I have been led once again (the 3rd time this year) to consider the 4th Commandment God gave to Moses in Exodus 20:8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God;…”
This leads me to consider the beast. We are told in Daniel 7:7-8 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn [the Vatican], 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 (“speaking great things and blasphemies” in Revelation 13:5).”
7:24-26 “As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings [the Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths who would not bow down to the authority of the Catholic Church.] He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times and half a time [the 1260 prophetic years of the Papacy]. But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. [judgment to come]”
History confirms that the papacy held supremacy for exactly 1260 years. In A.D. 533, Emperor Justinian issued a decree recognizing the bishop of Rome as the “head of all the holy churches”; however full sovereignty could not be realized as long as the Ostrogoths held power in Rome (Heruli and Vandals had already been vanquished). The Ostrogoths were the last of the three kingdoms which would not recognize the Roman bishop’s authority. Then in 538 the Ostrogoths were overwhelmingly defeated and Justinian’s decree established the Papacy as the supreme Christian power. The bishop of Rome, with unchallenged political and ecclesiastical authority, was now the most powerful man in the West. That year, 538, marks the beginning of the 1260 years of papal supremacy.
On February 10, 1798, during the French Revolution, Napoleon’s general, Berthier, entered Rome, proclaimed a republic, and took the pope prisoner. The pope died shortly thereafter in exile in Valence, France. That year, 1798, marks the end of the 1260 years of papal supremacy (the mortal wound). It was truly believed that the era of papal power had come to an end forever. Since the Papacy had apparently lost its political status after the Pope’s capture in 1798, it was, for all intents and purposes, dead. It could only be resurrected if it regained its political status. Revelation 13:3 “One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the Beast with wonder.”
In 1870 the Italian government took over the city of Rome. But in 1929 Cardinal Gasparri met Premier Mussolini in the Lateran Palace to sign the Lateran Treaty, returning political power to the papacy, and recognizing the Vatican as an independent state. The Catholic Advocate in Australia (April 18, 1929, p.16) said that its effect was to “heal a wound of 59 years.” The front page of the San Francisco Chronicle of February 12, 1929 carried the headline, “Heal Wound of Many Years.” The Associated Press dispatch of the event said, “In affixing the autographs to the memorable document, healing the wound which has festered since 1870, extreme cordiality was displayed on both sides.” The NY Times declares:
“Pope Becomes Ruler Of A State Again”
VATICAN AND ITALY SIGN PACT RECREATING A PAPAL STATE;
60 YEARS OF ENMITY ENDED; THRONGS CHEER IN STREETS
Acclaim Gasparri and Mussolini, Signers of Three Agreements.
By ARNALDO CORTESI
Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Pope is again an independent sovereign ruler, as he was throughout the Middle Ages, though his temporal realm, established today, is the most microscopic independent State in the world, and probably the smallest in all history. — THE NEW YORK TIMES, Tuesday, February 12, 1929.
At that time, people understood the significance of what had happened, but not from the perspective of the prophecies of Daniel and John in Revelation. From 1929 onward, the political status of the Vatican was thus reinstated and the prophesied wound could heal fully. Thus in 1929 Vatican City was recognized as an independent state, the pope its king. Religious and civil powers were once again united in the papal office. The mortal wound to one of the heads of the Beast had been healed, as Revelation 13:3 foretold.
The Beast, or Papacy, claims to be the representative of Christ. It demands the world’s obedience and also experienced a counterfeit death and resurrection. At the end of time, the power of the resurrected Papacy will be so great that no one would venture to make war against it. These are the times we are in today.
The Roman emperor Constantine named himself Bishop of the Catholic Church and enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in A.D. 321. In A.D. 325, Pope Sylvester officially named Sunday “the Lord’s Day,” and in A.D. 338, Eusebius, the court bishop of Constantine, wrote, “All things whatsoever that it was the duty to do on the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week) we (Constantine, Eusebius, and other bishops) have transferred to the Lord’s Day (the first day of the week) as more appropriately belonging to it.” The church leaders now exalted themselves to the place of God. “This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world” (1 John 4:3).
“The Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5). Here Jesus staked His claim and forbade anyone to meddle with the Sabbath because He knew there would be those who would claim the power to change God’s Law. Paul told us: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God, or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4, 7).
Paul warned that this blasphemy was already at work, and that it would come not from an outside influence, but from within the church (2 Thessalonians 2:7, Acts 20:28-30). It was not long after Paul’s day that apostasy appeared in the church.
God warned that a blasphemous power would “seek to change times and laws,” and the Catholic Church openly admits doing it, even boasts about it. In a sermon at the Council of Trent in 1562, the Archbishop of Reggia, Caspar del Fossa, claimed that the Catholic Church’s whole authority is based upon the fact that they changed the Sabbath to Sunday.
When God says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God”, that ends all controversy. We cannot change God’s Word for our own convenience. By following the false teaching of the one who exalts himself over God, we are choosing not to follow God and His law, but the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition, Satan over God.
Joshua 24:14-15 “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. As Christians, we are surrounded by the gods of the Amorites in these times, so we must make the conscious choice, as Joshua did, that “…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
And please don’t even try to use what Paul said in Colossians 2:16-17 as your excuse for following the world and not keeping the Sabbath as God commanded, and as Jesus and the apostles did – Paul’s soul must weep bitterly every time he hears a “believer” attempt to do so.
The Colossian Christians were being judged by a worldly philosophy for how they observed festivals, new moons and Sabbaths—which they apparently did in a joyous and festive manner. The Colossians celebrated these days in a manner that was entirely contrary to the ascetic approach of self-denial. They understood that the Sabbaths and annual festivals are clearly commanded in the Old Testament. (New moons, it should be noted, were used as the biblical markers of time but never declared to be sacred Sabbaths, nor are they listed among the annual sacred festivals.)
By cautioning the Colossian members not to let others judge them for how they observed these times, Paul didn’t question whether they should be kept. The obvious implication of these verses is that these gentile Christians were in fact observing these days, and in no way did Paul tell them to desist. Instead, the issue he addressed is that Christians should not let others judge them by misguided ascetic standards concerning what they ate or drank or how they observed the Sabbaths or festivals (verse 16).
Colossians 2 is actually a condemnation of ascetic human philosophy, not a discussion of which laws are binding for Christians!
Instead, look to what he said in Ephesians 4:14 “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles.”
Most importantly, Jesus told us in Matthew 5:17-20 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, til heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, til all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so [this, of course, is referring to believers, not workers of iniquity], he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
As Paul told us in Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” The Church needs to come out of the world and take their stand for God in Christ, exposing the darkness and shining forth the light.