Prepares the Way
no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there
come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
2 Thess. 2:3.
early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel
and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of
God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the
support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled
the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially
for the punishment of "heresy."...
the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent
from her doctrines. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of
Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire
to restrict liberty of conscience. An example of this is given in the long-continued
persecution of dissenters by the Church of England. During the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, thousands of nonconformist ministers were forced to
flee from their churches, and many, both of pastors and people, were subjected
to fine, imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom.
apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government,
and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy--the beast. Said
Paul: "There" shall "come a falling away..., and that man of
sin be revealed." 2 Thessalonians 2:3. So apostasy in the church will
prepare the way for the image to the beast.
work with all power and "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness."
2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10. His working is plainly revealed by the rapidly increasing
darkness, the multitudinous errors, heresies, and delusions of these last
days. Not only is Satan leading the world captive, but his deceptions are
leavening the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. The great apostasy
will develop into darkness deep as midnight. To God's people it will be a
night of trial, a night of weeping, a night of persecution for the truth's
sake. But out of that night of darkness God's light will shine.