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Chapter 23

A Message For Our Times

GOD knows the future, and He has a set time there for every purpose and for every work." (Acts 15:18; Ecclesiastes 3:1, 17.) He has also pledged Himself to "do nothing" that vitally concerns this world" but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets" beforehand (John 15:14, 15; Psalm 25:14; Amos 3:7), and then He holds His servants responsible for warning the world (Ezekiel 33:1-8). They are watchmen on the walls of Zion, who should be able to read the signs on God's prophetic clock, so they can tell the time and give the warning at the hour of crisis (Isaiah 21:11, 12; 2 Peter 1:19; Romans 13:11; Matthew 16:2, 3); and when God's hour strikes, He has His agencies in readiness to carry His message to the world.

Before the world was destroyed by the Flood, Noah warned the people for one hundred twenty years (Genesis 6:3-13, 22; 2 Peter 2:5); before the destruction of Sodom, Lot gave the warning message to that wicked city (Genesis 19:12-14); and before Christ's first coming, John the Baptist heralded the coming of the Messiah (Luke 1:13-17). Then why should not so important an event as Christ's second coming be given proper notice, and a warning message be sent to prepare the world for its final destruction?

It is true that the world in general has never received favorably any of God's warning messages in former ages, and Christ declares that His final warning will not be heeded any more than His warnings sent through Noah and Lot. (Luke 17:26-30.) Yet the message must be given though there are but few who receive it. Here is Christ's message for our days:

"I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches." Revelation 22:16. "Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." V. 7. Here we see that the message to be given just before Christ's second coming is found in the "book" of Revelation. This is specifically given in chapter 14, verses 6-14.

Here is presented "the everlasting gospel," connected with the warning that "the hour of His judgment is come," and an appeal for a return to the loyal worship of the Creator, combined with a warning against the worship of the "beast and his image," and against taking "his mark." Those who receive this message are characterized by the fact that they "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:6-13. The very next scene is the Son of man coming on the cloud to reap the harvest of the earth, and "the harvest is the end of the world." Verses 14-16 and Matthew 13:39.

The people who give this message to the world must therefore know what is meant by "the beast," "his image," and "his mark." This we find clearly presented in Revelation 13. Let us study this chapter.

The Beast With Ten Horns

John "saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns." Revelation 13:1. The fact that it had "ten horns," the same as the fourth beast of Daniel 7:7, 23, 24, identifies it as a Roman power (see pages 34, 35). The next question to settle will be whether this is Rome in its pagan or its papal state. The ten horns represent the ten European kingdoms into which the Roman Empire was divided between A. D. 351 and 476. On this beast the horns are crowned (Revelation 13:1), showing that the empire had been divided, and the rulers of those ten kingdoms were already crowned. (Compare Revelation 12:3.)

But the Roman Empire became Christianized (Catholic) long before it was divided. The beast of Revelation 13:1-10 therefore represents papal Rome. The dragon with ten horns (Revelation 12:3), which represents pagan Rome, gave to the beast "his power, and his seat, and great authority." Revelation 13:2. The "seat" of the Roman Empire was the city of Rome. How was this given to the Papacy? Francis P. C. Hays (Roman Catholic) says:

"When the Roman Empire became Christian, and the peace of the Church was guaranteed, the Emperor left Rome to the Pope, to be the seat of the authority of the Vicar of Christ, who should reign there independent of all human authority, to the consummation of ages, to the end of time"–"Papal Rights and Privileges," pp. 13, 14. London:R. Washbourne, 1889.

Alexander C. Flick, Ph.D., Litt. D., says: 

"The removal of the capital of the empire from Rome to Constantinople in 330, left the Western Church practically free from imperial power, to develop its own form of organization. The Bishop of Rome, in the seat of the Caesars, was now the greatest man in the West, and was soon forced to become the political as well as the spiritual head"–"The Rise of the Mediaeval Church," p. 168.

"And meekly stepping to the throne of Caesar, the vicar of Christ took up the scepter to which the emperors and kings of Europe were to bow in reverence through so many ages"–Rev. James P. Conroy, in "American Catholic Quarterly Review," April, 1911.

