Search This Site:

08/01/2008 - Coming Out of Bondage—Part 1



Coming Out of Bondage

Part 1

Date: 08/01/2008

Issue No. 241

It has now been a year since the sub-prime mortgage crisis first hit the news, beginning the collapse of the economic system as we know it. We know it as Babylon, or at least the economic part of Mystery Babylon.

Since the beginning of this year, I have wondered if we might see a seven-year echo of the year 2001. The year 2001 was a year of tremendous spiritual warfare from February to November, with the most important battles occurring in July 2001.

These battles came in the context of pouring out the seven bowls (vials) in Revelation 16. Those seven years were the culmination of a longer warfare since 1993. And all of this was the result of concluding the Pentecostal Age from 33 A.D.

So you see, everything is interconnected, and unless we understand the progression from the past, we will not be able to understand the present.

So let me start with a summary of the past.

The Babylonian Captivity

In the days of Jeremiah, the people of Judah and Jerusalem had turned the temple into a den of robbers (Jer. 7:11), a hideout for lawbreakers. After many years of warning from prophets, the judgment of God finally came to fulfillment when God rendered His sentence against them in Jer. 7:14,

14 Therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.

Shiloh was the first place where God put His name (7:12). God forsook that place in the days of Eli for the corruption of its priesthood. He never went back there, but went to Jerusalem instead.

There Solomon built a temple, and God put His name there by glorifying that place (1 Kings 8:10). However, two centuries later, God told Jeremiah that He was going to forsake that place “as Shiloh.”

God then hired King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to do the work of demolishing the temple and Jerusalem itself. The people were taken captive and deported to Babylon for 70 years.

Jeremiah had given the people an opportunity to submit to divine judgment and thereby receive a lesser sentence for putting away God’s law. In God’s mercy, even after the 70-year sentence had been decreed, God might have let them serve out their sentence in their own land, without the devastation of war. But the people decided to rebel against the divine decree, and so they ended up under worse conditions than they might have been.

This was the difference between a wooden yoke and an iron yoke. Jeremiah offered them the wooden yoke (a lighter sentence), if they would submit to Nebuchadnezzar, but in refusing to do so, they received the iron yoke. This was defined in the law (Deut. 28:48) in terms of being deported to a foreign land.

Once the captivity began, the prophet Daniel received further light on this captivity, telling us that it was going to be much longer than a mere 70 years. The 70 years was merely the “head of gold” phase of captivity. After this would come the “arms of silver” (Persia), followed by the belly of bronze (Greece), followed by the iron legs (Rome) and even an extension of the legs called the “little horn.”

As it actually worked out in history, the 70 years spent in Babylon was merely the iron yoke phase of this long captivity. After Babylon fell, the Persians allowed the Judahites to return to the old land and rebuild Jerusalem. But they remained under the wooden yoke of captivity.

This little detail is usually missed by prophecy teachers today. They commonly speak of the end of the Babylonian captivity as if this was the end of captivity itself. They forget that Judah was still under Persian rule for the next two centuries. And then Alexander the Great came and took Judah from the Persians.

Alexander did not set Judah free. Alexander simply incorporated Judah into its own new empire. Then when he died, the Grecian Empire was split up among his four generals. Two of them, the Seleucids and the Ptolemys fought for control of Judah for some centuries, as was prophesied in Daniel 11 under the terms “king of the south” and “king of the north.”

Finally, after a particularly bad situation under the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes, God allowed Judah to throw off the wooden yoke for one full century (163-63 B.C.). In 63 B.C., the Romans took Jerusalem and incorporated them as part of the iron kingdom.

Thus, the captivity continued, and the people chafed under Roman rule, for they had received a taste of freedom for a century, and they did not believe that God wanted them to continue as captives under Rome.

If they had understood Daniel 7, they would have known that eventually they would have to continue their sentence under the iron kingdom. But they either did not know this or simply did not believe the prophet Daniel.

So they continually made trouble for Rome and always challenged its right to rule. In giving Rome “security” problems, the Judeans found themselves under increased bondage and control. This made them more discontent than ever, and finally in 66 A.D. they revolted. This revolt was crushed from 70-73 A.D.

The Judeans revolted again from 132-135 A.D. in the so-called Bar-Cochba revolt, led by a Jewish “messiah,” Bar-Cochba, who had the backing of the influential Rabbi Akiva. But instead of this messiah crushing the serpent’s head with his heel, a serpent ended up crushing him. We read in Prof. H. Graetz’ book, History of the Jews, Vol. II, page 419,

“The end of the mighty Bar-Cochba is not known. One who brought his head to the Roman General boasted that he had killed him. His body, however, was found crushed by a snake. On this the conqueror said, ‘Had not God’s hand killed him, a human hand could not have injured him’.”

After this second revolt was crushed, Jews were forbidden on pain of death from setting foot in Jerusalem again. The Jewish dispersion was now complete, and the people found themselves once again under an iron yoke.

