I have been reticent to cover this matter of the scriptures only because it is loaded with controversy and high emotional feelings especially among Catholics. |
Since the first days of my complete conversion to Christianity (Born again experience) I have been strongly opposed to Catholicism, yet at the same time I have never been opposed to Catholic people. This may seem like a non-sequitur but it simply is not.
In fact I believe that millions of Catholics are most certainly children of God, not because they are Catholic but in spite of it.
When I was a Southern Baptist there was a comedic story that circulated among the Baptists that I always felt would better fit the Catholics. The story is of a Methodist who died and upon entering paradise noticed a small group of people in a separate section of heaven carrying on their heavenly pursuits but seemingly unaware of anything else going on throughout heaven. The Methodist asked his accompanying angel who these people were. The Angel replied with, “These are the Baptists; they think they’re the only ones up here.”
It is here that we must view what might be called the hard, the soft and the immovable of the entire matter. The hard may be summarized in a well known saying attributed to Reformer Martin Luther who said “Our Babylon (The Roman Catholic system of the 1500s) has so done away with faith that she has the impudence to deny that faith is necessary in the sacrament (the Lord’s Supper.) With the blasphemy of antichrist she lays it down that it is heresy to assert the necessity of faith.”
Martin Luther discovered the very wellspring of life when he asserted that no church, and no man made system of religion could assure mans salvation but faith alone in the finished work of Christ.
Man has no idea how to save himself or placate God and in his infinite mercy God saw to it that we didn’t have to spend our entire lives chasing something that is impossible to acquire by human will. Thus we see what started the Protestant Reformation is the very key to God’s salvation. It is something religion tries to skirt or ignore and often supplants with a complicated system of religious liturgy, ceremony and doctrine to convince adherents that if they only obey the tenants of the church (club) they will be saved.
How far is all that, from this: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2: 8, 9)
The soft is that the childlike faith in Christ and his finished work on the cross is present in untold millions of Catholic people and God has redeemed them because of it. They are partakers of the promise of Christ who said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (Jn 6:37)
The immovable is that while there is a long list of Catholic doctrines and dogma that cannot be supported by scripture which has managed to endure so long, they are premised or based on the first mistake made by the Papacy.
When Jesus exclaimed to Peter “…thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” (Mt 16: 18) he was referring to himself as the Rock, not Peter. This is substantiated by several other scriptural passages but the single greatest proof that he was referring to himself is found in 1Corinthians 3: 11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ alone is the cornerstone of the church. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph 2: 20)
As long as the latest Pope is religiously conservative Catholics are on fairly safe ground. If a liberally minded Pope comes to rule the church; the church and the very world will be set on edge. This is something that cannot happen to those who trust only in the scriptures alone.
The predictions for the next Pope are not very encouraging. While the list of potential papabili is large I will not speculate about which one in particular will be chosen. I must say in today’s climate of liberal progressivism in both protestant and catholic churches the chances are great that Ratzinger will be the last of his kind.
Seventeen centuries of Catholicism is now giving way to the addition of all religions being lumped together with it in the form of the all encompassing new tolerance and diversity. Now ecumenicism, syncretism and liberalism is gathering all religions into one big happy family and thus is born the great whore who sits atop the newly formed EU and yet to be New World Order. (Revelation Ch 17 and 18) But why does scripture call her a whore?
Those called to the gospel of Jesus Christ are known as the “Bride of Christ,” what else can a bride be called if she lies with those she is not married to? If there was salvation in other religions, if there was a sacrifice to cover our sins and if there was a promise that one day the leaders of other religions would show up to judge the living and the dead then ecumenicism would be just a dandy idea. But until this verse is negated it is the worst idea modern man has ever conjured. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4: 12) Anyone who takes the idea of the one world religion seriously is partaking in spiritual whoredom.
Just as God deals with the last one world government and its leader the antichrist, so will he deal with the spiritual whore that rides on the back of the antichrist’s kingdom. At the peak of his power the antichrist will cast off the whore so he can reign unhindered and fully supreme. Then the final blow is administered by God’s destruction of the city that represents the whore; the famed city of Rome.
I have watched for decades as modern expositors and prophecy buffs have slaughtered the simple straightforward message of the scriptures. They have erroneously identified the fall of Babylon or the great whore as the United States, or other places when the scriptures defy this loose and dangerous interpretation.
The city that falls is most assuredly Rome for several immutable reasons. The first is that the city is clearly identified. “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (Rev 17: 9) Several cities of the world are called the city of seven mountains but only Rome is recognized universally as the “City of Seven Mountains.”
Two more verses that serve to identify the city as Rome are Revelation 17: 6, “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration,” and Revelation 18: 24, “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”
When were saints and martyrs slaughtered in the United States in large numbers? What other city in the world could claim to have seen the deaths of so many Christians as Rome? Ignoring these obvious passages of scripture is the height of folly. Those who presume to make these kind of wild assertions should be reminded of the dire warnings contained in the same book in which these passages are found.
“For I testify unto every man that heareth 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)
To date more Christians have been slaughtered in Rome or because of Rome than all other cities of the world combined. Estimates of those slaughtered in the Roman Coliseum range from 30,000 to well over 100,000. After the third century the Papal armies managed to slaughter protestant reformers including the Albigenses, the Waldenses and French Huguenots to the tune of somewhere between 100,000 to 500,000. The only time that many people were slaughtered in America was during the Civil War and that was most certainly not a religious persecution.
As a footnote, the care and love God has for the many humble Catholics’ who actually believe in the finished work of Christ is shown by the fact that he calls them to come out of Rome before the judgments begin. “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev 18: 4)
Here is the sum of it all. Rome will be destroyed and the fallen religious system it represents will be destroyed along with it. Should the United States be destroyed as the events of the last days unfold is an entirely different matter. Such predictions are possible but at the moment are purely speculative and conjectural in nature.
Let’s not roam around in prophetic la-la land when the scriptures are so perfectly clear.
http://www.americanprophet.org has since 2005 featured the articles of columnist Rev Michael Bresciani along with news and reviews that have earned this site the title of The Website for Insight Millions have read his timely reports and articles in online journals and print publications across the nation and the globe.
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Ratzinger, papal, papabili, catholic, Baptist, Methodist, martyrs, coliseum, Rome, City of Seven Mountains, Bride of Christ, Revelation 17, Revelation 18, Civil Wa,