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THE CITY OF ROME IN PROPHECY

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FOREWORD

This 'Foreword' is a brief summary of my message on the 70-Weeks prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). In that prophecy God gave the world two timetables; a 69-week timetable leading up to the first coming of Jesus Christ, and a remaining 70th week leading up to His second coming. The 69-week timetable consisted of 69 'weeks' of years, each week lasting for 7 years (for a total of 483 years). Jesus fulfilled that timetable when He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, four days before His crucifixion.

The 70th week, however, is not like the first 69 weeks; it is not a week of 7 regular calendar years. Rather, it is the great week of the Abrahamic Covenant; beginning roughly 4000 years ago with God's promises to Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (by the Romans), and soon to be completed at the second coming of Jesus Christ.


THE GREAT WEEK OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

The first three pages in the prophecy section of this web site (Introduction to Prophecy, The Olivet Discourse, and The Timetable for Jesus' Return) explain these things in detail. To put it simply, Jesus has told us (in His 'Olivet Discourse') that the midpoint of the 70th Week is the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. Then God gave the world four visions of the entire 70th Week in John's Little Book. John received the Little Book in Revelation chapter 10, and has set its contents before us in Revelation chapters 11-13. When we combine the Olivet Discourse with John's four visions, the nature of the 70th Week becomes obvious.

The first vision, of 'The Temple and the Courtyard' (Revelation 11:1-2), describes the second half of the week as a time during which the Temple Mount in Jerusalem would be given to the Gentiles:


THE TEMPLE AND THE COURTYARD

The second vision, of 'The Two Witnesses' (Revelation 11:3-12), describes God's giving of the entire Bible ('the Law and the Prophets') to the world during the first half of the week, and then portrays the dead bodies of God's servants lying in the city of Jerusalem throughout the second half of the week. This is a picture of the guilt of the Jewish nation for their persecution of God's prophets during Old Testament times, their crucifixion of Christ, their continuing persecution of Christ's disciples, and their opposition to the proclamation of the gospel to a human race desperately in need of it.


THE TWO WITNESSES

The third vision, of 'The Woman, the Child and the Dragon' (Revelation 12), describes Israel's bringing of the promised Messiah and 'seed' of Abraham into the world, followed by the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world for the following 1900+ years. While the second vision of 'The Two Witnesses' portrays the guilt of the Jewish nation, this third vision reveals God's preservation of that nation through many years of wandering and difficulty throughout the world. In addition, this vision explains the ultimate source of the world's persecution of the Jewish people over the past 1900+ years; a defeated and bitter archangel. The 'casting out of Satan' is one of the great themes of the New Testament, and sheds much light upon the history of the world over the past 1900+ years.


THE WOMAN, THE CHILD AND THE DRAGON

The fourth and final vision, of 'The Beast From the Sea' (Revelation 13), describes God's authorization of the Beast of Revelation to continue in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week.


THE BEAST FROM THE SEA

This perspective on the 70th Week of Daniel is based upon the simple and obvious meaning of God's word. With it we can see that God has explained world history to us in a very accurate and useful way. And He has shown us that we are now living very late in the second half of the 70th Week. It is this perspective on the 70th Week that is the foundation for everything else that I have to say about prophecy in this web site. Without a willingness to at least consider the possibility that I am correct, any further time that my visitor might spend in the prophecy section of this web site will be of little use.

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THE CITY OF ROME IN PROPHECY

STARTING WITH THE BEAST

The city of Rome has gone through many changes during its 2500+ year history. It went from a small town on the Tiber River in Italy, to the governmental seat of the great Roman Republic and Empire. After the Roman Civil War of 69 AD, it became a cultural and religious hub for Roman paganism in an increasingly diverse and decentralized Empire. And finally, with the rise of the emperor Constantine, it became the headquarters of a new 'Roman' version of Christianity; Roman Catholicism.

I have explained much of what the Bible has to say about the history of Rome in my web page titled Understanding the Beast. I urge my reader to examine that page before reading this one. In that web page I explain why the Woman, called 'Babylon' in Revelation 17, is the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), and why she is destroyed by fire in Revelation 18. I start with Rome's beginnings as the iron legs and feet of the image in Daniel 2, and the fourth Beast of Daniel 7. I then explain Rome's transition from being the one-headed Beast of Daniel 7, to riding upon the seven-headed Beast of Revelation. And I explain the special relationship that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) has enjoyed with the United States since America's earliest days; a relationship that I believe will define America in the final 'prophetic hour'.

IMAGE OF DANIEL 2


FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL 7

It is important to understand the city of Rome from both a historical and a religious perspective. I provide the historical perspective in my web page Understanding the Beast. I provide the religious perspective in this web page, and explain the reasons why God has judged Roman Catholic 'Babylon', has reserved a unique punishment for her, and will cause the 10 horns of the Beast to destroy her with fire in the final 'prophetic hour' (Revelation 17:16-17).

THE WHITE HORSE OF ROME

The simplest, most straightforward prophecies regarding the history of Rome since the first coming of Christ are found in two passages of the New Testament; in Jesus' Olivet Discourse and in Revelation chapter 6. These two prophecies, though completely independent and separate from one another, are in complete agreement regarding their description of Rome's role on the world stage from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD until the second coming of Christ.

In order to compare these two passages, it is first necessary to understand the context in which Jesus gave His 'Olivet Discourse'. Just two days prior to His crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples that the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple was approaching. Later that day, as they all sat together on the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem, the disciples asked Jesus two questions:

    1)  When would this destruction of Jerusalem occur?
    2)  When would this judgment upon Jerusalem be fulfilled or completed, so that Jesus could come back and restore the kingdom of David in Israel?
ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES

Jesus answered the disciples in a roundabout way. Their questions focused upon the 'bookends' of Israel's future; upon the approaching destruction of Jerusalem and upon Jesus' second coming to restore Israel. But Jesus began His answer by describing the period of time between these two events. This period is the second half of Daniel's 70th Week, extending from Jerusalem's destruction in 70 AD until the second coming of Christ (see The Timetable for Jesus' Return). This period is also referred to in Revelation as 'the Great Tribulation' (Revelation 7:13-14). It is called the 'Great Tribulation' because it is the period of Satan's angry presence here upon earth, after being cast out of heaven (see the vision of 'The Woman, the Child and the Dragon' in Revelation 12).

