One World Religion Mystery, Babylon The Great, Mother of Harlots
The rapidly approaching world order will (initially) be an integrated mix of governmental and religious authority. The world will not only come under the control of a one world government, but it will also be subject to control from a one world religion. On the heels of the Rapture and the War of Gog and Magog, the world will experience the supernatural in a way it will have no context other than religion to make sense of. The coming one world religion will exploit the desire for answers to obtain power and wealth. It will play a key role (at least initially) in bringing about and maintaining total control over people by the Antichrist.
The prophet John not only gave us many details about this coming one world religion, but he tells us what this religious system is. In Revelation 17:3-4, John describes this religious system:
3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,
In this description, we see two things a woman and a beast. In the Bible a woman symbolizes a church. (There are more, but for the sake of brevity here are a few examples: Isaiah 54:5-6, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:31-32, Matthew 9:14-15, Revelation
19:7-8, Revelation 12:14). This is a very important point that must not be overlooked as it tells us that this “WOMAN” with mystery Babylon written upon her head and riding a beast (Kingdom) has to be a Church. Here, John is telling us that the one world religious system (The woman) is ridding, or more accurately stated, being carried (and used) by the one world government (the beast). The purpose of the alliance between the woman and the
beast is that both are seeking world domination. When this is finally achieved, as the end of Revelation chapter 17 tells us it will be, the political power will no longer need the religious power to support it.
Who is the Harlot?
The Book of Revelation speaks at great length in chapters 17-18 about the fall of “Babylon the Great” (Revelation 18:2) which has lead many fine Bible scholars to mistakenly conclude that the Bible is actually talking about the ancient city of Babylon. Many good Bible scholars point to Isaiah 13:7-22 where a very clear prophecy is given that Babylon will lose its glory after its defeat by the Medes and
that it will cease to be inhabited forever. They state that this hasn’t happened and thus must be a prophecy pertaining to a time during Tribulation. In accordance with this prophecy, Babylon was conquered by the Medes, and it began a long decline that ultimately resulted in its abandonment to the forces of nature. By the time of Christ, one eyewitness reported that the city was nothing but "mounds and stones and ruins."
Could the ancient city of Babylon be rebuilt and then destroyed? Yes it could, but the destruction of Mystery Babylon in the book of Revelation is not the destruction of the rebuilt ancient city of Babylon.
David Reagan writes:
The argument over the location of end time Babylon has been sharpened recently by the publication of a book called The Rise of Babylon (Tyndale House, 1991). It was authored by Charles Dyer, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Dyer takes the position that the end time Babylon is the same as ancient Babylon, and he strives valiantly to prove his point by reproducing photos of what he asserts to be the rebuilding of Babylon. But the photos do not show that the city is being rebuilt for habitation. Rather, they show that Saddam Hussein is simply building a tourist center.
I went to hear the author speak about Babylon. I wanted to see how he would handle the passage in Isaiah 13:17-18 which says that Babylon will become a waste city and never be built again after it is taken by the Medes. The author started reading with verse 9, and when he completed reading verse 16, he simply said, "Now let's
skip to verse 19." In short, he completely ignored the passage about the Medes. I guess that is better than trying to explain that it really doesn't mean what it says.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what the author tries to do in his book. He argues that the prophecy regarding the Medes refers to the modern day Kurds who will join with a multinational force that will destroy Babylon. The argument is unconvincing.
This kingdom is personified as “the great whore” (Revelation 17:1) who has seven heads and ten horns and, according to Revelation 17:5 bears the title “Mystery Babylon”. This woman is described as being “drunk with the blood of the saints… who bore testimony to Jesus” (Revelation 17:6). The seven heads are “seven hills on which the woman sits” (Revelation 17:9), and the ten heads are the “ten kings” who are yet to come (Revelation
17:12). The woman herself is “the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:18). There is little doubt that John is talking about Rome, the great city that ruled the world of his own day.
