Daniel Seven: The Little Horn
This little horn disturbed Daniel and deeply troubled him. His face turned pale when he saw all the trouble that would come upon his people.
Even though Daniel was troubled, God gave this vision so you and I would not be troubled. As we look around the world today, God wants us to know that everything is under control. He knows the forces of evil that are out there. Because He knows, all we need to do is stay close to Jesus and He will protect us and guide us through. So let’s identify this little horn and all the evil it has done and will do to God's people.
The first point was that it came up among the kingdoms that were arising at the time Rome was breaking apart. We go back into history to see what was arising among all the nations of Europe during the time Rome was breaking up.
"After Jesus was crucified, His followers, strengthened by the conviction that he had risen from the dead and that they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, formed the first Christian community in Jerusalem. By the middle of the 1st century, missionaries were spreading the new religion among the peoples of Egypt, Syria, Anatolia, Greece, and Italy. Chief among these was Saint Paul, who laid the foundations of Christian theology and played a key role in the transformation of Christianity from a Jewish sect to a world religion."*
The first persecution of the new Christian faith was from the Jews. In AD 34 the Jewish nation could no longer tolerate the growth and teachings of Christians. They dragged Stephen before the council and then stoned him. Persecution broke out and the early Christian church fled. Using those wonderful roads that Rome had built, they could travel (fly on eagles wings) as far away as England to the north, and India to the east. God had provided for their quick escape.
As long as Judaism and Christianity were a local, isolated sect, the pagan world did not care. But when the Jews persecuted the Christians, and the Christians fled, the Christians took up housekeeping all over the Roman empire. Now we begin to see a problem. The pagans kept the 1st day of the week holy in honor of the sun god. The Jews and Christians kept God’s day, Sabbath, the 7th day holy. Now these Christians were in every nation and neighborhood of the pagan empire.
"Because of their refusal to recognize the divinity of the Roman emperor or pay homage to any god except their own, the Christians were subjected to a number of persecutions by the Roman authorities. The most savage of these were the ones under Emperor Decius (249-51) and that were instigated by Diocletian (303-13). Many Christians welcomed martyrdom as an opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ, and Christianity continued to grow despite all attempts to suppress it."*
You see the beginnings of this conflict recorded in Acts chapter 19 verses 23-41. It goes something like this. Demetrius was a silversmith who made a very good living making and selling images of the goddess Artemis.
He was wealthy and may have owned a large house with indoor plumbing and a pool. He also may have owned a four horse-powered, four-door convertible chariot. It may have been snazzy, with iron wheels and leather interior.
It could have been that one day the creditor came by to repossess his chariot. I am sure Demetrius would have been upset. He may have called his accountant and may have wanted to know why the bills hadn’t been paid. The accountant may have told him that business had not been very good and the income had fallen.
Demetrius would not have understood this. He may have started looking around to see why his images were not selling. It probably didn't take him long to discover the reason. More and more of his neighbors were becoming Christian. As each became Christian, they stopped buying his idols. This was intolerable. He was going to go broke if this Christian belief was not stopped.
He may have called together the men in the related trades and told them what was happening. They may have agreed with him. They probably had seen their own incomes drop. How were they going to keep their expensive chariots and homes without their idols selling? They instigated an uproar and a riot ensued. All this because their income was being disrupted by some Christians.
But it didn’t end there. You see, not only did the Christians refuse to buy the idols, they refused to go to the state sponsored temples of the pagans who met on Sunday, the day for worshiping the sun-god. Instead, they went to their meeting houses on the seventh-day, Sabbath. By not going to the pagan temples, Caesar was losing out on his share of the money that pagans brought to the temple. Fewer and fewer people were going to the pagan temples. How was Caesar going to support his wars and temples and opulent life style? He couldn’t sit by and let this happen. Persecution broke out against the Christians.
As the Christians were persecuted in one place, they fled to another. Soon Christians were in all parts of the Roman Empire, from England to India to Egypt. There was no place in the Roman Empire you could not find a Christian. Christianity was coming up among the nations.
But as Christianity grew, it lost its Christian nature. It became a bureaucracy that was sponsored by the state. How? Again, history provides the answer. Rome was spending a lot of money defending its borders against the Germanic tribes of the north, the Asians of the east, and the Egyptians of the south. It could not do it all. On top of all that, it was involved in an internal war with the Christians. It could not support all these war efforts. Something had to give.