The key to recognizing the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in Jesus' answer lies in realizing that both Jesus' warnings and the six seals of Revelation chapter 6 are descriptions of the exact same things. These two passages describe the two overriding traits of Roman Catholicism: 1) deceptively coming in the name of Jesus Christ and claiming to serve Him, and 2) waging war in the name of Christ.

We must understand the fundamental deception of Constantine, the founder of Roman Catholicism. Constantine saw a vision instructing him to wage war and to conquer the world under the banner of the cross. Such an idea is directly contrary to all that the Bible tells us about Jesus as the gentle Savior and 'Lamb of God'. And it contradicts everything that Christ and His apostles instructed Christians to do. Nevertheless, Constantine proceeded to obey the vision, and with his subsequent victories he gained a great many followers, including many professing Christians who were tired of being persecuted, and longed to be on 'the winning side'.

In first five sections below, I present the first five seals of Revelation chapter 6, followed by the corresponding words of the Lord Jesus in the Olivet Discourse. The first four of these seals describe the famous 'four horsemen of the Apocalypse'. They are the four horsemen of Roman Catholic militancy.

four horsemen
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF ROMAN CATHOLIC MILITANCY

    1)  The White Horse of False Christianity:

And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four creatures saying "Come and see". And I saw, and behold a white horse, and he that sat on him had a bow, and a crown was given unto him. And he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Revelation 6:1-2

And Jesus answered and said unto them "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying 'I am Christ', and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:4-5

It is the 'militant Christianity' of Constantine, claiming to wage war in holiness, that is symbolized by the conqueror on a white horse. But it is not only Constantine that is represented here; it is every king, general and tyrant (including Adolf Hitler) who has gone forth to wage war with the blessings of the RCC, conquering in the name of Christianity and Rome.

One of the things that the RCC has always been careful to maintain is 'deniability'; to claim that it has no blood on its own hands. While war has been waged by soldiers, Rome's priests have carefully limited their activities to preaching from the pulpit and performing the religious rites of Catholicism. The feminine robes and gowns of Rome's priests have served to reinforce this false front of harmlessness and detachment from war.

Rome has always carefully maintained a distinction (but not a separation) between 'church and state'. This distinction between the RCC, and those who do her fighting 'in the trenches', is represented prophetically in Revelation 17 by the fact that the Woman rides upon the back of the militant 'Beast'. But the discerning reader recognizes that the Woman holds the reins of the Beast in her hands, directing its aggression as she pleases.


    2)  The Red Horse of War:

And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second creature say "Come and see". And there went out another horse that was red. And power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. And there was given unto him a great sword.

Revelation 6:3-4

And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass. But the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Matthew 24:6-7

    3 & 4)  The Black and Pale Horses of Famine and Pestilence:

The third and fourth seals of Revelation 6 simply describe the natural consequences of war. Another word for 'pestilence' is disease. Starvation and disease run rampant among populations that have been ravaged by war. The original Greek word translated 'earthquakes' in Matthew 24:7 (below) is 'seismos', from which we derive our English word 'seismic'. But in the original Greek this word simply meant a 'shaking' or 'disturbance' of some kind, and does not necessarily mean 'earthquake'. It can be translated 'commotion' or 'upheaval', and may refer to the disruption men and nations during times of war.

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third creature say "Come and see". And I beheld a black horse. And he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say "A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny. And see you hurt not the oil and the wine.

And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth creature say "Come and see". And I looked, and behold a pale horse. And his name that sat on him was 'Death'. And Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Revelation 6:5-8

And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

Matthew 24:7

    5)  The Persecution of Christians:

In Revelation 17:6 the RCC is described as being 'drunk with the blood of the saints'. This is an accurate description of Rome's centuries of oppression against all those who have 'protested' against her false Christianity, exposing her erroneous claims and teachings.

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying "How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" And white robes were given unto every one of them. And it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Revelation 6:9-11

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and you shall be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.

Matthew 24:9-14

At this point, after describing these five traits of the Great Tribulation, Jesus began to address the things that His disciples had asked about. First Jesus described the approaching destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, which would mark the beginning of the Great Tribulation:

When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso reads, let him understand), then let them which are in Judea flee into the mountains. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Matthew 24:15-21

    6)  The Sun Darkened, Stars Falling from Heaven, the grief of a rebellious human race:

Then Jesus described the events that would follow the Great Tribulation, and would immediately precede His second coming. Notice how closely His description corresponds with the sixth seal of Revelation 6.

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together. And every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and rocks "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 6:12-17

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Matthew 24:29-31

A NUCLEAR ATTACK

It is my personal belief (which I explain more fully in my web page titled Understanding the Beast) that the darkening of the sun and moon, along with stars falling to earth are a picture of a sudden, unexpected nuclear attack upon Roman Catholic 'Babylon' (including the United States) that is foretold in Revelation 17:16, and then described in Revelation 18. I believe that the words of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, and the six seals of Revelation 6 are specifically prophetic of the rise of Roman Catholicism under Constantine, and the ultimate destruction of the 'Roman Catholic world' just prior to the second coming of Christ.

"The Stars Will Fall From Heaven" (Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:25, Revelation 6:13)

There is no single star of any size in the universe that could ever fall to earth. The laws of gravity dictate that earth would always fall toward the much more massive star, rather than the other way around. In any case, earth would be completely consumed by heat before getting anywhere near any real star. But in the passages above we see multiple stars falling to earth. Thermonuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs) are instantaneous, split-second recreations of stars. In my opinion a student of the Bible is left with two options; either a literal interpretation that suggests a thermonuclear attack, or a symbolic interpretation that makes these stars represent some spiritual truth.

