The anti-Historicist schools of interpretation either place the Revelation in the first century, Nero being the Antichrist; or in the unknown, undetermined, but always soon-coming future, wherein they allege a non-Christian world dictator is destined to be the Antichrist at the very end of the world; or they allow the Revelation to speak in general, non-specific terms of the devil’s work against the Church throughout history, the devil himself being the Antichrist.
But these anti-Historical interpretations are not the interpretations the Lord’s people under persecution, torture, threat of, and ultimately death, believed or taught. Instead, to their last dying breath they confessed the historical Pope of Rome was the very head of Antichrist, his historical members the body of Antichrist, and his historical false church, Mystery Babylon, the great whore, the mother of all harlots. This truth is evidenced in numerous Inquisitional records whereby the ‘heretics’ testimonies were recorded for posterity. These records have been translated and published for all the world to read. Martyrologies from the Reformation era are also plentiful and readily available for all to study. A common doctrinal error claimed against the ‘heretics’ was that of denying the real presence of Christ’s literal Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity in the Eucharist. Another charge against them was their refusal to submit to the authority of the Roman Pontiff as sovereign head of the Church on earth. From here the list of so-called heresies goes on and on.
The martyrs’ testimony is crucial on several levels. First, their testimony was given under circumstances outlined by Christ centuries earlier. This outline is given in Matthew 10, as one example. Just as Christ prophesied, He Himself being the prototype, throughout the Church Age so-called ‘heretics’ were captured and delivered up to both ‘Christian’ religious and secular authorities to give testimony against them. The ‘heretics’ would enumerate their beliefs and the scriptural reasons for them, while at the same time reproving their captors for teaching and believing lies. These ‘heretics’ were actually the true Christians, followers of Christ, who Himself was also falsely accused of heresy and blasphemy. Those who murdered the true Christians, the Revelation tells us, were the false Christians, followers of the Antichrist. All are of their father, Satan, the Dragon. The same parallel held true regarding the religious Jewish leaders who put Christ to death. They were not worshippers of Jehovah as they claimed. Instead, as Christ undiplomatically pointed out, they were actually devil worshippers.
Second, it is recorded by the Holy Spirit not once, but four times in Scripture that Christ promised His disciples, both in His day and in the centuries beyond, that when persecuted by false Christianity their testimony would not be carnal – of their own personal, vain opinion – but would be divinely inspired by God Himself :
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. (Matt. 10:19-20)
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. (Mark 13:11)
And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. (Luke 12:11)
But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate before what ye shall answer: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. (Luke 21:12-15)
In these Scriptures we are told the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will speak through these witnesses, men and women falsely accused of heresy. Thus, their testimony is to be trusted and believed. It has the seal of God upon it. Christ promises as much, and Christ is no liar. The martyrs, persecuted saints and prophets all pointed to their persecutors, naming the Pope of Rome, his clergy, and Roman Catholic Church the arch-enemies of the Lord and His people, though these enemies claimed to come in His name, as His friends. These profound paradoxes, the ‘heretics’ said, were foretold and prophesied in the Scriptures centuries before the existence of this great false ‘Mother’ church.
To disbelieve their testimony is to disbelieve the Lord who gave them their testimony in the first place. To disbelieve the Lord is to call the Lord a liar. To call the Lord a liar is not the Spirit of Christ, but the spirit of Antichrist. The serpent also called the Lord a liar in the Garden when he posed the question, “Hath God said….?” Those who call the Lord a liar are of their father, the Devil, the father of lies. Ye believe not, said Christ to the Pharisees, because ye are not of my sheep. My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me. Christ’s sheep follow Him because they believe His Word, thereby trusting Him.
