Prophecy

The World Super Church, No. 2 - PR05-02

We continue this evening looking at the World Super church. We have learned quite a few things concerning the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and the ecumenical movement. The ecumenical movement is the gathering together of all Protestant groups, ultimately of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and then the Roman Catholic Church into one united church organization. This movement we have indicated is false. It is unscriptural and it pursues concepts contrary to the unity of the Word of God. It is seeking an organizational union, and it is not a spiritual union which the Word of God presents to us, such as are characteristic of the body of Christ. This movement, however, is laying the groundwork for the one world-wide super Church of the tribulation world which is encompassing all religions. The ecumenical movement is expressed through the World Council of Churches on the world scene, and the National Council of Churches on the local scene.

Theology

I want to make it clear, whatever other impressions you have, we're not related to the World Council of Churches. We're not related because, for one thing, the position theologically. Theologically, their position is liberal. Churches that are affiliated with the National Council of Churches have a theological liberal position. They reject primarily the inerrancy of the Bible. Inerrancy means that there are no mistakes in the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. God the Holy Spirit so superintended the human writers that they recorded exactly the mind of God, and they used the very words that God wanted used, as well as the concepts, so that there is an accurate and complete revelation. These church council organizations reject the inerrancy of the Bible, and consequently they reject the fundamentals of doctrine.

In the little volume that we were quoting from last time, Those Red Bears in Clergy Collars, written by Charles Secrest, we observed the quote by Gus Hall who is the general secretary of the Communist Party in the United States. Gus Hall, in an article in July, 1968, characterized the goals of his party as being almost identical with those espoused by the liberal church. Of course, the National Council of Churches is the leading spokesman of the liberal church. It is interesting that when the head of the Communist Party in the United States takes a look at the program of the liberal church in this country, he says, "We have a common ground. What the liberal churches of America want to do through the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches, we of the Communist Party also want to pursue it."

Economics

When it comes to economics, these councils are socialistic. The executive committee of the World Council of Churches, in a letter sent out to its churches, stated, "All people in privileged countries, particularly Christians, must strive to enter sympathetically into the social demands of the needy. 'From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,' has its roots in the teaching of Jesus." This quotation, of course, is a familiar communist slogan. So when it comes to economics, they are socialistic.

Politics

When it comes to politics, the third thing we looked at, politically, they are collectivists. It was Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, who later became the head of the World Council of Churches, who on one occasion said, "With prudent management, the churches ought to be able to control the whole economy within the predictable future." This is one of the policies of the World Council of Churches--that when churches get together they have such tremendous economic power, they could control all societies. I thought this was a rather fascinating observation by the bishop because in the tribulation period, for the first three-and-a-half years, the world church which will exist at that time, will dominate the political powers of the world. It will not be until the middle of the tribulation that the political powers will throw off the controls of the world church. Apparently, one avenue of control will be the fantastic economic power which is controlled by churches and its members.

So here's the picture: theologically liberal; economically socialistic; and, politically collectivist. The presence of clergymen from the Eastern Orthodox Church and from communist countries has given this organization, the World Council of Churches, a strong bias toward communist goals. Lenin viewed the church people as the most gullible of all people on the face of the earth if they're simply fed ideas with religious terminology.

J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin said, "When communists temporarily and passively tolerate religion, it is for the purpose of furthering communism. But time and again they have struck ruthlessly against Christians, Jews, and other faiths by torturing, imprisoning, and murdering those who hold God above the state. They are brutal, cruel, and deceitful. Communism denies and destroys every spiritual value. No church and no church member can temporize with it." And yet within the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches there have entered clergymen who are really agents of communist powers.

When our seniors and college people were on their tour of New England this summer, and we toured the FBI building, there was a display on communism. We noticed that the FBI agent who was conducting the tours merely made passing reference to it and hardly stopped at all in front of this display. I found later that the reason they do that is that they have found that they get fantastic resistance and arguments from people against what this display shows concerning the bestial nature of communism. We are deluded in this country, more and more, that communism is changing.

The opening declarations of China, now in the United Nations, have been a condemnation of the United States. How would you like to be have been President Nixon? Our Texan George Bush was so mad at that speech. He had to call the White House and say, "I want to say something. Can I be clear to say it?" And they gave him permission to sound an objection to what communist China had said about the United States. How would you like to have been President Nixon when he has to take his hat in hand and walk into Peking to talk with the butchers, the greatest butchers of humanity that the world has ever seen? They have now joined the peace organization of the world.

