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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 16

Section 1 Subsection 2

The Commencement of the Sixth Vial.



 It is written in Dan. 9:27, "and because of an overspreading of abominations (there shall be) a desolating, even to destruction; and that determined shall be poured out upon the DESOLATOR". The subject of this desolation by successive abominations, begun by the old Roman power, is the Holy Land. It is to continue under the tramp of the Desolator to the consummation; and "until that determined" against the desolating power, by whatever name it may be known at the consummation, shall be "poured out upon" him.

The Desolator is unquestionably the Little Horn of the Goat, which, in the days of Constantine, transferred its residence and Court to Constantinople, while its Senate continued to hold its sittings in Rome. In the days of Jesus and the apostles, Rome was the residence of Caesar and his Court, as well as of the Senate. It was then the exclusive capital of the Little Horn of the Goat; but, in the subsequent division of the Roman empire into the Greek and Latin empires, Rome became in the days of Charlemagne, the capital of the Little Horn, having "Eyes like the eyes of a man, and a Mouth speaking very great things" (Dan. 7:8,20); while Constantinople continued the sole capital of the Little Horn of the Goat (Dan. 8:9).

Of this Little Horn of the Goat While its empire was as yet undivided, and the seat of its government not yet transferred from Rome, it was predicted, that he would "magnify himself against the Prince of the Host" of Israel; this he did in condemning and crucifying the Lord of Glory; and furthermore, "by him the Daily should be taken away, and the place of his sanctuary cast down;" and that he should "destroy wonderfully, and prosper, and practise, and should destroy mighty ones, and the people of the Holy ones". It is this power that Daniel refers to when he says, in ch. 9:26, "and the people of the Prince that shall come shall destroy the city (Jerusalem), and the holy" or temple. The people was "the host given against the Daily" (ch. 8:12) by the Nahgid, or prince, who sent them to destroy the city of the murderers of the Son of God (Matt. 22:7). When this people encompassed Jerusalem, and "cast a trench about her, and kept her in on every side," it was given to that generation as a sign, that her destruction was imminent; and in warning his disciples of what was predetermined against Judah's commonwealth, Jesus referred to this prophecy of Daniel, saying, as it stands in Matt. 24:15, "when ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place ("where it ought not" - Mark 13:14) whoso readeth, let him understand - then let them that be in Judea flee into the mountains", and so forth, "for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the State to this time, no, nor ever shall be;" that is, upon Judah. This prediction was fulfilled about A.D. 70.

This was the first of the series of abominations of desolation that overspread the Holy Land. Its existence there was signalized by the abolition of the Jewish State; the taking away or suppression of the Daily Sacrifice; the ruin of the city; the burning of the temple to the ground; and the scattering of the power of the people of the Holy Ones. The Daily, or continual, evening and morning sacrifice, was taken away to make room for this series of abominations, of which the principal have been the pagan Roman, the Greek Catholic, and the Mohammedan; all of them constituents of the Little Horn of the Goat; so long as these abominations overspread the land of Israel in power, the power of the people of the Holy Ones will be in a scattered state: that is, they will prevail until the consummation, "and that determined shall be poured out upon the DESOLATOR."

But, what marks the consummation? That which is expressed in the words, "when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the people of the Holy Ones" (Dan. 12:7). At the time of this writing, February, 1868, this "consummation devoutly to be wished," has not arrived. How many weeks, or months, or years beyond the current year of the time appointed, yet remain to be consumed in waiting I know not; but, it would seem impossible that it can be long. Of this, however, we may be certain, that the consummation, as signalized by the coming of Christ, will transpire under the outpouring of the wrath of this sixth vial. This is plainly and clearly revealed in this sixteenth chapter. The consummation is also indicated by the phrase, "that determined shall be poured out upon the Desolator". This would seem to declare, that the consummation will be when all determined against the Desolator shall have been poured out. But, how long is this outpouring to last? Who can tell? When did the outpouring begin? This is the question to be determined now.

