Three Angels Messages Part 54

Thanks for joining us today, as we continue in our study of the Three Angels’ Messages found in Revelation 14. We are still looking at the message of the third angel, the first part of which reads, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation.’” We must study and understand and apply the content of these messages!
We’ve seen from the clues given in Revelation 13:1-10, 18, that the system (not the members) of the Roman Catholic Church fit the prophetic specifications. However, this is by no means the only scriptural portrayal of this power. Beside this, we have the testimony of six other biblical portrayals, each sharing many of the same clues that we find in Revelation 13:1-10. Three of these are in the book of Daniel and the other three are in the New Testament. God must have felt that it was of great importance to be aware of this matter, having devoted so much of the prophetic material in disclosing it. The Scriptural admonition is, “By the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established.” II Corinthians 13:1. What shall we say when God provides no less than seven “witnesses” to a truth?
Certainly volumes could be written about each of these other pictures of the papacy in prophecy. Of necessity, our look at these six other pictures will be a very brief one. The first snapshot we are given is found in the 7th chapter of Daniel. In this chapter, four wild beasts are introduced coming from the wind-whipped sea, a symbol of the strife and war occurring in areas of large population from which emerged kingdoms and empires. First there was a winged lion, representing Babylon. Then a bear raised up on its side pictured the kingdom of Medo-Persia. This was followed by a winged leopard with four heads, standing for the empire of Greece and the four parts into which it was divided following the death of Alexander the Great. Then a ferocious beast that defied description came forth with iron teeth, devouring and trampling. This represented the Roman Empire, its longevity and crushing influence aptly portrayed by its iron teeth.
These four major world empires depicted in the 7th chapter of Daniel were mirrored by the great metal and mud statue which King Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream recorded in chapter two. In that picture, the legs of iron represented the kingdom of Rome. In the 7th chapter, it is the ferocious beast with iron teeth that depicts the fourth world empire. This beast sports 10 horns which correspond to the 10 toes of the feet of the image, representing the Germanic tribes which effected the break-up of the Roman Empire.
Daniel reports, “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.” Daniel 7:8. The information given in this verse is of critical importance and cannot be overestimated.
This horn power, which began small but became great, features some of the very same characteristics which we’ve encountered in Revelation 13’s beast from the sea. The “pompous words” reported by the angel in Daniel's book correspond to  the “blasphemy” of Revelation. Like the first beast of Revelation 13, the horn power is a persecuting power. Said the prophet, “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them.” Daniel 7:21. It continues in its uninterrupted reign for the same period as does the beast of Revelation 13. “The saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.” Daniel 7:25. This period is equivalent to 3 ½ “years,” which according to the prophetic yardstick of a “day for a year in symbolic prophecy” translates to the same 1260 literal years as we saw in Revelation 13’s “42 months,” extending from 538 A.D. through 1798 A.D.
What about the phrase, “And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man”? This refers to a system that is dependent on human wisdom rather than divine revelation. Throughout history, God has always directed His people through His appointed messengers, the prophets. “Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7. The prophet then became God’s “mouth” or “spokesman” to share the information God had revealed to him. See Exodus 4:16; 7:1, 2; Deuteronomy 5:5. The very word “prophet,” coming from a Greek background, means “one who speaks for.”
Those who occupied the role of prophet were also called “seers.” “Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: ‘Come, let us go to the seer’; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer.” I Samuel 9:9. While the word “prophet” focuses on the messengers sharing the communication to others, as he “speaks for” God, the term “seer” emphasizes the aspect of his ministry receiving the messages from God. The word “seer” simply means “one who sees.”
Often the prophet would literally “see” a vision or a dream, by which God communicated with him. This divine insight was graciously provided by God to guide and safeguard His people from the deceptions of Satan. The prophet, or seer, would speak to the people of God the messages that were given to him. Through time, some of these messages which constituted the “word of the Lord” were preserved and compiled in the collection known as the Sacred Writings, or the Holy Scriptures. We are on safe ground when we follow the teachings of the Bible, the revealed Word of God. Divine insight is given through the Bible. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105. It is by His Word that we can “see” our way in this darkened world of sin. “We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place.” II Peter 1:19.
The system brought to view by Daniel, the horn power, is distinguished by it having the “eyes of a man.” This is a system that rejects the messages of the “seers,” those who were given divine insight into God’s ways and God’s will, and depends on human wisdom to guide its feet. This is a most dangerous thing to do. “If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. Spiritual blindness is the inevitable result of ignoring the truths of His Word. Necessarily, this is a system that is prone to error and falsehood.
The papacy has openly averred that the traditions and teachings of the Church are superior to the Sacred Scriptures. It has set aside the plain teachings of the Bible and supplanted them with a cocktail of paganism and human theory. It has dared to lift its hand against the sacred Decalogue and claim the authority to tamper with God’s holy law. The “eyes of a man” describe a system that walks in darkness, not in the light of God’s truth.
