History records that the intense persecutions of Christians began at the time of Christ and has continued, to one degree or another to this day. Even as early as the 7th century when the first Pope was elected and Mohammad was initiating the Islamic faith, true believers began to identify the source of their problems as the antichrist Pope and false prophet Mohammad. Tens of thousands of Christians were martyred during the dark and middle ages. In fact, TRUE Christianity was nearly eradicated from parts of Europe. Starting in the 1300’s Christian leaders like Wycliffe in England, Luther in Germany, Calvin in France, Knox in Scotland and Zwingli in Switzerland preached that Jesus was the Christ and the Roman Papacy was the antichrist. Luther was adamant that the Pope was the antichrist and in 1517, published his ’95 Theses’ and the reformation exploded. Hundreds of thousands left the Catholic church and joined protestant churches around Europe. To counter this movement the Pope established the Jesuit order of priests in 1534 with the specific goal of bringing those that had departed back to the church.

 

In 1590 the Jesuit priest Francisco Ribera published a documentary on Revelation that proposed that the antichrist would be a very evil man that would arise in the future, rebuild Jerusalem and reestablish the sacrifice. Protestants refused this theory for several hundred years and then one by one began to accept it. This theory developed into the current belief that there would be a 7-year tribulation that would give a second chance for many to repent and it diverted attention away from the Pope as antichrist. It worked! Today it is the dominant view of the main of Protestant Christianity. The book series ‘Left Behind’ is a result and while it makes money and is a dramatic account of end times it has fostered that deception. The truth is that the world is coming together in one very tolerant false religion and one world government. Hard times are coming for the true believer because he maintains an ‘individual relationship with the Lord’ and that simply will become less and less acceptable to the mass of religious organizations.

 

Scripture says that the devil will deceive the “whole world” (Revelation 12: 9) and that appears to be just what is happening. It is important that we, as the true believers, ‘come out from among them’ and prepare for what lies ahead.

 

We read of a place that’s called heaven,

It’s made for the pure and the free;

These truths in God’s word he has given,

How beautiful heaven must be . . . (How Beautiful Heaven Must Be)