Considering Prophecy and Union
By Fred Pruitt
(This is a much changed, edited and expanded version from a couple of years ago, titled “The Abomination of Desolation.” It is so different from the previous I have given it this new title.)
In the days prior to my final “conversion moment,” I asked many questions to many people about the things of Christ that I had heard from others. I knocked on the door of the Catholic priest’s house one day, much to his surprise. Not many non-Catholics knocked on his door in Bible-belt-Baptist-dominated Rome, Georgia, in 1972. He was taken aback simply by my inquiring presence, and even more when I asked the question on my mind. “Is heaven a real ‘place,’ or is it a state of mind or consciousness?” The father assured me that heaven was a real “place.”
To another I asked, “What does ‘eternal security’ mean?” Certainly, it was a question beyond my “natural” mind, because I had yet to come in the door. Still he gave me an answer that stuck with me. Or rather, it was his attitude that stuck with me. He was an uneducated man, a country Baptist preacher, but the quality of his “witness” came out in the confidence with which he spoke. I did not have that confidence about anything, and I was better educated and better read. He had no doubts about his salvation and that Jesus was holding on to him, rather than he holding on to Jesus. I heard the words, saw and noted the quality coming through them from this humble man, but I was still yet to have truly hearing ears.
Therefore, I understand these questions that rise up are the Spirit’s work. This is how He brings us along. A while back someone asked me to explain “the Abomination of Desolation,” first written about by Daniel, and then mentioned here and there by Jesus as something yet to come. (Mk 14:14).
These days I do not write much on prophecy or “the end times,” and my knowledge in the area must honestly take a back seat to those who spend time looking into these things. Though my early experience in Christ was greatly fueled by “Jesus is coming” fever, the Father had me drop all that when He moved me into a union understanding of my life in Christ. Did the subject become something wrong or to be avoided? No, I bless and appreciate those who look into those matters. It may be God has made them as “watchmen on the walls” for others of us that He has placed on other assignments.
And that is the heart of the matter for the whole body of Christ. Everybody does not do the same things or have the same interests in Christ. Some are shoulders, some are knees, etc. We all walk with a direct link and total direction from our common “Head,” Whom we know is Christ. Part of our fully experiencing the Body of Christ is to be able to see the brethren “out there,” who are NOT a part of what we are into or who have different understandings, as Christ in them, as much as we believe He is Christ in and as us.
When Paul says, “in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Phil 2:3), this is what he is meaning. How can we do that? We like what WE like and don’t like what others like. So how could we possibly esteem others to be better than ourselves when we may not even like what they do, or think “they” have problems? The ONLY way over that hump, which cannot come naturally – it is contrary to our human reasoning mind – is to see them as Christ in them, to Whom we give homage and with Whom we enter not into judgment.
Ok, that said, let’s move on to “The Abomination of Desolation.” It refers to Daniel 12:11.* The literal meaning is that antichrist will set up an idol to himself and Satan, in the Temple of God & declare himself God. There was a partial fulfillment of it by a Greek general under Alexander. (See below). He desecrated the Temple and Holy of Holies, and set up a statue in that place. Many believe that the Jews will rebuild the temple and again set up daily sacrifices, and it will be that Temple, to which the antichrist will come and set himself up in the temple as the servant of Satan. Many believe these times are upon us now.
But what many do not know is the hidden meaning of all this. Everything we see visibly is in some way demonstrating inner Spirit reality, which is the greater reality, and all these events we see in this world reflect the inner truth. In truth we are inner people who are “spirit,” but we’ve been trained from birth to be outer people, as if the temporal world, the world that comes and goes, is the actual “real world” and the “inner” as non-existent or false. That is exactly backwards.
The real truth about the Abomination of Desolation, which I believe must be displayed outwardly for all the world to see, is that the Real Abomination entered the “temple” of man that the outer temple only points to, in the Fall in the Garden. From then on he has been as a usurper on the inner thrones of all of us, for all have sinned. He trapped our whole race in the false Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He (the serpent-usurper) tempted us that we could all be wise as God, knowing everything. When they succumbed and ate the fruit, the Serpent-Usurper completed that deception by replacing their infant consciousness of God without condemnation of shame, with a self-focused (as opposed to God-focused) knowledge of Good and Evil. Harmony and peace ceased in them that day, and tainted the very outer world they found themselves in after their expulsion from the Garden.