This city must not only have shed the blood of the martyrs, be located on seven hills, and commit political-religious fornication with the leaders of the world, but it must also be seen, when on fire, from the sea. There is no other city on earth that fits the fourfold criteria mentioned. Only Rome qualifies. The very fact that John calls her identity a mystery should be enough to indicate that he does not intend us to take Babylon literally as many tend to do.
Here is no mystical or allegorical language but an unambiguous statement in plain words: "The woman...is that great city". Furthermore, she is a city built on seven hills. That specification eliminates ancient
Babylon. Only one city has for more than 2000 years been known as the city on seven hills. That city is Rome. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:"It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined" (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, 1976, s.v. Rome).
The qualifying information the Bible gives us for identifying this woman (who is a city) is specific, conclusive, and irrefutable. There is no city upon earth, past or present, which meets all of these criteria except Catholic Rome (Vatican City). That inescapable conclusion will become increasingly clear with a closer look
at the facts.
Should there be any question that Rome is Babylon, the Bible tells us in a point blank direct statement. Peter, writing 1 Peter from Rome shortly before he was martyred, writes:
1 Peter 5:13
13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
Catholic apologist Karl Keating admits that Rome has long been known as Babylon. Keating claims that Peter's statement "The church here in Babylon ... sends you her greeting" (from 1 Peter 5:13) proves that Peter was writing from Rome. He explains further:
"Babylon is a code word for Rome. It is used that way six times in the last book of the Bible [four of the six are in chapters 17 and 18] and in extra-biblical works such as Sibling Oracles (5, 159f.), and Apocalypse of Baruch (ii, 1), and 4 Esdras (3:1).
Eusebius Pamphilius, writing about 303 AD, noted that it is said that Peter's first epistle ... was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon" (Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on "Romanism" by "Bible Christians," Kgnatius Press, 1988, p. 200).
A Closer Look at the Harlot Quoting from sections of "A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days", David Hunt:
Immorality With Kings of the Earth:Revelation 17:1-2
The first thing we are told about the woman is that she is a "whore" (Revelation 17:1-2), that earthly kings "have committed fornication" with her (verse 2) , and that "all the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (verse 3). Why would a city be called a whore and be accused of having committed fornication with kings? Such an indictment would never be made of London, Moscow, or Paris--or any other ordinary city. It wouldn't make sense.
Fornication and adultery are used in the Bible in both the physical and the spiritual sense. Of Jerusalem God said, "How is the faithful city become a harlot!" (Isaiah 1:21). Israel, whom God had set apart from all other peoples to be holy for His purposes, had entered into unholy, adulterous alliances with the idol worshiping nations around her. She had "committed adultery with stones and with stocks [idols] (Jeremiah 3:9); "and with their idols
have they committed adultery" (Ezekiel
23:37). the entire chapter of Ezekiel 16 explains Israel's spiritual adultery in detail, both with heathen nations and with their false gods, as do many other passages.
There is no way that a city could engage in literal, fleshly fornication. Thus we can only conclude that John, like the prophets in the Old Testament, is using the term in its spiritual sense. The city, therefore, must claim a spiritual relationship with God. Otherwise such an allegation would be meaningless.
Christ said to His disciples, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). The Catholic Church, however, is very much of this world. Her popes have built an unrivaled worldwide empire of property, wealth, and influence. Nor is empire building an abandoned feature of the past. We have already seen that Vatican II clearly states that the Roman Catholic Church today still ceaselessly seeks to bring under its control all mankind and
all their goods.
Popes have long claimed dominion over the world and its peoples. Pope Gregory XI's papal bull of 1372 (In Coena Domini) claimed papal dominion over the entire Christian world, secular and religious, and excommunicated all who failed to obey the popes and to pay them taxes. In Coena Domini was confirmed by subsequent popes and in 1568 Pope Pius V swore that it was to remain an eternal law.
Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world; otherwise my servants would fight." The popes, however, have fought with armies and navies in the name of Christ to build a huge kingdom which is very much of this world. And to amass their earthly empire they have repeatedly engaged in spiritual fornication with emperors, kings, and princes. Claiming to be the bride of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church has been in bed with godless rulers down through history, and these adulterous relationships continue to this day. There are far more examples of this than could practically fit into this article.
