Archive for the ‘Reformation Tour’ Category

The Counter Reformation and the Antichrist

Monday, January 7th, 2008

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The Picture above is of a sculpture in the Church of the Jesuits in Rome showing the Mother Church ridding the church of heretics like Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingle who understood that the Papacy was the Antichrist. The little angel is depicted in the sculpture as tearing pages out of the reformers books.

During the time of the Protestant Reformation the Roman Catholic church was under great pressure to do something to take the heat off from the Protestant and Biblical idea that the Papacy was the Antichrist. To counteract the reformation the order of the Jesuits was formed. Jesuit priest Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) opposed to the idea that the Papacy was the little horn of Daniel seven devised the futuristic idea that the Antichrist was an entity that would show up on the scene sometime way into the future and appear for a brief three and a half years. Another Jesuit Priest Manuel De LaCunza (1731-1801) in Chile adopted Ribera’s idea and wrote about it. (The book he wrote was not published under his name because it had some things in it about the second coming of Christ and the judgment the Catholic church would not like. Eventually after LaCunza’s death the Catholic church condemned the book and forbade it’s publication.) During the Great Awakening in the early 1800’s Edward Irving an Anglican (protestant) minister in Dublin translated LaCunza’s work to spite the Catholic church. This translation was presented at the prophetic conferences at Powerscourt Castle in the 1830’s. Probably unwittingly, Irving had opened the door to popularizing the idea of the Antichrist being a person who would show up sometime in the far future.

What many people don’t realize is that also at these conferences was a young girl, 15 years old, named Margaret McDonald who was having supernatural visions. In one of her visions she saw that there would be a “secret rapture” of God’s people before the great tribulation which would be in connection with the appearance of the Antichrist (Interestingly enough she fingered a man named Robert Owen an atheistic socialist who was planning a socialistic community in New Harmony Indiana as being the Antichrist.)

John Darby is the one however that can be credited for popularizing the idea of a futuristic Antichrist. It is highly likely that John Darby who was at these conferences, through the translation of LaCunza and the influence of Margaret McDonald, embraced more fully the idea of futurism, the pretribulation rapture and the establishment of Israel as a nation in the end time.

Ironically Protestant churches “bit the bait” and have now become water carriers for Papal counter reformation ideas by spreading the un-Biblical notion that the Antichrist is not the Papacy but some nondescript person in the future.
The Papacy must be pleased that the “Protesting” has for all practical purposes stopped and the Jesuit counter reformation has been quite successful.

The Reformers and the Antichrist

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

One thing is very certain and that is that early on in the Protestant reformation it became clear to the reformers that it was the Pope of Rome that fulfilled the Biblical description of the Antichrist. You can study the writings of the Protestant reformers and you will not find one that did not recognize this truth. I will cite just a few here.

Arnulf, (988) the bishop of Orleans France, called the Roman popes “monsters of guilt” and declared in a council called by the king of France in 991 that the pontiff, “was Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself as God”

Eberhard II, archbishop of Salzburg Austria stated approvingly at a synod of bishops held at Regensburg in 1240, that the people of his day were “accustomed” to calling the pope antichrist.

When the western church was divided for about 40 years between two rival popes, one in Rome and another in Avignon, France, each pope called the other pope Antichrist. John Wycliffe (1320s-1384) said both were right “two halves of Antichrist, making up the perfect Man of Sin between them.”

Martin Luther, (1483-1546) as an Augustinian monk in the University of Wittenberg, came to believe that “the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist”. The “Lutheran” church today is playing with the idea of reuniting with the Catholic church.

I have heard some Protestants say that the Papacy has changed, and that it no longer fits the characteristics of Antichrist. I think however that it is more likely that Protestantism has changed and has itself moved more in line with Antichrist. It may not be glorious to some but it’s the truth none-the-less.

USA and the Reformation

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Having spent the last couple of weeks in Europe following the footsteps of Christians who found themselves in their conscience in opposition to political powers, I am more and more impressed with the need to appreciate and fight for the freedoms that they struggled for.

Many have tried to make a case that our nation was founded upon the “Christian Religion”.  The truth is that the USA was founded more specifically on Protestant principles and most specifically on the protestant principal of freedom of conscience in respect to worship.  This was clearly understood by the framers of our nation. Listen to the words of our second president John Adams:

“I love and revere the memories of Huss, Wickliff, Luther, Calvin, Zwinglius, Melancton and all the other reformers; how muchsoever I may differ from them all in many theological metaphysics & philosophical points.  As you justly observe, without their great exertions & severe sufferings the United States of America had never existed.”  (John Adams, 1821; quoted in The Founders on Religion: A book of Quotations page 15)

I’m afraid that the more our nation moves away from this core principal and towards a socialist form of society, the more likely we are going to lose our individual freedoms and return to the medieval form of society against which the Protestant reformers struggled with their lives.

