “Antichrist.”
Daniel 8 describes “the transgression that causes desolation” (the departure of the Holy Spirit) when Satan exalted himself as high as Christ, through the Bishop of Rome in 193 AD. He “cast truth to the ground,” and the place of Christ’s sanctuary was “cast to the ground.” The Spirit of truth was taken from the Church. Daniel 8:11,12,13; 11:31, and Daniel 12:11, describe the “hattamid,” the “continual offering” of Christ’s blood that was taken away. Baptism into the Church had no power to remit sin, because the Holy Spirit had been taken away; the Church had been “cast down.”
Another explanation of the Antichrist, and his activities, is found at Daniel 11:31-35, and Daniel 9:26-27, where we can also read about the work of Satan to crucify Christ: to bring an end to “sacrifice and grain offering,” the offerings for sin that were no longer necessary after Christ was crucified.
And out of one of them – out of “the four Spirits of heaven,” as mentioned in the previous phrase. (The Chinese translation has added the phrase “out of the four horns.” While this is grammatically possible, it is the least obvious grammatical choice. The most adjacent phrase is the “four winds”).
came a little horn – a horn in the Bible represents one’s power. For example, the Lamb in Revelation 5:6 has seven horns, the power of all the Angels. The horns on the Goat, and the Ram represented their power. This little horn represents the power of Satan that first worked through the Roman Empire, and then through the Bishop of Rome.
Why would the power of Satan be described as a “little horn” in Chapters 7 and 8? Because Satan’s power is the power of the lie. Verse 24 says that “his power shall be mighty but not by his own power.” In other words, he uses his lies to motivate men to use their power. He deceived the Romans to use their military power against Christ, and His disciples; and he used the Bishop of Rome to control the Ten Kings of Europe. Verse 25 says that “through his cunning, he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule.”
which grew exceedingly great – here the little horn, the power of Satan, is being compared to Cyrus the Great, who “became great” (Dan 8:4), and Alexander the Great who “grew very great” (Dan 8:8). Obviously, Antiochus is no longer being described in this verse, rather it is “the Ruler of the People to come” (Dan 9:26) who cut-off the Messiah.
toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious land – continuing with the “four winds of heaven” analogy. It came out of one direction, and towards the other three. Out of Rome which is North West, to the other three directions, including the Glorious Land where “the Ruler of the People to come,” will destroy the City and the Sanctuary. The “Glorious” or “Beautiful Land” is also described in Daniel 11:16,41.
And it grew up to the host of heaven and it cast down some of the host – here we refer to Revelation 12:4: “His tail drew a third of the stars (angels) and threw them down to the earth.”
He even exalted himself as high as the captain of the host – in the spiritual world, this was the fight against the captain of the armies (WHO IS LIKE GOD), Michael, the Spirit of Christ, see Rev 12:7. In the natural world, Satan exalted himself as high as Christ, when the Bishop of Rome assumed control of the Church.
It is from this verse, that we get the expression “Spirit of the Antichrist.” His purpose is to exalt himself as high as the Spirit of Christ, as high as the Captain of the armies.
by him the daily sacrifices were taken away – this verse more literally says: “it removed the continual from Him.” The New American Standard gives a better translation of Daniel 8:11:
“It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down.”
However, the word translated “regular sacrifice,” is “hattamid” in Hebrew and means “the continual sacrifice.” This word only appears 24 times in the Old Testament: 17 times in the Book of Numbers, twice in Nehemiah 10:33, and five times in the Book of Daniel: Daniel 8:11,12,13, 11:31, 12:11. The best understanding of the meaning of hattamid comes from its first usage in Numbers 4:7. This describes the “showbread” that is continually “before the LORD.”
What is quite special in Daniel is that there is no complimentary phrase for “hattamid,” which is normally either a “bread” or “burnt offering.” Daniel simply says that the Antichrist shall remove the “continual (offering)” from Him” – from Christ! What is the continual sacrifice that is removed from Christ? It is of course, the sacrifice of His blood that allows the Church to baptize and wash away sin. How was this removed from the Church? As will be described in the next verse, the Holy Spirit will be taken away from the Church. Without the evidence of the Holy Spirit, the Church had no authority to remit sins through baptism, see John 20:22-23, and Romans 8:9. Therefore, Daniel wrote: “it removed the continual sacrifice from Him.”
and the place of His sanctuary was cast down – the Church of God was established through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended, He literally said “you with the Spirit will be baptized holy, not many days from now” (Acts 1:5). So Paul wrote: “for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13). The evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit is the tongue emitting sound, and this remained the evidence until 180 AD, as Irenaeus explained. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by the tongue emitting sound, sanctified “the body of Christ,” the Church of God. When the Spirit of truth was taken away, “the place of His sanctuary was cast down.”
an army was given over – Satan was given an “army of angels,” who were cast down from heaven in verse 10.
to oppose the daily sacrifices – literally to oppose “the continual offering of Christ’s blood.” The army of demons opposed the sacrifice of Christ’s blood that spoke for the saints. The saints lost the assurance that the Church had the authority to wash away their sins through baptism when the Holy Spirit departed. Therefore, Satan and his angels accused the saints. The work of Satan is described in Revelation 12:10, “he who accuses them before our God both day and night.” But John will tell us that the saints “overcame by the word of their testimony.” The saints overcame the accusation of Satan through their faith.
and he cast truth to the ground – through the working of his demons in the spiritual world, and through the Bishop of Rome in the natural world.
And he did all this and prospered – see Dan 7:21 “and prevailing against them” (the saints).
I heard a holy one…and said to that certain other one – see Dan 12:6.
how long… – see Dan 12:6.
concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation… – in Daniel 12:11, we read that from the time of the setting up of the abomination of desolation, there will be 1290 days.
for two thousand three hundred days, then the sanctuary will be cleansed – from the time the sanctuary is corrupted until the time it is fully cleansed, shall be 2,300 days, from 193 AD to 2,493 AD. Throughout the Book of Daniel and Revelation, days are actually years, as we shall first discover in Chapter 9. The 2,300 year period, is the time required to corrupt the kingdom of heaven, 1290 years (from Daniel 12:11), plus the 1,000 years (1,010 years) in which Satan is bound, and the martyrs (of the Reformation) ruled with Christ to cleanse the sanctuary. For our Chart, we use the exact, 1278 years, plus 1,000 years, to arrive to 2,471 (193+1278+1000). The 1,000 years are not guaranteed (See 2 Peter 3:8).