This Day In History: Countdown to the Death of Protestantism 10.31.2016 to 10.31.2017
For many, October 31 is a day for festivities such as children knocking on doors, dressing in costumes and asking neighbors for candies and treats. For others it is a day to celebrate the harvest; while still others engage in dark practices of witchcraft and other pagan rituals. While some unsuspecting parents and children engage in the traditions surrounding Halloween, viewing them as harmless pastimes, they are subjecting themselves to demonic influences and spirits. For more on the origin and paganism associated with Halloween and how participants in the holiday are consciously and subconsciously affected, please read The Real Story Behind Christmas, Easter, and Halloween written by Vance Ferrell and be among the millions whose eyes have been opened.
All this is just as Satan has designed it, to so encumber October 31 with paganism and gaiety that the important history of October 31 is lost. October 31 of the year 1517 was the historic day that Martin Luther, the reformer, nailed his 95 theses against the corruptions, abuses and abominations of the Roman Catholic Church on the church door of Wittenberg, which gave a strong impetus to the Protestant Reformation. From that very door, the 95 theses, were transcribed, translated and widely disseminated throughout Germany and Europe at large in language easily understood by the common people. For the first time the eyes of the people were opened to the truths of the scriptures and thus broke the chains of error that held them captive for so long. This evoked the bitterest and most vehement fury from ecclesiastical authorities as well as staunch Roman Catholic adherents, which can scarcely be imagined or described. Over and over again Martin Luther was sought for and hunted as a beast of prey, bribed, threatened, tried by the church and finally excommunicated; but never did he recant his writings or soften his tone or message. When he was to appear before the Diet at Worms his firm resolution was “Expect anything from me but flight or recantation. Fly I cannot; still less can I recant… My recantation shall be this: I said formerly that the pope was Christ’s vicar; now I say that he is the adversary of the Lord, and the apostle of the devil… I cannot and I will not retract, for it is unsafe for a Christian to speak against his conscience. Here I stand, I can do no other; may God help me. Amen.”1
The purpose of this brochure is not to recount the entire history of Martin Luther and his 95 theses, but to lead the reader to a reliable source that will present the factual history while showing its bearing upon the present and the future and how it affects each person. This source is a bestselling, widely translated book that has enlightened millions of minds for over a century, which is, Ellen White’s The Great Controversy. The chapters dealing specifically with Martin Luther and the work he was called of God to perform and that he faithfully carried out are under the following titles: “Luther’s Separation from Rome,” “Luther before the Diet,” “Progress of Reform in Germany,” and “Protest of the Princes.” The work of reform that Protestants today are to continue can be read in the chapters, “Liberty of Conscience Threatened,” “The Impending Conflict,” and “The Final Warning.”
The important history of the rise and progress of the Protestant Reformation is not to be forgotten considering that the Bible prophesies that the same tyrannical and arbitrary control exercised by the Papal power in times past, she will regain. See Revelation 13:1-18 and the chapter God’s Law Immutable in the book The Great Controversy. The sad reality is that professed “Protestants” have abandoned the protest and have joined hands with Roman Catholicism in an effort to have her decrees enforced and her institutions sustained by the governments of the world, beginning in America, signaling the death of Protestantism.
Lutherans, Catholics and other Evangelicals are jointly declaring that the reformation has ended and there is no longer a need for protest and therefore Protestantism is dead, and the reformation over. Catholic Herald reports, “Somewhere in Pope Francis’s office is a document that could alter the course of Christian history. It declares an end to hostilities between Catholics and Evangelicals and says the two traditions are now ‘united in mission because we are declaring the same Gospel.’ The Holy Father is thinking of signing the text in 2017, the 500th [year] anniversary of the Reformation, alongside Evangelical leaders representing roughly one in four Christians in the world today. Francis is convinced that the Reformation is already over. He believes it ended in 1999, the year the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation issued a joint declaration on justification, the doctrine at the heart of Luther’s protest…When Francis wanted to reach out to Evangelicals…he rang his old friend [Tony Palmer]. During a leisurely meeting at the Vatican, Palmer recorded a video of the Pontiff on his iPhone… Palmer took the film to a ministers’ conference in Texas organized by prosperity gospel preacher Kenneth Copeland. Palmer introduced the film with what must count as one of the great Christian orations of the 21st century. ‘Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over, is yours?…If there is no more protest how can there be a Protestant church?’ he said. He told the audibly stunned audience that he was speaking to them ‘in the spirit of Elijah,’ who prepared the way for something greater than himself…Francis then proclaimed that ‘the miracle of unity has begun.’”2
Additionally, October 31, 2016 is another step in achieving full unity between Catholicism and other evangelical denominations including Lutherans, leading up to October 31, 2017, the 500th year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, where Protestantism will officially be dead. “Pope Francis will visit Sweden in October to participate in an ecumenical service and the beginning of a year of activities to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Leaders from the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation had already been set to meet Oct. 31, 2016, for the ecumenical celebration in Lund, Sweden…Pope Francis ‘intends to participate’ in the joint ceremony to commemorate next year’s anniversary…Pope Francis will lead the ecumenical commemoration in Lund.”3
Since Catholics and Evangelicals are declaring and celebrating that the protest is over, it is evident that a change has come, which has been in progress for some time. The question is, who has changed? The Bible depicts the Roman Catholic Church in Revelation 13:1-10 as having the body of a leopard, which Jeremiah 13:23 declares cannot change its spots. Therefore, the change has come with “Protestants,” along with the civil leaders of America.
Decades after the founding of America, then President Abraham Lincoln made a significant statement regarding the work of the Roman Catholic Church and what the American peoples’ response should be toward it. “‘If the American people could learn what I know of the fierce hatred of the priests of Rome against our institutions, our schools, our most sacred rights, and our so dearly bought liberties, they would drive them away tomorrow from among us, or they would shoot them as traitors.’ ‘I know that Jesuits never forget nor forsake. But man must not care how and where he dies, provided he dies at the post of honor and duty.’”4
Any person even vaguely familiar with the founding of the United States understands that the pilgrims were fleeing the Papal tyranny existent in the Old World, thus establishing their government on the principles of Republicanism and Protestantism, promising both civil and religious freedom, having a clear separation between church and state. The founding fathers of America would never have agreed to or invited any pope or ecclesiastical representative of the Roman Catholic Church to speak at Independence Hall, the very place where the Declaration of Independence was adopted, or to address the American people at a joint session of Congress. However in September of 2015, the Protestants and civil leaders of America have both invited and allowed Pope Francis to do just that, indicating a drastic change.
Even former U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, himself a Catholic, who like Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, saw the danger of providing an influential platform for the Pope to give his message to the American people. In his very words, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute…I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish–where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope.”5 While the majority of Protestants and civil leaders were in agreement with the unprecedented visit of Pope Francis to America in 2015, a few individuals saw the same danger and what the visit represents, an utter repudiation of the founding principles of Protestantism and Republicanism. Bart Barber said to the Baptist Press, “‘For Congress to treat a church as though it were a state and the head of a church as though he were the head of a state runs contrary to basic First Amendment principles of disestablishment.’” Said Albert Mohler “‘Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others.’”6
“The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed! The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments… Have these persons forgotten the claim of infallibility put forth for eight hundred years by this haughty power? So far from being relinquished, this claim was affirmed in the nineteenth century with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that the ‘church never erred; nor will it, according to the Scriptures, ever err…’ how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages? The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution.”7
“God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.”8
1. White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), pages 581 and 160 2. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/july-24th-2015/the-popes-great-evangelical-gamble/ 3. http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2016/pope-visit-sweden-commemorate-reformation-anniversary.cfm 4. Chiniquy, C. P. T. (1886). Fifty years in the Church of Rome, pages 697, 664.Toronto: S.R. Briggs. 5. http://www.beliefnet.com/news/politics/2000/09/i-believe-in-an-america-where-the-separation-of-church-and-state-is-absolute.aspx#fqZWLHOxKz6ysBMf.99 6. http://www.bpnews.net/45555 7. White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), pages 563 and 564 8. White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 581