Friday, 19 February 2016

The Abomination of Desolation: A response to Walid Shoebat

Walid Shoebat has recently converted to Roman Catholicism* and claims that the abomination of desolation will be brought about by Islam, convincing him of Roman Catholicism being true. But are his claims accurate?

Before I begin, let me clear the air on a few issues, First, Islam is a false religion and like the other false religions of the world, it's in the hands of the evil one and eecond, My comments on eschatology are conjecture on my part, so take what I say about end times with a grain of salt.

With that out of the way, let us get started. You can find Shoebat's article here: http://shoebat.com/2016/01/17/90919/

Before he gets into the biblical references, he goes into a lengthy introduction regarding a historical connection to the Bible. Just read what Shoebat wrote in the introduction.

Anyway, let's take a look:

"As to the “covenant” we recently explained this here. What few recognize is this: what is this “grain offering”? This is our subject here which cracks open a multitude of mysteries and corrects all sorts of misconceptions.
This key resolves the whole issue, but first, while we can clearly see that an “allegiance” spoken by Daniel is very likely the Islamic Bay’at (allegiance to the Caliph) which is Islam’s foundation for a caliphate, where the Muslim world must pledge “allegiance” to him. Al-Bagdadi of ISIS was never able to achieve this as his  caliphate was completely rejected by the Muslim religious authority worldwide. This is not the same case with Erdogan where he is accepted by the highest institution of the Muslim Brotherhood who are his puppet. This is the hallmark of the Antichrist as John declared:
“but the fatal wound [of the empire] was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle [how it revived] and gave allegiance to the beast” (Revelation 13:3).
And here, this man who is given allegiance to is also called “The Prince”, exactly what Erdogan’s mufti, Hayrettin Karaman titled Erdogan, and is the same title predicted in Daniel 9:26 “the prince” and is happening where Christ Himself said that the seven churches and seven lamp stands including the seat of the devil (Antichrist) is in Pergamum, that is Asia Minor and is no doubt today’s Turkey."

Jews and Christians acknowledge that a purpose is either to be accomplished during or at the end of the Second Temple period, both mentioning an anointed one who is cut off. Several candidates of the prince who is to come are put forward. For example Antiochus Epiphanes profaned the temple with a statue of Jupiter and profaned the altar with pig sacrifice, which is something that was indeed an abomination. David Pawson is such an evangelical who has spoken on this, but takes into consideration that the anointed one who is cut off in Daniel 9 is Jesus at a later date. He mentions Epiphanes in this video here from 29:57-31:45. Watch from 27:43 for more info on Daniel 11.

I admit that the subject of Daniel 9 is indeed a tricky one, considering Christians have wondered when the decree of Cyrus starts and some have pointed it's end to Christ's baptism, or his entry into Jerusalem.

As for Satan's seat, I'll comment on that later in the paper.

"No where in scripture does it insist on Israel re-instituting Temple sacrificial system in Jerusalem and is the reason why many do not see it. Even when one argues that the abomination of desolation happens at a rebuilt temple, notice carefully what Daniel says:
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) (Matthew 24:15)
Notice that there is no temple of any kind, no building structure mentioned in this passage. Therefore, it is not a Jewish physical temple being referred to by Jesus here, but that Jesus is referring to either the area the temple was originally built at or to the city of Jerusalem itself or to another holy place altogether or the church as whole or Christians going apostate defiling their body with the abominable mark of the beast or even all these as a whole. Neither Daniel 9:27, or Daniel 11:31 where it says “they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength” which is not committed by a singular person as in the Antichrist, but by his multitudes “they” (also see Matthew 24:15-16)."

The argument appears to be one from silence, Just because the temple is not explicitly mentioned, That doesn't mean it is not referring to the temple in Jerusalem or in the very least,. the ground that it is stepping on. Furthermore, Jesus in Luke 21 states the following:
"20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

The event that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:15 is a reference to Jerusalem and Luke even clarifies in his letter to Gentiles what will happen in Jerusalem, which is fulfilled in 70 AD with the destruction of the temple.

The subject of Ezekiel 40 and other chapters in that letter will be tackled later, as not only does Shoebat claim that there isn't going to be a temple built in the future, he also tries to refute the idea that a temple is built in the future. We'll take a look later.

Just to comment on Daniel 11:31-33, it's similarity to Daniel 9:24-27 is indeed something worth commenting on. Daniel 11:31-33 does have a historical application, namely Antiochous Epiphanes but it's application to Anti-Christ is also something worth noting. The Anti-Christ will make a covenant and he breaks the covenant half way through and people in Israel and in the Gentile world, will resist Anti-Christ and refuse to take his mark, much like how the Jews resisted Epiphanes, God preserving a remnant in both contexts.

"But what about the always quoted verse: “He as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” in 2 Thessalonians 2?
First of all, this does not specify Jerusalem and the Jews do not worship the Son who is the Temple of God. How could this be the Temple of Christ? Is it perhaps another type of temple or a Christian temple? Even the “glorious holy mountain” in Daniel 11:44-45 is not necessarily God’s true holy mountain, according to Barnes’ Notes“… it is also true, that, so far as the language is concerned, it might be applied to any other mountain or mountainous region that was distinguished for beauty, and that was regarded as sacred, or in any way consecrated to religion. I see no objection, therefore, to the supposition, that this may be understood of some mountain or elevated spot which was held as sacred to religion, or where a temple was reared for worship, and hence, it may have referred to some mountain, in the vicinity of some temple dedicated to idol worship, where Antiochus would pitch his tent for the purpose of rapine and plunder”. This could also be Satan’s throne in Turkey: “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.  And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.  (Revelation 2:12-13, NKJV)
So many ignore, that to God, from a New Covenant perspective, that the old testament levitical system can never be accepted as fulfillment (as we shall explain in detail) which God in Malachi made absolutely clear. Please carefully read:
“Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from you. For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations [gentiles], and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations [gentiles],” says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:10-11)
This “pure grain offering” links directly to the same “grain offering” in Daniel’s prophecy which Christ instructed us to carefully pay attention to, where Antichrist will stop the “grain offering”. What Malachi prophesied was that basically God will do away with the old sacrificial offering and that God will reach out to the “nations” (the gentiles) with a new system in observing a “grain offering that is pure” and even including “incense” which will be “daily” accomplished from “the rising of the sun even to its setting”. Such daily practice is done as a “sacrificial” system is only practiced under apostolic-succession type churches.
Malachi tells us that animal sacrifices will be no more, and the new offering will be grain sacrifice."

