“He shall think to change…laws”.
We are not to believe that this power seeks to change human laws. To change human laws is certainly no big deal, for every new government whether voted for or coming to power through revolution changes the laws to suit its own agenda, so no human laws are intended to be meant by this prophecy. It is God’s laws that the little horn power believes it has the power or authority to change. One may immediately enquire, and with some justification, how can any power on earth possibly believe that it has the authority to change the laws of God? The answer of course, is no power on earth does have that authority. But we must be clear as to what the prophecy is actually saying. Note that the prophecy does not say that the little horn does actually change the law, nor does it say that he can actually change the law, but that he thinks to change the laws.
The distinction here is important. For what the scriptures are revealing to us is that along with all the blasphemous claims as mentioned in previous characteristics, this power actually dares to believe that she has the authority to change the very laws of God which were written by the finger of God upon stone, symbolic of the permanence of that very law. In other words, the little horn claims to have authority greater even than God Himself. This characteristic reminds us of the ambitious insanity of Lucifer when it is said of him:
Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
So, the question we must ask ourselves, does the Roman Catholic Church claim that authority? Does she believe she has the power to change the law of God, and further, is there an example of this where she has attempted to do so? And the answer to both questions is yes. I will quote here from RCC sources themselves, which will provide irrefutable proof of this most blasphemous of claims.
The particular law this author is referring to here is the 4th commandment of the Decalogue, “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day…” In all Catholic catechisms this commandment is designated as the 3rd, reasons for which most of us are familiar. However, it is to the subject of the Sabbath that I wish to focus, for it is the change to that commandment which stands out as the most notable example of Roman perfidy.
The first quote comes from one of, if not the most pre-eminent theologians in the history of the Catholic church, Thomas Aquinas.
“In the New Law the keeping of the Sunday supplants that of the Sabbath, not in virtue of the precept of the law, but through determination by the church and the custom of the Christian people.” (Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, quoted in The Sabbath in
Scripture and History, pp. 205-206).
Next I shall turn to the eminent historian, James Cardinal Gibbons.
“Now the Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practice. Not to mention other examples, is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. ( Notes the author; Note what Cardinal Gibbons is saying here. That the observance of Sunday is a law, a law which is one of the Christians most sacred duties, yet in the very next sentence admits that far from being a law of God, it is a law of the church. Thus the laws of the church are said to overrule the laws of God.)
The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we [Catholics] never sanctify.” James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers
There are many many examples of such Roman Catholic scholars, historians, and theologians down through the ages all in agreement that it was the church itself that changed the day of corporate worship, rest, and solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. Not only so, but many of them also deride Protestantism because although claiming the Bible alone as the basis for faith and practice, protestants follow the teaching tradition of Rome when it comes to Sunday worship. There are many protestant leaders who agree with this, among whom is the author of the Baptist manual, Dr. Edward T. Hiscox.
“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but thatSabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I studied for many years, I ask, Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament, absolutely not. There is no Scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week. I wish to say that this Sabbath question, in this aspect of it, is the gravest and most perplexing question connected with Christian institutions which at present claims attention from Christian people; and the only reason that it is not a more disturbing element in Christian thought and in religious discussions, is because the Christian world has settled down content on the conviction that somehow a transference has taken place at the beginning of Christian history. . . . To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with his disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of his resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that he had said unto them, deal with this question. Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instructing those founded, discuss or approach this subject. Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun-god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism.” From a speech given before the New York Ministers’ Conference, November 13, 1893.
Finally, I would like to quote Pope Paul 11, who in his encyclical Dies Domini promoted Sunday as the mark of Christian piety, and although not going so far as to rebuke Protestantism for its inconsistency, still unequivocally claimed that it was the church that is fully responsible for any change from Saturday observance of the Sabbath to Sunday.
Although the pope attempts to give Biblical grounds for Sunday observance, there are several statements he makes which betray the true source of the change.
Paragraph 6: “Given this array of new situations and the questions which they prompt, it seems more necessary than ever to recover the deep doctrinal foundations underlying the Church’s precept, so that the abiding value of Sunday in the Christian life will be clear to all the faithful.” Here John Paul II clearly states that Sunday is the Church’s precept.
Paragraph 18: “Because the Third Commandment depends upon the remembrance of God’s saving works and because Christians saw the definitive time inaugurated by Christ as a new beginning, they made the first day after the Sabbath a festive day, for that was the day on which the Lord rose from the dead.” Here John Paul attributes the change to Christians.
Paragraph 27: “This Christocentric vision sheds light upon another symbolism which Christian reflection and pastoral practice ascribed to the Lord’s Day. Wise pastoral intuition suggested to the Church the christianization of the notion of Sunday as ‘the day of the sun’. . . .” Here John Paul attributes Sunday observance as resulting from Christian reflection and pastoral practice and wise pastoral intuition.
Paragraph 63: “This is why Christians , called as they are to proclaim the liberation won by the blood of Christ, felt that they had the authority to transfer the meaning of the Sabbath to the day of the Resurrection.” Here John Paul once again attributes the change to Christians, not to Christ!!
Paragraph 81: “The spiritual and pastoral riches of Sunday as it has been handed down to us by tradition, are truly great.” In this statement John Paul, without apology or qualification, attributes the “riches” of Sunday observance to tradition.
In short, these five statements clearly show that the change was made by the church and not by Christ or the Apostles!
Indeed does the Roman Catholic Church meet the criteria of the 8th characteristic of the Little horn, by “thinking to change laws”.