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Who is the Antichrist (Part Three)


 

Shocking Facts about a Misunderstood Prophecy, and now the real truth…

The Date Evidence

The Prophetic History of the World (The 1260 year evidence)

THE prophecies of the Bible are not difficult to understand, if we follow the rules laid down in Scripture for interpreting prophecy. These rules are few in number, and they are not complicated. When used in connection with prophetic symbols, “sea,” or “waters,” stand for “multitudes” of people (Revelation 17:15; Isaiah 8:7; 17:12; Jeremiah 6:23); “wind” stands for “war” (Jeremiah 4:12, 13; 25:31, 32); “beasts” stand for “kingdoms” (Daniel 7:23); and “days” for “years” (Ezekiel 4:6).

The prophet Daniel saw in vision four winds of war, which strove upon the great sea of people, and four great beasts, or kingdoms, came up one after the other. “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings.” Daniel 7:2-4. In Jeremiah 49:19, 22, 28, a lion is used to symbolize the kingdom of Babylon (606-538 B.C.) The second beast was like a bear (Daniel 7:5), and denoted Medo-Persia, the next world empire (538-331 B.C.) The “three ribs in the mouth of it” were the three chief countries which it conquered, Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt.

He next saw a leopard having four heads and four wings (v. 6), symbolizing the Grecian Empire (331-168 B.C.) A leopard is very alert, and adding to this symbol four wings would indicate that Grecia would make rapid conquest, which was true. Alexander the Great marched his army 5,100 miles in eight years and conquered the then known civilised world. The four heads on the leopard denote the four divisions into which that empire was split up after the death of Alexander.

“The fourth beast,” the angel explained, “shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” V. 23. The fourth empire from Babylon was Rome (168 B.C. to 476 A.D.) The angel also informs us that “the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise.” V. 24. The Roman Empire was split up into just ten smaller kingdoms between the years 351 and 476 A.D. The following are their ancient and modern names:

1 . Alemanni - Germany. 2. Franks - France. 3. Anglo-Saxons - England. 4. Burgundians -Switzerland. 5. Visigoths - Spain. 6. Suevi - Portugal. 7. Lombards - Italy. 8. Heruli. 9. Vandals. 10. Ostrogoths.

This prophecy is so plain, and the explanation so natural and easy to understand, that all commentators, both Protestant and Catholic, fully agree on it. (See Sir Isaac Newton’s “Observations upon the Prophecies,” pp. 157-159; Bishop Thomas Newton, “Dissertations on the Prophecies,” pp. 201-221; Joseph Tanner on “Daniel and the Revelation,” pp. 165-174; Martin Luther’s “Introduction,” pp. 32, 33, Frederikshald, 1853)

The Douay, or Catholic, version of the Bible has the following notes on Daniel 7:3, 7, 8. “Four great beasts. Viz., the Chaldean, Persian, Grecian, and Roman empires.” “Ten horns. That is, ten kingdoms, (as Apoc. 17. 12) among which the empire of the fourth beast shall be parcelled.” “Another little horn. This is commonly understood of Antichrist.”

In regard to these ten kingdoms, Sir Isaac Newton says: “Whatever was their number afterwards, they are still called the Ten Kings from their first number.” - “Daniel and the Apocalypse,” p. 187; first printed, 1733; reprinted, London: 1922.

The Little Horn

“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn.” Daniel 7:8. Let us now consider all the characteristics this prophecy gives to the little horn, and we shall be forced by weight of evidence to settle on just one power as the fulfilment of these predictions.

(1) It was to come up “among” the ten European kingdoms into which the Roman Empire was split. (V. 8) (2) It “shall rise” to power “after them.” (V. 24) (3) “And he shall be diverse from the first” ten kingdoms; that is, different from ordinary, secular kingdoms. (V. 24) Any one acquainted with history knows that the Papacy is the only power that answers to all these specifications. It rose “among” the kingdoms of Western Rome, “after” they were established in A.D. 476, and it differed from a purely civil power. But the angel gives still another mark of identity to the little horn. (4) Before it “there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.” (V. 8.) That is, in coming up it pushed out before it three of the former horns by the roots. Thus three kingdoms were to be plucked up to give place for the Papacy. This prediction found its exact fulfilment in the destruction of the three Arian kingdoms: the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths, as we now shall see. Rev. E. B. Elliott, M.A., says:

“I might cite three that were eradicated from before the Pope out of the list first given; viz., the Heruli under Odoacer, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. “Horae Apocalypticae,” Vol. III, p. 168, Note 1. London: 1862.

In former days crowns of conquered kings were placed on the head of the conqueror. (2 Samuel 12:30.) It is symbolically fitting, therefore, that the pope wears a triple crown. Bishop Thomas Newton, speaking of the power that destroyed the three horns, says: “And the pope hath in a manner pointed himself out for the person by wearing the triple crown. “Dissertations on the Prophecies,” p. 220. London.

A brief statement of the political and religious conditions in the Roman world is necessary here in order that the reader may better grasp the real situation in which these three Arian kingdoms found themselves. After Constantine had removed the seat of the empire from Rome to Constantinople, the Roman people were (at intervals) ruled from that Eastern capital, until the pope had grown to power in Rome. While the Papacy was gradually gaining control over the people of the West, the Eastern emperors were courting the good will of the popes in order to hold their Western subjects.

From the time of Constantine to that of Justinian there was a deadly struggle between the two largest factions of the Church, the Catholics and the Arians. Often there was terrible strife, and even bloodshed. “The streets of Alexandria and of Constantinople were deluged with blood by the partisans of rival bishops.” - “History of Christianity,” H. H. Milman, Book III, chap. 5, par. 2, p. 410. New York: 2-vol. ed., 1881.Most of the barbarian nations into which the Roman Empire was now split had accepted the Catholic faith. But the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths were Arians.

While the emperors courted the help of the popes for political reasons, the popes sought the assistance of the emperors to destroy the Arians. Theodosius, the Emperor of the East, had already (380-395 A.D.) given “fifteen stern edicts against heresy, one on the average for every year of his reign. … So began the campaign which ended in the virtual extinction of Arianism in the Roman world.” - “Italy and her Invaders,” Thomas Hodgkin, Vol. I, pp. 368, 369. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 8-vol. ed. of 1899.

In A.D. 380, the Emperor Theodosius issued an edict which said: “We order those who follow this law to assume the name of Catholic Christians: we pronounce all others to be mad and foolish, and we order that they bear the ignominious name of heretics. … These are to be visited … by the stroke of our own authority.” - “Italy and her Invaders,” T. Hodgkin, Vol. I, p. 183. Two-vol. ed. of 1880.

“Thus did the reign and legislation of Theodosius mark out the lines of future relationship between Pope and Emperor.” - Id., p. 187.

Embassies passed continually between the pope of Rome and the emperor of Constantinople, and in 381 A.D. Theodosius arranged for a general council of the clergy at Constantinople, which finally established the Catholic doctrine. “To him also, at least as much as to Constantine, must be attributed the permanent alliance between the Church and the State.” - Id., pp. 182, 183.

The Heruli

The Heruli under Odoacer had established themselves in Italy, 476 A.D.; and while this Arian king ruled all his subjects impartially, he endeavoured to shield his people from the persecution inaugurated by the combined efforts of the pope and the emperor. Pasquale Villari, writing of the period between 468 and 483 A.D., says:

At that time the Pope was morally, and even more than morally speaking, the most powerful personage in Italy. If Odovacar [Odoacer], as an Arian, had openly opposed him, Simplicius [the Pope] could have easily roused the whole country against him, and made it impossible for him to maintain his position in Italy.” - “The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,” Vol. I, pp. 145, 146. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1902.