The events of the sixth seal mark the arrival of a very important biblical event; the 'Day of the Lord'. This is the 'day of His wrath' that terrified men refer to in Revelation 6, and that Peter also describes in very concrete terms:

"Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?"

Revelation 6:16-17

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

2 Peter 3:10-13

This 'Day of the Lord' is described over 20 times by the Old Testament prophets. Below are three examples of their warnings:

For the Day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.

And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low; and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols He shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver and his idols of gold (which they made each one for himself to worship) to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord and for the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake terribly the earth.

Isaiah 2:12, 17-21

Behold, the Day of the Lord comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light. The sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity. And I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Isaiah 13:9-11

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake. But the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

Joel 3:14-16

In summary, I believe that the 'falling stars' of Revelation 6:13 represent a surprise nuclear attack upon 'Babylon'; the greater Roman Catholic world. This attack is further described in Revelation 18. I believe that this attack will immediately precede the second coming of Christ and His conflict with the remaining nations of the world, described in terms of the trumpets and bowls of Revelation. God has a uniquely fierce anger toward Rome, for the reasons that are explained in this web page. This is why His wrath will be poured out upon the Roman Catholic world first, as a distinct and separate aspect of His judgment upon the world.

One might ask 'How can God judge the entire Roman Catholic world?' After all the Roman Catholic 'west' is comprised of many people with varying religious values and beliefs. The answer is that soon, in these last days, we are going to be introduced to the 'Mark of the Beast'. This is a 'Mark' that God warns us about in His word (Revelation 13:16-18, 14:9-12), telling us that those who receive it will fall under His eternal judgment. It will be through the imposition of this 'Mark' that people will be compelled to choose between obeying God and disobeying Him.

It is in the context of this broad worldwide separation over the 'Mark' that we must understand the destruction of 'Babylon'. God will have already separated His own people from the rest of rebellious humanity when He commences a series of judgments that will begin with 'Babylon' before confronting the rest of mankind.

But what about Christians who may still be alive on earth when this attack comes? In Revelation chapter 7 we are given a picture of God's activity during the split second after the nuclear attack of the sixth seal. The four winds of the earth, that have the ability to spread the fires and radiation of that attack, will be restrained until God can mark His chosen people in Israel and remove Christians from the earth. Many Christians refer to this 'removal' as the 'rapture'. This rapture is also referred to in the Bible as 'the first resurrection':

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Daniel 12:2

Behold, I shew you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:51

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them. And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the Beast, nor his image, nor had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection. Upon such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Revelation 20:4-6

In Revelation 7 we are shown a picture of these Christians gathering joyfully before God's throne. Some will be people who died long ago in faithfulness to Christ, whose souls will have been united with new, immortal bodies. Others will be Christians who were present on earth when God's judgment fell upon Babylon, and whose bodies and souls were instantly changed and removed from the earth.

After this I beheld a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues, which stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and with palms in their hands. And they cried with a loud voice saying "Salvation to our God Who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb".

Revelation 7:9-11

The events of Revelation chapter 7 are presented to us between the sixth and seventh seals. The seventh seal initiates the seven trumpets of Revelation, with the first four trumpets depicting a world where the land, sky, oceans and fresh waters are all severely damaged; the logical consequence of the nuclear attack that I believe is revealed in the sixth seal.

In our present day there are increasing criticisms of people who value Bible prophecy. We are accused of unreasonable pessimism, and of wanting dreadful things to happen. We are accused of having a self-justifying interest in war and the destruction of mankind. Furthermore, it is claimed that our expectation of these things increases the likelihood that they will actually happen; that we may bend our efforts (either consciously or subconsciously) to make them happen. Thus evangelical Christians today are increasingly portrayed as 'hindrances to human progress' and 'enemies of mankind'. This is all a part of Satan's plan to discount the value of prophecy while simultaneously raising persecution against Christians.

It is true that some professing Christians delight in the prospect of mankind's future suffering. Many erroneously believe that they cannot lose their salvation (see The Necessity of Christian Perseverance), and also mistakenly expect that they are going to be raptured off of the earth before having to endure persecution or to make a choice about the 'Mark of the Beast'. I fear that many of these hypocrites will ultimately find themselves on the wrong side of God's judgments.

But the real question is this: 'Is the Bible itself inherently pessimistic, or optimistic?' Is the biblical message fundamentally about a God who likes to destroy people, or about a God who prefers to forgive people, and will ultimately save a countless number of them for all eternity? Who is the optimist, the person who trusts that Jesus will come back and restore the earth to a Millennium of peace and prosperity, or the person who trusts a human race that has been waging war endlessly for thousands of years?

The apostle Paul was not a hater of mankind. He was a most loving and faithful servant to his fellow man. But Paul was realistic about human nature, and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he has foretold the false optimism of mankind just before the 'Day of the Lord':

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say "Peace and safety!", then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day. We are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

It is true that many evangelical Christians have loved war and believed that violence can serve God's purposes. Centuries of Roman Catholic, Muslim and Protestant bloodshed now intrude into our discussion about what can save humanity, leaving many concluding that religion itself is the root cause of mankind's problems. This is just as Satan would have it. Satan has used religious hypocrisy to 'turn people off to Christianity' for centuries.

But the answer is not to reject religion out of hand. The answer (as I explain in the following sections of this web page) is to open up the Bible and allow God to speak directly to us. This is how we can escape the deceptions that come at us from every direction, and meet the Prince of Peace for ourselves. He Himself is the truth, and one of the fruits of His Spirit is gentleness.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. For the anger of man works not the righteousness of God.