So in short, what John 8:44 says as well as Eph 2:2,3, became the inner Abomination of Desolation for the whole human race. These verses are but a few which give the same truth.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Jn 8:44)
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Eph 2:2,3)
That condition that overtook our first parents immediately disqualified them for Eden. It was not because God was mad at them, so He sent them out to punish them. They had become no more “of Eden” and instead had sought wisdom and godhood in determining the good and evil in the outer world, temporal world. It was the kingdom of fear and strife that had immediately risen up in them once they consumed the fruit. God and Eden didn’t change, but they did, and had to be sent out to the world of strife to “earn their living by the sweat of their brow.”
We would have been lost, except the Lion of the Tribe of Judah stepped up to redeem us, (Rev 5:5), to become Sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21; John 3:14-15; Num 21:4-9).
The first witness of that, the Lord God gives in His speech to the Serpent. He prophesies of the “Seed of the Woman” who will crush the head of the Serpent under foot. It also says the Serpent will bruise His heel, which proves his position, crushed under His Foot, eating dust! (Gen 3:15).
In this way the Abomination of Desolation was removed individually from each of us, and replaced by the True God in the center of ourselves, so that we now live by Him and no more under the hypnosis of our former slave driver. We are delivered from the grip of that deceiver and [are] warmly held forever in the everlasting arms of the Beloved!
*I took a few courses by correspondence in the mid-1970s, for possible ordination in a Pentecostal denomination that never happened. One of the courses was an outline of Biblical prophecy, and some “tips” for understanding how to read and comprehend it all. The book of Daniel was the most fascinating, and to students of prophecy, it is much the key book that lays the foundation for understanding all eschatological events that many associate with the “end times.” The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, which scholars and preachers have pored over for more than two thousand years, seems to be the final wrap up, the resolution of all things concerning this earth and humanity.
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (Dan 9:24)
The Abomination of Desolation, mentioned by Jesus in Matt 24:15, and Mark 13:14, is part of this Seventy Weeks prophecy and is a major “event” (marker, sign, etc.) that the imminent end of this age is at hand. It is mentioned directly three times in Daniel, 9:27, 11:31 and 12:11.
Before I continue, I want to underscore the point that I am not by any means a prophecy expert. I am not even much of an amateur. In my early Christian days, it was for many of us all we were about, and I learned much in those days.
However, I put it down when the Lord took me into the center of Himself in Galatians 2:20. That vital revelation, which is the absolute dead-center of all who are in Christ, the Spirit made me know that was to be my commission to give out from then on. Therefore, in the subsequent thirty-five years since the Spirit moved me in that direction, I have hardly cracked a book or read an article about the “end times.”
Is it because I do not believe “the end times,” or think it unimportant to study them? No, it is not that. It is simple a question of gift and emphasis, given by the Spirit to each of us. There are those appointed to look into those things, and others of us look majorly at other aspects of the gospel. That is what the “Body of Christ” is all about – the One Christ by the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself through many members and in many offices. Each of us are free in the Spirit and walk according to His Life and leading.
That is why thirty-five years ago I put the end-time stuff on the shelf and began to delve into finding the inner Sufficiency of Christ that would uphold each of us in any situation, trial or suffering circumstances. When we know Who we are in Christ, we walk no more in fear, and there is no need to respond to fear. Whatever the future brings, Christ in each of us can and will handle it, and overcome!
In all these years, I have run into two major “views” of Biblical prophecy, especially Revelation. One view, most popular among evangelicals, is that all these prophecies will come about in literal fulfillment in the last times. Some of the main points of that view include a period of tribulation, an unholy alliance of nations, a figure (Man) called “The Antichrist,” who will come to world dominance and will persecute the saints, followed by the final return of the Ascended Jesus with the armies of heaven to conquer the wicked and bring about the final consummation of all things “of the earth” in this age. That is a very brief synopsis of a commonly held viewpoint regarding end-time prophecy. That’s not the only view, either. There are quite a few others that see it “literally” fulfilled, but they fall into many camps.
The other main or opposite “view,” sees all of these events and prophecies as “inner” or “spiritual” happenings, descriptions of the Spirit’s inner opening in us in freeing us from the devil, the law, and bringing us into consciousness of union with Christ. Many have written very elaborate books giving this view, that, to me, are just as “complicated” to consider as the more literal interpretations of these things.
My view is really both. Prophecy is both literally, and spiritually, fulfilled. My “seeking” brought me into a consciousness of union years ago, and most of the things I have received from the Biblical prophetical books in the ensuing years have been more along this “spiritual” view rather than the “literal” view.
