Digging Up the Past

Roman Empire

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: David Down


Series Code: DUTP

Program Code: DUTP000018

00:01 2000 years ago, Rome ruled an empire stretching
00:04 from England to Persia. Christ beloved disciple
00:08 John lived during those momentous days and God took
00:11 him behind the scenes in symbolic vision and showed him
00:15 the sin is to forces at work to shake the destiny
00:18 of the empire. In this program, David
00:21 explains this fascinating Revelation.
01:06 This is Roman Forum and this is at the very Hat
01:09 of the Old Roman Empire. This is where Caesars
01:13 Random ruled over the vast empire.
01:17 He found the very centered house that Julius Caesar
01:22 was assassinated in. The arch of Titus in which
01:26 has depicted the conquest of Jerusalem mankind
01:30 the Seven Golden Campbell Sticks back from the
01:33 Temple and he where inactive the great scenes
01:36 of Roman History. Historians like Gibbon in his decline
01:42 and fall of the Roman Empire have analyzed the
01:45 reasons for the rise and the fall of this great empire,
01:49 but if you really want to know the reason behind
01:51 it at all, you need to tend to the Bible because
01:54 that takes us behind the scenes and let us know
01:57 just what was happening in reality.
02:00 In Revelation chapter 12 in particular is a very
02:03 interesting prophecy, where it says in verses 1 to 3,
02:06 now a great sign appeared in heaven:
02:10 a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under
02:13 her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
02:17 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in
02:20 pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in
02:24 heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having
02:27 seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems
02:32 on his heads. Now you might say you can't make it
02:35 a tale of that. Well the only way to really understand
02:38 Bible prophecy is to allow the Bible to interpret
02:42 its own symbols and we can do that.
02:45 For instance in verse 9 it tells us concerning
02:47 this great red dragon, the great dragon was cast
02:51 out that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan.
02:56 Now I don't want you to think that the Devil actually
02:58 looks like this. This is simply a symbol depicting
03:02 his very nasty character, but he does take us
03:06 behind the scenes and enable us to know what
03:09 is going on there. Do you remember it said
03:12 in Revelation 12 that he had 7 heads?
03:15 Well it explains that in chapter 17 and in verse 9,
03:18 the seven heads are seven mountains on which the
03:22 woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen,
03:27 one is, and the other is not yet come.
03:31 Now these kings or kingdoms must refer to the
03:34 five great kingdoms, which oppose the people
03:37 of God. First of all of course they were the Egyptians,
03:40 who cast the Israelites into slavery,
03:44 and then they were the Assyrians,
03:46 who came down like the wolf on the fold,
03:49 and took the 12 of 10 tribes of Israel into captivity
03:52 then came the Babylonians, who conquered
03:54 Babylon and then came the Medo Persians.
03:58 Remember the people of God the Jewish people
04:00 were nearly destroyed by the Medo Persians,
04:05 who tried to wipe them out in one day and then
04:08 came the Greeks with entire course of Euphonies,
04:12 who persecuted the Jewish people and then finally
04:15 came Rome. Now, those are the five of fallen
04:19 Rome is and that is the kingdom that is here referred
04:23 to. So, here we are talking in Revelation 12 about,
04:27 the Dragon or the Devil working behind the scenes
04:32 against the people of God. Now, what about the
04:36 woman who is attacked by this great red dragon?
04:40 Well in Bible prophecy, a woman represents a church
04:44 or the people of God generally. For instance in
04:47 II Corinthians chapter 11 and in verse 2,
04:51 where Paul was writing to the Christian church
04:54 Corinth he said, for I am jealous for you with
04:57 Godly jealousy: for I have betrothed you to one
05:01 husband, that I may present you as a chaste
05:04 virgin to Christ. So you see a good woman
05:08 represents a good church of the people of God.
05:12 Now it tells us here in Revelation 12 and in verse 5,
05:15 she bore a male child, who was to rule all nations
05:19 with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up to God,
05:23 and to his throne. Jesus Christ was destined
05:27 to be the ruler of the universe.
05:30 Rule all nations one day he will come again and then
05:34 he will be King of Kings, Lord of Lords,
05:36 and he will rule all the nations of the earth.
05:39 And he of course was the child that was caught
05:42 up to God unto his throne, after his crucifixion
05:46 and burial he rose from the dead and was carried
05:50 up into the highest Heavens and so he is the child
05:52 referred to here the woman is the Church or the
05:56 people of God into whose midst he was born.