James 1:19-20

ROME'S NEW RELIGION

The fifth prophecy in the book of Daniel, which extends from chapter 10 through chapter 12, describes the future of Israel from the days of the Persian Empire to the second coming of Christ. Because it is a very detailed prophecy, it is beyond the scope of this web page to explain it. However, I believe that in Daniel chapter 11 we find a brief description of Roman Catholicism as it was revealed to Daniel over 2500 years ago:

And the king shall do according to his will. He shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation (against Israel) be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces. And a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

Daniel 11:36-38

In this passage we see four things:

    1)  The king will exalt himself above all gods, including the one true living God.
    2)  He will not regard the god of his fathers (the pagan gods of Rome).
    3)  He will practice celibacy, not regarding 'the desire of women'.
    4)  He will honor a 'god of forces'; in other words a militant god.

Who was this new Roman 'God of forces'? It is the militant Jesus of Constantine, who instructed him to wage war under the banner of the cross. It is not the Jesus of the Bible, who was so meek and mild that He is called 'the Lamb of God'. Jesus patiently endured the treachery of Jewish leaders and the brutality of Roman soldiers, pouring Himself out to the point of death in order to make forgiveness possible for them. He taught His disciples to bless their enemies. In this passage from Daniel we find the 'war-making Jesus' of Rome, providing the RCC with 'divine authority' for its worldwide wars and conquests over the past 1700 years.

A TOOL IN SATAN'S HANDS

Since the rise of 'Conquering Constantine', many more Roman Catholic 'Conquistadors' have gone forth on their 'white horses' to wage 'holy wars', crusades, inquisitions and persecutions in the name of Jesus Christ. Worldwide bloodshed, famine, pestilence, and the deaths of countless people have followed. Now, in these last days before the second coming of Christ, Rome portrays itself as the champion of religious harmony and world peace. But behind Rome's facade lies a long trail of deceit, blood and death.

The Roman Catholic Church is an instrument that Satan has created for attacking the human race. Rome has been a potent tool in his hands that has been destructive in three ways:

    1) Rome's pseudo-Christianity has sent millions of deceived Roman Catholic church members to eternal damnation with false hope and confidence.

    2) Rome's wars, waged both against nations and against Protestant Christianity, have sent millions to their deaths and have suppressed the proclamation of the genuine Christian gospel.

    3) Rome's religious hypocrisy, greed, and violence have driven countless people throughout the world to reject Christianity altogether, because they have believed that Roman Christianity is true Christianity.

Satan doesn't care whether he destroys people with the sharp point of a sword or the soft point of a lie, just as long as they join him in his eternal doom. He, like the Pharaoh of Egypt that Moses confronted in the book of Exodus, continues to resist God even after he has been defeated, taking as many people with him into the 'Red Sea' of God's judgment as he can. Satan's wickedness was described by the prophet Isaiah:

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High". Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see you shall narrowly look upon you, and consider you, saying "Is this the one that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?" All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But you are cast out of your grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, and slain your people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

Isaiah 14:12-20

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Christianity is, indeed, a fighting religion. But it's fight is against Satan, not against men, and its weapons are spiritual, not physical.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:10-12

Christianity fights on behalf of all men, to deliver them from Satan. True Christians reject war (Matthew 26:52, Revelation 13:10), which is fought primarily for worldly wealth (James 4:1-4). Instead they strive spiritually and suffer patiently in order to bring blessing to a deceived humanity, while seeking to defeat the deceiver. They hope, by patiently sharing in Jesus' own sufferings and hardships, to be worthy to accompany Him when He comes back to reign on earth.

Jesus is the only One who can wage war righteously, and vengeance belongs to Him alone. When He comes, He will ride a white horse, like Rome's conquerors do. But His clothing will not be white; it will be blood-red. And unlike the false conqueror in Revelation 6:1, this Conqueror will have a name:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse. And He that sat upon him was called 'Faithful and True', and in righteousness He does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, on His head were many crowns, and He had a name written that no man knew but he Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called 'The Word of God'. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:11-16

It saddens me to see the celebration of militarism that goes on in many Protestant churches today. Young men who have 'joined the service' are openly honored and given a 'free pass' in Protestant worship services, especially if they wear their uniforms to church. There is little or no concern about the blood that they will shed, and thoughts of earthly 'patriotism' overshadow concerns about citizenship in God's kingdom.


WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT CHRISTIAN

In the second section of this web page (above), I quoted the words of the Lord Jesus from the Olivet Discourse, and said that they are His description of the Roman Catholic Church:

And Jesus answered and said unto them "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying 'I am Christ', and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:4-5

A question that needs to be asked is this: What did Jesus mean when He said that these deceivers would say 'I am Christ'? Did He mean that they would say that Jesus is the Christ? Or did He mean that the deceivers would claim that they themselves are Christ? The answer, as it turns out, is 'Both!'. These deceivers would say that Jesus is the Christ, and they would also claim that they themselves are Christ. How can this be?

A few years ago I was watching a travelogue on TV, where a man was taking people on a televised tour of Israel. As I listened to him express his belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and his clear presentation of the doctrine of the Trinity, I wondered if I was listening to an evangelical Protestant. But eventually the man made a reference to the 'blessed virgin', and ultimately revealed his belief that Rome is the one true church. Just as it was initially difficult for me to determine where this man was 'coming from', it has also been hard for many to discern the difference between Roman Catholicism and biblical Christianity. This is because while Rome comes in the name of Jesus, and declares that He is the Christ, it also seeks to take the place of Christ in the hearts and minds of men.

How does Rome do this? First it is necessary to understand the three 'offices' that men occupied during Old Testament times in Israel; the offices of prophet, priest and king. During those times God chose and 'anointed' certain people to fulfill these roles. But God also made it clear that these Old Testament offices were pointing forward, prophetically to a single man who would someday occupy all of them; a man who would be the world's final, ultimate and everlasting Prophet, Priest and King.

The key to understanding Rome's falsehood is to realize that, while declaring that Jesus is the Christ, from the days of Constantine Rome has sought to steal the three biblical offices that belong to Jesus Christ alone:

Prophet, Priest and King

PROPHET

When Constantine first legalized Christianity, he discovered that Christians were divided over what the Bible teaches. He could not use Christians as a powerful, cohesive political force if they were not united. So Constantine began the tradition of convening ecumenical councils in order to define 'catholic' Christianity (the word 'catholic' means pure, genuine or 'orthodox'). Constantine's final product would be 'Roman' catholicism. The first such council occurred at Nicea in 325 AD. Apparently Constantine didn't think that the Bible was an adequate expression of truth, or that God is an able communicator. The fact is, Constantine's seeming zeal for Christian truth masked his real agenda; to use the Bible as a political tool which would serve Rome.

