WILES OF THE WOMAN
On page A13 of The Arizona Republic published 3-29-14, the headline reads: Pope’s video message starts new era with Pentecostals. The article comes from Associated Press journalist, Rachel Poll, who writes, “The video … message is simple: We’re brothers despite our differences. Yet religious leaders say this informal greeting from Pope Francis has reset relations between the Roman Catholic Church and one of its fiercest competitors around the world, Pentecostals. Recorded by a clergy friend Francis had invited to Rome, the message was directed to the spirit-filled Christians whose popular movements have for decades been draining parishioners from the Catholic Church, especially in Latin America.”
Then Zoll quotes Pope Francis, “Come on, we are brothers. Let’s give each other a spiritual hug, and let God complete the work that he has begun.” Again, Pope Francis declares from the video, “I am speaking to you as a brother. I speak to you in a simple way, with joy and yearning. Let us allow our yearning to grow, because this will propel us to find each other, to embrace one another and together to worship Jesus Christ as the only Lord of history.”
In another article written on this subject (3-11-14) by Prophecy News Watch reporter Christine Pasciuti, we read, “The Pope has stirred things up in recent weeks by sending a video message to Pentecostal Word of Faith leader Kenneth Copeland, urging reconciliation between Catholics and Charismatics. Anglican Episcopal Bishop and friend of the Pontiff, Tony Palmer, stated in an introduction to the video before Copeland’s live audience, ‘The Catholic and Charismatic Renewal is the hope of the Church,’ as ministry followers cheered him on.’”
Even more shocking is Tony Palmer’s daring proclamation in support of Pope Francis’ olive branch extension of love and unity to the Pentecostal movement. Palmer announces: “Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?” Followed by Kenneth Copeland’s equally audacious response: “Heaven is thrilled over this.”
Spiritual hugs? Allow our yearning to grow? Catholic and Charismatic Renewal is the hope of the Church? Heaven thrilled over this? Luther’s (Martin Luther) protest is over? Really? I beg to differ. I thought that Jesus Christ is the only hope of the Church.
How could our Lord possibly be thrilled over the adulteration of his gospel, which is precisely what happens when you mix salvation that comes from trusting exclusively in God’s grace and atoning sacrifice of Christ with righteousness acquired through self-effort and self-merit? Does the Son of God really want or need a renewal of catholic and charismatics (or any other such alliance) to restore unity in and guarantee survival of the true Church (those justified by faith, not by works)? Actually, in this case, Charismatic Christianity as represented by Kenneth Copeland’s teaching is, itself, an aberration of Biblical Christianity. But that’s another story and is not the real issue here.
The real problem is the Protestant movement—underway for several centuries now—seeking some sort of reconciled liaison with the very entity that caused the protest in the first place. Not only with the Catholic Church but with Islam, so much so that some evangelicals have coined a term to identify this insidious movement … Chrislam. More specifically, the issue is that enduring unity, love, and brotherhood cannot exist without a basic agreement that what we believe is a matter of life and death (heaven or hell). What we believe not only determines our destiny, but it regulates what we think, say, and do … how we relate to others who believe differently. The true Christian principle is: We can love them, but we shouldn’t join them. The love I’m referring to is the Biblical agape that is defined by right action (such as a genuine concern for their eternal destiny and sincerely sharing the truth of the gospel with them).
Truth versus Unity
You might ask, “What’s so wrong with Christian unity? Answer: Absolutely nothing. If, that is, unity and love are based in and on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And in the proverbial nutshell, that truth is encapsulated in and represented by Ephesians 2:8-9: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
And, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek … But the righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1: 16-17). Which is what compelled a Catholic Priest by the name of Martin Luther to boldly protest against the Catholic doctrine that claims a person is ultimately justified through self-actions that merit and maintain righteousness, or the granting of indulgences. If you doubt that Catholic dogma has changed to the point of assenting to mainstream Protestant or Evangelical or even Pentecostal emphasis of the Christian faith, just go online and read, The Catechism of the Catholic Church. The facts are clear: Catholicism still endorses a sophisticated set of rules, actions, and conditions that all Catholics in good standing must adhere to, in order to even have the chance of (pre-qualify) obtaining salvation and admittance to heaven.