"In the western half the Roman system gradually disintegrated and was replaced by a collection of kingdoms ruled by various Germanic peoples: the GOTHS occupied Italy and Spain; the FRANKS, under the MEROVINGIAN kings, established themselves in Gaul; and Britain was conquered by the ANGLO-SAXONS. The collapse of the Roman Empire in the west led to a synthesis of Latin and Germanic elements that was to be the basis of medieval European culture."*
"Constantine survived the civil war that disrupted the western half of the empire during the next 5 years and by 312 was in a position to challenge Maxentius, the self-appointed Caesar who controlled Italy and Africa. Constantine's defeat (Oct. 28, 312) of Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge outside Rome not only removed a dangerous rival but secured his share in the new government formed by LICINIUS, whom Galerius had appointed Augustus of the West in 308. The arch commissioned by the Senate in Rome to mark his victory bears an inscription that attributes Constantine's success to the "prompting of a deity." The Senate undoubtedly had in mind a pagan deity, but later Christian writers credited the victory to the intervention of the Christian God, who (they asserted) had declared his support of Constantine in a vision."*
"The nature of Constantine's conversion to Christianity has long been a matter of dispute — primarily because the sources, all of them Christian, offer conflicting testimony. The outlines of his religious development, however, are clear enough. Before 312, Constantine seems to have been a tolerant pagan, willing to accumulate heavenly patrons but not committed to any one deity. Between 312 and 324, however, he gradually adopted the Christian God as his protector and on several occasions granted special privileges to individual churches and bishops. His alliance with Christianity was strengthened by the political quarrel with Licinius. The death of Galerius in 311--and that of his successor in the East, Maximinus Daia, in 313--left Constantine and Licinius in control of both halves of the empire. The two rulers were soon at odds. In the ensuing civil war, politics and religion became so entangled that contemporaries described Constantine's conflict with Licinius (a pagan) as a crusade against paganism. Soon after his victory over Licinius at Chrysopolis (Sept. 18, 324), Constantine openly embraced Christianity."*
"Scanty pieces of evidence dating back to the 1st century AD indicate that the church at Rome had already attained a certain preeminence in doctrinal matters even among those few churches which could lay claim to apostolic foundation. The apostolic credentials of Rome, moreover, would appear to have been uniquely impressive. It is certain that Saint Paul had preached at Rome, and he was probably put to death there about 67 during the reign of Nero. It seems likely, as well, that Saint Peter had visited Rome and had also been martyred there. About Peter's actual position at Rome, however, and about the position of the early Roman bishops, the historical record is silent. What is unquestioned is that by the 3d century the Roman bishops were representing themselves as having succeeded to the primacy that Peter had enjoyed among the apostles and as wielding within the universal church a primacy of authority in doctrinal matters. During the 4th and 5th centuries, after the Roman emperor Constantine’s grant of toleration to Christianity (the Edict of Milan, 313) and its rise to the status of an official religion, a series of popes, most notably LEO I(r. 440-61), translated that claim into a primacy of jurisdiction over the church."*
"During the 5th century AD the city entered a decline and was sacked (410) by the Visigoths under ALARIC I and by the Vandals (455). Temporal political and social authority in the city of Rome gradually devolved upon the pope, or bishop of Rome, who began to claim primacy among western bishops."*
The Christian community in Rome grew to be a powerful force in the Roman Empire. It became head of all the Christian churches within the Empire. But there were some Christian communities that were not bowing to the claims and doctrines of the bishop of Rome.
"Arianism was a 4th-century Christian heresy named for Arius (c.250-c.336), a priest in Alexandria. Arius denied the full deity of the preexistent Son of God who became incarnate in Jesus Christ. He held that the Son, while divine and like God ('of like substance'), was created by God as the agent through whom he created the universe. Arius said of the Son, 'there was a time when he was not'. Arianism became so widespread in the Christian church and resulted in such disunity that the emperor Constantine convoked a church council at Nicaea in 325 Led by ATHANASIUS, bishop of Alexandria, the council condemned Arianism and stated that the Son was consubstantial (of one and the same substance or being) and coeternal with the Father, a belief formulated as homoousios ('of one substance') against the Arian position of homoiousios ('of like substance').
"Nonetheless, the conflict continued, aided by the conflicting politics of the empire after the death of Constantine (337). Three types of Arianism emerged: radical Arianism, which asserted that the Son was "dissimilar" to the Father; homoeanism, which held that the Son was similar to the Father; and semi-Arianism, which shaded off into orthodoxy and held that the Son was similar yet distinct from the Father. After an initial victory of the homoean party in 357, the semi-Arians joined the ranks of orthodoxy, which finally triumphed except in Teutonic Christianity, where Arianism survived until after the conversion (496) of the Franks. Although much of the dispute about Arianism seems a battle over words (Edward GIBBON scornfully observed that Christianity was split over a single iota, the difference between homoousios and homoiousios), a fundamental issue involving the integrity of the Gospel was at stake: whether God was really in Christ reconciling the world to himself."*
The Bishop of Rome could not allow this Arianism to divide the church. War broke out between Rome and the Vandals of North Africa, the Heruli and the Ostrogoths who believed in Arianism.
