What Saith the Scripture?
Babylon the Great (Part 6)
Or, The Coming Destruction of the One World Religion
The Final Judgment of the Great Whore
"1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the LORD our God: 2 For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the Great Whore, which did corrupt the Earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand"
by Tom Stewart
Grace bestows what we have not earned. "For the grace of God that bringeth Salvation hath appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). Justice exacts the measure of our deeds. "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). And, mercy withholds the punishment we so richly deserve. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). So, when we consider the final judgment of Babylon the Great, is it not right that we would rejoice in the justice of God's judgment upon her, for one who has so soundly rejected both the grace and mercy of God? "O our God, wilt Thou not judge [her]?" (2Chronicles 20:12).
God's justice is unappreciated by sinful men because justice will give unwanted punishment. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). When the Apocalyptic Week of Tribulation Judgment (Daniel 9:27) is completed, Babylon the Great-- the epitome of man's rebellion against God-- will be finally, completely, and thoroughly judged. "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether" (Psalm 19:9). And, he who is "on the LORD'S side" (Exodus 32:26) "shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance" (Psalm 58:10) of God against Babylon the Great. "O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us" (137:8).
Babylon the Great: The Mother of Harlots
Children often spitefully taunt one another by making accusations against one another's mother; however, when God makes the accusation, it is the Truth. "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5). In light of the soon to come destruction of Babylon the Great, the Revelation reveals that:
Because of the scope and difficulty of tracing all the corrupt
offshoots of the original Babylon of Nimrod the "mighty hunter before the LORD"
(Genesis 10:9)-- as Alexander Hislop attempted in "The Two Babylons: Or, The
Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife" (1853)-- we have
only focused on the most pervasive and conspicuous manifestation of the Great Whore
in this present Church Age-- the institution of Roman Catholicism. "And here
is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains [i.e., the ancient
city of Rome, the City of Seven Hills, was built on a group of seven hills: Palatine,
Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, and Aventine (from "Britannica
CD 99")], on which the woman sitteth" (Revelation 17:9). Rather than viewing
Catholicism as merely one of many manifestations of the LORD Jesus Christ's Church,
the Church of Rome's history demonstrates it to be entirely transformed from the
Primitive Church of the Apostles into the abominable Babylon the Great. "28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves [i.e., elders of the Church of Ephesus], and
to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed
the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this,
that after my [the Apostle Paul's] departing shall grievous wolves enter in among
you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking
perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:28-30).
The Papacy, or the office and institution of the Pope, continues to be the defining characteristic of Roman Catholicism. In 1869, at the Vatican Council, the dogma of Papal Infallibility found its way into the doctrines that must be believed by those who aspire to Heaven through the gates of the Church of Rome. Even today, the Catholic faithful-- unhappily, now comprised of even former Protestants (as documented in the pro-Catholic book, "Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic")-- gladly accept the teaching "Magisterium" of the Church of Rome, i.e., tell us what to believe, so that we may accept it without question. As Catholic convert from Protestantism, Marcus Grodi-- graduate of Gordon-Conwell Seminary and director of the Coming Home Network International, a support group for Protestant clergy and their families moving towards the Catholic Church-- writes in "Surprised by Truth" : "Eventually I realized that the single most important issue was authority. All of this wrangling [over] how to interpret Scripture [as in Protestantism] gets one nowhere if there is no way to know with infallible certitude that one's interpretation is the right one. The teaching authority of the Church in the magisterium [is] centered around the seat of Peter [the Papacy]. If I could accept this doctrine, I knew I could trust the Church on everything else" (excerpted from Thomas Aloysius McMahon's "Home to Rome?" article, exposing Romanism, in "The Berean Call" January, 1999). Here is the True Christian's authority: "20 But ye have an Unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things... 27 But the Anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same Anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him" (1John 2:20,27).