Why would non-Catholic religious leaders like Bishop Tony Palmer and Kenneth Copeland reach back to the Pope and give him a spiritual hug; when, in fact, the very foundation of the Catholic Church is based on salvation through good works, keeping of non-Biblical sacraments, and God’s potential acceptance of the individual just because he or she is a baptized member of the Catholic Church? The answer is equally and sadly evident: Because some Protestant leaders have also distorted the gospel of Jesus Christ; replacing it with a system of man-made do(s) and don’t(s) that circumvent Biblical salvation of justification through faith in the substitutionary death of Christ, with a works-based, cultic, law-keeping self-righteousness that nullifies the very idea and sufficiency of God’s free gift of grace (through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son) to save us.
To further confirm that the Pope’s ultimate objective is to divide and conquer through the shroud of unity, listen to his statements on Islam made in Rome during an ecumenical style meeting of representatives from various religious groups, including Jews and Christians: “I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you….”
Much could be said about the one God referenced by the Pope, as books have been written on the matter of whether Allah is the same God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Old Testament; and in the new Testament, the Father who gave his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of all mankind (John 3:16). Having read much about this subject, I can assure you beyond any reasonable doubt whatsoever: Allah, the god of the Koran, is not the God of the Judaic-Christian faith as found in the Bible. The differences are many, but I will cite only one: It is blasphemy for a Muslim to believe that Allah has a son or could ever have a son; thus, no Muslim believes that Jesus is the divine son of God (Allah). Likewise with observant Jews; however, thousands upon thousands of Jews the world over have acknowledged the divinity of Jesus and have, in fact, accepted Him as both Messiah and Savior. So, too, are Muslims coming to Christ in increasing numbers.
Thus, it’s not just the Christian Protestants, but also the Muslims who are being courted by the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s very strange that unity and brotherhood would be used to divide and conquer, but that is exactly the strategy employed here. If you can separate (divide) the marginal Christian (those unsure of their salvation … susceptible to the notion that love and unity should be gained at all cost, even at the expense of truth) from those who truly have been redeemed by believing in the shed blood of Christ, then you will have recaptured many of those who previously dissented from or protested against the universal, ecclesiastical government known as the Roman Catholic Church—that claims divine control over the residents of its kingdom.
The Woman Who Sits on the Scarlet Beast
This tactic is precisely what God calls (spiritual) prostitution and adultery in Scripture, of which Israel was guilty as described in the Old Testament. Such as, “When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, ‘Go and marry a prostitute … This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshipping other gods’” (Hosea 1:2). Of which the woman sitting on the scarlet beast was/is guilty, as graphically depicted in the New Testament. “…I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality” (Revelation 17: 1-2).
For those who wonder or doubt exactly who and what the woman of Revelation 17 and Babylon of Revelation 18 represent, please refer to the Eye of Prophecy articles entitled The Woman and the Beast (Parts I-VI), posted successively 10-12-13 through 11-16-13. The woman and Babylon are identified with a great deal of Biblical and historical documentation. For sake of time/space in this article, suffice to say that this woman was the ancient Roman Empire of the first century (when Revelation was written), and is currently the Holy Roman Empire, represented by the Roman Catholic Church and personified by its Supreme Vicar, the Pope, who governs with great authority from the Vatican. Babylon is the encoded name for the city that sets on seven hills, none other than ancient (and modern) Rome.
The woman of Revelation 17 is alive and well. Both deliberately and unwittingly she is preparing the earth for the scarlet beast on which she will seek to exert her influence toward world-wide collaboration of all those who will worship the beast upon his return from the abyss. The beast and the ten tribulation kings who give him their allegiance will turn on the woman and utterly destroy her. Until such time the woman will endeavor to ply her wiles on an unsuspecting world, all too eager to pursue a warm, fuzzy, kum ba ya type of love and unity, while sacrificially discarding the very truth that can save them.
