In the study of visions, it is necessary to understand that without a solid grounding in the Bible, without a rigorous awareness of historical facts, and without the knowledge and understanding of the motives that have determined them, it is not possible to develop a constructive understanding of prophecy.

In this section, you will find the contribution of historical evidence that confirms the prophetic vision.

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In a passage included in the Roman Catholic Canon Law, or Corpus Juris Canonici, Pope Innocent III declares that the Roman pontiff is the "vicar on earth not of a mere man, but of the true God." In a note on this passage, it is explained that this is because he is the vicar of Christ, who is "true God and true man." See Decretales Domini Gregarii Papae IX ("Decretals of the Lord Pope Gregory IX"), book 1, de translatione Episcoporum ("on the translation of bishops") title 7, cap. 3; Corpus Juris Canonici (2nd edition, Leipzig, 1881), col. 99; (Paris 1612), tome 2, Decretales, col. 205. The documents that form the decretals were collected by Gratian, who taught at the University of Bologna around 1140. His work was incorporated into an edition newly published by Pope Gregory IX in 1234. Other documents appeared in subsequent years, from time to time, including the Extravagantes, added towards the end of the 15th century. All of this, along with Gratian's Decretum, was published as the Corpus Juris Canonici in 1582. Pope Pius X authorized the codification in canon law in 1904, and the resulting code became effective in 1918. About the title "Lord God the Pope," see a note in the Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, tit. 14, cap. 4, Declaramus. In an Antwerp edition of the Extravagantes, dated 1584, the words Dominum Deum Nostrum Papam ("Our Lord God the Pope") are found in col. 153. In a Paris edition of 1612, they are found in col. 140. In various editions published up to 1612, the word Deum ("God") has been omitted.

INFALLIBILITY — On the doctrine of infallibility proclaimed at the Vatican Council of 1870-71, see Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 2; Dogmatic Decrees of the Vatican Council, pp. 234-271, where both the Latin and English texts are provided. For the discussion regarding the Roman Catholic perspective, see The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 7, article "Infallibility," by P. J. Toner, p. 790 ff.; James Card. Gibbons in The Faith of Our Fathers (Baltimore, J. Murphy Co., 110th ed., 1917), chap. 7, 11. For Roman Catholic opposition to the doctrine of papal infallibility, see J. J. Ignaz von Döllinger (pseudonym "Janus"), The Pope and the Council (New York, Ch. Scribner's Sons, 1869); and W. J. Sparrow Simpson, Roman Catholic Opposition to Papal Infallibility (London, J. Murray, 1909). For the non-Roman Catholic perspective, see G. Salmon in Infallibility of the Church (London, J. Murray, rev. ed. 1914).

VENERATION OF IMAGES — "The veneration of images... was one of those forms of corruption of Christianity that stealthily crept into the church, almost entirely unnoticed. Unlike other heresies, this corruption did not manifest suddenly, as in that case, it would have encountered decisive opposition. It began under a nearly legitimate guise and, with it, practice after practice, penetrated the church and took firm root. Thus, practical idolatry not only met no effective opposition but did not even suffer decisive rebukes. When, later, attempts were made to eradicate it, the evil was too deeply entrenched to be eliminated... This is attributable to the idolatrous tendency of the human heart and its inclination to serve the creature more than the Creator. "Initially, pictures and images were introduced into churches not to be objects of worship, but either in place of books to provide instruction for those who could not read or to nurture devotion in the minds of others. To what extent they achieved this purpose is rather doubtful; but, even assuming that this was the case for a certain time, it was eventually found that the images and pictures, far from enlightening the minds of the ignorant, brought darkness into the church. They degraded rather than elevated the devotion of worshippers. Thus, although intended to direct minds to God, they ended up diverting them from Him and leading them towards the worship of created things." J. Mendham, The Seventh General Council, the Second of Nicaea, intr., pp. iii-vi. For the history of the proceedings and decisions of the Second Council of Nicaea of 787 A.D., called to establish the veneration of images, see Baronius, Ecclesiastical Annals, vol. 9, pp. 391-407 (Antwerp 1612); J. Mendham, The Seventh General Council, The Second of Nicaea; Ed. Stillingfleet, Defense of the Discourse concerning the Idolatry Practiced in the Church of Rome (London 1686); A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, vol. 14, pp. 521-587 (New York 1900); Ch. J. Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church, From the Original Documents, vol. 18, chap. 1, sects. 332, 333; chap. 2, sects. 345-352 (T. & T. Clark ed. 1896) vol. 5, pp. 260-304, 342-372.

CONSTANTINE'S LAW ON SUNDAY — The law issued by Emperor Constantine on March 7, 321 A.D., concerning a day of rest from work, is as follows: "All judges, city dwellers, and craftsmen shall rest on the venerable day of the sun. Those living in the countryside, however, may freely attend to the cultivation of the fields, since it often happens that no other day is so suitable for planting grain or vines. Hence, the favorable time should not be neglected, and the benevolent intentions of heaven should not be thwarted." J. C. Ayer, A Source Book for Ancient Church History (New York, Ch. Scribner's Sons 1913) div. 2, par. 1, chap. 1, sect. 59, pp. 284, 285. The original Latin is in the Codex Justiniani (Code of Justinian) book 3, title 12, law 3. The law is provided in Latin and English translation in History of the Christian Church by Ph. Schaff, vol. 3, period 3, chap. 7, sect. 75, p. 380, note 1; and in Bampton Lectures, Sunday by J. A. Hessey, lect. 3, par. 1, 3rd ed. Murray's Print. 1866, p. 58. See the discussion in Schaff, as referred to above; in A. E. Newman, A Manual of Church History (Philadelphia, American Baptist Publication Society, 1933), rev. ed., vol. 1, pp. 305-307; and in LeRoy E. Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers (Washington, Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950), vol. 1, pp. 376-381. Note 5. (p. 54).