The Harlotry of Rome Spreads: "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium" (1994) and "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Gift of Salvation" (1997)
On March 24th 1994, "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium", the original ECT (1994) document-- which was an ecumenical declaration of cooperation between Evangelicals and Roman Catholics-- was signed in New York by notables from both camps. "Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered" (Proverbs 11:21). The document represented an unofficial first step in the process of reconciliation between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" (Psalm 1:1). True Saints would have no cause to mention this ECT accord, except that it is crucial to mark and avoid obstacles such as this to our Christian walk-- "mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Romans 16:17)-- to preserve our own holiness. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the LORD" (Hebrews 12:14).
A second ECT (1997) declaration-- "Evangelicals
and Catholics Together: The Gift of Salvation" was signed in November of 1997--
and, was published in Billy Graham's "Christianity Today" (December 8,1997).
It declared: "We must not allow our witness as Christians to be compromised
by half-hearted discipleship or needlessly divisive disputes." These "needlessly
divisive disputes" include the foundational necessity for Christian Holiness
and Separation from those who knowingly do not walk in the Truth. "5 This then
is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is Light,
and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and
walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the Truth: 7 But if we walk in the Light,
as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus
Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1John 1:5-7).
Also, no matter how much the signers of the ECT accords confess the importance of doctrinal Truth, it is without meaning, when they pursue an Ecumenical Christian Unity-- purportedly based upon the LORD Jesus Christ's prayer, "that they all may be one" (John 17:21)-- that grossly overlooks Truth for the sake of Unity. (Actually, the Truth of the Word of God is the Divine means to achieve a Sanctified Unity.) "Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth" (17:17). "On these and other questions, we recognize that there are also some differences within both the Evangelical and Catholic communities. We are committed to examining these questions further in our continuing conversations. All who truly believe in Jesus Christ are brothers and sisters in the Lord and must not allow their differences, however important, to undermine this great truth, or to deflect them from bearing witness together to God's gift of salvation in Christ" (from "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Gift of Salvation" ). Concerning disobedience and the necessity of separation, "If any man obey not our Word by this Epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed" (2Thessalonians 3:14). And, concerning hypocrisy and the rejection of Truth, "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (1John 2:4).
The ECT accord (1997) immerses the error of its foundational premise-- that Light can cooperate and dwell with darkness-- with evangelical statements. All would do well to heed the Scripture, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye Light in the LORD: walk as children of Light" (Ephesians 5:8). The ECT (1997) is also documented with Scriptural texts-- acceptable and appealing, especially to Evangelicals. "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience" (5:6). But, the very title of both declarations-- "Evangelicals and Catholics Together"-- is its own condemnation, i.e., Evangelicals and Catholics Together. "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me" (Psalm 101:3). To the Evangelicals of these declarations, it should be said: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2Corinthians 6:14). And, to the Catholic signers of these declarations-- if you honestly believe the evangelical language of salvation solely by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) enunciated especially in the ECT (1997), it must be said-- "Wherefore come out from among them [the Church of Rome], and be ye separate, saith the LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (2Corinthians 6:17).
Christian holiness demands separation from sin in our personal life and fellowship. "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1Peter 1:16). It is unnecessary and impossible for Christians to cut off necessary dealings with the world for day to day living, i.e., lawful forms of employment, obtaining the necessities of life, etc.; but, it is absolutely necessary to sever the ties of fellowship with those who walk in disobedience, i.e., who are backslidden. "9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person" (1Corinthians 5:9-13). [See our article, "How to Deal With Backsliders"-- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Fellowship/How.to.Deal.with.Backslide.html -- , to see the Scriptural practicality of restoring Backsliders.]
If we are in the minority and cannot exercise the Church Discipline mandated in Matthew 18-- "15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the Church: but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Matthew 18:15-17)-- then we must cease our association and fellowship with that ecclesiastical organization or church body in order to maintain our fellowship with the LORD Jesus Christ. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Ephesians 5:11).
