Daniel 7:28 Index
"Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart."
Research Material

"...the end of the matter..."

  • Daniel 8 and Daniel 9 are a continuation of Daniel 7. Each chapter adds more information and comes closer to the final scenes of earth's history. These chapters follow the Bible principle of repeat and enlarge. (KC 91)

"...my cogitations much trouble me..."

  • or "my thoughts frightened me," (4BC 834)

"...my countenance changed in me..."

  • A revelation of the future history of the saints greatly astonished and saddened the prophet Daniel. (4BC 834)


  • The development of the great apostasy that culminated in the papacy was a gradual process that covered several centuries. The same is true of the decline of this power.... With respect to the future, Jesus warned His disciples, "Take heed that no man deceive you," for "many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many," performing "signs and wonders" in confirmation of their deceptive claims, "insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:4, 11, 24). (4BC 834)
  • Paul, speaking by inspiration, declared that men would "arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:29, 30). The result would be a "falling away" in which the power he refers to as "that man of sin" and "the mystery of iniquity" would be revealed, opposing truth, exalting itself above God, and usurping the authority of God over the church (2 Thessalonians 3, 4). This power, which, he warned, was already at work in a limited way (2 Thessalonians 2:7), would operate "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9). The subtle manner of its rise was to be so cleverly camouflaged that none but those who sincerely believed and loved the truth would be safe from its deceptive claims (2 Thessalonians 2:10 - 12). (4BC 834-835)
  • Before the close of the first century the apostle John wrote that "many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1), and a little later, that "many deceivers are entered into the world" (2 John7). This, he said, is the "spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; even now already is it in the world" (1 John 4:3).... These predictions warned of the presence of ominous forces already at work in the church, forces that foreshadowed heresy, schism, and apostasy of major proportions. Claiming prerogatives and authority that belong only to God, yet operating on satanic principles and by satanic methods, this instrument would eventually deceive the majority of Christians into accepting its leadership, and thus secure control of the church (Acts 20:29, 30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12)(4BC 835)
  • In apostolic times each local congregation selected its own officers and regulated its own affairs. The church universal was nevertheless "one body" by virtue of the invisible operation of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance of the apostles, that united believers everywhere in "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:3-6). Leaders in the local churches were to be men "full of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 6:3), selected, qualified, and guided by the Holy Ghost (Acts 13:2), and appointed (Acts 6:5) and ordained by the church (Acts 13:3).... As the church "left" its "first love" (Revelation 2:4), it forfeited its purity of doctrine, its high standards of personal conduct, and the invisible bond of unity provided by the Holy Spirit. In worship, formalism took the place of simplicity. Popularity and personal power came more and more to determine the choice of leaders, who first assumed increasing authority within the local church, then sought to extend their authority over neighboring churches. (4BC 835)
  • Administration of the local church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit eventually gave way to ecclesiastical authoritarianism at the hands of a single official, the bishop, to whom every church member was personally subject and through whom alone he had access to salvation. Hence for leadership thought only of ruling the church instead of serving it, and the "greatest" was no longer one who considered himself "servant of all." Thus, gradually, developed the concept of priestly hierarchy that interposed between the individual Christian and his Lord.... According to writings attributed to Ignatius of Antioch, who died about A.D. 117, the presence of the bishop was essential to the celebration of religious rites and to the conduct of church business. Irenaeus (d. about A.D. 200) ranked bishops of the various churches according to the relative age and importance of the churches over which they presided. He accorded special honor to churches founded by the apostles, and held that all other churches should agree with the church of Rome in matters of faith and doctrine. Tertullian (d. A.D. 225) taught the supremacy of the bishop over the presbyters -- local elected elders.... Cyprian (d. about 258) is considered the founder of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. He advocated the theory that there is but one true church, and that outside of it there is no access to salvation. He put forth the claim that Peter had founded the church in Rome, that the bishop of the church at Rome should therefore be honored above other bishops, and his opinions and decisions should always prevail. He emphasized the importance of direct apostolic succession, asserted the literal priesthood of the clergy, and taught that no church might celebrate religious rites or conduct its affairs without the presence and consent of the bishop. (4BC 835)