"The two councils of Nicaea were ecumenical councils of the Christian church held in 325 and 787, respectively. The First Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council held by the church, is best known for its formulation of the Nicene Creed, the earliest dogmatic statement of Christian orthodoxy (see CREED). The council was convened in 325 by the Roman emperor Constantine I in an attempt to settle the controversy raised by ARIANISM over the nature of the Trinity. Nearly all those who attended came from the eastern Mediterranean region. It was the decision of the council, formalized in the Nicene Creed, that God the Father and God the Son were consubstantial and coeternal and that the Arian belief in a Christ created by and thus inferior to the Father was heretical. Arius himself was excommunicated and banished. The council was also important for its disciplinary decisions concerning the status and jurisdiction of the clergy in the early church and for establishing the date on which Easter is celebrated."*
In order to destroy the Vandals, Ostrogoths and Heruli, the Bishop of Rome asked Justinian to send troops and wipe them out. That he complied to do.
"Justinian's aim was the restoration of the earlier Roman Empire by reconquest of areas lost to the Germanic tribes. With the help of his general BELISARIUS, he regained North Africa from the VANDALS (533-34) and, after a lengthy war (535-54), Italy from the Ostrogoths (see GOTHS). Justinian also acquired southeastern Spain. Repeated wars with the SASSANIAN Persians, however, usually ended with the Byzantines buying peace; and the Slavs occupied much of the Balkan Peninsula."*
With the end of the threats to the Roman bishop’s ideology, the bishop of Rome could now actively be in control of all the Christian churches. The date we set for this is 538 AD. That is the date the last of the three nations, the Ostrogoths, were driven from Rome.
The "Catholic" (which means universal), was becoming very powerful. Unlike the humble Jesus it was supposed to represent, it asserted itself in the world as a dominant force.
"As pope, Gregory strengthened his office by affirming his supremacy in the church and by asserting the right of the papacy to intervene in secular affairs. He appointed the governors of Italian cities, laying the foundation of medieval papal practices. As bishop, he sought practical solutions to the social misery of the day by using the revenues from the Roman ecclesiastical estates, which he organized and increased."*
The third point has to do with speaking against the Most High, boastfully. How does the Catholic Church do this? Since it claims to be a Christian organization, how can it speak against the Most High? It does this in several ways. It claims to have the power to forgive sins. It even sold indulgences. "In the Roman Catholic church, an indulgence is the remission of the punishment that remains due for SIN after sacramental absolution."*
Only God can forgive sin. The Bible plainly states that God alone can forgive sin. That is why the Pharisees were so angered by Jesus' statement that He could forgive sin. He was God. But the pope is not God. Yet he claims to have that power.
The pope also claims to be “God on earth”. Remember, the popes claim to receive their authority from the line of Peter. Here is what Pope Gregory II said in 729 AD: “’The whole West has its eyes on us, unworthy though we are. It relies on us and on St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, whose image you wished to destroy, but whom all the kingdoms of the West honour as if he were God himself on earth.” Jesus is to be the only representative between God and man. No man can do that. The Pope is speaking great words against the Most High. Any person, church or thing to come between God and man is called, “Anti-Christ” in the Bible. “Anti” means “In place of”.
The pope claims to be infallible. "Roman Catholics believe that the pope can make infallible definitions on faith or morals when he speaks ex cathedra--as head of the church--and when he has the clear intention of binding the whole church to accept as dogma whatever he is defining. Papal infallibility was formally defined at the First VATICAN COUNCIL (1870). The doctrine was reaffirmed at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which also stressed that the entire body of bishops in union with the pope teach infallibly when all concur in a single viewpoint on matters of faith and morals."*
By taking the eyes off of God and Jesus Christ who is our High Priest in Heaven, it claims the power of God. The Catholic Church turns the eyes of men away from God to a worldly institution for its salvation. Instead of praying to Jesus for forgiveness, it requires you to pray to its own priests or saints for forgiveness.
As the Caesars claimed to be the representatives of the sun god, so the Catholic Church claims to be the representative of God. Instead of teaching people to seek God on their own, it teaches that you must go through the church. That concept came straight out of the pagan temple worship.