Either we will separate the impenitent Backslider from our fellowship through Church Discipline, or we must separate from that ecclesiastical organization or church body ourselves; if we would maintain our walk of holiness with the LORD. "Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach" (Hebrews 13:13). Instead of viewing the Doctrine of Separation as only separation from sin, we need-- as importantly-- to see ourselves as "separated unto the Gospel" (Romans 1:1) of the LORD Jesus. Our separation is not merely from sin, but unto the LORD. "Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of Hosts" (Zechariah 14:21). The Old Testament understood the idea of sanctifying or setting one apart unto the LORD. "Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel" (Exodus 13:2). Even now, under the New Covenant, we are called unto holiness. "14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation" (1Peter 1:14-15).
When the Scriptural Doctrine of Separation is disassociated from the Doctrine of Holiness, then the result is an unloving, "holier than thou" (Isaiah 65:5) Pharisaism. Instead of understanding separation as the Divinely appointed means for the loving restoration of a Backslider-- "deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the LORD Jesus" (1Corinthians 5:5)-- it often becomes an emblem of prideful exaltation, i.e., "I don't associate with sinners". "9 And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Luke 18:9-14).
Sadly, many who are esteemed well in the Evangelical Community, not only signed the ECT accords (1994 and 1997), but have adamantly refused to unsign the declarations after much discussion and disagreement with differing Brethren. "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject" (Titus 3:10). For example, Chuck Colson (Prison Fellowship), Bill Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), and J. I. Packer are some of the Evangelicals that stood by their signing of the original ECT-- and, affirmed it again by signing the newer "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Gift of Salvation" in November of 1997. "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Galatians 6:1). A "Letter Opposing the Ecumenical Accord: Evangelicals & Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium"-- by Bernie Koerselman-- is an example of a letter (dated May 15,1995) to Chuck Colson admonishing Chuck Colson to withdraw his support for the original ECT (1994). "I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner" (Acts 26:26). As we approach the Tribulation Week (Daniel 9:27), the pace is quickening as "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2Timothy 3:13). We need to remember that the Church of Rome has been "Satan's seat" (Revelation 2:13) for more than a millennium, and is still most appropriately called Babylon the Great. "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (17:5). May God be merciful to Chuck Colson, Bill Bright, and J. I. Packer-- who have forsaken the LORD, "having [unrighteously] loved this present world" (2Timothy 4:10) like backslidden Demas.
Back to Rome-- The Papal Challenge for Christian Unity: "Ut Unum Sint-- On Commitment to Ecumenism" (1995)
May 25th 1995 marked Pope John Paul II's signing and offering for publication his twelfth Encylical Letter, "Ut Unum Sint-- On Commitment to Ecumenism". "They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them" (1John 4:5). John Paul II-- born on May 18,1920 in Wadowice, Poland with the original name of Karol Wojtyla [pronounced Voy-tee-wah]-- assumed the official title of Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church in 1978. "Thus saith the LORD GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them" (Ezekiel 34:10).
His age and suspected Parkinson's disease-- as noticed during his January 26th to 27th 1999 visit to St. Louis, Missouri (USA) where President Bill Clinton met the physically frail Roman Pontiff, whose hands could be seen to visibly shake-- may make his neurological deterioration a factor in whether or not he will personally be the False Prophet partner of the Antichrist-- unless the Pre-Tribulational Rapture (Revelation 3:10) and the onset of Daniel's 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27) occur soon. "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh" (Matthew 24:44). Pope John Paul II was seriously wounded on May 13th 1981, when he was shot in an assasination attempt during an appearance in St. Peter's Square, leaving him hospitalized for nearly two months. "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).
As we have previously written in Part 3 of this Babylon the Great series-- "The Ecumenical Movement and the Church of Rome"-- the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) under Pope Paul VI began its modern, ecumenical drive to the finish line of a truly One World Religion with its call for the "restoration of unity among all Christians" (from the Second Vatican Council, "Decree on Ecumenism- Unitatis Redintegratio", paragraph 1). "Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves" (Isaiah 28:15). The reintegration of Protestantism into the Church of Rome is the step that necessarily must follow-- "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" (from the Second Vatican Council, "Decree on Ecumenism- Unitatis Redintegratio", paragraph 4). "And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it" (28:18).
Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, gave a talk sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Public Life that was presented in New York City on September 16, 1996. This talk, entitled "That They May All Be One: The Imperatives and Prospects of Christian Unity", outlines the Church of Rome's attempt to find "common ground with 'Evangelical' Christianity". "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil" (Ephesians 6:11). Cassidy reiterated "The Call for Christian Unity" of the "encyclical letter Ut Unum Sint- the first ever issued by a Pope on the question of ecumenism- Pope John Paul II stresses the urgency of taking initiatives and making new efforts to overcome the divisions of the past among Christians. It is not the Pope who is calling Christians to this task: 'Christ calls all his disciples to unity.'" Beware of those who "have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14).
Cassidy's talk recounted the significance of John Paul II's words in the Papal Encyclical "Ut Unum Sint": "Pope John Paul II renews this call and proposes it once more 'with determination,' stressing that 'believers in Christ cannot remain divided if they wish truly and effectively to oppose the world's tendency to reduce to powerlessness the Mystery of Redemption.' This call, which comes from Christ, is an imperative for all Christians. We are living in a time of particular grace, as evidenced by the fact that the aspiration for Christian unity 'is finding an ever greater echo in the hearts of believers, especially as the year 2000 approaches [WStS emphasis added].'" "But this I say, brethren, the time is short" (1Corinthians 7:29). "Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the LORD draweth nigh" (James 5:8).
"At the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church committed herself irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture," said the Bishop of Rome, John Paul II, in his "Ut Unum Sint"-- "that they may all be one"-- encylical (1995). An irrevocable commitment to the "ecumenical venture" is another way of saying that Rome will not desist until it has the entire world in its teeth. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1Peter 5:8). Rome's "patience" in achieving the universal domination that describes her name, i.e., catholic, ought to be observed by even the Godly. "And the LORD commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light" (Luke 16:8).
Pope John Paul II tenaciously stated his commitment to the global union awaiting the Church at the New Millennium, "I myself intend to promote every suitable initiative aimed at making the witness of the entire Catholic community understood in its full purity and consistency, especially considering the engagement which awaits the Church at the threshold of the new Millennium [WStS emphasis added]. That will be an exceptional occasion, in view of which she asks the Lord to increase the unity of all Christians until they reach full communion" (from "Ut Unum Sint"). "And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12). Approximately 12 times, the Pope made reference to the "Year 2000", the "new Millennium" or the "threshhold of the Third Millennium" in his "Ut Unum Sint" (1995) encyclical; which means he is hoping for the Year 2000 (Y2K) to "be an exceptional occasion". "O our God, wilt Thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon Thee" (2Chronicles 20:12).
Babylon the Great Manifests Itself As The Global Religion: United Religions (2000)
It has been common for students of Bible Prophecy to refer to the final manifestation of religion in the End Times as the One World Church; however, it appears more appropriate that this entity will encompass more than an Ecumenical Church after the Christian tradition, but will be comprised of all religions throughout the world. The Holy Spirit described a Global Religion of this sort in the Revelation. "11 And I beheld another beast [the False Prophet] coming up out of the Earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast [the Antichrist] before him, and causeth the Earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast [the Antichrist], whose deadly wound was healed" (Revelation 13:11-12). Though promoters of this sort of Global Religion may prefer to think of it more as the totality of all religions united, i.e., a United Religions (UR); still, the intermingling of all religions results in a Global Religion. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9).
To refresh our minds, why does our LORD reveal to us the nature of prophetic events such as the final advent of Babylon the Great as the Global Religion?