And just such an opportunity soon presented itself:

“Pope Simplicius died on the 2nd of March, 483, whereupon Odovacar made a false move, of which he felt the consequences before long. Undoubtedly it was very important for him to control the choice of a new Pontiff. He sought not only to prevent the riots which had often caused bloodshed in the streets of Rome on similar occasions, but also desired a Pope well disposed to himself. Thus when the preliminary assembly failed to agree in the choice of a candidate, the Pretorian Prefect, Cecina Basilius, suddenly intervened in Odovacar’s name, and declared that no election would be valid without the King’s voice. … A decree was likewise issued prohibiting the alienation of Church property and threatening anathema on all who failed to respect it. After this the Assembly was summoned to sanction the decree and decide the election, which resulted in favour of Felix II (483-492), the candidate recommended by Odovacar.” - Id., p. 146.

“His interference in the Papal election has cast into the Roman Church the seed of a deep and threatening distrust towards him.” - Id., p. 147.

Rome could never forgive such an affront, and through its faithful ally, the emperor, another barbarian nation, the Ostrogoths, were called in to destroy the hated Heruli. Niccolo Machiavelli relates how the popes used such a method. He says:

“Nearly all the wars which the northern barbarians carried on in Italy, it may be here remarked, were occasioned by the pontiffs; and the hordes, with which the country was inundated, were generally called in by them. The same mode of proceeding still continued, and kept Italy weak and unsettled.” - “History of Florence,” p. 13. Washington and London: Universal Classics Library, 1901.

Villari says that Theodoric at the head of the Ostrogothic hordes entered Italy in the autumn of 488, backed by the authority of the emperor and the Church. Because the discord that had now broken out between Odovacar and the pope had weakened the former and consequently made him less formidable, after two disastrous battles he retreated toward the city of Rome for safety from the Ostrogoths, but “the gates of Rome were shut in his face, and the inhabitants of Italy began to show him marked hostility; partly on account of his recent conflict with the Church, partly for the increased deeds of spoliation. … The Church had taken advantage of all these causes of discontent in order to excite the populace against him; and before long it was openly said that the clergy had organized a general conspiracy against him somewhat, it would seem, in the style of the Sicilian Vespers.” - “The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,” 2-vol. ed. of 1880. Vol. I, pp. 153-156.

John Henry Cardinal Newman, D. D., says:

“Odoacer was sinking before Theodoric, and the Pope was changing one Arian master for another.” - “An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine,” Part II, p. 320. London: 1878.

Villari continues: “On the 5th of March, 493, Theodoric entered Ravenna in triumph, all the clergy coming forth to meet him, chanting Psalms, and with the Archbishop at the head of the procession.” - “The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,” Vol. I, p. 158. Ten days later Odoacer was murdered in cold blood.

Hodgkin points out that this coming of the archbishop to meet the Ostrogoths was staged so as to “impress vividly on the minds both of Italians and Ostrogoths that Theodoric came as the friend of the Catholic Church.” - “Italy and Her Invaders,” 8-vol. ed., Vol. III, book 4, pp. 234, 235.Hodgkin further states that the Roman clergy were privy to a terrible secret plot of murdering the followers of Odovacar all over Italy. (Id., pp. 225, 226.)

The Heruli disappeared from history. Thus the first of the three horns of Daniel 7:8 was “plucked up by the roots,” and history leaves no room for doubt but that the Papacy through its allies engineered this act because of its opposition to Arianism.

The Emperor Justinian

Before passing to the next power destroyed by the Papacy we shall briefly state the condition of the Roman Empire at this time. Justinian had finally ascended the throne of Constantinople as the Emperor of the East, 527A.D. He was a shrewd politician, and in his effort to extend his rule over the whole of the Roman Empire he realized his need of securing the cooperation of the highly organized Catholic Church, for it was directed by a single head (the pope), and worked as a unit all over the empire, while the Arian nations stood separately, without any central organization, and hence they were weak. Then too, the Arians were very wealthy, and if Justinian could conquer them in the name of “the true Church,” he could confiscate their property and thus secure means to carry on his many wars. We read:

“Justinian (527). . . already meditated … the conquest of Italy and Africa.” - “Decline and Fall,” Edward Gibbon, chap. 89, par. 17.

“Justinian felt that the support of the Pope is as necessary in his reconquering of the West. “History of Medieval Europe,” L. Thorndike, Ph. D., p. 133. Cambridge, Mass.: 1918.

“Justinian spared nothing in his efforts to conciliate the Roman Church, and we find inserted with evident satisfaction in Justinian’s Code pontifical letters, which praised his efforts to maintain ‘the peace of the church and the unity of religion.’” - “Cambridge Medieval History,” Bury, Gwatkin, and Whitney, Vol. II, p. 44. New York: 1913.

Procopius, the historian who followed Justinian’s armies, says:

“In his zeal to gather all men into one Christian doctrine, he recklessly killed all who dissented, and this too he did in the name of piety. For he did not call it homicide, when those who perished happened to be of a belief that was different from his own.” - “Secret History of the Court of Justinian,” pp. 188, 189. Chicago: P. Covici, 1927.

“Now the churches of these so-called heretics, especially those belonging to the Arian dissenters, were almost incredibly wealthy.” - Id., p. 121.

“Agents were sent everywhere to force whomever they chanced upon to renounce the faith of their fathers … . Thus many perished at the hands of the persecuting faction; … but most of them by far quitted the land of their fathers, and fled the country … and thenceforth the whole Roman Empire was a scene of massacre and flight.” - Id., p. 122.

Dom John Chapman (Roman Catholic) says of Justinian:

“He felt himself to be the Vicegerent of the Almighty to rule the world and bring it all to the service of Christ. His wars were holy wars. In later centuries a Byzantine battle began like a church ceremony. Even in the sixth century every enterprise was consecrated by religion.

“He was well aware that judicious persecution is a great help towards conversion! … He strengthened the existing laws against pagans, Jews, and heretics. … Many were burnt at Constantinople after the Emperor had made vain attempts to convert them. John of Ephesus … was employed in this apostolate. He boasts that in 546 he gained 70,000 pagans in Asia Minor, including nobles and rhetoricians and physicians, and many in Constantinople. Tortures discovered these men, and scourgings and imprisonment induced them to accept instruction and baptism. A Patricius, named Phocus, hearing that he had been denounced, took poison. The Emperor ordered that he should be buried as an ass is buried. The pious Emperor paid all the expenses of this Christian mission, and gave to each of the 70,000 Asiatics the white garments for their baptism and a piece of money.”

“Other heretics were given three months grace. All magistrates and soldiers had to swear that they were Catholics.” - “Studies in the Early Papacy,” Dom John Chapman, p. 222. London: Sheed and Ward, 1928. New York: Benziger Brothers.

The Vandals

“Justinian’s cherished aim was the reconquest of Italy by the Empire; but in order to succeed in this it was necessary to secure his rear by overthrowing the Vandals and resuming possession of Africa.” - “The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,” P. Villari, Vol. I, p. 197.

A pretext for breaking his oath of peace with the Arian Vandals soon presented itself. The Vandal government had oppressed the Roman Catholics just as the emperor, under the influence of the Papacy, had oppressed the Arians. But when Hilderic came to the Vandal throne he, through the influence of his Catholic wife, had restored the Roman clergy to their ancient privileges, and this had so displeased the Vandal leaders that Gelimer, a zealous Arian, had dethroned and imprisoned him, and reigned in his place. “A strong appeal was thus made to the piety [?] of the Emperor to deliver the true Catholic Church of the West out of the hands of the barbarian heretics.” - “Medieval and Modern History,” P. V. N. Myers, p. 62. Boston: 1897.

Justinian wavered for a time, fearing to attack these warlike Vandals, but a Catholic bishop assured him of victory, claiming “he had seen a vision, in which God commanded that the war should be immediately undertaken. ‘It is the will of Heaven, 0 Emperor!’ exclaimed the bishop.” - Id., p. 63.