Policies of the National Council of Churches

The Communist tactics are very clear. They are to infiltrate large denominations, which they have done; to place communist agents masquerading as clergymen in influential positions, which they have done; and, to devitalize the spiritual content of biblical Christianity so as to align church people with secular and worldly causes. Now this has been accomplished in a fantastic degree. I want to read to you some of the official declarations now of the World Council of Churches. What are they trying to do? What are they trying to pursue? From time to time, they make definitive statements concerning policy. Here's one that was adopted by the National Council of Churches, from San Diego in 1968, on a position on various matters pertaining to society. You'll notice how favorable these statements of policy are to the communist goals because there are communist influences within the National Council of Churches--men who are in executive positions who are socialistically and communistically inclined who are drawing up these policy statements.

What does the general board of the National Council of Churches advocate?

  1. A guaranteed national income as a matter of right

  2. Vast liberalization of welfare laws

  3. Expanding government job training and public works programs, and government hiring of unemployables - If somebody is unemployable, the government should be responsible for hiring him.

  4. Increasing of government-financed housing on a vast scale

  5. Open housing in private as well as in public housing

  6. Expanded urban renewal

  7. Substantial increase in federally financed education at all levels

  8. Expanded federal Medicare

  9. Truth in lending legislation

  10. Tighter firearms control

  11. Extension of right of conscientious objection to those opposed to a particular war

  12. Rural antipoverty legislation

  13. Federally financed TV network

  14. Increased federal spending and increased federal taxes

  15. Intensified federal programs for assisting family planning both at home and abroad
When it came to the international scene, the policy makers of the National Council of Churches added these:
  1. Increased foreign aid to four times the request of the president's budget

  2. Liberalization of trade policies in favor of the underdeveloped countries

  3. Low or interest-free loans and removal of "Buy America" restrictions on foreign aid
You can see why Gus Hall could say, "What the liberal churches are pursuing is identical to the program that we communists are pursuing in this country." A further statement on policy by the council stated these goals in reference to the United States particularly in foreign affairs. When it came to foreign policy, the National Council of Churches said, as religious leaders, this is what we believe the United States should pursue:
  1. Stop the bombing of North Vietnam as a prelude to seeking a negotiated peace.

  2. Avoid provocative military action against communist China in the knowledge that it has a legitimate interest in Asia. Provocative military actions means to refuse to stand up for Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese on Formosa. You know that the Red Chinese came into the UN on the stipulated understanding that they own Formosa, and it is only a matter of time before they intend to take it. The United States is going to be confronted with a greatest tail-between-its-legs movement, in what it has already performed on its friends on Formosa.

  3. Press for the admission of the Peking government to the United Nations. That one has been accomplished.

  4. Create conditions for cooperation between the United States and communist countries of Eastern Europe, Russia, and Cuba. That means favorable economic conditions.

  5. Recognize the government of Cuba and acknowledge the existence of the East German republic. By the way, you know we're negotiating about settling our problems with the Communists over Berlin. The news announcement the other day was that one major problem is hindering our being able to close the deal. You know what it is? East Germany wants absolute foolproof guarantees that the checkpoints where people will be able to go from East and West Germany will be sealed on the East German side so that none of their people can escape. I had to listen again, because I couldn't believe I heard the news announcer reporting this communique that the debate is now engaged in how East Germany can be assured that its people will not try to escape from the worker's paradise. As soon as we can assure them that none of their people are going to try to get out of paradise, they're ready to sign the deal with us. Isn't it great to be an American today, and realize that your nation is so disoriented in its conscience to doctrine as it was when we became a great nation that we are ready to come to grips with questions like this in such a realistic way?

  6. Remove restrictions on imports from communist countries and on cultural exchanges between the United States and Russia.
Then they added a 5,000-word statement in which they discussed mistaken assumptions underlying United States foreign policies. They said, "The United States has certain wrong approaches to foreign policy, and we as religious leaders of the National Council of Churches want to call upon our government to change these false assumptions:
  1. An oversimplified view of a world divided into two camps--free and communist.

  2. A false and even arrogant concept that the United States has a unique mission to repel aggression throughout the world, thus fostering false moralism and self-righteousness.