05:59 Now it says in verse 13, when the dragon saw that
06:03 he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted
06:06 the woman, who gave birth to the male child.
06:09 You see when Jesus was caught up to God unto
06:12 his throne the Devil could no longer tempt him,
06:15 annoy him or persecute him, and so the Devil now turns
06:20 his attention on the woman, all that people of God.
06:24 And we are told in verse 6, then the woman
06:27 fled into the wilderness, where she has a place
06:30 prepared by God, that they should feed her
06:33 there a 1260 days. And so the church was obliged
06:39 to flee into the wilderness that doesn't necessarily
06:43 mean a sandy desert. It's simply means some
06:44 uninhabited place and that is where the people of God,
06:48 where obliged to flee from the persecution of if
06:53 you please not pagans, but rather fellow Christians.
06:57 And so they were obliged to flee to the mountains
07:01 of Northern Italy and other places,
07:03 where they could escape from this persecution
07:06 and the Bible says that they were to be in hiding
07:09 there in refuge take refuge there for one 1260 days.
07:15 Now in prophetic time, we notice that there is a period
07:18 of 360 days, so one time would be 360 days
07:28 that's 12 months of 30 days each,
07:30 the Jewish calendar was a Lunar Calendar actually
07:33 about 29 and a half days in prophetic time.
07:36 It's apparently usually worked out as 360 times or
07:40 two times would be 720 days and half a time
07:46 oh here we are, half is what I should put there
07:52 and that would be half of the 360 as 180 add it
07:56 all up and we have a period of 1260 days.
08:01 Now just in case you think, I'm fixing the figures,
08:04 it specifically tells us here. In Revelation 12:6,
08:09 the woman fled into the wilderness,
08:10 where she has a place repaired by God that they
08:12 should feed her there 1260 days.
08:16 Now in Ezekiel chapter 4 and in verse 6 we are
08:20 told a day in prophecy represents a year.
08:22 So here is a period of 1260 years, it commenced when
08:28 the Papal power became a political stronghold.
08:35 Now you see it always was a religious church,
08:36 but in the year 538, the Emperor Justinian placed
08:43 his armies at the disposal of the Pope of Rome
08:45 to destroy 3 nations, which had opposed the Papal
08:51 teaching. The Vandals in North Africa and the
08:55 Helvetians in Switzerland and the Ostrogoths
08:58 in Italy and they were liquidated by the
09:02 Roman Armies at the order of the Pope of Rome.
09:05 So, here is a period of 1260 years adding this
09:10 together will come to 1798 A.D. Now
09:15 instantly this is the same period referred to in
09:18 Daniel chapter 7 concerning the same power, where it
09:22 all so speaks about a time, times,
09:24 and the dividing of time. Alright, now what happened
09:27 in 1798, it was in that year that Napoleon Bonaparte
09:32 sent his armies on to General Bonaparte down
09:34 to Rome. They occupied the Rome occupied
09:37 the Vatican and took the Pope prisoner and exalt
09:41 him to France and he died there the following year.
09:44 It looked as though the Papal power was finished
09:46 of course we know it wasn't. And so, here is a
09:49 period of 1260 years during which there were
09:54 to be long centuries of terrible persecution
09:57 against the true people of God. So, the true
10:01 Christians were to seek refuge in the wilderness,
10:05 in the uninhabited places of the earth and in places
10:08 where they could escape from their persecutors
10:10 and in particular, I think this refers to the people
10:15 who lived in Northern Italy escaping from Papal
10:18 persecution. They were called the Waldenses
10:20 and they lived in what is known as the Waldensian
10:23 Mountains, it's a rugged place and a visit there
10:28 certainly make you feel that you are in the
10:30 uninhabited places of the world and here they
10:33 sort refuge, they were sometimes hounded
10:37 and were oblige to worshipping caves
10:40 and in valleys, where nobody lived and sometimes
10:45 the persecutors did catch up with them and then
10:48 they mercilessly put them to death,
10:50 but these courageous people witness for God.
10:52 They were named after Peter Waldo,
10:55 their leader who dare to stand up against the might
11:00 of Rome and he left this very interesting monument
11:04 or rather this monument has been made to him
11:06 the statue of Peter Waldo up there in the Waldensian
11:09 Mountains and there is also a very interesting
11:14 pillar, it's a natural pillar actually,
11:15 but down at the bottom there is a verse from the
11:18 Bible and it says there it quotes actually from this
11:22 very prophecy in Revelation chapter 12 and in verse 13
11:28 where it says "And they overcame him by the blood
11:31 of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;
11:33 and they did not loved their lives to the death."