Treachery, which with Rome and her allies has always been a justifiable weapon, was here used in the service of the church by her dutiful son. Justinian sent an army of 200,000 trained men under the leadership of Belisarius to conquer the Vandals, without declaring war, and unbeknown to Gelimer, their king. Villari says:

“Belisarius landed on the African coast, nine days march from Carthage [the Vandal capital]. He did not assume the attitude of a conqueror, but came, he said, as the deliverer of the Catholics and Romans, the clergy and lay proprietors, who were all equally oppressed by those foreign barbarians, the heretic Vandals.” - “The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,” Vol. I, p. 198.

Thus Belisarius won the enthusiastic support of a large part of the population. To undermine the zeal of the Vandal leaders for their king he sent the “leading men of the Vandals” a letter from Justinian, stating that he intended only to dethrone the usurping king, who was tyrannizing over them, and to give them back their liberty. The letter reads:

“‘It is not our purpose to go to war with the Vandals, nor are we breaking our treaty with Gaiseric. We are only attempting to overthrow your tyrant, who making light of Gaiseric’s testament keeps your king a prisoner. … Therefore join us in freeing yourselves from a tyranny so wicked, that you may enjoy peace and liberty. We give you pledge in the name of God that we will give you these blessings.’ The overseer of the public post deserted and delivered all the horses to Belisarius.” - “History of the Later Roman Empire,” J. B. Bury, Vol. II, p. 130. London: The Macmillan Co., 1925.

But Justinian never intended to keep his solemn oath to grant them liberty, and the people soon found Rome the severest of tyrants.

“In 533 the Byzantine general, Belisarius (q.v.) landed in Africa. The Vandals were several times defeated, and Carthage was entered on Sept. 15, 533. … In the next year Africa, Sardinia, and Corsica were restored to the Roman Empire. As a nation, the Vandals soon ceased to exist.” - Nelson’s Encyclopaedia, Vol, XII, art. “Vandals,” pp. 380, 881. New York: 1907.

“Religious intolerance accompanied the imperial restoration in the West. In Africa, as in Italy, Arians were spoiled for the benefit of Catholics, their churches were destroyed or ruined, and their lands confiscated.” - “Cambridge Medieval History,” Bury, Gwatkin, and Whitney, Vol. II, p. 44. New York: 1913.

“The Arian heresy was proscribed, and the race of these remarkable conquerors was in a short time exterminated. … There are few instances in history of a nation disappearing so rapidly and so completely as the Vandals of Africa.” - “A History of Greece Under the Romans,” George Finlay, P. 234. London and New York: J. M. Dent, ed., 1856.

“Africa, subdued by the arms of Belisarius, returned at once under the dominion of the empire and of Catholicism. … One imperial edict was sufficient (A.D. 533) to restore all the churches to the Catholic worship.” - “Latin Christianity,” H. H. Milman, Book 3, chap. 4, P. 455. New York. Crowell & Co., 1881.Thus the second horn of Daniel 7:8 was “plucked up by the roots.”

Here we have one sample out of many in history as to what kind of religious liberty Rome grants wherever she obtains the power.

The Ostrogoths

Theodoric, king of the Ostrogothic nation of Italy, maintained complete religious liberty for all classes and creeds. He wrote to Justin, Emperor of the East, who was persecuting the Arians:

“‘To pretend to a domination over the conscience, is to usurp the prerogative of God; by the nature of things the power of sovereigns is confined to political government; they have no right of punishment but over those who disturb the public peace; the most dangerous heresy is that of a sovereign who separates himself from part of his subjects, because they believe not according to his belief.’” - “History of Latin Christianity,” H. H. Milman, Vol. I, Book III, chap. 3, P. 439. New York: 1860.

The wars of the migrating barbarians on the one side, and the persecutions of heathen, Jews, and Arians by the Catholic Church on the other, had kept Italy in constant turmoil. Agricultural pursuits were neglected, people crowded into the cities, and want and starvation faced the population. But Theodorie’s wise and firm rule, and the strict religious liberty he established in Italy, brought peace, prosperity, and happiness to all classes. J. G. Sheppard, D. D., says:

“‘Theodoric deserves the highest praise; for, during the thirty-eight years he reigned in Italy, he brought the country to such a state of greatness, that her previous sufferings were no longer recognizable.’ … What then prevented this man, with so great a genius for government, and so splendid an opportunity for its exercise, from organizing a Germanic empire, equal in extent and power to that which obeyed the sceptre of the old Roman Caesars? Or why did he fail, when Charlemagne, with a greater complication of interests to deal with, for a time at least, succeeded?

“The causes were mainly these; causes … very similar, at all times, in their operation. In the first place, Theodoric was an Arian, and there was a power antagonistic to Arianism growing up already on the banks of the Tiber, stronger than the statesmen’s policy or the soldier’s sword - the spiritual power of the church of Rome. … Such a power was necessarily altogether incompatible with the existence of an Arian empire. And it proved mightier than its rival. “Fall of Rome,” John G. Sheppard, D. D., pp. 301, 802. London: 1861.

In order to give the reader a better understanding of the means used by the Papacy to destroy these Arian kingdoms, we shall quote from Thomas Hodgkin a few brief statements. He states that Theodoric, the Ostrogothic king, endeavoured to have it a close league for mutual defence formed between the four great Arian and Teutonic monarchies, the Visigothic, the Burgundian, the Ostrogothic, and the Vandal.” But “diplomatists were wanting [who could act] as their skilful and eloquent representatives, travelling like Epiphanius from court to court, and bringing the barbarian sovereigns to understand each other, to sink their petty grievances, and to work together harmoniously for one common end. Precisely these men were the Catholic prelates of the Mediterranean lands to whom it was all-important that no such Arian league should be formed. … All over the Roman world there was a serried array of Catholic bishops and presbyters, taking their orders from a single centre, Rome, feeling the interest of each one to be the interests of all, in lively and constant intercourse with one another, quick to discover, quick to disclose the slightest weak place in the organization of the new heretical kingdoms. Of all this there was not the slightest trace on the other side. The Arian bishops … stood apart from one another in stupid and ignorant isolation.” - “Italy and Her Invaders,” Thomas Hodgkin, (8-vol. ed.) Vol. III, Book 4, PP. 381-383. Oxford: 1899.

This same principle was clearly stated by the Catholic bishop Avitus, when the Arian king Gundobad appealed to him not to allow the Catholic king Clovis to overrun his country. Avitus answered: “If Gundobad would reconcile himself to the Church, the Church would guarantee his safety from the attacks of Clovis.” - Id., p. 384.

The religious liberty, with its attendant blessings to the country, which Theodoric had inaugurated, did not satisfy the Catholic bishops; for Rome does not want religious liberty for other churches, but sole domination for herself.

“The religious toleration which Theodoric had the glory of introducing into the Christian world, was painful and offensive to the orthodox zeal of the Italian” - “Decline and Fall,” Edward Gibbon, chap. 39, par. 17.

“Theodoric, … being an Arian, could not long remain on harmonious terms with a Pope and [an] Emperor of the Orthodox creed, [who were] necessarily bound to combine against him sooner or later.” - “The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,” P. Villari, Vol. 1, p. 178. London: 1913; New York: Scribner, 1902.

This was only natural. The fundamental principles of the church of Rome are such that she can never concede to any other denomination the equal right to exist and to carry on its worship. Urged on by the pope and his bishops, Emperor Justin had enacted severe laws against Arians (524 A.D.), and Justinian began his reign in 527 by making laws still more severe.

“Theodoric, the King of Italy, at first maintained something of his usual calm moderation; he declined all retaliation, to which he had been incessantly urged, on the orthodox of the West.” - “Latin Christianity,” H. H. Milman, D. D., Vol. I, Book III, chap. 3, p. 440.

