Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SEVEN

 Beginning and End of the Dark Ages   

The end of “a time, and times, and half a time” is the the time of the end” of Daniel 12:9.

From Facts of Faith by Christian Edwardson, pp. 52-60, Southern Publishing Association, Nashville 8 TN, 1943:

      “The little horn of Daniel 7: 8, 25, was to reign for ‘a time and times and the dividing of time.’ This same ‘time, and times, and half a time’ is also mentioned in Revelation 12: 14, and in the sixth verse it is said to be ‘a thousand two hundred and threescore days.’ In prophecy a dayt always stands for a year. [Ezekiel 4: 6; Numbers 14: 34]. This prophetic period is therefore 1260 literal years. We shall now show the 1260 years began in 538 A.D., and invite the reader to notice the four great changes that took place that year:

      1. “We have already seen [from past issues] that the ‘little horn’ [Daniel 7: 8; 11; cf. vs. 20, 25] symbolized the Papacy, and that three Arian kingdoms [Heruli, Vandals, Ostrogoths], which stood in its way wereplucked up by the roots,’ and that the last of these three received its death blow in 538 A.D. through the efforts of Justinian, the faithful son of the church of Rome.

      2. “History states that the work of Justin and Justinian in elevating the Papacy to power brought on a new era, introducing the Middle Ages.

        ‘Accordingly, the religious and political tendencies of the Empire now took so different a direction as to positively constitute the dawn of a new era. . . .  Thus at last Rome had triumphed, after fighting so long with unflinching vigor and without yielding s single point.’ – ‘The Barbarian Invasion of Italy,’ P. Villari, Vol. I, pp. 177, 178.

         NOTE:  There is an unmistakable resurgence of similar religious and political tendencies in America today, sure precursors of the prophesied collapse of the wall separating church and state, religious and secular powers embodied in the First Amendment.

          ‘The reign of Justinian is more remarkable as a portion of the history of mankind, than as a chapter in the annals of the Roman Empire or of the Greek nation. The changes of centuries pass in rapid succession before the eyes of one generation.

          ‘With the conquest of Rome by Belisarius, the history of the ancient city may be considered as terminating; and with defense against Wittigis [A.D. 538], commences the history of the Middle Ages. –‘Greece Under the Romans,’ George Finlay, pp. 192, 240, Dent edition, revised by author, 1877.

       3. Even the Papacy itself changed, so there was a new order of popes after 538 A.D. History relates:

      “Down to the sixth century all popes are declared saints in the martyrologies. Vigillius (537-555) is a first of a series of popes who no longer bear this title, which is henceforth sparingly conferred [see NOTE below].  From this time on [538 A.D.] the popes, more and more enveloped in worldly events, no longer belong solely to the church; they are men of the state, and the rulers of the state.’ – ‘Medieval Europe,’ Belmont and Monod (revised by George Burton Adams), p. 120. New York: H. Holt & Co., 1902.

NOTE: Francis, current pope, broke this Vatican trend by jointly canonizing on April 27, 2014, allegedly “for the first time in the 200-year history” of the Church of Rome), namely, John XXIII and John Paul II. Francis was assisted by the still-living German Benedict XVI, described by some news outlets as, “Two Living Popes Canonize Two Dead Predecessors,” and “Pope Fast-tracks Sainthood,” etc. If properly reckoned from 538 A.D., as clearly proved here, the Roman church is more accurately 1476 or 1500 years old—not 2,000!.

       “In the foregoing quotation the date of Vigillius should be 538 instead of 537 for the following reason:

         ‘Vigillius having been thus ordained in the year 537, . . .  and the death of Silverius having been certainly not earlier than June 20, A.D. 538, it is evident that for at least seven months his position was that of and unlawful anti-pope, his predecessor never having been canonically deposed.’ – Dictionary of Christian Biography, Drs Smith and Wace, Vol. IV, art. ‘Vigillius,’ p. 1144. London: 1887.

     “For this reason A. Bower says:

          ‘From the death of Silverius the Roman Catholic writers date the Episcopacy of Vigillius, reckoning him thenceforth among the lawful popes.’—‘History of the Popes,’ Vol. II, p. 438, under the year ‘538.’ Dublin: 1751.  ‘His [Silverius’] death happened on the 20th of June . . .  538.’

      “Dr. Philip Schaff says:

    ‘Vigillius, a pliant creature of Theodora, ascended the papal chair under the military protection of Belisarius (538-555).’ – “History of the Christian Church,’ (7-vol. ed), Vol. III, p. 327, New York: Scribner’s, 1893. See also ‘General History of the Catholic Church,’ M. l’Abbe J.E. Darras, Vol. II, pp. 146, 147 (New York: 1866), and “The Official Catholic Directory’ for 1933, ‘List of Roman Pontiffs,’ on page 7. “- FF 53.

      4. Dr. Summerbell gives still another reason why we should date the beginning of the Papal supremacy from 538. He says       :

          ‘Justinian . . . . enriched himself with the property of all ‘heretics’—that is, non-Catholics, and gave all their churches to the Catholics; published edicts in 538 compelling all to join the Church in 90 daysor leave the empire, and confiscated all their goods.’—‘History of the Christian Church,’ pp. 310, 311. Cincinnati: 1873. The same is stated by Samuel Chandler in ‘History of Persecution,’ pp. 142, 143; and by Edward Gibbon, in ‘Decline and Fall,’ chap. 47, par. 4.