  • Factors contributing to the ascendancy and eventual supremacy of the bishop of Rome were:
    • 1) As capital of the empire and metropolis of the civilized world Rome was the natural place for the headquarters of a world church.
    • 2) The church at Rome was the only one in the West that claimed apostolic origin, a fact which, in those days, made it seem natural that the bishop of Rome should have priority over other bishops. Rome occupied a highly honorable position even before A.D. 100.
    • 3) The removal of the political capital from Rome to Constantinople by Constantine (A.D. 330) left the bishop of Rome comparatively free of imperial control, and thereafter the emperor rather consistently supported his claims as against those of other bishops.
    • 4) In part, the Emperor Justinian strongly supported the bishop of Rome, and advanced his interests, by an imperial edict recognizing his supremacy over the churches of both East and West -- an edict that could not become fully effective until after the breaking of the Ostrogothic hold on Rome in A.D. 538.
    • 5) The success of the church at Rome in resisting various so-called heretical movements, notably Gnosticism and Montanism, gave to to it a high reputation for orthodoxy, and contending factions elsewhere often appealed to the bishop of Rome to arbitrate their differences.
    • 6) Theological controversies that divided and weakened the church in the East left the church in Rome Free to devote itself to more practical problems and to take advantage of opportunities that arose to extend its authority.
    • 7) Repeated instances of success in averting or mitigating barbarian attacks on Rome enhanced the political prestige of the papacy, and often in the absence of civil leadership the pope provided the city with the essential functions of civil government.
    • 8) Mohammedan invasions hindered the church in the East, so eliminating Rome's only important rival.
    • 9) The barbarian invaders of the West were already, for the most part, nominally converted to Christianity, and these invasions freed the pope from imperial control.
    • 10) With the conversion of Clovis (496), king of the Franks, the papacy found a strong army to champion its interests, and effective help in converting other barbarous tribes. (4BC 836)
  • Professing Christianity, Constantine the Great (d. 337) linked church and state, subordinated the church to the state, and made the church an instrument of state policy. His reorganization of the political administration of the Roman Empire became the pattern for the ecclesiastical administration of the Roman Church, and thus of the Roman Church, and thus of the the Roman Catholic hierarchy. About A.D. 343 the Synod of Sardica assigned the bishop of Rome jurisdiction over metropolitan bishops or archbishops. Pope Innocent I (d. 417) claimed supreme jurisdiction over the entire Christian world, but was not able to exercise that power. (4BC 836)
  • Leo I (the Great, d. 461) was the first bishop of Rome to proclaim that Peter had been the first pope, to assert the succession of the papacy from Peter, to claim primacy directly from Jesus Christ, and to succeed in applying these principles to papal administration of the affairs of the church. Leo I gave to the theory of papal power its final form, and made that power a reality. It was he who procured an edict from the emperor declaring that papal decisions have the force of law. With imperial support he set himself above the councils of the church, assuming the right to define doctrine and to dictate decisions. His success in persuading Attila not to enter Rome (A.D. 452) and his attempt to stop Gaiseric (Genesric, A.D. 455) enhanced his prestige and that of the papacy. Leo the Great was definitely a temporal as well as a spiritual leader of his people. Later papal claims to temporal power were based largely on the supposed authority of forged documents known as "pious frauds," such as the so-called Donation of Constantine. (4BC 836)
  • The conversion of Clovis, leader of the Franks, to the Roman faith about the year A.D. 496, when most of the barbarian invaders were still Arians, gave the pope a strong political ally willing to fight the battles of the church. For more than twelve centuries the sword of France, the "eldest son" of the papacy, was an effective agent for the conversion of men to the Church of Rome and for maintaining papal authority. (4BC 836-837)