The Great Wealth of the Harlot:Revelation 17:3-4
The incredible wealth of this woman caught John's attention next. She was dressed "in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication" (Revelation 17:4). The colors of purple and scarlet once again identify the woman with both pagan and Christian Rome. These were the colors of the Roman Caesars with which the soldiers mockingly robed Christ as "King" (see Matthew
27:28 and John 19:2, 5), which the Vatican took to itself. The woman's colors are literally still the colors of the Catholic clergy! The Catholic Encyclopedia states:
“Cappa Magna: A cloak with a long train and a hooded shoulder cape. . .[it] was purple wool for bishops; for cardinals, it was scarlet watered silk (for Advent, Lent, Good Friday, and the conclave, purple wool); and rose watered silk for Gaudete and Laetare Sundays; and for the pope, it was red velvet for Christmas Matins, red serge at other times.”
“Cassock (also Soutand): The close-fitting, ankle-length robe worn by the Catholic clergy as their official garb. ...The color for bishops and other prelates is purple, for cardinals scarlet” (Ibid., pp. 175, 178).
The “golden cup [chalice] in her hand” again identifies the woman with the Roman Catholic Church. Broderick's edition of The Catholic Encyclopedia declared of the chalice: "[It is] the most important of the sacred vessels...[It] may be of gold or silver, and if the latter, then the inside must be surfaced with gold" (Robert Broderick, ed., The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, 1976, pp. 103-4). The Roman Catholic Church possesses many thousands of solid gold chalices kept in its churches around the world. Even the bloodstained cross of Christ has been turned to gold and studded with gems in reflection of Rome's great wealth. The Catholic Encyclopedia says: "The pectoral
cross [suspended by a chain around the neck and worn over the breast by abbots, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and the pope] should be made of gold and ... decorated with gems..." (Ibid., p. 466).
Rome has practiced evil to gather her wealth, for the "golden cup" is filled with "abominations and filthiness." Much of the wealth of the Roman Catholic Church was acquired through the confiscation of the property of the pitiful victims of the Inquisitions. Even the dead were exhumed to face trial and property was taken from their heirs by the Church. One historian writes:
"The punishments of the Inquisition did not cease when the victim was burned to ashes, or immured for life in the Inquisition dungeons. His relatives were reduced to beggary by the law that all his possessions were forfeited. The system offered unlimited opportunities for loot. ...
This source of gain largely accounts for the revolting practice of what has been called ‘corpse-trials.’... That the practice of confiscating the property of condemned heretics was productive of many acts of extortion, rapacity and corruption will be doubted by no one who has any knowledge either of human nature or of historical documents. ... no man was safe whose wealth might arouse cupidity, or whose independence might provoke revenge" (William Shaw Kerr, A Handbook of the Papacy, London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, p. 241).
Most of Rome's wealth has been acquired through the sale of salvation. Untold billions of dollars have been paid to her by those who thought they were purchasing heaven on the installation plan for themselves or loved ones. The practice continues to this day--blatantly where Catholicism is in control, less obviously here in the United States. No greater deception or abomination could be perpetrated. When Cardinal Cajetan, sixteenth-century Dominican scholar, complained about the sale of dispensations and indulgences, the Church hierarchy was indignant and accused him of wanting "to turn Rome into an uninhabited desert, to reduce the Papacy to impotence, to deprive the pope...of the
pecuniary resources indispensable for the discharge of his office" (J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger, The Pope and the Council, London, 1869, pp. 307-08).
In addition to such perversions of the gospel which have led hundreds of millions astray, there are the further abominations of corrupt banking practices, laundering of drug money, trading in counterfeit securities, and dealings with the Mafia (fully documented in police and court records), which the Vatican and her representatives around the world have long employed. Nino Lo Bello, former Business Week correspondent in Rome and Rome bureau chief for New York Journal of Commerce, writes that the Vatican is so closely allied with the Mafia in Italy that "many people...believe that Sicily...is nothing more than a Vatican building" (Nino Lo Bello,
The Vatican Empire, Trident Press, 1968, p. 167; see also David A. Yallop, In God's Name, Bantam Books, 1984; Richard Hammers, The Vatican Connection, Penguin Books, 1983).
