The Sin that Caused Desolation

(Daniel 7:8; 8:11-12; 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:4)

Daniel described the coming of the bishop of Rome (the pope), saying, “He shall exalt and magnify himself above every god.”1Dan 11:36 The apostle Paul described him as the one “who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship such that he sits in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”22Th 2:4

His sin was explained in Daniel 8:11: “He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the Host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.”

The Hebrew word translated as “Prince” is Sar. It means Captain. The Hebrew word translated as “Host” is Tsaba. It means Armies. The Prince of the Host was the Captain of the Armies of the Lord, the angel who appeared to Joshua and Moses and told them to take the sandals off their feet. He was the pre-existent Christ.

How did Satan exalt himself as high as Christ so that the place of his sanctuary was cast to the ground?

Daniel said he was given “two eyes and a mouth.”3Dan 7:8 Satan’s power became as great as Christ’s when the bishop of Rome wrote letters of excommunication to the churches of Asia in 193 because the churches of Asia disagreed with his Easter Sunday doctrine.

The idea that the bishop of Rome had the aforesaid authority can be found in Irenaeus’s book Against Heresies written in 180. Irenaeus wrote, “The very ancient and universally known church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul – the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. It is a matter of necessity that every church should agree with this church, on account of its preeminent authority.”4Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book III, Chapter 3, Verse 2

The bishop of Rome claimed that he had the authority to determine the teachings of the Church. He was the new Lord of the Church.