An important principle in prophetic interpretation concerning chronological prophecies is the day-year principle, according to which one day of prophetic time corresponds to one year of historical time, according to the calendar. Before the Israelites entered the land of Canaan, they sent twelve spies to explore the land. The spies were absent for forty days, and upon their return, the Israelites, frightened by their report, refused to enter and occupy the promised land. The result was the Lord's decree: "For forty days you explored the land, you will bear your iniquities for forty years, a year for each day" (Numbers 14:34). A similar method of calculation is indicated through the prophet Ezekiel: "You shall lie down again on your right side and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah for forty days: I have appointed you a day for each year" (Ezekiel 4:6). This principle of a day for a year finds important application in the interpretation of the time element of prophecy: "Two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings" (Daniel 8:14); in the period of twelve hundred and sixty days also referred to as "a time, times, and half a time" (Daniel 7:25); "forty-two months" (Revelation 11:2; 13:5), "one thousand two hundred and sixty days" (Revelation 11:3), and the "three and a half days" of Revelation 11:9. According to the Jewish reckoning, the 5th month of the 7th year of the reign of Artaxerxes spanned from July 23 to August 21 of 457 B.C. The royal decree came into effect in the autumn of that year, after Ezra's arrival in Jerusalem. For the certainty of the date 457 B.C. corresponding to the seventh year of Artaxerxes, see S. H. Horn and L. H. Wood, The Chronology of Ezra 7 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1953), E. G. Kraeling, The Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri (New Haven or London, 1953), pp. 191-193; The Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Commentary (Washington, D.C., Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1954) vol. 3, pp. 97-110.

Among the documents currently considered false, the "Donation of Constantine" and the "Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals" occupy a prominent place. The "Donation of Constantine" is the name traditionally given, starting from the late Middle Ages, to a document purportedly given by Constantine the Great to Pope Sylvester I, which is first encountered in a Parisian manuscript (Codex lat. 2777), probably from the 9th century. After the 11th century, it was used as a powerful argument in favor of papal claims; but starting from the 12th century, it became a subject of heated controversy. At the same time, by allowing the pope to be considered as the link between the original Roman Empire and the medieval one, thus establishing a theoretical basis for the continuity of Roman law in the Middle Ages, it had a significant influence on ecclesiastical history" (The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 3, art. "Donation of Constantine," pp. 484, 485). The historical theory developed in the "Donation" is extensively discussed in The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ by H. E. Cardinal Manning, London 1862. The arguments of the "Donation" were scholastic in nature, and the possibility of forgery was mentioned only with the rise of historical criticism in the 15th century. Nicholas of Cusa was among the first to conclude that Constantine had never made such a donation. Lorenzo Valla, in Italy, in 1450 provided a brilliant demonstration of its falsity (see Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine by C. B. Coleman, New York, 1927). Yet, for a century, the belief in the authenticity of the "Donation" and the "False Decretals" remained alive. For example, Martin Luther initially accepted the decretals, but then said to Eck: "I challenge these decretals." To Spalatino he declared: "He [the pope] in his decretals corrupts and crucifies Christ." It appears established that the "Donation" is: (1) a forgery, (2) the work of a man or a period, (3) the forger used earlier documents, (4) the forgery dates around 752 to 778. As for Catholics, they abandoned the defense of the document's authenticity with Baronius, Ecclesiastical Annals in 1592. Refer to the best text in Festgabe für Rudolf von Gneist by Zeumer (Berlin, 1888), translated in Treatise by Coleman, which refers to the former; and Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages by E. F. Henderson (New York, 1892), p. 319; Briefwechsel (Weimar ed.) pp. 141, 161. Also see The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1950), vol. 3, p. 484; Rome in the Middle Ages by F. Gregorovius, vol. 2, p. 329; Fables Respecting the Popes of the Middle Ages by J. J. Ignaz von Döllinger (London, 1871). The "forged writings" mentioned in the text also include the "Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals" and other forgeries. The "Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals" are fictitious letters attributed to early popes: from Clement (100 A.D.) to Gregory the Great (600 A.D.) incorporated into a 9th-century collection attributed to "Isidore Mercator." The name "Pseudo-Isidorian" came into common use starting from the advent of 15th-century criticism. Pseudo-Isidore used a valid collection of canons called Hispana Gallica Augustodunensis as the basis for his forgery, thus reducing the risk of detection since a collection of canons was commonly made by adding new material to the old. In this way, his forgeries were less recognizable if incorporated into authentic material. The falsity of the "Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals" is now indisputably admitted. This is demonstrated by internal evidence, examination of sources, the methods used, and the fact that the material was unknown before 852. Historians agree in considering 850-851 the probable date of the collection's completion, as the document is first cited in 857 in the Admonitio of the capitulary of Quiercy. The author of these forgeries is unknown. They probably came from the aggressive party of the new church formed in the 9th century in Rheims, France. It is agreed that Bishop Hincmar of Rheims used them in his deposition of Rothad of Soissons, who brought the "Decretals" to Rome in 861 and presented them to Pope Nicholas I. Among those who denied the authenticity of the "Decretals" were Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), Ch. Dumoulin (1500-1566), G. Cassender (1513-1564). The irrefutable proof of their falsity was provided by David Blondel in 1628. A first edition is in Migne Patrologia Latina, CXXX. For the best and oldest manuscript, see Decretales Pseudo-Isidorianae et capitula Angilramni by P. Hinschius (Leipzig, 1863). Consult The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (1950), vol. 9, pp. 343-345. See H. H. Milman, Latin Christianity (9 volumes) vol. 3; J. J. Ignaz von Döllinger, The Pope and the Council (1869); and K. Scott Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity (1939), vol. 3; The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 5, art. "False Decretals" and Fournier, "Études sur les Fausses Décrétales" in Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique (Louvain, 1906), vols. 7, 8.