But let us consider the other marks used by the Holy Spirit to point out this power. It cannot be a local government, confined to a certain country, for "all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him." Revelation 13:8. And it must be a religious, rather than a civil, power; for it concerns itself with the "worship" of the people. V. 4, 8. "There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things," and he was "to make war with the saints, and to overcome them" (Revelation 13:5, 7), just as the "little horn" of Daniel 7:8, 21, 25. (See pp. 34-48.) All this could apply to no other power than the Papacy.

The Number 666

The Scripture gives us still another earmark of this power. We read: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." "The number of his name." Revelation 13:17, 18. The note below the eighteenth verse in the Douay, or Catholic, Bible says: "Six hundred sixtysix. The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number."

Catholic Authorities

In our examination of this subject we shall first consult Roman Catholic authorities to ascertain what sacred title they apply to the pope to denote his official position and authority. Any one at all familiar with authentic Catholic authors knows that their paramount and constant claim for the pope is that Christ appointed St. Peter to be His vicar, or representative on earth, and that each succeeding pope is the lawful successor of St. Peter, and is therefore the "Vicar of the Son of God" on earth. This official title in Latin (the official language of the Catholic Church) is "Vicarius Filii Del."

We find this title used officially in Roman Catholic canon law, from medieval times down to the present. In the earliest collection of canon law we read: 

"Beatus Petrus in tetris Vicarius Filii Dei videtur esse constitutus"– "Decretum Gratiani," prima pars, dist. xcvi. Translated into English this would read: "Blessed Peter is seen to have been constituted vicar of the Son of God on the earth."–''Decretum of Gratian," part 1, div. 96, column 472, .first published at Bologna about 1148, and reprinted in 1555. Translation by Christopher B. Coleman, Ph.D., in "The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine," p. 13. New Haven:Yale University Press, 1922.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says of Gratian: 

"He is the true founder of the science of canon law"–Vol. VI, art. "Gratian," p. 730.

The same Catholic authority says: 

"The 'Decretum' of Gratian was considered in the middle of the twelfth century as a corpus juris canonici, i.e. a code of the ecclesiastical law then in force."–Id., Vol. IV, art. "Decretals," p. 67I.

It further states: 

"It must be admitted that the work of Gratian was as near perfection as was then possible. For that reason it was adopted at Bologna, and soon elsewhere, as the textbook for the study of canon law .... While lecturing on Gratian's work, the canonists labored to complete and elaborate the master's teaching."–Id., Vol. IX, art. "Law, Canon," pars. "D" and "E," p. 62.

Different popes added their own decrees to the collection of Gratian, as the following quotation will show: 

"Thus by degrees the Corpus Juris Canonici took shape. This became the official code of canon law for Western Europe during the Middle Ages, and was composed of six books, namely, the Decretum of Gratian (about 1150), the Decretals of Gregory IX (1234), the Sextus of Boniface VIII (1298), the Clementines of Clement V (1313), the Extravagantes of John XXII (about 1316), and the Extravagantes Communes, which contained laws made by succeeding popes."–"The Papacy," Rev. C. Lattey, S. J., page 143. Cambridge, England:1924.

After the Council of Trent, Pope Pius V had this "Canon Law" revised. "Pius V appointed (1566) a commission to prepare a new edition of the 'Corpus Juris Canonici.' This commission devoted itself especially to the correction of the text of the ' Decree' of Gratian and of its gloss. Gregory XIII (' Cum pro munere,' 1 July, 1580; 'Emendationem,' 2 June, 1582) decreed that no change was to be made in the revised text. This edition of the 'Corpus' appeared at Rome in 1582, in aedibus populi Romani, and serves as examplar for all subsequent editions."–Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, art. "Corpus Juris Cononici," pp. 392, 393. It was reprinted verbatim in 1613 and 1622. This is the standard text of canon law for the whole Roman Catholic Church. Pope Gregory XIII wrote July 1, 1580, in his preface to this corrected edition:

"We have demanded care in rejecting, correcting, and expurgating .... The Decree itself, without the glossse, exists now entirely freed from faults and corrected, . . . as much the one without the glossse as the entire one with the glossse . . . all recognized and approved . . . this body of canonical law firmly grounded and incorrupted according to this model printed at Rome by Catholic typographers .... We wishing to proceed opportunely, so that this canonical law thus expurgated, may come restored to all the faithful . . . kept perpetually integrid and incorruptible, motu proprio, and from our certain knowledge, and from the plenitude of the apostolic power to all and singly in the dominion of our sacred Roman Church."–Preface to Corpus Juris Canonici, Gregorii XIII, Pontif. Max. Auctoritate; in editions of 1582, 1613, 1622, and 1879.