Ever since that time Rome has claimed sole authority to interpret the Bible, as well as the authority to add to it (through her traditions and the proclamations of her councils and Popes). Rome does not define faith as believing God; Rome defines faith as believing Rome. In doing this it has denied the prophetic authority and finality of the Lord Jesus Christ, of His apostles, and of the Bible itself. While claiming apostolic authority from the apostle Peter, Rome has trashed genuine apostolic authority.

A simple Bible in the hands of common men, written by God's original apostles and prophets, has always been Rome's greatest fear. She has done everything within her power to suppress or destroy it, because through the Bible God speaks directly to people, opens their eyes to the truth, draws them directly to the Savior, and exposes Rome for what it really is. This is why the invention of the printing press (and the subsequent translation and distribution of the Bible throughout the world) sparked the Reformation, and has caused so much trouble for Rome.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book; "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Revelation 22:18-19

PRIEST

Constantine feared that if he sinned after being baptized, he would go to hell; so he put off his baptism until he was on his deathbed. This approach to baptism was not uncommon in his time, but it reveals two serious errors. First, Constantine apparently believed that the sacraments have saving power in and of themselves. This idea is known as 'sacramentalism'. Secondly, he seemed to think that a person can do whatever he wants throughout life, and then use a sacrament to cover his tracks and enter heaven. These ideas remain hallmarks of Roman Catholicism to this day. Rome teaches that her priests have the ability to infuse saving power into the sacraments, and that these sacraments can be used to change the eternal destinies of people's souls, even after they are dead and buried, through sacrifices (Masses) offered on behalf of the dead.

There are only two sacraments in biblical Christianity; baptism and communion (or the Lord's Supper). They were given to instruct and remind mankind concerning God's way of salvation, by symbolizing unity with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. Both of them were introduced by men who made it clear that they were only symbolic, and did not have any saving power. Baptism was introduced by John the Baptist, who said that one must be baptized by the Holy Spirit, not water, in order to be saved (Matthew 3:11-12). Jesus introduced communion, and said that the bread and the wine should be eaten 'in remembrance' of Him (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

There is not a single hint in the Gospels, the book of Acts, or in any of the letters of the Apostles indicating that communion or water baptism were ever viewed as having any saving power (see Baptism and Pentecost). It is only a 'new birth' experienced through union with Christ, preceded first by personal repentance and faith, that saves a person (see God's Forgiveness). This union with Christ is achieved by the Holy Spirit; not by a priest or a sacrament.

The author of the New Testament book of Hebrews went to great lengths to contrast the Old Testament priests of Israel (from the tribe of Levi), and the new priesthood of Jesus Christ that has replaced them (Hebrews 6:19-10:18), pointing out the shortcomings of the old system.

MANY DYING PRIESTS   vs.   ONE ETERNAL PRIEST
(Hebrews 7:23-25)

MORALLY FLAWED, IMPERFECT PRIESTS   vs.   A TESTED, PROVEN, HOLY PRIEST
(Hebrews 7:26-28)

AN EARTHLY ALTAR AND TEMPLE   vs.   A HEAVENLY ALTAR AND TEMPLE
(Hebrews 8 & 9)

POWERLESS SACRIFICES OFFERED REPEATEDLY   vs.   ONE POWERFUL SACRIFICE OFFERED ONCE
(Hebrews 9:25-28, 10:10-14)

As one looks at this list, it is obvious that Rome's priesthood is very similar to the Old Testament Hebrew priesthood, with all of its shortcomings. There is one important difference between Israel and Rome however; Israel was authorized and instructed by God to institute its priesthood as an instructive foreshadowing of the coming Savior. Rome, however, has no such authority. In fact, Rome has instituted its priesthood in direct disobedience to God, willfully ignoring the fact that the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem marked the final replacement of the old Jewish priesthood with Christ's new and eternal priesthood in heaven (Hebrews 8:13).

The Old Testament animal sacrifices were offered over and over again. The author of Hebrews wrote that this repetition was a clear indication that they were not working. Rome's repeated sacrifices reflect the same powerlessness. Jesus has taken His own blood into God's true Temple in Heaven, and there it has been offered once for all, effective for all eternity (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 9:26,28,10:12,18).

Rome has entered into direct competition with God for the souls of men. God says that we must come directly to Jesus, and know Him personally, to be saved. Rome's priests say that we must come to Rome to be saved. Can there be any greater blasphemy against God?

It is for this reason that God has portrayed the Roman Catholic Church as a whore with a golden cup in her hands (Revelation 17:4). He says that this cup contains her filthiness and abominations. This is the cup (or chalice) that Rome's priests use in their Mass. Rome's priests claim to have the power to change the wine (or grape juice) of this cup into the literal blood of Christ (they call this 'Transubstantiation'), which they then claim to offer to God for the forgiveness of people's sins. It is this attempt to replace the priesthood of Christ, and to interfere with people coming directly to Jesus through simple prayer and the reading of God's word, that has prompted God to reserve a unique judgment for the Roman Catholic church (Revelation 17:16-17).


cup

The Mass
THE CUP IN THE WOMAN'S HAND
Revelation 17:4

KING

Constantine's first and most famous claim was that God showed him a vision of a cross, and said "Conquer under this sign". In claiming to wage war for God, Constantine was fulfilling the book of Revelation:

And I saw, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering and to conquer.

