From the Waldensians point of view, it is difficult to say because over the many centuries of relentless persecution through the decrees of the Roman Church, one million Waldensians were exterminated. In later years many Protestants nations of northern Europe granted Waldensian refugees’ asylum after hearing of the atrocities committed. What little we know about this people and why they were so despised comes not though the Waldensians survivors, but through the writings of Rome. According to their records it is stated: “Let those who are not yet acquainted with them (Pre-Waldensians), please note how perverse their belief and doctrine are. First, they teach that we should obey the law of Moses according to the letter-- the Sabbath, and circumcision, and the legal precepts still being in force”. (Boncursus - Against the Heretics, Who are Called Pasagii) – 1176-1190 AD –
As we delve deeper into the history of these people, we see that they were not an offshoot of disgruntled Roman Catholic Church members. On the contrary, these were the people who had never turned away from the original faith since the time that their Savior had been taken to heaven; they had continued in the faith that the God of Israel originally transmitted to Moses. “Pope Gregory observes that it is well known that in the days of Constantine the Great, some assemblies of Jewish Christians being persecuted at Rome, because they persisted in obedience to the Law of Moses, wandered off into the valleys, where their descendants remain today.” A General History of the Sabbatarian Churches - Page 66 - by Tamar Davis.
Whereas one might think that the Abrahamic community died out when the Jewish Temple was destroyed; history proves that this was not so as we consider the exploits of the Waldensians. According to prophecies that Moses recorded, the children of Israel were to be scattered to the nations. While dwelling in the midst of their enemies, they were (and still are) commanded to live by all the instructions given to Moses. This included establishing and defending communities separate from those of the surrounding nations. Through their faithfulness to the Mosaic code, the God of Israel would offer His protection over them as it is written in the Covenant made with them in the wilderness. (See Leviticus chapter 26:1-13)
For what purpose did he command this? Jesus answered this question when he said “Ye (Israel) are the light of the world. (See Matthew 5:14). And if you notice the placement of Israel in the picture, you will notice that the Waldensians were positioned into the heart of darkness. There they sent their young men into the nations to communicate the true light of the scriptures to those whose hearts were open to accept it. In fulfillment of the purpose of ancient Israel, their work continued and those who desired could come to dwell with them in the wilderness, provided they were willing to live by the same moral code as the Israelite. Why did the Hebrew civilization come to its end you may ask? For the same reason Israel has always been destroyed. During the times of heavy persecution, the leaders, in a desire to make peace, compromised with Rome and by doing so, they lost the protection of their God per the covenant that was made with them in the wilderness. (See Leviticus chapter 26:13-46)
When the Beast of Revelation rises to set his mark upon the world, what will become of those among the nations who decide to refuse it? To what part of the earth will they go? The prophecies state that Abrahamic communities will be established just as in the case of the Waldensians. And to what moral standard will those among the nations abide? (Seeing that there is so much diversity in the beliefs from one denomination and sect to another) The answer again is found in the scriptures and refers to the time when Israel left Egypt with the mixed multitude who joined with them. "The same law applies to Israelites and to outsiders who are living among you." (Exodus 12:49)
Understanding True Israel
Within the continent of Europe between the 4th to 19th century, a group of people existed that have received little recognition in the church or the world today. We owe much to their existence, for without them we would likely never have seen Protestant Reformation as we know it. The territory where they dwelled rivaled the size of many of the countries of modern Europe. (see the region shaded in green) The people who dwelled there were known by many names throughout the centuries. The elite of the surrounding nations gave them the name of “Heretics”. They are generally known today as the “Waldensians” due to a prominent leader among them named “Peter Waldo” around the 13th century. But what were their ancient origins before the time of Peter Waldo?