The Protestant Reformation, began when Martin Luther posted the Ninety – five theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle church in 1517. Martin Luther protested the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin and other unbiblical doctrines. The Protestant Reformation caused a great awakening and revival to the Biblical teachings. This caused the papal power to be driven from large areas of Northern Europe.
Efforts of the papacy to combat the Reformation took such forms as the Inquisition, the Index, and the organization of the Jesuit order. The Jesuits became the intellectual and spiritual army of the church for the extermination of Protestantism. For nearly three centuries. the Church of Rome carried on a vigorous attacks but gradually losing struggle against the forces battling for civil and religious freedom.
Finally, during the course of the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was outlawed in France. In 1798, the French Government ordered the army operating in Italy under Napoleon’s general Berthier to take the Pope Pius Vl prisoner with the goal of destroying both the political, secular power of the papacy.
Though the papacy continued, its power was cut, and it has never since exerted the same kind or measure of power that it did in former days. In 1870, the Papal States were completely absorbed into the united kingdom of Italy, the temporal power of the papacy came to an end, and the pope voluntarily became “the prisoner of the Vatican” until his temporal power was again restored in 1929.
The rule of the papacy began in A.D. 538, when the last of the three opposing Arian kingdoms were uprooted or destroyed and lasted until 1798. This period of time is an exact fulfillment to the 1260-year prophecy.
The blow for the papacy that caused a deadly wound began to heal to our present time and will regain its full power to rise as the beast of the Revelation and persecute the saints just before Jesus’ second coming (Rev.13).
In His service,