The Catholic Church also claims that if you do not belong to the Church, you cannot get to heaven. The Church calls this excommunication. They even did it to a German King. "Henry IV, therefore, viewed the reformers' program as an assault on his traditional prerogatives. Responding to a warning from Pope GREGORY VII, he and his bishops denounced (1076) Gregory as a usurper. Gregory thereupon excommunicated and deposed Henry."*
The Catholic Church claims all this authority on a couple of texts from the Bible. "The papacy denotes the office of the pope, or bishop of Rome, and the system of central ecclesiastical government of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH over which he presides. Believed by Roman Catholics to be the successor of the apostle PETER, the pope grounds his claim to jurisdictional primacy in the church in the so-called Petrine theory. According to that theory, affirmed by the Council of Florence in 1439, defined as a matter of faith by the First VATICAN COUNCIL in 1870, and endorsed by the Second VATICAN COUNCIL in 1964, Jesus Christ conferred the position of primacy in the church upon Peter alone. In solemnly defining the Petrine primacy, the First Vatican Council cited the three classical New Testament texts long associated with it: John 1:42, John 21:15 ff., and, above all, Matthew 16:18 ff. The council understood these texts, along with Luke 22:32, to signify that Christ himself constituted Saint Peter as prince of the apostles and visible head of the church, possessed of a primacy of jurisdiction that was to pass down in perpetuity to his papal successors, along with the authority to pronounce infallibly (see INFALLIBILITY) on matters of faith or morals."*
The problem with this is that it isn’t true. None of the texts above signify that any one entity is to be above another. In fact, the whole teaching of Jesus is to be servants to each other, not masters. This is a good example of 2 Peter 3:16. Taking texts out of context.
In Matthew 16, Jesus is not pointing or talking about Peter when He says, "and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." He is talking about Himself. The gates of Hades did overcome Peter when he denied Jesus. But they did not overcome Jesus.
The situation in Matthew 16 is much the same as in John 2:19. "Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’" He is not referring to the temple made of stone, but to His body temple. But the people thought He was referring to the Jerusalem temple. Just as He was not referring to Peter as the Rock, but to His own body as the Rock.
If The Catholic Church wants to use this verse as referring to Peter as the rock the church is founded on, then they must also use the verse found in Matthew 16:23. Here Jesus is specifically referring to Peter when He says, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
This text would be more in line with the Catholic Church since it claims to be built on Peter and Jesus called Peter Satan. So the Catholic Church is built on Satan. It is a stumbling block because it does not act or teach the teachings of Christ and does not have in mind the things of God but the things of men.
Even Peter recognized that Jesus and Jesus only is the Rock. Peter says in 1 Peter 2:4, "As you come to Him, the living Stone." Again he shows that Jesus is the Rock and Cornerstone, not Peter. "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone… ." verse 6. Never does Peter refer to himself as the foundation of the Christian Church.
If Christ had designated Peter to be the head, why were the disciples constantly arguing as to who would be the greatest in the kingdom? Why was James the head of the church after Jesus left this Earth? No my friend, the Catholic Church is not founded on Jesus, but on man. It does not teach the teachings of Christ, but man.
The fourth point says that the little horn would wage war against the saints of God. As the Catholic Church grew and became the controlling power of the Holy Roman Empire, it became cruel and wicked. It wanted to destroy any who did not bow down to its authority. During the rule of the Catholic Church, it killed over 75 million people.
"The Crusades were Christian military expeditions undertaken between the 11th and the 14th century to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims. The word crusade, which is derived from the Latin crux ("cross"), is a reference to the biblical injunction that Christians carry their cross (Matt. 10:38). Crusaders wore a red cloth cross sewn on their tunics to indicate that they had assumed the cross and were soldiers of Christ."*
Millions were killed in the Crusades. All in the name of God, men went out to kill each other. What blasphemy. How can men who claim to follow the meek and lowly One go kill others for their own profit? Look what is happening now in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Look at ISIS and the killing they do in the name of god. Not the right God!