This iron yoke continued until the past century, when Zionism brought many Jews back to the old land. The reasons for God allowing this have been discussed more fully in my book, The Struggle for the Birthright.

The point here is to show that the Babylonian captivity was not merely a 70-year captivity. Daniel prophesied it to be much longer and extended long after the old empire of Babylon had ended.

The Church Under Babylonian Rule

Jesus was born and ministered during the time of the iron kingdom of Rome. Though the Messiah was thought to be the deliverer from the Romans, Jesus turned out to be a great disappointment to Jewish expectations. He knew the Father’s will and remained obedient to the Word given to Jeremiah. He submitted to Rome’s authority, knowing that it was ordained of God.

The disciples themselves found this difficult to believe, but after Jesus’ resurrection, they began to have a clearer vision of the will and plan of God. Thus, they did not organize any revolts, but exercised “civil disobedience” only when commanded to worship another god (Caesar).

The Little Horn

Daniel 7 had prophesied of a “little horn” that was to rise out of the iron kingdom (Rome). Many prophecy teachers today, in teaching Futurism, say that this has yet to be fulfilled. They think that the little horn is a man that they call The Antichrist. They think he will come out of the territory of the old Roman Empire, namely Europe, and they have taught that the European Union is this New Roman Empire, the “ten toes” of the Babylonian image.

When the Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, it was plausible that it might eventually include ten nations. In its present form today, established by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993, it now stands at 27 nations. So time, which proves all things, has disproven their theory of prophecy. Nevertheless, they pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and proceed as if nothing happened.

History proves or disproves all views of prophecy. I think it is time that they took another look at prophecy.

In my view, the Roman Church was the “little horn,” and there was no long “gap” between the fall of Rome and the rise of the “little horn.” Anyone familiar with history knows that Papal Rome became the leading power of Europe for over a thousand years after the fall of Imperial Rome. It is the obvious fulfillment of the “little horn.”

Futurism sees the “little horn” as a man in the future. Right now, the favorite candidate for that position is presidential candidate, Barack Obama. On the other hand, the Preterists disagree, saying that prophecy was all fulfilled in 70 A.D. with the first destruction of Jerusalem. I am not sure how they understand the “little horn,” unless they spiritualize the prophecy.

But I offer a third view, which is that much prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., but that the iron kingdom of Daniel 7 continued far beyond that date. And when Rome fell in 476 A.D., the “little horn” of Papal Rome began rising to power.

Daniel 7:8 says of him, “this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts.” His time of power is given in verse 25,

25 And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

Revelation 13 refers to this “little horn” with some further explanation and interpretation, saying in verse 5,

5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given him.

Forty-two months is 30 x 42 = 1,260. So John defines a “time” as 360 days or years. 3½ “times” is 1,260 days or years. In my view, it refers to the 1,260 years beginning with Emperor Justinian in 529-540 A.D.

In 529 the Emperor Justinian replaced the entire Roman judicial system with Orthodox Church law. The emperor then became the mere enforcement arm of the Church. The Catholic Encyclopedia says under Justinian I,

The Codex was produced in 529 A.D., the Digest (Pandectae) in 530, the Institutes (student manuals) the same year in 530, and finally a revision was published in 534 as the Corpus Juris Civilis with additions named ‘Authentic.’

The Catholic Encyclopedia says further,

“It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of this ‘Corpus.’ It is the basis of all canon law (ecclesia vivet romana) and the basis of civil law in every civilized country.”

History has shown that this new system of law was the legal basis for the power of the “little horn,” whether Justinian knew it or not.

In 533 the Emperor Justinian re-conquered Africa that had been lost since the Vandals invaded a century earlier. Then his troops took Sicily and Italy from the Goths, who had come down from the North, completing their conquest by 540 A.D. These dates give us secondary beginning points for the 1,260-year cycle.

The French Revolution 1,260 years later represented the rise of the new power in Revelation 13, known as “the beast from the earth.” It was the economic beast associated with the modern system of banking, controlled largely by the Rothschilds and their agents.

Whereas “the beast from the sea” (Rev. 13:1-10) was a religious beast, “the beast from the earth” (Rev. 13:11-18) is secular and economic. The French Revolution from 1789-1793 overthrew the “firstborn son of the Catholic Church” and actually killed over 30,000 priests in France, while confiscating Church-owned land. It was a severe blow to the Roman Church, from which they have never fully recovered.

This brought about “The Reign of Terror” in 1793-1794. It ended precisely 1,260 years after the revision of Justinian’s law had been published in 534.

The rise of Napoleon, called the “Neo-Apollyon,” or New Apollyon represented the new beast rising up as a new power in Europe. Napoleon conquered Italy in 1800, fighting the Austrians who had come down from the north, precisely 1,260 years after Justinian had conquered their ancestors in 540 A.D.