What Pope Francis has done in just a short time since he became the Supreme Pontiff is both remarkable and unprecedented. Never before (certainly not to this extent) has a Roman Catholic Pope reached out with such conciliation as he has done with Protestants—especially the Pentecostals—and Muslims and Jews. Together these three groups comprise nearly two billion people in the world, alongside of the one billion Catholics. From the vantage point of the Protestants and Muslims, this olive branch could easily be construed as the Catholic Church’s willingness to modify certain beliefs and practices for the sake of dialogue and even fellowship between these religious groups. However, it’s anything but compromise. It’s clever conciliation through appeasement, mollification, and pacification. I mean, it can’t get much better than all Roman Catholics wanting to be one with all Protestants, and all Muslims, and all Jews (the Pope has made several conciliatory statements regarding the Jews and is planning a rare Papal visit to Israel next month).
Is love important? Of course it is. In fact, Jesus said love is how his true disciples will be identified by unbelievers. But the key operative condition in order for this love to be properly defined and expressed is that the one defining and displaying it must first be a true believer, i.e. personally believe/receive Christ’ atoning death on the Cross. Is unity to be pursued? For sure, but not if the truth of the gospel is distorted or replaced in the process.
“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, ‘You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8: 31-32). From other teachings of Jesus, we know that in this passage he is referring to freedom from enslavement to sin and pursuit of all things that lead to dissolution and destruction, and eternal separation from God, in hell. Not love, not unity, not brotherhood, but truth leads to real freedom and liberty. All of these other things are a supernatural by-product of knowing and experiencing the truth. And just what is the truth? Jesus answers that with an astonishingly exclusive proclamation. He said, “I am the truth.” Also the “way and the life” (John 14:6).
Thus, the Pope’s recent words and actions are nothing short of bewildering. But there’s more.
Vatican Control of Jerusalem Holy Sites?
Part of the framework of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs as presented and promoted by US Secretary of State, John Kerry, calls for holy sites in Eastern Jerusalem to be placed under the control of an “international administrative mandate.” The clear-cut composition of this administrative body is still in the making; however, one strong recommendation would designate the Vatican (alongside of Muslim nations such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia) to assume administrative jurisdiction of all Holy Sites, not the least of which would be the Temple Mount, where the ancient Jewish Temples once stood and where the Muslim Dome of the Rock mosque currently stands.
The Vatican? Yes, you read that correctly. It is, after all, a State that has been afforded diplomatic recognition by the United Nations. How would or could the Vatican work together with Israel and Turkey and Saudi Arabia (both enemies of the Jews) to maintain peace and tranquility over these Holy Sites? Your guess is as good as mine; however, this proposal is a contemporary representation of what the ancient Roman Empire and its successor the Holy See has done off and on for the last 2000 years … meaning control of holy sites and a good many unholy sites by seduction, division, compromise, intrigue, that led to military and religious rule over kings, queens, princes, and nations who both willingly and unwillingly became bedfellows.
Yes, you also read that correctly. Holy See Astronomers.
According to Popular Science there is an instrument attached to the University of Arizona’s Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) located on Mt. Graham in southeastern Arizona (my home state). This instrument and telescope are used primarily to search for intergalactic life on other planets that may be similar in size and physics to the earth. And for whatever reason, this telescope and instrument attachment has been designated (named): Large Binocular Telescope Near-Infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research.
Now, what do you suppose the acronym is for this long-worded (winded) piece of equipment? For that matter, why does it need a name or acronym in the first place? Why not limit it to LBT? Because the full name of the instrument doesn’t precisely match the acronym, it’s a safe assumption to say that the acronym was deliberately contrived. If you weren’t told the acronym, it would be very difficult to figure it out. So, I’ll eliminate any more suspense and tell you what these “scientists” have dubbed their extraterrestrial machine. They call it: LUCIFER!
Shocked? If, not, we should be. Why would astronomers (and all that goes with the idea of science and scientist) name this technical equipment—used to search for life in outer-space—after Satan, also known as Lucifer?
But wait, there’s more: Could you possibly guess what is housed right next door to LUCIFER?
