16. The Abomination of Desolation

The angel told Daniel that the people of the ruler to come, the Romans, would destroy the city and the sanctuary (Daniel 9:26). The city was New Jerusalem, and the destruction of the Sanctuary was described in Daniel 8 and 11.

Daniel said an army would be given over to Satan, “the little horn” (Daniel 8:12). His army would pollute the sanctuary of strength (Daniel 11:31). He used the Hebrew word maoz—a word that only described the refuge of God, as in “God is my fortress.”

In A.D. 180, in his book Against Heresies, Bishop Irenaeus gave the last testimony of receiving the Spirit of God as evidenced by speaking in tongues. Shortly after this, a false experience of speaking in tongues began in Montanism. The mainstream Church believed this was the possession of evil spirits.

In the same book, Irenaeus stated that all churches must recognize the primacy of the Church of Rome.

Within 15 years, the little horn exalted itself as high as the Captain of the Armies, as Daniel described in chapter 8 (Daniel 8:11). The Bishop of Rome wrote letters of excommunication1 to the Churches of Asia because they disagreed with his doctrine regarding Easter Sunday. He had become the new lord of the Church. The Spirit of God was taken away, and the abomination of desolation was set up.

The same bishop of Rome preached modalism. From here, we understand why John called modalism “the spirit of the antichrist”—meaning, “against the anointed.”

Tertullian, a Montanist who became the father of Latin Christianity, attacked the bishop, saying, “Praxeas did a twofold service for the devil at Rome: he drove away prophecy, and he brought in heresy. He put to flight the Paraclete, and he crucified the Father”2

In the same tract, Tertullian described a Trinity to replace Modalism. This became “the image of the beast.”

  1. Catholic theologians refer to this event as the proof of the primacy of the bishop of Rome.
  2. Against Praxeas