  • The pontificate of Pope Gregory I (the Great, d. 604), first of the medieval prelates of the church, marks the transition from ancient to medieval times. Gregory boldly assumed the role, though not the title, of emperor in the West. He laid the basis for papal power throughout the Middle Ages, and it is from his administration in particular that later claims to papal absolutism date. Extensive missionary efforts begun by Gregory the Great greatly extended the influence and authority of Rome.... When, more than a century later, the Lombards threatened to overrun Italy, the pope appealed to Pepin, king of the Franks, to come to his assistance. Complying with the request, Pepin thoroughly defeated the Lombards and, in A.D. 756, presented the pope with the territory he had taken from them. This grant, commonly known as the Donation of Pepin, marks the origin of the Papal States and the formal beginning of the temporal rule of the pope. (4BC 837)
  • From the seventh to the eleventh centuries papal power was, generally speaking, at ebb tide. The next great pope, and one of the greatest of them all, was Gregory VII (d. 1085). He proclaimed that the Roman Church had never erred and could never err, that the pope is supreme judge, that he may be judged by none, that there is no appeal from his decision, that he alone is entitled to the homage of all princes, and that he alone may depose kings and emperors.... For two centuries there was a running struggle between pope and emperor for supremacy, with sometimes one and sometimes the other achieving temporary success. The pontificate of Innocent III (d. 1216) found the papacy at the height of its power, and during the next century it was at the very zenith of its glory, Innocent II exercised all the prerogatives claimed by Gregory a century and more earlier. (4BC 837)
  • A century after Innocent II, the ideal medieval pope, Boniface VIII (d. 1303) attempted unsuccessfully to rule as his illustrious predecessors had ruled before him. He was the last pope to attempt to exercise universal authority as asserted by Gregory VII and maintained by Innocent III. The waning power of the papacy became fully evident during the so-called Babylonian Captivity (1309-1377), when the French forcibly removed the seat of the papacy from Rome to Avignon, in France. Soon after the return to Rome, what is known as the Great Schism (1378-1417) broke out. During this time there were at least two, and sometimes three, rival popes, each denouncing and excommunicating his rivals and claiming to be the true pope. As a result the papacy suffered irreparable loss of prestige in the eyes of the peoples of Europe. Long before Reformation times many voices within and without the Catholic Church were raised in criticism of its arrogant claims and its many abuses of both secular and spiritual power. The rebirth of learning (Renaissance) in Western Europe, the age of discovery, the growth of strong national states, the invention of printing, and various other factors contributed to the gradual loss of papal power. By the time of Martin Luther much had already been done to undermine the authority of Rome. (4BC 837)
  • The Reformation, commonly thought of as beginning in 1517, with the posting of the Ninety-five Theses, saw papal power driven from large areas of Northern Europe. Efforts of the papacy to combat the Reformation took such forms as the Inquisition, the Index, and the organization of the Jesuit order. The Jesuits became the intellectual and spiritual army of the church for the extermination of Protestantism. For nearly three centuries the Church of Roman carried on a vigorous but gradually losing struggle against the forces battling for civil and religious freedom. (4BC 837)
  • Finally, during the course of the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was outlawed in France -- the first nation of Europe to espouse its cause, the nation that had, for more than twelve centuries, championed its claims and fought its battles, the nation where papal principles had been tested more fully than in any other land, and had been found wanting. In 1798 the French Government ordered the army operating in Italy under Berthier to take the pope prisoner. Though the papacy continued, its power was shorn, and it has never since wielded the same kind or measure of power that it did in former days. In 1870 the Papal States were completely absorbed into the united kingdom of Italy, the temporal power the papacy had formally exercised for more than 1,000 years came to an end, and the pope voluntarily became "the prisoner of the Vatican" until his temporal power was restored in 1929. (4BC 837-838)
  • It is evident from this brief sketch that the rise of papal power was a gradual process covering many centuries. The process may be thought of as continuing from about A.D. 100 to A. D. 756; the latter, from about A.D. 1303 to A.D. 1870. The papacy was at the height of its power from the time of Gregory VII (1073 - 1085) to that of Boniface VIII (1294 - 1303). It is thus clear that no dates can be given to make a sharp transition from insignificance to supremacy, or from supremacy back to comparative weakness. As is true with all historical process, the rise and fall of the papacy were both gradual developments.... However, by 538 the papacy was completely formed and functioning in all significant aspects, and by 1798, 1260 years later, it had lost practically all the power it had accumulated over a period of centuries. Inspiration allotted 1260 years to the papacy for a demonstration of its principles, its policies, and its objectives. Accordingly these two dates should be considered as marking the beginning and the end of the prophetic period of papal power. (4BC 838)