Jesus Christ Prison Ministry


The Reformation

“REFORMATION, great 16th-century religious revolution in the Christian church, which ended the ecclesiastical supremacy of the pope in Western Christendom and resulted in the establishment of the Protestant churches. With the Renaissance that preceded and the French Revolution that followed, the Reformation completely altered the medieval way of life in Western Europe and initiated the era of modern history. Although the movement dates from the early 16th century, when Martin Luther first defied the authority of the church, the conditions that led to his revolutionary stand had existed for hundreds of years and had complex doctrinal, political, economic, and cultural elements.” Infopedia

“In England the beginning of the movement toward ultimate independence from papal jurisdiction was the enactment of the statutes of Mortmain in 1279, Provisors in 1351, and Praemunire in 1393, which greatly reduced the power of the church to withdraw land from the control of the civil government, to make appointments to ecclesiastical offices, and to exercise judicial authority. “ Infopedia


“The 14th-century English reformer John Wycliffe boldly attacked the papacy itself, striking at the sale of indulgences, pilgrimages, the excessive veneration of saints, and the moral and intellectual standards of ordained priests.  To reach the common people, he translated the Bible into English and delivered sermons in English, rather than Latin.  His teachings spread to Bohemia, where they found a powerful advocate in the religious reformer John Huss (Jan Hus).  The execution of Huss as a heretic in 1415 led directly to the Hussite Wars, a violent expression of Bohemian nationalism, suppressed with difficulty by the combined forces of the Holy Roman emperor and the pope.  The wars were a precursor of religious civil war in Germany in Luther’s time.  In France in 1516 a concordat between the king and the pope placed the French church substantially under royal authority.  Earlier concordats with other national monarchies also prepared the way for the rise of autonomous national churches.”  Infopedia


“Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant.  He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.”  Verse 30.

“The Protestant revolution was initiated in Germany by Luther in 1517, when he published his 95 theses challenging the theory and practice of indulgences. Papal authorities ordered Luther to retract and submit to church authority, but he became more intransigent, appealing for reform, attacking the sacramental system, and urging that religion rest on individual faith based on the guidance contained in the Bible.” Infopedia


“In the Scandinavian countries the Reformation was accomplished peacefully as Lutheranism spread northward from Germany. The monarchical governments of Denmark and Sweden themselves sponsored the reform movement and broke completely with the papacy. In 1536 a national assembly held in Copenhagen abolished the authority of the Roman Catholic bishops throughout Denmark and the subject lands of Norway and Iceland; and Christian III, king of Denmark and Norway, invited Luther’s friend, the German religious reformer Johann Bugenhagen, to organize in Denmark a national Lutheran church on the basis of the Augsburg Confession.” Infopedia


“The early reform movement in Switzerland, contemporaneous with the Reformation in Germany, was led by the Swiss pastor Huldreich Zwingli, who became known in 1518 through his vigorous denunciation of the sale of indulgences. Zwingli expressed his opposition to abuses of ecclesiastical authority by sermons, conversations in the marketplace, and public disputations before the town council. As did Luther and other reformers, he considered the Bible the sole source of moral authority and strove to eliminate everything in the Roman Catholic system not specifically enjoined in the Scriptures. In Zurich from 1523 to 1525, under Zwingli’s leadership, religious relics were burned, ceremonial processions and the adoration of the saints were abolished, priests and monks were released from their vows of celibacy, and the Mass was replaced by a simpler communion service.” Infopedia


“In 1559 delegates from 66 Protestant churches in France met at a national synod in Paris to draw up a confession of faith and rule of discipline based on those practiced at Geneva. In this way the first national Protestant church in France was organized; its members were known as Huguenots. Despite all efforts to suppress them, the Huguenots grew into a formidable body, and the division of France into Protestant and Roman Catholic factions led to a generation of civil wars (1652-98). One of the notorious incidents of this struggle was the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, in which a large number of Protestants perished.” Infopedia


The Catholic Church, as you can see from the historical facts above, attempted to “vent his fury against the holy covenant.” He did this by fighting against the Protestant movement that was bringing people back to the holy covenant, the Bible and the Bible only and the Ten Commandments instead of church doctrine.


Verses 31 on through 35 explain the terrible time of persecution that the Catholic Church gave to those who refused to bow down to its teachings. The Catholic Church believed, and still does, that the pope is the head of the church and is “god on earth”. That is how it attempted to “abolish the daily sacrifice.” Verse 31. If Jesus is no longer needed to forgive sins, since the Catholic Church claims to have that power, then it does away with the daily sacrifice that Jesus has provided. It will “set up the abomination that causes desolation.” Verse 31.


The Catholic Church does this by setting up the church and its teachings in place of true Christianity and the teachings of Jesus. It does this by substituting the simple Lord’s supper with the pagan sacrament service.


“Less radical than the English church reformer John Wycliffe, Huss nonetheless agreed with him on many points. On a practical level, both men vigorously condemned church abuses and attempted, through preaching, to bring the church to the people. On the doctrinal level, both … regarded the Bible as the ultimate religious authority, and held that Christ, rather than any inevitably corrupt ecclesiastical official, is the true head of the church.” Infopedia


Verses 6 through 39 show us a better picture of the papacy and its wickedness. “He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.” In Revelation 17:5 the papacy is called “Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots . . .” In prefiguring this “Babylon”, Habakkuk 1:7 states that “their only laws and rules are the ones they make up”.