A friend asked me to write about the Counter-Reformation as succinctly as possible because he wanted to add pictures to the text. Most of the materials in this article have been compiled from other articles on this website.
Let’s start off with definitions:
The Protestant Reformation
The 16th-century movement that was started by Martin Luther. Entire European nations protested against the abuses of the Roman Catholic church, endeavored to reform it, refused to continue to submit to the Pope, and sought to base their Christian beliefs and worship of God solely on what the Bible teaches, and not on Roman church traditions.
The Roman Catholic Church’s reaction to the Protestant Reformation and its efforts to undo it.
A brief history behind the two movements
Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German priest, theologian, author, hymn writer, professor, and Augustinian friar. He was the seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation.
Luther turned to the prophecies of the “little horn” of Daniel 7:8, the “man of sin” of II Thessalonians 2:3, and “the beast” of Revelation 13. He saw the truth and said to himself, “Why, these prophecies apply to the Roman Catholic Church!”
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, a statement of 95 points called the Ninety-five Theses, which protested against the sale of indulgences by the Church. According to Catholic doctrine, an “indulgence” is a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for forgiven sins. Luther wrote the sale of indulgences is an unbiblical practice that only enriches the Vatican and does nothing for the soul. Because of the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in the previous century, the Ninety-five Theses was reprinted and distributed to all the nations of Europe. The kings and princes of the nations who agreed with Luther subsequently left the Roman Catholic Church, and this resulted in a substantial loss of income for the Vatican! Catholic nations are usually poorer than Protestant ones because of the sale of indulgences and paying the Church money for other fruitless unbiblical practices such as masses for the dead.
Besides identifying the prophecies of the Antichrist as the office of the papacy, Luther also discovered that salvation is only through faith in Jesus Christ and not through works or the Catholic sacraments as the Church of Rome insists. He discovered the truth of Romans 1:17 that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
At the risk of losing his life, Martin Luther preached publicly and in print to an astonished people that Papal Rome was indeed the Antichrist of Bible prophecy.
Because of this dual message of salvation solely through faith in Jesus Christ apart from works, and of Papal Rome being the Antichrist, hundreds of thousands of people in Europe and in England left the Catholic Church!
The leader of the Counter-Reformation, Ignatius Loyola
On August 15, 1534, Ignatius Loyola founded a secretive Catholic order called the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. The Jesuits have a dark history of intrigue and sedition. Jesuit priests have been known throughout history as the most wicked political arm of the Roman Catholic Church.
A quote from Napoleon Bonaparte about the Jesuits:
The Jesuits are a MILITARY organization, not a religious order. Their chief is a general of an army, not the mere father abbot of a monastery. And the aim of this organization is power – power in its most despotic exercise – absolute power, universal power, power to control the world by the volition of a single man. Jesuitism is the most absolute of despotisms – and at the same time the greatest and most enormous of abuses.
Ignatius Loyola pledged loyalty to the Pope and worked for the destruction of the Bible-based faith of the Protestants.
Planning the Counter-Reformation at the Council of Trent
In 1545, the Catholic Church convened one of its most famous councils in history, which took place north of Rome in a city called Trent. It continued for three sessions ending in 1563. One of the main purposes of this Council was for Catholics to plan a counterattack against Martin Luther and the Protestants. Thus the Council of Trent became a center for Rome’s Counter-Reformation.
Up to this point, Rome’s main method of attack had been largely frontal—the open burning of Bibles and of heretics. Yet this warfare only confirmed in the minds of Protestants the conviction that Papal Rome was indeed the Beast that would “make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7). Therefore a new tactic was needed, something less obvious.
Francisco Ribera’s false interpretation of the Daniel 9:27 and the 70th Week of Daniel
At the Council of Trent, the Jesuits were commissioned by the Pope to develop a new interpretation of Scripture that would counteract the Protestant application of the Bible’s Antichrist prophecies to the Roman Catholic Church. Francisco Ribera (1537-1591), a brilliant Jesuit priest and doctor of theology from Spain, repudiated the idea that the Antichrist was the Papacy. He set forth Antichrist as a man who would not appear until the very end of the age. Circa 1585, Ribera called the “he” of Daniel 9:27 the Antichrist who would make a treaty with the Jews and people of Israel at the beginning of the 7 years before the return of Christ. At the time, to a man all the Protestants interpreted Daniel 9:27 and the 70th Week of Daniel fulfilled by Jesus Christ and His disciples from 27 AD to 34 AD, the preaching of the Gospel to the Jews which confirmed the Covenant that God made with Abraham, the Covenant of grace through faith.
Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Galatians 3:13,14 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Ribera also applied all of Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end-time rather than to the history of the true Bible-based Church. The Antichrist would be a single evil person who would be received by the Jews and would rebuild the Temple the Romans destroyed in 70 AD. Ribera denied the Protestant Scriptural Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2) as seated in the church of God—asserted by Augustine, Jerome, Luther and many reformers. He set on an infidel Antichrist, outside the church of God. The result of Ribera’s work was a twisting and maligning of prophetic truth.
Protestants of the time rejected Ribera’s interpretation of Daniel 9:27, the 70th Week of Daniel, 2 Thessalonians 2 and the Book of Revelation. It took four more centuries and the work of more Jesuits for Ribera’s false interpretations of prophecy to become absorbed into Protestant eschatology. This resulted in most Protestants today no longer thinking of the office of the papacy as the seat of the Antichrist. And the ironic thing is, traditional Catholics actually know better than most Protestant Christians about it! They are so shocked at the things Pope Francis is saying and doing, for example, having prayer sessions with Buddhists, Hindus, and other pagan religions, and blessing individuals in homosexual relations. As a result, many of them do look at Pope Francis as the Antichrist!!! There are YouTubes made by Catholics who call Francis an antipope.
