A Remarkable Symbol
At what time was Rome divided into ten parts?
Between the years 351 and 483 A.D.
After the ten horns had arisen, what was seen coming up among them?
"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots." Dan. 7:8.
NOTE: We must, then, look for the development of the "little horn" this side of 483 A.D. About that time, in fact, there was a pretentious power, seeking acknowledgement of its claims. As early as the beginning of the sixth century the bishops of Rome had become powerful enough to exert considerable of that influence at the imperial court which ere long exalted them to a station where they could command the kings of the earth. There was only one hindrance to their supremacy,-the opposition of the Arian powers to the doctrines of the Catholics, especially to that of the Trinity. These opposing powers were rooted up, the Heruli in 493, the Vandals in 534, and the Qstrogoths in 538. See "Student's Gibbon," pp. 309-319.
"It is a remarkable fact, that the popes to this day wear a triple crown,-- a fact that exists in regard to no other monarchs. . . The papacy [is] well represented by the 'little horn'. . . In fact, this one power absorbed into itself three of these sovereignties." -Barnes's Notes on Daniel, page 327.
"The most remarkable was the little horn, which rose after the others, and is by Protestant commentators (and we think with good reason) explained as the ecclesiastical dominion of the pope or bishop of Rome." -Cottage Bible.
"In 533, Justlnuan entered upon his Vandal and Gothic wars. Wishing to secure the influence of the pope and the Catholic party, he issued that memorable letter which was to constitute the pope the head of all the churches, and from the carrying out of which, in 538 [when the last of the three Arian horns was plucked up], the papal supremacy Is to be dated. And whoever will read the history of the African campaign, 534-538, will notice that the Catholics everywhere hailed as de-liverers the army of Beliserlus, the general of Justinian. --Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, page 136.
"The celebrated letter of Justinian to the pope in the year 533, not only recognized all previous privileges, but enlarging them, and entitling the pope and his church to many immunities and rights, which afterward gave origin to the pretensions displayed in the canon law. --"Gavazzi's Lectures, page 66.
It Is clearly evident, therefore, that just as soon as the last opposition to the papacy was removed, it became firmly seated by the famous letter of Justinian, -- that the bishop of Rome should be recognized as the heed of the universal church and the corrector of heretics. The year 538 A.D. may be set down, then, as the time when the papacy became an established power.
After speaking of the subjugation of the three powers by the "little horn," what comparison does he draw between the subduing power and the others?
"And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings." Dan. 7:24.
NOTE: "This evidently points out the papal supremacy, in every respect diverse from the former, which, from small beginnings, thrust itself up among the ten kingdoms, till at length is successively eradicated three of them." --Bagster, in Cottage Bible.
"They [the ten] were political kingdoms. And now we have but to inquire if any kingdom has arisen among the ten kigdoms of the Roman empire since 483 AD., and yet diverse from them all; and if so, what one. The answer is, the spiritual kingdom of the papacy. This answers to the symbol in every particular, as is easily proved."- Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, page 127.
How was this power to use its authority?
"And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Dan. 7:25.
NOTE: The pope calls himself "the vicar of Christ." Leo X blasphemously styled himself "The lion of the tribe of Judah." Leo XII allowed himself to be called "The Lord our God." Pope Martin V called himself "The most holy and most happy, who is the arbiter of heaven and the lord of the earth, the successor of St. Peter, the anointed of the Lord, the master of the universe, the father of kings, the light of the world."
Augustinius Triumphus, a popish author, said: "The very doubt whether the council be greater than the pope is absurd, because it involves the contradiction that the supreme pontiff is not supreme. He cannot err, he cannot be deceived. It must be conceived concerning him that He knows all things." This blasphemy was solemnly endorsed by the cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church, in the Ecumenical Council of 1870, which declared the pope to be infallible.
The following is a portion of the infallibility dogma as translated by Hon. W.E. Gladstone, in the "Vatican Council," page 201: "All the faithful of Christ must believe that the holy apostolical see and the Roman pontiff possesses the primacy over the whole world, and that the Roman pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, and is true vicar of Christ, and head of the whole church, and father and teacher of all Christians; and that full power was given to him in blessed Peter to rule, feed, and govern the universal church by Jesus Christ our Lord."
"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 blasphemies." --A. Clarke, on Dan. 7:25.
How has the papacy worn out the saints?
By its relentless persecutions of Christians,having put to death more than fifty million during the period of its supremacy.
