Little Horn Continues
to Speak Great Words (Part 1)
Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant. Psalm 25:14
The Little Horn Continues to Speak Great Words (Part 1)
The seventh chapter of Daniel is well known among students of prophecy. In vision, Daniel beheld four great and diverse beasts coming up from the sea. These beasts were: a winged lion representing Babylon; a bear with three ribs in its mouth representing the MediaPersian empire; a four-headed, winged leopard representing the Grecian empire; and a fourth terrible beast representing Rome. The fourth beast had ten horns representing the ten divisions that the Roman empire broke into by 476 A. D. However, of special interest to Daniel was a little horn which came up among the ten. Many Protestants have long identified this little horn power as papal Rome.
While the first part of Daniels vision deals with the rise and fall of these empires, the latter part of the vision deals with the judgment. The prophet declares:
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 7:9-14)
Clearly, the time setting is the beginning of the investigative judgment in 1844. The Ancient of Days (God the Father) has come to preside in the judgment. The Son of man (Jesus Christ) is brought to The Ancient of Days and the great heavenly tribunal is open for the watching universe.
One portion of this judgment scene that has failed to receive sufficient attention is the first part of verse eleven: I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake. The papacy is also presented as speaking great words against the most High in verse 25. Some of these great words have been interpreted to mean the papacys pronouncements against the law of God, especially the second and fourth commandments. While this is justified and important for solving the prophetic puzzle, it of itself does not meet the requirements for the great words of verse eleven. The time setting of verse eleven is after 1844. Daniel says, I beheld then. After 1844, the papacy would be expected to speak great words. The fulfillment of this prophecy began shortly after 1844 and is continuing even in 1996!
The Immaculate Conception
The dogma of the immaculate conception was pronounced by Pope Pius IX in 1854. This teaching declared that Mary was not only conceived immaculate, that is without the slightest stain of original sin, but was without the smallest actual sin throughout the whole course of her life. (S. D. A. Source Book, p. 608)
The doctrine of papal infallibility known as ex cathedra was decreed at the Vatican Council of 1870 presided over by Pope Pius IX. This teaching proclaims that the pope is infallible in matters of faith. The Vatican Council went on to discuss the Infallible Magisterium, that is, when the Pope speaks:
ex cathedra, that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority he explains a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable. (Henry Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, trans. Roy J. Deferrari - London: B. Herder Book Co., 1957, no. 1839, 457- quoted from What Think Ye of Rome?-Christian Research Journal, Fall 1994, page 24.)
The Assumption of Mary
In 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the teaching of The Assumption of Mary. This false teaching declares that, at the end of her earthly course, Mary was assumed into heavenly glory, body and soul. (http://www.udayton.edu/mary/maryrq14.html)
No doubt these three papal pronouncements, with other decrees and positions, all play a part in the fulfillment of Daniel 7:11. The latest of the great words occurred recently when the religious world had a spiritual bomb dropped upon them by Pope John Paul II. On Wednesday, October 23, 1996, the pope proclaimed acceptance of the theory of evolution!
In 1859, when Charles Darwin published his manuscript On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection, the religious world scoffed. But, little by little, some socalled Christians began to look at the theory of evolution more closely. Scientific evidence to some seemed so overwhelming that religious beliefs had to be adjusted accordingly. For instance, Jehovahs Witnesses claim to believe in creation, but that God accomplished it over a period of 6,000 years. Now the leader of the largest group of professing Christians in the world has accepted Darwins theories. CNN Interactive carried the following story the day following the popes pronouncement:
Pope John Paul II has lent his support to the theory of evolution, proclaiming it compatible with Christian faith in a step welcomed by scientists but likely to raise criticism from the religious right.
The popes recognition that evolution is more than just a theory came in a written message he sent on Wednesday to a meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a body of experts that advises the Roman Catholic Church on scientific issues.
It broke new ground by acknowledging that the theory of the physical evolution of man and other species through natural selection and hereditary adaptation appeared to be valid. But the pope made clear he regarded the human soul as of immediate divine creation, and not subject to the process of evolution.
