These posts are copies of my sister's book, "The End is Near.
Continued from previous post...
“…testimony of Jesus.”
Before Jesus came to this world, the Old Testament prophets prophesized about him and the work that he would do. In the meantime, the sacrificial system was in place where someone who sinned would sacrifice an animal and his or her relationship with God would be restored. Revelation 19:10 says, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” It is the plan of redemption prophesized by the Old Testament prophets that Jesus fulfilled when he came to this earth, died, and went to heaven as our advocate.
Once Jesus came, we no longer had to make a sacrifice or do any work in order to be accepted by God; Jesus did and is doing all the work for us. This is called Righteousness by Faith, our relationship with God is put right through belief and trust in Jesus. And we do not have to go to the temple or to a priest to seek restoration of a right relationship with God, we go straight to Jesus and he does it for us as our High Priest in the temple in heaven. He is our High Priest who argues our case, who gives “testimony” in our behalf, who offers his life and his death in our place, granting us forgiveness and eventually eternal life.
The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “…we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle…” “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” “…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living god?” Heb. 8:1, 2; 9:11, 12, 14
Why did the Catholic Church hate the testimony of Jesus? Because it usurped their power and control of the people and it took money out of their pockets. As we have seen, the Bible teaches that Jesus is our High Priest and he shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins. The Catholic Church, in the spirit of Balaam and the Nicolaitans, saw an opportunity to control individuals, obtain absolute power, and make a lot of money. So it began to teach that you had to confess your sins to a priest in order to gain forgiveness.
Then you had to prove that you had truly repented of your sin by paying some sort of retribution. This would be in the form of penances, such as saying so many Hail Mary’s, performing some physical hardship, or doing charity work. Those who could afford it could bypass the acts of penance and pay for what was called an Indulgence. (see Appendix 1) The Church made money and they had complete control over the actions of their subjects. Thus the Church had substituted themselves and their own rules in place of Jesus and his sacrifice. The horn had “…magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host (Jesus); and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him…” Dan. 8:11
Thyatira gave “testimony” to the truth by refusing to go to a Catholic priest and say confessions, by refusing to do any kind of penance, and by refusing to buy any indulgences. Martin Luther discovered the truth about Jesus being our priest and our substitute while he was still a Catholic Monk. He saw that confession to a priest, the performance of penances, and the selling of indulgences were wrong, and this led him to rebel against the false church he had loved and the false beliefs he had held all his life, starting the Protestant Reformation that took place during the Sardis church era.
“…this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.” (Dan. 7:8) The Catholic Church was not blind, it knew what it was doing and even bragged that it had the power to do what it did. (see Appendix 4) In Daniel 8:12 it says the horn, “…will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper.” The Catholic Church did as it wished, flinging truth to the ground if it got in the way, and it prospered mightily. Anyone else who wanted to prosper fell into line because the horn only gives, “…great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many…” (Dan. 11:39) But those who opposed him paid the price. Daniel said, “…He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.” (Dan. 8:24) Just like the three kingdoms that opposed the Bishop of Rome when he was given power by Justinian, the church waged war against those who “...keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”
As we have seen, the horn held absolute power for 1260 years, from 538 CE to 1798 CE. During this time the two lamp stands, the two churches Thyatira and Sardis, held on to the truth. They kept God’s commandments and gave testimony of the truth of Jesus. But why do Daniel and Revelation spend so much time on this? Because not only was it a big deal in the past; it is going to happen again in the future. The more we understand the experiences of Thyatira and Sardis, the better prepared we will be when history repeats itself and Laodicea faces the same things.
The affect of the changes made by the Catholic Church can still be seen today. Sunday is when most Christians keep the Sabbath; priests still hear confessions; penances are still assigned to the repentant. Now that you know the truth, what will you do with it? Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…” Luke 12:48