Dictates (in Latin "Dictatus") of Hildebrand (Gregory VII) For the original Latin version, see Baronius, Annales Ecclesiastici, year 1706, vol. 17, pp. 405-406, printed in Paris in 1869; and Monumenta Germaniae Historica Selecta, vol. 3, p. 17. For an English translation, see F. A. Ogg, Source Book of Medieval History (New York, American Book Co., 1907), chap. 16, sec. 45, pp. 262-264; and Oliver J. Thatcher and E. H. McNeal, Source Book for Medieval History (New York, Ch. Scribner's Sons, 1905), sec. 3, item 65, pp. 136-139. For a discussion of the context of the Dictatus, see The Holy Roman Empire by J. Bryce, revised edition, chap. 10; and J. W. Thompson and E. N. Johnson, An Introduction to Medieval Europe, 300-1500, pp. 377-380.

Dr. Giuseppe Faa di Bruno defines purgatory as follows: "Purgatory is a state of suffering after this life, in which those souls are detained for a determined period who have left life after their mortal sins have been forgiven as regards stain and guilt, as well as the eternal punishment due for them; but who, because of these sins, still have certain debts of temporal punishment to pay; as also those souls who leave this world guilty of venial sins." (Catholic Belief (1884 edition, imprimatur Archbishop of New York), p. 196). See also Compendium of the History of Doctrines by K. R. Hagenbach (T. and T. Clark edition) vol. 1, pp. 234-237, 405, 408; vol. 2, pp. 135-150, 308, 309; Delineation of Roman Catholicism by Ch. Elliot, book 2, chap. 12; The Catholic Encyclopedia article "Purgatory" (book 12).

For a detailed history of the doctrine of indulgences, see: A History of the Papacy from the Great Schism to the Sack of Rome by M. Creighton (London: Longmans, Green and Co. 1911), vol. 5, pp. 56-64, 71; W. H. Kent, "Indulgences," The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 7, pp. 783-789; H. C. Lea, A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church (Philadelphia: Lea Brothers and Co. 1896); Th. M. Lindsay, A History of the Reformation (New York, Ch. Scribner's Sons, 1917), vol. 1, pp. 216-227; A. H. Newman, A Manual of Church History (Philadelphia, The American Baptist Publication Soc., 1953), vol. 2, pp. 53, 54, 62; L. Ranke, History of the Reformation in Germany (Ed. London, 1845), translated by S. Austin, vol. 1, pp. 331, 335-337, 343-346; Preserved Smith, The Age of the Reformation (New York: H. Holt and Co. 1920) pp. 23-25, 66. Regarding the practical consequences of the doctrine of indulgences during the Reformation period, see a paper by H. C. Lea titled "Indulgences in Spain" published in Papers of the American Soc. of Church History vol. 1, pp. 129-171. Concerning the historical aspect, Dr. Lea says in the introductory paragraph of his paper: "Undisturbed by the heated polemic between Luther and Dr. Eck and Silvester Prierias, Spain continued to tread the old path unperturbed and provides us with incontrovertible official documents that allow us to examine the subject in the pure light of history."

THE MASS — For the doctrine of the Mass, as established by the Council of Trent, see The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent by Ph. Schaff in Creeds of Christendom, vol. 2, pp. 126-139, where both the Latin text and the English version are provided. Also see Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent by H. G. Schroeder (St. Louis, Missouri, B. Herder, 1941). For a discussion on the Mass, see The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 5, article "Eucharist," by J. Pohle, page 572; Holy Sacrifice of the Mass Dogmatically, Liturgically, Ascetically Explained by N. Gihr, 12th ed. (St. Louis, Missouri: B. Herder, 1937); The Mass of the Roman Rite, Its Origins and Development by J. A. Jungmann, translated from the German by F. A. Brunner (New York, Benziger Bros. 1951). For the non-Catholic perspective, see J. Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 4, chapters 17, 18; The Doctrine of the Real Presence by E. B. Pusey (Oxford, J. H. Parker, 1855).

On the recent discoveries of Waldensian manuscripts, see: M. Esposito, "Sur quelques manuscrits de l'Ancienne Littérature des Vaudois du Piémont" in Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique (Louvain 1951), p. 130; "Die Waldenserbibeln" in Historisches Jahrbuch, 1894; D. Lortsch, Histoire de la Bible en France (Paris 1910), p. 10. A classic work by one of the Waldensian "barbas" is Histoire générale des Églises Évangéliques des Vallées du Piémont by J. Leger (Leiden, 1669), written during the time of the great persecutions and containing first-hand information, accompanied by drawings. For the literature of Waldensian texts, see: A. De Stefano, Civiltà medioevale (1944); Riformatori ed eretici del Medioevo (Palermo, 1938); J. D. Bounous, The Waldensian Patois of Pramol (Nashville, 1936); A. Dondaine, Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum (1946). For the history of the Waldensians, some of the most recent and recommended works are: Storia dei valdesi in Italia by E. Comba (Torre Pellice, 1934); Mystics and Heretics by E. Gebhart (Boston, 1927); Il valdismo medioevale, Prolegomeni by G. Gonnet (Torre Pellice, 1935); Jalla, Histoire des Vaudois et leurs colonies (Torre Pellice, 1935).

