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Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week Ending 110815
The Doctrine of the Pivot. Part 9.
The Completion of the Eight Identities of the First Beast.

We have now completed our first principle of consideration which had to do with the first Beast of power. For you need to remember we are answering certain questions concerning who the two beasts and if America is involved in the prophecies of the last days.

  1. The first statement and question was the fact that there are Two World Powers which are symbolized in Rev Ch 13. Who or what is the first power? The Answer for now is the fact that:The beast with seven heads is none other than the Roman Empire, especially the Roman papacy or the RCC and the place of the Pope.
  2. Therefore, our second question: In what year was the papacy predicted to lose its world influence and power?When we talk about the influence and power of the papacy, we are talking about periods of time when the RCC and its Pope had world influence and world power. There was a time when there was really no such thing as the separation of Church and State, they were one and the same when it came to world power, politics and religion.

In Rev 13, we are told that there would come a time when the RCC and the Papacy would be slain and lose its world influence and power as it had.

Our second point: In what year was the papacy predicted to lose its world influence and power?

The Answer: Historical records reveal the Papacy began its reign in 538 AD upon Emperor Justinian’s decree, and under the military protection of General Belisarius. Let me give you a little historical background without getting too complex or technical. General Belisarius was one of the last important figures in the Roman military tradition, he led Imperial armies against the Persian Empire, the Ostrogothic regime of Italy, and the barbarian tribes attacking Constantinople.

Now, the Bible says the beast will rule for exactly 1260 years before receiving a mortal wound, REV 13:5.

Let’s begin in REV 13:1, And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. Now, I’ve ready given to you who most scholars say the ten horns and the seven heads refer to but that’s not our subject this morning. REV 13:2, And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

These have to deal with empires as we will note and then John will begin to introduce the second beast.

REV 13:3-4, And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”

Note that this beast is different than the first beast. The first beast = emphasizes powerful religious organization. The second beast = emphasizes powerful military organization. REV 13:5, And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty‑two months was given to him.

 

Remember in the interpretations we are dealing with one beast which already was, and another which is to come. However, the apostle John saw both of these beasts as future as a far as he was concerned. Make sure you understand this because at the time John lived, these prophecies concerning the coming of the two beasts was future for the apostle John, whereas one has already been fulfilled for us while we are awaiting the fulfillment of the next beast which is to come.

Rev 13 was probably written in 96 AD. First beast - lived from 538-1798 AD. Second Beast = Future beast {?}.
We know this because in REV 13:5 we read, And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty‑two months was given to him. Now, remember, especially for those of you who studied Dan 9 with me, that in Biblical prophecy, 42 months = 3.5 years or 1,260 days which also in biblical prophecy can refer to 1,260 years. Remember that in Biblical prophecy that years can refer to days just as at time days can refer to years. Why is this important to understand?

A period of only 1,260 literal days, only 3 12 years, falls ridiculously short of fulfilling the requirements of the 1260-day prophecy in regard to the Rome and the Roman Catholic Church and the Papacy. But, when we function under the biblical prophecy principle that says that the number 1,260 days can also refer to years, the year-day principle of biblical prophecy is extended to 1260 years, and then the prophecy meets a unique fulfillment.

How? or Why?

Because In 538 A.D. the Ostragoths abandoned their siege of Rome -- and this left the Bishop of Rome to exercise the prerogatives of Justinian’s decree of 533 AD and then the power and the authority of the Papacy grew, and grew, and grew. TheOstragoths were a strong military people of the Goths who were Germans in the eastern Roman Empire.

Now, who was Justinian and what was Justinian’s decree of 533 A.D? Justinian was a Christian emperor of Rome who appointed a man called Pope Vigilius to be one the leaders of all the churches, as the absolute and final authority throughout the Roman Empire. He used a passage from the from the book of Proverbs which was written by King Solomon about the Lord Jesus Christ, but Justinian said it represented the city of Rome and its Pope, who made this statement as a Pope:

PRO 8:15, “By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice.”