11:36 There in verse 11 it tells us that they were willing
11:39 to lay down their lives and that's the inscription
11:42 that is found at the bottom of this pillar,
11:44 and so these Waldensian people faithfully witness
11:48 for God. Now we are told here in Revelation 12
11:52 and verse 15, the serpent spewed water out of his
11:56 mouth like a flood after the woman.
11:59 In Psalm 18 and verse 4 it speaks of floods
12:02 of ungodly men, and these people were hounded
12:06 by people who had a lot of so called Christianity,
12:10 but not much really true hard religion and they
12:14 were ought to kill these Waldenses, but it says,
12:17 that the earth helped the woman and the earth
12:21 opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which
12:24 the dragon had spewed out of his mouth time
12:25 and again, when they are obliged to flee and their
12:28 persecutors where hot on their heels.
12:30 It just seems that the mists of the mountains
12:32 roll down and swallow them up just exactly as the Bible
12:36 prophecy says. This building is known as the
12:40 Castle of Sant'Angelo. It's a very old building
12:42 and at one stage it was occupied by the popes as
12:46 residence. It was a place, where people were imprisoned
12:52 for their faith and tunnels underneath where their
12:56 bodies were washed out into tunnel when they
12:58 are died. Today, it is a museum and inside there
13:02 is some interesting relics from the era of persecution.
13:06 I'm sure you've all heard of the Spanish inquisition.
13:10 Well some of the torture methods that were used
13:11 there were really quite sophisticated.
13:13 For instance, in the ornament museum in London,
13:17 where I'm at the present time, there is this torture
13:20 chair, just have a look at it will you.
13:22 The victim was fastened in there,
13:26 his head was fastened in that contraction there,
13:29 this thing was screwed up to hold his mouth
13:32 open and there was a clip that was forced onto his nose,
13:37 on the side are these screws which has screw right
13:40 into the ears. And you can imagine just what agony
13:43 that would produce, these are the just some
13:45 of the tortures that were used during the Spanish
13:47 Inquisition and other places of persecution during
13:52 the period of the back ages. Then came the great
14:01 protestant reformation. Men like Martin Luther
14:04 in Germany; John Wesley in England in fact just at the
14:08 moment I'm standing in front of Wesley's church
14:11 and Wesley's statue here underneath that is written
14:15 the world is my parish. What a great man he was
14:19 and there was John Knox in Scotland,
14:23 great man of God, but I think the protestant
14:26 reformation needed to go further.
14:29 You see in the very last verse of this fascinating
14:31 prophecy of Revelation chapter 12 bringing us right
14:34 down to the end of time. It says and the dragon
14:37 was enraged with the woman now that means that
14:40 the Devil was really angry with the Church of God
14:44 and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring
14:46 or the remnant of her offspring.
14:49 Now let's write down at the end of time,
14:51 the end of the churches experience,
14:52 and we are told who these people are,
14:55 who keep the Commandments of God.
14:58 Now they distinguish by the fact that they keep the
15:00 Commandments of God. Well the traditional
15:03 protestant church as always profess to keep
15:05 the Ten Commandments. But this is speaking
15:09 about the church that not only professes too,
15:11 but actually keeps not some of them not nine of them,
15:15 but the whole ten and that would include the
15:18 Seventh-Day Sabbath. And I consider that this must
15:22 refer to the Seventh Day Adventist Church,
15:26 which not only professes but actually observes
15:29 all the Commandments including the Seventh-Day.
15:32 Now the Adventist church sprang up in the year
15:35 1844 and it observed the Seventh Day Sabbath
15:40 from then on. Seventh Day Adventist had small
15:43 beginnings, but today they have a worldwide
15:45 membership that extends everywhere,
15:48 and they worship in churches large churches like this
15:51 or little humble churches in countries and villages.
15:55 They also operate in a very extensive educational
15:58 and medical work all over the world.
16:01 I'm on the campus of Andrews University,
16:04 which is an educational institution operated
16:07 known by Seventh Day Adventist in Michigan
16:10 in the United States of America. It's quite large
16:12 university that has over 3000 students enrolled
16:15 here and they come from 80 different countries
16:18 around the world or more, which means that it is,
16:21 the most, one of the most Cosmopolitan Education
16:24 Institutions in the United States of America.
