The Fifth Empire (part 3)

Roman Catholicism is not the Stone of Daniel chapter 2.
Roman Catholicism is not the Stone of Daniel chapter 2.

Last week, after describing the two judicial movements in each vision of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, we touched briefly on the distinction between possessing a heavenly kingdom and having dominion over an earthly one. They are not the same thing, and Roman Catholicism has confused the former for the latter. As we mentioned previously, Taylor Marshall in his book, The Eternal City, thinks he has found in Roman Catholicism the bride of Christ because Roman Catholicism took dominion after the collapse of the Roman Empire:

“Daniel explains:

[The Fourth Beast’s] dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people and the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them (Daniel 7:26-27).

The kingdom is taken away from the Fourth Beast and given to whom? The last four lines leap off the page. Read them over and over again. Who receives the kingdom? The people of the saints of the Most High!” (Marshall, The Eternal City, ch. 1, “Daniel Foretells the Roman Church”)

As we stated in the first week and demonstrated in the second, the Fourth Beast’s dominion is not taken away and given to the saints. It is taken away and given to the Little Horn, or the Antichrist, which is Roman Catholicism. Taylor Marshall says, and we agree, that “The Roman Empire expired, but the Roman Church lived on” (Marshall, The Eternal City, ch. 9). That is a true statement. But the conclusion Marshall draws from it is enormously wrong. What “lived on” after the beginning of the first judicial movement was Roman Catholicism, the Little Horn, the Beast of Revelation 13, which is the embodiment of the three preceding empires.

Part of Marshall’s error, as we noted last week, was that he collapsed two judicial movements into one, and so mistook the Antichrist for the Bride of Christ. But his second mistake is to confuse dominion over an earthly kingdom with possession of a heavenly one, and dominion over an earthly kingdom is all Roman Catholicism has ever had. She has never taken, and will never take, possession of a heavenly kingdom.

Heavenly Kingdom vs. Earthly Dominion in Daniel 2

We see this distinction in Daniel 2 when we examine Daniel’s explanation to Nebuchadnezzar on the meaning of his dream. The stone is depicted at first striking the statue and only affecting the Iron and Clay Feet in the first judicial movement (Daniel 2:34). Then it affects all the kingdoms, the Iron, Clay, Bronze, Silver and Gold together, “and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” in the second judicial movement (Daniel 2:35). From this, Daniel understands two things:

1) “In the days of those kings,” i.e., in the days of the Roman Empire, the God of Heaven will “set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people.”

2) That kingdom shall “brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold” (Daniel 2:45), “and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35).

Heaven and Earth are in mind here, and two kingdoms are described—a heavenly one in the first judicial movement, and an earthly one at the second. As we have explained in our previous two installments, these two kingdoms—a heavenly one that is invisible, and an earthly one that is visible—are separated by the two judicial movements depicted in Daniel 2. In order to emphasize what kind of kingdom the saints received under the Roman empire, Hebrews speaks of two kinds of kingdoms in terms of a heavenly kingdom that cannot be moved, and an earthly one that can be. The saints did not receive in the days of the Roman Empire an earthly kingdom that can be moved. They received a heavenly one that cannot:

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, ‘Yet once more,’ signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:25 )

“In the days of those kings,” the saints were “receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved.” They were receiving a heavenly, not an earthly, kingdom.

Heavenly Kingdom vs. Earthly Dominion in Daniel 7

We see this same distinction in Daniel 7. After Daniel has seen the first part of the vision (Daniel 7:1-14), the only reference to a kingdom being received is when a kingdom is given to “one like the Son of Man … [who] came with the clouds of heaven … And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him” (Daniel 7:13-14). That is a description of an earthly kingdom and earthly dominion. But according to the author of Hebrews, “we see not yet all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:8), and according to Paul, “he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power … at his [second] coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23-24). Therefore, the only thing Daniel has seen at this point in his vision is Jesus taking possession of an earthly kingdom and earthly dominion at His second advent. No mention has been made in regard to the saints of God receiving anything at all.

And yet, just as Daniel understood that God would set up during the Roman Empire a kingdom that “shall not be left to other people” (Daniel 2:44), his interpreter in Daniel 7 says the same thing about the same period in history:

“These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” (Daniel 7:17-18)

No mention of the saints taking dominion. The saints instead take possession.

Note that dominion is used to refer to the earthly kingdoms of the beasts (i.e., “dominion was given to it” (Daniel 7:6), “their dominion [was] taken away” (Daniel 7:12)), and dominion is used to describe Jesus’ earthly reign at his second advent (i.e., “And there was given him dominion … his dominion is an everlasting dominion” (Daniel 7:14)). But when the saints take possession of a kingdom under the Roman Empire, there is no mention of dominion.

Later, as Daniel continues watching the second part of the vision, he finally sees that “the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (Daniel 7:22), but his interpreter makes two important observations to aid him. First, what Daniel had seen is that it is the Little Horn who had dominion after the the Four Beasts, for it is the Little Horn’s dominion that is taken away when Christ returns (Daniel 7:26). Second, Daniel was now seeing the saints taking possession of an earthly kingdom, for his interpreter describes it as a kingdom under heaven (Daniel 7:27). And notably, for the first time, the saints are described as receiving dominion:

“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (Daniel 7:27)

Daniel’s descriptions are remarkably consistent both times. At the first judicial movement in Daniel 2, the God of Heaven sets up “a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people” (Daniel 2:44). It is at this time, as Hebrews 12:25 informs us, that the saints take possession of a heavenly kingdom that cannot be moved. Later in a second judicial movement, that kingdom “shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44) and shall fill the whole earth (Daniel 2:35), an earthly kingdom. At the first judicial movement in Daniel 7, “the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (Daniel 7:18), a heavenly kingdom. At Christ’s return in the second judicial movement, the saints take possession of “the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven” (Daniel 7:27), an earthly kingdom.

When the saints take possession of the kingdom in the days of the Roman empire, there is no mention of dominion, and no mention of earth. When the saints take possession of an earthly kingdom and receive dominion with it, it is only at Christ’s return. The saints never receive earthly dominion until Christ returns in glory. Until then, they possess a heavenly kingdom that can neither be moved nor left to other people.

Heavenly Kingdom vs. Earthly Dominion in Revelation

We see this same distinction in Revelation as well. In Revelation 12:5, we are told that the Woman gave birth to “a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron,” and He is then “caught up unto God, and to his throne” in heaven. But he is not depicted as actually ruling all nations “with a rod of iron” on earth until His return:

“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15)

A heavenly kingdom is set up in the days of the Roman Empire, but an earthly one is set up at His return.

The Kingdom of Heaven in the Gospels and Acts

This is seen even more clearly when we examine how Jesus’ heavenly kingdom is described in the Gospels. Jesus insisted in His earthly life that He had no earthly kingdom. His kingdom, He said, is not of this world:

“My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36).

With no earthly kingdom, there were no earthly servants to fight for Him. What the saints took possession of after Christ’s incarnation was not an earthly kingdom, but a heavenly one, and it was not visible. John the Baptist had been sent to declare that very thing, and when John was rejected by the Jews, Jesus picked up the message and carried it to the Gentiles. Then, when He commissioned His apostles, He instructed them to carry the same message:

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1-2)

“Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee … From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, … And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 10:5,7)

“In the days of those kings” (Daniel 2:44) the God of Heaven was setting up a kingdom, and the saints were told that they were about to take possession of it. To the Jews, Jesus’ constant message was that it was about to be taken away from them: “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof” (Matthew 21:43). But it would not be a visible, earthly kingdom. To the contrary, Jesus’ warning was about people who confused earthly dominion for a heavenly kingdom, and so He corrected those who “thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear” (Luke 19:11), saying:

“The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

But one day, after the second judicial movement depicted in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, He would have dominion over all, and a kingdom that is of this world and “all people, nations and languages” shall serve Him. In other words, at His first advent, He did not have a visible earthly kingdom, but at His second, He will. This is what the the epistle to the Hebrews and Paul’s first to the Corinthians tell us:

“we see not yet all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:8)

he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power … at his [second] coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23-24).

Thus, when His disciples asked when He would establish His earthly kingdom, Jesus turned their attention away from taking earthly dominion and refocused their attention on the preaching of a heavenly kingdom:

“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8)

Jesus did not come to establish an earthly kingdom. He repeatedly and explicitly denied that he had come to take dominion over earth. He came rather to establish a heavenly kingdom. He does not receive an earthly reign until His second advent.

Between His first and second advent, there is only one entity in Scripture depicted as having earthly dominion, and that entity is Antichrist, the Little Horn of Daniel 7, the Beast of Revelation 13, which is the Roman Catholic Church, the Wicked One “whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). This is what Daniel was trying to grasp from his visions, and this is exactly what his heavenly interpreter explained to him.

Read the entire sequence from the lips of Daniel’s interpreter, and this is precisely what we see. Four Kingdoms in succession have earthly dominion. During the Fourth Empire, the saints take possession of a heavenly kingdom, and then a Fifth Empire arises from the fragments of the Fourth and takes dominion of an earthly kingdom. That Fifth Empire is Antichrist. While Antichrist has earthly dominion, he wears out the saints of the Most High who have a heavenly one that cannot be taken away. Upon Christ’s return, Antichrist’s earthly dominion is taken away, and earthly dominion is given to Christ and His saints who reign with Christ on earth. Here are the words of Daniel’s interpreter placed together in a continuous narrative:

 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
18 But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
23 … The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out 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.
25 And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

That, in a nutshell, is world history from Nebuchadnezzar to the return of Christ. The only one who takes dominion between the two judicial movements—that is between Christ’s first advent and His second—is the Little Horn, the Antichrist, the Beast of Revelation 13. We think Taylor Marshall says it best:

“The kingdom is taken away from the Fourth Beast and given to whom? The last four lines leap off the page. Read them over and over again. Who receives the kingdom?” (Marshall, The Eternal City, ch. 1, “Daniel Foretells the Roman Church”)

Yes, the words do leap off the page. Antichrist receives the earthly dominion of the Fourth Beast, and that Antichrist is Roman Catholicism.

The Earthly Dominion of the Antichrist

Daniel and Revelation both have the chief antagonist in their visions destroyed at Christ’s second advent, at which time the dominion of the Little Horn is taken away and consumed to the end (Daniel 7:26), the kingdoms “became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away” (Daniel 2:35), and the Beast is overcome by the Lamb (Revelation 19:19-20). Within the period of the Antichrist’s dominion, he is given power to “wear out the saints of the Most High … and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25). According to John, “power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (Revelation 13:5), and with that power, he made war with the saints of God and ruled over the nations:

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7).

We note here that the Scripture does not say that the Antichrist will only last or exist for “forty and two months.” Where the King James has “continue forty and two months,” the Greek only has “poiēsai, ποιῆσαι” which means “make” or “do.” The sense is that he shall have his own way and do as he pleases for “forty and two months.” Young’s Literal Translation has, “and there was given to it authority to make war forty-two months.” The sense is that he will arise and have dominion, but his power only lasts only forty-two months, or as Daniel has it, “time and times and the dividing of time.”

As with the “ten day” persecution (Revelation 2:10) which we identified with the Fourth and Fifth Seal, and the “five month” period of the Fifth Trumpet in Revelation 9:10, we see the “time and times and the dividing of time” as well as the “forty and two months” to refer to a period of 1,260 prophetic days, which is 1,260 years. We based this on the “day for a year” principle of prophecy (Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6). During that 1,260 years, the Little Horn or the Beast exercises its power over people, tongues and nations, as well as over the saints of the Most High to “wear them out.”

The 1,260 Years

It was easy, in the waning years of the 4th century, for people to think that God’s kingdom had come to earth, and that the era of Christ’s dominion had arrived. The humble zeal of the earlier centuries was replaced with a militancy that grew incrementally indistinguishable from the prerogatives of the civil authority:

“In Gaul, the holy Martin, bishop of Tours, marched at the head of his faithful monks to destroy the idols, the temples, and the consecrated trees of his extensive diocese; … In Syria, the divine and excellent Marcellus, as he is styled by Thodeoret, a bishop animated with apostolic fervor, … took the field in person against the powers of darkness; a numerous troop of soldiers and gladiators marched under the episcopal banner, and he successively attacked the villages and country temples of the diocese of Apamea … in almost every province of the Roman world, an army of fanatics, without authority, and without discipline, invaded the peaceful inhabitants; and the ruin of the fairest structures of antiquity still displays the ravages of those Barbarians, who alone had time and inclination to execute such laborious destruction.” (Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman vol 3, 142-143, emphasis in original)

The Kingdom of God had come to earth, so they thought, and throughout the empire, they would ravage the earth together to prepare the way of the Lord. Persecution replaced preaching as the means of conversion:

“The controversy [persecution vs. tolerance] centered on the church’s first four centuries. In the first three centuries, Christians had not persecuted their enemies. They had been a minority sect, lacking any support from the state, persecuted rather than persecuting. Yet in the fourth century, everything changed.  …  The persecuted lambs had turned into persecuting lions. … The reason for this momentous change was simple. … For the first time … the imperial power was on the side of the church rather than against it.” (Coffey, Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England 1558-1689, (Taylor & Francis, 2000) 21-22)).

Yet even in this zeal to establish a worldly dominion, there was an understanding that there yet remained prerogatives belonging to the emperor alone. Ravaging the countryside and “cleansing the temples” and fighting the powers of darkness under the episcopal banner was one thing. However, it was neither the duty of the church to punish the citizens for civil offenses, nor the prerogative of the church to execute heretics for ecclesiastical offenses. After all, it was to the emperor, not to the Church, that God had given the sword to execute wrath:

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?… For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:3-4).