      “Thus we see that Roman Catholicism was made the state religion in 538 A.D., and all other religions were prohibited.  What gave special significance to these edicts of Justinian was the fact that he had already in 533declared the Bishop of Rome to be the head of the universal church, and has subjected all the priests even of the East under the see of Rome. This fact he wrote to Pope John II on March 15, 533: [two letters quoted, namely, Justinian’s letter quoted from ‘The Civil Law of Justinian,’ translated by S.P. Scott, A.M., (in 17 volumes); Book 12, pp. 11-13, followed by Pope John II’s answer quoted from same source, pp. 10-15.

     “Both of these letters appear in the ‘Code of Justinian,’ as well as the following law: ‘Concerning the Precedence of Patriarchs:

        ‘Hence, in accordance with the provisions of those Councils, we order that the Most Holy Pope of Ancient Rome shall hold the first rank of all the Pontiffs, but the Most Blessed Archbishop of Constantinople, or New Rome, shall occupy the second place after the Holy Apostolic See of Ancient Rome, which shall take precedence over all sees. ‘ –‘Id., Vol. XVII, p. 125. (‘Constitutions of Justinian,’ VOL. XVII, 9th Collection, Title 14, chapter 2.)

     “Under the date of March 25, 533, Justinian, writing to Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, stating that he had written the above letter to the pope, ‘repeats his decision, that all affairs touching the Church shall be referred to the Pope, ‘Head of all bishops, and the true and effective corrector of heretics [Itals. mine].’ ‘  – ‘Id., Vol. XVII, p. 125 ‘The Apocalypse of St. John,’ George Croly, A.M., p. 170, second edition. London: 1828. . . . . .

       “The recognition of the Roman see as the highest ecclesiastical authority (cf. Novelle, cxxxi) remained the cornerstone of Justinian’s policy in relation to the West.’ – ‘New Schaff-Herzog EncyclopediaVol. VI., art. ‘Justinian,’ p 286.

      “Thus we see that the way had been prepared in 533, in anticipation of the three final acts which were to occur in 538, [1] when the Arian powers were to be destroyed, [2] Catholicism made the state religion, and [3] the Papacy placed under the protection of the state, which gave rise to the long struggle between church and state as to which should be supreme.”- FF. pp. 55-57.

CLOSE OF THE 1260 YEARS [or Dark Ages]

      “Having now seen that the 1260 years of papal supremacy began in 5338 A.D., it is an easy matter to find their close. Adding the 1260 years to 538 being us down to year 1798. And if we have given the right application to this prophecy, history must record an event in 1798 that would appear like a death stroke to the Papacy [‘one of its heads would be wounded as to death,’ or ‘mortally wounded.’ Rev. 13: 3]. Turning to history we find such an event recorded: The official Swedish newspaper, Stockholms Postiddning, for March 29, 1798, has the following [real, not ‘fake’!] news item]:

      ‘Rome, the 21st of Feb. [1798], Pope Pius VI, has occupied the papal chair for all 28 years, but the 15thinst. his government in the Papal States was abolished, and five days later, guarded by 100 French soldiers, he was taken away from his palace, and his capital. . . .  His  . . .  property was sold by the French, and among it were 700 hundred head of cattle, 150 horses, and 800 cords of wood . . . . ‘Poor Pius! He must have felt very sad as he left Rome to go into captivity [see Rev. 13: 9]. When he departed his tear-filled eyes were turned heavenward.’. . . .

      “Rev. Joseph Rickaby, an English Jesuit, writes:

     ‘When, in 1797,  fell grievously ill, Napoleon gave orders that in the event of his death no successor should be elected to his office, and that the Papacy should be discontinued.  ‘But the Pope recovered. The peace was soon broken; Berthier entered Rome on the 10th February, 1798, and proclaimed a republic.  The aged Pontiff refused to violate his oath by recognizing it, and was hurried from prison to prison in France. . . .  No wonder half of Europe [the Old World] thought Napoleon’s veto would be obeyed, and that with the Pope the Papacy was dead.’—‘The Modern Papacy,’ p. 1. London: Catholic Truth Society.’ . . .  FF 59.

     “An English secular writer, John Adolphus, says of 1798: “The downfall of the papal government, by whatever means affected, excited perhaps less sympathy than that of any other in Europe; [Why]: the errors, the oppressions, the tyranny of Rome over the whole Christian world, were remembered with bitterness; many rejoiced, through religious antipathy, in the overthrow of a church which they considered idolatrous, though attended with immediate triumph of infidelity; and many saw in these events the accomplishment of prophecies, and the exhibition of signs promised in the most mystical parts of the Holy Scriptures.’ – ‘History of France, 1790-1802,’ Vol. II, p. 379. London: 1803.

Edwardson concludes:

     “God’s prophetic clock had set the year 1798 as the end of the papal supremacy, and when that hour struck, the mighty ruler on the Tiber, before whose anathemas the kings and emperors of Europe had so long trembled, went ‘into captivity’ (Revelation 13: 10), and his government in the Papal States was abolished. Thus the historical events fit exactly into the mold or prophecy [not the other way around, a popular error!], and establish the fact that ‘we have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as upon a light that shineth in a dark place [of our deceived minds!] , until the day dawn.’ 2 Peter 1: 19.

     “But prophecy foretells that this ‘deadly wound’ would be healed, and that the world once more, for a brief moment, would follow the papal power. (Revelation 13: 3.)” – FF 59, 60.   

(Continued next week)