FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE- Part XXVI
Is the Protestantism still alive 500 years after its birth?
We resume from where we left off last week on “The Three-fold Union of Protestantism, Romanism, and Spiritualism” and focus on the Protestant Reformation and where it is today. There are alternating sad and happy news. But our omniscient and omnipotent Lord and Savior, “the Alpha and Omega,” “the same yesterday, today, and forever” has promised eternal deliverance. So that while evil “seems oft so strong” and prevails and the worst is already knocking on the door yet God’s best is yet to come and all according to His master plan of redemption revealed in the true gospel and prophecy.
God, not any empire, nation, religion, religio-political institution or world confederacy or conspiracy, secret or public—is in constant, not merely “cruise” control of all that has, is, and will take place on fallen planet Earth, even if by all appearances He has been relegated to an inferior “observer status” of world affairs by His own creatures’ boasted evolved advanced knowledge, or outmuscled and outnumbered by the rapidly-forming final worldwide confederacy of Satan and his hosts with “the kings and great men of the earth.” Ellen G. White states this verity in brief, simple but profound words:
“In the annals of human history the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as dependent on the will and prowess of man. The shaping events seem, to a great degree, to be determined by his powers, ambitions, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, behind, above, and through all the play and counter play of human interests, power and passions, the agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.”- Education, p. 173.
First, the sad news: the Protestant Reformation is dead 500 years after its birth. Was this demise prophesied, thus expected by diligent students of Bible prophecy? Yes. The Counter Reformation strategy of the Church of Rome, Ecumenism, has succeeded but not permanently, as the unfailing Word of Prophecy says. There is a divine antidote:
“On the basis of Bible prophecy and the writing of Ellen G. White, the Seventh-day Adventists anticipate the eventual success of the ecumenical movement, both in eliminating the divisions of Protestantism and in reuniting Christendom by bridging the gulf that separates non-Catholic communions from Rome.
The Ecumenical Movement will then become a concerted effort to unite the world and to secure universal peace and security by enlisting the power of civil government in a universal religio-political crusade to eliminate all dissent. Seventh-day Adventists envision this crusade as the great apostasy to which John the Revelator refers to as ‘Babylon the Great.’ They understand also, that God’s last message of mercy to the world will consist of a warning against this great apostate movement, and a call to all who choose to remain loyal to Him to leave the churches connected with it.”- Seventh-Day Adventist Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, p. 411.
Two Temple Cleansings: Two Calls to “Come out of her.” “When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the Temple from its sacrilegious profanation. Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the Temple. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches. The second angel’s message is [Rev. 14: 8 quoted].
And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message [Rev.18:1-5], a voice is heard from heaven [of divine origin] saying, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and the ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”- E. G. White, Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 118/R & H Dec. 6, 1892.
What is a confederacy in this context, and what have we been counseled regarding it?
“The question has been asked, What do you mean by a confederacy? Who have formed confederacies? You know what a confederacy is? – a union of men in a work that does not bear the stamp of pure, straightforward, unswerving integrity.” – E. G. White, Manuscript 29, 1911/ 4BC 1142.
“No confederacy with those opposing the truth.—Let the watchmen on the walls of Zion not join with those who are making of non-effect the truth as it is in Christ. Let them not join with the confederacy of infidelity, popery, and Protestantism in exalting tradition above Scriptures, reason above revelation, and human talent above the divine influence and the vital power of Godliness [dispensed by Christ through the Holy Spirit].”-Ibid, Review & Herald, Mar. 24, 1896/4BC 1141.
“[2 Corinthians 6: 17 quoted]. The wicked are being bound in bundles, bound in trusts, in unions, in confederacies. Let us have nothing to do with these organizations. God is our Ruler, our Governor, and He calls us to come out from the world and be separate [2 Cor. 6: 17].”- Ibid, Manuscript 71, 1903/ 4BC 1142.
Motivated by nothing else but love for God and the truth, I urge all to read/review for himself, initially for this topic, the following resources documenting the true history of the Protestant Reformation with emphasis on the word protest because it was not “a rebellion against church authority,” as it has been erroneously accused of, but a long pent-up repulsion and movement whose prophesied time had come, against the gross abuses of the Roman Church.
These are: “History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century by J.H. Merle D’Aubigne, D. D., Vols. I-V, and the following chapters of the Great Controversy by Ellen G. White (1911 ed.), “Luther’s Separation From Rome:” “Luther before the Diet;” “Progress of Reform in Germany;” and “Protest of the Princes.” Here are parts of it:
“Foremost among those who were called to lead the church from the darkness of popery into the light of purer truth, stood Martin Luther.”- Great Controversy, p. 120.
“After his return from Rome, Luther received at the University of Wittenberg the degree of divinity. Now he was at liberty to devote himself, as never before, to the Scriptures that he loved. He had taken a solemn vow to study carefully and to preach with fidelity the Word of God, not the sayings of and doctrines of the popes, all the days of his life. He was no longer the mere monk or professor, but the authorized herald of the Bible. . . .He firmly declared that Christians should receive no other doctrines than those which rest on the authority of the Sacred Scriptures. These words struck at the very foundation of papal supremacy. They contained the vital principle of the Reformation.”- Ibid, p. 126.