The Beast System Today

Though many think that the Roman Church is the primary power even today, Revelation 13 shows us that it is only a secondary player on the world scene. The power of the beast from the sea has been eclipsed by the power of the beast from the earth. Both continue to exist, of course, but the earth-beast is the dominant one today.

It steadily rose to prominence, continuing to eclipse the power of Papal Rome until the great bloodless coup in 1913-14, when the Federal Reserve Act was passed. This achieved full control over the USA, and through it they have been able to control much of the rest of the world as well. The Federal Reserve, a private banking system owned by private bankers, became the real Federal government in America.

The actual modern Babylonian captivity, beginning with the time of Jeremiah, never really ended. It merely changed form over the centuries. Each new “beast” took over the dominion of the previous beast and continued the captivity in its own name.

Daniel did not see all of the details of this captivity, nor did he see all of the players on the world scene. John filled in some details that Daniel did not see. Most notable was the beast from the earth, which replaced the Papal beast from the sea, otherwise known as the “little horn.”

The reason for this “blind spot” in Daniel’s prophecy may possibly be attributed to the fact that the Papal beast eventually joined forces with the beast of banking. This really took place in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty, when Mussolini paid the Vatican $90 million for the Papal States that it had lost in the 1870 in the Italian Revolution. (See Paul Williams, The Vatican Exposed, p. 26)

This money was called the “donation of Mussolini.” At the same time, the Lateran Treaty established the Vatican City as a City State with full diplomatic privileges.

The Vatican invested this money, and by 1939 it had increased to $2 billion. This money was used to create the Institute for Religious Agencies (i.e., The Vatican Bank) on June 27, 1942.

Thus, the Roman Church formally sanctified the sin of usury, in effect, changing Justinian’s law to legalize usury. In the stare-down between the two beasts, the Vatican blinked first. The beast from the sea adopted the morality (law) of the new power broker—the beast from the earth.

Whereas the Emperor Justinian had become subservient to the Church in 529 by adopting Church law, the situation was reversed 1400 years later in 1929, when the Church adopted the economic law of the new beast arising.

The Church was forced into this position by economic and political realities, which had progressed since the French Revolution. The problem was compounded in 1870 when the Papacy lost its “Papal States” and went into self-exile for nearly 70 years.

After the Federal Reserve Act was passed, it became glaringly apparent that the Church was going to be totally bypassed by world events if the Popes did not accept the new realities.

Although the Church had much wealth, it was nearly all tied up in art and buildings. The Church had a serious money shortage in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Paul Williams tells us,

“With the loss of land came the loss of taxation. By 1900 the annual budget of the Vatican was slightly less than $4 million and Leo XIII was struggling to make ends meet.” (p. 23)

“In January 1922, when Benedict XV died, the annual budget was cut back to $1 million. To meet expenses, the Church was forced to secure loans, mostly from German banks.” (p. 24)

“Nearly everything within the Lateran Palace was in a state of disrepair. The upper floors were damaged by leaks and covered with mounds of guano from thousands of pigeons that roosted in the attic…

“The Holy Father could hear rats scurrying through the walls. Rats had even infested other buildings in the Vatican complex, including St. Peter’s Cathedral. The pests had even managed to gnaw on the remains of the popes who had been entombed in glass within the side altars… Rats in the Lateran Palace and the Basilica of St. Peter! Yet there were no funds available for an exterminator.” (p. 15)

After Benedict XV died, Pope Pius XI was determined to change things. He came out of exile and made an agreement with Mussolini. In exchange for backing him politically (by disbanding the Church’s political party, the Catholic Populist Party), he would be compensated for the loss of the Papal States. This occurred on June 9, 1923. Thus, the rise of Mussolini allowed the Church to return as a player on the world scene.

A decade after the accord with Mussolini, Pius XI made a similar agreement with Hitler in Germany (July 22, 1933). As he had done with Mussolini, the Vatican agreed to disband the Catholic Center Party, withdraw from labor unions, and throw its support behind Hitler. This was negotiated over a three-month period in 1933 by German Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen (who was a Catholic).

Thus, the Catholic Center Party was disbanded and Catholics were instructed to vote for Hitler—not because they agreed with his personal or nationalist policies, and not even because he opposed Jews, but because he was considered to be the best hope of destroying Communist Russia.

Communist control of Russia was the second greatest victory for the secular beast from the earth. The popes were truly alarmed by Communism and felt that it was in their best interest to back Russia’s enemy, Germany, led by Mr. Hitler.

But, of course, if they had understood Revelation 13, they would have known that the beast from the earth would remain dominant over the beast from the sea. The Church’s hopes were dashed by the other beast’s two great power centers—America and Russia—who fought as allies against Germany in World War II.

With Germany conquered, the beast from the earth ascended rapidly, having no serious rivals except for the world of Islam, which rejected both Communism and usury banking. That is the foundation of today’s conflict.