"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matt. 24:23, 24.
What did He say would immediately follow? "Immediately... after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." Matt. 24:29.
How is this expressed by Mark? "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light." Mark 13:24.
NOTE. - That is, in the days of the papal power, but after the tribulation ceases, shall these events take place. The persecution was the strongest under the direction of the Jesuits. This order was founded by Ignatius Loyola, and established by Pope Paul, Sept. 27, 1540. It finally became so distasteful to the popes, on account of its continually growing power, that by a papal bull the order was dissolved, July 21, 1773. From this time on there is no record of any open persecution of the saints. Then, according to the last text quoted, somewhere between 1773, when the persecution ended, and 1798, the time to which the prophetic days extended, we must look for the first of these signs given by our Lord the darkening of the sun.
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