In teaching their skewed and improper view of prophecy, all who oppose the Historicist view take great pains to eliminate Church history or at the very least alter it, after Emperor Constantine’s reign from the knowledge or memory of their duped disciples. All false prophetic systems share the common evil of dismissing the lives, ordeals and testimonies of the martyrs and persecuted saints as irrelevant to understanding biblical prophecy today, they say we should not listen to them because they did not KNOW WHAT WE KNOW TODAY. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST SILLY LINES OF REASONING TO EVER SLAP GOD IN THE FACE, THIS WOULD BE TROWN OUT THE WINDOW IF IT WERE USED AGAINST US BY ATHEIST’S TO SAY THAT SAME THING ABOUT THE BIBLE CAMPARED TO MODERN SCIENCE…..WOULD IT NOT? In the view of the false prophets, the martyrs, as well as the false church who persecuted and killed them, were but a minor episode, not worthy of study, prayer or reflection. That’s how the FALSE CHURCH has gotten away with murder for the past 1000 years or so, because we have helped them cover it up with the platitudes of “So-called Church TOLERENCE OF BAD DOCTRINE”. Yet the killings and persecutions spanned centuries, numbering untold millions of innocent TRUE Christian victims. Their persecution and murders for eight centuries before and during the Roman Catholic Inquisition was far longer and to a much greater extent than the persecutions and murders of the ancient Christians who lived under the yoke of the Roman Emperors. Also, the shameless fact that the martyrs after the fall of the Roman Empire were killed by a so-called ‘Christian’ church, under direction of the alleged Vicars of Christ, places these martyrdoms on a par unequalled in blasphemy by the Roman Emperors who never pretended to profess Christ as Savior, let alone Lord. Truly, the Christians persecuted under the Popes experienced Great Tribulation, greater than any the people of God had ever known, THIS IS A FACT OF HISTORY THAT CANNOT BE HIDDEN FROM THOSE WHO SEEK OUT HISTORY and refuse to help cover it up.
The leaders/teachers/pastors who neglect the testimony of the saints and martyrs, promoting a false interpretation of the prophecies, do so because they do not believe the testimony of these Christians who loved not their lives unto the death. As proved above, to disbelieve their testimony is to disbelieve the Lord who gave them their testimony. Thus, the false prophets who teach false prophecy, be they leaders/teachers/pastors, call God the liar. To call God the liar is evidence of the spirit of Antichrist, against Christ, though they would have you believe they are Christians, Christ’s sheep, who faithfully follow Christ.
There is also an element within the ranks of these false prophets who give lip service to the martyrs killed by the Church of Rome. They say that at that particular time in history the martyrs’ testimony was accurate, but it is no longer accurate today in our time. The difficulty with this perverse view is the fact that the martyrs or prophets of old never once implied the Antichrist in their day was a temporary one, to be replaced by another of a different type in the future. (That lie was cast into Christianity by the Jesuits, who looked for a future Antichrist outside the Papacy, at the very end of the world.) Furthermore, the Scripture prophecies do not allow for the Antichrist to be other than one specific man in one specific office within the professing Christian Church, whose birth, life and death would extend from the days of the break-up of the Roman Empire until the Second Coming of Christ. And lastly, the Papacy, whom the martyrs called the Antichrist, has added even more blasphemous doctrines since the days of the Inquisition, proving the spirit of Antichrist is still very much alive, active and thriving in that institution. The recent uncovering of decades of pedophilia by the Roman Catholic priesthood is yet another proof the spirit of Antichrist is working diligently in that false church.
So-called ‘Reformed’ denominations, such as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America, have willfully and maliciously deleted all references to the papal Antichrist from their historic Westminster Confession of Faith. They, too, call their forefathers liars, whose God lied to the ancient saints and martyrs.
LOVING THE BRETHREN NECESSARY FRUIT FOR THE CHRISTIAN;
(1) whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God;
(2) neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:10)
The Apostle is quite plain here. The children of God may be identified by their acts of righteousness, as well as by their love for the brethren. Contrarily, the children of the devil may be identified by their unrighteous acts, i.e., killing innocent Christians, as well as not loving the brethren. Lying to the brethren, when it is your ministry to feed the flock the truth, is an unrighteous act. Calling truthful brethren – the saints, prophets and martyrs of old – liars is also an unrighteous act. Those who do so manifest no love for the brethren. In so doing they prove themselves children of the devil, according to the infallible testimony of Holy Spirit spoken through John. Men who hate the brethren do not love the Lord, though they insist otherwise.
And whosoever shall not receive you [Christ’s witnesses, His Body], nor hear [believe] your words [your testimony]……shake off the dust of your feet.
He that receiveth you [believes you, the Body of Christ] receiveth me [believes me, the Head of the Body];
And he that receiveth me receiveth him [God the Father] that sent me.
The Lord has always had prophets and teachers in His Body. All members of His Body provide a necessary function. All are important, though not all are prophets or teachers. The Lord would no more eliminate a member’s role in His Body, then He would have a deformed Body. Nor would He have a member feed His flock poison, though the misguided member may err for a season. Those leaders in the modern Church who deny the united testimony and teaching of past prophets and teachers, though they are apprised of their error, deny the Body of Christ, thereby denying Christ who sent them, the Holy Ghost who taught them, and the Father who elected them.
Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my father which is in heaven. (Matt. 10:33)
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.
(2 Timothy 2:12)
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
(2 Peter 2:1) MANY PROFESSING CHRISTIANS TODAY CLAIM THAT THE REFORMERS AND THE PROTESTANTS OF THEIR DAY WERE MISTAKEN ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF ANTICHRIST – THESE MEN NOW HOLD TO EITHER FUTURIST DISPENSATIONAL OR PRETERIST POSITIONS REGARDING THE END TIMES – THANKS FOR INFORMING US OF THAT GUYS – SO I GUESS THE FOLLOWING TORTURES WERE ALL FOR NOTHING, I sure wouldn’t have gone through ANY torture for a mistaken premise would you UNLESS GOD HIMSELF HAD GIVEN YOU THAT WORD?:
Skin flayed off of head, face and body
Nipples pulled off
Fried alive in pans
Bound to pillar head down and roasted
Mouth slit back to ears
Crucified upside down
Put in cauldrons of boiling oil
Thrown out of windows upon upward facing spears
Bodies gored through mouths with pikes
Arms cut off
Torturous slow burning e.g., burn soles of feet, then up to ankles, mid-calf, etc. until dead
Bellies burnt until bowels fell out
Women stripped, hung from tree by their hair and scourged
Tourniquet placed on head and twisted until eyes came out
Ears bored out
Tongue cut out
Set down (by pulley) into a fire by degrees
Thrown to dogs
Hung up by the heels and choked with smoke
Smothered in caves on mountains
Hearts pulled out, which the papists gnawed with their teeth.
Some roasted upon spits over a soft fire
Some had their bowels pulled out
A smith had his brains beaten out on his anvil with a hammer
Some had sharp instruments forced under their nails and other body parts
Some racked until their bowels broke out
Some had their throats cut with butcher knives
Knocked on the head with axes
Naked women left hung up by one leg on trees until they died
Some slain and their body parts set on stakes for 30 miles streches
Some had their noses and breasts pulled off with red hot pinchers
Some had their flesh torn with the claws of wild animals
Murdered in a church during sermon
Some hanged by one foot, their hands and breasts in the water
Some hung up by one hand with weights of lead at their heels
Two tied together and slain
Some were torn in pieces by horses
A legion of soldiers cut some to pieces with swords
Some had boots of boiling oil put on their legs over a small fire.
Some hung up on trees by the middle til they died of hunger
Women’s bellies ripped up and their children trod underfeet
NO THESE TORTURES WERE ALL FOR THE CAUSE OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST – AGAINST THE ENEMY OF THE TRUE CHURCH – SATAN AND HIS FALSE PROPHETS.LET’S SEE WHAT PAST POPES AND MEMBERS OF THAT GREAT WHORE OF BABYLON – THE JERUSALEM OF BELOW HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THESE BRUTAL TORTURES:
“Experience teaches that there is no other remedy for the evil, but to put heretics (Protestants) to death; for the (Romish) church proceeded gradually and tried every remedy: at first she merely excommunicatied them; afterwards she added a fine; then she banished them; and finally she was constrained to put them to death.”
“He is a heretic who does not believe what the Roman Hierarchy teaches. –A heretic merits the pains of fire. –By the Gospel, the canons, civil law, and custom, heretics must be burned.”
“He is a heretic who deviates from any article of faith.”
“All sects of heretics are condemned and various punishments are appointed for them and their accomplices.” –Pope Alexander IV
“Statutes that impede the execution of the duties which appertain to the office of Inquisitors are null and void.” –Pope Urban IV
“They who bury persons knowing them to be excommunicated, or their receivers, defenders, or favourers, shall not be absolved unless they dig up the corpse; and the place shall be deprived of the usual immunities of sepulture.” –Pope Alexander IV
“Inquisitors must discard all fear, and intrepidly proceed against heretical pravity.”
“All defence is denied to heretics.”
“For the suspicion alone of heresy, purgation is demanded.”
“Heretics are by right condemned.”
“He who is without the church can neither be reconciled nor saved.”
BUT JESUS SAYS:
…Do violence to no man…
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”
…others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:)
they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” “It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error.
It is better to speak the truth that hurts and heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills.”