The line between a civil and an ecclesiastical offense became blurred when Roman Catholicism became the official religion of the empire in 380 A.D.. Heresy was now both an ecclesiastical and a civil offense. The boundaries between the two were severely tried in the Priscillian heresy trials in the 380s. The Council at Zaragosa had excommunicated Priscillian and his followers in 380 A.D. for an ecclesiastical offense, commissioning Ithacius to enforce its decrees. But Priscillian proceeded to be ordained and enthroned as Bishop of Avila anyway,  calling down the ire of Emperor Gratian, who exiled him and his followers for their civil offense. The Priscillians then went to Rome to make an ecclesiastical appeal to Pope Damasus I, who would not hear them, and so they proceeded to Milan to appeal to Ambrose, with similar results. They then appealed to a civil court to overturn both their exile and the seizure of their properties, and then managed to get Ithacius exiled in the process. Ithacius attempted to appeal to Emperor Gratian, but Gratian was murdered and replaced by Emperor Maximus the Great in Treves. Maximus favored “treating the matter not as one of ecclesiastical rivalry, but as one of morality and society” and a civil trial ensued in 384 A.D. (Dictionary of Early Christian Biography, Priscillian and Priscillianism). But Martin of Tours insisted, and Maximus agreed, “that no life should be sacrificed” for something that was only an ecclesiastical offense. But Martin was called away on other business and Maximus reversed course. Priscillian and his followers killed in a civil execution.

Even then, the bishops suspected that there was something terribly, terribly wrong with an ecclesiastical offense being heard in a civil court, and “a violent strife arose between the bishops present on the merits of Priscillian’s execution.” One bishop, Theognistes, steadfastly refused communion to Ithacius and others who had partaken in “the judicial bloodshed” (Dictionary of Early Christian Biography, Priscillian and Priscillianism). Meanwhile, Maximus commissioned a Spanish inquisition, sending “military tribunes to Spain with unlimited powers … to investigate charges of heresy, examine heretics, take life and property from the guilty.” Martin again intervened and persuaded Maximus to recall the inquisitors, for it was not the place of the state to try ecclesiastical matters, and it was not the place of the church to execute heretics. Martin broke off all relations with the bishops in Treves, as did Ambrose, who refused to “have anything to do with bishops who had sent heretics to their death,” and Pope Siricius excommunicated Ithacius and his associates for what they had done (Hughes, History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 28). Such was the revulsion of the day to the inquisitorial methods of the empire as it attempted to enforce the precepts of its new religion.

But something was about to change. John the Baptist, as well as Christ and His apostles, had preached the kingdom of heaven, but the men claiming to be their heirs began to claim not only spiritual authority, but economic, social and political authority as well. As J. B. Bury notes in History of the Later Roman Empire, this change brought about a new order in which monks, priests and bishops would rule the known world:

“The existence of the State Church made a profound difference in the political and social development of the Empire. The old State religion of Rome was often used as an instrument of policy, but perhaps its main political value was symbolic. It involved no theory of the universe, no body of dogma to divide the minds of men and engender disputes. The gods were not jealous, and it was compatible with the utmost variety of other cults and faiths. For the Christian Church, on the contrary, a right belief in theological dogmas was the breath of its life, and, as such questions are abstruse and metaphysical, it was impossible to define a uniform doctrine which all minds would accept. As the necessity of ecclesiastical unity was an axiom, the government had to deal with a new problem, and a very arduous and embarrassing one, such as had not confronted it in the days before Constantine. Doctrine had to be defined, and heretics suppressed. Again, the Church, which once had claimed freedom for itself, denied freedom to others when it was victorious, and would not suffer rival cults. Hence a systematic policy of religious intolerance, such as the Greek and Roman world had never known, was introduced. Another consequence of the Christianising of the State was the rise to power and importance of the institution of monasticism, which was not only influential economically and socially, but was also, as we shall see, a political force.” (Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, chapter XI)

With that social, economic and political power came the power of the sword. What had been repulsive to the bishops during the Priscillian heresy trials only a decade earlier was about to become the order of the day. What had originally repulsed Ambrose, Theognistes and Martin, and had elicited an excommunication from Pope Siricius, was about to become a very attractive tool for the suppression of error. The sudden shift may be traced to the last few years of the 4th century. In what would one day be styled “the Augustinian Consensus,” the powers that prevailed at the close of the 4th Century began to see the value of physical force to induce conversion and maintain the unity of the new State Church, and the weapons of its warfare were carnal.

Augustine originally availed himself only of the powers of persuasion. In 392 A.D., he attempted to persuade a friend who had succumbed to heresy by truth and reason and discourse:

“I have not thought it my duty to be silent towards you, as to my opinions on the finding and retaining of truth… And that this may profit you, or at any rate may in no way harm you, and also all, into whose hands it shall chance to come, I have both prayed, and do pray, unto God; … Wherefore, if either our reasoning or our discourse has in any way moved you… (Augustine, De utilitate credendi, 1, 2, 36)

But Augustine eventually came around to the pragmatism of corporal punishment for doctrinal error. When Vincentius challenged him in 408 A.D. on the use of force to persuade heretics, Augustine defended the practice on very practical grounds. After all, the use of force was clearly working. Vincentius disagreed, finding that the new policies of the church were both reprehensible and unscriptural, and informed Augustine of his disapproval, but to no avail.

“You will say,” Augustine retorted, “that to some these remedies are of no service,” and “that no one should be compelled to follow righteousness” (Augustine, Letter 93To Vincentius, paragraphs 3, 5). On one point, at least, Augustine was only too happy to concur with Vincentius who claimed that there was no support for this new approach in the apostolic church. Augustine agreed:

“You say that no example is found in the writings of evangelists and apostles, of any petition presented on behalf of the Church to the kings of the earth against her enemies. Who denies this? None such is found.” (Augustine, Letter 93, To Vincentius, paragraph 9)

But things were different now, Augustine said, and Vincentius needed to get with the times. In Daniel, Augustine had found a prophecy that foretold the changing of the guard, and therefore, a changing of the policy. Nebuchadnezzar’s persecution of believers foretold the period of the early church when Christians were executed by unbelievers. But Nebuchadnezzar’s subsequent actions foretold a time when unbelievers would be persecuted by Christians. And that time was now:

“Truly, if past events recorded in the prophetic books were figures of the future, there was given under King Nebuchadnezzar a figure both of the time which the Church had under the apostles, and of that which she has now. In the age of the apostles and martyrs, that was fulfilled which was prefigured when the aforesaid king compelled pious and just men to bow down to his image, and cast into the flames all who refused. Now, however, is fulfilled that which was prefigured soon after in the same king, when, being converted to the worship of the true God, he made a decree throughout his empire, that whosoever should speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, should suffer the penalty which their crime deserved. The earlier time of that king represented the former age of emperors who did not believe in Christ, at whose hands the Christians suffered because of the wicked; but the later time of that king represented the age of the successors to the imperial throne, now believing in Christ, at whose hands the wicked suffer because of the Christians.” (Augustine, Letter 93, To Vincentius, paragraph 9)

We agree with Augustine on a great many things, but we cannot agree with him here. On this perilously thin foundation was “the Augustinian Consensus” constructed, and it lasted for well over 1,200 years. 1,260 years, to be exact.

Not long into the Reformation, many Protestants realized that it was not wise to imitate Rome’s methods of persuasion, for to do so was to emulate Antichrist. Like Vincentius, they realized that there had been no place in the apostolic church for such coercion, and insisted that the Church did not have the prerogatives of the emperor:

“The Protestant conviction that the Christian church had fundamentally lost its way after the primitive centuries proved uniquely corrosive to the traditional theory of persecution. The fact that Augustine’s defense of religious coercion had been the orthodoxy for a millennium did not impress Protestant primitivists. Instead, they were haunted by the belief that the church had been subverted by Antichrist. John Foxe had reminded English Protestants that persecution was one of the hallmarks of the Beast of Revelation, and in the course of the 17th century many came to the belief that Beast could take Protestant as well as popish forms. Ever since the 1520s, radical protestants had argued that the church must eschew religious violence if it was to recover primitive purity.” (Coffey, 210-211)

Something was terribly wrong when the practice of coercion had replaced the foolishness of preaching. Protestants started to realize that they had brought too much with them when they left Rome, and began to abandon the practice. By 1644 A.D., “the Augustinian consensus had been irreparably fractured” in England by the writings of the Puritans (Coffey, 47), and under Pope Alexander VII (1655 – 1667 A.D.), just when Rome’s political influence was declining precipitously throughout Europe, the Pope suddenly abandoned the Augustinian consensus as well:

“Especially during the pontificate of Alexander VII the Roman Catholic Church strove to convert foreign heretics by means of persuasion and re-education, which began to be seen as a more effective tool than fear for producing lasting conversions.” (Irene Fosi, Università di Chieti, “Conversion and Autobiography: Telling Tales before the Roman Inquisition,” (Journal of Early Modern History 17 (2013) 437-456)

Alexander VII, as we shall see, represents a remarkable turning point in the Pope’s political, social and economic influence in Europe. His predecessor, Innocent X (1644 – 1655 A.D.), was the last pope to send armed troops into battle. Then, over the course of a single pontificate, Rome’s fortunes in Europe so thoroughly declined that the Pope turned his attention to making Rome more aesthetically and juridically welcoming to visitors. His successors occupied themselves with architecture, ecclesiastical and financial reform, and appeasing various internal and external factions.

Dorothy Habel therefore describes Alexander VII as a man “wedged between two moments in time,” which is a profoundly appropriate description of his reign. Augustine, too, had been a man “wedged between two moments in time.” Just as Augustine had witnessed the rise of Roman Catholic authority in the secular sphere in the waning years of the 4th century, Alexander VII now saw its sudden decline in the middle of the 17th. He was indeed “wedged between two moments,” and those two moments define the end of Rome’s 1,260 year dominance over world affairs, and the beginning of its return to its late 4th century stature as one player among many:

“What is clear is that Alexander found himself wedged between two moments in time. He enjoyed the tradition of the immediate past in Rome with its long line of modern popes, many of whom were religious and economic, political and personal. However, earlier papal building programs were rarely questioned for their appropriateness and value. That Alexander’s were scrutinized reflects a new political reality for Rome and the papacy, first heralded by the Treaty of Münster (1643), maintained by the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and solidified by the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659). From this point on, the spiritual allegiance of Europe no longer weighed in favor of the Catholic Church, and as a result the Papal States, never having held either substantial territory or a majority population, struggled to hold a politically viable position within Europe. Alexander VII, witness at the first two accords and absentee at the third, surely knew this well. These experiences spawned his leadership in church reform, of which his urban development program was a part.” (Dorothy Metzger Habel, The Urban Development of Rome in the Age of Alexander VII, (Cambridge University Press (2002)), 8)

For this reason, Alexander VII’s administration is widely recognized as the end of civil and political power for the papacy, except over the papal states. Recognizing this, Alexander VII simultaneously abandoned “the Augustinian Consensus” and turned his attention to Roman architecture and internal reform. In the “exercise of statecraft,” the papacy had become essentially “irrelevant”:

“Papal authority declined precipitously during the seventeenth century. … in politics the papacy was a minor player commanding modest resources; in religion, its assertion of spiritual supremacy in the Catholic world was compromised by a series of concordats that conceded extensive rights of clerical appointments to Catholic monarchs. The reason of state, a philosophy espoused alike by Catholic and Protestant princes in their exercise of statecraft, increasingly made the theocratic pretensions of the papacy irrelevant.” (R. Po-Chia Hsia, The World of Catholic Renewal 1540 – 1770, (Cambridge University Press (2005)), 108)

The evidence of the irrelevancy of his “theocratic pretensions” was the utter humiliation of the person and office of the papacy at the Treaty of Pisa. After an unfortunate incident involving the Corsican guards, Alexander was forced “to erect a monument in Rome itself bearing an inscription recalling the outrage, and followed by a record of the Pope’s apology expressed in the most abject and obsequious terms” (‪Valérie Pirie‬, The Triple Crown‬: ‪An Account of the Papal Conclaves from the Fifteenth Century to the Present Day‬ (Sidgwick & Jackson, Limited, (1935), 176-177).

Of course, the papacy would go on after Alexander VII, speaking great words against the Most High, falsely claiming to be the true, apostolic church, exercising dominion over those who would submit willingly to her errors, spreading her false gospel far and wide, insisting that the world not only worship her image, the Eucharist, but also attend to words of the False Prophet, the apparition of Mary. But she was no longer able to compel them by force to do either. The wielding of the sword, corporal punishment and execution for heresy were abandoned by the pope and returned to the prerogative of “the Emperor,” which by now was constituted in the various monarchs of Europe. They, too, would “wear out the saints,” but the pope no longer had the sway or the resources to help or hinder them in the process

There is of course much more to be said on this topic, but we will conclude this article by taking note of a rather remarkable historical coincidence. There was a man named Vigilantius, alleged to be a disciple of Jovinianus who had been excommunicated by Pope Siricius I in 389 A.D. for his teaching on clerical marriage. Vigilantius, too, had strenuously rejected the new teachings on veneration of relics and martyrs, the exaggerated merits of virginity above marriage, prayers to the dead, the rising prestige of monkery in the church, and the compulsory sending of alms to Jerusalem (as if Paul had instituted a permanent tax rather than responding to a temporary need (Acts 24:17, Romans 15:25, 1 Corinthians 16:3)).

Jerome’s venomous response to Vigilantius was a picture of histrionic vilification and is considered his least cogent and most illogical of all of his many treatises. For the abusive denigration Vigilantius received from the pen of Jerome,  H. H. Milman rightly grants to Vigilantius the title, “the Protestant of his age” (Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 3, chapter 28 (p. 157, note 74)). But Milman went on in the same note to say that Vigilantius “firmly, though ineffectually, withstood the superstition of monks, relics, saints, fasts, &c…” We do not believe that Vigilantius was ineffectual at all, and Jerome attests several times to his effectiveness in several of his letters.

The bishop in Vigilantius’ own diocese supported him, as Jerome acknowledged in his letter to Riparius (Jerome, Letter 109, To Riparius, chapter 2). There were others—bishops and deacons—who supported him as well, and apparently not a few:

“Shameful to relate, there are bishops who are said to be associated with him in his wickedness—if at least they are to be called bishops—who ordain no deacons but such as have been previously married;” (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, 2)

In his treatise, Against Vigilantius, Jerome relates that he had heard that the parishes of Riparius and Desiderius, “have been defiled by being in his neighbourhood, and … some persons are found who, from their inclination to his vices, assent to his blasphemies” (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, 2). To Jerome’s chagrin, while Vigilantius was making “raids upon the churches of Gaul,” Gaul was supporting “a native foe,” allowing Vigilantius to remain “seated in the Church” (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, 4). Vigilantius, as it turns out, was not alone, and was gaining followers.

