“If any man hath an ear, let him hear.” (Verse 9.) Some Christians had carefully studied God’s word and who had the hearing of faith. They honored God and His word, despite the magnificence, success, and power of error. These dear ones would be able to receive the foregoing scriptures concerning the deceptions of Papacy.
“If any one is for captivity, into captivity he goes away; if any one will kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patient endurance and the faith of the saints.” (Vs. 10.)
The Papal system was one of bondage. All who believed its claims rendered obedience, as unto God, because Papacy claimed and still claim to be the Kingdom of Heaven. They still claim that its head, the Pope, is God’s vicegerent. Consequently, those who submitted to captivity of their thoughts, and who acknowledged the right of that system to limit and define the faith of all became captives.
Many Reformation Protestant sects fell into the same snare. They vainly strove to make a dominion by blending church with civil power. (For example, Zwingli united with the government in Switzerland.)
On the other hand, others asserted that Papacy usurped the titles and power of the true head and ruler of the church., Jesus Christ. These claimed their right to individual liberty because Christ had made them free. Such used, the “sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God,” in the defense of their liberty. And such were put to death by Papacy – it overcame the saints during its 1260 years (539-1799 AD) of power.
This was a severe test of true sainthood – Would they go into captivity and join in the usurpers' ranks? Or would they remain faithful to the true king and wait for the kingdom which He promised to establish? Those whose names were written in heaven remained faithful to the truth and sealed their testimonies by death.