NOTE: No computation can reach the numbers who have been put to death, in different ways, on account of their maintaining the profession of the gospel, and opposing the corruptions of the Church of Rome. A million of poor Waldenses perished in France; nine hundred thousand orthodox Christians were slain in less than thirty years after the institution of the order of the Jesuits. The Duke of Alva boasted of having put to death in the Netherlands thirty-six thousand by the hand of the common executioner during the space of a few years. The Inquisition destroyed, by various tortures, one hundred and fifty thousand within thirty years. These are a few specimens, and but a few, of those which history has recorded. But the total amount will never be known till the earth shall disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain." Scott's Church History.
For further evidence, see Barnes's Notes on Daniel," page 328; Buck's "Theological Dictionary," art. Persecutions; Dowling's "History of Romanism;" "Fox's Book of Martyrs" Charlotte Elizabeth's "Martyrology;" "The Wars of the Huguenots;" histories of the Reformation, etc.
"To parry the force of this damaging testimony from all history, papists deny that the church has ever persecuted any one; it has been the secular power; the church has only passed decision upon the question of heresy, and then turned the offenders over to the civil power, to be dealt with according to the pleasure of the secular court. The impious hypocrisy of this claim is transparent enough to make it an absolute insult to common sense. In those days of persecution, what was the secular power? -Simply a tool in the hand of the church, and under its control, to do its bloody bidding. And when the church delivered its prisoners to the executioners to be destroyed, with fiendish mockery it made use of the following formula: 'And we do leave thee to the secular arm, and to the power of the secular court; but at the same time do most earnestly beseech that court so to moderate its sentence as not to touch thy blood, nor to put thy life in any sort of danger.' And then, as intended, the unfortunate victims of popish hate were immediately executed." --Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, page 141. See Geddes's "Tracts on Popery," "View of the Court of Inquisition in Portugal," page 446; Limborch, vol.2, page 289.
What change has the papacy sought to make in the law of God?
It has expunged the greater part of the second commandment, in order to establish the adoration of images, dividing the tenth to complete the number ten. It has also abolished the fourth commandment (as far as its power extends) by substituting the first day of the week for the seventh. See Catholic Catechisms; also "Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today," page 213; "The Catholic Christian Instructed," chapt. 23; "A Sure Way to Find out the True Religion," pages 95, 96.
NOTE: "The keeping holy the Sunday is a thing absolutely necessary to salvation; and yet this is nowhere put down in the Bible; on the contrary, the Bible says, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Ex. 20:8), which is Saturday, and not Sunday; therefore the Bible does not contain all things necessary to salvation, and, consequently, cannot be a sufficient rule of faith." --A Sure Way to Find Out the True Religion.
How long was the papacy to have power over the saints, times, and laws?
"And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Dan. 7:25, latter part.
Where is this expression of time found in the New Testament?
"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." Rev. 12:14.
How is this same period again represented?
"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore
days." Rev. 12:6. (These days, being in symbolic prophecy, are themselves symbolic.)
What is the rule for reckoning symbolic days?
"This shall be a sign to the house of Israel... And when thou has accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. " Ezek. 4:3-6 (Num. 14:34).
NOTE: "So Eze. 4:6, 'I have appointed thee each day for a year: where the prophet was symbolically to bear the iniquity of Israel as many days as they had sinned years. In this usage we find authority for interpreting days in prophecy as denoting 'years.'" George Bush, Prof: of Hebrew and Oriental Literature in New York City University, Notes on Num. 14:34.
Then 1260 years was to be the period of papal dominion. It having bean established 538 A.D., the time when Justinian's decree went into effect, we find that the power of the papacy should be broken in 1798.
What event marked the close of this period?
In February, 1798, Berthier entered Rome at the head of the French army, and taking Pope Pius VI prisoner, established a republic in Rome. The pope died in exile the following year. For over two years there was no pope. See Chambers's Cyclopedia, art. Pius.
NOTE: In 1797 A.D., Napoleon was ordered by the French Directory to destroy the papal government. The pope was helpless, but instead of obeying orders, Napoleon, on his own responsibility, made peace with him, and returned to France. The words of the history are as follows:
"Bonaparte now invaded the papal territories, and rapidly overran them. He had orders from the directory to destroy the papal govern-ment, but, on his own responsibility, he disregarded these instructions, and concluded with the helpless pontiff the peace of Talentino on the 19th of February, 1797. Upon the return of Bonaparte from Italy, General Berthier was ordered by the directory to carry out its instruc-tions respecting the papal government, which Bonaparte had declined to execute. The people of the papal states were thoroughly discontented. Berthier marched to Rome, and was received as a deliverer. He proclaimed the restoration of the Roman republic; made Pope Pius VI a prisoner, and stripped him of all his property,. . . and removed him to France, where he was detained in captivity." --Pictoriai History of the World, page 756.
