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Chapter 12: The 4th Empire Extended—Papal Rome, Part 4

Mystery Babylon and the Stone Kingdom, part 36—The Pope becomes the unchallenged head of all churches.

Our last blog series was called The 4th Empire Extended—Papal Rome. This chapter is a blog series which is a continuation of the same.

Briefly, the fourth empire refers to the fourth kingdom which was given by God to Daniel as the meaning—the explanation, the interpretation—of the legs of iron which were part of the statue seen in the dream by the king of Babylon.

Let us read it to refresh our memories. We will begin in verse 40 of chapter 2 where Daniel is in the middle of giving the interpretation to King Nebuchadnezzar. First, he tells the king that the head of the statue, the head of gold, is Nebuchadnezzar himself, which is a polite way of saying (a figure of speech), that Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom of Babylon is the head of gold.

Then Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that after his kingdom, there will arise one that is inferior to Babylon, symbolized by the statue’s chest and arms of silver. That, we have identified as the Medo-Persian empire.

Next, the belly and thighs of brass (or bronze) stand for the third kingdom-empire, which we learned was that of Alexander the Great and his successors in the Greek Empire. And now verse 40:

Daniel 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Pause a minute for a couple of comments. Two lectures (chapters) back we identified the legs of iron as the pagan Roman empire. In the immediately previous lecture, we showed how after the pagan Roman empire disintegrated with the invasions of the so-called barbarians, that within a matter of a few centuries—a short time on God’s timetable—that the institution called the papacy arose. It came to dominate nearly all of Europe in much the same way that pagan Rome had done. Thus, we saw that papal Rome was and is* an extension of the pagan* Roman empire.

Because we are speaking here of Roman Catholicism, and we always have new readers, I want to repeat what I said in the previous blog series. These studies are not meant as and should not be construed as a condemnation of Roman Catholics. As many of you know, I was born into a Roman Catholic family. I spent over four years in Catholic seminary. I still have many relatives who have remained loyal Catholics.

My relatives profess to love Jesus just as I do. I personally believe that Roman Catholics can be true Christians despite, not because of the Roman church system.

I do not condemn them. Rather, I love them and I pray that their eyes will be opened to see that God had foretold in Daniel and in Revelation all about this great antichrist beast system, and He admonished believers in Him to Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4)

Therefore, all listeners and readers should understand that what I am teaching is aimed at the antichrist beast system which still to this day has hundreds of millions of people under its influence. I am trying to provide for modern audiences the same teaching and illumination that the Reformers were first given to understand five hundred years ago.

In the last blog series:

  • We also identified the 10 horns of Daniel 7 as ten kingdoms which formed in Europe after the disintegration of the pagan Roman empire.
  • We identified the little horn of Daniel 7 as what became known as the papacy. We saw, furthermore, that…
  • This 11th horn or little horn had eyes, and a mouth that spoke great things—whatever that means, and we will get to it shortly.

We also discussed the eyes of the little horn last time, and then we concluded by showing that God had allotted a certain period in history that this little horn, the papacy, would have dominion. And that time was described in both Daniel and Revelation as 42 months, or 1260 days.

I want to go back to Daniel 7, verse 8, because we discussed the fact of this 11th horn, the papacy, having eyes, but we have not yet shown have how the latter part of the verse was fulfilled in history.

I once again want to remind my readers that as you consider this study, it should be obvious that we can only cover this by giving you a few examples of how these prophecies have been fulfilled. We cannot possibly give you the historical fulfillment of every jot and tittle as we proceed.

There have been numerous books from the Reformers onward which do go to great lengths to explain the historic fulfillments in tremendous detail. We will quote from just a few of them as we proceed.

Daniel 7:8d …and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Let us compare that to verse 20…

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.

Let us look at that last phrase first. We did explain it last time, but I want to add just a few more comments. After the fall of pagan Rome, there were ten horns—ten kingdoms which arose.

Then as this 11th horn, the papacy, arose among them, he saw to it that three of the kingdoms which were the most vigorous in opposition to his rise to power were subdued before him. We detailed that in the previous message.

Whose look was more stout than his fellows…” Perhaps we would translate that today as, whose appearance was greater, or more powerful and more intimidating than his companions—the companions being the remaining seven kingdoms.

You see, over the several centuries after the fall of pagan Rome, which culminated in 476 A.D., the papacy only gradually rose to power over and above them all. That is why Daniel saw this horn, that is, the institution of the papacy, as being greater, or more powerful and intimidating than any of the other horns.

One of the things that the Reformers recognized about the papacy which caused them to identify it as the mouth of the beast speaking great things” and speaking blasphemies” was the bold and arrogant declarations and proclamations of the various popes, which were then binding upon all of Catholic Europe. And remember, for hundreds of years, virtually all of Europe was Roman Catholic.

Now, am I saying that the pope, the leader of hundreds of millions of Roman Catholics, is a blasphemer? Well, I am in no position to judge the personal and private attitude of the present occupant of the Vatican, but history provides ample evidence of the character of the institution which he represents.

We should first address the question of just what is blasphemy? By biblical definition, it can include several things: (1) despising or having contempt for God.

  1. From the New Testament we learn that blasphemy also includes ascribing the works of God to the devil.

But (3), and perhaps the most egregious form of blasphemy would be when a mortal, fallible, sinning man arrogates to himself that he is in place of God, or that he, the mortal man, is God himself!

And this, history records, the papacy is not only guilty of, but they have never repented of such blasphemy. Let me provide some examples of the horn that had a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies against the Most High.

