The Little Horn
Lesson 19

The rule of Rome was autocratic and at times brutally cruel and unjust, yet the Christians of that time prayed for her continuance, for they understood from the writings of both Daniel and Paul that the collapse of the empire would mark the time for the appearance of the dreaded antichrist. Rome was, however, so corrupt that it was impossible for her to continue. In the year 476, Odoacer declared the name and office of the Roman emperor of the west should be abolished. Romulus Augustulus, the last of the Roman rulers, resigned, and the senate bowed in submission. With this collapse of Western Rome the Middle Ages began.

1. What emerged after the first ten horns were in place?

Daniel 7:8
Daniel 7:8

2. How did this horn compare to the other ten?

Daniel 7:20, 24
Daniel 7:20, 24

Note: As the other ten horns were clearly political powers, the fact that this horn was diverse, or different, would indicate a power that was other than political in nature, that would arise after A.D. 476. Though initially small, this power was to increase until it would have a strength that exceeded that of the political powers that surrounded it.

Roman history did not end with the division of Rome into the various states of Europe. As Rome was dropping into ruin; her cities having been sacked, and her government broken, a new power began to emerge. “As from the decaying log of the marsh the mushroom springs up in a night, gaining its life from the decay, so there arose in the Roman empire a power which was nourished by this national decay. This power was the little horn known as the Papacy.” S. N. Haskel, Story of Daniel the Prophet, 110

Little by little, almost imperceptibly, the customs and practices of paganism crept into the Christian church. During the first centuries after Christ, the persecution endured by the church kept it relatively pure, but with the cessation of persecution under Constantine, Christianity entered the courts of kings. The nominal conversion of Constantine in the early part of the fourth century opened the way for the apostasy to progress more rapidly. It became accepted practice to take the holy days and rituals of the pagan world, and give to them Christian names, and then incorporate them into the worship of the Christian church, as if the affixing of a Christian title could sanctify the pagan ritual and worship. Paganism, while appearing to have been vanquished, became the conqueror. Her spirit controlled the church; her doctrines, ceremonies and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and worship of the professed followers of Christ.

3. What did Paul warn the church would appear before Christ’s return?

Acts 20:29–31
Acts 20:29–31

Note: By Paul’s words to the leaders of the church in Ephesus, the greatest threat to the church was to come from among the leaders within its own borders.

4. What was this person, or power, to do?

2 Thessalonians 2:3–4
2 Thessalonians 2:3–4

Note: According to the apostle, this power was already at work, though its open and full work was being hindered, so as to prevent its full manifestation. (The King James Bible uses the term “let,” the meaning of which is to hinder.) This power, referred to as the mystery of iniquity (see verse 7), was to sit in the temple of God—the church—exalting himself even to the place of God—“shewing himself that he is God.”

5. What kind of words did this horn speak?

Daniel 7:25
Daniel 7:25

6. What did this horn presume to change?

Daniel 7:25
Daniel 7:25

Note: This cannot be a reference to a change in the laws of men, because this takes place frequently, and would be nothing to attract particular mention. If, however, the law that it would seek to challenge was God’s law, then this attempt would be particularly significant in view of Christ’s words that not even the smallest part of the law would be changed, so long as heaven and earth remained. See Matthew 5:17–20.

Only by attempting to change God’s law could any power exalt itself above God. Such a bold act would imply a subordination of the Creator to the creature.

We will now turn to the writings of the Catholic Church to see if they do, in fact, accept the responsibility for attempting to change God’s law and to lead the Christian world in accepting such a change.

"Question: Which is the Sabbath day?

Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.

Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?

Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” Reverend Peter Geiermann, Convert’s Catechism, (London: 1934), 50. Sanctioned by the Vatican, January 25, 1911; Quoted in Facts of Faith, (Southern Publishing Association, 1943), 293

“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we [Catholics] never sanctify.” Faith of Our Fathers, 89, by James Cardinal Gibbons, James Murphy Company, New York, 1917. Quoted in Facts of Faith, 292

“Protestants often deride the authority of Church tradition, and claim to be directed by the Bible only; yet they, too, have been guided by the customs of the ancient church, which find no warrant in the Bible, but rest on Church tradition only! A striking instance of this is the following: The first positive command of the Decalogue is to `Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,’ and this precept was enforced by the Jews for thousands of years. But the Sabbath day, the observance of which God commanded, was our Saturday. Yet who among either Catholics or Protestants, except a sect or two, like the `Seventh-day Baptists,’ ever keep that commandment now? None. Why is this? The Bible which the Protestants claim to obey exclusively gives no authorization for the substitution of the first day of the week for the seventh. On what authority, therefore, have they done so? Plainly the authority of that very Catholic Church which they abandoned and whose traditions they condemn.” Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 80, by John L. Stoddard, P. J. Kenedy & Sons, New York, 1922

7. What change took place among the other ten horns?

Daniel 7:24
Daniel 7:24

Note: As Christianity spread among the barbarians, it became generally accepted. Within Christianity, however, a division sprang up that split the church. Three of the barbarian nations largely accepted the teaching of Arius of Alexandria, while the rest of the Christian church, by and large, followed the Bishop of Rome. The three Arian powers were the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Heruli. The difference led to hostility between the two factions. With the support of Justinian, the emperor in the East, the last of the three Arian nations was overcome in 538. These three nations disappeared from history, fulfilling the prophecy that three horns would be uprooted.

8. How would this power treat God’s true people?

Daniel 7:25
Daniel 7:25

Note: Rome fell because she presumed to war against Christ and to hold authority over His followers. Out of the ruins of pagan Rome, and from among the nations that had formed in the wake of her fall, arose another power that would continue this warfare and would for a time prevail over God’s people. See Daniel 7:21. Although, understandably, modern Catholic authorities seek to mitigate the more extraordinary aspects of their church’s religious oppression, they do not deny them.

9. For how long a period of time would this power prevail over God’s people?

Daniel 7:25
Daniel 7:25

Note: The term “time” comes from a word that means literally, a year. In the dual it is two years, and the dividing of time refers to half of a year. We also need to understand that the Jewish calendar year consisted of 360 days. Time+times+dividing of time=3 1/2 years of prophetic time, or 1260 days. In prophecy, a day of prophetic time equals a year of literal time. We have two instances where this principle is used, establishing a precedent for its use. You will find one incident in Numbers 14:32–34, and another in Ezekiel 4:6. We would then understand that the three and a half prophetic years, or 1260 days, was literally 1260 years. To check the correctness of this theory, we compute 1260 years from the beginning date of 538, and it brings us down to 1798. This is just after the French Revolution and the armies of Napoleon were marching across Europe, destroying monarchy and the Church. Berthier, the French general, went down to Rome, and took the then-reigning pope prisoner, and returned him to France to live out his remaining days in exile. For a relatively short period of time the church was without a visible head. While persecution had virtually ceased some time before, this ended the Papacy, for the time being, as a temporal power.

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