16:26 The courses offered here are not only on Theology,
16:31 but on the sciences, arts, on education,
16:35 business lines you name it was a good educational
16:39 program here. Not only the Seventh Day Adventist
16:42 operates this university, there are some 80 colleges
16:47 and universities around the world operated by
16:49 Adventists and some 800 secondary educational
16:53 institutions and 4000 primary educational schools.
16:58 And that means that Seventh Day Adventists
17:01 operate the most extensive educational system
17:05 of any protestant denomination in the world.
17:09 I'm standing in front of Sydney Adventist Hospital
17:11 in Australia. This is one of more than 50 such well
17:16 equipped hospitals that are owned and operated
17:17 by Seventh Day Adventists around the world.
17:20 And this particular hospital is very well equipped.
17:24 For instance, it has as cancer unit for caring
17:26 for patients not only with chemotherapy,
17:28 but also with radium treatments. It does open heart
17:32 surgery here, has an excellent department of
17:35 physiotherapy and also hydrotherapy and are those
17:39 good treatments that hot and cold water that make
17:41 you feel so good afterwards and there is also a
17:46 blood transfusion facility here.
17:49 Now Jehovah's witnesses don't believe in blood
17:52 transfusions. Well Seventh Day Adventist do and
17:55 often it's a life saver of course the blood needs
17:58 to be well screened and tested,
18:01 but often it can save lives and so this is a church
18:04 that is doing things and going places and after
18:08 all let's what we should expect you now,
18:09 because in Revelation 14 and in verse 6 there is later day
18:14 prophecy that says, And I saw another angel fly
18:17 in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel
18:20 to preach unto them that dwell on the earth,
18:22 and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue,
18:25 and people,. Well Seventh Day Adventist feel a
18:29 responsibility to the whole world and we feel that there
18:32 is a prophecy symbolizing the work that we
18:35 doing. So, it's a good church to belong too.
18:39 The rise and growth of the Adventist church
18:41 in the world is one of the greatest miracles of
18:43 modern mission. When the church first came into
18:47 existence, there were hand full of believers.
18:50 Now the Adventist church is the most wide spread
18:52 single protestant denomination in the whole
18:56 world, solidly planted in over 190 counties in the world.
19:01 What are the reasons for the particular spread
19:03 and its success? Firstly, the people who are involved
19:07 in the Adventist Mission have a powerful vision,
19:10 they doesn't mean of course that the Adventist
19:12 believe that we are the only ones, who are instruments
19:15 in the hands of God to accomplish his kingdom
19:17 to the country. Adventists hold to an inclusive
19:21 understanding of mission between we do recognize
19:24 other instruments and channels of God's grace,
19:27 but we cannot leave to others what God and his mercy
19:30 has specifically entrusted to this church.
19:34 Second, an hallmark of the Adventist Mission
19:36 is its Universalism, not only heavy penetrated
19:40 now over 190 countries in the world and this beautiful
19:44 message being proclaimed in over 700 languages
19:48 in the world, but the message doesn't stop also
19:51 at cultural boundaries or boundaries of politics.
19:54 One of most fascinating aspects of the Adventist
19:56 Mission is that they have churches planted into
19:59 communist world, the world behind the iron curtain
20:02 into Buddhist world, in the Islamic world, into
20:05 big cities, into rural areas, and stone age to gain stem
20:09 and that universalism of course create certain
20:12 difficulties and tensions, but one-third aspect of the
20:15 Adventist Mission is that it has kept in spite of this
20:18 a tremendous unity. A unity, which is not only
20:21 stimulated by a particular world organization
20:24 with this headquarters into different continents
20:28 of the world, but it's the unity of the spirit,
20:30 unity of the one God and the one belief.
20:34 One striking aspects; however,
20:36 is this that Adventist Mission is characterized
20:39 by a comprehensiveness that is unique among
20:43 the missionary bodies in the world today and that
20:46 comprehensiveness goes back to two sources
20:48 in the first place to the Bible itself.
20:51 Adventists believe that men as a hold is a unity,
20:55 so is life and therefore when you approach man
20:58 and life they ought to be approached holistically,
21:01 comprehensively, and that means an Adventist
21:04 mission from the very beginning has not only be
21:06 concerned about people salvation the relationship
21:09 with God, sin, but also with how they live,
21:12 what they shall eat and what they shall not eat.
21:15 Concerned about their education,about their health,
21:18 so the Adventist church from the very beginning
21:20 has begun programs in agricultural development,
21:23 in school systems, in many areas in the world
21:27 that there is the first where we started in the
21:28 hospital system and the reason is of course
21:31 this holistic view of man and life.
