The Man Who Claimed to Change God's Law
Supplement to Lesson 22
Time of its Rise to Power
Circumstances of its Rise
Comparison with Other Kingdoms
7. Its Claims
9. Its Duration
11. Its Healing
13. Its Number
Attempt to Tamper with Gods Law
This booklet assumes that you are
familiar with the Scripture passages presented in These
Last Days lessons 21
Jesus tells us that "God sent
not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that
the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17).
The message of the Bible is never against people, but for
them. Its admonitions "are written, that ye might
believe, and that believing ye might have life"
(John 20:31). Sometimes its message cuts across
long-standing traditions and established religious
systems. Error must be pointed out, and warnings given.
But the intent is never to embarrass or condemn, but to
heal. In this study, no attempt is being made to harm
individuals. Many have been sincere in their error. It is
therefore with genuine concern that we direct your
attention to the Bibles own explanation of its
symbolic terms which describe and identify the beast
power of Revelation 13. To the Biblical specifications we
simply add historical data, unfolding the facts in the
past and present story of Sunday observance.
The little horn in Daniel 7 and the
composite beast in Revelation 13:1-10 are two symbols for
the same power. Through Bible prophecy God has given a
more detailed description of this power than of any other
apocalyptic figure. Daniel 7 describes his rise to power;
Revelation 13 gives additional
details regarding his work. A third description of him is
given in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12.
There is only one political power
which fits these three descriptions -- the Roman Catholic
Papacy. Holding much more than ecclesiastical authority,
the pope for hundreds of years enjoyed practically
complete control of princes and rulers.
"In all ages of the Church,
from the days of Gregory the Great down to the present,
men have pointed to the Papacy as the fulfillment of the
prophecy. That interpretation is set forth in the
Homilies of the Church of England and by all the Reformed
Churches. The interpretation, however, has been ignored
or rejected by critics, for reasons which need not be
specified. It can, however, stand all the tests of
criticism."Dr. Charles H. H. Wright, Daniel
and His Prophecies , p. 168. London: 1906.
Let us examine each of the
identifying marks of this little horn to confirm that the
union of religious and civil power embodied in the Papal
office is indeed the very entity predicted in these
"AMONG THEM" Daniel 7:8
In order to rise among the other
horns, it would have to arise where the ten nations
existed which had taken over the Western Roman Empire.
The papacy did indeed arise in the very city of Rome
"AFTER THEM" Daniel 7:24
Since the Roman Empire is
considered by historians to have fully given over its
authority to those ten nations by the year A.D. 476, we
must look for the little horn to receive its power
sometime after 476. It did, as we will see later.
"HE SHALL SUBDUE THREE
KINGS" Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:20; Daniel 7:24
The Heruli, the Vandals, and the
Ostrogoths would not recognize the Bishop of Rome as the
head of the church, and were deposed.
"DIVERSE FROM THE FIRST"
The papacy was a different kind of
power than the other kingdoms. While they possessed
strictly secular authority, the pope claimed religious as
well as civil power. The eyes, mouth and stoutness of
this horn reveal its superiority over the other kingdoms.
"LIKE UNTO A LEOPARD,... A
BEAR, AND...A LION" Daniel 7:12; Revelation 13:2
The vital aspects of the kingdoms
of Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece are preserved in the
papacy. The priesthood and sacramental ritual of
Catholicism were taken directly from the Babylonian
cults. Also from ancient Babylon came the worship of a
virgin mother-goddess. The Persian sun-worship religion,
Mithraism, has been preserved in amazingly precise detail
in the holidays and religious customs of the Catholic
people. Doctrines and philosophies of Greek Gnosticism
taught by the church fathers and adopted by early
Catholic councils are still alive today.
The Catholic Cardinal Newman gives
an extended list of things "of pagan origin"
which the papacy brought into the church "in order
to recommend the new religion to the heathen":
"the use of temples, and these dedicated to
particular saints, and ornamented on occasions with
branches of trees; incense...candles...holy
vestments...the ring in marriage...images...the
ecclesiastical chant..."J. H. Newman, An Essay
on the Development of Christian Doctrine , 1920 ed., p.
"THE DRAGON GAVE HIM ...HIS
SEAT" Revelation 13:2
Revelation 2:13 also mentions
Satans seat. Before the rise of the papacy, Satan
used pagan Rome as his persecuting agent against
Christianity. This was "he who now letteth...until
he be taken out of the way." 2 Thess. 2:6, 7.