But the concerted efforts of pope and emperor, by fire, sword, and exile, to exterminate “Arianism” at last “awakened the just resentment of Theodoric, who claimed for his distressed brethren of the East the same indulgence which he had so long granted to the Catholics of his dominions. … And a mandate was prepared in Italy, to prohibit, after a stated day, the exercise of the Catholic worship. By the bigotry of his subjects and enemies, the most tolerant of princes was driven to the brink of persecution.” - “Decline and Fall,” chap. 89, par. 17.

“In Italy, Theodorie’s prolonged toleration had reconciled no one to him, and his ultimate severity exasperated his Roman subjects. A dumb agitation held sway in the West, and the coming of the Emperor’s soldiers was eagerly awaited and desired.” - “Cambridge Medieval History,” Bury, Gwatkin, and Whitney, Vol. II, p. 10. Chicago: The Macmillan Company, 1913.

“And truly the chief men of Rome were suspected, at this very time, of carrying on a treasonable correspondence with the Court of Constantinople, and machinating the ruin of the Gothic empire in Italy” - “History of the Popes,” A. Bower, Vol. II, p. 421. Dublin: 1749.

In the summer of 535 Belisarius started with 7,500 men besides his own guards to conquer Italy and destroy the Arian heretics. This he could do only by the assistance of the Roman Catholics.

“But with great shrewdness he had quickly won their good will, by announcing that he came to deliver them from the barbarian yoke, and from the Arian persecution, and also for the purpose of restoring Rome to her ancient grandeur.” - “The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,” P. Villari, Vol. 1, p. 201.

Witigis [Vitiges] was now the king of the Ostrogoths, and Rome was continuing its usual policy. Professor J. B. Bury says:

“In the meantime Belisarius had left Naples and was marching northward. The Romans, warned by the experiences of Naples, and urged by the Pope, who had no scruples in breaking his oath with Witigis, sent a messenger inviting him to come. He … entered Rome on December 9, A.D. 536.” - “History of the Later Roman Empire,” Vol. II, pp. 179, 180.

“Such, then, was the Pope Silverius … who, having sworn a solemn oath of fealty to Witigis, now, near the end of 536, sent messengers to Belisarius to offer the peaceful surrender of the city of Rome.” - “Italy and Her Invaders,” T. Hodgkin (8-vol. ed.), Vol. IV, Book 5, p. 93. 1885.

“Rome betrayed. The Catholics, on the first approach of the emperor’s army, boldly raised the cry that the apostolic throne (!) should no longer be profaned by the triumph or toleration of Arianism, nor the tombs of the Caesars trampled by the savages of the North; and deputies of the pope and clergy, and of what is called the senate and people, waited upon the approaching army to whom they threw open the gates of the city; and the Catholics were rewarded for their treason by the apparent respect of Belisarius for the pope.” - “History of the Christian Church,” N. Summerbell, page 340, third edition. Cincinnati: 1873.

Witigis then besieged the city of Rome from March, 537, to March, 538, when he raised the siege, after losing the flower of his army, and retired to Ravenna, his capital. T. Hodgkin says: “With heavy hearts the barbarians must have thought, as they turned them northwards, upon the many graves of gallant men which they were leaving on that fatal plain. Some of them must have suspected the melancholy truth that they had dug one grave, deeper and wider than all, the grave of the Gothic monarchy in Italy” - “Italy and Her Invaders,” (8-vol. ed.) Vol. IV, p. 285.

A deathblow was thus given to the Ostrogoths in 538 A.D., and their attempts to re-establish themselves after this were but the last flicker of a lamp being extinguished. Belisarius followed them this same year to their “last stronghold of power. Ravenna was soon entered by the troops of the empire, and with it fell the great kingdom of the Ostrogoths.” - “Fall of Rome” J. G. Sheppard, p. 306. London: 1892.

“Then occurred a singular phenomenon, - the annihilation and disappearance of a great and powerful people from the world’s history.” - Id., p. 307.

But let all remember, that “the success of Justinian’s invasion was due to the clergy in the ruin they brought upon their country, and the relentless tyranny they drew upon themselves, they had their reward.” - “History of the Intellectual Development of Europe,” J. W. Draper, M. D., LL. D., Vol. I, p. 355. New York: Harper Brothers., 1889.

The last of the three Arian “horns” of Daniel 7:8 had passed away, and with it passed also the liberty of the common people. Dr. N. Summerbell truthfully says:

“The Dark Ages, introduced by the persecution of an enlightened Church in the sanguinary wars of Justinian to exalt the Catholics, continued up to the fourteenth century. It was a long, dark night, when ignorance, bigotry, and cruelty reigned, and truth, purity, and justice were crushed out.” - “History of the Christian Church,” p. 342.

A Time, and Times, and Half a Time

THE little horn of Daniel 7:8, 25, was to reign for “a time and times and the dividing of time.” This same “time, and times, and half a time” is also mentioned in Revelation 12:14, and in the sixth verse it is said to be “a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” In prophecy a day always stands for a year. (Ezekiel 4:6) This prophetic period is therefore 1260 literal years. We shall now show that these 1260 years began in 538 A.D., and invite the reader to notice the four great changes that took place that year:

1. We have already seen that the little horn symbolised the Papacy, and that three Arian kingdoms, which stood in its way, were plucked up by the roots, and that the last of these received its deathblow in 538 A.D. through the efforts of Justinian, the faithful son of the church of Rome.

2. History states that the work of Justin and Justinian in elevating the Papacy to power brought on a new era, introducing the Middle Ages:

“Accordingly, the religious and political tendencies of the Empire now took so different a direction as to positively constitute the dawn of a new era. … Thus at last Rome had triumphed, after fighting so long with unflinching vigour and without yielding a single point. “The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,” P. Villari, Vol. I, pp. 177,178.

“The reign of Justinian is more remarkable as a portion of the history of mankind, than as a chapter in the annals of the Roman Empire or of the Greek nation. The changes of centuries pass in rapid succession before the eyes of one generation. …

“With the conquest of Rome by Belisarius, the history of the ancient city may be considered as terminating; and with his defence against Witigis [A.D. 538], commences the history of the Middle Ages. “Greece Under the Romans,” George Finlay, pp. 198, 240, Dent edition, revised by author, 1877.

3. Even the Papacy itself changed, so there was a new order of popes after 538 A.D. History relates:

“Down to the sixth century all popes are declared saints in the martyrologies. Vigillius (537-555) is the first of a series of popes who no longer bear this title, which is henceforth sparingly conferred. From this time on the popes, more and more enveloped in worldly events, no longer belong solely to the church; they are men of the state, and then rulers of the state.” “Medieval Europe,” Belmont and Monod (revised by George Burton Adams), p. 120. New York: H. Holt & Co., 1902.

In the foregoing quotation the date of Vigillius should be 538 instead of 537 for the following reason:

“Vigillius having been thus ordained in the year 537. … and the death of Silverius having been certainly not earlier than 20 June, A.D. 538, it is evident that for at least seven months his position was that of an unlawful anti-pope, his predecessor never having been canonically deposed.” - Dictionary of Christian Biography, Drs. Smith and Wace, Vol. IV, art. “Vigillius,” P. 1144. London: 1887.

For this reason A. Bower says:

“From the death of Silverlus the Roman Catholic writers date the Episcopacy of Vigillius, reckoning him thenceforth among the lawful popes.” - “History of the Popes,” Vol. II, p. 488, under the year “538.” Dublin: 1751.

“His [Silverius’] death happened on the 20th of June … 538.” - Id., p. 488.