The Treaty of Versailles was signed by the Allies and Germany
on June 28th 1919 to end WW1; but, the same Treaty also established the League of
Nations (1920-1946), which was presented to the world as an international organization
to peacefully resolve conflicts and avert another devastating war. "There is
no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked" (Isaiah 48:22). Though President
Woodrow Wilson (USA) was an architect of the League of Nations, the United States
Senate refused to ratify it; and then, with WW2, its existence ceased. But, the "principalities",
"powers", the "rulers of the darkness of this world", and "spiritual
wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12) were allowed by the Sovereign God
to plant the evil seed of World Government, as at the Tower of Babel, to finally
beget the present United Nations (UN) at the close of WW2. "The [UN] Organization
came into being on 24 October 1945, when its Charter was ratified by the majority
of the 50 nations who signed the Charter in San Francisco on 26 June 1945" (from
"The United Nations Fiftieth Anniversary Document"). "But God is the
Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another" (Psalm 75:7). For "surely
the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain"
In 1920, the "International Congress of Religious Liberals (known now as the IARF) called for a League of Religions: 'Let us lay the foundation at least of a League of Religions which shall be the counterpart and ally of the political League of Nations'" (excerpted from the United Religions website). "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole Earth" (Genesis 11:4). In June 1996, another of a series of annual June meetings took place-- this time in San Francisco, California (USA)-- convened for the purpose of "pursuing peace among religions for the sake of wholeness for the entire order of life" under the auspices of the "United Religions Initiative (URI) Global Summit" (from the United Religions website). The pattern of first a world government, then a global religion can also be seen in Revelation 13. The Antichrist, who is the beast "out of the sea" (Revelation 13:1) is described first, before the False Prophet, who is the "beast out of the Earth" (13:11).
The United Religions Initiative (URI) has a target date of June 26th 2000 for its charter signing to establish the United Religions (UR), which is also the anniversary for the signing of the charter of the United Nations. "And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed My voice: why have ye done this?" (Judges 2:2). Episcopal Bishop William Swing has been the catalyst behind the United Religions since the United Nations invited him to host a San Francisco, California (USA) interfaith gathering . "In 1993, the United Nations told me they were coming to San Francisco and they would bring 183 ambassadors from 183 nations. They wanted me to bring the religions of the world to Grace Cathedral for an interfaith service," said Swing in response to Don Lattin's question of what is the "genesis of the United Religions Initiative?" (from "Bishop's Idea for a Leap of Faiths" in the "San Francisco Chronicle" of June 22nd 1997). But, "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 3:11).
How credible is this "little-heard-of" United Religions as an End Time entity? The United Nations advanced the idea to Bishop Swing to host an interfaith assembly that would propose the United Religions Initiative at a worship service (June 25th 1995) of Grace Cathedral (from an official "Calendar of Events for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations"). "They have taken crafty counsel against Thy people, and consulted against Thy hidden ones" (Psalm 83:3). Accordingly, the United Religions' website points out that Sir Francis Younghusband, who founded the World Congress of Faiths (in the 1930s), wrote that "a religious basis is essential for the new world order [WStS emphasis]." Of course, any order apart from the LORD Jesus Christ is against Christ, i.e., antichrist. "He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad" (Matthew 12:30).
From the1950s on, starting with UN Secretary General U Thant in the 1940s, "every decade has heard a UN proposal for something like the United Religions." In the "1970s and 1980s, [UN Assistant Secretary General] Robert Muller promoted it" (from the United Religions' website). "9 And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear My Words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers" (Jeremiah 11:9-10).
Just as many in the Professed Church had been oblivious to the rise of Global Government in the form of the UN; even so, much of the Professed Church is also presently oblivious to the significance of the soon rise of a global One World Religion in the form of the UR. "Therefore My people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge" (Isaiah 5:13). Though some had been familiar with the League of Nations, how many were ready for the 1945 advent of the United Nations? And, who but a confirmed Bible Prophecy student could have been certain that the UN of the Cold War days was anything but another powerless debating society-- instead of the Global Government forecast 1,900 years earlier in the Apostle John's Revelation? "6 And he [the Antichrist] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in Heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the Saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him [the Antichrist] over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the Earth shall worship him [the Antichrist], whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:6-8).