Following close behind Francisco Ribera was another brilliant Jesuit scholar, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) of Rome. Between 1581 and 1593, Cardinal Bellarmine published his “Polemic Lectures Concerning the Disputed Points of the Christian Belief Against the Heretics of This Time.” In these lectures, he agreed with Ribera that the Antichrist is a single individual who would not rule until the very end of time. Through the work of these two tricky Jesuit scholars, a new school of eschatological thought was formed. Francisco Ribera has been called the Father of Futurism. Cardinal Bellarmine promoted Ribera’s Futurism further.
Manuel De Lacunza
Manuel De Lacunza, S.J. (Society of Jesus) (July 19, 1731 – June 18, 1801) was a Jesuit priest who used the pseudonym Juan Josafat Ben-Ezra in his main work on the interpretation of the prophecies of the Bible, which was entitled The Coming of the Messiah in Majesty and Glory. He picked up and promoted Francesco Ribera’s and Robert Bellarmine’s doctrines which also included the false teaching of a secret pre-tribulation rapture of the Church before the Antichrist’s seven-year covenant with the Jews.
Edward Irving (1792-1834) was a Scottish clergyman. He contended that Manuel De Lacunza’s book was the work of a converted Jew. Irving knew Spanish and translated The Coming of the Messiah in Majesty and Glory into English. This influenced John Nelson Darby.
S. R. Maitland
Ribera’s futurist interpretation rocked not only the Protestant church but also the Catholic church, so the Pope ordered it buried in the archives out of sight. Unfortunately, over 200 years later a librarian to the Archbishop of Canterbury by the name of S. R. Maitland (1792-1866) was appointed to be the Keeper of the Manuscripts at Lambeth Palace, in London, England. In his duties, Dr. Maitland came across Francisco Ribera’s futurist/rapture teaching and he had it republished for the sake of interest in early 1826 with follow-ups in 1829 and 1830. This was spurred along with the Oxford Tracts that were published in 1833 to try and de-protestantize the Church of England.
John Nelson Darby
John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), was an Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren. Some sources say Darby was a Satanist, Freemason, and agent of the Rothschild-owned British East India Company. Darby’s family owned Leap Castle, renowned as the most sinister and occultic castle in Ireland’s history.
Darby is known as the “Father of Dispensationalism.” Dispensationalism is a big bag of false doctrines including an end-time-only Antichrist who will arise 7 years before the coming of Christ, the false pre-tribulation rapture, the rebuilding of a Third Temple in the last 7 years as a fulfillment of prophecy (no such prophecy in Scriptures), a distinction between the Church and the people of Israel which eventually resulted in the false interpretation of Genesis 12:3 claiming it’s refers to blessing the Jews and Israel and not the Church, the people of God through faith in Christ Jesus. This resulted in the Christian Zionist movement and the support of the modern State of Israel no matter what it does, even when the Israeli government murders innocent Palestinians, women and children as it is doing today.
Cyrus I. Scofield and the Scofield Reference Bible
Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (August 19, 1843 – July 24, 1921) was an American theologian, minister, and writer whose best-selling annotated Bible popularized futurism and dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.
World Zionist leaders initiated a program to change America and its religious orientation. One of the tools used to accomplish this goal was an obscure and malleable Civil War veteran named Cyrus I. Scofield. A much larger tool was a venerable, world-respected European book publisher–The Oxford University Press.
The scheme was to alter the Christian view of Zionism by creating and promoting a pro-Zionist subculture within Christianity. Scofield’s role was to re-write the King James Version of the Bible by inserting Zionist-friendly notes in the margins, between verses and chapters, and on the bottoms of the pages. The Oxford University Press used Scofield, a pastor by then, as the Editor, probably because it needed such a man for a front. The revised bible was called the Scofield Reference Bible, and with limitless advertising and promotion, it became a best-selling “bible” in America and has remained so for 90 years.
Scofield, of course, got all his dispensational and futurist doctrines from John Nelson Darby. He immersed himself in Darby’s teachings.
The Dallas Theological Seminary
Lewis Sperry Chafer, in 1924, founded the Dallas Theological Seminary. Almost all radio preachers have gone there. Almost all prophecy writers have gone there. It was established to promote dispensationalism. John Walvoord, Charles Ryrie, and Dwight Pentecost were among the names of people who were professors there. Later on, Hal Lindsey who wrote The Late Great Planet Earth was a graduate of there, Chuck Swindoll more recently was chancellor there at Dallas. It’s hard to find a person who ever writes or speaks on prophecy who didn’t ever go to Dallas Theological Seminary, or at least read commentators by those who did. Scofield’s Reference Bible was of course promoted by the Dallas Theological Seminary. How many are knowingly promoting false doctrines of the Jesuit Counter-Reformation?
All of Europe, formerly Protestant England, Scotland, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have been taken over by the Catholic Counter-Reformation. If you were wondering why your country is falling apart morally, spiritually, and economically, with an increase in crime and mental illness such as men thinking they are women, this is why. This may drive more conservatives away from liberal Protestant churches into conservative Catholic churches. This is the goal of the Counter-Reformation.
I believe the Jesuits behind all the problems in the world today which include false ideologies called “wokeness”, the LGBTQ agenda, the US southern border crises, wars, etc. etc.
What do you think about all this? Comments are welcome below in the comments section.