Dr. Philip Schaff says:

“Vigillius, a pliant creature of Theodora, ascended the papal chair under the military protection of Belisarius (538-555).” “History of the Christian Church” (7-vol. ed.), Vol. III, p. 827. New, York: Scribner’s, 1893. See also “General History of the Catholic Church,” M. l’Abbe J. E. Darras, Vol. II, pp. 146, 147 (New York: 1866), and “The Official Catholic Directory” for 1933, “List of Roman Pontiffs” on page 7.

4. Dr. Summerbell gives still another reason why we should date the beginning of the papal supremacy from 538. He says: Justinian … enriched himself with the property of all ‘heretics’- that is non-Catholics, and gave all their churches to the Catholics., published edicts in 538 compelling all to join the Catholic Church in ninety days or leave the empire, and confiscated all their goods. “History of The Christian Church,” pp. 310, 311. Cincinatti: 1873.The same is stated by Samuel Chandler in “History of Persecution,” pp. 142, 143; and by Edward Gibbon, in “Decline and Fall,” chap. 47, par. 24.

The State Religion

Thus we see that Roman Catholicism was made the state religion in 538, and all other religions were forbidden. What gave special significance to these edicts of Justinian was the fact that he had already in 533 declared the bishop of Rome to be the head of the universal church, and had subjected all the priests even of the East under the see of Rome. This fact he wrote to Pope John II on March 15, 533, in the following language:

“With honour to the Apostolic See. … We hasten to bring to the knowledge of Your Holiness everything relating to the condition of the Church, as we have always had great desire to preserve the unity of your Apostolic See, amid the condition of the Holy Churches of God, as they exist at the present time, that they may remain without disturbance or opposition. Therefore, We have exerted Ourselves to unite all the priests of the East and subject them to the See of Your Holiness. … For we do not suffer anything which has reference to the state of the Church, even though what causes the difficulty may be clear and free from doubt, to he discussed without being brought to the notice of Your Holiness, because you are the head of all Holy Churches, for we shall exert Ourselves in every way (as has already been stated), to increase the honour and authority of your see. …

“Therefore we request your paternal affection, that you, by your letters, inform Us and the Most Holy Bishop of this Fair City, and your brother the Patriarch, who himself has written by the same messengers to Your Holiness, eager in all things to follow the Apostolic See of your Blessedness, in order that you may make it clear to Us that Your Holiness acknowledges all the matters which have been set forth above.” - “The Civil Law of Justinian,” translated by S. P. Scott, A. M. (in 17 volumes), Book 12, pp. 11-13.

To this letter Pope John II answered: “John, Bishop of the City of Rome, to his most Illustrious and Merciful Son Justinian.

“Among the conspicuous reasons for praising your wisdom and gentleness, Most Christian of Emperors, and one which radiates light as a star, is the fact that through love of the Faith, and actuated by zeal for charity, you, learned in ecclesiastical discipline, have preserved reverence for the See of Rome, and have subjected all things to his authority, and have given it unity. …

“This See is indeed the head of all Churches, as the rules of the Fathers and the decrees of Emperors assert, and the words of your most reverent piety testify. …

“We have received with all due respect the evidences of your serenity, through Hypatius and Demetrius, most holy men, my brothers and fellow bishops, from whose statements we have learned that you have promulgated an Edict addressed to your faithful people, and dictated by your love of the faith, for the purpose of overthrowing the designs of heretics, which is in accordance with the evangelical tenets, and which we have confirmed by our authority with the consent of our brethren and fellow bishops, for the reason that it is in conformity with the apostolic doctrine. …

“Therefore, it is opportune to cry out with a prophetic voice, ‘Heaven will rejoice with You, and pour out its blessing upon You, and the mountains will rejoice, and the hills be glad with exceeding joy.’ …

“The favour of Our Lord remain forever with you, Most Pious Son, Amen. …

“Given at Rome, on the eighth of the Kalends of April, during the Consulate of Emperor Justinian, Consul for the fourth time.” - Id., pp. 10-15.

Both of these letters appear in the “Code of Justinian,” as well as the following law:

“Concerning the Precedence of Patriarchs:

“Hence, in accordance with the provisions of those Councils, we order that the Most Holy Pope of Ancient Rome shall hold the first rank of all the Pontiffs, but the Most Blessed Archbishop of Constantinople, or New Rome, shall occupy the second place after the Holy Apostolic See of Ancient Rome, which shall take precedence over all other sees.” - Id., Vol. XVII, p. 125. (“Constitutions of Justinian,” Vol. XVII, 9th Collection, Title 14, chapter 2)

Under date of March 25, 533, Justinian, writing to Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, stating that he had written the above letter to the pope, “repeats his decision, that all affairs touching the Church shall be referred to the Pope, ‘Head of all bishops, and the true and effective corrector of heretics.”’ “The Apocalypse of St. John,” George Croly, A. M, p. 170, second edition. London: 1828.

“The epistle which was addressed to the Pope, and another to the Patriarch of Constantinople, were inserted in the volume of the civil law; thus the sentiments contained in them obtained the sanction of the supreme legislative authority of the empire. …

“The answer of the Pope to the imperial epistle was also published with the other documents; and it is equally important, inasmuch as it shows that he understood the reference that had been made to him, as being a formal recognition of the supremacy of the see of Rome.” - “A Dissertation on the Seals and Trumpets of the Apocalypse,” William Cuninghame, pp. 185,186. London: 1848; cited in “Source Book,” pp. 383, 384, ed. of 1922.

“The recognition of the Roman see as the highest ecclesiastical authority (cf. Novellae, cxxxi) remained the cornerstone of his [Justinian’s] policy in relation to the West.” - New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia, Vol. VI, art. “Justinian,” p. 286.Thus we see that the way had been prepared in 533, in anticipation of the three final acts which were to occur in 538, when the Arian powers were destroyed, Catholicism made the state religion, and the Papacy placed under the protection of the state, which gave rise to the long struggle between church and state as to which should be supreme.

Close Of The 1260 Years

Having now seen that the 1260 years of papal supremacy began in 538 A.D., it is an easy matter to find their close. Adding the 1260 years to 538 brings us to the year 1798. And if we have given the right application to this prophecy, history must record an event in 1798 that would appear like a death stroke to the Papacy. Turning to history we find just such an event recorded:

The Encyclopaedia Americana, 1941 edition says about the French General: “In 1798 he (Berthier) made his entrance into Rome, ABOLISHED THE PAPAL GOVERNMENT and established a secular one.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Pius VI says: “In an attempt to revolutionize Rome the French General Duphot was shot and killed, whereupon the French took Rome on 10 Feb., 1798, and proclaimed the Roman Republic on 15 Feb. Because the pope refused to submit, he was forcibly taken from Rome on the night of 20 Feb., and brought first to Siena and then to Florence. At the end of March, 1799, though seriously ill, … he succumbed to his sufferings before he could be brought further.”

The official Swedish newspaper, Slockholms Postlidning, for March 29, 1798, has the following news item:

“Rome, the 21st of Feb. [1798], Pope Pius VI, has occupied the papal chair for all of twenty-eight years, but the 15th inst. his government in the Papal States was abolished, and five days later, guarded by one hundred French soldiers, he was taken away from his palace and his capital. …

“His … property was sold by the French, and among it were seven hundred head of cattle, one hundred fifty horses, and eight hundred cords of wood. …

“Poor Pius! He must have felt very sad as he left Rome to go into captivity. When he departed his tear-filled eyes were turned heavenward.”