He had visited with Jerome in Bethlehem in 395 A.D., and they might have been co-laborers, but something about Jerome had disquieted him. Vigilantius apparently left in haste, for Jerome relates that he “went away, he departed, he escaped, he broke out” (Jerome, Letter 109, To Riparius, chapter 2). Keeping in mind that these were the days when Roman Catholicism was beginning to wield the sword against heretics, Jerome’s prescription for the “errors” of Vigilantius cannot be taken lightly. Jerome believed that Vigilantius ought to be deprived of his freedom, his tongue, and his life:

“Oh, monster, who ought to be banished to the ends of the earth!” (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, 8)

“The wretch’s tongue should be cut out, or he should be put under treatment for insanity.” (Jerome, Letter 109, To Riparius, chapter 2)

“…[Vigilantius is] a man who has lost his head and who ought to be put in the strait-jacket … ” (Jerome, Against Vigilantius, 4)

“I am surprised that the reverend bishop in whose diocese he is said to be a presbyter … does not rather with apostolic rod, nay with a rod of iron, shatter this useless vessel and deliver him for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved. [1 Corinthians 5:5]” (Jerome, Letter 109, To Riparius, chapter 2)

This is just a sampling of Jerome’s invective against him. Elsewhere Jerome waxed longingly on the need for Vigiliantius to be killed for his errors (Jerome, Letter 109, To Riparius, chapter 3). After Vigilantius experienced Jerome in person in 395 A.D., we can hardly blame him for his hasty departure.

What is interesting to us is where Vigilantius went from there, and Jerome tells us. Vigilantius returned to his homeland and his last known location and occupation was the preaching of his “heresy,” “between the Adriatic and the Alps of King Cotius” (Jerome, Letter 109, To Riparius, chapter 2), where there was clearly a strong and growing movement in opposition to the new Roman Catholic superstitions emerging throughout the empire.

Not a few historians have noted that Vigilantius’ last known location is precisely where an apparently intractable “heresy” remained in opposition to Rome until the Waldensians were finally removed from the Alpine valleys in the Piedmont Easter Massacre of 1655 A.D.—1,260 years after Vigilantius had first repaired to the Cottian Alps after his encounter with Jerome.

Our point here is that during the 1,260 years that Rome retained the power and authority of the emperor, and wielded the sword for the punishment of heretics, there was also a movement that rejected the characteristically Roman Catholic doctrines that had emerged in the latter half of the 4th century, which we highlighted in The Rise of Roman Catholicism. That protestant movement was consistently found in the Alpine Valleys between France and Italy until 1655 A.D. when the Waldensians were finally extricated from their refuge and dispersed throughout Europe.

We believe therefore that this 1,260 year period is that which John foresaw in Revelation 12:15 when the “the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood (potamon, ποταμόν) after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood (potamophorēton, ποταμοφόρητον).” But “to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14).

We note that the word for flood (potamon, ποταμόν) is the word used in Matthew (7:25,27) and Luke (6:48-49) when Jesus describes the house that is built upon the rock of His Word, and is therefore able to withstand the floods. Also, the word for “carried away of the flood” (potamophorēton, ποταμοφόρητον), bears with it the sense of being carried away by error, as in Ephesians 4:14,

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about (peripheromenoiπεριφερόμενοι) with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”

Thus the Serpent would open his mouth as a fountain of error in an attempt to shake the Church at its foundation, hoping that she would be carried away by the flood of false doctrines that he had let loose. But his efforts would fail. The Woman was provided a place for 1,260 years where she would be nourished by the Word of God and protected from the face of the Serpent.

At the latter part of the 4th century, when Roman Catholicism first came on the scene, the Serpent spewed forth his erroneous doctrines—the primacy of the pope, the pope as Pontifex of the new state religion, the sinlessness of Mary, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the sacrifice of the Mass, the veneration and invocation of relics and martyrs and saints, unnatural ascetism, mandatory celibacy of the clergy, Jerome’s erroneous Vulgate translation with its false gospel of “do penance, for the Kingdom of Heaven is a hand,” etc… Yet his efforts were in vain, for the Lord had provided a place in the wilderness for His people to be nourished, and therefore protected, by His Word.

Significantly, that 1,260 year period during which the Beast of Revelation 13 was given the power to wear out the saints of the Most High, coincided with the 1,260 year period when the Woman was provided a place in the wilderness where she was protected from the face of the Serpent. The Beast could torture and kill the saints at will, but the Serpent’s false doctrines could not reach them. The flood of error “beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock,” which is His Word (Luke 6:48). They resisted the errors that emerged at the end of the Fourth Century, and when Eucharistic Adoration was introduced in the Eleventh, they resisted that, too.

We are aware that some scholars of different ages have contested the persistence and continuity of a Protestant presence in the Alpine Valleys for those 1,260 years. We shall return to a detailed examination of that period in a later article, but for now we leave our readers with this: there is more evidence to support the continuity of a protestant presence in the Alps for those 1,260 years than there is evidence for Eucharistic Adoration in the first 11 centuries. And yet Eucharistic Adoration is considered to be the very heart and soul of the religion of the Fifth Empire.

We will conclude our series on the Fifth Empire next week with an examination of a brief but incisive commentary on Daniel 2 from the lips of Jesus Himself.

52 thoughts on “The Fifth Empire (part 3)”

  1. Tim,

    I know you do not hold to the positions of the best reformers in terms of dates (nor do I as many disagree on these unknowns), but I’m glad to report that you reach the same conclusion as one of the best contemporary reformers who has loads of degrees behind his name. Francis Nigel Lee was one of the best, if not the best (in my opinion), researchers in the history of the world that fully documents and footnotes the original sources in all his writings.

    He agreed with you who is the antichrist of Scripture here:

    http://www.dr-fnlee.org/antichrist-in-scripture/

    While he believes the 1260 year period starts at 70 AD, and I believe that it starts at 800 AD, we still reach the same conclusion as to who is the Antichrist…as do you and the greatest early church writers and reformers.

    While I know that you are not impressed by University degrees as being the basis for the truth (as some others of the Romish tradition), I am very pleased to share with you the educational excellence of Dr. Lee.

    It is great to see you reaching the same conclusion as this scholarly and ministerial Presbyterian giant.

    Earned Doctorates
    Th.D.: The Covenantal Sabbath University of Stellenbosch
    Ph.D.: Communist Eschatology Orange Free State University
    D.Min.: Daily Family Worship Whitefield Theological Seminary
    D.Ed.: Catechism Before Communion! Dominion School of Education
    S.T.D.: Rebaptism Impossible! Whitefield Theological Seminary
    D.R.E.: Baby Belief Before Baptism! Dominion School of Education
    D.Jur.: Women Ministers & Australian Litigation Rutherford School of Law
    D.Litt.: Holinshed on the Ancient British Isles Dominion School of Education
    D.C.L.: The Roots and Fruits of the Common Law Rutherford School of Law
    D.Hum.: Tiny Human Life: abortion, AID, AIH, SHW, IVF and cloning Whitefield Theological Seminary

    Other Degrees
    B.A.: University of Capetown
    LL.B.: University of Capetown
    M.A.: University of Capetown
    L.Th. (cum laude): University of Stellenbosch
    B.D. (cum laude): University of Stellenbosch
    M.Th. (cum laude): University of Stellenbosch
    M.A. & Cultural Sc.: Potchefstroom University

    Another Minister I know agrees with your views, counter to those of Roman Catholics and the Papacy who are trying to link Daniel to Obama or some other sort of “leader” to come, or Nero who “has come” already. He writes:

    “2. I submit that because the time period in which the Beast of Revelation wars against Christ and His faithful witnesses is for 1,260 years, the Beast of Revelation cannot be a single individual (like Nero, Trajan, Diocletian, Julian the apostate, Mohammed, Louis XIV, to King George III, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolph Hitler, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Barack Obama). For using the Scriptural Day-Year Principle to calculate the 42 prophetic months in which the Beast is given power from Satan to war against Christ and His faithful witnesses (in Revelation 13:5-7), we calculate the 1,260 prophetic days of the 42 prophetic months to be 1,260 calendar years (using the Scriptural Day-Year Principle). The Beast of Revelation is not a single individual person, but is rather a government or kingdom that exists in some form for 1,260 years.”

    And therefore we conclude, contrary to your analysis and that of Dr. Lee (loaded with university degrees) the following starting point as a historical post millennialist.

    “e. Fifth, then to the amazement and wonder of the world, the wound of the sixth head of the Roman Beast (that of Emperors) was healed and revived in the eighth head when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne to be the Emperor of the revived Roman Empire in 800 a.d. This revived eighth head (that of Emperors) was one of the seven (namely, a continuation of the sixth head of Emperors) according to Revelation 17:11. It is this expression of this first Beast (whose sixth head is healed in the eighth head) that wars against Christ and His faithful witnesses for 1,260 years (together with the Papal False Prophet, as we shall see in a subsequent sermon). “

  2. Thank you, Walt.

    I agree. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee is absolutely terrific as a resource and in fact was an inspiration to me as well. Thank you for providing his credentials here. He was truly a giant among men.

    Tim

  3. Tim, this is interesting…I believe there is a correlation between the 1,260 year biblical principle, but do not agree with you that the period started and ended here:

    “What is interesting to us is where Vigilantius went from there, and Jerome tells us. Vigilantius returned to his homeland and his last known location and occupation was the preaching of his “heresy,” “between the Adriatic and the Alps of King Cotius” (Jerome, Letter 109, To Riparius, chapter 2), where there was clearly a strong and growing movement in opposition to the new Roman Catholic superstitions emerging throughout the empire.”

    The Vatican still holds an extensive position of civil authority in what it calls various treaties and concordats. Here is a simple summary by Bennett. While he has no “credibility” as an authority by Rome, this is a good summary. Please don’t ignore Bennett’s research because he does not have a degree sufficient to justify his research like other Romish will do.

    http://www.bereanpublishers.com/vatican-prepares-to-control-through-civil-law/

    Here is another source to keep up on this growing, global and powerful movement by the Vatican.

    http://www.concordatwatch.eu/

    While I know you are trying to make a distinction between “persecution” as the near end of this power Rome had during the 1,260 year period, you ignore what Rome did to the Covenanters during the “killing times” in Scotland via civil law.

    If you argue that the 1,260 year period is ended already, due to the evidence is there were no further persecution of the saints after the Easter Massacre of 1655, I would have to challenge your presupposition.

    “Not a few historians have noted that Vigilantius’ last known location is precisely where an apparently intractable “heresy” remained in opposition to Rome until the Waldensians were finally removed from the Alpine valleys in the Piedmont Easter Massacre of 1655 A.D.—1,260 years after Vigilantius had first repaired to the Cottian Alps after his encounter with Jerome.”

    However, I do agree that the water flood of false doctrine, continues through the 1,260 year period in addition to the persecution of the saints.

    The real coming attraction that is yet unfilled between the 1,260 and the 1,290 and the 1,335 year periods is the period of the “killing of the witnesses” (yet unfulfilled).

    The persecution of the saints in our generation comes in many forms by Rome’s tremendous civil influence with governments, etc. They are effectively silencing the reformed religion, removing prayer from non-Catholic schools, creating a massive array of anti-protestant bigotry at all levels of global civil society. While you seem to be looking for “visible” promoted death sentences we saw Rome propagate during the period of Inquisition, etc., I think you are missing the “secret society” they have learned to become in promoting persecution.

    The Vatican is so filled with such an enormous level of evil and wickedness that on the global scene it has had to literally go underground after the start of the reformation (1385AD) and do everything possible in stealth. These concordats give them civil protections and exemptions from the laws of the Land for which they operate in stealth.

    Very few see Rome as but a harmless billion plus strong church, and what they did to the Covenanters and reformers was just the likes of “bloody Mary” going a little bit off kilter. They see nothing wrong with these civil beasts doing anything except for slaughtering a few outspoken protestants to help Rome keep civil obedience.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Satan is having a field day in running up to the end of the 1,260 year period, and putting in place the beginning of the 1260 to 1260 year period of the killing of the witnesses. This 30 year period is going to be extremely deadly and the Vatican followers will be at the forefront to silence the testimony / witnesses soon.

    Don’t think it is all over but a few “charges of heresy” from the Vatican without enforcement…you would be deceived to say and teach such things in my view.

    1. Walt,

      I’ve been a little busy and unable to respond as quickly as I usually prefer. I’m trying to catch up now. I was wondering about your interest in the Killing Time as being part of the 1,260 year period. If we were to start the clock at 800 A.D., that would complete the 1,260 years in 2060 A.D., but would omit the 601 A.D. Massacre at Bangor-is-y-coed in Wales. So starting it early omits the Killing Time, but starting it late omits the Bangor-is-y-coed massacre. How would you account for the omission of a Papally sanctioned massacre in your reckoning of the 1,260 years? Is it your understanding that the Scottish Covenanters are the fulfillment of the Church of the Wilderness in Revelation 12? I’m sorry if you have already covered this — it may have been included in one of your video links. I’m part way through them.

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Tim wrote:

        “I was wondering about your interest in the Killing Time as being part of the 1,260 year period. If we were to start the clock at 800 A.D., that would complete the 1,260 years in 2060 A.D., but would omit the 601 A.D. Massacre at Bangor-is-y-coed in Wales.”

        I don’t define the 1,260 year period as the biblical “Killing Times”.

        1. Thank, Walt. I actually wasn’t asking if you define the 1,260 year period as the killing time. I was asking if you consider the Killing time to be part of the 1,260 years. Do you believe that the Killing Time is included in the 1,260 years?

          Thanks,

          Tim

  4. Tim you wrote:

    “Thank you, Walt.

    I agree. Dr. Francis Nigel Lee is absolutely terrific as a resource and in fact was an inspiration to me as well. Thank you for providing his credentials here. He was truly a giant among men.”

    I’m so pleased you agree. The reformed church is loaded with incredible giants in history…far outweighing anything the Vatican has ever produced in terms of intellect and integrity. You cannot even compare the two scholarly giants. The problem with those guys like Kenneth is they are so deeply blinded by their own ignorance to history they run their entire lives by blind faith, not true biblical faith.

    Could you imagine one who is being trained in the most simple University degrees called “education” (where usually the weakest students choose to pursue in our university programs) arguing publicly that he is essentially going to debunk reformers who are heavily skilled in Scripture and in history? Laughable to me…and yet complain about you that you have no degree in history or religion, and therefore have no authority to debunk Romish tradition and historical error.