“Luther saw the danger of exalting human theories above the Word of God. He fearlessly attacked the speculative infidelity of the schoolmen and opposed the philosophy and theology which so long held a controlling influence upon the people. He denounced such studies as not only worthless but pernicious, and sought to turn the minds of his hearers from the sophistries of philosophers and theologians to the eternal truths set forth by prophets and apostles. . . .
“The Roman Church had made merchandise of the grace of God [by their doctrine of Indulgences]. The tables of the money-changers were set up beside her altars, and the air sounded with the shout of buyers and sellers. [cf. Matt. 21: 10-13]. Under the plea of raising funds for the erection of Saint Peter’s Church at Rome, Indulgences for sin were publicly offered for sale by the authority of the pope. By the price of crime a temple was to be built up for God’s worship—the cornerstone laid with the wages of iniquity! But the very means adopted for Rome’s aggrandizement provoked the deadliest blow to her power and greatness. [How?]. It was this that aroused the most determined and successful of the enemies of popery, and led to the battle that shook the papal throne and jostled the triple crown upon the pontiff’s head.”- Ibid, pp. 126, 127.
First, “We have nothing to fear for the future except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us.”(TM 31). Lord Jesus, after warning His first disciples and all following after them, saw to it that flame of truth would never be extinguished. When the earlier light-bearers would be persecuted and extirpated, or apostatize, the Biblical principles of the Protestant Reformation would be preserved through the centuries by “the blood of martyrs” becoming “the seed of the gospel,” and in the latter days by a commandment-keeping remnant. Their “work of the most solemn import is the proclamation of the three angels’ messages,” “the last warning for a perishing world” (9T 19) which uplifts God’s unconditional love for sinners and divine wrath against sin and unrighteousness.
This also involves “searching out the mystery of iniquity that figures so largely in the winding up of this earth’s history . . . to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change times and laws” (TM 118). The man of sin Paul describes in 2 Thess. 2: 3, 4 is specified in prophecy as the papal power. (7BC 911).
Protestants once believed that the leopard-like beast introduced in Revelation 13 represented the papacy.(Rev. 13: 2; GC 54, 439). By Sunday observance, the Protestants have rendered homage to the papacy (GC 448-9, 571). It is just a matter of time. The rapidly-unfolding developments are fulfillments of this prophecy, such as:
“Pope Asks Forgiveness for Catholic Persecution of Waldenses.” Trumpet.com. 6-23-2015. The surviving Waldensian Church leaders who met at Turin, Italy, accepted Pope Francis, forgetting that papal principles and policies remains unchanged towards those it deems as heretics up to the last remnant of time largely due its fundamental doctrine of Papal Infallibility, and prophecy will be fulfilled to the letter. This news story said:
“The Waldensian Church was founded in the 12th century by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant from Lyons, France The Waldensians recognized that they were the true successors of the apostolic Church. They obeyed the laws of both the Old and New Testaments, including weekly Saturday-Sabbath observance and the Bible-ordained holy days. The Catholic Church officials condemned these practices because they contradicted the Vatican doctrines [not the Bible!]. In 1184 Pope Lucius labeled the Waldensians as heretics.Within a few years the persecutions intensified, with a command issued that all Waldenses in certain areasbe burned at the stake. . . . In 1208, Pope Innocent [what a self-contracting title!] declared the Albigensian Crusade—an attack not only against the Waldensians, but also against the civil rulers who protected them. Many Waldensians were killed and displaced.” (http://www.thetrumpet.com/article/1234.19.O.O/religion/roman-catholic-/pope-asks-forgiveness-for-catholic-persecution-of-waldensians).
Adventists should remember theirs is not a “new religion” or “another church” but the seventh and last stage of the church Christ Himself founded as its Rock and Cornerstone—never Peter, one His disciples! They are “the remnant of her (the church’s) seed” (her offspring, NKJV) “who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.” This is why the “dragon” Satan, “was enraged with the woman” (the true church), “and went to make war” against her offspring for preserving the knowledge of the Scriptures and the Bible Sabbath memorial of creation. The Protestant Reformers had their earliest beginnings with the Waldenses—the true successors of Christ’s apostles. Christ, not Peter Waldo, was their founder! Now this:
“The reformers whose protest has given us the name of Protestant, felt that God had called them to give the light of the gospel to the world; and in the effort to do this they were ready to sacrifice their possessions, their liberty, even life itself.”- Ibid, Prophets & Kings, p. 627.
“We are engaged in an important and essential work, and must carry on an aggressive warfare. We are to stand on Protestant principles; for the policy of the papacy will edge their way into every possible place to proscribe liberty of conscience.” – Ibid, Review & Herald, vol. 5, Sept. 9, 1909, p. 540.
Although the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists appears in the list of “Ecumenical Relationships” of the World Council of Churches Directory (I purchased my own copy in 1994) stating that “since 1967 there has been a joint working group between the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church,” it is not a voting member and is there merely on an observer status.
Jean Zurcher, who took part in a series of dialogues at the WCC headquarters in Geneva from 1965-1973 makes a clear and powerful case as to the reasons why from three compelling reasons: historical, doctrinal, and political. See “Why Adventists Don’t Join the WCC” (https://www.ministrymagazine.org/authors/x/zurcher.-jean. (Continued next week)