Of this corrected "Corpus," or canon law, "published in 1582 . . . by order of .Gregory XIII," and established by his authority, we read: 

"The text of this edition, revised by the Correctores Romani, a pontifical commission established for the revision of the text of the 'Corpus Juris,' has the force of law."–Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, art. "Decretals, Papal," p. 672, par. 3.

Notice that this revised edition of canon law "has the force of law." In this canon law, which Pope Gregory XIII had corrected by "the plenitude of the apostolic power," so that it is "entirely freed from faults," we find the same statement: "Beatus Petrus in tetris vicarius FiIii Del esse videtur constitutus."–"Corpus Juris Canonici, Gregorii XIII, Ponif. Max. Auctoritate," Distinctio 96, Column 286, Canon Constantinus 14, Magdeburg, 1747.

"Moreover, custom has even given to several apocryphal canons of the 'Decree' of Gratian the force of law"–Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, art. "Corpus Juris Cononici," p. 393.

In "Corpus Juris Canonici Emendatum et Notis Illustratum Gregorii XIII. Pont. Max.," "Lvgdvn, MDCXXII," or "the Canon Law of Pope Gregory XIII, of 1622," with the Pope's own "Preface," in which he assures us of its being without flaw, we find the same: "Beatus Petrus in terris Vicarius Filii Del esse videtur constitutus"–Column 295.

We cannot see how any consistent Catholic can deny the authenticity of this title without denying the infallibility of the pope. What more authority can they desire?

Before going further let us apply the rule laid down in the Catholic Bible for counting the number of his name. It says: 

"The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number."–Note under a Revelation 13:18. In Bible times they did not use figures. We can still see on dials of old clocks, in numbers given above chapters in the Bible, and in dates inscribed on cornerstones, certain nutactical values given to some of the letters. In Latin, I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50, C for 100, D for 500, and M for 1,000. Originally we had no U, but V was used for U, and V is often used for U today on public buildings, such as "Public Library," and our W is still written as a double V, not as a double U. The next Catholic authority we shall quote is F. Lucii Ferraris, who wrote "a veritable encyclopedia" in Latin, of which several editions have been printed by the papal church at Rome. The American Catholic Encyclopedia says of Ferraris's great work that it "will ever remain a precious mine of information"–Vol. VI, p. 48. 

From this unquestionable Catholic authority we shall first quote its Latin statement, and then give the English translation:

"Ut sicu! Beatus Petrus in tetris vicarius Filii Dei fuit constitutus, ita et Pontifices eius successores in tetris principatus potestatem amplius, quam terrenae imperialis nostrae serenitatis mansuetudo habere videtur." ("As the blessed Peter was constituted Vicar of the Son of God on earth, so it is seen that the Pontiffs, his successors, hold from us and our empire the power of a supremacy on the earth greater than the clemency of our earthly imperial serenity.")–"Prompta Bibliotheca canonica juridica moralis theologica" etc., Vol. VI, art. "Papa," p. 43. Printed by the Press of the Propaganda, Rome; 1890. 

Henry Edward Cardinal Manning of England, an extensive Roman Catholic writer, of high esteem in his church, applies the same title to the pope, only using it in its English translation. He says of the popes:

"The temporal power in the hands of St. Gregory I was a fatherly and patriarchal rule over nations not as yet reduced to civil order. In the hands of St. Leo III it became a power of creating empires. In the hands of St. Gregory VII it was a scourge to chasten them. In the hands of Alexander III it was a dynasty, ruling supremely, in the name of God, over the powers of the world .... So that I may say there never was a time when the temporal power of the Vicar of the Son of God, though assailed as we see it, was more firmly rooted throughout the whole unity of the Catholic Church. "It was a dignified obedience to bow to the Vicar of the Son of God, and to remit the arbitration of their griefs to one whom all wills consented to obey"–"The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ," pp. 231,232, second edition. London:Burns and Lambert, 1362.