On the vacated seat of the Roman
Empire arose the papacy. Said one historian, "The
Pope...is Caesars successor."Adolf
Harnack, What is Christianity? (New York: G. P.
Putnams Sons, 1903), p. 270.
"A MOUTH SPEAKING GREAT THINGS
AND BLASPHEMIES" Daniel 7:8, 11, 20, 25; 2
Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:1, 5, 6
The Bible gives two definitions of
blasphemy: (1) John 10:33 -- When a man makes himself
God; (2) Luke 5:20, 21 -- Claiming the power which
belongs only to God to forgive sins. The papacy makes
both of these claims. Notice the following quotations:
"Thou art another God on
earth."Christopher Marcellus Oration in
the Fifth Lateran Council, 4th session.
"We hold upon this earth the
place of God Almighty." - Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical
Letter "The Reunion of Christendom.".
"All names which in the
Scriptures are applied to Christ...all the same names are
applied to the Pope."Robert Bellarmine,
Disputationes de Controversiis, Tom. 2.
"Hence the pope is crowned
with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and
of the lower regions."Lucius Ferraris, Prompta
Bibliotheca , "Papa", art. 2.
The very title, pope, means
"papa," or "father." It is a title
which in religious usage belongs only to God. "And
call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your
Father, which is in heaven." Matthew 23:9.
"They have assumed
infallibility, which belongs only to God. They profess to
forgive sins, which belongs only to God. They profess to
open and shut heaven, which belongs only to God. They
profess to be higher than all the kings of the earth,
which belongs only to God. And they go beyond God in
pretending to loose whole nations from their oath of
allegiance to their kings, when such kings do not please
them. And they go against God, when they give indulgences
for sin. This is the worst of all blasphemies." -
Adam Clarke, Commentary , on Daniel 7:25.
"SHALL WEAR OUT THE SAINTS OF
THE MOST HIGH" Daniel 7:21, 25; Revelation 13:7
"For professing faith contrary
to the teachings of the Church of Rome, history records
the martyrdom of more than one hundred million people. A
million Waldenses and Albigenses perished during a
crusade proclaimed by Pope Innocent III in 1208;
beginning from the establishment of the Jesuits in 1540
to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed; one
hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in
30 years; within the space of thirty-eight years after
the edict of Charles V against Protestants, fifty
thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, or burned alive
for heresy; eighteen thousand more perished during the
administration of the Duke of Alva in five and a half
years."Brief Bible Readings for Busy People ,
"That the Church of Rome has
shed more innocent blood than any other institution that
has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no
Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history....
It is impossible to form a complete conception of the
multitude of her victims, and it is quite certain that no
powers of imagination can adequately realise their
sufferings." - W. E. H. Lecky, History of the Rise
and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe
(1955 ed.), Vol. 2, p. 40.
"A TIME, AND TIMES, AND HALF A
TIME" Daniel 7:25; Daniel 12:7; Revelation 12:14
"FORTY AND TWO MONTHS"
Revelation 11:2; Revelation 13:5
"A THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND
THREESCORE DAYS" Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6
These three expressions all refer
to the period of time during which the papacy was to
exercise its supremacy.
"A time and times and the
dividing of time." A "time" represents a
year (Daniel 4:16; 11:13, margin). One prophetic year
equals 360 prophetic days. In Aramaic (the original
language used in Daniel 7:25) the word "times"
means "two times." So lets add it up.
1 time = 360
+2 times = 720 prophetic
+half time = 180
TOTAL = 1260 PROPHETIC
"Forty and two months" A
prophetic month consists of 30 prophetic days. So
lets multiply it.
30 days per month
x 42 months
TOTAL = 1260 PROPHETIC
With seven references in Scripture
to this time period, one thing is clear. The papacy was
to be in power for exactly 1260 prophetic days.
In lesson 14 we learned that the
scale for interpreting prophetic time periods in the
Bible is "each day for a year." Two Biblical
instances when this scale was used are Numbers 14:34 and
Ezekiel 4:6. In Daniel 9:24-27 this scale was used to
predict the very year of Christs crucifixion. By
adding that information to the details given in the first
part of that same prophecy (Daniel 8:14), we figured the
starting point of the great Day of Atonement foreshadowed
in the ancient ceremonial system.
That same scale applies to the
prophecy at hand:
1 prophetic day = 1
1260 prophetic days = 1260
History confirms the fact that the
papacy held supremacy for exactly 1260 years. In A.D.