But, does the Roman Catholic Church-- Babylon the Great-- endorse or promote the United Religions Initiative (URI)? If "in her [Babylon the Great] was found the blood of prophets, and of Saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth" (Revelation 18:24), then the UR must eventually become attached to the Pope and the Church of Rome for the UR to be identified as Babylon the Great. "A corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit" (Matthew 7:17). Presently, Catholicism takes no official position for or against the URI-- just as Rome has not joined the World Council of Churches, but still promotes the common goal of ecumenism. "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness" (1Corinthians 3:19). Possibly, the Mother Church of Rome does not want to be confused with mere offspring. "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5).
Irving Baxter of "Endtime Magazine" asked former UN Assistant Secretary General Robert Muller, "I know the Pope is going to be speaking at the United Nations in October . What role do [you] see the Pope playing to bring about religious unity?" Muller responded: "The Pope has one privilege among all the religions. He is the head of a little state called the Vatican State. The Vatican State is an observer nation in the United Nations. He is the only religious leader who can speak in the United Nations because he is there as an observer for the Vatican State. This is why my boss U Thant, the Burmese Secretary General, invited the Pope to speak at the UN. U Thant was deeply spiritual. I've written so much about him. He always said, 'Robert, I hear the economists, I hear politicians. I hear all kinds of people in General Assembly Hall. But I never hear a spiritual person; so couldn't we invite the Pope?' I invited the Pope to speak at the UN for the first time . I was in charge of his first visit. He will be speaking for the second time at the fiftieth anniversary of the UN [October 5th 1995]. His speech can play a great role. I have recommended to his representative in New York that the main tenet of his speech should be 'The Renaissance—A Revival Of World Spirituality.' I hope he speaks on this, and I hope he will get together with other religions and put an end to the religious conflicts. That is really the main task of the religious leaders. Maybe I'm dreaming, but at least one should always put forth one's views." But, peace comes exclusively from Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
Another view of the Church of Rome's relationship to the UR was given to William Swing by Roman Catholic Cardinal Arinze: "[Arinze] emphatically said that he did not want my words to reflect that he was excited about the United Religions. He said that a United Religions would give the appearance of synchretism and it would water down our need to evangelize. It would force authentic religions to be on equal footing with spurious religions. He pointed out that in the last 30 years the Roman Catholic church has been deeply involved in interfaith dialogues with priests learning other languages and other religions. They are doing enough now. When they work outside official channels, then they utilize the World Conference on Religion and Peace. He said he would take the Gamaliel approach to the United Religions (Acts 5:38-39). Leave these people alone. If it comes from man, it will fail. If it comes from God, it can't be stopped" (from Episcopal Bishop William Swing's "Reactions From Religious Leaders: United Religions International Tour"). Again, God is against any religious union that is not based exclusively upon His Son, Who is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). "And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do" (Genesis 11:6).
This writer is persuaded that Babylon the Great, which is essentially Roman Catholicism, must soon incorporate with the United Religions, if the Pope still desires the headship of the world's religions, i.e., to be the False Prophet. "11 And I beheld another beast [the False Prophet] coming up out of the Earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon [Satan]. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast [the Antichrist] before him, and causeth the Earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed" (Revelation 13:11-12). Accordingly, the Papal celebration of the "Jubilee of the Year 2000" includes:
Future of Babylon the Great: She Shall Be Utterly Burned With Fire
In this Age of False Love, i.e., to "love them that hate the LORD" (2Chronicles 19:2) and False Judgment, i.e., to judge only "according to the appearance" (John 7:24), we are assured that the LORD Jesus Christ is still "over all, God blessed for ever" (Romans 9:5). Though our LORD came the First Time as a "Lamb without blemish and without spot" (1Peter 1:19), He will appear the Second Time to "judge and make war" (Revelation 19:11)-- "Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable" (Luke 3:17).