Rev. E. B. Elliott, A. M., says of these events:

“In the years 1796, 1797, French dominion being established by Bonaparte’s victories in Northern Italy, … the French armies [urged] their march onward to the Papal Capital. … The aged Pope himself, now left mere nominal master of some few remaining shreds of the Patrimony of Peter, experienced soon after in person the bitterness of the prevailing anti-papal spirit. …

“On pretence of an insult to the French Ambassador there, a French corps d’armee under Berthier, having in February, 1798, crossed the Apennines from Ancona, and entered Rome, the tricolour flag was displayed from the Capitol, amidst the shouts of the populace, the Pope’s temporal reign declared at an end, and the Roman Republic proclaimed, in strict alliance fraternization with the French. Then, in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, the ante-hall to which has a fresco painted by Papal order commemorative of the Protestant massacre on St. Bartholomew’s day, (might not the scene have served as a memento of God’s retributive justice?) there, while seated on his throne, and receiving the gratulations of his cardinals on the anniversary of his election to the Popedom, he was arrested by the French military, the ring of his marriage with the Church Catholic torn from his finger, his palace rifled, and himself carried prisoner into France, only to die there in exile shortly after.” - “Horae Apocalypticae,” Rev. E. B. Elliott, A. M., Vol. III, pp. 400, 401. London: 1862.

Arthur R. Pennington, M. A., F. R. Hist. Soc., says of this event: “One day the Pope was sitting on his throne in a chapel of the Vatican, surrounded by his cardinals who had assembled for the purpose of offering him their congratulations on his elevation to his high dignity. On a sudden, the shouts of an angry multitude penetrated to the conclave, intermingled with the strokes of ares and hammers on the doors. Very soon a band of soldiers burst into the hall, who tore away from his finger his pontifical ring, and hurried him off, a prisoner, through a hall, the walls of which, were adorned with a fresco, representing the armed satellites of the Papacy, on St. Bartholomew’s day, as bathing their swords in the blood of unoffending women and helpless children. Thus it might seem as if he were to be reminded that the same God who visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, had made him the victim of His retributive justice for a deed of atrocity which had long been crying aloud to Him for vengeance.” - “Epochs of the Papacy,” pp. 449, 450. London: 1881.

Rev. Joseph Rickaby, an English Jesuit, writes:

“When, in 1797, Pope Pius VI fell grievously ill, Napoleon gave orders that in the event of his death no successor should be elected to his office, and that the Papacy should be discontinued.

“But the Pope recovered. The peace was soon broken; Berthier entered Rome on the 10th February, 1798, and proclaimed a republic. The aged Pontiff refused to violate his oath by recognizing it, and was hurried from prison to prison in France. … ‘No wonder that half Europe thought Napoleon’s veto would be obeyed, and that with the Pope the Papacy was dead.” - “The Modern Papacy,” p. 1. London: Catholic Truth Society.

Rev. George Trevor, Canon of York, writes of this eventful year:

“The object of the French Directory was the destruction of the pontifical government, as the irreconcilable enemy of the republic. … The aged pope was summoned to surrender the temporal government; on his refusal, he was dragged from the altar. … His rings were torn from his fingers, and finally, after declaring the temporal power abolished, the victors carried the pope prisoner into Tuscany, whence he never returned (1798).”

“The Papal States, converted into the Roman Republic, were declared to be in perpetual alliance with France, but the French general was the real master of Rome. … The territorial possessions of the clergy and monks were declared national property, and their former owners cast into prison. The Papacy was extinct: not a vesticle of its existence remained; and among all the Roman Catholic powers not a finger was stirred in its defence. The Eternal City had no longer prince or pontiff; its bishop was a dying captive in foreign lands; and the decree was already announced that no successor would be allowed in his place.” - “Rome: From the Fall of the Western Empire,” pp. 439, 440. London: 1868.

An English secular writer, John Adolphus, says of 1798:

“The downfall of the papal government, by whatever means effected, excited perhaps less sympathy than that of any other in Europe: the errors, the oppressions, the tyranny of Rome over the whole Christian world, were remembered with bitterness., many rejoiced, through religious antipathy, in the overthrow of a church which they considered as idolatrous, though attended with the immediate triumph of infidelity; and many saw in these events the accomplishment of prophecies, and the exhibition of signs promised in the most mystical parts of the Holy Scriptures. “History of France from 1790-1802,” Vol. II, p. 879. London: 1803.

God’s prophetic clock had set the year 1798 as the end of the papal supremacy, and when that hour struck, the mighty ruler on the Tiber, before whose anathemas the kings and emperors of Europe had so long trembled, went “into captivity” (Revelation 13:10), and his government in the Papal States was abolished. Thus the historical events fit exactly into the mold of prophecy, and establish the fact that “we have also a more sure word of prophecy; where unto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn.” 2 Peter 1:19. But prophecy foretells that this “deadly wound” would be healed, and that the world once more, for a brief moment, would follow the papal power. (Revelation 13:3) In the following chapter we shall consider the other specifications of this remarkable prophecy.

Other Marks of Identity

“He Shall Speak Great Words”

THE little horn was to “speak great words against the Most High.” Daniel 7:25. We shall now quote a few extracts from authentic Roman Catholic sources showing the fulfilment of this prophetic utterance: Pope Leo XIII in his “Great Encyclical Letters” says: “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” - p. 304. In this encyclical the pope has capitalized all pronouns referring to himself and to God.

In a large, authentic work by F. Lucii Ferraris, called “Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica Juridica Moralis Theologica,” printed at Rome, 1890, and sanctioned by the Catholic Encyclopaedia (Vol. VI, p. 48), we find the following statements regarding the power of the pope:

“The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God. …

“Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions…

“So that if it were possible that the angels might err in the faith, or might think contrary to the faith, they could be judged and excommunicated by the Pope. …

“The Pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings, having plenitude of power, to whom has been entrusted by the omnipotent God direction not only of the earthly but also of the heavenly kingdom.” - Quoted in “Source Book,” (Revised Edition) pp. 409, 410. Washington, D. C.: 1927.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia says of the pope:

“The sentences which he gives are to be forthwith ratified in heaven.” - Vol. XII, art. “Pope,” p. 265.

“We hold upon this earth the place of God almighty.” – Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894.

“The (Catholic) Church is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them….Resist them in defence of the only true and life giving faith, which the Church has received from the Apostles and imparted to her sons.” St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III, (quoted in article “The Perennial Understanding of the Church”, by Saint Benedict Center).

“Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honour Christ if we honour the Pope; we dishonour Christ if we dishonour the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.” St. Catherine of Siena, SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 5: “The Book of Obedience”, Chapter 1: “There is No Salvation Without Personal Submission to the Pope”).

“Unless therefore they receive saving baptism in the Catholic Church, which is one, they cannot be saved, but will be condemned with the carnal in the judgment of the Lord Christ.” Catholic Bishop Nemesianus of Thubunae, The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V.

“When we say that faith is necessary for the remission of sins, we mean to speak of the Catholic faith, not heretical faith. Without the habit of this faith, no man is justified.” St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 3: “The Book of Faith”, Chapter 1, “There is No Salvation Except in the Catholic Faith”).

“It is absolutely necessary that the Christian community be subject in all things to the Sovereign Pontiff if it wishes to be a part of the divinely-established society founded by our Redeemer.” Pope Pius XII, Orientalis Ecclesiae, quoted in “Acta Apostolicae Sedis”, 36:129, Rome: Vatican Press, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 4: “The Book of Christians”, Chapter 4: “There is No Allegiance to Christ Without Submission to the Pope”).

“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of human flesh.” Catholic National, July 1895.

“And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priest and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse to give absolution, provided the penitent is capable of it.” St. Alphonsus De Liguori, in The Dignity of the Priesthood, p. 27.

“The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth.” Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, “Cities Petrus Bertanous”.

Pope Leo XIII says:

“But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself.” - “The Great Encyclical Letters,” p. 193.

We leave it with the reader to decide whether or not these are “great words.” St. Alphonstis de Liguori, a sainted doctor of the Roman church, claims the same power for the Roman priests. He says:

“The priest has the power of the keys, or the power of delivering sinners from hell, of making them worthy of paradise, and of changing them from the slaves of Satan into the children of God. And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priests. … The Sovereign Master of the universe only follows the servant by confirming in heaven all that the latter decides upon earth. “Dignity and Duties of the Priest,” pp. 27, 28. New York: Benziger Brothers., Printers to the Holy Apostolic See, 1888.