"The Inquisition was a medieval church court instituted to seek out and prosecute heretics. The term is applied to the institution itself, which was Episcopal or papal, regional or local; to the personnel of the tribunal; and to the judicial procedure followed by the court. Notoriously harsh in its procedures, the Inquisition was defended during the Middle Ages by appeal to biblical practices and to the church father Saint Augustine, who had interpreted Luke 14:23 as endorsing the use of force against heretics."*
"During the 13th century, the typical procedure began with the arrival of the inquisitors in a specific locality. A period of grace was proclaimed for penitent heretics, after which time denunciations were accepted from anyone, even criminals and other heretics. Two informants whose identity was unknown to the victim were usually sufficient for a charge. The court then summoned the suspect, conducted an interrogation, and tried to obtain the confession that was necessary for conviction. In order to do this, assisting secular authorities frequently applied physical torture. This practice probably started in Italy under the impact of rediscovered Roman civil law and made use of such painful procedures as stretching of limbs on the rack, burning with live coals, squeezing of fingers and toes, or the strappado, a vertical rack."*
"At the beginning of the interrogation, which was recorded summarily in Latin by a clerk, suspects and witnesses had to swear under oath that they would reveal everything. Unwillingness to take the oath was interpreted as a sign of adherence to heresy. If a person confessed and was willing to submit, the judges prescribed minor penances like flogging, fasts, prayers, pilgrimages, or fines. In more severe cases the wearing of a yellow "cross of infamy," with its resulting social ostracism, or imprisonment could be imposed. Denial of the charges without counterproof, obstinate refusal to confess, and persistence in the heresy resulted in the most severe punishments: life imprisonment or execution accompanied by total confiscation of property. Since the church was not permitted to shed blood, the sentenced heretic was surrendered to the secular authorities for execution, usually by burning at the stake. When the Inquisition had completed its investigations, the sentences were pronounced in a solemn ceremony, known as the sermo generalis ("general address") or, in Spain, as the auto-da-fe ("act of faith"), attended by local dignitaries, clergy, and townspeople. Here the penitents abjured their errors and received their penalties; obstinate heretics were solemnly cursed and handed over to be burned immediately in public."*
"The Inquisition underwent special development in Portugal and Spain and their colonies. At the insistence of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, Pope SIXTUS IV endorsed (1483) the creation of an independent Spanish Inquisition presided over by a high council and grand inquisitor. Legend has made the first grand inquisitor, Tomas de TORQUEMADA, a symbol of ultimate cruelty, bigotry, intolerance, and religious fanaticism. The truth is that the Spanish Inquisition was particularly severe, strict, and efficient because of its strong ties with the crown. Its major targets were the Marranos (converts from Judaism) and Moriscos (converts from Islam), many of whom were suspected of secretly adhering to their original faiths. During the 16th century, Protestants and Alumbrados (Spanish mystics) seemed to be the major danger. Often serving political ends, the inquisitors also exercised their dreaded functions among the converted Indian populations of the Spanish colonies in America. The Inquisition was finally suppressed in Spain in 1834 and in Portugal in 1821."*
"The Waldenses (Vaudois), an Italian Protestant communion of 22,000 members, traces its origins to the 'poor men of Lyon', founded in the late 12th century by Peter Waldo, or Valdes (d.c.1218). Waldo, a wealthy Lyon merchant, disbursed his goods to the poor and became a traveling preacher about 1173, advocating voluntary poverty for the sake of Christ. He attracted a large following in southern France and sought papal recognition for his fellowship. Instead he was excommunicated for heresy in 1184.
Waldo's followers subsequently developed as a religious society with its own ministers. They promoted religious discipline and moral rigor, were critical of unworthy clergy and the abuses of the church, and rejected the taking of human life under any circumstances. In 1208 a crusade was authorized against the Waldenses and other groups (notably the Albigenses) in southern France. After the burning of 80 of their number at Strasbourg in 1211, the majority of Waldenses withdrew into Alpine valleys in northern Italy."*
"John Huss (Jan Hus), b.c.1372, d. July 6, 1415, was a Czech religious reformer. After studying theology at the University of Prague, he was ordained a priest and appointed (1402) preacher at Bethlehem chapel. Influenced by the writings of English reformer John WYCLIFFE, Huss became the leader of the Czech reform movement. He criticized the church's wealth and corruption and opposed the condemnation of Wycliffe's doctrine. He became rector of the university in 1409.
Huss gradually lost the support of the clergy and archbishop of Prague because of his continued attacks on abuses in the church. He was also involved in the politics of the Great SCHISM, being forced to choose between rival claimants to the papacy. He was forbidden to preach (1409), was excommunicated (1411), and was successively abandoned by archbishop, king, and university. After being driven from Prague in 1412, Huss produced his chief work, De ecclesia (1413). Assured safe conduct by Holy Roman Emperor SIGISMUND, he traveled (1414) to the council convened at Constance to heal the Great Schism and reform the church. He was arrested within a month and condemned for heresy; he was burned at the stake."*
"Several thousand Huguenots were killed in the SAINT BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY MASSACRE."*
As you can see, the Catholic Church had no reservations about forcing its will on people. It still believes it has the right to kill all who oppose it. It is only limited at this time by secular authority.