But I have never been able to completely let go of the literal view. Just as Christ came into our outer world as prophesied the first time, and it was not just a “spiritual” happening, but also a visible reality in time and space, even so I believe the angel’s words in Acts 1 mean the same thing will happen again:
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11).
The angel said what he did partly as a rebuke to them. “Why are you standing gazing up into heaven?” In other words, quit looking up there, scanning the skies for signs of His return. He will come back when He will come back. Remember what He has just told you: “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8).
That is the message of the angel, to remember the commission we as a Body have been given since the Day of Pentecost – to “receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and you will be witnesses unto me …. Unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” That commission has yet to be changed, and is the common commission of all of us, helping out and filling in as the Lord moves us here and there in our lives.
Partly it is because of something I learned in the prophecy course long ago. One “principle” by which we can understand prophecy, is to realize that much prophecy has more than one fulfillment, and all of these fulfillments are of the Spirit. One of the major keys in “event” prophecy, is to see that there is a rather immediate fulfillment to which the prophet may directly refer, but that there is also a far-off more glorious fulfillment.
Many of the prophecies concerning the first coming of the Messiah are like that. Nathan prophesied to David that the Lord would raise up a son of David who would build the temple that David wanted to build, and that his reign would be everlasting. That was directly fulfilled in the next generation in that Solomon built the first temple. Nevertheless, Solomon’s reign was not everlasting, so for the fulfillment of that they had to see afar off.
Likewise, in the coming of the Lord two thousand years ago, there had been prophecies that predicted His coming for thousands of years. Some of the prophecies were about very specific “physical” things that were to occur, and the gospel writers take great pains to point out those literal fulfillments.
But there were also issues related to the Messiah that the Lord Jesus did NOT fulfill while with us in body, which is one reason why the Jews could not accept Him. In their eschatology, there were no partial comings of the Messiah. They believed that when Messiah came, right then and there, He would kick out the Romans, make right all things, and restore them to their days of glory in the Throne of David. When it was clear Jesus was not going to do those things in their sight, they concluded He was a fraud and murdered Him. (We should not be too mad at them for that. It is a shameful thing of eternal proportions that the Jews have suffered so greatly since those days at the hands of so-called Christians, who persecuted and killed them because they were “Christ-killers.” What those misguided people did not realize, is that each of us in the WHOLE HUMAN RACE were Christ-killers! And having said that, we remember the Lord’s words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus on the Cross forgave the very ones who killed Him. All of us, not just the Romans and the Jews.)
It is the same thing with the Abomination of Desolation. Palestine became an Hellenic colony in the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s colonization and spreading of Greek culture. Alexander’s empire was divided up into four parts by his top generals, who became the kings in each of those parts. One descendent of those kings was Antiochus Epiphanes, who entered Jerusalem and defiled the temple by unclean sacrifices first. The ultimate was when he violated the Holy of Holies and put up a statue of Zeus where the Mercy Seat should have been. That was the first immediate fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. But obviously it is not its total fulfillment, because Jesus talks about it as something yet to come. And there is no other way to see it now, in the physical, but as yet to come.
Of course, there is no Messiah scripture that is or will be unfulfilled in our sight, for all shall be known, and everything that has been hidden will be brought out into plain view.
In that vein, for years I have seen myself there in the whole host of heaven in the throne room, with the twenty-four elders, casting my crown before Him, too. Many of the scenes in Revelation are current realities in my Spirit/spirit union within, and I live from that Resource right now.
But there are also many scenes in Revelation, in Daniel also, that I cannot fit into that fabric. The reason for that is, as it has been given to me to understand, that not only is the Spirit reality already fulfilled in me and I can live from that place, but also there is still a yet-to-be physical (and greater spiritual) fulfillment also.
Why? For the same reason Jesus Christ had to come to earth in our history, and be crucified before all the world, in time and space, to effect the plan of God’s reconciliation of all things, which He is bringing about through the Son in the sons. When The Son came as a man to do this, from eternity in the heart of God had dwelt a Lamb. This Lamb was from everlasting in the midst of the Throne. What the physical Cross in time and space, as well as the physical body of Jesus in time and space, represent, is simply the outworking in Time of that which already eternally IS.
There was a Cross in the heart of God before Jesus came to demonstrate it by shedding His blood and allowing His body to be tortured and killed. The “eternal” is first, and “time” is an outworking of all things eternal. To us, the “temporal” is first, and the eternal after. But that is another demonstration of “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”
And so I see that we who are in Christ live in two realities at the same time. We live in the Eternal and we live in Time. In the Eternal all things are fulfilled, but in Time some are fulfilled and some are yet to be.