  3. A reliance on military power as the chief means of keeping the peace, thus submerging social and economic development at home and abroad. Now that one is a dilly. We can't take the time to go into it here, but I want to remind you what the Word of God says about war. Wars come because of the lust patterns of our old sin nature. James says, "Why do you have wars? Why do you fight with one another? Because of the lusts within your being, and you strive and you have not." Crime and war are the result of the lust patterns of the old sin nature. God knew this, and in order to preserve society, He made provision to control that pattern. Internally, He established civil authority, and to that civil authority he gave the right of capital punishment. God says that the way you keep peace within the nation, as to crime, is to execute the criminal for the extreme crime of murder, or to restrain him in prison for lesser crimes. The Word of God says, externally, a nation protects itself and preserves peace by the same way. It has a military power that meets the enemy on a field of battle, and it kills him.

    It kills the enemy internally--the criminal--and the nation is protected. It kills the external enemy by the military, and the nation is protected. This is one of the most effective concepts we have in this nation today, and it is riding on a road of doom--that people think that it is wrong to kill. The Word of God says, "I have provided this protection, internally and externally, and it is because the opponents of morality and righteousness and law and order are kept under restraint that you have freedom today." Don't you kid yourself that if it was not for the local law enforcement agencies who have the ultimate right of taking a life that you would be able to sit here in a protective fashion.

    In other parts of this nation, if you've been reading magazine articles lately, "Life" came out with one showing pictures of people who sit in their apartments with iron grillwork on the apartment windows, and they don't dare pass through the hallways at a certain time of night by themselves, or down the streets. This is something fantastic. I can remember as a kid in Chicago, I would go wandering around the most out-of-the-way places on the West side of Chicago at midnight and after, sometimes just walking in the rain. I never gave it a thought that there was anything hazardous or dangerous in the darkest nights in the most out-of-the-way places. Now I have relatives who have people being accosted and attacked right in front of their houses in residential districts. People are screaming and shouting and they open the door and here's somebody attacking some woman right in front of their home, and they have to run out and give assistance. This is because we have been getting away from the principle of dealing with the criminal on the basis of his life.

    This is also what we're doing externally. So this is interesting when it says to attack the United States for its reliance on military power. That's why we are, by some of our best military leaders, now labeled as number two militarily. And when you get to be number two, you have to try harder, but you seldom get to be number one again.

  4. The making of unilateral decisions on the use of power, although collective action is necessary.

  5. The employment of U.S. power to preserve the status quo with the frequent result of discouraging social change needed in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
I'm reading to you what American religious leaders are asking our government to be responsible for--what they are asking to bring down upon this nation. The ecumenical movement is not a Christian movement. It is a socialistic ecclesiastical movement which is making a strong bid for political power. In the tribulation period, that is exactly what it will have--control over political power. When this ecclesiastical machinery is complete, however, in the middle of the tribulation, the political power is going to take it over.

So this is the ecumenical movement. I wanted you to have some picture of the background of what these people are seeking to perform when you see the words WCC (the World Council of Churches) or NCC (the National Council of Churches) in your newspaper, and that an ecumenical leader has said this or has said that, so you will understand that this is an organization that is theologically liberal, economically socialistic, and politically collectivist. It is moving in a direction of a one-world church, and it is seeking to perform a program to which Christ has not called the local assembly.

This is important as we go to Scripture and we see what the Bible says the end result of this is going to be. We find that the Word of God tells us that the local church is going to become progressively more degenerate. The visible church is to depart from the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1 describes this departure: "Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons." Certainly that's happening today on a major scale. 2 Timothy 3:1: "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come." Then it describes what men will become--the degenerate condition of society. 2 Peter 2:1-2: "But there were false prophets also among the people even as there shall be false teachers among you who secretly shall bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord that brought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction; and many shall follow their pernicious ways by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil-spoken of."

You couldn't have a better description than that of the World Council of Churches and of what religious leaders are doing so that the truth is evil-spoken of." The apostate visible church is all there is going to be when God takes you out of this world as believers at the rapture. Only the genuine Christians will leave this world. Millions of unsaved church members are going to be left here to continue in the ecumenical program. This is the church that will go into the tribulation period, and Jesus Christ, in Revelation 3:20, is viewed as an outsider knocking on the door seeking entrance into a church that no longer has any use for Him.