The Mother of Harlots & Abominations:Revelation 17:5
The more deeply one probes into the history of the Roman Catholic Church and its current practices, the more impressed one becomes with the amazing accuracy of the vision John received centuries before it would all be lamentable reality. John's attention is drawn to the inscription boldly emblazoned upon the woman's forehead: 'MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5) Sadly enough, the Roman Catholic Church fits the description "mother of harlots and abominations" as precisely as she fits the other. Much of the cause can be traced to the unbiblical demand that her priests be celibates.
The great apostle Paul was a celibate and recommended that life to others who wanted to devote themselves fully to serving Christ. He did not, however, make it a condition for church leadership as the Catholic Church has done, thereby imposing an unnatural burden upon all clergy that very few could bear. On the contrary, he wrote that bishop should by "the husband of one wife" (1 Timothy 3:2) and set the same requirement for elders (Titus 1:5,6).
Peter, whom the Catholics erroneously claim was the first pope, was married. So were at least some of the other apostles. This fact was not the chance result of their having been married before Christ called them, but it was accepted as an ongoing norm. Paul himself argued that he had the right to marry like the rest: "Have we not power [Greek exousia, the right or privilege or authority] to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles and as the brethren [half-brothers, sons of Mary and Joseph] of the Lord, and as Cephas [Peter]?" (1 Corinthians 9:5).
The Roman Catholic Church, however, has insisted upon celibacy even though many popes, among them Sergius III (904-11), John X (914-28), John XII (955-63), Benedict V (964), Innocent VIII (1484-92), Urban VIII (1623-44), and Innocent X (1644-55), as well as millions of cardinals, bishops, archbishops, monks, and priests throughout history, have repeatedly violated such vows. Not only has celibacy made sinners of the clergy who engage in fornication, but makes harlots out of those with whom they secretly cohabit. Rome is indeed "the mother of harlots"! Her identification as such is unmistakable. No other city, church, or institution in the history of the world
is her rival in this particular evil.
History is replete with sayings that mocked the church's false claim to celibacy and revealed the truth: "The holiest hermit has his whore" and "Rome has more prostitutes than any other city because she has the most celibates" are examples. Pius II declared that Rome was "the only city run by bastards" [sons of popes and cardinals]. Catholic historian and former Jesuit Peter de Rosa writes:
"Popes had mistresses of fifteen years of age, were guilty of incest and sexual perversions of every sort, had innumerable children, were murdered in the very act of adultery [by jealous husbands who found them in bed with their wives]. ...In the old Catholic phrase, why be holier than the pope?" (Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy, Crown Publishers, 1988, pp. 396-97).
As for abominations, even Catholic historians admit that among the popes were some of the most degenerate and unconscionable ogres in all of history. Their numerous outrageous crimes, many of which almost beyond belief, have been recited by many historians from preserved documents that reveal the depths of papal depravity. To call any of these men "His Holiness, Vicar of Christ" makes a mockery of holiness and of Christ. Yet the name of each one of these unbelievably wicked popes--mass murderers, fornicators, robbers, warmongers, some guilty of the massacre of thousands--is emblazoned in honor of the Church's official list of popes.
“Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.” (St. Catherine of
Siena, SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222, quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 5: “The Book of Obedience”, Chapter 1: “There is No Salvation Without Personal Submission to the Pope”).
The abominations are not only limited to acts of the flesh, but is in the very doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church:
“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of human flesh.” — Catholic National, July 1895.
“The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth.” — Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, “Cities Petrus Bertanous”.
“And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priest and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse to give absolution, provided the penitent is capable of it.” — St. Alphonsus De Liguori, in The Dignity of the Priesthood, p. 27.