21:35 Second is that it goes back to the founder of the
21:38 Adventist mission namely Mrs. Ellen G. White,
21:41 who from the very beginning has always stressed
21:44 that Adventist mission must be comprehensive.
21:49 The result is not only that millions of people have
21:52 found a new way of life, a new meaning in life,
21:55 a new sense and direction in their life, conversion,
21:58 salvation with all the joy and the peace that
22:01 it brings into person's life, but also society at large
22:04 has been strongly influenced by whatever the
22:07 Adventist church has planted its mission.
22:10 In some areas in the world for instance laws became
22:13 changed even the constitution became change
22:15 as a result of the Adventist work. In other areas,
22:19 a new work ethic for instance began to develop.
22:21 Whole countries, whole Island communities
22:23 from the south Pacific through the Caribbean
22:26 have found a new economic basis of their life because
22:29 Adventist taught them how to behave,
22:32 how to live and accept a new lifestyle.
22:36 Adventist whatever they worked had influenced
22:38 society a new agrarian in economic reforms.
22:42 One of the most exciting events that is coming out of
22:45 Northern Ghana for instance is that where is in most
22:49 areas in the world people are drifting out of the
22:52 rural areas into the big city, where they crowd
22:55 into the slum areas in the world.
22:57 Adventists have had a great concerned about it
23:00 and it started here in agricultural development
23:03 program. The result was that instead of leaving
23:06 the area, the rural areas as they did before now the
23:09 people stay there. They have founded the new
23:11 income there. The government of Ghana
23:13 is so excited about it that they had made a study
23:16 on the effects of this mission and they discovered
23:18 not only that people found a new joy and a new
23:21 happiness in life, but in particular that people
23:24 found a new economic existence in Northern
23:28 Ghana which prevented 1000s and 1000s of people
23:31 from flocking into the slum areas of the big cities
23:34 like anywhere else in the world.
23:37 Other organizations like aid organizations who
23:40 have been watching Adventist mission both in its
23:43 influence on individuals as well as in society
23:45 at large now pouring literally millions of dollars
23:49 into the Adventist churches mission with the request
23:52 to continue this particular work not only for the
23:55 benefit of individuals or to establish a particular
23:58 religion, but in particularly because they have
24:00 seen what good and what effect it has had on
24:03 society at large. And one of the new developments
24:07 in Adventist mission therefore is a movement,
24:10 which we called ADRA Adventist Development
24:13 and Relief Agency. The millions of dollars are being
24:16 spent here in agricultural development and
24:18 industrial development not just to be competing
24:21 with industries or with nation building,
24:24 but rather to help the people in their holistic
24:27 understanding of themselves and of life to find
24:30 a better living as a whole.
24:32 Now the important thing is that here is a church
24:34 that not only believes in Jesus Christ as the
24:38 savior from sin, but who shows their faith in
24:41 Christ by obedience to the Ten Commandments
24:44 including the Seventh Day Sabbath.
24:46 And that's the way it should be you know because
24:49 in Revelation 14 and in verse 12, it says,
24:53 here are they that keep the commandments
24:56 of God and have the faith of Jesus.
24:59 You wouldn't like to be among those people
25:02 that God points to and says here they are,
25:04 here are those that keep the Commandments
25:06 of God and have the faith of Jesus.
25:09 Now there are some people who might say,
25:10 well yes that would be good, but you know its
25:13 bit hard to change, a lot of sacrifice involved.
25:18 I don't think there is really. There is not a lot
25:20 of sacrifice involved in following truth,
25:23 but on this question of sacrifice, you know,
25:26 while I was in Jerusalem I purchased a crown
25:29 of thorns and the Bible tells us that when Jesus Christ
25:34 was crucified the soldiers plated the crown
25:37 of thorns and put it on his head, I don't think
25:41 they just sat it there like crushed it down
25:43 and these points of poisonous bob on the end
25:47 of them, you know, and it must have been very
25:50 painful that's the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made
25:53 for us, so that we could have eternal life.
25:56 Remember the sacrifices the Waldenses made,
26:00 they shed their blood for their faith.
26:02 So if you're talking of that sacrifice really,
26:04 what God is asking us to do today is not very much
26:08 and it will be great to be numbered among those,
26:11 who keep the commandments of God
26:13 and have the faith of Jesus Christ.
26:17 In our next program, we will be leaving the Island
26:19 of Patmos in the Mediterranean for the
26:22 United States of America. There David will
26:25 be discussing the meaning of the mark of the beast.


Revised 2014-12-17