In the Book of Revelation, we find a description of Babylon the Great (17:1-18), her final destruction (18:1-24), and the rejoicing in Heaven at the judgment of the Great Whore (19:1-4). Though some prefer to interpret Revelation 17 as the destruction of religious Babylon and Revelation 18 as the destruction of a separate economic Babylon, I believe that both describe the destruction of Babylon the Great from the religious, then the economic point of view. It will be quite revealing to see the economic connection that the Great Whore has developed over the years. "And the woman [Babylon the Great] was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, 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).
Are the Renaissance frescoes by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel-- of the present day-- all that points the finger at Rome for her opulence? In 1510, Martin Luther the Reformer had a look at the then abundant wealth of the Church of Rome, shortly after his own conversion. "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the Earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the Earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies" (Revelation 18:3). Her wealth can only have increased into the present day, as witnessed by the simple compounding of interest. "Wherefore then gavest not thou My money into the bank, that at My Coming I might have required Mine own with usury?" (Luke 19:23). Luther had yet to separate from the institution of Roman Catholicism, when he discovered the institutional impiety, pride, avarice, luxury, and abominable vices that greeted him-- the closer he journeyed to Rome. "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind" (1Peter 5:2).
"Weary with his journey, he entered a monastery situated on the banks of the Po [River], to refresh himself a few days. The splendor of the establishment struck him with wonder. Its yearly revenue, amounting to the enormous sum of thirty-six thousand ducats, was all expended in feeding, clothing, and lodging the monks. The apartments were sumptuous in the extreme. They were lined with marble, adorned with paintings, and filled with rich furniture. Equally luxurious and delicate was the clothing of the monks. Silks and velvet mostly formed their attire; and every day they sat down at a table loaded with exquisite and skillfully cooked dishes. The monk who, in his native Germany, had inhabited a bare cell, and whose day's provision was at times only a herring and a small piece of bread, was astonished, but said nothing.
"Friday came, and on Friday the Church has forbidden the faithful to taste flesh. The table of the monks groaned under the same abundance as before. As on other days, so on this there were dishes of meat. Luther could no longer refrain. 'On this day,' said Luther, 'such things may not be eaten. The Pope has forbidden them.' The monks opened their eyes in astonishment on the rude German. Verily, thought they, his boldness is great. It did not spoil their appetite, but they began to be apprehensive that the German might report their manner of life at headquarters, and they consulted together how this danger might be obviated. The porter, a humane man, dropped a hint to Luther of the risk he would incur should he make a longer stay. Profiting by the friendly counsel to depart hence while health served him, he took leave, with as little delay as possible, of the monastery and all in it" (from James A. Wylie's "The History of Protestantism", Volume 1, Book 5)-- http://whatsaiththescripture.com/Voice/History.Protestant.v1.b5.html -- . "And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite" (Proverbs 23:2).
"1 And there came one of the Seven Angels which had the Seven Vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the Great Whore that sitteth upon many waters [that controls the nations]: 2 With whom the kings of the Earth have committed fornication [rulers of nations pay homage to the Pope, as did Castro in Havana and Clinton in St. Louis in 1999], and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication [over 1 billion Catholics at present-- out of 6 billion Earth inhabitants]. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast [suggestive of the red of the Cardinals' regalia], full of names of blasphemy [Vicar of Christ speaks of a vicarious, substitute for Christ], having seven heads [describes Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Imperial Rome, and Revived Rome] and ten horns [indicates 10 divisions of Revived Rome]" (Revelation 17:1-3).
"4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus [as John Foxe recounted Rome's martyrdom of Christians outside of her communion in his "The Book of Martyrs" (1563)]: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration [literally, with great wonder]. 7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast [Satan] that thou sawest was [a created being with a past], and is not [who is not presently empowered as he will be]; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [when he is released by God to terrorize the Post-Millennial Earth], and go into perdition [Eternal Destruction, which is the destiny of the Devil]: and they that dwell on the 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 [the unelect are deceived and damned]" (Revelation 17:4-8).