    I’ll close with this about Francis Nigel Lee:

    “In 1981, the Lee family moved to Australia, where Dr Lee worked as Professor of Systematic Theology and Caldwell-Morrow Lecturer in Church History at the Queensland Presbyterian Theological Hall until his retirement.

    Preacher, theologian, lawyer, educator, historian, philosopher and author, Lee produced more than 300 publications (including many books) and also a multitude of long unpublished manuscripts. In addition to an honorary LL.D, he had twenty earned degrees, including some ten earned doctorates awarded for dissertations in law, literature, philosophy and theology.

    A diehard predestinarian, ***Dr Lee routinely rose early, read God’s Word in eight languages and walked a couple of miles before breakfast. He travelled extensively around the World some six or seven times, visited eighty-eight countries (several repeatedly) and was in demand as a promoter of doctoral students in Australia, Britain, South Africa and the United States.***”

    Imagine the “majority” of scholars doing this who side with Rome?!? Impossible. Anyone who claims to make their decisions based upon what the majority teach, preach and profess is really in for a shock when they die and end up in hell with the majority for everlasting torment.

  5. Tim,

    It dawned on me that the reign of bloody Mary was within your period of the 1,260 years…so that period if it ended in 1,655 AD then I should not have referenced Mary as an example.

  6. Vigilantius! Finally you have given me something to pursue on the non-Catholic christians of the middle ages. So far I have not found much, but it is a start.

    Thank you!

  7. Tim,

    I’m wondering if you are integrating the period of “falling away” with the start of the 1,260 year period?

    1. Walt, to answer your question, no, I did not integrate the falling way (which I see as taking place over the course of 40 or so years in the latter half of the 4th century) into the 1,260 years. I place the start of the 1,260 years around 396 A.D., which is when the Church began to see itself as bearing the sword. Based on the testimony of Martin, Ambrose and Siricius, as late as 390 A.D.., they did not see it as the prerogative of the church to wield the sword. Augustine clearly did not see it in his 393 A.D. letter to his friend (De utilitate credendi). But by the time Augustine wrote his response to Vincentius in 408, he clearly saw that the time had come for the church to bear the sword, and Jerome clearly thought as much, given his vitriolic response to Vigilantius’ “errors” and the need for him to be deprived of life and liberty due to his allegedly grievous offenses. Something had changed in that period and what changed is the belief that the church rightfully had the power to wield the sword. I believe that under the reign of Alexander VII that returned to the monarchs—some of whom were Roman Catholic and used their “sword” accordingly.

      Thanks,

      Tim

      1. Tim wrote:

        “Walt, to answer your question, no, I did not integrate the falling way (which I see as taking place over the course of 40 or so years in the latter half of the 4th century) into the 1,260 years. I place the start of the 1,260 years around 396 A.D., which is when the Church began to see itself as bearing the sword.”

        I have never seen this date before used as the starting of the 1,260 year period. I really believe this is way to early in history as Antichrist had really not even come onto the scene yet. The 1,260 years is the reign of Antichrist, and to start this early seems to be challenging to all the reformers I’ve read, and some of the best commentators on Daniel / Revelations.

        It is a fascinating history, and certainly I look forward to your play by play biblical arguments justifying this period as the 1,260 year reign.

        Finally, I also disagree with you that Charles II were largely Anglican persecution periods. This interpretation tells me that you disagree with the reformers in how they viewed the Romish antichrist and her doctrine, discipline, worship and government. The Erastian “toleration” principles used by Charles II and James IV were just that…principles to enforce “toleration” upon the Covenanter ministers.

        Can I assume you reject the 6 Ministerial Presbyterian Terms of Communion?

        I assume you would reject this term specifically?

        “An approbation of the faithful contending of the martyrs of Jesus, especially in Scotland, against Paganism, Popery, Prelacy, Malignancy and Sectarianism; immoral civil governments; Erastian tolerations and persecutions which flow from them; and of the Judicial Testimony emitted by the Reformed Presbytery in North Britain, 1761 with supplements from the Reformed Presbyterian Church; as containing a noble example to be followed, in contending for all divine truth, and in testifying against all corruptions embodied in the constitutions of either churches or states.”

        1. Walt, thanks for your comment. You noted,

          I have never seen this date before used as the starting of the 1,260 year period. I really believe this is way to early in history as Antichrist had really not even come onto the scene yet. The 1,260 years is the reign of Antichrist, and to start this early seems to be challenging to all the reformers I’ve read, and some of the best commentators on Daniel / Revelations.

          Well, that is my point. To argue that the period from 395-1655 cannot be the period of Antichrist because Antichrist had not come on the scene is circularity. The fact that Antichrist had come on the scene much earlier than even the reformers—and yes, even some of the best commentators—realized, is the heart and soul of my thesis. If I am reading your response correctly, you seem to be saying that what I have proposed cannot be true simply because it is not true. Yet if the Roman empire is fragmented in 296 A.D. (when Diocletian divided the empire into Dioceses), and by the end of the 4th century Roman Catholicism emerges among them and takes over, then this is consistent with a continuum of empires as expressed in Nebuchadnezzar’s and Daniel’s visions in Daniel 2 and 7. If we can find the horns and toes, and establish the transitions of the Fourth empire (from legs, to feet, to toes), then we should be able to identify the rise of Antichrist among the horns. That would draw our attention to the latter part of the 4th century when the Papacy started to claim primacy, and when the erroneous doctrines began to emerge, leading to the great apostasy.

          More on this as we proceed, but yes, I hold that antichrist emerged must earlier than the historicists have typically understood. (Much later, of course, than the preterists say, and much earlier than the futurists say). If we can find those toes and horns, we’ll find Antichrist. And those toes and horns are easily found. You continued,

          “Finally, I also disagree with you that Charles II were largely Anglican persecution periods.”

          It’s not merely that it was high-Anglican vs. Presbyterianism, but also that it was monarchical: As I wrote, “The wielding of the sword, corporal punishment and execution for heresy were abandoned by the pope and returned to the prerogative of “the Emperor,” which by now was constituted in the various monarchs of Europe.” I’m not denying that there was persecution in this era, and I agree that it was certainly administered by the kings—be they Catholic or Protestant. I’m just saying that it was by the kings. The pope hardly had any sway at all in that period. His main weapon was the power of persuasion, for the pope no longer bore the sword. The kings do. Some kings may even do the pope’s bidding, but he simply has no way of enforcing it. Contrast, for example, Innocent X (Alexander VII’s predecessor) sending troops and materiel to England to participate in the civil war (1642–49):

          “The pope sent as nuncio extraordinary to Ireland, Giovanni Battista Rinuccini, archbishop of Fermo, who arrived at Kilkenny with a large quantity of arms, military supplies including 20,000 pounds of gunpowder, and a very large sum of money.”

          Consider also the Massacre at Bangor-is-y-coed (601 A.D.) at the instigation of Pope Gregory:

          “The notion that Augustine [not Augustine of Hippo] brought Christianity to Britain is pure myth. He came here as the representative of the Pope and persuaded the Saxon kings to submit to Rome. There were mass baptisms all over the country as the Saxon people followed the example of their leaders. Then in 601 he went to Wales, expecting the same success, but was disappointed. The Welsh already had the true faith, given to them by the early church, and they did not need any new innovations from Rome. Augustine demanded that the Britons should accept all the doctrines of the Roman Catholic church, although he offered them time to do it in piecemeal fashion, without converting to Roman Catholicism all at once. When they refused, he instigated the Saxon army to attack the monastery at Bangor-is-y-coed, killing 1200 monks and scholars.”

          When I contrast, on the one hand, papal legates and papal nuncios leading troops into battle and forcing conversions under threat of death, all under the direct authority of the pope, with the Killing Time on the other hand, “a period of conflict in Scottish history between the Presbyterian Covenanter movement, based largely in the south west of the country, and the government forces of Kings Charles II and James VII,” I see a considerable difference between them. I mean no disrespect to the martyrs of Scotland simply by acknowledging two different world orders. Under one world order, the Pope wields the sword and is de facto emperor of the known world. In another, the pope has been largely de-clawed and de-fanged, is unable to project civil and military power, and remains on the sidelines cheering for or against one side or the other.

          I did watch the entire video on the Vatican (thanks for providing it). I don’t see the pope wielding much civil power except in the papal states, and the video at several points acknowledges that the time of the pope’s ability to project power is long past. He has a bank. He has a pulpit. And he has a lot of adherents in many nations in the world. But his ability to direct civil affairs beyond the walls of the Vatican is of an entirely different order now than when Pope Gregory sent Augustine to England to convert the Island by any means necessary, and how Pope Innocent X sent the nuncio to England with troops and supplies to ensure a favorable outcome in the civil war. In one case he wields the sword, and in another, he wields the pen.

          I do not subscribe to the 6 terms of communion, but I’ll go with the first 2 1/2 of them. One thing I’ll point out in Term 6, however, is that it explicitly acknowledges that all persecutions are not necessarily papal. That was my only point in identifying the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) of the Killing Time. It seems to me that there was very little Innocent could do for or against either side. His pontificate focused largely on financial and administrative reform in Rome, and what he spent to influence foreign affairs, was against the Turks. Regarding affairs in England, “the Pope did not approve the imprudent manner in which James II attempted to restore Catholicism in England. … [and] he did not afford James help in his hour of trial.” He did send a papal nuncio, but this time, without weapons. He seems rather to have relied on the ability of kings to project power, and “spared no efforts to induce the Christian princes to lend a helping hand for the expulsion of the Turks from Hungary. He contributed millions of scudi to the Turkish war fund in Austria and Hungary and had the satisfaction of surviving the capture of Belgrade, (6 September 1688).” This is not a pontificate that was invested in wearing out the saints, as popes did in an earlier era.

          Well, those are my thoughts anyway. I always appreciate yours.

          Tim

  8. Tim,

    If you take the year 1,655 AD as your end date for the 1,260 year period, it is too bad that it was not the year 1,688 AD as this was the last year that the great of the Scottish Covenanter martyr was killed by the Romish doctrinal machine under the reign of Charles II.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Renwick_%28Covenanter%29

    If it was the 1,290 year period (30 years later) it would have taken us to to the year 1,685 AD, and some believe that after the 1,260 year there would be a 3.5 year of great persecution (the killing of the witnesses)…thus taking Renwick to be the last known martyr in 1,688 AD (1685+3.5).

    ————
    Renwick was thereupon sentenced to die by hanging. The sentence was carried out on 17 February 1688, in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh. Following his execution, Renwick’s head and hands were severed and affixed to the gates of the city.

    It was the 17th of February 1688 when James Renwick was martyred. Before the year was out, the Stuarts were in exile, and persecutions was closed. He died as the herald of a more gracious day. “He was of old Knox’s principles,” his adversaries said, when they noted his unassailable steadfastness. But we may take our farewell of him in words which were written by one who loved him dearly: “When I speak of him as a man, none more comely in features, none more prudent, none more heroic in spirit, yet none more meek, more humaned and condescending. He learned the truth and counted the cost, and so sealed it with his blood.”[3]
    ————–

    Rome was responsible for this “killing time” in Scotland, and since they have taken over Ireland and Scotland largely to bring back in based upon their “toleration” principles…

    1. Thanks, Walt,

      Sorry to take so long getting back to you. Briefly, I was limiting the 42 months to a time period when the pope could administer affairs autocratically from Rome, basically giving direction to kings and emperors. Beyond 1656 in the Reign of Alexander VII, that autocratic overreach into international affairs ended, and left the pope back where he was prior to last few years of the 4th century. Strong on opinion, but weak on executive authority. The conflict between Roman Catholicism continued beyond the 42 months, which is what my meaning was when I wrote:

      The wielding of the sword, corporal punishment and execution for heresy were abandoned by the pope and returned to the prerogative of “the Emperor,” which by now was constituted in the various monarchs of Europe. They, too, would “wear out the saints,” but the pope no longer had the sway or the resources to help or hinder them in the process

      As I noted, Alexander VII’s reign is a recognizable inflection point, as it were, and he was truly a man wedged between two moments in time. His predecessor was the last one to wield civil power by sending troops into battle as he did during the English Civil War: “The pope [Innocent X] sent as nuncio extraordinary to Ireland, Giovanni Battista Rinuccini, archbishop of Fermo, who arrived at Kilkenny with a large quantity of arms, military supplies including 20,000 pounds of gunpowder, and a very large sum of money.”

      Alexander VII and his successors were unable to project that kind of power, except, as I noted, within the papal states. Thus, the pope’s (Little Horn’s) ability to “make war” and “wear out the saints” came to an end during Alexander’s reign.

      Beyond that, it was Catholic (and sometimes Protestant) monarchs in Europe who projected the power of arms and persecution of “heretics.”

      Thus, I do not diminish the killing time as if they had not happened. It was quite significant and prodigious in its carnage. But because it was a conflict largely between High Anglicanism and Scottish Presbyterians (Charles II did not convert to Roman Catholicism until his deathbed), with a brief reign of Roman Catholic James II, I see the killing time as a domestic dispute within England, Scotland and Ireland, and not as a result of the projection of papal civil power and authority. It has significant repercussions in ecumenical dialogue, to be sure, and caused the torch of the reformation to burn brighter by the light of its many martyrs, but I don’t see it as a direct action of the pope intervening in foreign affairs as he was known to do in the previous period.

      Does that make sense?

      Thanks,

      Tim

  9. Tim,

    Here you go if you want to see the “killing times” period where Rome led the intense persecution of Covenanters under Charles II and James the II of England and Ireland, and IV under Scotland.

    ————-
    James II and VII (14 October 1633O.S. – 16 September 1701)[2] was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII,[3] from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.

    The second surviving son of Charles I, he ascended the throne upon the death of his brother, Charles II.

    Members of Britain’s political and religious elite increasingly suspected him of being pro-French and pro-Catholic and of having designs on becoming an absolute monarch. When he produced a Catholic heir, the tension exploded, and leading nobles called on his Protestant son-in-law and nephew, William of Orange, to land an invasion army from the Netherlands, which he did.

    James fled England (and thus was held to have abdicated) in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.[4] He was replaced by his Protestant elder daughter, Mary II, and her husband, William III. James made one serious attempt to recover his crowns from William and Mary, when he landed in Ireland in 1689 but, after the defeat of the Jacobite forces by the Williamite forces at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France. He lived out the rest of his life as a pretender at a court sponsored by his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV.