The same year, this book was translated and published in Italian, with the sanction of the church attached to it. The title "Vicar of the Son of God" appears on pages 234 and 235 of that edition.

Philippe Labbe, "a distinguished Jesuit writer on historical, geographical, and philological questions" (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, pp. 718, 719), in his historical work "Sacrosancta concilia ad regiam editionem exacta," Vol. I, page 1534 (Paris:1671), uses "Vicarius Filii Dei" as the official title of the pope.

Coming down to our own times, we shall call to the witness stand a modern advocate of the Roman Catholic cause. Our Sunday Visitor, of Huntington, Ind., in its issue of April 18, 1915, gives clear testimony in this case. We quote it in full:

"What are the letters supposed to be in the Pope's crown, and what do they signify, if anything?

"The letters inscribed in the Pope's mitre are these: Vicarius Filii Dei, which is the Latin for Vicar of the Son of God. Catholics hold that the Church which is a visible society must have a visible head. Christ, before His ascension into heaven, appointed St. Peter to act as His representative. Upon the death of Peter the man who succeeded to the or, ce of Peter as Bishop of Rome, was recognized as the head of the Church. Hence to the Bishop of Rome, as head of the Church, was given the title 'Vicar of Christ.'

"Enemies of the Papacy denounce this title as a malicious assumption. But the Bible informs us that Christ did not only give His Church authority to teach, but also to rule. Laying claim to the authority to rifle in Christ's spiritual kingdom, in Christ's stead, is not a whit more malicious than laying claim to the authority to teach in Christ's name. And this every Christian minister does."–"Our Sunday Visitor," April 18, 1915, thirteenth question under "Bureau of Information," p. 3.

Later, when Roman Catholic authorities discovered that Protestants were making use of the foregoing statements to identify the Papacy with the antichristian power of Revelation 13:18, they attempted to repudiate the contents of their former article. But that article was not written by some contributor to their paper; it appeared in the "Bureau of Information," for which the editorial staff was responsible. And on page two of that paper appeared sanctions for the editor from Pope Pius X, dated May 17, 1914; from the Apostolic Delegate, John Bonzano, dated April 27, 1913; and from J. H. Alerding, Bishop of Fort Wayne, Ind., dated March 29, 1912. If statements made under such high authorities are not trustworthy, we would respectfully ask if their present denials are any more so?

To one versed in Catholic teaching and practice, there is nothing uncommon in such denials, where the interest of the Church is at stake. Cardinal Baudrillart's quotation on pages 64 and 245 of this book shows that some Catholic authors "ask permission from the Church to ignore or even deny" some historical facts, which they "dare not" face; and we read in "History of the Jesuits," by Andrew Steinmetz, Vol. 1, p. 13, that their accredited histories in common use, 'with permission of authority,' [are] veiling the subject with painful dexterity"–London:1848.

We shall here refer to one other similar denial. In the Roman Catholic paper, Shepherd of the Valley, there appeared an article by the editor, in which he stated: 

"If Catholics ever attain, which they surely will, though at a distant day, the immense numerical majority in the United States, religious liberty, as at present understood, will be at an end." 

A Protestant lecturer, who made use of this quotation, was bitterly arraigned in a doublecolumn front-page article in the Catholic Standard and Times for his false statements regarding Catholics; for, it pointed out, if he had finished the quotation with the words which followed, "so say our enemies," it would have reversed its meaning. The incident would have passed off at the expense of the Protestant lecturer, had not the Western Watchman of July 24, 1913, continued the quotation still further, declaring:

"The whole quotation should read: 'If Catholics ever attain, which they surely will, though at a distant day, the immense numerical majority in the United States, religious liberty, as at present understood, will be at an end. 191 So say our enemies; so say we.' "–Quoted in "Protestant Magazine," October, 1913, p. 474.

Why those who tried to deny their former statements should leave out the words, "so say we," is very evident. But what can we think of those who publicly deny facts to screen their church from unfavorable public opinions, unless they act from the motive that "the end justifies the means," and that "heretics" have no moral right to facts which they would misuse. (See also the last two paragraphs of Christ and the Sabbath and the first two paragraphs of The New Testament Day of Rest)

We shall therefore continue to believe that the editors of Our Sunday Visitor, in its issue of April 18, 1915, page three, were perfectly honest and well informed on the subject, and that the later denials are of the same class as those mentioned above.