"9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is [the 6th king was the Imperial Rome of the Apostle John's day], and the other [Revived Rome] is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth [the Antichrist], and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour [the last several days of the Tribulation Week] with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast" (Revelation 17:9-13).
"14 These shall make war with the Lamb [Jesus], and the Lamb shall overcome them [Armageddon]: for He is LORD of Lords, and KING of Kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful [the Saints returning with the LORD Jesus Christ at His Second Coming]. 15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the Whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the Whore [the Antichrist turns against Babylon the Great], and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire [8-9 days prior to the End of the Tribulation Week]. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast [the Satan indwelt Antichrist], until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city [Rome], which reigneth over the kings of the Earth" (Revelation 17:14-18).
"1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from Heaven, having great power; and the Earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the Earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the Earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies [describing and amplifying the destruction of Babylon the Great from Chapter 17]. 4 And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues [This most important message of God to those who would be preserved from Divine Destruction is to COME OUT OF BABYLON NOW]" (Revelation 18:1-4).
"5 For her sins have reached unto Heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her [Divine retribution and vengeance for which the Saints pray and only God can give]: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow [unreasonably confident]. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day [Gen. Colin L. Powell, former chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993) said, "You know we have been looking at the Middle East [Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991], but let's not forget that there is only one nation in the world that can destroy us in 30 minutes: the Soviet Union."], death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire [a literal, physical destruction by fire will occur]: for strong is the LORD God who judgeth her" (Revelation 18:5-8).
"9 And the kings of the Earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon [Rome], that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 11 And the merchants of the Earth shall weep and mourn over her [both multinational corporations and fearfully surviving individuals will mourn over their lost market and opportunities]; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men [Satan's kingdom views men as mere chattel]" (Revelation 18:9-13).
"14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city [Rome], that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off [the boot shaped peninsula of Italy juts into the Mediterranean Sea], 18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate" (Revelation 18:14-19).
"20 Rejoice over her, Thou Heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her [as God said, "Vengeance is mine"]. 21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the Earth; for by thy sorceries [Babylon the Great is the repository of not only false doctrine and superstition but the occult] were all nations deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of Saints, and of all that were slain upon the Earth [Babylon the Great is the sum of man's rebellion against God-- worthy of judgment]" (Revelation 18:1-24).
"1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the LORD our God [the Hallelujah Chorus rejoices over Babylon's demise]: 2 For true and righteous are His judgments [True Saints always rejoice in God's judgments]: for He hath judged the Great Whore, which did corrupt the Earth with her fornication [Babylon the Great has been the source as well as the magnet for the corruptions of mankind], and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever [doctrine of the justice of eternal punishment]. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen [we agree]; Alleluia [Praise ye the LORD]" (Revelation 19:1-4).
How can we profit from the study of Babylon the Great? If we constrain ourselves to be "simple concerning evil" (Romans 16:19), then:
But, most importantly, we learn to stand with the Judge
of All the Earth (Genesis 18:25) in His judgment of the Earth-- approving, praising,
petitioning, and laboring with His judgments. "Take heed what ye do: for ye
judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment" (2Chronicles
19:6). As Satan has planted the tares (weeds) to encumber the harvest of the LORD,
we must patiently wait with the LORD for the appropriate time to gather the wheat
(the Elect). "He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said
unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?" (Matthew 13:28). It
is an honor for the LORD to number us with those that have "understanding of
the times, to know what Israel [God's Saints] ought to do" (1Chronicles 12:32);
but also, that we may intelligibly witness, understand, and praise God for His judgments
upon Babylon the Great. "1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much
people in Heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power,
unto the LORD our God: 2 For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged
the Great Whore, which did corrupt the Earth with her fornication, and hath avenged
the blood of His servants at her hand" (Revelation 19:1-2).
First in the Series "Babylon The Great"
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