These abominations that John foresaw not only occurred in the past but continue to this very day.
Reigning Over the Kings of the Earth:Revelation 17:18
The angel reveals to John that the woman "is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:18). Is there such a city? Yes, and again only one: Vatican City. Popes crowned and deposed kings and emperors, exacting obedience by threatening them with excommunication. At the time of the First Vatican Council in 1869 J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger, Professor of Church History in Munich, warned that Pope Pius IX would force the Council make an infallible dogma out of "that pet theory of the Popes--that they could force kings and magistrates, by excommunication and its consequences, to carry out their sentences of confiscation, imprisonment, and death. ..." He
reminded his fellow Roman Catholics of some of the evil consequences of papal political authority:
"When, for instance, [Pope] Martin IV placed King Pedro of Aragon under excommunication and interdict ... then promised indulgences for all their sins to those who fought with him and [tyrant] Charles [I of Naples] against Pedro, finally declared his kingdom forfeit ... which cost the two kings of France and Aragon their life, and the French the loss of an army" (Dollinger, op. cit., pp. 10-12).
Though the current Pope lacks the power to enforce such brutal claims today, his Church still retains the dogmas which authorize him to do so. And the practical effects of his power are no less than those of his predecessors, though exercised quietly behind the scenes. The Vatican is the only city which exchanges ambassadors with nations, and she does so with every major country on earth. Ambassadors come to the Vatican from every major country, including the United States, not out of mere courtesy but because of the pope is the most powerful ruler on earth today. Even President Clinton journeyed to Denver in August 1993 to greet the pope. He addressed him as "Holy Father" and "Your
Unlike any other city on earth, the Vatican is acknowledged as a sovereign state in its own right, separate and distinct from the nation of Italy surrounding it. There is no other city in history of which this has been true, and such is still the case today.
Only of the Vatican could it be said that a city reigns over the kings of the earth. The phrase "the worldwide influence of Washington" means the influence not of that city but of the United States, which has its capital there. When one speaks, however, of the influence of the Vatican around the world, that is exactly what is meant--the city and the worldwide power of Roman Catholicism and its leader the pope. Vatican City is absolutely unique.
Drunk With the Blood of the Saints:Revelation 17:6
John also notices that the woman is drunk and not with an alcoholic beverage. She is drunk with "the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus..." (Revelation 17:6). The picture is a horrible one. It is not merely her hands that are red with this blood, but she is drunk with it! The slaughter of innocents who, for conscience' sake, would not yield to her totalitarian demands has so refused and exhilarated her that she reels in ecstasy.
6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.
A natural assumption to make is that this is referring to the slaughtering of Christian during the Tribulation period. That is not the case though. The Antichrist and the False Prophet are responsible for the mass martyrdom of Christians which happens during the second half of Tribulation (Great Tribulation) in response to whether or not a person takes the mark of the beast. At that time, this one world church will have been outlawed and destroyed.
“When confronted with heresy, she (Catholic Church) does not content herself with persuasion, arguments of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture.” — The Rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris, H.M.A. Baudrillart, quoted in The Catholic Church, The Renaissance and Protestantism 182-183.
One thinks immediately of the Inquisitions (Roman, Medieval, and Spanish) which for centuries held Europe in their terrible grip. In his History of the Inquisition, Canon Llorente, who was the Secretary to the Inquisition in Madrid from 1790-1792 and had access to the archives of all the tribunals, estimated that in Spain alone the number of condemned exceeded 3 million, with about 300,000 burned at the stake (R.W. Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power, New York, 1876, p. 82). A Catholic historian comments upon events leading up to the suppression of the Spanish Inquisition in 1809:
"When Napoleon conquered Spain in 1808, a Polish officer in his army, Colonel Lemanouski, reported that the Dominicans [in charge of the Inquisition] blockaded themselves in their monastery in Madrid. When Lemanouski's troops forced an entry, the inquisitions denied the existence of any torture chambers.