The fifth point says that it would try to change set times and laws. What would be "set" times and laws to God? Why would God be so concerned over someone attempting to change them?
If these were man-made laws, God would have no problem with them being changed. Man-made laws are constantly being changed. But there is a set of laws that can never be changed. They are the Ten Commandments. These are God's laws and they never change.
How did the Catholic Church attempt to change them? Again, we go back into history and we find that the Catholic Church wanted to make the pagans comfortable in their acceptance of Christianity. As paganism was falling apart, Christianity was growing.
The bishop of Rome looked around and saw all these poor pagans without a leader. Constantine had accepted Christianity. The Catholic Church invited the pagans to bring their idols and have them "Christianized". "Paganism survived ... in the form of ancient rites and customs condoned, or accepted and transformed, by an often indulgent Church. An intimate and trustful worship of saints replaced the cult of the pagan gods, and satisfied the congenial polytheism of simple or poetic minds. Statues of Isis and Horus were renamed Mary and Jesus; the Roman Lupercalia and the feast of the purification of Isis became the Feast of the Nativity; the Saturnalia were replaced by Christmas celebrations, the Floralia by Pentecost, an ancient festival of the dead by All Souls’ Day, the resurrection of Attis by the resurrection of Christ. Pagan alters were rededicated to Christian heroes; incense, lights, flowers, processions, vestments, hymns, which had pleased the people in older cults were domesticated and cleansed in the ritual of the Church; and the harsh slaughter of a living victim was sublimated in the spiritual sacrifice of the Mass." The Story of Civilization IV, The Age of Faith: Durant
"The symbol and mythology of the mother goddess is found in many diverse cultures of the ancient world. She represents the creative power of all nature and the processes of fecundity, along with the periodic renewal of life. Representations of the mother goddess date from Paleolithic times; an early example is the VENUS OF WILLENDORF figure, found near Vienna. As a mythological and cult figure the mother goddess has appeared in many localized forms, such as ISIS, the "goddess of many names," and the Phrygian Magna Mater. She represents different aspects of the feminine archetype as typified in KALI, LAKSHMI, and the other goddesses of Hindu mythology, or in Coatlicu in the Aztec world."*
"The Neolithic settlement of Catal Huyuk (c.7000 BC) in Anatolia provides archaeological evidence that the cult of the mother goddess experienced a long continuity. The chief deity was a goddess who simultaneously incorporated the roles of young woman, mother in childbirth, and old woman. Between the 5th and 3d millennia BC the cult became established in the Fertile Crescent, in the Indus Valley, and around the Aegean Sea. In the eastern Mediterranean the cult found its fullest expression in Minoan Crete, the site of the famous "snake goddess" figurine."*
"The worship of a great goddess was particularly dominant in Middle Eastern religions, especially in the cults of CYBELE and ISHTAR. Both were fertility goddesses involved with a young male consort who dies and is continually reborn. This element of the dying male deity, representing vegetation, is a later development in the cult of the mother goddess and is regarded as a transition from her primal state of being an unmarried mother to having a son, a lover, or both. The Egyptian cult of Isis is concerned with a variant of this relationship, focusing on the death and resurrection of her brother-husband, OSIRIS. In Greek mythology, APHRODITE is frequently portrayed with a young male lover of this kind, as in the myth of ADONIS. The most important cult activity in Greco-Roman culture--the initiation rites of the ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES--was based on the power of DEMETER and her daughter PERSEPHONE to ensure the yearly renewal of all life forms."*
"Further cultural integration occurred with the adoption of the Egyptian Isis cult by the Greco-Roman world. Isis became a universal goddess, incorporating local forms of Greek and Roman goddesses, and was identified with a fertility mystery cult. The cult of Isis persisted during the first four centuries of the Christian era, until persecution finally halted cult activities."*
"In Christianity the figure of the Virgin Mary as theotokos, or the "Mother of God," has clear affinities with that of the ancient mother goddess. Her role, however, is diminished, and that of the divine child is central."*
"In Egyptian mythology, Isis was the mother goddess of fertility and nature. Her worship was combined with that of her brother and husband, OSIRIS, and her son HORUS. She is often depicted wearing on her head the horns of a cow, encircled by either a lunar or solar disk. Her worship originated in Egypt, and by Hellenistic times she had assimilated the attributes of the major Greek divinities DEMETER and APHRODITE. By the period of the Roman Empire, she had become the most prominent deity of the Mediterranean basin, as her temple at Pompeii attests."*
"Isis's cult focused on the celebration of the mysteries associated with the death and resurrection of Osiris. In The GOLDEN ASS (AD c.155), Lucius APULEIUS, an African priest of Isis, left an excellent account of her appearance and mystery cult; in a dream or during initiation, Apuleius saw Queen Isis rise with the moon from the sea. In this text she has many titles, including queen of heaven, earth, and the underworld, and mother of wheat."*
"During the early centuries AD the cult of Isis was a formidable contender with the newly founded Christian religion. Despite purges of the followers of Isis, her worship continued well into the 6th century AD."*
Notice how the pagans had her depicted as wearing a lunar or solar disk around the head. Look at the Catholic Church and its depiction of the Mother Mary. Isis was also called the "Queen of Heaven". The Catholic Church simply adopted the pagan form of worship and "Christianized" it. But there is nothing Christian about it. Paganism was not conquered by Christianity, Christianity was conquered by paganism. Check out Jeremiah 44:15-18 and see why God destroyed Israel.