Our Sunday Visitor in the aforementioned quotation makes use of Vicarius Filii Dei and "Vicar of Christ" as synonymous terms, and Cardinal Manning does the same in his book, "Temporal Power of the Pope." It cannot, therefore, be maintained, as some do, that Vicarius Christi is the only mode of spelling used as the title of the pope, although the shorter rendering is used more often for brevity's sake. In fact Vicarius Christi is composite in its origin, Vicarius being Latin, while Christi is Latinized from the Greek. It would hardly seem probable that learned Romanists would adopt such a composite title to the exclusion of the pure, dignified, Latin title, Vicarius Filii Del, which has been in use among them for centuries.

Of late, Catholic apologists have argued that the "name of the beast" in Revelation 13' 17, 18 is a personal name of a single individual, such as Nero, and not the official title of a series of men; as that of the popes would be. But this would be entirely out of harmony with the context, for how could one man make war with God's people, and overcome them in every country, so that he would have power "over all kindreds, and tongues,, and nations"? Revelation 13:7. Then, too, that power was to continue forty and two months (v. 5), which those apologists claim to be literal. But how could one man accomplish such a world task in forty-two literal months?

These forty-two months are twelve hundred and sixty prophetic days (Revelation 11:2, 3), and in prophecy a day stands for a year (Ezekiel 4:6). (Even Catholics acknowledge that a day in prophecy stands for a year. See note under Daniel 9:24-27 in the Douay Bible. Father Reaves says: "The prophet's weeks are, by all interpreters of the Holy Scriptures, understood to include years for days"–"Bible History," p. 345.) The forty-two months, or twelve hundred and sixty days, of Revelation 13:5 are therefore twelve hundred and sixty years, during which, this power was to continue. But would not that period be quite a long time for one man to live? This attempt made by Roman apologists to screen the Papacy from being detected as the antichristian power of Revelation 13 appears too shallow to be seriously asserted by men who have made a thorough study of Bible prophecy.

Testimony Of Eye-Witnesses

That the title, Vicarius Filii Dei, has been employed elsewhere than in Roman Catholic canon law is also asserted by Rev. B. Hoffman:

"To Whom It May Concern: 

"This is to certify that I was born in Bavaria in 1828, was educated in Munich, and was reared a Roman Catholic. In 1844 and 1845 I was a student for the priesthood in the Jesuit College in Rome.

"During the Easter service of 1845, Pope Gregory XVI wore a triple crown upon which was the inscription, in jewels, Vicarius Filii Dei. We were told that there were one hundred diamonds in the word Dei; the other words were of some other kind of precious stones of a darker color. There was one word upon each crown, and not all on the same line. I was present at the service, and saw the crown distinctly, and noted it carefully.

"In 1850 I was converted to God and to Protestantism. Two years later I entered the Evangelical Church ministry, but later in life I united with the Presbyterian Church, of which I am now a retired pastor, having been in the ministry for fifty years.

"I have made the above statement at the request of Elder D. E. Scoles, as he states that some deny that the pope ever wore this tiara. But I know that he did, for I saw it upon his head."

"Sincerely yours in Christian service, (Signed) "B. Hoffman.

"Webb City, Mo., Oct. 29, 1906."

–"Review and Herald," Dec. 20, 1906.

The author of this book has photostats of the papal passport held by Rev. B. Hoffman, and of a signed letter from him stating the same facts as are given in the above statement. His testimony is confirmed by that of M. De Latti and others. Statement of M. De Latti to D. E. Scoles–"M. De Latti · . . had previously been a Catholic priest, and had spent four years in Rome. He visited me when I was pastor in St. Paul, Minn... : He stated that he had often seen it [the crown with this inscription] in the museum of the Vatican, and gave a detailed and accurate description of the whole crown ....

"De Latti . . . said the first word of the sentence was on the first crown of the triple arrangement, the second word on the second part of the crown, while the word Dei was on the lower division of the triple crown. He also explained that the first two words were in dark-colored jewels, while the Del was composed of diamonds entirely"–D. E. Scoles, in "Review and Herald," Dec. 20, 1906.

