To properly identify and avoid receiving the deadly
mark of the beast it is necessary we should know what the mark is and
where to look for it. Then our first objective should be to identify the
beast to whom the mark belongs. The quest for our answers begins in the
book of Daniel.
In the second chapter of Daniel is an account of an
amazing dream. It was a troubling dream because the king, who dreamt it,
could not remember it when he awoke. In fact, Nebuchadnezzar, king of
Babylon, was so troubled that he could not sleep until he remembered and
understood the meaning of his dream.
The king called his wise men, who were not wise at
all, and requested that they tell him his dream, but their reply was
"...There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the kingís
matter....there is none other that can shew it before the king, except
the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh." Dan. 2:10,11.
Nebuchadnezzar was furious. All the honor and money he had been paying
these men was for nothing. He ordered all the wise men to be slain.
Among those who had been trained in the ways of the
wisemen was a god-fearing young man, a Hebrew captive named Daniel. When
word came to him that he too would be put to death, he appealed to the
king for time and to his God for answers. His requests were granted.
"Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.
Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven." verse 19.
Now, Arioch, the captain of the kingís guard,
brought Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar, who with doubtful, searching eyes
asked the young man, "...Art thou able to make known unto me the
dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? Daniel answered
in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath
demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the
soothsayers, show unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that
revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what
shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head
upon thy bed, are these;" verses 26-28
You can just imagine the kingís doubtful appearance
turning into expressions of hope as Daniel began to speak of the all
powerful God. Nebuchadnezzar leans forward to catch Danielís every
"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image.
This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and
the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his
breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His
legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till
that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his
feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the
iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces
together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and
the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the
stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole
earth." Verses 31-35.
"Yes, yes! Thatís it! Thatís my dream,"
exclaimed the king. "What a relief to finally remember." Again
he leans in to catch the words of Daniel as he begins to give the
"Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the
God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and
the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made
thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold." verses
37, 38. The kingís heart thrilled at what he heard, but his delight
was soon turned into gloom as he realized the importance of Danielís
" And after thee shall arise another
kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which
shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be
strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all
things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces
and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters'
clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be
in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron
mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and
part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And
whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle
themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to
another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these
kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be
destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it
shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand
for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the
mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass,
the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the
king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and
the interpretation thereof sure." verses 39-45.
So there you have it. In the kingís dream the God
of Heaven has shown that, starting with Nebuchadnezzarís kingdom,
there would be four consecutive world empires before Christ [The Rock
of our salvation] comes to set up His kingdom. But, before we go into
detail as to the identity of these great empires, I would like to bring
your attention to another dream. This time it was our beloved Daniel who
had the dream. In the seventh chapter of Daniel we find a complementary
vision that helps to enlarge our understanding of this first one.
"In the first year of
Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head
upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the
four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And
four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from
another." Daniel 7:1-3
Now, before we can properly understand the meaning of
Danielís vision we will need to consult the Bible for a key. "For
precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line
upon line; here a little, and there a little:"Isa.28:10. So we
will let the Bible interpret itself.
The keys to prophecy: (*Note:We will need to add to
this list as we progress.*)
1. Winds -- Wind denotes strife or agitation.
Bible references are Rev. 7:1-3; Jer. 49:35-37; Jer. 51:1,2,11; Jer.
25:32,33; Jer. 23:19; Dan. 11:40
2. Sea -- The sea denotes "peoples, and
multitudes, and nations and tongues." Bible references are Rev.
17:15; Isa. 17:13; Rev. 12:15; Isa. 8:7,8; Eze. 26:3
3. Beasts -- Beasts represent kingdoms or
political powers. Bible references are Dan. 7:17,23; Jer. 4:7; Jer.
4. Wings -- Wings represent swiftness of movement
as well as extent of conquest or flight. Bible references are Eze.
17:3,12; Hab. 1:6-8; Rev. 12:14; Jer. 4:13; Deut. 28:49.
With the key to prophetic symbols before us, we can
now see that Daniel had witnessed the agitation of the peoples of the
earth. From the resulting wars and strife arose four beasts, and that "these
great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of
the earth." Dan. 7:17. Four consecutive world empires would
arise. Let us now look at the first one.
(605 B.C. - 538 B.C.)
first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings
thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made
stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it."verse
What better imagery could possibly describe the great
kingdom of Babylon than the majestic king of beasts or the head of gold
on the great image of Daniel chapter 2? Elsewhere in the Bible Babylon
is described as "the golden city," "the glory of
kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeesí excellency," and "the
lady of kingdoms."Isa. 14:4; 13:9; 47:5.