533, emperor Justinian issued a decree recognizing the
bishop of Rome as the "head of all the holy
churches." But full sovereignty could not be
realized as long as the Ostrogoths held power in Rome.
You remember that the Ostrogoths were the last of the
three kingdoms which would not recognize the Roman
bishops authority. Then in 538 the Ostrogoths were
overwhelmingly defeated. The bishop of Rome, with
unchallenged political and ecclesiastical authority, was
now the most powerful man in the West. That year, 538,
marks the beginning of the 1260 years of papal supremacy.
Now lets do some addition.
+ 1260 years
On February 10, 1798, during the
French Revolution, Napoleons general, Berthier,
entered Rome, proclaimed a republic, and took the pope
prisoner. The pope died shortly thereafter in Valence,
France. That year, 1798, marks the end of the 1260 years
of papal supremacy.
"AS IT WERE WOUNDED TO
We have just described the death
blow which the papacy received exactly 1260 years after
it had gained its supremacy. Two factors reveal the
significance of this event:
1. Unlike any previous schism,
this de-poping was inflicted by an outside
authority whose sole motive was to destroy the
entire papal structure.
2. By 1798 the world had
changed its attitude toward the papacy.
Following this event, the nations
of the world considered the papacy as dead.
"HIS DEADLY WOUND WAS
HEALED" Revelation 13:3
In 1870 the Italian government took
over the city of Rome. But in 1929 Cardinal Gasparri met
Premier Mussolini in the Lateran Palace to sign the
Treaty of the Vatican, returning political power to the
The Catholic Advocate in Australia
(April 18, 1929, p. 16) said that its effect was to
"heal a wound of 59 years." The front page of
the San Francisco Chronicle of February 12, 1929 carried
the headline, "Heal Wound of Many Years." The
Associated Press dispatch of the event said, "In
affixing the autographs to the memorable document,
healing the wound which has festered since 1870, extreme
cordiality was displayed on both sides." Thus in
1929 Vatican City was recognized as an independent state,
the pope its king. Religious and civil power were once
again united in the papal office.
"ALL THE WORLD WONDERED AFTER
THE BEAST" Revelation 13:3
On March 9, 1929 the pope could
say, "The peoples of the entire world are with
us." Today there is not a man on earth who receives
more publicity, or whose movements are more closely
followed than the pope.
"SIX HUNDRED THREESCORE AND
SIX" Revelation 13:18
Let us notice four facts about the
mystical number 666:
1. It is "the number of
the beast " (verse 18).
2. It is "the number of a
man " (verse 18).
3. It is "the number of
his name " (verse 17).
4. If a person "hath
understanding" he can " count the
number" (verse 18).
The Catholic Douay Bible has this
note on Revelation 13:18: "The numeral letters of
his name shall make up this number." So all we need
is an understanding of the popes name and we will
be able to add it up ourselves. The Catholic weekly, Our
Sunday Visitor , April 18, 1915, says, "The letters
inscribed in the Popes miter are these:
VICARIUS FILII DEI, which is
the Latin for `VICAR OF THE SON OF GOD."
This title is applied to the pope
in Roman Catholic literature of high standing ( Prompta
Bibliotheca, by Ferraris, in the article
"Papa"). In English this expression is applied
to the pope eleven times by Cardinal Manning in his book,
The Temporal Sovereignty of the Pope . Thus the title is
of undisputed authenticity. It expresses very plainly the
position the pope claims to possess.
How does one count the number of
his name? Before the use of numbers as we have them
today, letters of the alphabet were given numerical
significance. In ancient heathen cults much thought was
given to the preparing of titles which contained the
desired numerical significance.
You are familiar with Roman
numerals, the numbering system used in ancient Rome. I=1;
V or U=5; X=10; L=50; C=100; D=500. Lets add up the
numerical value of the popes title:
"CONFESSES NOT THAT JESUS
CHRIST IS COME IN THE FLESH" 1 John 4:3; 2 John 7
According to the Bible, a primary
characteristic of antichrist is its teachings regarding
the human nature of Christ. In two of his epistles, the
apostle John (who also recorded the book of Revelation)
warned that antichrist would deny that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh.
The Bible says that Jesus came
"in the likeness of men," "in the likeness
of sinful flesh." He came in the nature of those
whom He wished to save. "In all things" he was
"made like unto his brethren, that he might be a
merciful and faithful high priest." (See lesson 13.)