“The soldiers searched the monastery and discovered them under the floors. The chambers were full of prisoners, all naked, many insane. The French troops, used to cruelty and blood, could not stomach the sight. They emptied the torture-chambers, laid gunpowder to the monastery and blew the place up” (De Rosa, op. cit., p. 172).
To wring out confessions from these poor creatures, the Roman Catholic Church devised ingenious tortures so excruciating and barbarous that one is sickened by their recital. Church historian Bishop William Shaw Kerr writes:
“The most ghastly abomination of all was the system of torture. The accounts of it cold-blooded operations make one shudder at the capacity of human beings for cruelty. And it was decreed and regulated by the popes who claim to represent Christ on earth. ...”
“Careful notes were taken not only of all that was confessed by the victim, but of his shrieks, cries, lamentations, broken interjections and appeals for mercy. The most moving things in the literature of the inquisition are not the accounts of their sufferings left by the victims but the sober memoranda kept by the officers of the tribunals. We are distressed and horrified just because their is no intention to shock us” (Kerr, op. cit., pp. 239-40).
The remnants of some of the chambers of horror remain in Europe and may be visited today. They stand as memorials to the zealous outworking of Roman Catholic dogmas which remain in force today, and to a Church which claims to be infallible and to this day justifies such barbarism. They are also memorials to the astonishing accuracy of John's vision in Revelation 17. In a book published in Spain in 1909, Emelio Martinez writes:
“To these three million victims [documented by Llorente] should be added the thousands of Jews and Moors deported from their homeland. ... In just one year, 1481, and just in Seville, the Holy Office [if inquisition] burned 2000 persons; the bones and effigies of another 2000 ... and another 16,000 were condemned to varying sentences” (Emelio Martinez, Recuerdos [Memoirs] de Antano, CLIE, 1909, pp. 105-06).
Peter de Rosa acknowledges that his own Catholic Church "was responsible for persecuting Jews, for the Inquisition, for slaughtering heretics by the thousand, for reintroducing torture in to Europe as part of the judicial process." Yet the Roman Catholic Church has never officially admitted that these practices were evil, nor has she apologized to the world or to any of the victims or their descendants. Nor could the Pope apologize today because "the doctrines responsible for those terrible things still underpin their position" (De Rosa, op. cit., pp. 20-21). Rome has not changed at heart no matter what sweet words she speaks when it serves her purpose.
Pagan Rome made sport of throwing to the lions, burning and otherwise killing thousands of Christians and many Jews. Yet "Christian" Rome slaughtered many times that number of both Christians and Jews. Beside those victims of the Inquisition, there were Huguenots, Albigenses, Waldenses, and other Christians who were massacred, tortured, and burned at the stake by the hundreds of thousands simply because they refused to align themselves with the Roman Catholic Church and its corruption and heretical dogmas and practices. Out of conscience they tried to follow the teachings of Christ and the apostles independent of Rome, and for that crime they were maligned,
hunted, imprisoned, tortured, and slain.
Why would Rome ever apologize for or even admit this holocaust? No one calls her to account today. Protestants have now forgotten the hundreds of thousands of people burned at the stake for embracing the simple gospel of Christ and refusing to bow to papal authority. Amazingly, Protestants are now embracing Rome as Christian while she insists that the "separated brethren" be reconciled to her on her unchangeable terms!
Many evangelical leaders are intent upon working with Roman Catholics to evangelize the world. They don't want to hear any "negative" reminders of the millions of people tortured and slain by the Church to which they now pay homage, or the fact that Rome has a false gospel of sacramental works.