Historians and archaeologists both attest that no
other kingdom in history had attained the wealth and glorious splendor
as did Nebuchadnezzarís great Babylon. The ancient historian Herodotus
described its beautiful hanging gardens, sixty mile circuit of
mountainous walls, seven square miles of palace, and its lavishly
garnished temple with forty foot solid gold statues of winged lions. The
Greeks considered it one of the seven wonders of the world. No city has
rivaled its architectural splendor even to this day.
Not only was Babylon beautiful but it seemed
impregnable as well. Its walls were three hundred and fifty feet tall
and eighty-five feet thick at the top. A four horse chariot could easily
turn around on the wallís peak. If the city were besieged it had
enough orchards and fields to supply food indefinitely to its
inhabitants, and as for a water supply, the great Euphrates River went
diagonally through the center of the city with mighty walls constructed
on either of its sides. Both the outer walls and the inner walls along
the river, had huge gates of brass to stop any would be invaders. There
was even an underground tunnel that passed below the river to connect
the two halves of the great palace. (See Ancient Empires of the East,
by Sayce, and Ancient History of the East, by Lenormant.)
As indicated by the words, "...Thou art this
head of gold," Babylonís "military glory is due chiefly
to him [Nebuchadnezzar], while the constructive energy, which
constitutes its especial characteristic, belongs to it still more
markedly through his character and genius. It is scarcely too much to
say that but for Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonians would have had no place
in history. At any rate, their actual place is owing almost entirely
to this prince, who to the military talents of an able general added a
grandeur of artistic conception and skill in construction which place
him on a par with the greatest builders of antiquity." (Seven
Great Monarchies, Rawlinson, chap. 8.)
As unconquerable as Babylon would seem to have been,
the sure word of prophecy declares otherwise; "and after
thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee." After the
death of Nebuchadnezzar, the golden head lost its luster and the lion,
once so swift and strong to conquer, lost its eagleís wings. In place
of a lionís heart was now found the deceitful heart of a man. It
appeared that Nebuchadnezzarís idol worshiping, pleasure seeking
successors would be the kingdomís downfall.
The Bible tells us that its end would come during the
reign of his grandson: "And all nations shall serve him, and his
son, and his sonís son..." Jer. 27:7, and so it did. It was
during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar's grandson, Belshazzar, when Babylon
had become enfeebled and effeminate through wealth and luxury, that
prophecy was to be fulfilled. The head of gold would give way to the
breast of silver; the lion would be defeated by the bear.
(539 B.C. - 331 B.C.)
And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up
itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the
teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh."
The breast of silver and the bear would find their
fulfillment in the Medo-Persian empire, which had its existence from 539
B.C. to 331 B.C. As silver is inferior to gold and the bear inferior to
the lion, Medo-Persia fell short of Babylon in wealth, magnificence, and
This empire, being composed of two nationalities, is
shown to be raised up higher on one side. History shows that it was the
Medes who were most responsible for establishing the empire, but the
Persians later strengthened the empire by their conquests, and became
superior to the Medes, thus part of the bear became higher than the
The bear is depicted with three ribs in its mouth. As
well as conquering Babylon, Medo-Persia overcame Lydia and Egypt which
had been subject to the Babylonian empire, but unlike the swiftness of
the Babylonian conquerors, Medo-Persia became great in its exploits only
after long conquests. Thus, being relentless as an angry bear, it was
told to devour much flesh.
Calls Forth His Servant
Though totally unaware of the prophecy, some one
hundred and thirteen years before his birth, God had called His servant
Cyrus by name, and commissioned him to fulfill His purpose in bringing
down Babylon. "Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I
will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates;
and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the
crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass,
and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the
treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou
mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the
God of Israel. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I
have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou
hast not known me. I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is
no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:"
Isa 45:1-5 (See also Jer. 51:11,28 and Isa. 21:2; 22:6)
Warning to Flee Babylon
A Foreshadowing of things to Come
Along with the announcement of the coming of His
servant Cyrus, God also gave His captive people in Babylon a sign that
they may escape the coming destruction. "My people, go ye out
of the midst of her [Babylon], and deliver ye every man his soul
from the fierce anger of the Lord. And lest your heart faint, and ye
fear for the rumor that shall be heard in the land: A rumor shall
both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumor,
and violence in the land, ruler against ruler." Jer.
51:45,46. These prophecies came true in the strictest sense and are to
be repeated in our time, as will be seen later.
After gathering together the forces of Media and
Persia, Cyrus began his march toward Babylon. Rumor of the approaching
army reached Babylon, and they prepared for battle. On the way, Cyrus's
forces encountered the Gyndes river which could only be crossed by boat.