The [“]pope has claimed, or allowed to be conferred on him, names and prerogatives which can belong only to God.” [p. 129, The Seer of Babylon: Studies in the Book of Daniel {1948} by Clarence Hewitt, D. D., quoting numerous older sources.] The very titles claimed by the popes are witnesses against him. These titles include:

  • His Holiness
  • Vice-regent of the Son of God
  • King of the world
  • King of kings and Lord of lords
  • Our Lord God, the Pope

I am not certain that this is still the case, but it was true in the mid-20th century, that at the coronation of a pope, the Cardinal Deacon puts the triple crown on the pontiff’s head, and repeats this charge to him:

Receive this tiara, embellished with three crowns, and never forget that thou art the FATHER OF PRINCES AND KINGS, THE SUPREME JUDGE OF THE UNIVERSE, and on earth, VICAR OF JESUS CHRIST, OUR LORD AND SAVIOR.” [Hewitt, ibid.]

Of course, the Roman church bases its claims to papal supremacy on the famous words of Christ to Peter found in

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

We have shown the absurdity and falseness of that position through our biblical exegesis in other lectures so we will not repeat that here, but a man named Innocent I, who died in 417, and was bishop of Rome—when the little horn was still actually quite little—had contended this very thing.

He held that since Christ Jesus had delegated supreme power to Peter (which Jesus did not, of course), and that Christ had made Peter bishop of Rome (which is also false). Let me stop there and just ask you to ponder that with me for a minute:

We know much about the apostle Paul’s interaction with the Christian believers in Rome. Paul organized the church there, he visited them, was probably related to some of them (see the book, Drama of the Lost Disciples by George Jowett). He was under house arrest in Rome for two years and was finally martyred there.

Given all that, if Peter were the bishop of Rome, don’t you think it would be very odd that when Paul closes his epistle to the Christians at Rome, that in closing, (chapter 16) where he extends greetings to certain ones by name and goes on with their various names for about all but about five verses out of the 27 verses in that chapter, that he does not mention Peter at all?

Don’t you think that as the head of the church in Rome, Peter would have been first on the list to be greeted? Or at least get an honorable mention? But that did not happen because historically, there is scant evidence that Peter was ever in Rome, let alone being the bishop of Rome.

But nearly 400 years later, here is this guy, Innocent I, who is claiming that since Peter was the first bishop of Rome, that he, as Peter’s successor at Rome, was entitled to the same universal power and authority that Jesus had supposedly bestowed upon Peter.

After Innocent, other bishops of Rome echoed that same claim to authority. By about the year 450 A.D., Leo grabbed hold of it and was the first to clearly set forth the extreme limits of the claims of the medieval papacy to rule over all of Christendom. Thus, the church of Rome gradually grew to a point where they exercised a spiritual dictatorship over Christendom.

Perhaps more than anyone else, it was Leo who laid the early foundations of that intimidating edifice called the papacy which towered among the nations for more than a thousand years, an era when papal decrees began to rule the earth instead of imperial decrees.

Less than a century later, in A.D. 533, an especially important event occurred which we ought to discuss for a moment. Let me preface it by pointing out that under Constantine, Christianity became the religion of the emperor; but 60 years later, under the Emperor Theodosius, it became the religion of the empire. Nonetheless, the actual legal endorsements and sanctions for the papal claims to supremacy were yet to be obtained.

As the papacy acquired its power gradually, we note that there were four separate edicts by four separate emperors which conferred or confirmed the increasing privileges, immunities and authorities, until the bishop of Rome came to be called the pope and became the unchallenged head of all churches.

These four edicts were:

  1. The edict of Gratian and Valentinian II in the year 278 or 279.
  2. The edict of Theodosius II and Valentinian III, in 445.
  3. The imperial letter of the emperor Justinian in 533—which became effective in 538, and finally
  4. The edict of Phocas in 606 A.D.

We gave you some of the story of the emperor Phocas last time—and we are not going to discuss all four edicts—but I want to focus for a few moments (pun intended) on number 3, the imperial letter of Justinian.

To do that, we will cull a few paragraphs from the magnum opus of Professor Leroy Edwin Froom’s four-volume history called The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers. That work dates back to c. 1950.

Dr. Froom’s work is a stupendous and scholarly accomplishment which I value highly. Froom spends dozens of pages going through the historical details of each of the four edicts, but let me cut to the bottom line regarding the significance of the emperor Justinian’s imperial letter to the bishop of Rome at the time of Pope John.

Thus the supremacy of the pope over all Christians received the fullest sanction that could be given by the secular master of the Roman world. From this time, then, is to be dated the secular acknowledgment of the papacy’s claims to ecclesiastical primacy, which became effective generally in 538, by the freeing of Rome from the Ostrogothic siege.

It was thus that Justinian purchased the influence of Rome. Whatever the motive, the deed was done. And it was authentic and unquestionable, sanctioned by the forms of state, and never abrogated—the act of the first potentate of the world. Thus the pen that wrote that imperial letter gave legal sanction to another Rome that was to have spiritual dominion for even longer than imperial Rome, and was later to climb to the peak of civil as well as religious domination…

The time of Justinian is therefore incontrovertibly the time of the beginning of the era of the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Papacy.” [End of quote from Professor Froom]

Over the next few centuries, the papacy—by deal-making, and by stealth and cunning—gradually assumed more and more power on the temporal side; i.e., civil government; and this gradual encroachment and usurpation of the powers of kings and the so-called Holy Roman Emperors” did not go unnoticed by them.

It was an epic struggle for power which lasted for centuries, and in a very real sense, is continuing today. Are you intrigued? I hope so. You didn’t learn about this in either your university or your Sunday School classes, did you? There is more. We will pick this up in the next two parts of this blog series.

Up next Exposing the occult corona initiation ritual Chapter 12 - The 4th Empire Extended—Papal Rome, Part 5
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