All Roads Lead to Rome (The Church of Laodicea)
The letter to the Church of Laodicea, which is the Church to enter Tribulation (for more information on the letters to the churches of Asia Minor, see our article on the Rapture), gives us a clear picture of who she is. This Church, on the surface, looks like any other true believing Church (and once was) but in truth is something much different. This is not the Roman Catholic Church which is the woman on the beast. Today, the Church of Laodicea is mostly known by the term “Ecumenicalist” or "Emerging Church" and it is this ecumenicalist/emerging church that is leading the charge back to control and absorption of all religions by the Roman Catholic
At present, there are two great bodies - the World Council of Churches (W.C.C.) and the National Council of Churches (N.C.C.). The main aim of the Ecumenical Movement is to bring churches of all denominations and cults, and ultimately, all other religious organizations together as One Ecumenical Church or World Church. At the first Ecumenical Assembly held in Amsterdam in 1948, the motto 'ONE WORLD, ONE CHURCH' was adopted. It is agreed that one of the major issues for the WCC to tackle is the relations between the churches and the organizations of all the other religions and ideologies. With regards to this issue, dialogues are being held among the different religions of the world.
For the sake of charity and unity, the Ecumenical Movement rejected The Holy Bible as the Infallible Word of God and has published its own edition of the Bible which is sanctioned by Rome. It has four parallel columns showing the reader the similarities and differences in the interpretations of the four major denominations of the Ecumenical Movement: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox (Eastern Christian) and Jewish. The edition has grossly distorted the Truth by taking away from, and adding to, the Inspired Word of God. As Martin Luther had said, "Cursed be that love and unity for whose sake the Word of God must be put to stake!" Bishop Latimer, who died at the stake for his faith
in Christ, said, "Unity must be according to God's Holy Word, or else it were better war than peace. We ought never to regard unity so much that we forsake God's Word for her sake." But, even then, we still find many Bible believing Christians in, or associating with, the Movement.
Chuck Colson was an aide to Richard Nixon's presidency during the times of the Watergate scandal. After being released from prison, Colson formed Prison Fellowship, an Evangelical Christian outreach to convicts. He has been perhaps the most active Evangelical Christian in the promotion of Roman Catholic-Evangelical cooperation. He wrote the foreword to Keith Fournier's book: "Evangelical Catholics," in which he stated:
"...those who are called of God, whether Catholic or Protestant, are part of the same Body. What they share is a belief in the basics: the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His bodily resurrection, His imminent return, and the authority of His infallible Word. They also share the same mission: presenting Christ as Savior and Lord to a needy world. Those who hold to these truths and act on this commission are evangelical Christians. … It's high time that all of us who are Christians come together regardless of the difference of our confessions and our traditions and make common cause to bring Christian values to bear in our society. When the barbarians are scaling
the walls, there is no time for petty quarreling in the camp.... We have much to forgive, much to relearn. But Evangelical Catholics can help us do both so we can band together against the rising tides of secularism which threaten to engulf us."
" Michael Ramsey made ecclesiastical history by preaching in Manhattan's Roman Catholic St.Patrick's Cathedral at a service attended by Terence Cardinal Cooke and Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Church of North and South America" (TIME Feb.,7), said, "I can foresee the day when all Christians might accept the Pope as Presiding Bishop. Perspectives change, and we must give the bag a good shake and see what happens." (Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury: On foreseeing “the day when all Christians might accept the pope as presiding bishop,” NY Times 7 Feb 72)
For years now, there is much courtship between the WCC and the Roman Catholics. "Roman Catholic bishops from around the world met in an Ecumenical Council at the Vatican from 1962-1965. They revised the Catholic liturgy, and have updated the church in several areas in an effort to bring the Protestants back into the fold. In the higher echelons of Catholicism, Protestants are no longer called 'heretics' but are referred to as 'separated brethren'. It should be noted that this procedure has not reached the grass roots level in some areas. Booklets are being distributed to Catholic laymen on 'ecumenical etiquette'. Each year million of leaflets, 'Week of Prayer for Christian
Unity' are distributed. Catholics and Protestants are having joint communion services. They undertake joint projects for social activities, and even have joint folk-singing programs. One of the biggest drives toward unity is the amalgamation of Catholic and Protestant seminaries. For the first time in history Roman Catholic churches are joining city church councils... The leaders of World Councils and the leaders of Rome are working together for a union of these two bodies. No fewer than 39 representatives of Protestant churches have been received by the Pope. The Archbishop of Canterbury was the first Anglican primate to visit a Pope in 400 years. Official Roman Catholic documents are beginning
to use the term 'church' to describe Protestant churches. A Lutheran professor has urged all Protestants to reunite with Roman Catholicism, which he described as their 'ecclesiastical homeland'." (Quoted from The Ecumenical Movement by H.Duncan).