Some writers have claimed that the Waldensians, as a general rule, observed the seventh day, the Sabbath. This concept derives from some sources that, in the original Latin, described the Waldensians as observers of the dies dominicalis, or Lord's day (Sunday), in which, however, due to a habit dating back to the time of the Reformation, the word "Sunday" was translated as "Sabbath." Nevertheless, there is historical evidence of a certain observance of the Sabbath among the Waldensians. In a report by the Inquisition, before which some Waldensians from Moravia were brought around the mid-15th century, it is said that among the Waldensians "not a few celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews" (J. J. Ignaz von Dollinger in Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters ["Reports on the History of Sects of the Middle Ages"], Munich 1890, 2nd part, p. 661). There is no doubt: this source indicates the observance of the seventh day, or Sabbath.

A considerable portion of the text of the papal bull against the Waldensians, issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1487 (the original of which is located in the library of the University of Cambridge), is given in English translation by John Dowling in History of Romanism (ed. 1871) vol. 6, chapter 5, section 62.

The historian finds that this name has various spellings. For a full discussion of this, see J. Dahmus in The Prosecution of J. Wyclyf (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1952), p. 7. For the original text of the papal bulls against Wycliff, with English translation, see J. Dahmus in The Prosecution of J. Wyclyf (ibid.), pp. 35-49; J. Foxe in Acts and Monuments of the Church (London: Pratt Townsend, 1870), vol. 3, pp. 4-13. For a summary of these bulls sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury, King Edward, and the Chancellor of the University of Oxford, see Merle D'Aubigné in The History of the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century (London: Blackie and Son, 1885), vol. 4, div. 7, p. 93; A. Neander in General History of the Christian Church (Boston: Crocker and Brester, 1862), vol. 5, pp. 146, 147; G. Sargeant, History of the Christian Church (Dallas: Frederick Publishing House, 1948), p. 323; G. V. Lechler in J. Wycliff and His English Precursors (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1878), pp. 162-164; Ph. Schaff in History of the Christian Church (New York: Ch. Scribner's Sons, 1915), vol. 5, part 2, p. 317.

A fundamental source on the Council of Constance is Das Concilium so zu Constanz gehalten ist worden by R. Ulrich (Augsburg, 1483, incunabulum). A recent and interesting study of this text, based on the "Aulendorf Codex," is the Spencer Collection at the New York Public Library, published by Karl Kup, Ulrich von Richental's Chronicle of the Council of Constance (New York, 1936). See also H. Finke (ed.), Acta Concilii Constanciensis (1896), vol. 1; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte (9 volumes), vols. 6, 7; L. Mirbt, Quellen zur Geschichte des Papsttums (1934); Milman, Latin Christianity, vol. 7, pp. 426-524; Pastor, The History of the Popes (34 vols.), vol. 1, p. 194. Other more recent publications on the council include: K. Zähringer, Das Kardinal Kollegium auf dem Konstanzer Konzil (Münster, 1935); Th. F. Grogau, The Conciliar Theory as It Manifested Itself at the Council of Constance (Washington, 1949); F. A. Kremple, Cultural Aspects of the Council of Constance and Basel (Ann Arbor, 1955); J. P. McGowan, d'Ailly and the Council of Constance (Washington, Cath. Univ. 1936). For John Huss, see: Letters of John Hus (1904); Pope John XXIII, and Master John Hus by E. J. Kitts (London, 1910); John Hus (1915) by D. S. Schaff; John Hus (1915) by Schwarze; John Hus and the Czech Reform (1941) by M. Spinka.

For an exposition on the origin, principles, and purposes of the "Society of Jesus," as emphasized by the members of this Order, see Concerning Jesuits edited by John Gerard, S. J., published in London in 1902 by the Catholic Truth Society. In this book it is said: "The main spring of the entire organization of the Society is a spirit of total obedience. St. Ignatius (of Loyola) writes: 'Everyone must be convinced that those who live in obedience should let themselves be guided and directed by divine Providence through their superiors, as if they were a dead body that allows itself to be carried anywhere and treated in any manner, or like an old man's staff that serves him who holds it in his hand in whatever way he wishes to use it.' "This absolute submission is ennobled by its motives and must be," continues the founder, "ready, joyful, and constant;... the obedient religious performs with joy what his superiors have ordered him for the general good, certain that in so doing he is truly fulfilling the divine will." Concerning Jesuits by Countess R. de Courson, p. 6. See also L. E. Dupin, A Compendious History of the Church, 16th century, chapter 33 (London, 1713, vol. 4, pp. 132-135); Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, 16th century, section 3, part 1, chapter 1, paragraph 10 (including notes); The Encyclopedia Britannica (9th edition) article "Jesuits"; C. Paroissen, The Principles of the Jesuits, Developed in a Collection of Extracts From Their Own Authors (London, 1860; an earlier edition appeared in 1839); W. C. Cartwright, The Jesuits, Their Constitution and Teaching (London, 1876); E. L. Taunton, The History of the Jesuits in England 1580-1773 (London, 1901). See also: H. Boehmer, The Jesuits (translation from German, Philadelphia, Castle Press, 1928); E. Goethein, Ignatius Loyola and the Counter-Reformation (Halle, 1895); T. Campbell, The Jesuits 1534-1921 (New York, 1922); E. L. Taunton, The History of the Jesuits in England, 1580-1773 (London, 1901).