    James is best known for struggles with the English Parliament and his attempts to create religious liberty for English Roman Catholics and Protestant nonconformists against the wishes of the Anglican establishment. [pretended TOLERATION-walt]

    ***However, he also continued the persecution of the Presbyterian Covenanters in Scotland.***

    Parliament, opposed to the growth of absolutism that was occurring in other European countries, as well as to the loss of legal supremacy for the Church of England, saw their opposition as a way to preserve what they regarded as traditional English liberties. This tension made James’s four-year reign a struggle for supremacy between the English Parliament and the Crown, resulting in his deposition, the passage of the Bill of Rights, and the Hanoverian succession.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_II_of_England

    1. Bob,

      The video is very impressive. Certainly a powerful marketing tool for the Vatican. What was really impressive was the USA embassy office inside the Vatican that is the world’s intelligence gathering source.

      If you search the internet, there are several other excellent videos that go into detailed backgrounds on nearly all of the CIA and FBI public figures who have been appointed to oversee these divisions that are largely Jesuit trained and Roman Catholics. As us “smart” people know, nothing happens in those positions by accident. It takes extensive efforts and connections to be appointed to run both CIA and FBI institutions. Everyone complains about Jewish influence in Washington, but few really consider what the Jesuits and Roman Catholics have in store for America in due course.

      Why do I think like this? Is it not unfair?

      Well, as a Presbyterian Protestant with an historical post millennial view we believe that the Jews will be converted to Christ Jesus and restored into the Christian Church. It is called the restoration of the Jews and the fulfillment of the Gentiles. While they have influence, indeed, I see no antichrist coming out of Israel, or any Jewish leader, as being future antichrist as proclaimed by Rome and the Jesuits. Obama, Hillary Clinton, etc. is not going to be antichrist either as promoted by some followers of Rome.

      Antichrist is historically and based upon overwhelming evidence the Romish system and the Papacy. The early church fathers saw it coming, and the reformers witnessed it first hand in their blood. The future “killing of the witnesses” will not come by the Jews, but will come by Satanic inspired antichrist. The “killing of the testimony” or “witnesses” is going to be done by civil governments worldwide, and strongly influenced by Jesuit trained and inspired believers. Men who have been hardened to murder, whether it be on special missions into war zones, or removing the heads (as they did with the Covenanters) of those who speak against their hate speech laws and laws of “toleration”.

      Satan is the master of deception, and has an enormous army of Jesuit intelligence agents placed nicely inside various governments working to see that the Roman Catholic church is doing God’s work in their minds and heart. This is a calling to be a faithful Catholic and to participate in the Papal cause to evangelize the world about Christ, and to silence those who preach against their errors in doctrine, discipline, form of worship and form of government.

      Tim will feel the heat more and more as his blog grows. He should get a good tracker, and keep a log of all his visitors. Now the trackers can tell you where the visitors come from, how long they stay and what they read. Right now he is pretty insignificant, but as more “witnesses” preach their “testimony” against the Papacy the more guys like you and Romish followers are going to get really upset and angry more than now. It is just a matter of time before history repeats itself. Tim is not effecting the cash flow of Rome or anyone Romish, but if that happens…ouch. That will be the last straw!

      We have a number of years yet before things get too dicey, but it will likely happen (my opinion) in our lifetimes.

  10. WALT–
    Just for general information, here are:
    The Six Points of the “Terms of Ministerial and Christian Communion in the Reformed Presbyterian Church” as listed at the end of The Act, Declaration, and Testimony for the Whole of Our Covenanted Reformation by the Reformed Presbytery, 1761, 1876, (1995, SWRB reprint)

    The Session of Puritan Reformed Church Motion Concerning Terms Of Communion Adopted March 22, 1996 Moved that the session of Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton adopt as terms of communion (or communicant membership) the following six terms:

    1. An acknowledgement of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God, and the alone infallible rule of faith and practice.

    2. That the whole doctrine of the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Catechisms, Larger and Shorter, are agreeable unto, and founded upon the Scriptures.

    3. That Presbyterial Church Government and manner of worship are alone of divine right and unalterable; and that the most perfect model of these as yet attained, is exhibited in the Form of Government and Directory for Worship, adopted by the Church of Scotland in the Second Reformation.

    4. That public, social covenanting is an ordinance of God, obligatory on churches and nations under the New Testament; that the National Covenant and the Solemn League are an exemplification of this divine institution; and that these Deeds are of continued obligation upon the moral person; and in consistency with this, that the Renovation of these Covenants at Auchensaugh, Scotland, 1712 was agreeable to the word of God.

    5. An approbation of the faithful contendings of the martyrs of Jesus, especially in Scotland, against Paganism, Popery, Prelacy, Malignancy and Sectarianism; immoral civil governments; Erastian tolerations and persecutions which flow from them; and of the Judicial Testimony emitted by the Reformed Presbytery in North Britain, 1761 with supplements from the Reformed Presbyterian Church; as containing a noble example to be followed, in contending for all divine truth, and in testifying against all corruptions embodied in the constitutions of either churches or states.

    6. Practically adorning the doctrine of God our Savior by walking in all His commandments and ordinances blamelessly.

    What happens to a member of the Presbyterian Church who does not do this?
    Since these are rules for communion, I would suppose that person would be excommunicated, right?
    What inquisitional council makes the decision? What guidelines is the person given to gain pardon? After repentance, is it the same council who accepts the person back into communion?

  11. WALT–
    You said: “We have a number of years yet before things get too dicey, but it will likely happen (my opinion) in our lifetimes.”

    Hmmmm…….that’s what Jack Van Impe, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagan, and Chuck Missler say too. And don’t forget Jessie Duplantis. He knows because he was actually taken up into heaven and shown around. And I actually met a guy in Lubbock, Texas –Ray Vaughn– that used Sir Isaac Newton’s algorithm for setting dates from bible prophecy who believed it would happen in our lifetime too. I can’t begin to understand his algorithm, but Ray could use it to show how God’s timeline of prophecy is exactly spot on–to the day! But alas, he predicted that Christ would return on Passover 2005. That was in 2003. Ray committed suicide in 2004, God rest his soul. I was so looking forward to his explanation of how he misinterpreted the scriptures. It would have to be his misinterpretation of scripture, because Sir Isaac Newton’s algorithm is flawless. After all, he was the greatest mathematician in the history of the world.

    1. Bob said;

      “Hmmmm…….that’s what Jack Van Impe, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagan, and Chuck Missler say too. And don’t forget Jessie Duplantis.”

      I’m not familiar with any of these men estimating the 1,260 year timeline leading up to the killing of the witnesses. These guys are all trying to time the “second return” of Jesus Christ.

      I have no idea when the second return of Christ will be, nor would I estimate it.

      You may want to do your own research on eschatology, and determine the various interpretations before you speak like you have any earthly idea what you are talking about. Some of us listen to it, and put our hands on our forehead trying to help relieve the pain listening to your guessing.

      1. WALT–
        You said: “You may want to do your own research on eschatology, and determine the various interpretations before you speak like you have any earthly idea what you are talking about. Some of us listen to it, and put our hands on our forehead trying to help relieve the pain listening to your guessing.”

        Which is exactly what you all are doing–just guessing. You just think your guessing is better than mine.

        You said: “We have a number of years yet before things get too dicey, but it will likely happen (my opinion) in our lifetimes.”

        I am looking forward to seeing if your guess is right.

  12. Bob, you wrote with the typical Methodist foolishness:

    “What happens to a member of the Presbyterian Church who does not do this?

    Nothing happens. You can read about the history of the Terms of Communion here:

    http://www.reformedpresbytery.org/books/rpcna/rpcna.htm

    Since these are rules for communion, I would suppose that person would be excommunicated, right?

    Nobody is excommunicated for not adhering to these terms of communion. Terms of communion have nothing to do with membership in a faithful church. Membership “rules” are very simple. Attending “close communion” (eg., this is pronounced close like in holding someone close to you, not closed or closing a door) requires more knowledge than what the Romish church requires with their “open communion” terms.

    What inquisitional council makes the decision?

    I’m confused. Are you asking what courts in Presbyterian form of church government excommunicate members? The answer is the Session, with the right of appeal to the Presbytery, with a right to appeal to the Synod, and finally a right to appeal to the General Assembly. The Presbyterian government model is the structure used by our early American republican government and our judicial branch of government. It was not patterned after the heretic John Wesley … fortunately.

    What guidelines is the person given to gain pardon?

    Guidelines are repentance from error, publicly if excommunicated or privately if admonished privately. There are multiple levels of correction of members. Excommunication is the very last, and requires a significant level of being public hardness, or in some cases those who “choose” to withdraw or separate from the church. Presbyterians do not believe, unlike Rome, in forcing people to submit or to accept Rome as supreme at the barrel of a gun.

    After repentance, is it the same council who accepts the person back into communion?

    Sure, if there is no appeal. That is the focus of excommunication is to seek to bring the person back into the church membership after discipline has been fulfilled.

    1. WALT–
      You answered in typical Walt condescension: “Bob, you wrote with the typical Methodist foolishness….
      Attending “close communion” (eg., this is pronounced close like in holding someone close to you, not closed or closing a door) requires more knowledge than what the Romish church requires with their “open communion” terms.”

      The Romish Church has closed communion. One must adhere to everything the Roman Catholic Church teaches to receive communion. The Methodists have open communion. One only has to sincerely want to receive Jesus Christ to receive communion.

      I asked:“What happens to a member of the Presbyterian Church who does not do this?”

      And you said: “Nothing happens….Nobody is excommunicated for not adhering to these terms of communion. Terms of communion have nothing to do with membership in a faithful church. Membership “rules” are very simple.”

      So what is the purpose of having “terms of communion”?
      terms: provisions that determine the nature and scope of an agreement : conditions
      If there is no enforcement of these terms, then no one would respect them. They are just words on a page that nobody reads.

  13. Before we begin, it is necessary to state briefly the criteria of judgment – the overarching set of presuppositions and principles by which an examination of this nature ought to be fairly conducted. In so doing, we will use the cogent and biblically sound statement of principle penned by the Reformed Presbyterian Church herself and adopted by her own supreme judicatory in 1807:

    The church may not recede from a more clear and particular testimony to a more general and evasive one; but the witnesses must proceed in finishing their testimony, rendering it more pointed and complete, until God shall, according to his promise, overthrow the empire of darkness, and introduce the millennial state, in which the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

    But that which ye have already hold fast till I come (Revelation 2:25, KJV); Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples (Isaiah 8:16, KJV); And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17, KJV); Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing (Philippians 3:16, KJV); And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held (Revelation 6:9, KJV); And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11, KJV); Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom (Daniel 7:22, KJV); And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (Revelation 20:4, KJV); Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name. Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily (Psalms 74:20-22, KJV);

    And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen (Psalms 72:19, KJV).

    We condemn the following errors, and testify against all who maintain them:

    That the Bible is the only proper testimony of the Church.
    That a Christian is under no obligation to follow Christ’s witnesses in their faithful contendings.
    That it is lawful, in order to enlarge the Church, to open a wider door of communion, by declining from a more pointed testimony to one which is more loose and general (Reformation Principles Exhibited, 1807 edition, Chapter 32, “Of Testimony Bearing”).

    It is upon this biblically sound statement of principle, that we will endeavor to examine the changes which have occurred within the Terms of Communion of the Reformed Presbyterian Church over the past 240 years.

    http://www.reformedpresbytery.org/books/rpcna/rpcna.htm

  14. Bob wrote:

    “So what is the purpose of having “terms of communion”?
    terms: provisions that determine the nature and scope of an agreement : conditions
    If there is no enforcement of these terms, then no one would respect them. They are just words on a page that nobody reads.”

    You asked if someone is excommunicated from the visible church if they do not adhere to the terms of communion. No, the remedy is they do not attend the Lord’s Supper if they are not in agreement, nor understand the terms of communion.

    This is the doctrine of close communion.

    Nobody is excommunicated from the church, they just are barred from close communion.

    1. WALT–
      You said: ” the remedy is they do not attend the Lord’s Supper if they are not in agreement, nor understand the terms of communion. This is the doctrine of close communion.
      Nobody is excommunicated from the church, they just are barred from close communion.”

      Yes, that is what excommunicate means:

      EXCOMMUNICATE: 1. to cut off from communion with a church or exclude from the sacraments of a church by ecclesiastical sentence.

      One cannot be “un-baptized”–once a member, always a member. Some are just a whole lot worse than others, and some voluntarily choose to reject their own baptism by apostasy.

      I think we are on the same page. You said once that Catholics come away frustrated because of the fractured state of the Protestant churches. I think the biggest cause is that if one decides the church he attends is not agreeable in one way or another, there is always another congregation or denomination that will welcome him, or he can start his own. I believe church hopping is a bad habit. It leads one to find a church that fits his own beliefs instead of molding oneself to the teaching of the Church.