Catholic belief denies that Jesus
came in the nature that you and I possess. The Catholic
doctrine of the immaculate conception teaches that Mary
was born without the ability to sin. Jesus, therefore,
was born with a nature so far removed from us that He
could not fully be "touched with the feeling of our
infirmities," or be "in all points tempted like
as we are."
"HE SHALL...THINK TO CHANGE
TIMES AND LAWS" Daniel 7:25
Primarily, the activities of the
little horn are directed not merely against human
authority, but against God Himself. Says the text,
"He shall speak great words against the most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the most High." The
"times and laws" that he would "think to
change" would therefore be "of the most
High." The papacy would actually claim the right to
alter divine precepts.
Consider the following statement
made in Pope Nicholas time. "The pope has
authority and has often exercised it, to dispense with
the commands of Christ...He can dispense above the law,
and of wrong make right, by correcting and changing
Again, "The pope is of so
great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or
interpret even divine laws.... The pope can modify divine
law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he
acts in the place of God upon earth, with the fullest
power of binding and loosing his sheep." - Lucius
Ferraris, "Papa," art. 2, in Prompta
You remember that the Ten
Commandments are the only part of the Bible which God
both spoke with His own voice and wrote with his own
finger. They are found in Exodus 20:3-17. Lets
notice a few examples of where the papacy has thought to
change Gods law. You will find these changes in any
Gods second commandment says
in Exodus 20:4-6, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any
graven image." But because it speaks against the use
of graven images which are a vital part of Catholic
worship, the papacy has completely removed Gods
second commandment from its teachings. Then in order to
come up with ten, they divide the tenth into two separate
commandments, again attempting to change Gods law.
Our text says he shall "think
to change times and laws ." The only law of God that
has to do with time is His fourth commandment. It says:
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days
shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh
day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt
not do any work."
The current widespread profaning of
Gods holy Sabbath day, and the veneration of the
day of the sun, were brought about by no other authority
than the Roman Catholic papacy itself. The papacy picked
it up as just another practice inherited from heathenism.
The following documentation traces the gradual transfer
of Sunday observance from its heathen origin to its
position in popular contemporary denominations.
"It is certain, that Christ
himself, his Apostles, and the Primitive Christians, for
some good space of time did constantly observe the
seventh-day Sabbath."William Prynne, A Briefe
Polemicall Dissertation, Concerning...the
Lordsday-Sabbath , p. 33.
"Until the second century
there is no concrete evidence of a Christian weekly
Sunday celebration anywhere. The first specific
references during that century come from Alexandria and
Rome, places that also early rejected observance of the
seventh-day Sabbath." Dr. Kenneth Strand, The
Sabbath in Scripture and History , p. 330.
"It is certain that the
ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed...by the
Christians of the East Church, about three hundred years
after our Saviours death."Prof. E.
Brerewood, A Learned Treatise of the Sabbath , p. 77.
"Down even to the fifth
century the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was
continued in the Christian church."Lyman
Coleman, Ancient Christianity Exemplified , chap. 26,
"Although almost all churches
throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on
the sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of
Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient
tradition, have ceased to do this."Socrates
Scholasticus (written about A.D. 440), quoted in
Ecclesiastical History , Book 5, chapter 22.
"The Christian Church made no
formal, but a gradual and almost unconscious,
transference of the one day to the other."F.
W. Farrar, The Voice From Sinai , p. 167.
"Christianity and the higher
forms of paganism tended to come nearer and nearer to
each other as time went on.... They tended to merge into
one another like streams which had been following
converging courses."J. H. Robinson,
Introduction to the History of Western Europe. p. 31.
"The two opposed creeds moved
in the same intellectual and moral sphere, and one could
actually pass from one to the other without shock or
interruption.... The religious and mystical spirit of the
Orient had slowly overcome the whole social organism and
had prepared all nations to unite in the bosom of a
universal church."Franz V. M. Cumont, Oriental
Religions in Roman Paganism , reprint 1956, pp. 210, 211.
"Remains of the struggle are
found in two institutions adopted from its rival by
Christianity in the fourth century, the two Mithraic
sacred days, December twenty-fifth, dies natalis solis ,
as the birthday of Jesus, and Sunday, `the venerable day
of the Sun, as Constantine called it in his edict
of 321."Walter Woodburn Hyde, Paganism to
Christianity in the Roman Empire , p. 60.