Statement of Thomas Whitmore–

"Some time ago, an English officer happening to be at Rome, observed on the front of the mitre which the pope wore at one of the solemnities, this inscription: "Vicarivs Filii Dei." It instantly struck him–perhaps this is "the number of the beast." He set to work and when he had selected all the numerals, and added them up, he found, to his great astonishment, that the whole amounted to precisely six hundred and sixty-six. What stress is to be laid on this I cannot say.


Vicarivs Filii Dei

V ........... 5 I ............1 D........500

I............. 1 L.........50 I........... 1

C.........100 I ............1 501

I............. 1 I ........... 1 501

V ........ 5 53 112

112 +53


"Thus it will be seen, that by taking from the title 'Vicarivs Filii Del' [Vicar of the Son of God], the letters which are commonly used as numerals, they make up the number of the beast"–"A Commentary on the Revelation of St. John the Divine," p. 231. Boston:1856.

Testimony of Dr. H. Grattan Guinness–

" An English officer of high rank, who in the year 1799, by a special favor, was given the opportunity, while in Rome, to get a close view of the Pope's jewels and precious things, discovered thereby, that the papal tiara bore this inscription: 'Vicarivs Filii Dei.'

"When you take out the Latin letters, which have numeral value, and which still are used to represent numbers, and which are: V, I, C, L, and D, these letters form the number given below. In these Latin words there are two V's, which letter denotes 5, six I's denoting 1, one C, which denotes 100, one L, which denotes 50, and one D, which denotes 500, thus: V,V= 10; I,I,I,I,I,I = 6; C = 100; L = 50; and D = 500, the sum 666." –" Babylon and the Beast," p. 141; quoted in "Kyrkans Strid och Slutliga Seger," Professor S. F. Svensson, pp. 126, 128. Stockholm:1908.

Other Protestant Witnesses

Robert Fleming, V. D. M., wrote a book entitled "Apocalyptical Key. An Extraordinary Discourse on the Rise and Fall of the Papacy." It was published in London, 1701, 1703, and 1929. In the 1929 edition, p. 48, we read that an "explication may be found in the title which the Roman pontiff has assumed, and which is inscribed over the door of the Vatican, 'Vicarius Filii Del' (Vicar of the Son of God). In Roman computation this contains the number 666, as will be seen below.

V......... 5 F ............0 D....... 500

I .......... 1 I .............1 E .......... 0

C..... 100 L .......... 50 I ........... 1

A......... 0 I .............1

R......... 0 I .............1 In all 666."

I .......... 1

V......... 5

S ......... 0


"It is to be observed as a singular circumstance, that the title, vicarius filii dei (Vicar of the Son of God), which the Popes of Rome have assumed to themselves, and caused to be inscribed over the door of the Vatican, exactly makes the number of 666, when deciphered according to the numeral signification of its constituent letters, thus:

Vicar of the Son of God
V I C A R I V S F I L I I D E I added together thus:

I .................................................................1
C............................................................ 100
I .................................................................1
S ................................................................0

F ................................................................0
I .................................................................1
L ..............................................................50
I .................................................................1
I .................................................................1

D............................................................ 500
E ................................................................0
I ................................................................ 1


Our Bible Chronology, Historic and Prophetic, Critically Examined and Demonstrated, R. C. Shimeall, p. 180. New York: A. S. Barnes and Co., 1867.

Appended to the above is a footnote, giving the author's reply to a correspondent:

"Answer to a Querist .... "Sir,–In answer to your observation and queries, permit me to say–the things I have asserted are stubborn, clear facts, not mere suppositions or fancies. "The inscription in question, was actually written over the door of the Vatican at Rome, in express Latin words and characters, as inserted in this publication, viz., VICARIVS FILII DEI; and those Latin words and characters contain Latin numerals to the amount of 666, exactly corresponding with the number of the beast.

"With respect to the supposition you have conjured up, that the Pope might be called Vicarius Christus, or Vicarius Christus Filii Dei (a sort of gibberish that is neither Latin, German. nor English), it is a matter I have nothing to do with. Mr. D. may adopt these or any other fancies to amuse himself, and to screen the head of his holiness, but when he has done all, this question will still remain to be answered: Have those inscriptions ever appeared over the door of the Vatican at Rome?