For the Roman Catholic perspective, see The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 8, article "Inquisition" by J. Blotzer, p. 26; E. Vacandard, The Inquisition: A Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Power of the Church (New York: Longmans and Co., 1908). For an Anglo-Catholic perspective, see Hoffman Nickerson, The Inquisition: A Political and Military Study of Its Establishment. For the non-Catholic perspective, see Ph. Van Limborch, History of the Inquisition; H. C. Lea, A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, 3 volumes; A History of the Inquisition of Spain, 4 volumes; The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies; H. S. Turberville, Medieval Heresy and the Inquisition (London: C. Lockwood and Son, 1920).

Regarding the significant consequences derived from the rejection of the Bible and biblical religion, see: H. von Sybel, History of the French Revolution, book 5, chapter 1, paragraphs 3-7; H. T. Buckle, History of Civilization in England, chapters 8, 12, 14 (New York, 1895, vol. 1, pp. 364-366, 369-371, 437, 540, 541, 550); Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 34, no. 215 (November 1833), p. 739; J. G. Lorimer, An Historical Sketch of the Protestant Church in France, chapter 8, paragraphs 6, 7.

The Council of Toulouse, which was convened during the time of the crusade against the Albigensians, decreed: "We prohibit laymen from possessing copies of the Old and New Testaments... We strictly forbid them to have the above-mentioned books in the popular vernacular." "The heads of districts will hunt down heretics in their homes, dens, and forests; even their underground refuges must be completely wiped out" (Concil. Tolosanum, Pope Gregory IX, Anno Domini 1229, canons 14 and 2). "This pest (the Bible) has so spread that some have even made their own priests and also evangelists who have distorted and destroyed the truth of the Gospel and made new gospels to support their ideas... (they know that) the preaching and explanation of the Bible is absolutely forbidden to laymen" (Acts of Inquisition, Ph. Van Limborch, History of the Inquisition, chapter 8). The Council of Tarragona (1234) decreed: "No one may possess the books of the Old and New Testaments in the Romance language. If anyone has them, he must turn them over to the local bishop within eight days of the promulgation of this decree, so that they may be burned, and he, whether cleric or layman, may not be considered suspicious until every shadow is removed" (D. Lortsch, Histoire de la Bible en France, 1910, p. 14). At the Council of Constance (1415), Wycliff was condemned posthumously by Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, who called him: "a contemptible supporter of that damned heresy, who invented a new translation of the Scriptures in his mother tongue." The opposition to the Bible by the Roman Catholic Church continued through the centuries and increased at the time of the founding of the Bible Societies. On December 8, 1866, Pope Pius IX, in his encyclical Quanta cura, published a "syllabus" that under ten titles or chapters listed 80 errors. Under title IV were indicated: "Socialism, Communism, secret societies, Bible societies... Pests of this kind must be destroyed by all means possible."

For a brief but reliable introduction to the history of the French Revolution, see L. Gershoy, The French Revolution (1932); L. Lefebvre, The Coming of the French Revolution (Princeton, 1947); H. von Sybel, History of the French Revolution (1869), 4 volumes. Le Moniteur officiel was the government organ at the time of the Revolution, a source of information containing an account of the deliberations of the Assemblies and the full texts of documents, etc. It has been reprinted. Also see A. Aulard, Christianity and the French Revolution (London, 1927), in which the narrative covers up to 1802. It is an excellent study; W. H. Jervis, The Gallican Church and the Revolution (London, 1882): a very accurate work by an Anglican who shows some preference for Catholicism. Regarding the relationship between the state and the church in France during the Revolution, see H. H. Walsh, The Concordat of 1801: A Study on Nationalism in Relation to Church and State (London, 1933); Ch. Ledre, L'Eglise de France sous la Révolution (Paris, 1949). Some contemporary studies on the religious significance of the Revolution are: G. Chais de Sourcesol, Le Livre des Manifestes (Avignon, 1800), in which the author seeks to establish the causes of the uprising and its religious significance, etc.; J. Bicheno, The Signs of the Times (London, 1794); J. Winthrop, A Systematic Arrangement of Several Scripture Prophecies Relating to Antichrist; With Their Application to the Course of History (Boston, 1795); Lathrop, The Prophecy of Daniel Relating to the Time of the End (Springfield, Massachusetts, 1811). For the church during the Revolution, see W. M. Sloan, The French Revolution and Religious Reform (1901); P. F. La Coree, Histoire Réligieuse de la Révolution (Paris, 1909). Regarding relations with the papacy, see: G. Bourgin, La France et Rome de 1788-1797 (Paris, 1808), based on the Vatican’s secret archives; A. Latreille, L'Eglise Catholique et la Révolution (Paris, 1950), especially interesting on Pius VI and the religious crisis, 1775-1799. For the Protestants during the Revolution, see Pressensé, The Reign of Terror (Cincinnati, 1869). THE MASSES AND THE PRIVILEGED CLASSES — On the social conditions prevailing in France before the Revolution, see: H. von Holst, Lowell Lectures on the French Revolution, lecture 1; Taine, Ancien Régime; A. Young, Travels in France. Note 23. (p. 283). RETRIBUTION — For further details on the retributive character of the French Revolution, see Th. H. Gill, The Papal Drama, vol. 10; E. de Pressensé, The Church and the French Revolution, vol. 3, chapter 1. Note 24. (p. 284). THE ATROCITIES OF THE REIGN OF TERROR — See M. A. Thiers, History of the French Revolution, vol. 3, pp. 42-44, 62-74, 106 (New York, 1890, trans. by F. Shoberl); F. A. Mignet, History of the French Revolution, chapter 9, paragraph 1 (Boston, 1894); A. Alison, History of Europe, 1789-1815, vol. 1, chapter 14 (New York, 1872, vol. 1, pp. 293-312).