“Innocent III has written: ‘Indeed, it is not too much to say that in view of the sublimity of their offices the priests are so many gods.” - Id., p. 86.

These must truly be called “great words.

A Persecuting Power

The little horn was also to “wear out the saints of the Most High.” Daniel 7:25. That is, it was to persecute them till they were literally worn out. Has the Papacy fulfilled this part of the prophecy’? In order to do Roman Catholics no injustice, we shall quote from unquestioned authorities among them. And, since they persecute people for “heresy,” we must first let them define what they mean by “heresy.” In the New Catholic Dictionary, published by the Universal Knowledge Foundation, a Roman Catholic institution, New York, 1929, we read:

“Heresy (Gr., hairesis, choice), deciding for oneself what one shall believe and practise.” Art. “Heresy,” p. 440.

According to this definition anyone who will not blindly submit to papal authority, but will read the Bible, deciding for himself what he shall believe, is a “heretic.” What official stand has the Catholic Church taken in regard to such heretics? This we find stated in the Catholic Encyclopaedia in the following words:

“In the Bull ‘Ad exstirpanda’ (1252) Innocent IV says: ‘When those adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to the civil power by the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the podesta or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall, within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them.’ … Nor could any doubt remain as to what civil regulations were meant, for the passages which ordered the burning of impenitent heretics were inserted in the papal decretals from the imperial constitutions ‘Commissis nobis’ and ‘Inconsutibilem tunicam.’ The aforesaid Bull ‘Ad exstirpanda’ remained thenceforth a fundamental document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by several popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68), Nicolas IV (1288-92), Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and others. The civil authorities, therefore, were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication to execute the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics to the stake. It is to be noted that excommunication itself was no trifle, for, if the person excommunicated did not free himself from excommunication within a year, he was held by the legislation of that period to be a heretic, and incurred all the penalties that affected heresy.” - Vol. VIII, p. 34. See also “Dictionary of the Inquisition,” in “Illustrations of Popery,” J. P. Challender, pp. 377-386, New York, 1838; and “History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, H. C. Lea, Vol. 1. pp. 337 338, New York. 1888.

This Encyclopaedia was printed in 1910, and bears the sanction of the Catholic authorities, and of their “censor,” so that here is up-to-date authority showing that the Roman church sanctions persecution. The Roman church here acknowledges, that, when she was in power, she forced the civil government to burn those whom she termed heretics, and the government officials who failed to execute her laws, became heretics by that neglect, and suffered the punishment of heretics. Professor Alfred Baudrillart, a Roman Catholic scholar in France, who is now a Catholic Cardinal, says:

“The Catholic Church is a respecter of conscience and of liberty. … She has, and she loudly proclaims that she has, a ‘horror of blood.’ Nevertheless when confronted by heresy she does not content herself with persuasion; arguments of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture. She creates tribunals like those of the Inquisition, she calls the laws of the State to her aid, if necessary she encourages a crusade, or a religious war and all her ‘horror of blood’ practically culminates into urging the secular power to shed it, which proceeding is almost more odious - for it is less frank - than shedding it herself. Especially did she act thus in the sixteenth century with regard to Protestants. Not content to reform morally, to preach by example, to convert people by eloquent and holy missionaries, she lit in Italy, in the Low Countries, and above all in Spain, the funeral piles of the Inquisition. In France under Francis I and Henry II, in England under Mary Tudor, she tortured the heretics, whilst both in France and Germany during the second half of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century if she did not actually begin, at any rate she encouraged and actively aided, the religious wars. No one will deny that we have here a great scandal to our contemporaries. …

“Indeed, even among our friends and our brothers we find those who dare not look this problem in the face. They ask permission from the Church to ignore or even deny all those acts and institutions in the past which have made orthodoxy compulsory. [This explains why some Catholic authors deny that their church ever persecuted.] “The Catholic Church, the Renaissance, and Protestantism,” pp. 182-184. London: 1908.This book bears the sanction of the Roman Catholic authorities, and of their “censor.”

Andrew Steinmetz says:

“Catholics easily account for their devotion to the Holy See, in spite of its historical abominations, which, however, very few of them are aware of their accredited histories in common use, ‘with permission of authority,’ veiling the subject with painful dexterity.” - “History of the Jesuits,” Vol. I, p. 13. London:1848.

Dr. C. H. Lea says:

“In view of the unvarying policy of the Church during the three centuries under consideration, and for a century and a half later, there is a typical instance of the manner in which history is written to order, in the quiet assertion of the latest Catholic historian of the Inquisition that ‘the Church took no part in the corporal punishment of heretics.”’ - “History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages,” Vol. I, p. 540. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1888.

Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241) made the following decree for the destruction of all heretics, which is binding on civil rulers:

“Temporal princes shall be reminded and exhorted, and if needs be, compelled by spiritual censures, to discharge every one of their functions: and that, as they desire to be reckoned and held faithful, so, for the defence of the faith, let them publicly make oath that they will endeavour, bona fide with all their might, to extirpate from their territories all heretics marked by the Church; so that when anyone is about to assume any authority, whether spiritual or temporal, he shall be held bound to confirm his title by this oath. And if a temporal prince, being required and admonished by the Church, shall neglect to purge his kingdom from this heretical pravity, the metropolitan and other provincial bishops shall bind him in fetters of excommunication; and if he obstinately refuse to make satisfaction this shall be notified within a year to the Supreme Pontiff, that then he may declare his subjects absolved from their allegiance, and leave their lands to be occupied by Catholics, who, the heretics being exterminated, may possess them unchallenged, and preserve them in the purity of the faith.” - “Decretalium Gregorii Papae Noni Conpilatio;” Liber V, Titulus VII, Capitulum XIII, (A Collection of the Decretals of Gregory IX, Book 5, Title 7, Chapter 13), dated April 20, 1619.

The sainted Catholic doctor, Thornas Aquinas, says:

“If counterfeiters of money or other criminals are justly delivered over to death forthwith by the secular authorities, much more can heretics, after they are convicted of heresy, be not only forthwith excommunicated, but as surely put to death. “Summa Theologica,” 2a, 2ae, qu. xi, art. iii.

That this principle is sanctioned by modern Catholic priests, we can see from the following statement:

“The church has persecuted. Only a tyro in church history will deny that. … Protestants were persecuted in France and Spain with the full approval of the church authorities. We have always defended the persecution of the Huguenots, and the Spanish Inquisition.” - “Western Watchman,” official organ of Father Phelan. St. Louis, Mo.: Dec. 24, 1908.

We have now seen from the “decretals” of popes, from sainted doctors of the Roman church, and from authentic Catholic books, that they sanction and defend persecution, and history amply bears out the fact. Dr. J. Dowling says:

“From the birth of Popery in 606, to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty millions of the human family, have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious murders for every year of the existence of Popery.” - “History of Romanism,” pp. 541, 542. New York: 1871.

W. E. H. Leeky says:

“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. The memorials, indeed, of many of her persecutions are now so scanty, that it is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims, and it is quite certain that no power of imagination can adequately realize their sufferings.” - “History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe,” Vol. II, p. 32. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1910.

John Lothrop Motley, speaking of papal persecution in the Netherlands, says:

“Upon February 16, 1568, a sentence of the Holy Office [the Inquisition] condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as heretics. … A proclamation of the king, dated ten days later, confirmed this decree of the Inquisition, and ordered it to be carried into instant execution. … This is probably the most concise death warrant that was ever framed. Three millions of people, men, women, and children, were sentenced to the scaffold in three lines.” - “The Rise of the Dutch Republic,” (2-vol. ed.) Vol. I, p. 626. New York.