It is written in Dan. 12:11, "and when the Daily hath been removed, even for to set up an abomination of desolation (there shall be) a thousand two hundred and ninety days". Here is a long period without any other beginning indicated than that of its setting up. Its continuance is stated at 1290 years. This is the whole length of time during which the abomination was to prevail upon the land of Israel without beginning to dry up; in other Words, when the 1290 ended, the drying up process would commence; but, as to the exact number of years that would be consumed in the progressive outpouring of "that determined" before the consummation would be reached, we are not informed; of this, how-ever, we may be assured, that the outpouring of "that determined" upon the Desolator of the Holy Land, will not have reached its consummation, until Gog falls upon the mountains of Israel in the war of ARAMGEDDON; which is the great climacteric of the sixth vial.

The period of the sixth vial, the wrathful contents of which are "that determined upon the Desolator", is not included in the 1290 years of the last desolating abomination of the series. The end of these terrible years connects with the beginning of the sixth vial; because there was to be a desolating by the ascendant abomination, until that .determined should come to be "poured out upon the Desolator". Now, what is the fact in regard to the abomination in the ascendant? It is, that the power en-throned in Constantinople, the Little Horn of the Goat, in the spasmodic grasp of Greek, Saracen, Latin, and Turk, summarily expressed in the terms Catholic and Mohammedan, has been the Desolating Abomination of the Holy Land for 1290 years, ending in 1820-'3. The condition of the country between the reign of Adrian, A.D. 137, and the beginning of the reign of Justinian, A.D. 527, was as prosperous as any other province of the Roman empire; but, a change of fortune ensued in the epoch of his reign, A.D. 529-'33, which was signalized by a desolating war between the empires of Persia and Constantinople, in which the Euphratean countries, including Palestine, were the seat of conflict. A peace was made in 533, which proved only a suspension of arms. The war was renewed in 540, and thenceforth continued its destructive course for twenty years. For 1290 years, wasting and desolation progressed with ruinous effect; especially since the adherents of Mohammed made Syria and Palestine (both included in the land promised to Abraham and his Seed) their battle-ground with the Greeks and Latins. The Ottoman Turks possessed themselves of Constantinople under the sixth trumpet, in 1453; and they will be expelled from it under the sixth vial, when "that determined" shall have had its full effect upon them. They were, as Mohammedans, identified with the 1290 years of desolating abomination for a long series of ages and generations; hence, being found in occupation of the Holy Land, and filling the throne of the Little Horn of the Goat, or Dragon, at the end of the 1290 years, they have become obnoxious to the wrath, which has reduced their power to the nullity we behold in 1868. If, then, we have correctly located the beginning of the 1290 years, in the epoch 529-'33, the termination of the period will be 1820-'23, which is signalized by the commencement of the sixth vial, or of "that determined upon the Desolator".

In concluding this section, I may add, that Dan. 12:11, has given the commentators much trouble. The Daily Sacrifice was taken away A.D. 70. As the passage stands in the English Version, it would seem that the 1290 should begin there. This would bring the end of the period in 1360, the very midnight of abominations making desolate. Not being able to work out the arithmetic in that line they have turned "the Daily" into a figure of the Romish Apostasy, or sanctuary to be cleansed, and so forth. We need not, however, trace out their theories, and consume time and space in arguments against them. It may suffice to remark, that the obscurity of the text is referable to the loose rendering of the word maiaith, and the tense of the verb husar. The former is translated "from the time;" but Gesenius, without particular reference to this text, gives more than in the time when", as a good rendering. In our text, more than from the time would be the exact signification, in the sense of when or after. The other word husar is in the perfect, not the future sense, as in the C.V. - maiaith husar hathtamid, after the Daily has been removed. It was removed to make way for the over-spreading of abominations of desolation; but how long after its removal to the beginning of the particular abomination that was to continue 1290, it gives no information. The beginning of the period would be known by those who should be able to perceive the Opening of the sixth vial at its termination, and from thence reckoning back 1290 years. It had a contemporary beginning with the 1260, ending in the fall of "the tenth of the great city," and resurrection of the Witnesses, 1790-'93; and with the 1335 of Dan. 12:12, ending 1868. If the Justinian epoch 529-'33, be not the correct beginning of these periods, I know not what other historical epochs can have any reasonable claims to be true.





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