      1. Hello Bob,
        I very much appreciate your effort at looking for the source documents to aid you in properly understanding someone elses position – as evidenced in your researching and posting the actual six points of the Terms of Communion of the Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPC)in your interaction with Walt on March 10, 2015.
        I am not sure if you are aware, but the RPC also has terms for membership (which Walt eluded to) that, for one who is able to adhere to them in good conscience, will permit him/her to become a member in the RP Church – allowing him/her participation in many of the spiritual benefits upheld by her faithful leaders (ie. preaching of the word of God, other forms of teaching, instruction, catechizing in the word of truth, administration of baptism, fellowship of the saints, discipline – positive admonitions unto greater faithfulness and censures if needed to warn and call back to the way of truth, prayer, and more) .
        These are some of the spiritual benefits looked forward to by those who submit under the Terms of Membership. I do not have these terms immediately at hand but can provide them separately at a later time, if desired.
        I want to highlight that there are separate terms for membership and for communion. There is a profoundly important biblically based reason for this practice in the RPC. Please let me try and explain as it has direct bearing on the discussion you are having with Walt about the Bibles teaching on Communion and on Excommunication.
        When referring to Terms of Membership, it is not the same to say that one who is willing and ready to submit to the simple or basic terms for membership is also immediately ready to submit to the terms for communion. For example, I may desire to receive the faithful preaching of the word, to be baptised (I and my whole household) so that I might dwell under the umbrella of God’s gracious covenant made with Abraham, come under the loving care of faithful shepherding elders, and sit at the feet of godly, learned men so I can grow in my knowledge of the truth – but, I might still be so ignorant of the doctrines of the faith that for me to also immediately seek for participation in the sacrament of communion would be – upon my participating in the supper – to eat and drink judgement unto myself for failing, properly, to discern the body and blood of the Lord Jesus.
        What is required, by way of commitment in the one set of terms is very different than what is required in the other.
        You see, participation in membership requires Willingness and Desire – to sit under faithful preaching by ministers of a faithful church, as revealed in the Scriptures and also in faithful historic testimony. Along with an acknowledgement not to speak contrary to the truth of God.
        Participation in Communion, on the other hand, requires more than this. One must possess a sufficient knowledge – NOT a perfect understanding (don’t get me wrong) but an adequate knowledge of that which is spelled out in the first five terms of communion and then experientially owned and lived out in ones life as expressed in the sixth term.
        To not require more of a member who desires to come to the table is to communicate to the members of the Church overall that remaining in ignorance is OK.
        Practicing close communion outwardly guards the table from sacrileges abuse. The ignorant, the profane, those living in some scandalous sin can be kept from participating in and from corrupting the sacrament only when close communion is practiced.
        Practicing close communion also is the means of presenting a public testimony as to the importance of unity in the truth. The great commision in Matthew reveals the importance of attaining a requisite knowledge of the truth. It is an essential criteria for faithful participation in the sacrament of the Lords Supper. The essence of both sacraments is actually found in these final words of Jesus :
        Of Baptism it says, “baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”
        And of the Communion that eventually follows for these members it says, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” Notice the strong emphasis on Doctrine! Teaching them ALL things I have commanded!
        The sacraments express in there very essence the heart of Christian faith. Membership in and communion with Christ. They summarize the whole of Christianity. Christ’s final summarizing command of his disciples instructs with how this is to be accomplished. Meaningful communion cannot be experienced by those who have not learned doctrine or been taught thoroughly the truth.
        Bob, if I still have your ear – please let me come now to the point I wanted to make. I first found it necessary to preface with the previous paragraphs but I wanted to address the words you shared with Walt on Excommunication as it relates to the Sacraments.
        A member of the Church, in good standing may not be ready to participate in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper out of profound ignorance and yet be growing and making him/herself ready for the eventual day when he/she can with knowledge testify of the truth, in unity with the brethren, in Christ. Such a one, who has never partaken of the sacrament of communion, if he fell away from the path of Christian obedience and ceased to walk faithful would come under discipline by the elders and without repentance and a turning back to the faith eventually find himself excommunicated from that faithful church. His ignorance would have kept him ineligible in the eyes of the elders for participation in the sacrament of communion, while he was in the membership of that church. His persistent unfaithfulness (scandalous sin) would be the reason for his excommunication from membership. This hypothetical but possible scenario does not involve the taking from this member of the church the sacrament of communion. He never yet attained to it! Faithful elders also kept such an ignorant one from partaking of the sacrament unworthily – which, if this soul were doomed to everlasting destruction for an unwillingness to repent, would mean they spared him/her immeasurable more pain and suffering for committing such a terrible sin.
        To address a different scenario as you laid it forward in argument with Walt. It is an oversimplification to say that Excommunication means “to cut off from communion with a church or exclude from the sacraments of a church by ecclesiastical sentence.” This definition sounds much like the practice of the Romish Church. She is known historically for having threatened man with excommunication (withholding from him the sacraments – which in her heretical teaching is akin to keeping from man a necessary means of grace for his very salvation). Such ecclesiastical sentence not only withheld the sacrament and excluded one from church membership but, in the eyes of Rome, it secured for such a one a certain judgement.
        Please let me argue instead for a more careful, and I might add, more gracious distinction between the discipline of the Church and the administration, or not, of the sacraments.
        If someone in a faithful church finds them-self under discipline because of some scandalous sin they committed, the elders would undoubtedly withhold from them participation in the sacraments (withholding communion, let us remind ourselves, only keeps from someone who is not currently fit to take it – a means of grace for strengthening existing faith). However, steps of admonition and censure, privately administered and then publicly, for the purpose of working through Matt. 18:15-18 in a faithful manner, could mean that this person remains a member of that faithful church – like if biblical discipline by the elders resulted in the repentance and restoration of the fallen member. They would have remained a member of the Church though temporarily they lost the privilege of participation in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
        Even in cases where the fullest extent of discipline is required to meet the stubborn refusal to repent by a covenant child of God – faithful elders only take the step of excommunication with the hope that such a one is ultimately restored. The removal of one from membership is hopefully a temporary handing them over to be buffeted by the evil one in their temporal frame so as to gain their soul for everlasting life.
        You are right when you say that a baptized member cannot be “un-baptized”. Their membership in a faithful church, however, can be and indeed is erased – if and when they are excommunicated. They would remain a covenant child of God even though outside of that faithful church Because of their Baptism and actually receive a greater condemnation than those who were never baptized – if they died unrepentant in their sins. Specifically, this would be so for them because they knowingly rejected the blessings of the covenant made with God in their baptism.
        Bob, I believe careful distinctions need to be maintained where the bible requires them of us, so that we do not contradict God’s revealed will for us and sin against the Lord in outward form or inward belief. I appreciate your efforts at working on clearly establishing these principles. I hope my comments are found helpful to this end.

        1. HENRY–
          You said: “Bob, I believe careful distinctions need to be maintained where the bible requires them of us, so that we do not contradict God’s revealed will for us and sin against the Lord in outward form or inward belief. I appreciate your efforts at working on clearly establishing these principles. I hope my comments are found helpful to this end.”

          Very helpful, yes. I am endeavouring to compile a comprehensive response. It may take a while. Please bear with me.
          Thanks.

  15. Bob said:

    “Which is exactly what you all are doing–just guessing. You just think your guessing is better than mine. ”

    It is called interpreting Scripture using Scripture. That is far different than guessing by using TV headlines or tradition or history. You make know distinction since your presupposition is that no church court, nor man, can ever be right. All interpretation is guess work and there are no absolute right or wrong nor truth or deception. Thus, everything that everyone says, whether using Scripture to interpret Scripture, is only a guess and there is no inerrant truth.

    I hold to a contrary view. I believe that Scripture is true and fundamentally the basis for truth. That by interpreting the Scripture with Scripture one can actually say declare something inerrant (e.g., without error) and can say the truth.

    While prophecy or eschatology is highly figurative, and predictive, one can examine the various methods used in interpreting these signs and symbols in history. For example, one can trace the modern pre-millennial and preterist movements to the Jesuits in the counter reformation. This simple fact alone gives one pause for concern as the Jesuits reject the method to base all interpretation upon the principle of using Scripture to interpret Scripture. Rather, they simple appeal to church tradition as being the fundamental basis by which they interpret, and if a sign or symbol is unknown, they either guess or they appeal to some “private spirit” (e.g., Satan) to give them the vision or sign in a dream. Private spirits are entirely different than the Holy Spirit speaking alone in the Scriptures. Private spirits are to be rejected as adding to or taking from the Scripture itself.

    We are not to seek signs in the heavens, dreams, the Virgin Mary, dead Apostles, dead Saints, etc. for interpretive wisdom of God’s word. No, we are to learn how to interpret the Scripture with the Scripture and seek the Holy Spirits teaching us by learn the Scripture. This is what the best reformed writers believed and taught, and how the best church courts made their rulings. This “historical testimony” can be inerrant, but is always subject to the Scriptures as a secondary standard, and never equal with the Scripture as Rome teaches and practices.

  16. WALT–
    You said: “This is what the best reformed writers believed and taught, and how the best church courts made their rulings.”

    Which reformed writers and church courts would those be?
    Baptist? Methodist? Congregational? Presbyterian? Episcopalian? Church of Christ? If not, then they would beg to differ. And they will claim the same thing. Their conclusions are drawn by interpreting scripture with scripture. Viva Sola Scriptura!

    Why is it, Walt, that the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland is not the only Protestant denomination? Oh, that’s right. All the others teach heresy.

  17. Bob,

    Out of fairness and full disclosure, I asked my friend Henry to respond to you after he tucked in his large basket of children into bed last night. I thought he could help make the distinctions that I was hoping you might find helpful…even if you are not in agreement. My hope was that you would recognize what the Terms of Communion mean vs. the Terms of Membership in a visible congregation.

    Thanks for bending your eyes and ears to Henry’s comments. He did an excellent job in MHO.

  18. HENRY–
    You said: “When referring to Terms of Membership, it is not the same to say that one who is willing and ready to submit to the simple or basic terms for membership is also immediately ready to submit to the terms for communion.”

    Just for reference, here are the:
    Terms of Membership for The Reformed Presbytery in North America
    Acceptance of these terms entitles you and your children to the privileges of baptism, the administration of God’s Word, the love, fellowship, oversight, and discipline of the church, family visits, and the use of your gifts and talents.
    1)A profession of faith in Jesus Christ alone for eternal salvation.

    2)Water baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    3)A life and faith that is free of public scandal in sin or error.

    4)A willingness and desire to sit under the faithful preaching of God’s Word.

    5)An acknowledgment not to speak contrary to the truth of God (as represented in the subordinate standards of the Reformed Presbytery in North America (General Meeting)).

    You continued: “For example, I may desire to receive the faithful preaching of the word, to be baptised (I and my whole household) so that I might dwell under the umbrella of God’s gracious covenant made with Abraham, come under the loving care of faithful shepherding elders, and sit at the feet of godly, learned men so I can grow in my knowledge of the truth ”

    Sounds a lot like what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

    1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!”
    1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.
    1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized – child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.

    You continued; “You see, participation in membership requires Willingness and Desire – to sit under faithful preaching by ministers of a faithful church, as revealed in the Scriptures and also in faithful historic testimony. Along with an acknowledgement not to speak contrary to the truth of God.”

    Which sounds a lot like this:
    1269 Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to “obey and submit” to the Church’s leaders, holding them in respect and affection. Just as Baptism is the source of responsibilities and duties, the baptized person also enjoys rights within the Church: to receive the sacraments, to be nourished with the Word of God and to be sustained by the other spiritual helps of the Church.
    1270 “Reborn as sons of God, [the baptized] must profess before men the faith they have received from God through the Church” and participate in the apostolic and missionary activity of the People of God.

    You continued; “Participation in Communion, on the other hand, requires more than this. One must possess a sufficient knowledge – NOT a perfect understanding (don’t get me wrong) but an adequate knowledge of that which is spelled out in the first five terms of communion and then experientially owned and lived out in ones life as expressed in the sixth term… “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” Notice the strong emphasis on Doctrine! Teaching them ALL things I have commanded! ”

    Which sounds a lot like this:
    1355 In the communion, preceded by the Lord’s prayer and the breaking of the bread, the faithful receive “the bread of heaven” and “the cup of salvation,” the body and blood of Christ who offered himself “for the life of the world”:
    Because this bread and wine have been made Eucharist (“eucharisted,” according to an ancient expression), “we call this food Eucharist, and no one may take part in it unless he believes that what we teach is true, has received baptism for the forgiveness of sins and new birth, and lives in keeping with what Christ taught.

    You continued: “The sacraments express in there very essence the heart of Christian faith. Membership in and communion with Christ. They summarize the whole of Christianity. Christ’s final summarizing command of his disciples instructs with how this is to be accomplished. Meaningful communion cannot be experienced by those who have not learned doctrine or been taught thoroughly the truth.”

    Which sounds a whole lot like this:

    1322 The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.
    1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”

    You continued: “Bob, if I still have your ear – please let me come now to the point I wanted to make.”

    By now you should realize that yes, you do have my ear.

    You continued: “It is an oversimplification to say that Excommunication means “to cut off from communion with a church or exclude from the sacraments of a church by ecclesiastical sentence.” This definition sounds much like the practice of the Romish Church.”

    That definition came from an online dictionary.

    You continued: “She is known historically for having threatened man with excommunication (withholding from him the sacraments – which in her heretical teaching is akin to keeping from man a necessary means of grace for his very salvation). Such ecclesiastical sentence not only withheld the sacrament and excluded one from church membership but, in the eyes of Rome, it secured for such a one a certain judgement.”

    Yes, and no. Excommunication did not “ex-baptize” you. You are still an adopted child of God through Christ. Your still a sheep, you’ve just become a lost sheep. That is what the sacrament of Reconciliation is all about. Confess your sins with a contrite heart and vow to “sin no more”, and forgiveness is forthcoming. The Catechism says a whole lot more about this, but basically it says the door is always open for forgiveness of sins.

    You continued; “If someone in a faithful church finds them-self under discipline because of some scandalous sin they committed, the elders would undoubtedly withhold from them participation in the sacraments (withholding communion, let us remind ourselves, only keeps from someone who is not currently fit to take it – a means of grace for strengthening existing faith). However, steps of admonition and censure, privately administered and then publicly, for the purpose of working through Matt. 18:15-18 in a faithful manner, could mean that this person remains a member of that faithful church – like if biblical discipline by the elders resulted in the repentance and restoration of the fallen member. They would have remained a member of the Church though temporarily they lost the privilege of participation in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.”

    See above about Reconciliation. Or if you want the full details, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church starting at paragraph
    1422 “Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.”4
    I. WHAT IS THIS SACRAMENT CALLED?
    1423 It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus’ call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.
    It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner’s personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.
    1424 It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a “confession” – acknowledgment and praise – of the holiness of God and of his mercy toward sinful man.
    It is called the sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest’s sacramental absolution God grants the penitent “pardon and peace.”
    It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation, because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles: “Be reconciled to God.” He who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother.”
    And a whole lot more, if you want to read it.

    You continued; “Even in cases where the fullest extent of discipline is required to meet the stubborn refusal to repent by a covenant child of God – faithful elders only take the step of excommunication with the hope that such a one is ultimately restored. The removal of one from membership is hopefully a temporary handing them over to be buffeted by the evil one in their temporal frame so as to gain their soul for everlasting life.”

    And the Catechism puts it this way:
    1439 The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father: the fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father’s house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father’s generous welcome; the father’s joy – all these are characteristic of the process of conversion. The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life – pure worthy, and joyful – of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. Only the heart of Christ who knows the depths of his Father’s love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way.