Revelation 6:2
crosses in cemetery
NORMANDY CEMETERY, FOR 'CHRISTIAN WARRIORS'

Constantine was the first of many 'Holy Roman Emperors' and Popes who would claim a divine right to rule over the other kings of the world, making themselves 'King of kings, and Lord of lords'. But consider the contrast between Constantine and the true Jesus, who taught His disciples to love their enemies, who rebuked Peter for taking up a sword to defend Him, and who forgave His enemies even while they were tormenting and killing Him. Jesus warns that true Christians will be characterized by their refusal to wage war:

You have heard that it has been said 'You shall love thy neighbor, and hate your enemy'. But I say unto you "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven". For he makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 5:43-48

And, behold, one of them (Peter) which were with Jesus (when He was arrested) stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and cut off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him "Put up back your sword into its place, for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Do you not know that I could now pray to my Father, and he would presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

Matthew 26:51-54

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do".

Luke 23:33-34

If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Revelation 13:9-10

Did Constantine really see a vision telling him to conquer under the sign of the cross? The Christian historian Eusebius thinks that he did, and has reported that some of Constantine's followers may have seen it also. But the fact that Constantine may have seen a miraculous vision, does not mean that it was a divine vision. And the fact that Constantine obtained great power, does not mean that it was divine power.

The New Testament speaks of only one Person who is authorized to wage 'holy war', and it is He Himself who will wage that war when He comes:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse. And He that sat upon him was called 'Faithful and True', and in righteousness He does judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, on His head were many crowns, and He had a name written that no man knew but he Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called 'The Word of God'. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron. And He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Revelation 19:11-16

TRUE CHRISTIANITY: KNOWING CHRIST

The one thing that characterizes true Christians is that they have come to Jesus Christ directly, because of His all-sufficiency as Prophet, Priest and King. There no longer are any prophets, priests or kings on earth who stand between us and God. The Bible's message is clear; God has replaced the Old Testament priests with a better One. Jesus is the only Priest who can save our souls. God requires that we come directly to Him, and know Him personally in order to be saved.

Many people don't want to know Christ personally. They would rather let somebody else interpret the Bible for them, and stand between themselves and God. They prefer rituals and ceremonies over real substance. The Bible defines faith as 'believing God', but Roman Catholics define faith as 'believing Rome'. This is the distinction between Roman Catholicism and biblical Christianity, but those who substitute the traditions and authority of men for a personal relationship with Jesus will be regret it in the end:

"Behold, the days come" says the Lord, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they broke, although I was an husband unto them" says the Lord. "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days" says the Lord "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying 'Know the Lord': for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them" says the Lord. "For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more".

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Not every one that says to me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?' And then will I profess unto them, 'I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity'.

Matthew 7:21-23

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

John 10:27

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17:3

When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels; in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and that do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

HOW CAN WE KNOW CHRIST?

We can begin to pursue a direct relationship with Jesus Christ by reading God's word. Jesus is fully revealed in the Bible; especially in the four gospels left to us by His apostles. We can also speak directly to Him through prayer. Though it takes some effort, and may take some time, this is the only way to draw near to God, and to know Him "in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24). The Holy Spirit can use the Bible in a powerful way to impact our hearts and minds. The word of God is called the "sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17), and God tells us that it is...

...living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Rome puts on a great outward show, but God works quietly and effectively through His Book. Jesus said "wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). That narrow way begins with a willingness to look directly into God's word for ourselves.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:17

ROMAN PHARISEES

If my reader is impressed by the elaborate costumes, rituals, buildings and spectacles of Roman Catholicism, I would invite him to study the Pharisees of Jesus' day. I would particularly direct him to Jesus' description of the Pharisees (especially in Matthew 23), and His condemnation of them. Jesus' words are a perfect description of Rome. Roman Catholicism is simply Gentile Phariseeism; a repetition of the same errors that the Jewish religious leaders committed centuries ago, only on a much larger scale, and with full knowledge of the Pharisees' past mistakes.

The thing that Jesus criticized most about the Pharisees was their hypocrisy. In ancient Greece the actors in a drama were called 'hypocrites'. A hypocrite is someone who puts on a mask, pretending to be something that he is not. Jesus' description of the outward religion of the Pharisees fits Roman Catholicism perfectly. Just like the Pharisees of Israel, Rome puts on an elaborate outward display of religious piety, broadcast around the world on TV at Easter and Christmas. But this outward show masks an inward perversity, just as it did for the Pharisees. Consider Jesus' words in Matthew 23:

They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called by men 'Rabbi, Rabbi' (meaning 'teacher'). But do not yourselves be called 'Rabbi', for one is your Master, even Christ, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, Who is in heaven.

Matthew 23:5-9
robes
FANCY GARMENTS

marketplace
GREETINGS IN THE MARKETPLACE

holy father
BEING CALLED 'FATHER'

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto white sepulchers (tombs), which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."

Matthew 23:27-28
abuse headline
Child at Mass
LIKE A TOMB: BEAUTIFUL ON THE OUTSIDE, ROTTEN ON THE INSIDE

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say 'If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets'. Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets."

Matthew 23:29-31
peter's tomb
PETER'S TOMB IN ROME

Paul's tomb
PAUL'S TOMB IN ROME
BUILDING THE TOMBS OF THE PROPHETS

Take heed that you do not your charity before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you have no reward from your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when you do your charity, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when you do charity, let not your left hand know what your right hand does, that your charity may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret Himself shall reward you openly. And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet. And when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly.

Matthew 6:1-6
Pope praying
Mother Teresa
PRAYER AND CHARITY AS PUBLIC RELATIONS TOOLS

Another thing that Jesus condemned about the Pharisees was their substitution of human traditions for the word of God (Matthew 15:1-9, Mark 7:1-13, Colossians 2:8). This also describes Rome. Rome tells people that its traditions are ancient, are handed down from the apostles, and are equal in authority with the Bible. But God encourages us to examine every tradition and claim of apostolic authority closely:

Thus have you made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. You hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying "This people draws near unto Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

Matthew 15:6-9

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars.