In 1804, according to W. Canton of the British and Foreign Bible Society, considering every version and every country, "all the existing Bibles in the world, handwritten or printed, amounted to no more than four million copies... The various languages in which these Bibles were written, including obsolete ones such as Ulfila's Moeso-Gothic and Bede's Anglo-Saxon, were about fifty." (What is the Bible Society, revised version, 1904, p. 23). The American Bible Society and the British and Foreign Bible Society distributed over one and a half billion copies of Bibles, New Testaments, and their portions between 1815 and 1970. However, the rate of distribution has further increased. Here are the most recent figures: 1974 = 254,138,606 copies; 1975 = 303,467,307 copies. By the end of 1972, the Bible, complete or in portions, had been printed in about 1,500 languages. Foreign Missions The missionary activity of the early church did not find a counterpart until modern times. It virtually ceased by the year 1000, replaced by the military campaigns of the Crusades. The era of the Reformation saw little foreign missionary initiative, except for that of the early Jesuits. Pietistic revival produced some missionaries. The work of the Moravian church in the 18th century was notable, and there were some missionary societies formed by the English for work in North America. However, the great resurgence of foreign missionary activity began around the year 1800, at the "time of the end" (Daniel 12:4). In 1792, the Baptist Missionary Society was formed, sending W. Carey to India. In 1795, the London Missionary Society was organized, followed by another in 1799, which became the Church Missionary Society in 1812. Shortly thereafter, the American Missionary Society was born. In the United States, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was established in 1812, and that same year sent Adoniram Judson to Calcutta. Judson settled in Burma the following year. In 1814, the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society was founded, and in 1837 the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions was formed. "In 1800... the vast majority of Christians were descendants of those who had been brought to Christ before 1500... In the 19th century, there was a new expansion of Christianity, but it did not penetrate many large countries or continents for the first time, as had happened in the preceding three centuries. It would have been impossible, moreover, as in all the greatest, most populous, and civilized nations of the world — excluding Australia — Christianity had been introduced before 1800. What was now happening was a new penetration within regions and peoples already reached, to achieve an unprecedented spread of Christianity in both old and new lands, thus accomplishing new conquests of Christianity in most of these countries, islands, and tribes." "In the 19th century, the spread of Christianity was mainly due to a renewed explosion of religious life, the result of a vigorous Christian impulse. Never, in any previous corresponding period of time, had the Christian impulse given rise to so many new movements. Never had it had such a strong influence on the peoples of Western Europe. It was thanks to this great vigor that the various missionary initiatives arose, which during the 19th century increased the power and influence of Christianity." (K. Scott Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, vol. IV, The Great Century A.D. 1800-A.D. 1914 (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1941), pp. 2-4).

The collision of Muslim Turkey with Europe after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 was as severe as the catastrophic conquests of the Muslim Saracens during the century and a half that followed the death of Muhammad in the Eastern Roman Empire. During the era of the Reformation, Turkey was a constant threat at the gates of the Christian world of Eastern Europe, and the writings of the reformers were full of condemnation for Ottoman power. Since then, Christian writers have always been concerned about the role that Turkey would play in future world events, and prophecy commentators have seen in the Scriptures the prediction of Turkish power and its decline. Regarding the prophecy of Revelation chapter 9, "hour, day, month, and year," Josiah Litch indicated the chronological application that allowed fixing August 1840 as the date of the end of Turkish independence. Litch's viewpoint can be extensively known by reading The Probability of the Second Coming of Christ About A.D. 1843 (published in June 1838); An Address to the Clergy (published in the spring of 1840; a second edition, accompanied by historical data supporting the accuracy of the previous calculations of the prophetic period extending to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, was published in 1841); an article in Signs of the Times and Expositor of Prophecy, August 1, 1840. See also the article in the same journal published on February 1, 1841; and J. N. Loughborough, The Great Advent Movement (1905 ed.), pp. 129-132. The book by U. Smith, Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, revised edition of 1944, discusses the prophetic time of this prophecy on pages 506-517. For the history of the Ottoman Empire and the decline of Turkish power, see also W. Miller, The Ottoman Empire and Its Successors, 1801-1927 (Cambridge, University Press, 1936); G. G. S. L. Eversley, The Turkish Empire from 1288 to 1914 (London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd., 2nd ed., 1923); Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall, Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches (Pesth: C. A. Hartleben, 2nd ed., 1834-1836), 4 volumes; H. A. Gibbons, Foundation of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1403 (Oxford, University Press, 1916); A. J. Toynbee and Kenneth B. Kirkwood, Turkey (London, 1926).