The theory of evolution, most notably expounded by 19th century English naturalist Charles Darwin, had until now been viewed by the Catholic Church as serious and worthy of discussion but still an open question. (CNN Interactive, Oct. 24, 1996- (http.//www.cnn.com/WORLD/96/10/24/briefs/pope.reut.html)
This news was confirmed by an official Vatican Information Service press release dated October 23, 1996, To Academicians: Truth Cannot Contradict Truth. Before noting the statements of John Paul II and their implications, it should be observed that this announcement was not a shock to Catholic insiders who have been studying the papal pronouncements for the last several years. A note (posted before John Paul IIs pronouncement) on the Catholic Information Center on the internet stated:
The Book of Genesis does not teach astro-physics, it does not teach biology, it does not teach geology. Leo XIII said this (in so many words) in Providentissimus Deus (1893). Further, both Pope Pius XII and John Paul II have said that evolution per se is not a philosophical problem for Catholics, so long as divine causality is not excluded. ... Also, regarding Adam and Original Sin: please read Pius XIIs Humanae Generis (1950). We must believe that God created a soul in the first man; we are not obliged to believe that the biological formation of the first man could not include some kind of antecedents. Why Catholics insist on reading the Bible like Protestant fundamentalists is beyond me. (http://www.catholic.net/hn/evolution/2/1-body.html - emphasis supplied.)
Humanae Generis is an encyclical letter of Pope Pius XII which dealt with evolution. In it he stated:
... the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. (Humani Generis, #36 - Catholic Information Center on Internet - http://listserv.america.edu/catholic/church/papal/pius.xii/humani.generis)
Two important points are to be noted. In different words, but with the same concept, both John Paul II and Pius XII stated that the origin of the body must be from pre-existent and living matter. Secondly, souls are immediately created by God. John Paul II drew from Humani Generis in his talk to the academicians when he said:
Humani Generis,considered the doctrine of evolutionism as a serious hypothesis, worthy of a more deeply studied investigation and reflection on a par with the opposite hypothesis. ... Today, more than a half century after this encyclical, new knowledge leads us to recognize in the theory of evolution more than a hypothesis. ... The convergence, neither sought nor induced, of results of work done independently one from the other, constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory." (VIS Press Releases - http://www.vatican.va/vis/e1_en.htm)
The closer these great words are examined, the more blasphemous they become! They set the clear biblical record aside and attempt to merge so-called-science and theology together. The Scriptural record is clear. To prevent any reasonable excuse from being offered, God gives the truth of the matter in the very first verse of the Bible. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) Inspiration states that this creation was accomplished through His Son. God, ... Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. (Hebrews 1:1, 2) Paul further explains:
For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge. (1 Corinthians 8:5-7)
The apostle says there are many called gods, but there is only one true God, the Father. This parallels the words of Jesus who called the Father, the only true God. (John 17:3) Paul continues by noting that all things are of God (the Father), and by our lord Jesus Christ.
To exclude the false notion that the earth or man came into existence over a long period of time, God gives the details of creation. It occurred over a six day period of time with each day consisting of an evening and a morning. God explains His method of creation by stating that when He speaks, matter appears! And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear:and it was so. (Genesis 1:9) The Psalmist said: By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:6, 9)
The biblical record mentions nothing about long periods of time involved in the formation of this world or man. God declares that His ability to create sets Him apart from all others:
But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. (Jeremiah 10:10-12)
God desires us to look upon Him as the Creator. To the question: To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One? (Isaiah 40:25) God answers, Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. (verse 26) Our God is reasonable (Isaiah 1:18) and the texts which speak of His glory and majestic power to create become very unreasonable placed in the setting of evolution.
The importance of Gods creative ability to man is seen in the study of the plan of salvation. Redemption is actually a creation process. The Scriptures plainly speak of the relationship of creation and redemption:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:13-17)
Thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (Isaiah 43:1)
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Gods creatorship is the basis for our worship of Him. (See Revelation 4:11) He is our Maker and only He can save us from sin. The only way to have a new creature is to have a new creation. If God created man over a long period of time, then mans re-creation must occur over a long period of time as well. This idea nicely fits the Satan-inspired Catholic idea of penance and salvation by works. Under this system the sinner cannot come to Christ just as he is and find cleansing.
God, in His omniscience, knew that man would be tempted to disregard Him as the Creator who could make something from nothing in an instance. Therefore, He gave to mankind the Sabbath as a memorial to His great creative power! Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day [not seventh million year] God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3) God tells us to remember the Sabbath day because in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,... It is impossible to properly remember the Sabbath day without being reminded of Gods creative ability. The Sabbath is a safeguard for man!
The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to Godbecause He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten.J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27. It was to keep this truth ever before the minds of men, that God instituted the Sabbath in Eden; and so long as the fact that He is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial. Had the Sabbath been universally kept, mans thoughts and affections would have been led to the Creator as the object of reverence and worship, and there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The keeping of the Sabbath is a sign of loyalty to the true God, Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. It follows that the message which commands men to worship God and keep His commandments will especially call upon them to keep the fourth commandment. (The Great Controversy, pp. 437, 438emphasis supplied) To Be Continued: