BY PASTOR IAN COTTON
Please prayerfully read Daniel 11:33-34 “Those who are wise will give instruction to many. But for a time many of these teachers will die by fire and sword, or they will be jailed and robbed. While all these persecutions are going on, a little help will arrive, though many who join them will not be sincere.”
This refers to the early Protestant movement missionaries in Europe who went from town to town preaching and teaching Bible truths and kept the light of truth alive.
Many fell by the sword, flame, captivity and spoil as the Roman Church martyred many Bible believing Christians because they refused to compromise their faith. They died by the sword, many were burned alive, some died in the dungeons of torture and starvation.
“but for a time” = the Dark Ages, as we call them today, is the 1260 years that Daniel 7:25, (time and times and the dividing of time ) that Revelation 12:6 (a thousand two hundred and threescore days = 1260 days) and Revelation 13:5 (forty and two months) speak of. Both Numbers 14:34 & Ezekiel 4:6 declare “a day = a year” in prophecy. The time period of 538 AD to 1798 AD is a perfect fulfillment of the prophecy.
“Many will die…jailed and robbed” = At least 50,000,000 Christians were martyred during the “Dark Ages.” Foxe’s book of martyrs says 500,000,000 Christian died from 538 AD to 1798 AD. (Exactly 1260 years.)
This time period started in 538 AD, when the Emperor Justinian issued a decree, proclaiming the Pope to be supreme in religious matters. In 1798 Napoleon’s army under General Berthier deposed the Pope who died in exile in France.
John Paul II admitted on March 12, 2000 it was the Papacy that used Civil powers to kill Christians.
“a little help” = Revelation 12:16 says, “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” The Reformation, where the Lord used Luther, and helped many of the persecuted Christians, actually slowed Rome’s forward movement against the truth. In many areas, people were free to worship as Luther taught.
“many will not be sincere” = Satan had his agents among the faithful to discourage them during the Reformation. He also convinced some to join their churches with the State, as Rome did, to take up arms and literally fight the Catholics in many bloody battles.
This lead to many fleeing to America where prophecy stated true Protestantism would blossom for many years. Many fled Europe to emigrate to the New World to freely practice their beliefs.
Note that Jesus said, “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:22. Napoleon eventually came to power, realized his mission, and stripped the Vatican’s Statehood in the exact year of 1798! The fact it happened in that very year proves it was “in the works” years prior because you cannot just waltz in and take over without some sort of political posturing well in advance. Rome was sufficiently weakened so as to allow Napoleon to gain the victory.