One of his sacred white horses accompanying his march, full of spirit
and high mettle, walked into the water and tried to cross by himself;
but the current took hold of him, swept him along with it, and drowned
him in its depths. Cyrus became enraged and swore he would drain the
His army spent the whole summer digging three hundred
and sixty channels which led off in all directions from the river. Once
the channels were completed the river ran dry, allowing it to be crossed
by foot, however, the time spent in this effort forced Cyrus to winter
there, wasting a whole year. With the approach of spring the march
resumed, and once again rumor reached Babylon of impending battle. God's
children, seeing the fulfillment of prophecy, fled from the midst of
Babylon and were saved, but there was another reason for Cyrusí
delay as you will soon see.
Upon reaching Babylon, Cyrus could find no way to
defeat its massive walls and gates and was on the verge of despair.
After a while, though, Cyrus withdrew the greater part of his army from
the vicinity of the city and began to march up the course of the
Euphrates river. The city being occupied with drinking and revelry, due
to a festive holiday, was unaware of Cyrus's plans. Using what God had
shown him at the Gyndes, he ordered his men to begin the process of
dispersing the Euphrates. At the appointed time the river was rerouted
and Cyrus' army marched under the great brass gates, and swarmed through
the ports along the emptied river which had been left open and unguarded
because of the festivities. The Medes and Persians stormed the city.
That night Belshazzar fell, and Babylon was given into the hands of Godís
servant who began the restoration of Jerusalem. (See Daniel chapter 5,
2Chron. 36:23 and Ezra 1:1&2) (Great Empires of Prophecy, A.T.
Jones, pp. 40-42)
[Note: As we approach the end of our quest for
answers you will see the direct correlation of this historical event
with the time which we now live in. Cyrus the annointed is figurative of
Christ, who will come to restore His kingdom, New Jerusalem. Babylon
represents the world in sin and Godís people in Babylon represent
those who hear the call to depart from sin.]
or Greece (331 B.C. - 168 B.C.)
After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the
back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and
dominion was given to it. " verse 6.
The third kingdom, Grecia, is represented by the
thighs of brass in Nebuchadnezzarís dream and by this symbol of a
leopard in Danielís vision.
If wings upon the lion signified rapidness of
conquest, they must signify the same here. Then having four wings must
denote unprecedented swiftness, which is found to be the historical fact
concerning the Grecian empire. Of all the great empires of the world
there was none that conquered the world so rapidly as did Greece, headed
by Alexander the Great. He conquered the world in only eight short
years. The defeat of Darius in 331 BC at the battle of Arbela was the
death-blow of the Persian empire, and Greece became the new world power.
Before we can further understand this verse we must
add a new element to our Bible key list.
5. Heads -- Heads represent divisions or branches
of government. Bible references are Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 17:3, 9, 10
After securing the world under his power Alexander
headed for Babylon. It was there that one of his best friends,
Hephaestion, died. Alexander went on a drinking binge in celebration of
his friend's funeral, drinking the huge cup of Hercules not once, but
twice. He contracted a fever from which he never recovered, but before
his death it was asked of him who should rule in his place. In response
he took off his signet and said, "let it go to the strongest."
Thus ended the illustrious career of Alexander who died at the young age
of thirty-two, and after a reign of twelve years he left his kingdom
without a ruler. (History of Greece, Grote, chap. xciv, par. 86.)
With no available successor one would imagine that
the huge empire would have crumbled, but the words of the prophet were
accurately fulfilled. The empire was divided among Alexander's four
leading generals; Lysimachus, Ptolemy, Seleucus and Cassander. The
division of Greece by these four men was a direct fulfillment of God's
word; four leaders yet one empire.
The history of these divisions would be one of
continual skirmishes and warfare, until 171 B.C., when they would find
themselves at war with a new and formidable power.
Rome (168 B.C. - 476 A.D.)
this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and
terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it
devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of
it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it
had ten horns." Daniel 7:7
This fourth and last great beast could find its
fulfillment in none other than the Roman Empire. What better description
could be made of Rome than that of the legs of iron or a great dragon
with iron teeth? "Dreadful and terrible, strong exceedingly,
devouring and braking in pieces and stamping the residue." This
perfectly describes the cruelty of Rome in her conquests. What power
could stand against Romeís terrible iron tools of warfare? "The
arms of the Republic, sometimes vanquished in battle, always victorious
in war, advanced with rapid steps to the Euphrates, the Danube, the
Rhine, and the ocean; and the images of gold, or silver, or brass, that
might serve to represent the nations or their kings, were successively
broken by the iron monarchy of Rome." (Edward Gibbon, The
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III, p.634.)
