Sabbath, May 7, 2011

“… There came up among them another little horn,… and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Daniel 7:8.

A horn with eyes and a mouth

1. Since the ten horns were all political powers, what power alone could be described as “diverse from the first”? How powerful was the papal power to become?
Daniel 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
Daniel 7:20, last part … Even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

“Popery had become the world’s despot. Kings and emperors bowed to the decrees of the Roman pontiff. The destinies of men, both for time and for eternity, seemed under his control. For hundreds of years the doctrines of Rome had been extensively and implicitly received, its rites reverently performed, its festivals generally observed. Its clergy were honored and liberally sustained. Never since has the Roman Church attained to greater dignity, magnificence, or power….

“A striking illustration of the tyrannical character of this advocate of infallibility was given in his treatment of the German emperor, Henry IV. For presuming to disregard the pope’s authority, this monarch was declared to be excommunicated and dethroned…. In company with his wife and a faithful servant he crossed the Alps in midwinter, that he might humble himself before the pope. Upon reaching the castle whither Gregory had withdrawn, he was conducted, without his guard into an outer court, and there, in the severe cold of winter, with uncovered head and naked feet, and in a miserable dress, he awaited the pope’s permission to come into his presence. Not until he had continued three days fasting and making confession, did the pontiff condescend to grant him pardon.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 60, 57, 58.

2. What happened to the three horns that were in its way? What do the words “eyes like the eyes of man” and “mouth” indicate?
Daniel 7:20 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.
Daniel 7:8 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 man, and a mouth speaking great things.

“Another step in papal assumption was taken, when, in the eleventh century, Pope Gregory VII proclaimed the perfection of the Roman Church. Among the propositions which he put forth was one declaring that the church had never erred, nor would it ever err, according to the Scriptures…. The proud pontiff also claimed the power to depose emperors, and declared that no sentence which he pronounced could be reversed by anyone, but that it was his prerogative to reverse the decisions of all others.” –The Great Controversy, p. 57.

Speaking blasphemy

3. Against whom would this power strive and initially conquer? Of what do his blasphemies consist?
Daniel 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.
Daniel 7:25, first part And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High,…
Matthew 23:8, 9 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Ephesians 4:15, 16 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

“Century after century the blood of the saints had been shed. While the Waldenses laid down their lives, upon the mountains of Piedmont ‘for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ,’ similar witness to the truth had been borne by their brethren, the Albigenses of France. In the days of the Reformation its disciples had been put to death with horrible tortures…. The brave Huguenots, battling for those rights which the human heart holds most sacred, had poured out their blood on many a hard-fought field. The Protestants were counted as outlaws, a price was set upon their heads, and they were hunted down like wild beasts….

“It is one of the leading doctrines of Romanism that the Pope is the visible head of the universal church of Christ, invested with supreme authority over bishops and pastors in all parts of the world. More than this, the pope has been given the very titles of Deity. He has been styled ‘Lord God the Pope,’ and has been declared infallible. He demands the homage of all men.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 271, 50.

Attempting to change God’s law

4. What did Jesus say about God’s law? Contrary to Jesus’ teaching, what did prophecy state that the papacy would attempt to do?
Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
Daniel 7:25, middle part … And think to change times and laws:…

“The papacy has attempted to change the law of God. The second commandment, forbidding image worship, has been dropped from the law, and the fourth commandment has been so changed as to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath…. An intentional, deliberate change is presented: ‘He shall think to change the times and the law.’ The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy.” –The Great Controversy, p. 446.

A long period of supremacy

5. According to what key is prophetic time calculated? For how long was the papacy to exercise its persecuting power?
Numbers 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
Ezekiel 4:6 And when thou hast 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.
Daniel 7:25, last part … And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Revelation 13:5 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 12:6 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.

“The forty and two months are the same as the ‘time and times and the dividing of time,’ three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7–the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people….

“The periods here mentioned–‘forty and two months,’ and ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days’–are the same, alike representing the time in which the church of Christ was to suffer oppression from Rome. The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798. At that time a French army entered Rome and made the pope a prisoner, and he died in exile. Though a new pope was soon afterward elected, the papal hierarchy has never since been able to wield the power which it before possessed.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 439, 266.

6. What did God in mercy do for His people? How does the Lord comfort His people today?
Daniel 11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
Matthew 24:21, 22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Daniel 7:9-14 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 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. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

“The persecution of the church did not continue throughout the entire period of the 1260 years. God in mercy to His people cut short the time of their fiery trial. In foretelling the ‘great tribulation’ to befall the church, the Saviour said: ‘Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.’ Matthew 24:22. Through the influence of the Reformation the persecution was brought to an end prior to 1798.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 266, 267.

Time of the judgment

7. To what did the Lord direct the prophet’s attention?
Daniel 7:26, 27 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

For personal study

“When amid the storms of the migration of nations the empire fell to ruins, the nations looked up in respect to the Roman bishop’s throne, which alone stood upright in the midst of all the destruction.” –Emil Staub, A. Zimmermann, Bilder aus der Kirchengeschichte (Pictures from Church History), p. 43.

“The first pastors or bishops of Rome enjoyed a respect proportionate to the rank of the city in which they resided. For the first few centuries of the Christian Era, Rome was the largest, richest, and most powerful city in the world. It was the seat of empire, the capital of the nations. ‘All the inhabitants of the earth belong to her,’ said Julian; and Claudian declared her to be the ‘fountain of laws.’ ‘If Rome is the queen of cities, why should not her pastor be the king of bishops?’ was the reasoning these Roman pastors put forth. ‘Why should not the Roman Church be the mother of Christendom? Why should not all nations be her children, and her authority their sovereign law? It was easy,’ says D’Aubigne, from whom we quote these words, ‘for the ambitious heart of man to reason thus. Ambitious Rome did so’ (from Jean Henri Merle d’Aubigne, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, vol. I, p. 8).” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, pp. 119, 120.

Arius, the Presbyterian from Alexandria, “taught that Christ was not an equal being with God, but was merely His first creation.” –Emil Staub, A. Zimmermann, Bilder aus der Kirchengeschichte (Pictures from Church History), p. 30.

The following claims are made for the papacy: (1) “The pope is the Vicar of God and Christ upon earth.” (2) “As such he is lord of all the earth, and all countries belong to him. The kings and princes borrow them from him, and he can, if they do not obey him, dethrone them and give their land to a prince more obedient.” –Prof. F. Noesselt, Textbook of World History, p. 81.