On the Attitude of the Roman Catholic Church Towards the Circulation of the Bible in Vernacular Versions Among the Laity For an in-depth understanding of the Roman Catholic Church's stance on the circulation of the Bible in vernacular versions among the laity, refer to the following sources: The Catholic Encyclopedia, article "Bible"; G. P. Fisher, The Reformation, Chapter 15, Paragraph 16 (1873, pp. 530-532); J. Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, Chapter 8, pp. 98-117, 1897 edition; J. Dowling, History of Romanism, Book 7, Chapter 2, Section 14, and Book 9, Chapter 3, Sections 24-27 (1871 edition, pp. 491-496, 621-625); L. F. Bungener, History of the Council of Trent, pp. 101-110 (Edinburgh edition, 1853, translated by D. D. Scott); G. H. Putnam, Books and Their Makers During the Middle Ages, Vol. 1, p. 2, Chapter 2, Paragraphs 49, 54-56. Additional references include: W. Muir, The Arrested Reformation (Morgan and Scott, 1912), pp. 37-43; H. Grimm, The Reformation Era (Macmillan, 1954), p. 285; Index of Prohibited Books (Vatican Polyglot Press, 1930), pp. ix, x; T. Hurley, A Commentary on the Present Index Legislation (New York, Benziger Brothers, 1908), p. 71; Translation of the Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1903), p. 413. See also p. 51 and note 35. The Forbidden Bible In the early church, laypeople were strongly encouraged to read the Bible. Church fathers unequivocally supported the reading and studying of Holy Scripture, as evidenced by their writings. Clement of Rome (around the year 100): "Read the Holy Scriptures assiduously, the true words of the Holy Spirit." "You know the Scriptures very well; you have a good knowledge of the Word of God: keep it within you to be able to remember it." Polycarp (died around 155), head of the church of Smyrna: "I am firmly convinced that you are well grounded in the Holy Scriptures." Tertullian of Carthage (160-220): "God has given us the Scriptures so that we may know Him and His will more completely and deeply." Clement of Alexandria (150-215): "The divine Word is not a secret light, it is for everyone: haste to accept it for your salvation." Origen (185-254): "Would that we all explored the Scriptures as it is written!" "Foolish and blind are those who do not recognize how reading the Bible awakens great and worthy concepts." "We wish that all would be diligent in reading the Word of God not only in church but also in their homes, and that day and night they meditate on the law of the Lord, for Christ is near to those who seek Him." Athanasius the Great (295-373): "For our salvation, we have the Holy Scriptures... This book is the source of salvation, so that those who thirst may quench their thirst at its revelations; for only in it are the teachings found to attain eternal life. Let no one try to add or take away anything from it!" Chrysostom (354-407): "You believe that the reading of the Holy Scriptures belongs only to monks, but it is more necessary for you than for them, because those who live in the world where daily struggles are not lacking need salvation more. It is therefore serious and harmful to believe that the Holy Scriptures are useless... this is what the Evil One insinuates. Here is what the apostle Paul says: 'All Scripture is... useful for teaching,' and you do not even want to touch the Gospel when it is handed to your impure hands!... Why do you despise the Holy Scriptures? This way of thinking is of the Devil, who wants to prevent us from looking into the treasure to draw a rich benefit." Jerome (347-420): "You must read the Holy Scriptures with great attention; they should almost always be in your hands." Augustine (354-430): "We would make a big mistake if we did not want to read what was written for us." "With God's help and with all your might, make sure that the Holy Scriptures are read diligently in your homes." Gregory the Great (around 600): "What is the Holy Scripture if not a letter from the almighty God to His creatures? If an earthly king wrote to you, you would not have peace and would not rest before reading his writing. The Lord of heaven and earth has given an important letter for your life, and you are not anxious to read it?" Despite these testimonies, the reading of the Holy Scriptures in the vernacular language was prohibited for many centuries. Even in the last two hundred years, some popes have declared themselves strongly against the dissemination and reading of the Bible. Gregory XVI, in 1844, in a Bull to the clergy, urged them to tear from the hands of believers the Bibles translated into the vernacular! A certain change occurred only under Leo XIII. It was permitted for everyone to read approved editions of the Bible in the original text and ancient Catholic translations. Non-Catholic Bibles—valid even today—could only be used for research studies if nothing against Catholic articles of faith was said in the preface and notes. Catholics were allowed to read the Bible in the vernacular only if it had the Pope's "imprimatur," was ratified by the bishop, and was accompanied by annotations. Protestant translations were accused of falsification! These limitations lasted practically until the 20th century. Despite all the obstacles and oppositions, it can be observed that in recent decades there has been a return to the Bible within the Catholic Church. In 1933, a Catholic Bible Movement was founded; and in 1943, Pius XII, in his encyclical "Divino Afflante Spiritu," declared himself in favor of it. The purpose of the Movement is to disseminate the Bible and promote its understanding. Even after the Second Vatican Council, the openness in favor of the Bible continued to expand. Although in the Catholic Church the Bible does not occupy the same place as it does in the Reformation churches, the efforts made by the majority of the conciliar Fathers to provide a biblical foundation for the conciliar texts are to be appreciated. Some of them, like Cardinal Léger, even requested at the last council to unequivocally subject doctrinal teaching to the Word of God. The greatest difficulties arose from the Pope's need not to change the prevailing Catholic interpretation, according to which the Scriptures can only be explained and interpreted by the Church. In the structure of declarative oath no. 25, deliberated by the Second Vatican Council, it is stated, among other things: "Therefore, the clergy, and particularly the priests of Christ and others who, as deacons, teachers, are dedicated to the service of the Word, must engage in continuous reading and in-depth study of the Scriptures so that none of them become 'an empty and superficial preacher of the Word of God, without being its intimate listener' (Augustine), having to communicate to the faithful entrusted to them... the incalculable treasures of the divine Word." Today, in general, the need for clergy and laity to become more familiar with the Bible is recognized. Episcopal conferences organize Bible courses for priests and for all those who have the task of preaching the Word of God.