Zuric \ Konstanz

Monday, June 25th, 2007

Yesterday we finished our travel through Switzerland visiting Zuric where Zwingli the reformer did his work, then on to Konstanz Germany to visit the sites of the trial and execution of John Huss. The lives of these reformers are an inspiration. The truth is that changing the traditions of a society for the good doesn’t come easy. It just reminds me of what Jesus said, “The kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force. How many of us would be willing to stand for our faith at the cost of paying the ultimate sacrifice as these reformers did? We don´t know how much we owe to these men and women for the freedom we have in America.

Geneva

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Sorry if you have been looking for a post and haven’t seen one lately. A few days ago ÃŽ got one ready and my time on the computer expired before I could post it.  I have had a hard time finding a computer but this morning I have one at my disposal.  This tour is jam packed.  Breakfast is again at 6; 30 this morning and we are leaving at 7;15.  It’s almost 6 now.

We have had a few beautiful days.  Yesterday we had a stop in the Alps and Ralph and I had a couple of hours to take a trip to a peak at the 8000 foot level. It was amazing. We arrived in Geneva last evening in time for a tour regarding John Calvin, saw our Adventist College in Cologne France, and after supper took a walk along lake Geneva.  It’s beautiful here.  I haven’t seen such beautiful country.

Just a few days left.  Hate to see it end.  The truth is that key boards are different here in Europe than in the US.  The z and the y are switched on this one.  I can’t find the colon and the apostrophe is in a different location.

Roman Forum

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Spent the day today walking through the Roman Forum, Coluseum, as well as the Church of Jesus (Jesuits)  It is amazing the complexity yet the consistency of a nation like Rome that lasted 600 years!  Unbelievable almost. The nation of Rome certainly fulfilled God’s purpose from the time of Christ’s birth until it’s demise.

We also saw the Mamertime prison where the Apostles Peter and Paul were imprisoned before their execution.  We also walked some of the Appian Way, the rout that Paul walked while being brought to Rome for his imprisonment.

Going in my imagination to these times, events and places serves to make them come alive.  The truth is “We have nothing to fear for the future except we forget how God has led us and His teaching’s in our past history”  Again those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.  What are we repeating that we shouldn’t have to be if only we would educate ourselves about others who have gone over the same ground. As we have looked at the layers of generations in the archaeology of this old city it seems each generation just built upon and repeated the same mistakes.  Why do we keep building on and going over the same ground? The truth is the past is past and we shouldn’t be living in it or we are going to just repeat it. The truth is we need to make a break and break new ground.

First Days in Rome

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

It’s Sabbath evening and I haven’t had access to the internet for a couple of days.  Friday morning the Hogates and us spent some time in the St Angelo Castle on the Tiber river then caught the bus back to the main train terminal, and then WALKED from there to the motel that we are staying in until Tuesday morning.

Friday afternoon we visited the catacombs and as well as a church dedicated to the Apostle Paul.  The great cathedrals are amazing and the thoughts of the early church being under the persecution of the Roman Empire are sobering.  There are times I am afraid I have taken my faith for granted. “Oh that we like they could die for thee” is what the hymn says.  Think about it.

This afternoon we visited some other churches as well as the hill in Rome that held the home of Emperor Nero.  A home that covered over a hundred acres and maybe as much as three hundred.  Not all of it is excavated.  Think about Nero who had the Apostle Paul executed, he also murdered his mother.  What truth is to be learned in this?  For one thing sin has sometimes ruined people.  He died by suicide at only thirty two years old.

In the Castle of St Angelo we discovered that the motto of the Papacy was. “Festina Lente”   It means “slowly in haste” and means “taking action after reflection”.  We were amused by this because Ralph has always repeated a motto of his own which is “go slow to go fast”.  Isn’t it true that sometimes you can make more headway quickly by taking your time and going slow?

Arrived in Rome

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

After about a two and a half hour delay in Newark NJ we arrived in Rome at about 10 am on Thursday morning.  Given the crowds at the airport I almost began to believe that all flights lead to Rome.

By noon we were at our room in a little monastary turned motel about a block from St. Peter°s Bacilica.  After refreshing ourselves we took lunch in a nearby restaurant then went over to St Peter°s Square.  The Hogates, whom we are traveling with, have never been here before so we shared their joy in seeing the amazing beauties of St. Peters.  We went underground to see the tombs of popes, and enjoyed the music of a Korean choir as we witness the mass in the cathedral.  After working on our workbook for the Reformation Tour while sitting in St. Peter°s square we enjoyed a walk to the Tiber River as the day began to end.

Gloria handled the flight and the walking around a bit much better than she has been anticipating.  It°s Friday morning and after a good nights sleep we are both ready for another day.

It never ceases to amaze me when I think of the history of this place.  Knowing history is so important to discovering the truth about who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going.  I recomend the study of history if you are searching for the truth.  Remember the old axiom, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”  I°m afraid that°s what I see happening in the world.

Reformation Tour

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Well it is the evening before we leave and we are up later than we wanted to be. Oh well in Rome it’s seven in the morning so it’s time to be up anyway. Maybe I should go have breakfast! If you want to know the truth, I think instead I’ll get about four hours of shut eye then get up and go. We have to leave here about 2 am to be in San Francisco in time for our flight. So good night, sweet dreams.