Justinian decreed that that verse referred to the Pope of Rome given absolute authority to the RCC and the Papacy. Justian went on to promote the following statement that he put into law when he said, “The heart of the King is in the hand of God, and it will incline to whatever side God wishes” that is to say, that He may confirm your empire, and maintain your kingdoms for the peace of the Church and the unity of religion; He said “The heart of the King is in the hand of God, in other words whatever the king says, is from God. And at the time the king or emperor of Rome said whatever the Pope says listen to him for he is sent from God to us. He said, “God was literally speaking through him.” And if you did not follow this then you were disciplined, jailed, beaten, scourged and in some cases, even put to death.

Then notice, the next part of the statement, “And it [the heart of the Pope] will incline or reveal to whatever side God wishes.” Total blasphemy. In effect, laws were passed which said in effect to reject what the Pope says is to reject God Himself. You were said to be an apostate or a heretic. Then he stated at the end of the statement this; - “That is to say, that he [the Roman Pope or the Pope of Rome] may confirm your empire, and maintain your kingdoms for the peace of the Church and the unity of religion.”

This gave one man the final authority in the Roman Empire and the RCC, thank God he did not have this authority throughout the world, basically because of the Protestant religion which eventually also ended up with their own system of apostasy. The first Pope was Pope Vigilius (died 7 June 555), he was Pope from 29 March 537 to his death in 555. He is considered the first Pope of the Byzantine Papacy. Byzantine refers to the Roman empire of the East.

 

Question: “Was Saint Peter the first Pope?”
Answer:
The Roman Catholic Church sees Peter as the first Pope upon whom God had chosen to build His church (MAT 16:18). That is when our Lord said what He said about the mystery of the Church in Mat 16, notice it!

MAT 16:13-19, Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He {began} asking His disciples, saying, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some {say} John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal {this} to you, but My Father who is in heaven. “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Now, when our Lord said to Peter in MAT 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; He said you are Peter or petros, a chip out of the stone or a part of the rock, and upon this rock, Petra, the massive rock, the fact that He is Messiah, as Peter said in MAT 16:16, Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God, I will build My church. This was one of only a few references to the fact that a new dispensation was about to be launched. For when the Lord said, “Upon this rock I will build my church”, He used the fut-act-ind of oikodomeo [to build] which means that the church did not exist at the time that the Lord said it, it was future.

And every system of theology which tries to start the church in Abraham’s tent or with Noah or with Moses has an erroneous understanding of the Scripture and does not understand the correct biblical interpretation of history. They fail miserably when it comes to God’s plan and mystery doctrine. And that’s why most churches are involved with cleaning up the devil’s world because they do not understand dispensational truth or the dispensation of the mystery.

However, that is not our subject because what I wanted you to see is that the RCC says in MAT 16:18, when the Lord said you are Peter or petros, and I will build my church, the RCC upon you Peter as its first Pope. When in reality our Lord said you are Peter or petros, a chip out of the stone or a part of the rock, and upon this rock, Petra, the massive rock, which is the fact that He is Messiah, as Peter said in MAT 16:16  Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God, on His messiah-ship He would build His church.

For when the Lord said, “Upon this rock I will build my church”, He used the fut-act-ind of oikodomeo [to build] which means that the church did not exist at the time that the Lord said it, it was future. We are all pebbles or chips in the rock but the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundational rock. This why the apostle Paul said in EPH 2:20-22, that we have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Like Peter we are all little chips out of the rock, but he, the Lord is the Rock, the only Rock, 1CO 10:4 we all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

1PE 2:4-5, And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The RCC teaches that Peter had authority (predominance) over the other apostles. The Roman Catholic Church maintains that sometime after the recorded events of the book of Acts, the Apostle Peter became the first bishop of Rome, and that the Roman bishop was accepted by the early church as the central authority among all of the churches. It teaches that God passed Peter’s apostolic authority to those who later filled his seat as bishop of Rome. This teaching that God passed on Peter’s apostolic authority to the subsequent bishops is referred to as “apostolic succession.”
The Roman Catholic Church also holds that Peter and the subsequent Popes were and are infallible when addressing and issues in the World-wide Church from their position and authority as Pope. It teaches that this infallibility gives the Pope the ability to guide the church without error. The RCC claims that it can trace an unbroken line of Popes back to St. Peter, citing this as evidence that it is the true church, since, according to their interpretation of MAT 16:18, Christ built His church upon Peter. This is totally false.