"As to Mr. D's attempting to obscure the number of the beast 666, contained in the numerals of the words VICARIVS FILII DEI, by objecting to a V; however the Pope or his emissaries may be obliged to him for his kind exertions on their behalf, yet I presume neither of them will condescend to appear his humble fool in Latin, for the sake of sheltering themselves under his ignorance of the Latin alphabet and the ancient inscriptions."–Id., p. 180.

Dr. S. T. Bloomfield gives us the following rule for finding the number:

"It means the number which is made up by reducing the numeral power of each of the letters of which the name is composed, and bringing it to a sum total"–"Greek Testament with English Notes," Note on Rev. 13:17, Vol. II, p. 175.

Samuel Hanson Cox, D. D–

"Can they [Protestants] accord to the present dominant Gregory, the pompous titles which he claims–VICARIUS FILII DEI, Vestra Sanctitas, Servus Servorus Domini, with other profane and blasphemous appellations without end?"–Introduction to Bower's "History of the Popes," Vol. I, p. x. Philadelphia:1847.

The fact that some may have seen a crown at the Vatican which did not have the above inscription does not disprove the statements of the men who saw the crown that has the inscription; for according to a copyrighted news report from Milan, Italy, dated December 11, 1922, and published in the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, December 12, 1922, the pope has five crowns, the last one made being decked with two thousand precious stones. The important part is not that the inscription Vicarius Filii Dei is on the pope's tiara, but that it is the official title of the popes, that it designates their official position, and is given to them at their coronation, just as the head of the United States government is called "President," without it therefore being necessary for him to wear that title on his hat.

Mr. H. S. Weaver, of Baltimore, Md., wrote to James Cardinal Gibbons, of the same city, under date of January 18, 1904, inquiring:

"Does the inscription, 'Vicarius Filii Del,' appear on the crown or mitre of the pope, or has it at any time in the past appeared on the crowns or mitres of any of the popes?"
"Yours sincerely, (Signed) "H. S. Weaver."

To this the Cardinal answered through his secretary:

"Baltimore, Md., Jan. 26, 1904.

"Mr. H. S. Weaver.

"Dear Sir:
"In reply to yours of 18th inst., I beg to say that I can not say with certainty that the words, ' Vicarius Filii Del,' are on the pope's tiara. But the words are used by the cardinal who imposes the tiara at the coronation of a pope.
"Yours truly,

(Signed) "Wm. T. Russut, Secretary."
–"Bible Footlights," pp. 210, 211, edition of 1907.

The New Catholic Dictionary says:

"Tiara, papal crown .... It is placed on his head at his Coronation by the second cardinal-deacon, with the words: 'Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know that thou art Father of princes and kings, Ruler of the world, Vicar of our Saviour Jesus Christ"–The New Catholic Dictionary, art. "Tiara," p. 955.

We have already seen that Catholics have several free translations into English of the Latin title, "Vicarius Filii Dei." Some try to find in the Greek word Lateinos, or the Latin Empire of the Papacy, a fulfillment of Revelation 13:18 (see "Bishop Newton on the Prophecies," pp. 548-550), but there is no need of going to the Greek. For while it is true that the apostles used mostly the Aramaic and the Greek, Latin was the official language of Rome, the world empire at that time. The Romans everywhere used Latin, all their laws were written in that language, and Latin has remained the official language of the Papacy to this day. The apostle was prophesying of a strictly Latin power, whose language was in use in his day, and it is quite common for Bible writers to borrow foreign words and phrases belonging to the subjects of which they are speaking. (John 19:20; Revelation 9:11; 16:16.)

Then, too, the power represented by Revelation 13:1-10, 17, 18, must not only have the name indicated, but must also fulfill all the other specifications in this prophecy, and the Papacy does this. M. James Durham, Professor of Divinity in Glasgow (1658), says:

"He that hath all the characters of Antichrist's doctrine, and hath a name which, in the numeral letters, makes up 666, he is Antichrist But to the Pope both these do agree"–"A Commentary Upon the Book of Revelation," Rev. 13:18, p. 491. Glasgow:1680.


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