The First Resurrection
In Revelation, Chapter 20, John described the first resurrection. That is the resurrection of,
Those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their foreheads, they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
These one thousand years were explained in the Book of Daniel. In the last Chapter, the Angel of God told us the kingdom of heaven would be corrupted for “time, times and half a time,” which he called 1,290 days. In Chapter Eight, another Angel told us the kingdom of heaven would be cleansed after 2,300 days, another 1,000 days, or years. These days in Daniel and Revelation are years.
The time, times and half time in the hand of the Antichrist began in 193 when the Bishop of Rome exalted himself as high as Christ, by excommunicating the Churches of Asia.
In 1467, the Moravian brothers were the first Protestants to declare their independence from the Pope. They were hunted in the woods of Bohemia until 1471, when Jan Rokycana, the Archbishop, and King Prodebrady died.
The death of Jan Rokycana, and King Prodebrady ended the “time, times and half a time” of the saints in the hands of the beast, and began “the First Resurrection,” the reign of the martyrs with Christ, for one thousand years.
So John said, “after three and a half days they stood on their feet.”
And they heard a loud voice, saying, “come up here!” They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them
The Moravian martyrs ascended straight to heaven. Then King George Prodebrady was succeeded by Vladislaus. All the imprisoned members of brethren were set free, public services began, and the new independent church prospered.
They will Hate the Harlot
The political relationships of Europe and the Pope began after the East-West Schism of 1054. Pope Hildebrand, Gregory VII, from 1073-1085 was the first to exert his power. He excommunicated the Emperor three times, and in his “Dictatus papae,” said that “the deposal of an emperor was under the sole power of the pope” 1
This relationship of the Pope and the Ten Kings continued for five hundred years.
After the protest of Jan Huss and Martin Luther, the whole of Europe changed. The Moravians broke free from the Papacy, in 1471, followed by the Lutherans in 1520.
Some European states even established their own State churches. The first was Sweden in 1523, and then England in 1534.
By the end of the sixteenth Century, the political relationship of the states of Europe and the Catholic Church came to an end.
John said the Ten Kings, the Ten States of Europe, “will hate the harlot.”
They “made her desolate and naked” – they took away her wealth and splendor and exposed all of her corruption.
They “eat her flesh,” meaning they destroy her power. In Revelation 19, we read that “the saints, called the birds of the air, ate the flesh of commanders, and mighty men.”
They “burned her up with fire.” This was the punishment required of a priest’s daughter who become a prostitute (Leviticus 21:9).
Revelation Chapter 18 describes “the smoke of her burning.” Those who make their living by sea, selling salvation, watch her burn from a distance.
the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, because no one buys her cargo any more — gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet . . .
John Lothrop Motley, in his Book, The Rise of the Dutch Republic, described the Reformation scene in the Netherlands,
…pictures, statues, organs, ornaments . . . of richest material glittering with pearls, rubies and other precious stones, were scattered in heaps of ruin upon the ground
A Tenth of the City Fell
After the Bohemians successfully rejected the Pope’s authority, John said,
In that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the City fell, seven thousand were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
This is the second “hour” described in the Book of Revelation. An hour represents about 500 years, 1/12 of the human clock of 6,000 years.
Throughout the Book of Revelation, “the earth” represents the people of the world, and a quake is a war. In Revelation 16:18, the battle of Armageddon is described as a “great earthquake” where a third of mankind died. But, here John is telling us that 1/10 of the Great City died in the Reformation wars that broke out among the Catholics and Protestants.
In 1471, the Bohemians were successful in breaking free from the Church, but a bitter persecution came in 1547.
Three million died in France from 1562 to 1598, which was most famous for the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. This massacre “printed on Protestant minds the indelible conviction that Catholicism was a bloody and treacherous religion.” 2
Religious freedom in Northern Europe came at a great cost, with decades of rebellions, wars and bloody persecutions.
Germany and Central Europe suffered tremendous violence in the Thirty Years War of 1618 to 1648. The deaths in Germany were the most severe, where one third of the German population died. In 1620, the Protestants in Bohemians were defeated at the battle of White of Mountain, and were forced to return to Catholicism.
John said that “seven thousand” were killed in the earthquake. The expression “seven thousand” comes from 1 Kings 19:18, “I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal.” The seven thousand were the saints who did not worship the beast.
Come out from her My People
The corruption of the Catholic Church, was first prophesied in the Book of Daniel. And the Book of Revelation described the harlotry of the Church with the Ten States of Europe.
This gave the Reformers confidence to leave the Church which claimed to hold the keys of salvation for every man.
In Revelation 18, the Angel of God, who is Christ, calls from heaven, saying, “come out from her My people so that you do not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).
Mystery Babylon became “a dwelling place of demons, and a prison of every unclean spirit, and every hated bird” (Revelation 18:2).
The pagan practices of the Roman Empire were brought into the Church. Christmas and Easter had their origin in Roman pagan festivals. Even the name of Yahweh, was the name of Jupiter, the chief deity of the Roman Empire. But the most difficult corruptions were the image, and mark of the Beast – the Trinity doctrine, and the changing of God’s commandment of the Sabbath Day.
Hosea said, “Go again, and love a lover, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans” (Hosea 3:1).
Hosea called God’s people Jezreel, meaning “God scatters.” Many denominations were formed as the saints heard Christ’s call to leave the Catholic Church.
These denominations continued to hold onto many of the corrupt doctrines. In Revelation 17, Mystery Babylon was called, “the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth.”
The work of the saints was not just to break away from the Pope, but also to cleanse the temple, to cleanse the Holy City. Many denominations, like the Pentecostals, and Baptists were named by their emphasis in restoring the truth.
The Wind carried them away
King Nebuchadnezzar saw the powers of the world as a great image. The Spirit of Christ, was the stone that struck this great image in the Reformation, and “the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found.” (Daniel 2:34).
When did “no trace of” these earthly powers remain?
In the Holy Roman Empire, Lutheranism was not officially recognized until the Peace of Augsburg of 1555. Calvinism was officially recognized after the Thirty Years War, and the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
There was more religious freedom in the British commonwealth, among the dissenters, who were unsatisfied with the Church of England. New denominations actively pursued the Apostolic truth. In 1617, sabbath keeping began at the Mill Yard Seventh Day Baptist church in London. The Quakers pursued a Pentecostal experience. Edward Burrough, who died in 1663, wrote, “We spoke with new tongues, as the Lord gave us utterance, and His Spirit led us.”3
But all these denominations were persecuted. The seventh day Baptists in England were fined for not keeping Sunday rest. And the Quakers and Shakers were sent to prison because they refused to war with other Christians. As a result of these persecutions, many went to America to find greater religious freedom.
In the U.S., many more denominations were born, including the Seventh Day Adventists, and Pentecostals. Most of these new denominations had non-Trinitarian beginnings, and believed themselves to be the true elect of God.
From 1844, Ellen White reported seeing visions in Church services. She believed that those who kept the Sabbath Day were the end time saints in the book of Revelation, “who kept the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
In 1906, at Azusa Street in California, thousands reported that they received a spiritual gift of speaking in other tongues.
- Appleby, R. Scott (1999). “How the Pope Got His Political Muscle”. U.S. Catholic. Vol. 64 no. 9. p. 36. ↩
- Chadwick, Henry; Evans, G. R. (1987). Atlas of the Christian church. London: Macmillan. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-333-44157-2. ↩
- The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded; and Antichrist’s Kingdom Revealed, Edward Burrough, Preface ↩