Revelation 2:2

In Jesus' day the Pharisees were so highly respected and had such a stranglehold on Jewish life, that if they kicked someone out of the synagogue it was like a death sentence; it was an exclusion from society. Nobody wanted to tangle with the Pharisees. Rome has exercised that same power for centuries, terrifying people with threats of excommunication from both the church and society (along with the financial ruin that this can bring). Further threats have included torture, death and eternal damnation. How can someone overcome such terror? Only with the help of God, and by getting a Bible and reading it.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him "If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free".

John 8:31-32

These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Revelation 12:11

CHILD ABUSE

Recently there have been sex scandals in the United States and Europe regarding the RCC. There are allegations of child abuse by priests, and its cover-up. Because it claims to be holy, and to possess divine authority and infallibility, Rome must cover up these sins. Rome also covers these crimes in order to minimize their financial impact (lawsuits, and the loss of financial support from church members).

This situation prompts important questions. Is it possible for a man to be a priest of God, and to be molesting children at the same time? What does that say about the Roman priesthood, and about the legitimacy of the Mass and Rome's other sacraments? How many other crimes have priests committed down through the years? Of course some priests are better than others, but we are talking about our souls here. Should we believe Rome's claim that celibacy is equal to holiness? Should we trust our eternal souls to men that we don't really know, or instead to a Priest who has been openly tested and proven, and then raised from the dead and exalted to heaven because of His worthiness?

For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:5

For such a high priest is appropriate for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.

Hebrews 7:26

It is important to recognize that sexual exploitation is just one aspect of Rome's abuse of children. Rome's continuing influence in the world is largely based upon the indoctrination of the children of Catholic parents through the Catholic catechism. The RCC takes children at a young age and brainwashes them to embrace Cathoic doctrine. Thus they rob these children of the truth concerning a genuine relationship with Jesus, and how one can obtain eternal life. As terrible as Rome's sexual abuse of children has been, I fear that it will pale in comparison with Rome's spiritual abuse of children when it is exposed before the judgment seat of God. Seen in this light, it is easier to understand how Roman Catholic priests who lie to children might have few qualms about sexually abusing them as well.

FORBIDDING TO MARRY

Rome claims that Peter is the founding apostle of the Roman church. But the Bible clearly states that Peter's apostleship was to the Jews, and that Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7-10). Paul himself said that his divinely-authorized mission to the Gentiles was the basis of his letter to Rome, and of his approaching journey to Rome (Romans 1:13-15). The book of Acts (chapters 27 & 28) describes that journey. The Bible says nothing about Peter going to Rome.

Rome has claimed Peter as its founder because it has desired to use his supposed apostolic supremacy (Matthew 16:17-19) to establish its own supremacy over the Christian church. Rome also prefers Peter because Paul had some things to say that are not flattering to Rome:

Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils: speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God has created to be received with thanksgiving by them which believe and know the truth.

1 Timothy 4:1-3

Paul's words describe the false doctrines and hypocrisy of Rome, and also touch on Rome's practice of forbidding its priests and nuns to marry. While Paul told Christians that they might be happier and more effective servants of Christ if they remained single, he also told them that marriage was an honorable thing, and that they would not be sinning if they married (1 Corinthians 7, see also Hebrews 13:4). In 1 Timothy Paul also taught that Bishops and Deacons should be married to one wife, and should be able to demonstrate capable leadership in a family as a qualification for leadership in the church:

This is a faithful saying; if a man desires the position of a bishop (elder), he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife; temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable and able to teach. He must not be given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle; not quarrelsome, not covetous. One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence. For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God? Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1 Timothy 3:1-5,12

It is important to note that Jesus' first public miracle was performed at a wedding in Cana (John chapter 2), and that when Jesus called Peter to be His disciple, Peter was already a married man (Matthew 8:14). Ironically, although the Bible informs us that Peter was married throughout his ministry and was an apostle to the Jews, and Paul was the celibate apostle to the Gentiles, Rome has gravitated toward Peter as its founding apostle because it has wanted to transfer Peter's supposed supremacy to itself.

THE PROBLEM WITH CELIBACY

Rome has rejected the words of Paul, and has decided that all of its priests and nuns must be celibate. One of the advantages of this is that a single person can serve Rome with undivided attention, and is often willing and able to work for 'peanuts' in exchange for the prestige of his office and the promise of eternal life. When a single person is working for you, you don't have to pay a wage adequate to support a spouse and children. The requirement of celibacy has provided vast amounts of cheap and dedicated labor for Rome down through the centuries.

But Rome's insistence upon celibacy has tended to recruit people who place less value on heterosexual relationships, on homes and families, and on the procreation of children. In fact, it has tended to recruit people who are relatively ignorant about these things, and who have lived outside of the mainstream of human experience. It has recruited many who are confused about their sexuality, who are homosexual, who are child abusers, or who have simply pretended to be celibate while secretly pursuing a heterosexual life. Given its emphasis on winning the trust and confidence of children from the earliest age, it is not surprising that child abuse has flourished in the Catholic Church. When you recruit people who are willing to swear off on heterosexual relationships, and then direct them to win the confidence and trust of children, what should you expect? What job could be more attractive to a pedophile?

In the Old Testament God told the people of Israel not to have sexual intercourse with close relatives, with members of the same sex, or with animals (Leviticus 18). Those things were all abominations. But God never bothered to warn against having sex with children. Why?

BECAUSE SUCH A THING WAS SIMPLY UNTHINKABLE!

But instead of exposing and condemning it, and addressing its own perversity regarding marriage and the family, Rome has covered it up and refused to clean its house.

People trust Rome's clergy because they claim to know what the Bible teaches; for that reason their condemnation will be more severe. It will be a terrible thing to be a Roman Catholic priest in the day of judgment, explaining to the Son of God why you contradicted the Bible, steering people away from a direct relationship with Him and toward empty rituals and falsehoods. Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they not only refused to enter heaven themselves, but also prevented others from entering it as well (Matthew 23:13). He also pronounced grave judgment upon those who cause children to stumble spiritually (Mark 9:42). What a horrid position to be in!

