Massacred for Rejecting Rome’s Trinity:
Lest We Forget the Vandals, Heruli, and the Ostrogoths . . .
We honor the Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths [VHO]. They preferred their own extinction over accepting the papal/pagan Trinity doctrine.
Today, the overwhelming majority of Christians uphold the Trinity doctrine. It is commonly assumed that this doctrine was espoused Christians throughout history, but this was not the case. The Trinity doctrine, like the prohibition against the use of the Solar Calendar, was forced on the Natsariym by pagan Roman emperors with the full support and encouragement of the bishops of Rome.
History testifies that up until the latter part of the fourth century, the preponderant belief of the true followers of YAHUAH was not in a Triune ELOHIYM (G-d) but in what is generally now termed as Arianism. It was only when a Roman Emperor issued a series of edicts enforced by threats and punishment that Trinitarianism began to take hold within early Christianity. The migration from Arianism to Trinitarianism took time and ultimately resulted in the extinction of three kingdoms before it was established.
The Scriptures foretold the extinction of these three kingdoms, as it part of preparing the way for the ascendency of the Little Horn.
“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” (Daniel 7:8)
“And of the tenhorns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.” (Daniel 7:20)
“And the ten hornsout of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” (Daniel 7:24)
These three kingdoms, mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel, were to be defeated [plucked up] by the little horn, to make way for the rise of the papacy. In ancient times, the conquering
king wore the crown of the conquered king (e.g. 2 Samuel 12:30). The papal tiara, traditionally worn by popes until the pontificate of Pope John Paul I1, is symbolically very fitting for the extinction of these three kingdoms. Bishop Thomas Newton, on this very point, stated:
“And the pope hath in a manner pointed himself out for the person by wearing the triple crown.”2
Why were the VHO hated by the popes of Rome?
The Roman Catholic Church regards the Trinity Doctrine as the bedrock for all her beliefs and teaching.
“The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church.”3
If the Church of Rome was to prevail in enforcing her doctrines on the Christian world, then all opposition to the Trinity doctrine had to be eliminated. And these three kingdoms (VHO) stood in the way of supreme papal power.
“Among the principal obstructions to the rise of papal Rome to political power were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. All three were supporters of Arianism, which was the most formidable rival of Catholicism.”4
There is no doubt that these three kingdoms held beliefs concerning YAHUAH and YAHUSHA that were not Trinitarian by any stretch of imagination. They openly rejected the Trinity doctrine of Rome. The challenge these kingdoms posed to Rome was not taken lightly by the bishops of Rome; it took many wars until Rome was freed from the Arian opposition posed by these three kingdoms.
“In the year of our MASTER 493, the Heruli in Rome and Italy were conquered by the Ostrogoths. In 534, the Vandals, who were under Arian influence, were conquered by the Greeks, for the purpose of establishing the supremacy of the Catholics.”5
With two of the three kingdoms utterly destroyed, the attention now focused on the remaining Ostrogoths, who were in control of Rome. Prior to their destruction, a decree by Emperor Justinian was issued in 533 AD appointing the Bishop of Rome as head over all Christian churches in both the Eastern and Western divisions of the Roman Empire. This decree, however, could not be enforced while the Arian Ostrogoths were in control of Rome.
“The edict of the emperor Justinian, dated A. D. 533, made the bishop of Rome the head of all the churches. But this edict could not go into effect till the Arian Ostrogoths, the last of the three horns that were plucked up to make room for the papacy, were driven from Rome, and this was not accomplished, as already shown, till A. D. 538. The edict would have been of no effect had this latter event not been accomplished.”6
By conquering the Ostrogoths, and driving them out of Rome, the pope became the de facto ruler of Rome, and the established head over all Christian churches in the Roman Empire. Justinian’s “achievements profoundly affected the whole future of Europe, and his intervention altered the entire status of the bishops of Rome. His victories were gained over people who to a large extent adhered to the teachings of Arius.”7
It was the victory over the three Arian kingdoms that established the supremacy of bishop of Rome as head of the Christian world.
“The contest between Arianism and the orthodox Catholicism was the means of enthroning the papacy.”8
It is not difficult in light of this history to understand how important the pagan Trinity is to the Roman Catholic Church. It is the doctrine that establishes her primacy over all churches. Is it any wonder today that all the Christian denominations have moved away from the Scriptural teaching regarding the Father and Son and have, in its place, adopted the Roman Catholic Trinity doctrine?
The three Arian kingdoms did not compromise to remain in existence. In those days, the people professed the faith of their kings. Thus, the kings and the people they ruled chose death over a doctrine that distorts their love and adoration for the Father and His Son.
“Perhaps no other truth in all of Holy Scripture comes to us so marked with the blood of controversy as does the Bible doctrine of the Trinity. History records that ancient nations staked their very existence upon their conception of the Godhead.”9
To become Trinitarian and choose life instead of death was the test for His people in the sixth century. The VHO chose to be faithful to His Word, and paid the ultimate price. This is why we honor their memory, and are inspired by their example and matchless faithfulness to His truth. “Theseall died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”10
The faithful today are faced with a life and death situation, not unlike that which was faced by the VHO. The Church of Rome has succeeded in deceiving the whole world into accepting her counterfeit calendar as the calendar for identifying YAHUAH’s holy days, just as it has succeeded in enforcing her pagan Trinity doctrine upon all of Christendom. This grand deception has united the whole world in opposition to YAHUAH and His divine calendar. But just as there were faithful people in the past who stood up to Rome and her false pagan distortion of the Scripture teaching regarding the Father and Son, today there are faithful ones around the world who are rejecting the Gregorian calendar and instead are using YAHUAH’s calendar for observing YAHUAH’s holy weekly Sabbath and annual feasts. And just as it was in the past when Rome resorted to the imperial power to wipe out opposition, very soon Rome will wage a relentless final war against the faithful who refuse to submit to her calendar. This time, she will use the strong arm of the Second Beast of Revelation [the USA] to enforce her false Sabbath over all of Christendom. The faithful today will likewise choose death, as the VHO before did, rather than honoring Rome’s counterfeit calendar. YAHUAH will honor the faithful by sealing their foreheads with His seal. For they will have His character and their lives will reflect His image, even in the face of persecution and death. The wicked, on the other hand, will choose to submit to Rome and will receive the dreadful mark of the beast.
Will you choose to be faithful to His testing truth today, as the VHO were in their test, or will you choose the easy way and submit to Rome?
We pray that you will choose to remain faithful till the end.
2 “Dissertations on the Prophecies,” p. 220. London.
3 Handbook for Today’s Catholic, page 16.
4 Seventh-day Adventist Bible commentary, Volume 4, page 826, 1966.
5 James White Review and Herald, 14th November 1854, ‘Exposition of Daniel VII or The vision of the fourth beast
6 Uriah Smith, Thoughts critical and practical on the Book of Daniel, chapter vii page 169, ‘The four beasts’ 1883, second edition
7 LeRoy Froom, The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, Volume 1, page 505, ‘Gradual emergence of the papal power’
8 S. N. Haskell, The Story of the Prophet Daniel, page 266, Chapter 16, ‘The Mystery of Iniquity’, 1908
9 Robert H. Pierson, The Message, January 1948, ‘God the Father’
10 Hebrews 11:13