Chapter 13-The 4th Empire Extended, Papal Rome, Part 7
Mystery Babylon and the Stone Kingdom, part 39—How the “little horn” spoke blasphemies.
Greetings, my online readers! The title of this in-depth blog series is Daniel’s 4th Empire Extended—Papal Rome. This will be part 7 of our investigation into the history of the Roman Catholic church with special emphasis on the papacy. This is also part of our ongoing series of studies entitled Mystery Babylon and the Stone Kingdom.
At the outset, let me once more give an abbreviated version of my special note to any Roman Catholics who may read these writings. I want them to know that this series is not meant, and should not be construed, as a condemnation of rank-and-file Roman Catholics. For heaven’s sake, I was born into a Roman Catholic family and I still have many relatives who have remained loyal Catholics.
They, like millions of other Roman Catholics, love Jesus probably every bit as much as non-Catholic Christians do. I personally believe that Roman Catholics can be true Christians in spite of, but not because of the Roman church system. It is the system that is the problem.
I do not condemn these brothers and sisters in Christ. 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 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.”
We left off where we were discussing how the papacy was reaching the zenith of its power in the early 13th century. Do not think that the power of the papacy soon declined, for it did not. It held sway over most of Europe in varying degrees for several centuries after that, and still does to some extent to this day, particularly in southern and eastern Europe.
In the last blogs, we also discovered, through a book by the late Rabbi Dr. Joachim Prinz, that there was a banking family in Italy named the Pierleonis, who were so powerful that some historians have called them the “Rothschilds of the Middle Ages.”
As Rabbi Prinz showed, the Pierleonis nominally converted to Catholicism for the purpose of gaining political power. They chose that route to power since their bloodlines would have precluded them from pursuing the other path to political power in those days; namely, the hereditary monarchies.
But gain power, they did! For from Pierleone family came three popes in the Dark Ages, one of whom was the key figure in gathering and concentrating power in the papacy. That was Pope Gregory VII, aka Hildebrand—and let’s just call him Hildebrand Pierleone, shall we?
We concluded our last blog series with a statement that the papacy did not see another figure with the political ability and force that Hildebrand Pierleone possessed until 1198 when Pope Innocent III came to the papal throne.
As Professor Edwin Leroy Froom stated (emphasis mine):
“Under him the see of Peter became the throne of the world, and from his chancery, letters to kings and rulers, cardinals and bishops went forth almost daily. He brought all Europe under his heel. ...”
We had also introduced to you the fact that the popes had two immensely powerful weapons at their disposal for the purpose of keeping secular or civil rulers under their thumb. And then, in turn, the secular rulers—the kings and queens—ruled the people of Europe directly, but behind them all was the overarching power of the papacy.
Those two weapons of the papacy were excommunication and the interdict. In today’s blog we will see how the prophecy of Daniel concerning how the “little horn,” that spoke blasphemies against the Most High God was fulfilled precisely in the papacy.
Let us discuss these two weapons first. Excommunication was a condemnation by the pope or his underlings whereby a person was made a social outcast. No one could give him shelter. He was excluded from all legal protection.
And at least as important in the Dark Ages was the fact that the excommunicated person was also excluded from the sacraments of the church including a Christian burial. Therefore, according to the prevailing belief in eternal hell fire, the excommunicated person was already condemned to eternity in hell.
Turn to Revelation 13:4. We today have to marvel at the amount of mind control that was exercised over nearly all the people in Christendom, because it seemed like they must have lost their common sense when it came to matters of religious belief.
For example, we just explained how the person under the ban of excommunication was already condemned to eternity in hell. But then it often happened that the excommunicated person “repented,” by which is meant that they agreed to bow to the power of the church, i.e., the papacy, upon which act of subservience, the excommunication was revoked or lifted.
So first they are already condemned to eternal hell fire, but then upon submission, suddenly they are not condemned to eternal hell fire. What gives? Well, of course, the people did not lack common sense. It was fear, plain and simple, which caused them to bow in submission.
Ah, but fear of what? It was not a fear of death; it was a fear of eternal life in a torture chamber! The church’s teaching of the doctrine of eternal hell fire was so powerful on the minds of the people of Christendom that very few were willing to oppose the clergy on the gamble that they were lying about what the Bible taught.
Because remember, in the Dark Ages, not only were the common people largely illiterate, but even if they could read, the Bible was in Latin. Furthermore, the only Bible available was under lock and key in the church.
The people themselves were forbidden from possessing a copy of the Bible under pain of death. Recall also that this was in the centuries before the printing press and therefore Bibles were very scarce. For all these reasons, all of Christendom were dependent upon the clergy to teach them what the Bible taught.
The true Bible teaching of universal reconciliation (universal salvation of all mankind)*, which was the prevailing doctrine in the church for the first 500 years or so, was finally declared heresy in about the 8th century, and thereafter came the Dark Ages, when the doctrine of the eternal torture of the unsaved became orthodoxy.