Many Roman Catholic authors today have tried to prove that their church does not sanction persecution, but facts of history are too plain to be denied. Eternity alone will reveal what God’s dear children suffered during the Dark Ages. Accordingly as the Papacy attained to power, the common people became more oppressed, until “the noon of the Papacy was the midnight of the world.” - “History of Protestantism,” J. A. Wylie, LL.D., Vol. I, p. 16. London.

“He is a heretic who does not believe what the Roman Hierarchy teaches.” The American Textbook of Popery, p 164 (quoting from the “Directory for the Inquisitors”).

“The church may by divine right confiscate the property of heretics, imprison their person, and condemn them to flames. In our age, the right to inflict the severest penalties, even death, belongs to the church. There is no graver offense than heresy, therefore it must be rooted out.” Public Eccliastical, Vol. 2, p.142.

“When confronted with heresy, she (Catholic Church) does not content herself with persuasion, arguments of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture.” The Rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris, H.M.A. Baudrillart, quoted in The Catholic Church, The Renassance, and Protestantism, p 182-183.

“Heretics (those who are not members of the Catholic Church or who do not hold to Catholic doctrine) worship a God who is a liar, and a Christ who is a liar.” St. Augustine, (quoted in “Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Graca”, by Fr. J. P. Migne, Paris: 1866, 42:207).

“A heretic merits the pains of fire….By the Gospel, the canons, civil law, and custom, heretics must be burned.” The American Textbook of Popery, p 164 (quoting from the “Directory for the Inquisitors”).

Think To Change Times And Law

But Daniel 7:25 has still another prediction concerning the “little horn”; namely, that it should “think to change times and laws,” or as the Revised Version has it: “times and the law.” James Moffatt’s translation reads: “He shall plan to alter the sacred seasons and the law.” Now, as the two preceding statements in this verse depict what the Papacy should do against the Most High, we must conclude that it is also the “times and the law” of the Most High which the Papacy should attempt to change. This could not refer to the ceremonial laws of the Jews, which were abolished at the cross (Ephesians:2:15; Hebrews 9:9,10), but to the Ten Commandments, which are binding in the Christian era, to which dispensation this prophecy applies. (Matthew 5:17-19; 19:16-19; Luke 16:17; Romans 3:31; 7:7, 12, 14; James 2:10, 11.) From the prophecy of Daniel 7:25 it is therefore evident that the Papacy would attempt to make some changes in the moral law.

After the worship of images had crept into the church during the fourth to the sixth centuries, its leaders finally removed the second commandment from their doctrinal books, because it forbids us to bow down to images (Exodus 20:4, 5), and they divided the tenth, so as to retain ten in number. Thus the Catholic Church has two commandments against coveting, while Paul six times speaks of it as only one “commandment.” (Romans 7:7-13) Then, too, the Lord has purposely reversed the order of the supposed ninth and tenth commandments in Deuteronomy 5:21 to what they are in Exodus 20:17, so that the Catholics, following Deuteronomy 5:21, have “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife” as their ninth commandment, while the Lutherans, following Exodus 20:17, have it as part of their tenth commandment, and their ninth command is: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house.” Thus we see how people get themselves into trouble when they attempt to change the law of God.

The Papacy was also to change times. But the only commandment of the ten that has to do with time is the fourth, which commands us to keep holy the seventh day, on which God rested at creation. (Exodus 20:10,11; Genesis 2:1-3) It is a remarkable fact that Christ, His apostles, and their followers kept the seventh day in common with the Jews (Mark 6:2,3; Luke 4:16, 3 1; 23:52-56; Acts 13:42,44; 16:12,13; 17:2; 18:1-4), and that the New Testament is entirely silent in regard to any change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. This would be natural enough if the original Sabbath, which they were then keeping, should continue. But if a new day was to take its place in the Christian church, its Founder would certainly have given explicit directions for its observance. Yet not a word was spoken by Christ or His apostles, either before or after His resurrection, as to such a change. . It is another remarkable fact that Sunday is never called by any sacred title in the New Testament, but always referred to as a weekday, never as a holy day. It is classed as one of the weekdays, being called “the first day of the week.”

And yet we find the Christian world generally keeping it. Who made this change, when it is not recorded in the Bible? When, how, and why was it made? Who dared to lay hands on Jehovah’s law, and change His Holy Sabbath, without any warrant of Scripture?

All Protestant denominations disclaim any part in this crime. But the Roman Catholic Church boasts of having made this change, and even points to it as an evidence of its authority to act in Christ’s stead upon earth. We shall therefore ask her two pointed questions: 1. Men did you change the Sabbath? 2. Why did you do it? Here are her answers:

“The first proposition needs little proof. 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 Christian Sabbath,” p. 29. Baltimore, Md.: “Catholic Mirror,” Sept. 23, 1898.

“We confess that the Pope has power of changing Scripture and of adding to it, and taking from it, according to his will.” Roman Catholic Confessions for Protestants Oath, Article XI, (Confessio Romano-Catholica in Hungaria Evangelicis publice praescripta te proposita, editi a Streitwolf), as recorded in Congressional Record of the U.S.A., House Bill 1523, Contested election case of Eugene C. Bonniwell, against Thos. S. Butler, Feb. 15, 1913.

“We may according to the fullness of our power, dispose of the law and dispense above the law. Those whom the Pope of Rome doth separate, it is not a man that separates them but God. For the Pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man but of the true God….dissolves, not by human but rather by divine authority….I am in all and above all, so that God Himself and I, the vicar of God, hath both one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do…Wherefore, no marvel, if it be in my power to dispense with all things, yea with the precepts of Christ.” Decretales Domini Gregori ix Translatione Episcoporum, (on the Transference of Bishops), title 7, chapter 3; Corpus Juris Canonice (2nd Leipzig ed., 1881), col. 99; (Paris, 1612), tom. 2, Decretales, col. 205 (while Innocent III was Pope).

“The Pope is of great authority and power, that he is able to modify, declare, or interpret even divine laws. The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth…” Lucius Ferraris, in “Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica, Juridica, Moralis, Theologica, Ascetica, Polemica, Rubristica, Historica”, Volume V, article on “Papa, Article II”, titled “Concerning the extent of Papal dignity, authority, or dominion and infallibility”, #30, published in Petit-Montrouge (Paris) by J. P. Migne, 1858 edition.

“Most Christians assume that Sunday is the biblically approved day of worship. The Roman Catholic Church protests that it transferred Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday, and that to try to argue that the change was made in the Bible is both dishonest and a denial of Catholic authority. If Protestantism wants to base its teachings only on the Bible, it should worship on Saturday.” Rome’s Challenge www.immaculateheart.com/maryonline December 2003

Ques. - Which is the Sabbath day? Ans. - Saturday is the Sabbath day.

Ques. - Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Ans. - We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the council of Laodicea (A.D. 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. …

“The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her. “The Convert’s Catechism of Christian Doctrine,” Rev. Peter Geiermann, C. SS. R., p. 50. St. Louis, Mo.: 1934.(This work received the “apostolic blessing” of Pope Pius X Jan. 25, 1910.)

“The Church … took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday … . And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus.” - “Catholic World,” (New York), March, 1894, p. 809.

As one can see, there are ample identifying marks for the Antichrist power and many of these points can only be fulfilled by one single power, and in every case this is the Papal Church. We could stop on these points alone and know the identity of the Antichrist power beyond doubt.

However, the many other points that need to be met to meet the criteria for being this Antichrist power are also fulfilled by them 100% perfectly also. There is no other power on earth that can have fulfilled some of these points yet alone all of them and so we are not dealing with any degree of speculation whatsoever but cold hard Biblical and historical facts. The Antichrist power can be none other than this Antichrist Papal Church system.

This concludes the document on Who is the Antichrist.