Revelation 17

This world super visible church is described in Revelation 17. We want to look at this passage for a bit. Here is where the term of "the great harlot" is applied to the visible Church. This was quite a shock to the Apostle John. As he looked at the church and as he knew the church in his day as the bride of Christ, it was a great shock to John to be told by the angel, "John, I want you to come with me and I want to show you what's going to happen to the local church at the end times." When John saw this organization that he knew in its beginning stages, in its warm Ephesian stage of love for Jesus Christ, and it's now a harlot condition, John simply could not believe what he saw. He was shocked. And yet this is the picture you have in Revelation 17.

Revelation 17:1: "And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls and talked with me, saying unto me, 'Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great harlot that sits upon many waters.'" She is called an adulterous here because she is unfaithful spiritually to the Lord. Idolatry in the Bible is equated to spiritual adultery. Turning to false gods or to false religious systems is called adultery. This church here is introduced, the Church of the tribulation, the ecumenical one-world church, and is presented as a great harlot. The background of this passage is that God is pouring out his wrath upon the people in the tribulation days (Revelation 15 and 16). This religious system dominates all the people of the world.

Revelation 17:15: "And he said unto me, 'The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Verse 1 said that this harlot sits upon many waters. This is a symbolic expression for the peoples of the world. So here's a church that dominates everybody in the world. Everybody belongs to this one-world church. Revelation 13:7 indicates that it covers the same area as the antichrist's domain covers--the peoples of the world. She is called the great harlot which indicates that she is the supremely false religious system--the result of today's ecumenical movement.

Revelation 17:2 tells us that the rulers of the earth join themselves to this system: "With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication (spiritually), and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication (or spiritual idolatry)." The harlot rides in control upon the world of the antichrist and his European confederacy.

Revelation 17:3: "So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness, and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of means of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns." The ten horns represent those ten nations of the western confederacy that we've already studied. She rides this beast and is in control of him. Revelation 17:8 identifies him: "The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition, and they that dwell on earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." That is the Roman Empire in a form that it has never been before, when it is revived as a ten-nation confederacy.

Revelation 17:4 indicates that this woman carries her spiritual adulteries to all people: "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color." Now here are the trappings of religion, ceremony, and robes--all that goes with pomp and ceremony. "The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color and bedecked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." It is interesting to note that one of the symbols of the Roman Catholic Church for the church is a woman who sits with a cross in one hand, and in her other hand, guess what? The cup. This woman carries her spiritual unfaithfulness to all the people of the world.

The seven heads of the beast perhaps are referring to the seven mountains of Rome on which Rome as built, or maybe the seven types of governments that have characterized the Roman Empire. In any case, the last form of the Roman Empire is what is in view here. The ten horns are the ten nations. This harlot rides these ten nations and dominates them. Later, these nations throw off her control when the antichrist becomes the world's political leader, and he combines all religions under his system under the false prophet.

Babylon

Revelation 17:5: "And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. Now we're going to have to stop and go back and do a little bit of history. What could this mean? Mystery Babylon. The word mystery indicates something religious in the Bible which has been hidden in the past which is now revealed. What God is saying here is, "I'm going to show you here the connection between something religious that had to do with Babylon of old and the church in the end times of the tribulation. There is a connection between these two. What's the connection? The connection is this: that Babylon is the source of all false religion. In Genesis 10:1, one of the sons of Noah is a man named Ham. The word Ham means "the swarthy one." Genesis 10:6 tells us he had a son named Cush. The word Cush means "the blackened one." We have already, in our studies of the confederacies, found that all of the black people of Africa have been descended from Cush, the line of Cush.

Nimrod

In any case, the important thing that we want to note is that in Genesis 8:10, we're told that Cush had a son named Nimrod. We are told that Nimrod was a mighty man. He founded a city and began a kingdom. He founded the city of Babylon and began the Babylonian Empire. Genesis 11 records for us a description of Nimrod's civilization. We're told that they decided to build a tower to reach the heavens. Now we know that this was a very intelligent people. They were highly civilized and very informed, and they weren't so ignorant as to think that they could build a tower that could reach up into the sky where God lives.

What they were talking about was building what are called ziggurats--stair-stepped pyramids that went into a towering position from which they observed the movements of the stars. It was in Babylon that the radio programs that you hear in Dallas on your horoscope originated. Astrological studies began in Babylon. It was the center of the first of all false religious systems. It was the place where man came up with a substitute for the truth that he had lost in Eden.