And what a tool it was! Because think about it! It was this horrendous doctrine which gave meaning and gave force to both excommunication and the interdict. The interdict was like excommunication except that it was directed at an entire city, or region or kingdom.
The popes used this clever device to force the secular rulers into obedience. Just imagine the power of belief. When the Roman clergy taught people that their eternal salvation depended on their obedience to the decrees of the church, and then imagine that you lived in an area where the pope has declared an interdict.
Can you imagine the fury and uproar of the people of that kingdom against their king? The people would be scared out of their wits that the actions of their king was going to get them all sent to the eternal barbecue pit.
And so it was that under Pope Innocent III, this tool of medieval mind control and psychological terrorism began to be used in the political realm, as well as the spiritual realm. In Henry Sheldon’s History of the Christian Church, vol. 5, we find this:
“According to English law the excommunicated person could enter into no legal contracts, and could have no place in court. No one was authorized to eat with him, or even to speak to him. If he remained under excommunication forty days, the bishop could apply to the king for his arrest and imprisonment until he should give satisfaction to the Church.
“In Germany the government was equally pledged to sustain spiritual censures. Sweden had perhaps the severest requisition. Laws in force till the Reformation provided that, if a man remained under excommunication for a year without seeking absolution, the king should put him to death.”
Brothers and sisters, can you see how just these two weapons: the interdict and excommunication, gave the beast Roman church and the papacy such power that it fulfilled the prophecy found in...
Revelation 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
While I am in Sheldon’s History, allow me to share this portion with you. In advance I want you to understand that the reference to Gregory the Great is not the same person as Hildebrand Pierleone, aka Gregory VII. Gregory the Great was Gregory I.
In this quotation from Henry Sheldon’s History of the Christian Church, he relates how all the while the papacy was gathering power, their pursuit of power was made all the more difficult simply because of the moral reputations of many of those who sat upon the papal throne.
“A large part of the tenth century and the earlier portion of the eleventh were, in particular, a season of disgrace with the papacy. In the former century the chair of Peter passed under the control of the Marquises of Tuscany, the Counts of Tusculum, and, above all, the trio of infamous women, Theodora and her two daughters, Marozia and Theodora.
“For half a century the papal dignity was the spoil of the ambitions and intrigues of these women. The paramours and the progeny of harlots wore the crown which had graced the brow of Gregory the Great. Among these the palm of infamy was won by Octavian, who styled himself John XII, and thus supplied the precedent for assuming a new name, which his successors have followed.
“According to the impeachment of a Roman synod convened under Otto the Great in 963, there is hardly a gross crime in the catalogue of which John XII was not guilty. It was charged against him, that he had committed arson, homicide, adultery, and incest; that he had drunk to the health of the devil, and implored the help of Jupiter and Venus at the gambling table.”
That is just one quotation of countless ones that could be brought forth from the historical record in this matter of the morality of the popes, but we will forbear for now from listing further abuses of that nature. However, we must now proceed to list more examples of the mouth speaking great things against the Most High.
First, I will list some of the adulation and adoration heaped on the popes by their scholars, sycophants, and followers. For example, a triumphal arch was built for the coronation of Alexander VI, one of the most depraved men who every occupied the chair of St. Peter, on which was inscribed, “Caesar was a man; Alexander is A GOD.”
And by the way, I am not going to bore my listening audience with the footnotes and citations on all these, but these are from Catholic authorities themselves.
Moreri, in his well-known history, declares that “to make war against the Pope is to make war against God, seeing THE POPE IS GOD AND GOD IS THE POPE.”
The celebrated Roman theologian named Ockham provides one of the most audacious of the pronouncements of the high place they reserve for their “Supreme Pontiff:” Ockham wrote that:
“The Pope is the VICAR OF JESUS CHRIST THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD, IN THE STEAD OF THE LIVING GOD. He hath that dominion and lordship which Christ, when He was upon earth, would not assume; that is, THE UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION OF ALL THINGS, BOTH SPIRITUAL AND TEMPORAL.”
These outlandish claims have never been repudiated by the popes. Indeed, some of them have uttered equally audacious and arrogant claims regarding their power. Innocent III said to King Richard I of England, “I hold the place of God upon earth.”
Are not all these quotes evidence that the papacy is without question the mouth of the horn speaking great things? The Reformers thought so, and so would any intellectually honest person who makes diligent inquiry into this history.
Thank you, dear readers, for embarking on this historical series with me, I hope you are getting value from this. We will pick up again in the next one with more on how the papacy is the fulfillment of the blasphemy of the “little horn”.
* See information here about my detailed study of 38 audio lectures, a series entitled God’s Plan for Man: The Salvation of All Mankind