While Peter was central in the early spread of the Gospel (part of the meaning behind MAT 16:18-19), the teaching of Scripture, taken in context, nowhere declares that he was in authority over the other apostles, or over the entire Church. For in ACT 15:1-23 compared to GAL 2:1-14, even the apostle Paul rebuked Peter for his compromises with the early Christian and Jews. And even Peter knew his place for 1PE 5:1-5, he said he was a fellow apostle, or fellow elder and that there is one leader over one local church or assembly whether it is face-to-face or non face-to-face.

Nowhere does Scripture state that, in order to keep the church from error, the authority of the apostles was passed on to those they ordained (the idea behind apostolic succession). What Scripture does teach is that false teachings would arise and claim apostolic authority even from among themselves, ACT 20:28-30. Was Peter the first Pope?

The answer, according to Scripture, is a clear and emphatic “no.” Peter nowhere claims supremacy over the other apostles. Nowhere in his writings (1 and 2 Pe) did the Apostle Peter claim any special role, authority, or power over the Church. Nowhere in Scripture does Peter, or any other apostle, state that their apostolic authority would be passed on to successors. Yes, the Apostle Peter had a leadership role among the disciples. Yes, Peter played a crucial role in the early spread of the gospel (Act chapters 1-10). Yes, Peter was the “rock” as a winner believer that Christ predicted he would be (MAT 16:18). However, these truths about Peter in no way give support to the concept that Peter was the first Pope, or that he was the “supreme leader” over the apostles, or that his authority would be passed on to the bishops of Rome. Peter himself points us all to the true Shepherd and Overseer of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ (1PE 2:25).

And so the first Pope who came into power when Rome began its power in the Catholic Church was Pope Vigilius John Paul II. Now, watch this: exactly 1,260 years later the Papacy suffered its deathblow as it lost its world-wide power and authority that it is also claimed in the political realm.

How?

The spectacular victories of the armies of Napoleon in Italy placed the Pope at the mercy of the French Revolutionary Government, which now advised that the Roman Religion would always be a persistent enemy of the Republic. So, the government urged Napoleon to destroy the center of unity of the Roman church, and Napoleon did just that. In 1798 the French Army under General Berthier marched into Rome and proclaimed the political rule of the Papacy at an end and took the Pope prisoner. The Pope was removed to France where he died in exile. The 1,260 year rule of the Papacy was finished, the reference to the First Beast being the RCC with the Pope ruling the world seized. Now it’s just a matter of simple mathematics.

It is also a great method by which to see the Lord glorified. If the prophecy is correct, 1,260 years after 538 AD the beast must receive a mortal wound, REV 13:3, And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;

Now, if you add 1,260 years to the beginning year that the RCC took over which was 538 AD, you will arrive in the year 1798 AD.
1,260 + 538 =1798

So, according to the Bible we are told the first reign of the beast will last till the year 1798. So, did it end in 1798, and how? First understand, according to the prophecy, we learn that, REV 13:10, If anyone is destined for captivity, [in others words, the First Beast led others into captivity], to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword [like the First Beast did], with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

The prophecy is telling us that the beast would be destroyed with the sword (sword = a reference to the military) at the end of its reign of exactly 1,260 years. Did this happen to Papal Rome in 1798? YES IT DID! Again on February 10th Napoleon Bonaparte in 1798AD sent General Berthier into Rome, Italy. That’s Exactly 42 prophetic months, or 1260 years, sometimes also called a time, and times, and dividing a time after the Papacy began its powerful reign that the Pope “shall go into captivity” by the military. By the way, shortly after his captivity the Pope did in fact die, in exile.

Our second question:

  1. In what year was the papacy predicted to lose its world influence and power? Answer:The Bible predicted that the papacy would lose its world influence and power at the end of the 42 months. This prophecy was fulfilled in 1798, when Napoleon’s General Berthier took the Pope captive and the papal power received its deadly wound.
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