That is why the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost was in a real sense, the actual true coming of Christ in us, as He is eternally, being born in each of us by the baptism in the Spirit. Jesus the Son of Man was really the forerunner of “Christ in us,” by the Holy Spirit, because that was the only way it could be. The physical Man Jesus had to go away, for the Comforter to be sent and reproduce that life in spiritual sons and daughters.
That is why this whole notion going around these days of Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene, etc., and how Jesus’ lineage became ancestors of European kings, can only be pure hogwash. Had Jesus wanted physical sons He would have married a woman and had children. But that birth had already come. That which is born of flesh is flesh and always is flesh. Jesus brought the second birth, into the Spirit, Life from heaven. Therefore all Jesus’ descendents are spiritual, second-born people, who while in the flesh live after the Spirit, and the flesh is thus made the servant of Spirit rather than its contrary enemy.
But, as Hebrews says, “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Heb 2: 8,9)
“We do not yet see all things put under Him.”
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. … For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
But now we see Jesus, and we know the witness of the Spirit, as the “earnest of our inheritance,” until the “redemption of our purchased possession.”
This is both where and how we are now, and where and how we shall be “then.”
So what, then, of these rumblings on the earth, the doomsday ring of our times, portentous signs in the heavens? Is the time upon us? Many say it is. As long as I have lived (64 yrs) they have been saying it. As long as I have been aware I have heard the “the Scriptures are fulfilled, Jesus is coming soon.”
I will not say it is not that time now. We can never say that. Every day is, “Even so, Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!” We all shout, “Hosanna, and Blessed be He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.”
As it says in Revelation, He is He Who IS, Who Was, and Who is to come. And we know Him in every one of those ways.
What of the future? What of it? It is Christ! If to live today is Christ, what is tomorrow? CHRIST! “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21).
In me and in all who are Christ’s, the Abomination of Desolation has been removed and cleansed. The Son has come and has driven out the money changers and dove sellers out of our personal inner temple. He has filled our emptiness with Himself!
What then is to fear? If all these rumblings quiet down and I live in peace and tranquility the rest of my natural life, lo, it is Christ! Or if jackbooted SS troops march down my street tomorrow looking to round up and kill all the believers, lo, it is Christ!!!!
Shall I not drink whatever cup the Father gives me? (John 18:11)
Whether to prosper or to die? Or anything in between? Have we not learned, as Paul did, to be content in whatever state we are, whether we are abased or whether we abound? (Phil 4:11,12).
This is the “rest” of God. For some time I have been quizzical with God about the role of our “message” in the times that could be coming. The answer to me is clear, and this is our message for our today, that even now upholds the very elect in a deceiving world full of false prophets and false Christs who show great signs and wonders to the delight of huge crowds. The message is nothing other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as the center and circumference of our All in all.
“Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory,
Whom have I in earth but Thee, and none upon the earth that I desire beside thee; My flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Ps 73: 24-26)
I am seeing that the Lord has made of us a people, a people whom He trusts as His instrument, and that He has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, even His very Divine Nature. (2 Pet 1:3,4). He has made us as perfect instruments, players in His band, and that it is why this is so important at this time to recognize His fullness in us and spend our time in the Spirit’s faith-school. What we learn in those school-days of the Spirit is twofold. We learn the walk of faith, and we learn the walk of faith by being ourselves. This is absolutely critical.
That is why we stress and stress and stress to trust Christ in yourself, which works out as, “trust yourself.” It is like not premeditating what you will speak when brought before kings and governors, because Jesus said the Spirit of His Father would speak in us. The Spirit is never caught off-guard, and we walk in the Spirit. We are sufficient for all things. As we move out of the school-days of the Spirit into the faith life, we realize more and more this principle. Somehow the Spirit lets us know that now the Lord considers us “able ministers of the New Testament,” (2 Cor 3:4-6), workmen perfectly fitted and prepared for whatever tasks we find ourselves doing. It is endless. Who can consider these things? “Exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think!” (Eph 3:20).
Live today, as Jesus said on the Mount. Today is the sufficiency in us. (Matt 6:33-34). We do not know what we face from day to day. God sends us information on a “need-to-know” basis. What we need to know today, we already know. Tomorrow takes care of itself. And whatever it is, Christ in us is sufficient and more than sufficient. He is triumphing and over the top!
“To live is Christ; to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21). Sounds like win-win to me. On we go.