The Hour of Judgment - Part two
Papal Ascendency Prior to the Judgment
Prophet Daniel was highly honored by God. To him, were opened the scenes of future events as they would transpire in chronological order culminating with the second coming of Christ. In visions of the night, he was shown the great nations of the earth symbolized as beasts of prey, each diverse from the other and that these nations would attain to power through conquest and revolutions: first Babylon, then Medo-Persia, next Greece, after that Rome. He 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.” Daniel 7:9, 10. “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.” Verses 13 & 14.
This scene of the judgment is not brought to view in the early stages of Emperial Rome that “fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly” which had “great iron teeth” with which it “devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.” (Daniel 7:7). This monarchy did indeed break in pieces. It was a Roman governor who tried the Savior of the world; it was a Roman soldier that pierced His side; a Roman seal was placed on His tomb. Rome did not end there; it continued to stamp the residue under its feet.
All of Christ’s disciples with the exception of John the Revelator were martyred under the Roman government; not to mention the persecutions God’s faithful had to endure under this iron rule. Rome with all its glories crumbled into ten kingdoms in A.D. 476, even the ten horns seen by Daniel, “and the ten horn out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise” (Daniel 7:24).
Shortly after the ten divisions Daniel says, “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.” “and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Daniel 7:8, 24. Speaking of the time the Roman Empire was crumbling to pieces, Lagarde comments: “No, the church will not descend into the tomb. It will survive the Empire. At length a second empire will arise, and of this empire, the Pope will be the master of Europe. He will dictate his orders to kings who will obey them.” - Andrea Lagarde, The Lattin Church in the Middle Ages, 1915 p.vi, for indeed a second empire rose from the ruins of Pagan Rome.
The year is A.D. 538, when the Ostrogoths, -the last of the three horns - was going down, but was finally uprooted in A.D. 553, [Procopius, History of the Wars (Harvard University Press, Loeb Classical Library, 1919; reprint 2000), 5:419] the Papacy in the synod of Orleans, presumed to fully set aside the authority of God, by instituting a counterfeit Sabbath in place of the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment instituted by God; upon pain of penalty.
The twenty eighth canon out of thirty-three canons of the new laws at this synod says, “Whereas the people are persuaded that they ought not to travel on the Lord's day with the horses, or oxen and carriages, or to prepare anything for food, or to do anything conducive to the cleanliness of the houses or men, things which belong to Jewish rather than Christian observances; we have ordained that on the Lord’s day [meaning Sunday] what was before lawful to be done may still be done. But form rural work, i.e., plowing, cultivating vines, reaping, mowing, thrashing, clearing away thorns or hedging, we judge it better to abstain, that the people may more readily come to the churches and have leisure for prayers. If anyone be found doing works forbidden above, let him be punished, not as the civil authorities may direct, but as the ecclesiastical powers may determine." - Joannes Dominicus Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum npva et emplissima collection (A fcsimile reproduction of the Florence edition of 1759; reprinted, rearranged, Catholic Church Counsils, n.p.: 1901-1927) 9:19 (canon 28) (1902). Translated by A.H. Lewis, A Critical History of Sunday Legislation (New York:Appleton, 1888) 64. See also Severinus Binius, Concilia Generalia (Cologne:1606), 2:504-8.
Similarly significant is Justinian’s code of law, which gave the church the state support to coerce the consciences of man. Justinian’s Codex I.3.44 which was implemented in the year A.D. 530 says, "Whatever the holy canons prohibit, these also we by our own laws forbid." Paul Krueger, Corpus Iuris Civilis, Codex Iustinianus, I.3.44 (decreed Oct. 18, A.D. 530) (Berolini Apud Wedmannos, 1888), 2:30. And so that which was an offence to the church laws became also an offence to the state laws; then began the long dark period of 1260 years of persecutions of God’s faithful and true who keep His commandments, foretold by Daniel.
The saints of the most High were indeed given into his hand even as scripture attests, “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 7:25. In changing the Sabbath of the Lord from the seventh day to the Sunday the first day of the week, this power had indeed thought to change laws, exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). So for 1260 long years, she has taken captive, imprisoned, burned, tortured and utterly desolated God’s faithful people.
In 1798, this was all to change when “… General Berthier, at the head of a French army, with orders to occupy Rome, remove the Pope, and set up a Roman Republic… On February 15, planted the customary tree of liberty, made suitable references to Cato, Brutus and Pompey, declared the Pope desposed, and accepted an ‘Act of the Sovereign People’, setting up a consular regime, the document having been hastily drawn up by a scratch gathering of patriots the same morning.” Hale’s footnote: “The most useful contemporary accounts of these events are in the Cardinal Guiseppe Antonio Sala (Vols. 1-3 of the Scritti di G. Sala, Ed, Cugnoni, Societa Romana di Storia Patria, 1891) and in Cardinal Antonelli’s unpublished Relazione sull’avenuto in Roma dal 1797 al 1799 (Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, Cat.of MSS Apendix III, Vol. 12). But for further references, and especially Azara’s reports, see Pastor, Vol. 40, 329-39. Professor E.Y. Hales, comments, “So ‘Citizen Pope’, with his half paralysed legs, was trundled off; to suffer for eighteen months more and then to die in sordid circumstances at Valance [France].” Revolution and Papacy (New York: Hanover House, 1960), 114-5; thus ended the Papal rule exactly after 1260 years.
Daniel beheld all this in vision, and was shown that the judgment in heaven would convene after this period, 1798, and so he wrote, “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.” Daniel 7:9, 10.
The Ancient of days is God the Father. Says the Psalmist, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2. The angels of God, “ten thousand times ten thousand” attend this great tribunal where the irrevocable decision concerning the destiny of each soul will be made.
The coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven is not referring to His second coming to the earth. Here is presented as coming to the Ancient of days, God the Father. This is the same event that was foretold by Malachi, “the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming?” Malachi 3:1. At the end of the work of judgment Christ will receive a kingdom which is a government established through judgment and justice. His will be an everlasting kingdom which shall not pass away.
God gave this prophecy to Daniel in detail with every specification that His people should not be misled as to when this great and solemn work of judgment was to take place. Heaven’s court was not to convene until after this little horn power, the papacy, had done its work of blaspheming God, “wearing out the saints of God”, “thinking to change times and laws” and “speaking great things.” (Daniel 7:8).
It is in this judgment that heaven will reverse the decisions taken unjustly against Christ, His authority, and His loyal followers throughout the course of history. Therefore the work of investigation, of reviewing the characters of men must take place before His Second Advent. Does the Bible then point out an exact time, after 1798 when this judgment will take place?