Later in this chapter prophecy reveals specifically its defiance against the law of God. “He shall intend to change times and law.” Daniel 7:25. A matter of changing human law would certainly not be the subject of Bible prophecy, for that routinely occurs when one kingdom takes over for another. No, this is a prediction that this power would intentionally attempt to change divine law. Unfortunately, the papacy has fulfilled this aspect of the prophecy to the letter, removing the 2nd of the Ten Commandments and violating the substance of the 4th Commandment, substituting a common working day, Sunday, in place of God’s holy Sabbath, the seventh day which was instituted as a reminder of His creative power.
Of this change the papacy is neither embarrassed nor diffident. She confidently and boastfully affirms that her power must exceed that of Holy Scripture and divine law, pointing out that the change she has made in God’s constitution has been followed by nearly all in Christianity, including Protestants who claim to follow the Bible and the Bible only.
This issue surfaced a century or so ago, when certain questions arose and called forth a response from the Catholic publication, “The Catholic Mirror,” the official organ of James Cardinal Gibbons. It came about this way. The city of Chicago had outbid its rivals St. Louis, Washington D. C. and New York to obtain the privilege of holding the 1892 World’s Fair, to be a commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in America. Because of delays, it didn’t actually open until 1893.
Among other things it would feature the debut of some things that we now call common. The “clasp locker,” today known as the zipper was first demonstrated there. A local businessman named Wrigley introduced what would be the first of his chewing gum flavors, Juicy Fruit. Quaker Oats, Cream of Wheat and Shredded Wheat first stepped on the stage at the 1893 Fair. F. W. Reuckheim had invented a confection with caramel and peanuts which made its first appearance at the Fair. A few years later it would become known as Cracker Jack.
Because this was going to be Chicago’s chance to be reckoned with the larger and more famous cities of the eastern seaboard, they desired something spectacular, something outstanding which could be seen as a landmark to associate with their city and this fair, to effectively “put them on the map.” Someone came forward proposing to build a large tower for them. His name was Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. They declined his offer, because they wanted someone who was American, a local genius. George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. was selected to translate into steel and cable an idea he had come up with. This would be a giant wheel 26 stories tall, to which were attached 36 cars, each capable of holding 60 people at a time; that’s 2,160 people. Thus was born the Ferris Wheel, which first spun at the Chicago World’s Fair.
But there were problems with the Fair. They wanted to open and close the Fair on Sunday, which evoked the hue and cry of clergymen and churches. On April 9, 1892, the New York Times reported, “On Wednesday (April 8) 85 members of the National Commission, including alternates, began their sixth session in the City Council Chamber. The attendance was unusually large. The commission took up the Sunday question and decided to set apart the second day of the next session for a general hearing for those who wish to advocate either the opening or the closing of the Fair on Sunday.”
In a recent book entitled, Holy Day, Holiday, author Alexis McCrossen traces the history of the “American Sunday,” and includes in her history the complaints of those who denounced the 1893 Fair’s opening on Sunday. She observes, “The mass protests that greeted attempts to open the 1893 Chicago World's Fair on a Sunday seem almost comical today in an era of seven-day convenience and twenty-four-hour shopping.”
Apparently the question was not settled, at least to the satisfaction of those who objected to a Sunday opening of the Fair. Just before this there was a Supreme Court decision dated February 29, 1892, involving Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States in which the court identified the United States as being a “Christian nation.” The exact language used was, “These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.” (Italics supplied.) Emboldened by this rhetoric, church leaders in Chicago went to Congress and succeeded in persuading them to pass legislation halting a Sunday opening of the Fair.
From a website that chronicles the history of Chicago we read, “The most spectacular struggle over Sunday closing in Chicago occurred when city organizers sought federal support to host the World’s Columbian Exhibition in 1893. Effective petitioning by Protestant church leaders ensured a Sunday closing requirement in the fair's 1892 enabling legislation. The fair’s directors filed suit and won a partial victory. Although the fair opened on Sundays, no machines were allowed to operate and most exhibits remained closed.” (Italics supplied.)
Because the Supreme Court’s declaration that the U.S. is a “Christian nation” involved the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court collaborated with Congress in forcing the World's Fair to close on Sunday at that time, thus, in effect, making Sunday “Sabbath,” the official religious day of the Nation, this put the Seventh-day Adventists into action. Seventh-day Adventists objected to that nomenclature, that America is a “Christian nation.” They felt that label to be a dangerous one. So, on February 24, 1893, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists passed resolutions appealing to the government of the United States declaring this to be a “Christian nation,” and from the action of Congress in legislating upon the subject of religion.
In March of 1893, the International Religious Liberty Association published these resolutions in a small tract called Appeal and Remonstrance. The subject of the day of worship was implicit in this pamphlet. When the editor of the Catholic Mirror, of Baltimore, Maryland, caught wind of this, he published four articles on this subject in September of 1893. At that time the Catholic Mirror was the official organ of James Cardinal Gibbons and the papacy in America.