So Nimrod builds this city for those who are rejecting the Word of God. They're going to build Babel a place which would be a gateway to God. They're going to build to the heavens. They're going to build to the gate of God because it was astrological studies. However, God confused their tongues, and He stopped the progress of this religious system, and also because they were determined to remain as one united people. They were going to have one world under Nimrod's civilization that controlled all the people that existed in the world at that time. Now it is not the will of God that nations should exist as one world. God's will is that there should be nationalism. God is against international controls. God is for national entities. This is the program of God to protect the expression of the Word of God.

When communism came into China, it destroyed all open expression of the Word of God. There aren't going to be any churches that you can go to in China today, and sit in the congregation and listen to the Word of God being explained. When I was in China during the war, I went to churches like that. I sat right there even while the Chinese congregation was being spoken to. They took the trouble to have an American interpreter standing by there interpreting what was going on. You won't find a scene like that in China today. This system of internationalism destroys the expression of the Word of God, and that's why God is against international controls.

Semiramis and Tammuz

Well this celebrated organization organized the first idolatrous system of the world. So Babylon is called the Mother of Harlots. Here's what the system was like: Nimrod was married to a woman called Semiramis. She remembered the promise of the Savior in Genesis 3:15. She had a son whose name was Tammuz. So she made herself and her son the object of worship in Babylon. She began the system of worship called the mother-and-child cult which spread all through the ancient world. The symbol of this system was a mother holding a little infant child in her arms. Archeology has dug up thousands of these little images from the ancient world of a mother cradling a child in her arms. It was the worship of Semiramis and Tammuz which was the founding of the idolatrous world false religious system in Babylon which is going to find its ultimate expression in the tribulation period.

Now this Babylonian religion moved to Phoenicia. It took a different name there. There it was known as Ashtoreth and Tammuz. Here it added the worship of the sun as a symbol of Tammuz, and placed the round halo that you see behind those who were considered saintly personalities within the priest caste. In Phoenicia, they worshipped the mother-and-child under the name of Baal. This was the Baal worship that you read about in the Old Testament. From Phoenicia, they were expelled and they went to Pergamos in Asia Minor. Revelation 2:13 says that Pergamos became Satan's throne, because it became the center of the mother-and-child religion after Babylon fell. It moved from Pergamos to Egypt under the name of Isis and Horus. These are all the same worship, but in each country, with different people, they came up with a different name.

Incidentally, the background material on this is a book written by Hislop called The Two Babylons, a classic study which has since had additional materials and confirmations placed to it.

In Greece, the mother-and-child cult was the worship of Aphrodite an Ares. In Rome, it was the worship of Venus and Cupid. Within a thousand years, Babylonianism became the religion of the world, in place of the divine revelation of Jesus Christ. Here are the techniques of this Babylonian religious system:

Semiramis was the way of approach to God. She was the mother who gave life. She took to herself the title The Queen of Heaven which is what Roman Catholicism calls Mary. She gave salvation through certain rituals. The rituals that she established were these: sprinkling of holy water; ceremonial cleansing; purgatory for cleansing of those after death; and, certain acts of priestly absolution. The story was presented that her son Tammuz had been killed by a boar on one occasion while hunting. The temple virgins fasted for forty days because of his death. This is converted into the Lent of our religious systems of our day today. At the end of the forty days of fasting, there was a feast called the feast of Ishtar. This was the name of Semiramis or Ashtoreth. Tammuz was resurrected. The Feast of Ishtar celebrated his resurrection, and they made the egg a sacred symbol of life, representing the resurrection of Tammuz. They called them Ishtar eggs.

The birth of Tammuz was celebrated in midwinter with an evergreen tree as the symbol of life which was set up and decorated. Semiramis as the Queen of Heaven was worshiped with the offering of little round cakes. These cakes were marked with a "T" which in the Phoenician alphabet was an "X" which was a cross, but it was it was a "T" for Tammuz. This has found its way to our day in hot cross buns that some of you like to make. The mother-and-child cult came to Israel. Ahab married Jezebel. She was a foreigner who was brought up in this mother-and-child cult as a Baal worshiper (the sun god). And Abraham came from a home which worshiped the mother-and-child cult (Joshua 24:2).