I couldn’t have guessed either. None other than a second telescope called the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, owned by the Vatican and used by Vatican astronomers! It’s one thing for Vatican astronomers to believe in extra-terrestrial life in the universe. It’s quite another for one of their astronomers, Guy Consolmagno, to publicly state that aliens could actually be the “saviors of humankind.”
Moreover, the website Truth Wins reported that researcher Tom Horn discovered that there are those in the Roman Catholic Church who contend that Jesus is a descendant of aliens and that Mary’s conception and virgin birth occurred after she was abducted by these aliens. That’s more than just crazy. It’s outright blasphemy. Had it originated from an agnostic or from one of the many televised programs promoting theories that aliens are the origin of many wonders of the earth (such as the pyramids), we would have simply considered the source. But for a member/representative of the Catholic Church that purports to be the true representative of Christ on earth to make such a statement … well, we’ll leave that entirely in God’s hands to deal with.
Once Again: Truth vs Unity (Should be, but not necessarily compatible)
There are many of us who agree that Israel and the Palestinians will never reach true peace and unity without the Prince of Peace to lead them. Why? Because the Arabs refuse to consider the TRUTH that the Jews have been given the land of Israel by God, himself. They will not even comply with the only prerequisite for peace negotiations requested by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu … that Israel be acknowledged and accepted as a Jewish State.
Likewise, there can be no unity or peace or reconciliation between the Roman Catholic Church (or Muslims) and those Protestants (and even some Catholics) who believe that redemption comes exclusively by trusting in the finished work of Christ on the Cross, until unity is based on that TRUTH.
Lest you think that truth and love can’t be at odds one with the other, or that they must be innately compatible, or that love (however love is defined) can trump truth by overcoming differences in beliefs, then listen to Psalms 85:10: “Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!” In order for these concepts to meet and kiss, they first must be separate or apart one from the other. This profound gem of Scripture is simply saying that true love (understanding of and genuine consideration for God and for our fellow-man) is not really effective or meaningful unless it is first reconciled with the absolute truth of God’s plan of salvation for mankind. Also, lasting peace (unity)—apart from right standing with God (the righteousness given to us by Christ, himself)—simply isn’t possible for mankind because a right relationship with God is the very foundation of peace (with both God and mankind) in the first place. “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lords has done for us” (Romans 5:1).
Love, peace, and brotherhood absent truth and righteousness is like the warmth of the sun’s rays without the light of the sun. Why would anyone ever want one without the other? God made the sun. He IS love and truth!
Two weeks ago my article, Beware of the Bear, warned us of the resurgent rise of Russia, and how this restoration of power and prestige in the world fits accurately with the Gag/Magog prophetic attack against Israel found in Ezekiel 38 & 39. This week’s article reminds us that the once mighty Roman Empire still flourishes under the guise of a seductive woman dressed in, “purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality … she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus” (Revelation 17: 4-6).
In the very next chapter the angel warns John (and all true believers in Christ): “Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her. For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God remembers her evil deeds” (Revelation 18: 4-5).
More so than ever before, this woman seeks to subvert through seduction, compromise, tolerance, and clever politically correct words and gestures that will mislead all but the most vigilant and diligent of those who cherish the truth of the one and only true God and His Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. For without Biblical truth that leads to salvation, righteousness, and eternal life, true love can never be successfully defined, understood, and shared between people, both religious and non-religious.
These recent activities of the Roman Catholic Church (the woman of Revelation) once again demonstrate just how close we are to the glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Things to Ponder
How is it that all religious paths can lead to God, when the very belief system of religions disagree on who God is or even if he exists (atheism), or how a person is saved (salvation), or what determines a person’s eternal destiny, or our definitions of love, unity, brotherhood, and truth itself … which, in turn, determines our morality, behavior, and our very lifestyle?
We who are redeemed by Christ and Christ alone should bear no animosity whatsoever toward Catholics, Muslims, or to any follower of other religions or cults or aberrant lifestyles. But we must separate ourselves from what they believe and practice. To fellowship with them under the mantle of brotherly love would be no different from an American soldier crossing enemy lines, putting on the uniform of the enemy, and then demanding that the Americans surrender or else. Or else, what? Time will tell.