    You continued; “Bob, I believe careful distinctions need to be maintained where the bible requires them of us, so that we do not contradict God’s revealed will for us and sin against the Lord in outward form or inward belief. I appreciate your efforts at working on clearly establishing these principles. I hope my comments are found helpful to this end.”

    And indeed they are. It is your thoughts that have lead me to dig deep and find that, even though we may have a difference in opinion on a lot of issues that have divided the people of God, we still have agreement. That is where I believe the Holy Spirit is, in our agreements. Because the Spirit is not one of confusion, but of illumination.

  19. Bob,

    Your reply to Henry was really, in my opinion, a waste of time. Taking his carefully worded, time consuming explanation, and just cut it into parts and paste in the doctrine of devils saying it is the same thing is an incredible waste of someone’s time writing you. You put no energy into responding with actual counter arguments from a biblical perspective, but just cut into his commentary section of the catechism which are not the same principles…even though you claim they are the same.

    I really wish you would have shown him more respect as he spent a lot of time writing to you. While I don’t know if he will reply again, I would not recommend it as it will be largely a waste of time in my opinion.

  20. Tim wrote:

    “I do not subscribe to the 6 terms of communion, but I’ll go with the first 2 1/2 of them.”

    Since you are a professed Presbyterian, I am sorry to see this statement but certainly find it pretty common in our generation among Presbtyerians so called.

    It is unfortunate we don’t really hold much in common outside of our profession of faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  21. WALT–
    You said: “Your reply to Henry was really, in my opinion, a waste of time.”

    You are certainly welcome to give your opinion. In my opinion, your opinion is a waste of time. Let me explain:

    You said: “Taking his carefully worded, time consuming explanation, and just cut it into parts and paste in the doctrine of devils saying it is the same thing is an incredible waste of someone’s time writing you.”

    I read what he had to say from Presbyterian terms, I responded in like kind with documentation from Catholic terms that I feel is saying basically the same thing. If the Presbyterian terms are similar to Catholic terms, it is unfortunate that you call it doctrine of devils–in your opinion.

    You also said: “You put no energy into responding with actual counter arguments from a biblical perspective, but just cut into his commentary section of the catechism which are not the same principles…even though you claim they are the same.”

    Henry’s writing was not entirely from a biblical perspective, but from Presbyterian rules of government. I responded in like kind. You say they are not the same principles, but they affect an individual the same way.

    You also said: “I really wish you would have shown him more respect as he spent a lot of time writing to you.”

    Well, I am certainly glad that you don’t speak for him. I haven’t heard from him that I have shown him disrespect. If I have, then let him say so.

    You finally said: “While I don’t know if he will reply again, I would not recommend it as it will be largely a waste of time in my opinion.”

    You certainly have a right to your opinion and your offer of recommendations. If you want to discuss any of the points made in the dialogue between Henry and me, you have my permission to do so. I hope it won’t be wasting mine or Henry’s time, either.

  22. Bob, you said:

    “You are certainly welcome to give your opinion. In my opinion, your opinion is a waste of time.”

    Agreed.

    There is a distinction between what Henry wrote as a reformed Presbyterian, and your desiring to correspond the Romish antichrist doctrine to Presbyterians in general.

    I am firmly of the opinion that most modern Presbyterians not only have no idea what the reformers taught in general, but even fewer know what (nor would ever care) what the National Covenant or the Solemn League and Covenant said about Rome and her evil, wicked, doctrines of devils say.

    In fact, most Presbyterians that come split from the faithful church of Scotland absolutely reject these covenants, and our terms of communion as binding upon them and their posterity. They largely hold that no covenants are binding, and take a clear independent government position on the matter. Their binding terms of communion are limited to how they feel in their local church, and the doctrine to “agree to disagree” is the primary standard in their lives. Let’s just all get along which is very consistent with your post that Henry wrote against seeking to make a distinction.

    If you understand the reformed views on form of worship, government, discipline and doctrine you would never have tried to compare what Henry’s commentary was to what Rome teaches saying essentially they were the same in your opinion.

    There is no unity that the reformed hold with Romish doctrines are articulated with their catechism. Just read the National Covenant of Scotland line-by-line, and you will see the CLEAR DIFFERENCES the reformed speak against in that document as a NATION against the Roman Antichrist.

    It would be interesting to see you take each point in the National Covenant that speaks against Rome, and then source the Catechism and argue that each point are not in opposite but in direct common correlation to thinking the same thing.

  23. Tim, says:

    “That protestant movement was consistently found in the Alpine Valleys between France and Italy until 1655 A.D. when the Waldensians were finally extricated from their refuge and dispersed throughout Europe.

    We believe therefore that this 1,260 year period is that which John foresaw in Revelation 12:15 when the “the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood (potamon, ποταμόν) after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood (potamophorēton, ποταμοφόρητον).” But “to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14).

    We note that the word for flood (potamon, ποταμόν) is the word used in Matthew (7:25,27) and Luke (6:48-49) when Jesus describes the house that is built upon the rock of His Word, and is therefore able to withstand the floods. Also, the word for “carried away of the flood” (potamophorēton, ποταμοφόρητον), bears with it the sense of being carried away by error, as in Ephesians 4:14,”

    Tim starts the 1260 year period at 395AD and completes it in 1655AD when “when the Waldensians were finally extricated from their refuge and dispersed throughout Europe.”

    As just something interesting of note is that the 1655AD period of 1260 years as an ending date, brings another 30 years to 1685AD and plus another 45 years to 1730AD.

    While Tim does not consider the “killing of the witnesses” in Scotland to be a fundamental Roman Catholic inspired event, nor involving Roman Catholic Antichrist pressure, the period of the killing of the witnesses (as some believe will happen after the 1260 year period expires from 800AD (e.g., 2060AD) was right during this period according to Tim’s numbers.

    ———-
    The Killing Time was a period of conflict in Scottish history between the Presbyterian Covenanter movement, based largely in the south west of the country, and the government forces of Kings Charles II and James VII. The period, roughly from 1680 to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, was subsequently called The Killing Time by Robert Wodrow in his The History of the Sufferings of the Church of Scotland from the Restoration to the Revolution, published in 1721–1722. It is an important episode in the martyrology of the Church of Scotland.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Time
    ————-
    The Scottish parliament, the Estates, was recalled in 1661. It became known as the Drunken Parliament, but its actions were far from slow or muddled. It wiped out all the Covenanter legislation of the previous 30 years, The Privy Council was brought back, bishops were restored to the Kirk, and the covenant was declared illegal.

    The new Estates decided to keep the efficient system of tax gathering that had been instituted under Cromwell, but much else was changed. The main trouble was caused by an edict that said Kirk ministers could no longer simply be chosen by local congregations, but had to be approved by local patrons and bishops.

    All ministers were ordered to conform to this ruling. They were furious, and more than 250 of them resigned their charges instead of complying. Instead of preaching in churches, they began to do so on the Scottish moors.

    These meetings quickly became known as Conventicles, and those who attended them were named Covenanters. By 1665, they had become extremely popular, though attending them was a dangerous business. Attending them was illegal, and government troops were often despatched to break them up and levy fines. In reply, the Covenanters often stationed their own guards nearby when services were in progress.

    Tensions between the two sides grew, particularly in strong covenanting areas of the country such as Galloway. In 1666, the Covenanters captured the commander of government troops in south western Scotland, Sir James Turner, and paraded him towards Edinburgh in his nightshirt.

    This act of insurrection led them into direct conflict with General Tam Dalyell, the commander of the army in Scotland. At Rullion Green near Edinburgh, a force of 900 of the covenanters was defeated by Dalyell. The leaders of the rebellion were hanged, others tortured or imprisoned, and even women and children murdered.

    Charles II’s secretary for Scotland, the Earl of Lauderdale, tried to soften the policy on Kirk appointments, but things simply went from bad to worse. By 1670, attending a Conventicle was viewed as treason and to preach at one was a capital offence. The effect of this kind of repression, needless to say, was to turn the covenanters into martyrs.

    In 1679, tensions between the two sides rose yet again when the Archbishop of St Andrews, James Sharp, who was driving home in a carriage, was stopped, forced out and hacked to death. Only days later, government troops were defeated by a covenanter force at Drumclog on the Ayrshire-Lanarkshire border.

    The government forces struck back later in the year at Bothwell Bridge, when they won the battle and put nearly 1200 prisoners on a forced march to Edinburgh.

    Charles II was determined that no quarter should be given to the rebels, and that the Kirk should be run his way. A small group of Covenant hardliners known as the Cameronians, named after the Fife-born rebel Richard Cameron, who was executed after challenging Charles in 1680, published an Apologetical Declaration declaring war on the enemies of God and the Covenant.

    The government insisted that anyone who failed to reject this declaration could and would be shot. Still, however, the Covenanters held fast. The 1680s became known as The Killing Time, and some appalling atrocities took place as Charles sought to keep the unruly Scots in line.

    Some of the worst suffering took place in southern Scotland. One of the most horrific instances was at Wigtown in Wigtownshire, whew two female Covenanters, Margaret Wilson and Margaret McLauchlin, were tied to a stake in the river estuary and allowed to drown as the tide slowly rose.

    Slowly but surely, the Covenanters were losing the fight. Brave though they undoubtedly were, they could not withstand the might of Charles’s forces. Then, in 1685, the king suddenly died, and the whole religious nature of both Scotland and England suddenly changed.

    Charles was succeeded by his second son James, who had become a convert to Catholicism and who introduced a new period of religious toleration. But his enthronement infuriated many in Scotland and England, who wanted to depose him and replace him with the Protestant Duke of Monmouth instead.

    A rebellion in favour of Monmouth was organised in Scotland under the Marquis of Argyll, but the government moved quickly to head if off and Argyll was captured near Renfrew and executed.

    However, James was in deep trouble in England, where his policies of religious toleration were invoking suspicion over his Catholicism. With much of the country ranged against him, he fled in 1689. The English parliament than asked his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange to rule jointly.

    In Scotland, the decision as to who should rule was left to the Estates. It was clear from the outset that it, too, would choose William and Mary, though James did not help by writing a letter to the parliament which was little short of insulting.

    The deal was that if William took the throne, the Episcopal form of church government insisted on by Charles should be dropped. This was agreed, and Scotland once again became officially Presbyterian. The killing time was over.

    However, other tensions emerged to take the place of the religious problems the country had suffered. James VII, now in exile, was the last of the Stewarts, and he had plenty of supporters who wanted the family to return to the throne. Those who supported the cause of James found a new name applied to them – Jacobites.

    An attempt by John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, to raise an army in support of James in the Highlands led to an uprising which government troops were sent north to quell. The two sides clashed in the Pass of Killiecrankie. James’s supporters probably came off better, but Dundee was killed in the battle and his cause then quickly fizzled out after the subsequent Battle of Dunkeld fought around Dunkeld Cathedral

    With James gone for good and a tolerant but firmly Protestant monarch on the throne, the Kirk once again found itself master of its own house. Royal authority over the church was abolished, deposed ministers were reinstated, and the Westminster Confession of Faith first drawn up in 1647 was adopted.

    For the first time in Scotland’s long history, church and state were starting to unravel from each other and become distinct entities. Both would face huge problems in the century ahead, but they would never again operate in forced unison with each other. Slowly and almost imperceptibly, the structure of modern Scotland was beginning to emerge.

    Meanwhile…

    1666 The Great Fire of London destroys much of the city
    1687 Nell Gwyn, actress and mistress of Charles II, dies
    1687 The University of Bologna is founded
    1689 Louis XIV declares war against Spain and England
    1689 The French playwright, Racine, writes “Esther”, a biblical tragedy

    http://www.scotland.org.uk/history/killing-time

  24. OK, to start many thanks for your blog which provided me – an ignorant in the matter – a very deep inside. Indeed great is my thirsty of knowledge about the escatology and this blog helped me to understand finally Daniel & Revelation.

    The core of this comment is centered on the Bogomils:

    “there is more evidence to support the continuity of a protestant presence in the Alps for those 1,260 years than there is evidence for Eucharistic Adoration in the first 11 centuries. ”

    So the eleventh century, but what happens there? It seems that something is happening in …. Bosnia:

    For the hundred years ending with A. D. 1220 the Bogomils of Bosnia had been very active in missionary work. They still affiliated to some extent with their brethren in Bulgaria ….(……)…Reinero Sacconi—or Regnier, as the English historians call him—an Italian apostate of the beginning of the thirteenth century, who, having been one of the Bogomilian Credentes, had recanted and, uniting with the Roman Catholic Church, become an inquisitor, states that the churches of the Cathari, as he calls them, numbered then as many as thirteen bishoprics, or rather elderships—for they did not recognize the name of bishop—that of Bosnia or Sclavonia being the most important and the parent of the others. These elderships were scattered through all the countries of Europe, and extended in an unbroken zone from the Black Sea to the Atlantic and from the Mediterranean to the Baltic.26, 27 They had penetrated into England and made their appearance in Oxford and its vicinity in 1160. ” etc etc. Source:

    URL: http://www.rastko.rs/rastko-bl/istorija/bogumili/lbrockett-bogomils2.html
    If that link doesn’t work, try this where I have also reported this material:
    http://maramingsalamatgod.blogspot.it/2015/11/the-bogomils-of-bulgaria-and-bosnia_23.html

    Well, just about when Eucharist Adoration/Beast’s image adoration became THE feature of Catholicism, we have the top of centuries of Bogomil missionary activity which supported and aided the church of GOD in Europe, till the Atlantic shores.
    The importance of Bogomils is desumed also indirectly from the manner they figure is treated today, with the 1000 + years old Catholic slander to be “Manicheans”. 15 minutes car from my home there’s the locally famous “Dolina of Bogomils”, an old artifact which has been assigned respectively as “ancient Celtic artifact”, or a sort of Middle Age open air theater, as in the chronicles of centuries ago it was known as “Court of Mysteries”, a typical name for the location where theatrical pieces were played. It is said the name “Bogomils” was assigned to it because it resembles some architectonic features of Bogomils artifacts in the Balkans. But it doesn’t matter if there the Bogomil for real gathered there or not, more important is to understand the TODAY’S urgency to use such physical location to then associate the historical and spiritual figure of the Bogomils with the undending Catholic slander labelling them as “Manicheans” or “heathens”, as the most important websites on them are doing:

    http://www.luoghimisteriosi.it/friuli_basovizza.html

    As regard the topic “Manicheism”, at my eyes there are no doubt that this blame has to be applied to Catholicism:

    Tuesday, March 15, 2016
    Roman Catholicism = MANICHEISM [definitive demonstration]
    http://control-avles-blogs.blogspot.it/2016/03/roman-catholicism-manicheism-definitive.html

    Can be said more about the Bogomils, in the escatological perspective of Daniel and Revelation?