"The Church made a sacred day
of Sunday...largely because it was the weekly festival of
the sun; for it was a definite Christian policy to take
over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by
tradition, and to give them a Christian
significance."Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in
Our Christianity , 1928, p.145.
"The church...took the pagan
Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday.... The Sun was a
foremost god with heathendom.... And thus the pagan
Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian
Sunday." Dr. William L. Gildea, The Catholic World ,
"What began, however, as a
pagan ordinance, ended as a Christian regulation; and a
long series of imperial decrees, during the fourth,
fifth, and sixth centuries, enjoined with increasing
stringency abstinence from labour on
Sunday."Hutton Webster, Rest Days , p. 270.
"The Roman Church...reversed
the Fourth Commandment by doing away with the Sabbath of
Gods word, and instituting Sunday as a
holiday." Nicolas Summerbell, History of the
Christian Church , 3rd edition, 1873, p. 415.
"The Catholic Church for over
one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant,
by virtue of her Divine mission, changed the day from
Saturday to Sunday."The Catholic Mirror ,
September 23, 1893.
"The Sunday, as a day of the
week set apart for the obligatory public worship of
Almighty God...is purely a creation of the Catholic
Church. It is...not governed by the enactments of the
Mosaic law. It is part and parcel of the system of the
Catholic Church."John Gilmary Shea, The
American Catholic Quarterly Review , January, 1883.
"Q. Which is the Sabbath
A. Saturday is the Sabbath day.
Q. Why do we observe Sunday
instead of Saturday? A. We observe Sunday instead of
Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the
solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."Peter
Geiermann, The Converts Catechism of Catholic
Doctrine (1957 ed.), p. 50.
"They will needs have the
Churchs power to be very great, because it hath
dispensed with a precept of the Decalogue."The
Augsburg Confession , 1530.
"The church has changed the
Sabbath into the Lords day by its own authority,
concerning which you have no Scripture."Johann
Eck, Handbook of Common Places Against the Lutherans ,
"If you follow the Bible alone
there can be no question that you are obliged to keep
Saturday holy, since that is the day especially
prescribed by Almighty God to be kept holy to the Lord.
In keeping Sunday, non-Catholics are simply following the
practise of the Catholic Church for 1800 years, a
tradition, and not a Bible ordinance.... With the
Catholics there is no difficulty about the matter. For,
since we deny that the Bible is the sole rule of faith,
we can fall back upon the constant practise and tradition
of the Church."Francis G. Lentz, The Question
Box , 1900, p. 98, 99.
"Like two sacred rivers
flowing from Paradise, the Bible and divine Tradition
contain the Word of God, the precious gems of revealed
truths. Though these two divine streams are in
themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal
sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still,
of the two, TRADITION is to us more clear and
safe."Joseph Fa di Bruno, Catholic Belief , p.
"We have, therefore, the same
authority for Purgatory as we have for
Sunday."Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are
Asked About , 1927, p. 136.
"Protestantism, in discarding
the authority of the Church, has no good reason for its
Sunday theory, and ought, logically, to keep Saturday as
the Sabbath."John Gilmary Shea, The American
Catholic Quarterly Review , January, 1883.
"You may read the Bible from
Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single
line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The
Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday,
a day which we [Catholics] never
sanctify."James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of
Our Fathers , 1917 ed., pp. 72, 73.
"Is it not strange that those
who make the Bible their only teacher should
inconsistently follow in this matter the tradition of the
Church?"Bertrand L. Conway, The Question Box
Answers , 1910, p. 255.
"But he answered and said unto
them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by
your tradition?"Jesus, Matthew 15:3 .
"But in vain they do worship
me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of
men."Jesus, Matthew 15:9 .
"No; it never was changed, nor
could it be, unless creation was to be gone through
again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the
observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed!! It
is all old wives fables to talk of the change of
the sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be
changed, it was that august personage changed it who
changes times and laws ex officioI think his name
is DOCTOR ANTICHRIST."Alexander Campbell, The
Christian Baptist , Feb. 2, 1824, vol. 1, no. 7.
"We ought to obey God rather
than men."Peter, Acts 5:29 .
"The earth also is defiled
under the inhabitants thereof; because they have
transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the
everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured
the earth, and they that dwell therein are
desolate."Isaiah 24:5, 6 .
"Reason and common sense
demand the acceptance of one or the other of these
alternatives: either Protestantism and the keeping holy
of Saturday or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday.
Compromise is impossible." Catholic Mirror ,
December 23, 1893.
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