Rome, at first known as Latium, was founded in 753 BC
near the Tiber River. It slowly grew in conquests through the Assyrian,
Babylonian, Medo-Persian and Greek empires until the second century BC,
when it became a formidable world power. Rome took the stage as the
supreme world empire in 168 BC after defeating the Greeks at the battle
of Pydna. (Story of Rome, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, pp. 163,
164.) It ruled the world at the time of Christ and by the cruel hand of
Herod sought to crush the life of the infant Son of God.(See Matt.
2:13-18 and Rev. 12:3,4&9) When it could not destroy Christ it made
war against His church and became one of the worst persecutors of Godís
Now, before we can fully understand the rest of this
verse we again need to add to our Bible key list.
Bible Key addition:
6. Horns -- Horns represent kingdoms, kings or
political powers usually arising out of or being part of another power.
Bible references are Daniel 7:24; 8:20,21 Rev. 17:12.
"And the ten horns out of this kingdom are
ten kings that shall arise." verse 24. The ten toes of the
image in Nebuchadnezzarís dream and the ten horns of the fourth beast
are one and the same. Rome would be divided into ten parts.
Internal corruption and the long war against
Christianity began to deteriorate the Roman empire. In the early fourth
century A.D., the Roman emperor Constantine began to take measures to
preserve his empire. He legalized Christianity, converted to Catholicism
and began a long series of compromises between paganism and
Christianity. In 330 AD the emperor moved Rome's capital to
Constantinople, thereby splitting Rome into two factions; Western Rome
and the Byzantine in the east. With the central government so far away,
Western Rome began to crumble as one Arian Germanic tribe after another
succeeded in breaking away and forming its own kingdom. Starting with the
Alemanni in 351 A.D. and ending with the Heruli in 476 A.D., Western
Rome became divided into ten kingdoms. "Finally in 476 the German
Odoacer (Heruli) deposed the last emperor of the west, the child Romulus
Augustulus. And so the history of ancient Rome ended ingloriously. The
idea of Rome and of the Roman Empire, however, survived its fall, and
from the symbiosis of Rome and Germanic elements arose the new states
and societies of medieval Europe." Art. Roman Empire, Groliers
Encyclopedia. These ten horns or kingdoms that formed
medieval Europe consisted of the Anglo-Saxons (English), Alemanni
(Germans), Franks (French), Burgundians (Swiss), Suevi (Portugese),
Lombards (Italians), Visigoths (Spanish), Ostrogoths, Heruli, and
It appeared that any remaining vestige of Western
Rome would have dissolved into vapor had it not been for a very
ambitious man by the name of Clovis. Clovis, king of the Franks, made it
his purpose to conquer and reunite divided Rome under his own banner and
become Emperor of the newly reinstated empire. It was his misfortune,
however, to have married Clotilda, a devote Catholic, who persistently
attempted to convert him to her faith. In 496 he finally yielded to her
wishes and instead of becoming the emperor of a newly reinstated empire
he became the tool of the Roman Bishop. By 508 Clovis had managed to
bring all but the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths under the Bishop of
Romeís control. These three kingdoms managed to keep their Arian
beliefs and remain independent of Catholicism, but not for long.
A new and terrible form of tyranny was about to take
control of the world. It was diverse from all those that went before it
and would have control in ways never before achieved. In it would be
found the blood of more victims than any other power that went before.
Little Horn (538 A.D. - 1798 A.D.)
considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another
little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up
by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man,
and a mouth speaking great things." verse 8.
Here is the main topic of this chapter. This little
horn that arises from the dragon becomes the center of Daniel's
attention, and all other things have been shown to lay a foundation for
this particular point. To properly identify the mark of the beast it
will require a true understanding concerning the nature of this little
horn and will depend on its proper application.
Daniel inquired, "...I would know the
truth of the fourth beast...and of the ten horns that were in his head,
and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even
of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things,
whose look was more stout than his fellows." verses 19,20.
As seen from this prophecy, this little horn power
had three obstacles. Three of the other horns were in its way and
required thrusting out in its rise to power. Does history bear any
record of such an occurrence? Did another super power come out of Pagan
Rome that thrust out three kingdoms in its ascent? The answer is yes!
History does bear record of such an occurrence. "Out of the ruins
of political Rome, arose the great moral Empire in the Ďgiant formí
of the Roman Church." A.C. Flick, The Rise of the
Mediaeval Church, p. 150.