" I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow " (Revelation 18:7)
The Roman Catholic Church is not a member of the World Council of Churches; and, it has never applied for membership."The Roman Catholic Church's self-understanding has been one reason why it has not joined" (Quote from an FAQ at the WCC's website , which asks if the Roman Catholic Church is a member of the World Council of Churches). Rome understands that the Road of Ecumenism does not lead to Geneva (the WCC's headquarters) but it leads back to Rome.
Apparently the WCC's affirmation, which the Roman Catholic Church and the WCC promote "one and the same ecumenical movement" (from the WCC's "Towards a Common Understanding and Vision of the World Council of Churches", paragraph 2.10), demonstrates that at least the leadership of the WCC understands the destination and purpose of ecumenism which is back to the Mother Church of Rome, i.e., towards a "eucharistic vision".
“It is absolutely necessary that the Christian community be subject in all things to the Sovereign Pontiff if it wishes to be a part of the divinely-established society founded by our Redeemer.” — Pope Pius XII, Orientalis Ecclesiae, quoted in “Acta Apostolicae Sedis”, 36:129, Rome: Vatican Press, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 4: “The Book of Christians”, Chapter 4: “There is No Allegiance to Christ Without Submission to the Pope”).
Commenting on the term "ecumenical movement", the "Decree on Ecumenism" stated that "when the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion have been gradually overcome, all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning. We believe that this unity subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time" (from the Second Vatican Council, "Decree on Ecumenism- Unitatis Redintegratio", paragraph 4).
As if to make plain that the Church of Rome and not the World Council of Churches originated the Ecumenical Movement, the 21st Ecumenical Council of Roman Catholicism, known also as the Second Vatican Council (1962), announced her intentions:
“The goal of Catholic ecumenism is to restore unity to the separated traditions by bringing them within the unity of the Roman Catholic Church.” The aims of this department of the Catholic Church are threefold:
1) Removal of the obstacles to perfect ecclesiastical communion.
2) A Promoting of a single worship in the communion celebration of the Eucharist.
3) A re-gathering or reintegration of all Christians into the One and Only Church.
The one world religion and the one world government have been growing together as conjoined twins since 1957.
"Most people don’t think about it, but the EU symbol was thought up by a Roman Catholic in honour of Mary,” says P. H. op’t Hof (Chairman of The National Foundation for the Preservation of the Political Reformed Principles). The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano stated that the designer of the symbol, Arsène Heitz, said he had been inspired by reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 19th century Paris. The flag Heitz designed was adopted by the Council of Europe on December 8, 1955. December 8 being the date that the Roman Catholic Church celebrates its belief in the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
There is however coming a time when the Antichrist and his lackeys will grow tired of this one world religion and will destroy it. In fact, he will “make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire”. Revelation 17:16-17
When the Antichrist demands all to worship him as God, there will be no room for any religion. The world will be forced to worship the Antichrist or be killed. At that time, Revelation 17:16 tells us the Antichrist will take all of the Catholic Church’s wealth and goods leavening it in ruins. He will then destroy the city with what can only be describe as a nuclear blast. Revelation 18 gives us an even clearer picture of this complete destruction.
God gives clear words of warning to all who are a part of this one world religion:
Revelation 18:4-8 4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
5 for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 "Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.
7 "To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, 'I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.'
8 "For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.
David Hunt: The Berean Call
David Reagan: Lamb & Lion Ministries
Chuck Missler: Koinonia House
Grant Jeffrey: Countdown To The Apocalypse
Ed Hindson: Is the Antichrist Alive and Well
Tim LaHaye: Revelation Unveiled; Are We Living in the End Times Jerry Jenkins: Are We Living in the End Times