The pope was just as helpless in 1797 as he was in 1798, but 1797 was too early; the time did not fully expire till 1798; and "the
Scripture cannot be broken." -John 10:35.
What was to take place before the dominion should be entirely taken away?
"But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end." Dan. 7:26.
Where in this chapter is this judgment first spoken of?
"A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened." Dan. 7:10.
NOTE: The judgment scene here noticed is laid in heaven. (See reading on "The Judgment,") But even in connection with the judgment (Dan. 7:11) this power speaks such great blasphemy that the special attention of the prophet is called to his words. At the Ecumenical Council, July, 1810, the pope caused himself to he proclaimed infallible by a vote of 538 against 2.
How soon after this did the pope lose his temporal dominion?
In September, 1870, when Rome, no longer supported by the French, who had been defeated by the Germans, surrendered to Victor Emmanuel. Possession of the pope's dominion was formally taken Oct. 2, 1870. -See Chambers's Cyclopedia, art. Italy.
By what means is the beast to be destroyed?
"I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake, I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame."
What is the "burning flame" that is to destroy the papacy?
"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." 2 Thess. 2:8.
THE 1260 DAY PROPHECY
A.D. 538 through A.D. 1798
THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL
"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another...
"And behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and it had great iron teeth... and it had ten horns.
"I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things...
"I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things... Then would know the truth of the fourth beast... And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them...
"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." Daniel 7:2, 3, 7-8, 16, 19-21, 25.
THE PROPHECY OF REVELATION
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea... And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast... And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." Revelation 13:5.
The Bible predicted that the terrible little horn power of Daniel 7 and 8 was to rule the world for 1260 years. It has been well-known for centuries that this little horn of Daniel 7 and the first beast of Revelation 13 symbolize the papacy. Also called the "man of sin" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), and the "antichrist" (1 John 4:3), the papacy was definitely prophesied to have this ruling power for 1260 years. When did this predicted time span begin and when did it end? Read on.
THE AMAZING 1260 DAY
Here is the amazing prophecy of the 1260 days; also called the "time, times, and dividing of time," and the "forty-two months."
A day stands for a year in Bible prophecy (Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6). A "time" in prophecy is the same as a year (Daniel 11: 13, margin and Revised Version). This time-span prophecy is first mentioned in Daniel 7:25, where we are told that it is the length of time that the terrible "little horn" power was to bear rule and destroy God's people. During that time it would also try to change God's Law: "And he [the little horn] shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand for a time and times and a dividing of time." Daniel 7:25.
This, in Hebrew, equals "a time, 2 times and half a time." Using the ancient reckoning of 360 days to a year, 360 + 180 + 720 = 1260. And since a day is equivalent to a year in Bible prophecy, this little horn power would rule for 1260 years. In Revelation 12:6 we are told that the persecution would continue for "a thousand two hundred and threescore days:' which is 1260 prophetic days, or years. (Also note Revelation 11:3).
The God of heaven gave this important prophecy in yet a third way: The little horn of Daniel 7 and 8 is the same as the first beast of Revelation 13: "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." Revelation 13:5. (Compare Revelation 11:2.) Forty-two months equals 1260 days. And Revelation also calls this time prophecy the "time, and times, and half a time" (Revelation 12:14), just as Daniel does.
When did the little horn, symbolizing the papacy, have this rule? The decree of the emperor, Justinian, in A.D. 533, recognized the pope as the "head of all the holy churches" (Code of Justinian, Book 1, title 1, section 4). The overwhelming defeat of the Ostrogoths in the siege of Rome, just five years later (A.D. 538) was a death blow to the third of the three horns that were uprooted (see Daniel 7:8). With the year 538, then, begins the 1260 years of this prophecy of papal domination, which would extend to 1798. In that year as the Reign of Terror continued in the French Revolution and the Roman Catholic religion was set aside in France, the French army, under Berthier, entered Rome and took the pope prisoner. The date: February 10, 1798. The imprisoned pope died in exile the following year in Valence, France. A great cry was heard, "Catholicism is dead." The papacy had received the "deadly wound" of Revelation 13:3. ut we are told that the wound is to be healed, and that the time is coming when all the world will "wonder after the beast." (Revelation 13:3).