In the Ten Commandments, idol worship is strictly forbidden. Exodus 20:4, 5 states that we are not to make or worship idols. If you walk into almost any Catholic Church, you will find idolatry and idolatry worship. Only God is to have our worship.
The next part of the Ten Commandments that the Catholic Church changed was the 4th commandment. It reads, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Exodus 20:8-11.
How did the Catholic Church change it? By "Christianizing" the pagan 1st day worship of the sun-god. They told the pagans that they could worship on Sunday as long as it was to the Son of God. How sly. Who gave them the authority to change God’s day from Saturday, the 7th day of the week to Sunday, the 1st?
"The Christian festival of Easter celebrates the RESURRECTION of JESUS CHRIST. The spring festival has its roots in the Jewish PASSOVER, which commemorates Israel's deliverance from the bondage of Egypt, and in the Christian reinterpretation of its meaning after the crucifixion of Jesus during the Passover of AD c.30 and the proclamation of his resurrection three days later. Early Christians observed Easter on the same day as Passover (14-15 Nisan, a date governed by a lunar calendar). In the 2d century, the Christian celebration was transferred to the Sunday following the 14-15 Nisan, if that day fell on a weekday. Originally, the Christian Easter was a unitive celebration, but in the 4th century GOOD FRIDAY became a separate commemoration of the death of Christ, and Easter was thereafter devoted exclusively to the resurrection."*
"According to the Venerable Bede, the name Easter is derived from the pagan spring festival of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, and many folk customs associated with Easter (for example, Easter eggs) are of pagan origin. Easter Day is currently determined as the first Sunday after the full moon on or after March 21. The Eastern Orthodox churches, however, follow the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar, so their celebration usually falls several weeks later than the Western Easter. Easter is preceded by the period of preparation called LENT."*
By 400 AD the Sabbath was outlawed and Sunday was held in strictest obedience as the Sabbath. The change was made by civil and religious orders. But nowhere in the Bible will you find the change sanctioned by God. The Lord’s day is still Saturday, the 7th day of the week. Jesus said He was Lord of the Sabbath. That hasn’t changed in six thousand years.
Many Protestants have for years condemned the Catholic Church for all of its anti-Christian teachings and practices. Yet Protestants fail to understand that they practice and teach many, if not most, of the teachings that the Catholic Church adopted from paganism. Most of the Protestant churches today keep the pagan 1st day, Sunday, as their Sabbath. Yet it is not scriptural nor sanctified by God.
The Catholic Church makes it very plain in its writings that it changed the Sabbath because it has the authority as God's church, to do so. It will tell you that there is no scriptural basis for the change. It will also tell you that if you keep Sunday as your holy day, you are honoring the Catholic Church and its power to change the Sabbath. You are not honoring God.
The last point is the time the "Little Horn", Catholic Church would rule over the world. The Bible says it would rule for a "time, times and half a time." What does that mean?
A concordance will tell you that a time is one year. "Times" is two years and "half a time" is half a year. If you add that up you come to 3.5 years. Far too short a time to meet the historical accuracy of the rule of the Catholic Church.
However, three and a half years is only true if you take "time, times and a half a time" to be literal. But by reading Daniel chapter seven, it is obvious that we are not talking literal here. No literal beast, no literal lion with wings. No literal leopard with four wings. No literal horns. Since the prophecies in the book of Daniel are symbolic, so must the time element be symbolic. If it is symbolic, we need Biblical explanation to interpret it.