** Before continuing, we would like to make it
perfectly clear, we believe that among the Catholics there are many who
are most conscientious Christians and who walk in all the light that
shines upon them. It is not the purpose of this book to attack
individuals but rather to address the history and future of biblical
prophesies, which the Catholic system of religion constitutes a large
part of. Though offense may be taken by some, none is intended. **
of a New Kind of Power
In the fourth century Constantine the Great
established the Roman Catholic Church as the nationally recognized
church of the Roman Empire. Gradually and stealthily the Roman Church
rose to preeminence. The bishop of Rome bore a leading part in the
formation of this union of church and State; and the moment that that
union was consummated, "the bishop of Rome rises at once to the
rank of a great accredited functionary. . . . So long as Constantine was
in Rome, the bishop of Rome, the head of the emperor's religion,
became in public estimation, . . . in authority and influence,
immeasurably the superior to all of sacerdotal [religious] rank. . .
. As long as Rome is the imperial residence, an appeal to the emperor
is an appeal to the bishop of Rome." Milman.
Though the Church of Romeís ascent to power began
in the days of Constantine, it held no real civil authority until after
the collapse of the Roman Empire. It was through the obedience of the
ten kingdoms and the cooperation of the emperors of the East that the
Roman Church achieved its goals. "Under the Roman Empire the popes
had no temporal powers. But when the Roman Empire had disintegrated and
its place had been taken by a number of rude, barbarous kingdoms, the
Roman Catholic church not only became independent of the states in
religious affairs but dominated secular affairs as well...in general ,
under the weak political system of feudalism, the well organized,
unified, and centralized church, with the pope at its head, was not only
independent in ecclesiastical affairs but also controlled civil
affairs." The Papacy and World-Affairs, Carl Conrad
Nations Thrust Out
Even before Clovis had given his allegiance to the
Catholic Church and unified the Germanic kingdoms, the Bishop of Rome
had been working with Zeno, the Byzantine Emperor, to remove one of the
three obstacles. Odoacer, leader of the Heruli, had control of Italy and
proved to be a great annoyance to the Roman Bishop in his rise to power.
In 493 A.D. Zeno convinced the Ostrogoths to invade Italy and remove the
Heruli, thus thrusting out and uprooting one of the three horns. One
down, two to go.
In 533 A.D. Justinian, the new Emperor of the
Byzantine, wrote two official letters that had the force of Royal
edicts. These letters were designed to unify Roman laws and later
established what became European common law during the Medieval period.
In his letters he legally confirmed the Bishop of Rome as the Pope or
"head of all holy priests of God" and recognized the Popeís
ecclesiastical supremacy as "head of all holy churches" in
both the east and the west. (Justinianís Code, book1, title 1,
sec. 4, in The Civil Law, translated by S.P. Scott, vol. 12,
The Vandals and the Ostrogoths, both of which were
Arian, quickly opposed such a measure and fought it with all their
strength. (You see, Arianism and Catholicism have always been formidable
rivals.) Emperor Justinian waged war against the Vandals and vanquished
them in 534 A.D. while his General, Belisarius, removed the Ostrogoths
from Italy by the year 538. Thus, all three of the opposing horns (Heruli,
Ostrogoths and Vandals) had been plucked up, and there were no more
obstacles to keep the Papacy from its rise to power.
Where Rome had once been the pagan political giant,
it now changed its clothing to that of an ecclesiastical nature. It
assumed not only the throne of a temporal kingdom but now dared to
ascend into the throne of God Himself by dictating to the consciences of
men pertaining to the worship of God! The Roman Empire had become the
Holy Roman Empire, a union of church and state, with the church
playing the dominant role. It was in this way that it was "diverse
from the first." Dan. 7:24.
"Whatever Roman elements the barbarians and
Arians left...[came] under the protection of the Bishop of Rome, who was
the chief person there after the Emperorís disappearance...The Roman
Church in this way privily pushed itself into the place of the Roman
World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation; the empire has
not perished, but has only undergone a transformation...That is no
Ďclever remark,í but the recognition of the true state of the matter
historically, and the most appropriate and fruitful way of describing
the character of this Church. It still governs the nations...It is a
political creation, and as imposing as a World-Empire, because it is the
continuation of the Roman Empire. The Pope, who calls himself ĎKingí
and ĎPontifex Maximus,í is Caesarís successor." Adolf
Harnack, What is Christianity?, pp. 269,270.
"No, the Church will not descend into the tomb.
It will survive the Empire...At length a second empire will arise, and
of this empire the Pope will be the master--more than this, he will be
the master of Europe. He will dictate his orders to kings who will obey
them." Joseph Turmel, The Latin Church in the Middle Ages,
There can be no doubt as to the identity of the
"little horn." History bears record to the accuracy of Godís
Word. It was the Papacy that became "more stout than his
fellows." Dan. 7:20
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