CATHOLIC BASHERS

Many people who say the things about the Roman Catholic Church that I am saying in this web page, are called 'Catholic-bashers'. This is a common defensive tactic that many predatory people and groups use to portray themselves as innocent victims, and to portray those who oppose them as evil, when in fact the opposite is true. It is used by racists, both black and white, to justify their malice. It is used by homosexuals to damn Christians while masking their own assault upon the basic fabric of human society. It is used by Muslims to cloak their aggressive agenda for domination of the world through Sharia law, and by 'Palestinians' to portray God's restoration of Israel as an evil thing. And it is used by Rome to pretend victimization while cloaking its own evil. God has a warning for those who lie so blatantly and wickedly:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil. That put darkness for light, and light for darkness. That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink. Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust. Because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 5:20-24

It is not the purpose of this web page to criticize individual members of the Catholic Church. Many Roman Catholics have sincere religious convictions, a high regard for the Bible, and want to live righteous lives. There is no doubt that the Spirit of God is working in the hearts and lives of many Catholics to draw them closer to Himself. Many of the greatest Protestant Christians in history were originally members of the RCC. But God has a message for people who want to draw closer to Him, and yet continue to attend the RCC:

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying "Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

Revelation 18:4-5

It is necessary that people understand the distinction between genuine Christianity and Roman Catholicism. The Christian message has never been well-received by anyone initially, regardless of their religious background or upbringing. It has always caused discomfort because it calls us to be honest with ourselves about who and what we really are, to be honest about what God is really saying to us in His word, and to make difficult decisions that have eternal consequences. But it is only through wrestling with these issues that anyone ever comes to a genuine change of mind (repentance), to real faith and to a right relationship with God.

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS


1) THE BEAST (Daniel 7, Revelation 13:1-10, Revelation 16:13, Revelation 17:3-18, Revelation 19:19-20)

The Beast first appears as the fourth beast of Daniel 7, having one head and 10 horns. In the New Testament it becomes a Beast having 7 heads and 10 horns. The Beast is militant, organized, God-opposing humanity. We are told that the Beast of Revelation has been authorized by God to continue throughout the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel; in other words from 70 AD until the present. For a fuller explanation of the Beast, I refer my reader to my web page titled The Beast and the False Prophet.


2) THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18, Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10)

This is the second Beast described in Revelation 13. It is described as coming up out of the earth or land. It possesses the traits of a false prophet, appearing like a lamb while speaking like a dragon (Satan). The False Prophet does not experience the long lifespan of the Beast; from 70 AD until the present. The False Prophet is a product of our modern times. It performs three miracles, corresponding to today's technology. It brings down fire from heaven through the technology of airplanes and powered flight. It causes an image to come alive and speak, through the technology of movies, television and smart phones. It will impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world through Block Chain technology; a 'distributed ledger' computer system that will revolutionize the economy and the administration of the world in the immediate future.


3) THE WOMAN, HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON (Revelation chapters 17 & 18)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:9,18 where she is described as being seated upon seven hills, and as 'that great city' which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation.

I have discussed the city of Rome, and its transition from being the seat of Roman power prior to 69 A.D. to being a religious center after 69 A.D., in my web page titled The Beast and the False Prophet. I explain Bible prophecy regarding the religion of Rome in my web page titled The City of Rome in Prophecy.


4) THE APOSTLE PAUL'S 'MAN OF SIN' (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

The apostle Paul's 'Man of Sin' is described in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.

Let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped. So that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Paul was not describing a single man, but a unique class of men; the Roman Catholic priesthood. How is this true? The Roman Catholic priest claims that, in the Roman Catholic sacrament of the Mass, he is literally reconstituting the very body and blood of Jesus Christ at his altar, and is re-offering it to God on behalf of mankind as an atonement for sins. In addition, the Roman Catholic Church claims to be Christ's 'vicar' or representative upon earth, exercising His authority to interpret the Bible and add to it, and exercising His authority to authorize holy wars.

This is how Rome's priests portray themselves to the world as God, seated in the Temple of God. The only Persons who can rightfully make that claim are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Mary is not one of these divine Persons. The Roman Catholic Church has usurped the Biblical offices of the Lord Jesus Christ; that of Prophet, Priest and King. And so while God tells people to come directly to His Son by faith, hearing Him by reading their Bibles and speaking to Him by prayer, Rome says that we must come to Rome. Rather than represent Jesus Christ before the world, Rome competes directly against Him for the souls of men. For further information about Rome, I refer my reader to my web pages titled 'The City of Rome in Prophecy', 'The Beast and the False Prophet', and 'The United States in Prophecy'.


5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word 'antichrist' never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John's words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

    A) Those who once professed faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
    B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John's description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or to respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link 'the Antichrist' with any other passage of scripture. The term 'antichrist' is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John himself wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, Dispensationalists have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is known about him, Dispensationalists have felt free to plug the Antichrist into their end-times scenario. For them the Antichrist is 'the Prince who is to come' (of Daniel 9:26), the 'Abomination of Desolation', Paul's 'man of sin', and 'the Beast' that gets thrown into the Lake of Fire (along with the False Prophet). One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John's very limited words about 'the Antichrist'.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, 'the Antichrist', who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. One candidate to consider would be Mohammed. Islam claims Biblical roots, but fiercely denies that God has a Son, and that Christ was 'Emmanuel'; 'God with us' in a human body. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam.

Muslims have written 'God has no son' inside their mosque, the 'Dome of the Rock', sitting on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and its possession by the Gentiles until His second coming, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque on the Temple Mount.


6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Olivet Discourse for an explanation of this fact, and see The Timetable for Jesus' Return for a discussion of Titus).


7) THE 'PRINCE WHO IS TO COME' OF DANIEL 9:26 - also the Roman general Titus.


8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8 The United States of America (see The United States in Bible Prophecy)


9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9 The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War, defeated its southern enemy Carthage in the Punic Wars, and then proceeded to move east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) and eventually the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God's host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel's transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome's complete history can be found.


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(Bible quotations are from the old King James version, with modifications by the author.)