Not a difficult task. The Bible is very plain. All we need to do is accept it. In Daniel chapter two, Daniel says to king Nebuchadnezzar, "but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come…" In days to come. We know already from our study of Daniel 2, that the dream the king had was not for days, but for years. Here we have a concept of days representing years.
In Numbers 14:34 we are told, "For forty years – one year for each of the forty days you explored the land – you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you." Here it is very explicit that one day equaled one year in reality.
Ezekiel says the same thing. "I have assigned you the same number of days as the years of their sin. So for 390 days you will bear the sin of the house of Israel. After you have finished this, lie down again, this time on your right side, and bear the sin of the house of Judah. I have assigned you 40 days, a day for each year." Ezekiel 4:5, 6.
So what does this have to do with a time, times and half a time? Everything. We have Biblical authority to change the symbolic time into real time. How? Like this.
Time = 1 year
Times = 2 years
Half a time = ½ years
The calendars of Daniel's time went on the lunar basis. "The earliest complete calendars were probably based on lunar observations. The Moon's phases occur over an easily observed interval, the month; religious authorities declared a month to have begun when they first saw the new crescent Moon. During cloudy weather, when it was impossible to see the Moon, the beginning of the month was determined by calculation. The interval from new moon to new moon, called a synodic month, is about 29.53 days. Hence, calendar months contained either 29 or 30 days. Twelve lunar months, which total 354.36 days, form a lunar year, almost 11 days shorter than a tropical year."*
Based on the 30 days per month of the lunar calendars, one year would equal 360 days. The 365 calendar year did not come into existence until the Romans. "Romans, during the late republic, used various lunar-solar calendars. These calendars were supposedly based only on observation, but in fact they were influenced by political considerations. The Roman calendar was in error by several months during the reign of Julius Caesar, who recognized the need for a stable, predictable calendar and formed one with the help of an astronomer, Sosigenes. The year 46 BC was given 445 days, to compensate for past errors, and every common year thereafter was to have 365 days. Every fourth year, starting with 45 BC, was to be designated a leap year of 366 days, during which February, which commonly had 28 days, was extended by one day. The rule was not correctly applied, but the calendar was corrected by Augustus Caesar by AD 8."*
"The Julian leap-year rule created three leap years too many in every period of 385 years. As a result, the actual occurrence of the equinoxes and solstices drifted away from their assigned calendar dates. As the date of the spring equinox determines that of Easter, the church was concerned, and Pope GREGORY XIII, with the help of an astronomer, Christopher Clavius (1537-1612), introduced what is now called the Gregorian calendar. Thursday, Oct. 4, 1582 (Julian), was followed by Friday, Oct. 15, 1582 (Gregorian); leap years occur in years exactly divisible by four, except that years ending in 00 must be divisible by 400 to be leap years. Thus, 1600, 1984, and 2000 are leap years, but 1800 and 1900 are not."*
Back to our lunar year that Daniel went by. It contained 360 days. Let’s expand our equations.
Time = 1 year = 360 days
Times = 2 years = 720 days
Half time = half year = 180 days
Now we add up the number of days and it comes to 1260 days. Sure you say, but that still is three and a half years. Symbolic time yes, but not real time. In real time we convert the 1260 days to 1260 years. Remember our Biblical authority that a day equals a year? Now let’s look at the Catholic Church and see if it matches the time of rule the Bible said it would rule.
Remember what we read, the bishop of Rome could not take over complete control of the world churches until the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths were taken out of the way. In 538 AD, the last of the three, the Ostrogoths were driven from Rome and the bishop had complete control over the entire Christian world and its doctrines.
Map of Papal States in the Year 1300
Using the date 538 AD as our starting point, we travel down through 1260 years of papal rule. At the end of the 1260 years we come to 1798 AD. That is when the Catholic Church was no longer able to rule the world. So what happened in 1798? "In 1796 a French army occupied the Papal States, and in 1798, Rome was occupied and declared a republic. Pius was taken as a prisoner to Valence, France, where he died."*
Thus ended the long, persecuting reign of the Catholic Church. England, France, and Germany along with many other nations broke away from the controlling influence of the Catholic Church. It suffered a fatal blow.
Does it remain forever a destroyed, powerless institution? We know from history that it rose again to power. Not the same secular controlling power, but to great political power. Does the Bible predict that? Yes. We will cover that in another chapter.
As you can see, the Bible has been perfect in all its prophecy. Everything has come true. I can trust my God. He knows the future. In later studies, we will discuss prophecies that bring us right up to our day, and beyond.
RELEVANCE OF THESE SIX POINTS IN OUR LIVES