Jeremiah tells us why God is sending Israel into captivity in Babylon. Do you know why? In Jeremiah 44:16-19, we have the description of this cult worship which is the reason that God said he sent this people into captivity. Jeremiah 44:16: "As the word that you have spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto you. (They're rejecting God's prophet.) But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goes forth out of our own mouth (That's negative volition.), to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven (Semiramis), and to pour out drink offerings unto her as we have done; we and our fathers, our kings, and our princes in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then had we plenty of food and were well and saw no evil. But since we ceased to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have lacked all things and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make our cakes to worship her and pour out drink offerings unto her without our husbands."

Jeremiah 44:25: "Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying, 'You and your wives have both spoken with your mouths and filled with your hands saying we will surely perform our vows that we have vowed to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her and you will surely accomplish your vows and surely perform your vows.'" God brings judgment upon Israel because they worship this mother-and-child cult. The observations in Ezekiel 8:6-10 describe the desecration of God's house with its mother-and-child cult. This shows how they took this and moved it right into the house of the Lord itself.

Ezekiel 8:6: "He said furthermore unto me, 'Son of Man, see what they do? Even the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, that I should go off from my sanctuary; but turn yet again and you shall see greater abominations.' And he brought me to the door of the court. When I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. Then he said unto me,' Son of Man, dig now in the wall.' And when I had dug in the wall, behold, a door. And he said unto me, 'Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.' So I went in and saw and, behold, every form of creeping things and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel portrayed upon the wall roundabout." There were abominations on every side in God's temple in connection with this cult, so that the prophet could scarcely describe what he was seeing.

Ezekiel 8:13: "And he said, 'Turn yet again and you will see greater abominations that they do.' Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house, which was towards the north, and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz." Do you know what these women are weeping for? They're performing the weeping of the 40 days of Lent before the Ishtar feast. So here was God's people Israel with a revelation from God worshiping the mother-and-child cult.

Constantine

Well, the mother-and-child cult came to Rome. The Caesars took the title of the priest which was Pontifex Maximus, the chief bridge builder, which the Pope has today. He was held to be the Pontifex Maximus which was the high priest of the mother-and-child cult under the Roman Empire. They had all that the Babylonian religion had created. They had the images. They had all the practices; the eggs; the tree; the Lent; the miters; the robes; and, the fisherman's ring. In the year 312 A.D., the Emperor Constantine reportedly became a Christian. He became a Christian because he believed that the God of the Christians had helped him win a battle that made him emperor. He declared Christianity the Department of Religion of the Roman Empire. Henceforth, all were to be Christians in his empire.

Nothing changed. The Babylonian cult, the Harlot religion, went on. They just started giving Christian names. So mother-and-child became the Virgin Mary and the Christ child. All the images of the various gods became the saints. All of the festivals that they had already observed, like the period of Lent, became the period of mourning before the death of Christ. Ishtar became the Easter observance. The evergreen tree, the tree of life became the birthday of Christ. And right down the line, Babylonian harlotry was given Christian meaning. Everyone was declared a Christian. Everyone was to worship.

Well this is the system of which we've been reading here in Revelation 17. It will find its ultimate expression in its attempt to dominate the world. It will persecute genuine believers. Revelation 17:6 says, "And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, and when I saw her, I wondered with great wonder." This was the church in the tribulation which will take hundreds of lives of believers during that tribulation period. The antichrist will destroy the system. The false prophet will set himself up over the antichrist's religion. And with the return of Christ, the abomination of the heart of Babylon will forever be exterminated.

So it's not a small thing when you read about the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, the ecumenical movement, and all that they are seeking to develop. Read through more carefully at your leisure Revelation 17. This is the ultimate end of the incorporation of all the spiritual unfaithfulness that has entered the religious life of the world and of our nation today. Here is where it is going to end--in this beast. That's the word God describes. This religious bestial system will ride the political powers until they themselves turn again and destroy it. For a while, this beast is useful in protecting them against communist aggression. Then when Russia is defeated in the middle of the tribulation period by God in her attempt to invade Israel, then the antichrist moves ahead. He doesn't need the religious system anymore. He takes over all her money, all her organization, and all her power, and he destroys her. He says, "Now I am God." And that's when he sets himself up in the temple to be worshiped from Jerusalem.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

Back to the Prophecy index

Back to the Bible Questions index