The story that Adventists had made garments to wear to "meet the Lord in the air" was invented by those who intended to criticize Adventist preaching. It was circulated so skillfully that many believed it; however, a thorough investigation proved its falsehood. For many years, a substantial reward was offered to anyone who could prove that the event had actually taken place, but no evidence was ever presented. Those who loved the appearance of the Savior were not ignorant of what the Scriptures taught; therefore, no one believed that such garments were necessary for the occasion. The only garment believers will need to meet the Lord is the righteousness of Christ. See Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 19:8. For a full refutation of this legend, see F. D. Nichol, Midnight Cry (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1944), chapters 25-27, and Appendices H-J. See also LeRoy E. Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, (ibid., 1954), vol. 4, pp. 822-826.

Dr. G. Bush, Professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature at the University of the City of New York, in a letter addressed to William Miller and published in Advent Herald and Signs of the Times Reporter, Boston, March 6 and 13, 1844, made some important considerations regarding the calculation of prophetic times. He wrote: "It cannot be objected to you and your friends that you have devoted much time and attention to the study of prophetic chronology and have worked hard to establish the initial and concluding dates of its great periods. If these periods have indeed been indicated by the Holy Spirit in the prophetic books, it was undoubtedly so that they might be studied and then probably fully understood. No one can be accused of presumptuous folly if they seek to do so in a reverent spirit... Taking one day as a prophetic term for one year, I believe you are supported by sound exegesis and backed by renowned names such as Mede, Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Newton, Scott, Keith, and many others who have substantially reached your conclusion on this subject. They all agree in admitting that the prophetic periods indicated by Daniel and John do indeed end in this era of the world. It would be strange logic to try to convince you of heresy because you share the same ideas as those eminent theologians... Your results in this field of inquiry do not seem to me to endanger the great interests of truth and Christian duty... Your mistake, as I fear, lies rather in another field, not in that of chronology... You are entirely mistaken about the nature of the events that are to occur at the end of these periods. This is the main fault of your exposition." See also LeRoy E. Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 1, chapters 1 and 2 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950).

The term "Investigative Judgment," translated literally from English, is known in jurisprudence although not very common. One could also refer to it as "preliminary investigation" or "inquiry," but "Investigative Judgment" seemed understandable to readers in its meaning, which is explained in the context.

Revelation 14:6, 7 predicts the proclamation of the message of the first angel. Then the prophet continues: "Another angel, a second, followed, saying: 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon... A third angel followed them." The word translated as "followed" means "to go with," "to follow someone," "to go with him." See H. G. Liddell and R. Scott, Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940), vol. 1, p. 52. It also means "to accompany." See G. Abbott-Smith, A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1950), p. 17. It is the same word used in Mark 5:24: "And Jesus went with him, and a large crowd followed him." The same term is also used for the 144,000 redeemed in Revelation 14:4, where it reads: "They follow the Lamb wherever he goes." In both passages (Mark 5:24 and Revelation 14:4), the idea of "going together," of being "in company with," is evident. Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 10:4, where it reads about the children of Israel: "They drank from the spiritual rock that followed them." The word "followed" is translated from the same Greek word, meaning "went with them." From this, we can conclude that in Revelation 14:8, 9, the idea is not simply that the second and third angels followed the first "chronologically," but rather that they joined him, went together with him. Essentially, the three messages are a threefold message. They are three only in their order of birth, but once born, they go together and are inseparable.

For some of the most important circumstances that led the bishops of Rome to assume supremacy, see Roberto Francesco Cardinal Bellarmino, Power of the Popes in Temporal Affairs; Henry E. Cardinal Manning, The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ (London: Burns and Lambert, 2nd ed. 1862); James Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of Our Fathers (Baltimore: J. Murphy Co. 1917) chapters 5, 9, 10, 12. Among Protestant authors, see T. G. Jalland, The Church and the Papacy (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 1944, a Bampton Lecture); R. F. Littledale, Petrine Claims (London: Idem 1899). For early sources on the Petrine theory, see James T. Shotwell and Louise Ropes Loomis, The See of Peter (New York: Columbia University Press, 1927). For the false "Donation of Constantine," see C. B. Coleman, The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine (New York, 1914), which provides the entire Latin text with translation, and a complete critique of the document and its thesis.

Until relatively recent years, the Coptic Church of Ethiopia observed the seventh day, the Sabbath. However, the Ethiopians also observed Sunday, the first day of the week, throughout their entire history as a Christian people. These two days (Saturday and Sunday) were marked by special services in the church. The observance of the Sabbath virtually ended in modern Ethiopia. For eyewitness accounts of religious days in Ethiopia, see Pero Gomes de Teixeira, The Discovery of Abyssinia by the Portuguese in 1520 (translated into English in London; British Museum, 1938), p. 79; Father Francisco Alvarez, Narrative of the Portuguese Embassy to Abyssinia During the Years 1520-1527, in the Records of the Hakluyt Society (London, 1881), vol. 64, pp. 22-49; M. Russel, Nubia and Abyssinia (citing Father Lobo, a Catholic missionary in Ethiopia in 1622) (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1837), pp. 226-229; S. Giacomo Baratti, Late Travels Into the Remote Countries of Abyssinia (London: B. Billingsley, 1670), pp. 134-137; Job Ludolphus, A New History of Ethiopia (London: S. Smith 1682), pp. 234-357; S. Gobat, Journal of Three Years' Residence in Abyssinia (New York, ed. 1850), pp. 55-58, 83-98. For other works on the subject, see P. Heylyn, History of the Sabbath, 2nd ed., 1936, vol. 2, pp. 198-200; A. P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church (New York, Ch. Scribner's Sons, 1882), lecture 1, par. 1; C. F. Rey, Romance of the Portuguese in Abyssinia (London: F. H. and G. Witherley, 1929), pp. 59, 253-297.