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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From Sound the Trumpet!, March 2013
During the first half of the tribulation period there will be two great powers controlling the world and its people.
THE POLITICAL POWER WILL BE THE REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE.
This entity will come on the scene suddenly and will take the world by surprise. Revelation 17:8, "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not.... and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder (be amazed).... when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." The Roman Empire that virtually ceased to exist will suddenly and miraculously appear, seemingly out of nowhere and become a power that dominates the world. This we refer to as the Revived Roman Empire, John calls it the beast. At the mid-tribulation point this kingdom transitions into the World-Wide Kingdom of Antichrist.
THE SECOND ENTITY WILL BE A WORLD-WIDE CHURCH.
This is the topic of this article. During the first 3½ years this great monolithic structure will work in cooperation with the Revived Roman Empire (the beast). In Revelation 17:3 John says, "....I saw a woman sit on a scarlet coloured beast..." We see the church is controlling the beast or being carried along by the beast, it demonstrates a union between the two. Notice the extent of the influence or control of the harlot. Verse 1 gives us an insight into her influence, "...the great whore that sitteth upon many waters." The "many waters" refers to the people of the world, indicating the vast influence of this false church.
Verse 15 expands on this idea, "And he saith unto me, the waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." This harlot church will have a very great number of people under its influence; much of the world.
We are not left to wonder about the identity of this false church, it is given to us in verses 9, "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." Rome is the only city that is the center of a great religion that is situated on seven hills. Verse 18 confirms this, "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
This church is obviously the Roman Catholic Church which will suddenly expand and include much of the world's people in its number. What is it that will bring a sudden expansion of the harlot church sweeping all of Christendom and much of that which is now secular into its fold? In the next section we will endeavour to answer that question.
For centuries the Pope was entitled, "The Sovereign Pontiff, ruler of papal states, regent of all princes and powers and governments on earth." In 1870 the European powers dissolved the temporal powers of the Vicar of Christ. The church has ever since sought to regain power over governments, we see that power regained in Revelation 17. That still left the Pope with absolute power over all ecclesiastical and religious matters. That absolute power is now being challenged by the liberals within the church.
In the last fifty years post modernism has overtaken the world, changing the mind set of men. Absolute truth and centralized control has been rejected, greatly affecting the Church of Rome. In recent years this struggle has been growing within the church, between the old guard conservatives and a new liberal element.
Malachi Martin, an insider in the Vatican, wrote in 1980 about the Catholic Church:
"All over the world, on an increasing scale, men and women are accepting new developments as normal and natural: abortion, contraception, divorce, freedom of conscience in religious matters, a secular education, homosexuality, are among the more obvious. But the near future (written in 1980) promises things like euthanasia, and genetic engineering. It is safe to predict that within Jean Paul's lifetime there will be Roman Catholic women priests acting in total disregard of Jean Paul and his Vatican."
This has not yet happened; it awaits the coming liberal takeover of the church.
A new study shows that Roman Catholics are more supportive of homosexual special rights than are the general public. When the liberal hierarchy takes control, the Church will move to make changes to bring these liberal minded, straying Catholics, back into the fold. The laity will have new input which will give them a sense of ownership and enthusiasm.
In 1958 Pope John XXIII was elected and he proceeded to introduce liberalism into the church for the first time. That has had the unexpected result of destroying the authority of the church and the morality of the people. It has also moved the church in the direction of socialism and the goal of bringing social transformation to the world. Catholic theologian, Malachi Martin, who served under John XXIII, has summed up this new direction as, "The decline and fall of the Roman Church."
During the reign of Pope Paul VI who followed John XXIII, generations of young priests were turned out by Catholic seminaries all over the world. They have been trained to minimize or reject the dogmas and formulas of Catholic beliefs and morality. Everywhere within the church you see reflections of a new theology which is distrustful of the Roman hierarchy. Pope Paul VI and John Paul II sought in vain to reverse this direction. It seems that Pope Benedict was overwhelmed by this growing schism.
This new theology which emphasizes feelings and experience in place of doctrine and dogma has been growing and is now reaching a tipping point. Contemplative spirituality and mysticism have taken over much of the church. This change has been installed in Seminaries, Universities, and Diocese and in a new generation of young Bishops, Priests and Nuns.
Among the Catholic laity there has been a growing dissatisfaction with the church. This is a dissatisfaction that is calling for change. Millions of Catholics have voted with their feet in the last number of years as they have forsaken the Mass.
I suspect that the Roman Catholic Church has reached the point of no return and with the new Pope a tremendous change will take place. The liberals will take over the church, doctrine, dogma, liturgy and the traditions of the Fathers will be set aside. Celibacy, ordination of women, accommodation with abortion, contraception and homosexuality will be a part of the new church. The doors of the church will swing wide open. All of Christendom will be invited in without restrictions and limitations, accepted as Brothers in Christ. The "Christ consciousness" and the "Christ within" of the new age will be welcomed into the club also. The world will rush to be a part of this seemingly magnificent new utopia.
Mainline Churches, Evangelical Churches and the Catholic Church have been on parallel tracts for some time now. Experience, feelings and the new spirituality have replaced doctrine and the Word of God.
From within evangelicalism, Rick Warren has said, "What we believe is irrelevant, ignore your beliefs and join hands to make a better world." Warren called for a "Coalition of people of good will to accomplish some goals that would be beneficial to society."
Warren also stated,
"We need to mobilize a billion Catholics and Orthodox. I'm not really that interested in interfaith dialogue. I am interested in interfaith projects. Let's do something together. You are probably not going to change your doctrinal distinctives, and I'm probably not going to change my doctrinal distinctives. We have different beliefs. But the fact is, we do serve the same Lord. Let's work on the things we can agree on."
I repeat, liturgy, doctrine, dogma and the traditions of the fathers will all be set aside for experience and the new spirituality that is flooding over the world. The doors of the church will be flung wide open, disenchanted Catholics will return to the fold. All of Christendom, including evangelicals will press into this seemingly new entity. When Rome makes this transition, overnight the walls will come down and the world will wake up some morning, perhaps soon, with a one world church, the harlot church of Revelation 17.
One day, perhaps soon, the world will wake up and find the true body of Christ missing. My dear friend if you are a part of this Trojan horse religion; now is the time to get out and come to Christ in repentance and faith for salvation.
Many have insisted that the Catholic Church will never change, they are wrong. We are on the threshold of vast change in the church. This drastic change will be the very instrument that will bring about the formation of the World Church. The seeds of change have been sown within the church and will soon yield a harvest. This change will not alter the essence or the nature of Catholicism; it will be a cosmetic change. No better description of the philosophy of the harlot church could be given.
It is obvious that Warren's doctrinal distinctives are totally unimportant, and the Word of God is irrelevant. His protest about not changing doctrinal distinctives is hollow in the light of his proposal. We can set doctrine aside and forget it. With doctrine set aside no hindrances remain to an instant world church.
Contemplative spirituality will be a shared experience and that will also help to bring "all together." Social transformation and social justice will be the common mission, instead of the gospel of Christ.
When our Lord gave the church its commission He said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) He did not say, "Go ye into all the world and bring about social transformation and social justice," that is another gospel that replaces the saving gospel of Christ and consequently damns men and women to an eternal hell. That obviously must be the program of Satan.
It is mind boggling to see how the Evangelical church, in such a short time, has abandoned the gospel of Jesus Christ for the social gospel of the harlot church. I am haunted by the message of Matthew 7:21-23,
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."