First of all, Malachi 1 is not talking about animal sacrifices being abolished, Let's see what it says:
"1 The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.[a]


2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob's brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob 3 but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” 4 If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.’” 5 Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!”

6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord's table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. 

9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. 10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be[b] great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 

12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations."

In the context, Israel had grown weary and uncaring in their duties to God, they were offering CHEAP sacrifices. They were offering lambs with blemishes, something that shouldn't be done. Leviticus 1, specifically verses 3 and 10 say the following:
"1 The Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock.

3 “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord. 4 He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 Then he shall kill the bull before the Lord, and Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 6 Then he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces, 7 and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 And Aaron's sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar; 9 but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering[a] with a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

10 “If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall bring a male without blemish, 11 and he shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron's sons the priests shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar."

The Israelites are chastised because of their blemished offerings and YHWH even points out they dared not give the king a blemished lamb, yet they go to him with one. They are essentially in the context of the passage treating God with contempt. The abolition of sacrifices is not even being addressed. *

"With this in our minds we need to examine the story of Jesus picking wheat in the fields on the Sabbath where  Scriptures say:
“One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.”  (Mark 2:23)
When the Pharisees questioned this, Christ told them:
“Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time ofAbiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” (Mark 2:25-26)
Notice that our Lord mentions here, this bread is not just any bread, but was “the bread of the Presence”.
The presence of what? The presence of God. This bread was also in the Ark of the Covenant, where God was present. The Disciples were picking grain, which would be the ingredient for the “grain offering,” the Sacrifice in the Last Supper. It is this same Sacrifice of which Christ said, “This is my body, which is given for you.” (Luke 22:19) 
Both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church declare that the Real “Presence” of the Christ-God is in the Eucharist, which is that grain sacrifice prophesied by the prophet Malachi; and this Real Presence, this is what Christ foretold when He referenced “the bread of the Presence” which David had eaten.   
Christ defied the tyrannical Pharisees when His Disciples were picking grain from the field, as if to say, “Your priesthood is over. You see these Disciples? this is the new priesthood and this is the new temple. This grain they are picking, this is the new sacrifice.”
It can’t get any clearer than this: this is the Communion bread, the Eucharist, the very sacrament done by only apostolic-succession type churches."

This is a stretch on the part of Shoebat. The bread that David ate was not to do with Real Prescence or the Eucharist. It was just simply consecrated bread, nothing more. Furthermore, None of the passages cited (Here and later on) prove transubstantiation at all. Though I have written on the topic in other papers, some of my points here may be repeated from the previous article:
http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/john-6-does-it-teach-transubstantiation.html

Let's look at Luke 22 shall we?:

"Luke 22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”

9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.

10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”

13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[a] 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

The Lord's supper itself is a memorial, it is NOT referring to literally drinking his body and blood. Some have claimed that the Lord's Supper is a Passover Seder, but I shall not be mulling this particular point over at this time. Case and point, It is ridiculous to read transubstantiation into the text when it is not there explicitly or implicitly.

"Therefore, I will not address the arguments of transubstantiation vs. consubstantiation, Jesus made it clear and Paul condemns the “unrighteous” as having the spirit of “debate” (Romans 1:29). "

A spirit of debate? Really? Debating is not a sin. There is a New Testament precedent of debate and discussion: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/can-christians-engage-in-debate.html

And again I refer all to this article: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/john-6-does-it-teach-transubstantiation.html

"Instead, I will direct a Jesus-style challenge to all who are anti-transubstantiation, that is, the daily sacrifice of the Eucharist, they argue, is re-sacrificing Christ. If this is true, the challenge to the common Messianic assumption, regarding Daniel 9, that if such ‘abomination’ will occur only at a rebuilt Temple by the Jews, for this to become true I ask: how could non-apostolic-succession accuse apostolic-succession believers of re-sacrificing Christ when they are accepting the re-institution of Jews re-sacrificing the Messiah who had already come?
We can’t have it both ways. If this is the case, as westerners say “what should be good for the geese (the Jews) should it not also be good for the ganders (apostolic succession churches)?"

Here's the answer, because the sacrifices that are in the rebuilt temple by Jews are a memorial. I'll elaborate in the second part.

Answering Judaism.

*To quickly comment on 2 Thessalonians 2:4

"2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness."

The lawless one is understood to be the Anti-Christ, which is exactly the case. Notice when you read the chapter, the Anti-Christ is not responsible for the construction of the temple, even implicitly. What does take place is Anti-Christ entering the temple, seating himself within it and proclaiming himself to be the Most High. There is no implicit or explicit evidence in the scripture to show Anti-Christ building or constructing the temple at all, This is a sheer invention or misinterpretation that is not substantiated by the text itself.

Regarding Satan's seat, Although at the time of the Book of Revelation it was in Pergamum, it is no longer there. This comment if the Lord Wills may be mentioned again.

* 21st of February 2016 edit I am not sure if the conversion was recent or took place a while ago.

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