    Thanks for you eventual answer
    God bless

  25. “there is more evidence to support the continuity of a protestant presence in the Alps for those 1,260 years than there is evidence for Eucharistic Adoration in the first 11 centuries. ”

    I would like to see that evidence if it is verifiable. Any takers?

  26. “Any takers?”

    The late rising of Roman Catholicism.
    If the Roman Catholic church came to existence only in the fourth century it is evident that her doctrine was different respect the already existing Christian world. Every one able to read can take knowledge about that. See the ferocious attack by Augustine, the once Goebbels of the Catholicism, against the Donatists, a slander fabricated by the Catholic church to destroy true Christian churches. Even today the inconceivable virulent lies of Augustine are traded among scholars as “smoking gun” of the alleged criminal essence of the Donatists. Therefore the early Catholicism had to earn her space in this world with a ruthless propaganda war against the Christians who refused to recant the doctrine of the Lord. That this heinous feature of the Catholicism remained “pure and untainted” for centuries, it is witnessed not only by the slander of the Whore “who sitteth on many waters” against the Jews, but also against – for example – the Vaudoises.
    Here just a little collection of Catholic slander against the church of God, and an indirect admission by Satan about the existence of the church and of the true nature of Catholicism :

    “”Richard Cavendish’s invaluable book, The Black Arts, points out how as long ago as 1184 members of a Satanic cult known as the Waldensians (or Vaudois) were operating in Europe and were accused of cannibalism and Devil worship by the Church….”

    In:
    http://asweetsavor.info/ofc/waldensians.php

    ….reported in the blog:

    неделя, 3 април 2016 г.
    Voodos, Boogeymen, Luciferians
    http://jesus-partisans-balkans.blogspot.it/2016/04/voodos-boogeymen-luciferians.html

  27. Edoardo Roncelli–
    “Any takers?”
    You answered with all sorts of info about how bad the Catholic Church is. I get plenty of that from Tim’s blog. What I was asking about was:
    “evidence to support the continuity of a protestant presence in the Alps for those 1,260 years” meaning from roughly 380 AD to 1640 AD. Yes, it would be something like the Vaudoises.
    Where is the verifiable evidence of these people during that time?

    1. BOB

      If the Waldenses came out from Waldo, how is it possible that an entire town/village came out to be entirely “heretic” (Christian) well more than 100 hundreds year before the alleged preaches of “Waldo”? (a fabrication of Rome to deny the old age of their origin?)
      ——>
      [translated from Italian language, not existing in the English page]
      “Ariberto in 1028 was engaged in the visit of the suffragan dioceses of Turin: questioning the leader of a religious group suspected of heresy, the archbishop came to know that the people of Monforte d’Alba (now in the province of Cuneo) interpreted allegorically [= usual perfidy of the Catholic Manicheans who throw on the Christians their secret true Gnosticism] the Trinitarian dogma, denied the necessity of the sacraments, and then the clergy: most likely this population had embraced Catharism. In that same year, military forces employed by Aribert stormed the castle of Monforte: the entire population of the area was deported in Milan and invited to recant their faith. Most of them refused and was burned at the stake. The area of Milan where the heretics of Monforte were imprisoned since then bears the name of the country of origin of the victims: Corso Monforte. [4]”
      URL: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariberto_da_Intimiano
      Reported in:
      http://control-avles-blogs.blogspot.it/2015/05/donatists-and-patareni-destroying.html

      Well, Monforte d’Alba is in the province of Cuneo, about near the plain in the region Piedmont, an hilly area, not an inapprochable Alp valley where “heretics had their nest”, so how is that the ENTIRE town was liquidated by the Catholic Einsatz Gruppen?

      And now answer me , please. Where are the proofs, the “smoking guns” of the fact that beside the priest, the bishop, and an official church consisting in a building, a village/town was truly Catholic in its entirety, and not simply Vaudoise (Bogomil, etc.) aka Christian, being the priest or bishop head of only a little minority in a majority of anti-Catholic Christians? And this BEFORE the year 1000? Can you give me the proofs?

  28. Edoardo Roncelli —
    You said: “And now answer me , please. Where are the proofs, the “smoking guns” of the fact that beside the priest, the bishop, and an official church consisting in a building, a village/town was truly Catholic in its entirety, and not simply Vaudoise (Bogomil, etc.) aka Christian, being the priest or bishop head of only a little minority in a majority of anti-Catholic Christians? And this BEFORE the year 1000? Can you give me the proofs?”

    Yes, that is what I am asking. Where is the verifiable evidence (proof) that before the year 1000, the Vaudoise as a united people had kept the doctrines of Vigilantius from 380 AD?
    Even W. S. Gilly himself says in his book “Vigilantius and His Times” that the source manuscripts were suspect for corruption. Others suspect that they are spurious if not complete forgeries. Some claim that the Bible they used had Byzantine origins. That leads me to believe that they were influenced by the movement of the Islam Iconoclast which started in the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) with Leo III around 700 AD. Muslim Moors started invading southwestern Europe in 711 AD and weren’t eradicated until 1609.
    My belief is that the Waldensians, although Christian, were heavily influenced by the Eastern Iconoclast brought in by the Moors.
    I would love to see some hard evidence to the contrary.

  29. BOB
    you said:

    1) “My belief is that the Waldensians, although Christian, were heavily influenced by the Eastern Iconoclast brought in by the Moors.”
    So you admit the existence of the Waldensians already in the eight century?

    2) “I would love to see some hard evidence to the contrary.”
    If you don’t prove that the there Christians living before the arrival of Islam were worshiping statues and icons, your belief remains a belief.

    3) “the movement of the Islam Iconoclast which started in the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) with Leo III around 700 AD. ”
    But the empire was Orthodox not Islam! And Leo III could have started the iconoclast movement as influenced by Paulicians. Who existed well before the rise of Islam.
    Alberto Rivera claimed that in 1959 in Rome, Augustine Bea SJ told him that “we created Islam in the 3rd century”. That “we” I assume to be Gnostic and Manichean core of the heathen priesthood of Rome which later elaborated the Catholicism.
    My belief is that Alberto Rivera was sincere, and Islam has been developed by Rome as a sort of counter-sect in order to slander the Christians. If some Christians even asked to be murdered (from alleged historical records), the step required to transform them in suicide warriors, when parallel churches led by the Gnostics of Rome were created, was easily overcome. The rising Catholicism with her thirsty of secular power needed to present her enemies, the Christians anti-Catholic, as “savage beasts” requiring the military intervention of the power to be neutralized. Therefore the Catholicism became a “respectable” religion of “state & order”. “Guilty by Association” methods of war already in work 17 centuries ago.

  30. Edoardo Roncelli —
    You said: “So you admit the existence of the Waldensians already in the eight century?”

    Anything is possible. I believe there may have been a pre-existing root sect that grew into the Waldensians by the influence of Peter Waldo. They may have been Moors that converted to Christianity. Again, there is not hard evidence– much less for any existing between 380 AD and 700 AD.

    And you said: “If you don’t prove that the there Christians living before the arrival of Islam were worshiping statues and icons, your belief remains a belief.”

    I’m sure there were people worshipping Christian statues and icons. They are called idolaters. Roman Catholics have never, ever taught anyone to worship (latria) icons or statues or relics. Veneration (dulia) of the saints they represent, yes. Treating the icons or statues or relics as sacramentals, yes. But never has the Roman Church ever taught that those images and relics should be worshipped as other gods before the one True and Triune God as if they had their own divine power–never.

    And you said: “But the empire was Orthodox not Islam! And Leo III could have started the iconoclast movement as influenced by Paulicians. Who existed well before the rise of Islam.”

    Right! It was Orthodox. And so were the statues and icons and relics. And they still are–some of the oldest dating to the 6th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_Pantocrator_(Sinai)
    And there are some even older than that dating from anti-Nicean times in the catacombs of Rome. And I am sure that the Iconoclasts would have tried to destroy them too if they could have found them.

    And you said: ” Alberto Rivera claimed that in 1959 in Rome, Augustine Bea SJ told him that “we created Islam in the 3rd century”. That “we” I assume to be Gnostic and Manichean core of the heathen priesthood of Rome which later elaborated the Catholicism.
    My belief is that Alberto Rivera was sincere, and Islam has been developed by Rome as a sort of counter-sect in order to slander the Christians.”

    Hmmmmmm……….! I’m pretty sure Islam was not a creation of the Roman Catholic Church. Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh did that in 632 AD. But I do like your conspiracy theory. It’s very entertaining and it fits right in with the Catholic Anti-Christ schtick on this blog.

  31. BOB said:

    “…(….)….But I do like your conspiracy theory. It’s very entertaining and IT FITS RIGHT IN with the Catholic Anti-Christ schtick on this blog.”
    [my capital letters]

    Mr. BOB (or B.O.B.?), this seems more a typical Jesuitical pylosophy consisting in to blame the enemy for the proper guiltiness. What I see every day by the world wide mainstream Vatican controlled media, is a strong spin aiming to inculcate in the social mind a narrative which replies facts and events of about fifteen centuries ago, when the Christians who did not bow down to the heresies of the early Catholicism were very hastly slandered as a “total evil”. Have I to recall to you that the TRUE beginner of the today’s ISIS & Al Qaeda campaign of butchery was just the Roman Catholic hero called Jerome (yes, the guy who threatened Vigilantius with a sort of “Catholic sharia” ):

    ————————–
    “There is no cruelty in regard for God’s honour.”
    [by Jerome, one of the fathers of the Catholic church]
    ————————–
    URL: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001109.htm

    …then I reported and further elaborated comparing with the hypocrital words of pope Francis SJ related to the Islamic terrorism:

    http://control-avles-blogs.blogspot.it/2016/03/roman-catholic-fathers-justifying.html

    Therefore the one who appears to exploit the evil deeds of the radical Islam is just the Catholic establishment especially the powerful head of the Vatican. The actual Geo-political and Geo-religious events started with the sc “Arab Spring” (whose birth in Tunisia saw the involvement of Catho-Islamic tycoons well linked with the business world of Italy, particularly with an Italian tycoon, famous abroad, connected with Opus Dei), seems to be a replication of those old events when the Donatists were blamed by the early core of the Catholic power as guilty for having “weakened” Christendom and therefore having “helped” the rising of Islam:

    http://jesus-partisans-balkans.blogspot.it/2015/03/guilty-by-association-donatisissts.html
    [search the label “donatists” for a wider info]

    Accordingly with the exposition by Alberto Rivera (alleged former S.J.), I believe the opposite, and am convinced that Islam was already existing – as claimed by Rivera – since the 3rd century, in a messianic form, then fulfilled in the seventh century with the apparition of the invoked “messia”, aka Mohammad.
    The reason to develop such apostate sect could be perceived in the very urgent necessity of the church of Rome to create a sort of counter-sect to beat the powerful preach of Donatists on the North African regions and to counter the escatological and messianic power of Christendom (not a strange feature the fact that Catholicism puts all this features of Christianity in a shadow):

    ————————-
    “Augustine – the venom of Rome
    Excerpts from Augustine’s writings against the Donatists:”
    http://jesus-partisans-balkans.blogspot.it/2015/03/augustine-venom-of-rome.html
    ————————–

    More, we can conjecture, as a detective analyzing a crime scene, that with the alleged Catholic promoted developmennt of the Islam, the higher echelons of the Romish church put in motion in the sphere of their religious war not else than the traditional Russian strategy to “burn the land before the arrival of the enemy”. In other word, seeing that the Donatist “heresy” (Christian doctrine) was taking advantage and the Catholic church every day more pressed in the corner, the embryo of the Vatican power (the political liutenants of the Whore) could have well thought to implement the strategy of the “burned land”, preferring to give up the entire North Africa & Middle East in the hands of a pure apostasy (Islam) jrather than to see it conquered by the worst enemy, the Christian doctrine and therefore to see maybe Antioch to developed as the true spiritual seat of Christendom. Not for a case today the storyboard of the world event is focused just on the regions around Anthioch (Syrian civil war, Russian-Turkey tensions, etc.), which seems to have a “director movie” behing them, who knows those religious events of seventeen centuries ago as the ABC (see as candidate an allegedly by ISIS kidnapped Jesuit priest).

    It is a shade that the scholars who opposed the Catholic church, never seriously analyzed what affirmed by Alberto Rivera, and never tried to put his revelations in the frame of the context of the Catholic race to conquer the temporal power. For example no one today seems to remember that if the Muslims conquered Costantinople/Byzantium, they had to thank the Catholic church and the Catholic temporal powers, which instead to run in rescue of the Orthodox “brothers”, they not only turned the head from the other side meanwhile the Islam was preparing the final assault, but even – some years before – they treated the Byzantine emperor as any tax evader, for problems of loans with Venice.

    Or the same later siege of Wien, with an important day repeated allusively even in the 911 attack to USA. No one seems to recall that the Islamic power was allied with the rebellious Protestant aristocracy of South Eastern Europe, and that it seems the Ottoman emperor promised to deliver Wien in the hands of his Protestant allies in case of victory. Was the siege of Wien simply a warning of GOD to the Catholic powers, for their betrayal (read: keen use of Islam) of the Orthodox “brothers” 250 years before? A betrayal who erased the remaining of the church of GOD in the Middle East and the Balkans? (Bogomils).

    As for the antiquity of Vaudoises, we have sources confirming that, an antiquity dating before the arrival of Islam in European soil:

    ————————————
    “For four hundred years ago, at what time S. Bernard lived, there were Anabaptists, which were no less prodigal to spend their life, than were the DONATISTS, some (saith he) did marvel that they were led to their death not only patiently but as it seemed very frolic and merry. ”
    ————————————
    [my capital letters]
    From: Hosius on the Anabaptists – first published in Cologne in 1558. Old Baptist article published in the site:
    http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/hosius.anabaptist.duBarry.html

    Reported in the blog:
    “Cardinal Hosius on the antiquity of the anabaptists”
    http://jesus-partisans-balkans.blogspot.it/2016/01/cardinal-hosius-on-antiquity-of.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Me