Although the articles were not authored by Cardinal Gibbons himself, they received his approval and authorization. They represent papal dogma accurately. In its four issues of September, 1893, our Catholic friends addressed this issue head on. You are invited to read these articles carefully and completely. They can be accessed by going to the website
With unvarnished clarity these articles note that the day specified by Scripture is the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath. No other day is brought to view in the Bible as being God’s designated day of worship. The Sabbath was embedded in the Old Testament and affirmed by the New Testament. Neither the Lord nor his apostles whispered a word of a change in the command of the Decalogue. With care and diligence the texts of the New Testament, some 50 or 60 or them, are examined to find if there is a scintilla of evidence to support the transference of sacredness from the seventh day to the first. None can be found.
Their conclusion: “Protestantism recognizes no rule of faith, no teacher, save the ‘infallible Bible.’ As the Catholic yields his judgment in spiritual matters implicitly, and with unreserved confidence, to the voice of his church, so, too, the Protestant recognizes no teacher but the Bible. All his spirituality is derived from its teachings. It is to him the voice of God addressing him through his sole inspired teacher. It embodies his religion, his faith, and his practice.
“Hence the conclusion is inevitable: that of those who follow the Bible as their guide, the Israelites and Seventh-day Adventists have the exclusive weight of evidence on their side, whilst the Biblical Protestant has not a word in self-defense for his substitution of Sunday for Saturday.”
“The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. The Protestant world at its birth found the Christian Sabbath too strongly entrenched to run counter to its existence; it was therefore placed under the necessity of acquiescing in the arrangement, thus implying the Church's right to change the day, for over three hundred years. The Christian Sabbath is therefore to this day, the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic Church as spouse of the holy Ghost without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world.
“The Bible alone as the teacher most emphatically forbids any change in the day for paramount reasons. The command calls for a ‘perpetual covenant.’ The day commanded to be kept by the teacher has never once been kept. Their pretense for leaving the bosom of the Catholic Church was for apostasy from the truth as taught in the written word. They adopted the written word as their sole teacher, which they had no sooner done than they abandoned it promptly, as these articles have abundantly proved; and by a perversity as willful as erroneous, they accept the teaching of the Catholic Church in direct opposition to the plain, unvaried, and constant teaching of their sole teacher in the most essential doctrine of their religion, thereby emphasizing the situation in what may be aptly designated ‘a mockery, a delusion, and a snare.’”  The Catholic Mirror,” September 9, 1893.
 Again, the reader is invited to read the entire text of this remarkable series of articles. Of course, Catholicism stands for the principle that the Church is above Scripture, and heralds the allegiance of professed Protestantism as the prima facie evidence thereof. She alone took hammer and anvil to the sacred Decalogue and obliterated God’s Sabbath. On her own authority she turned the sign post around and pointed it in a different direction, and lo, the entire world bows at her feet.
Before leaving this brief discussion of Daniel 7’s “horn power,” it is vital to note the information that is given that identifies the time and place of its origin. Correctly understood, the information in this verse would prevent many misinterpretations from gaining traction. Verse 8 is unmistakable in its clearness. “I was considering the (ten) horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots.” The ten horns unquestionably represent those Germanic tribes of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries which chewed away at the Roman Empire. Later, many of these tribes would fragment into the modern nations of Europe. Three of those tribes would disappear under the attacks of Justinian’s forces led by Belisarius, working in favor of the papacy.
The point is that the horn power is pictured as emerging during the time of the downfall of civil Rome. This is crucial! It cannot be overstated. The horn power was “coming up among them,” that is, the tribes which caused Rome’s fall. Any identification of the horn power which places its inception in any other time period is necessarily inaccurate. It must arise during the downfall of ancient Rome. Can the activities of Antiochus Epiphanies meet the criteria of this prophecy? Absolutely not! The Roman Empire had not yet been born when he conducted his abominable atrocities. Antiochus IV cannot be the horn power, and the theory of preterism fails completely to conform with the biblical picture. Can we look for the horn power to come in some future distant day? Of course not! The specifications of Daniel 7:8 are too precise to be ignored. The horn power arose when pagan Rome fell. It’s as simple as that. Futurism fails to answer to the specifications of the prophecy.
Needless to day, the papacy’s fulfillment of this prophetic detail is unmistakable. No other entity fits the descriptions of Daniel 7’s horn power but the Roman Catholic Church. It came where prophecy specified and when prophecy specified. It persecuted God’s faithful and has attempted to change His holy law. It has sputtered boastful claims and pompous words. It continued in its uninterrupted reign for the precise time allotted. Daniel 7’s horn power is one picture of many bringing to view the sad chronicle of apostasy written against the Church Jesus established.
Please join us next time as we’ll look at Daniel 8’s “horn power,” and compare the descriptions with Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. God wants us to know what is coming. He points to the past to instruct us, that many wicked things will be repeated. However, through it all, God is still in control, and one day soon, Jesus will return and the reign of terror will end. May that Day be soon!