Back to Rome or is it Babylon?
In Revelation chapter 17 the apostle John was given an amazing vision of a church that will dominate the entire human race in the end time and is going to force the entire world population to worship the beast from the earth, also known as Antichrist.
Could it be that the Emerging or Emergent Church which is making so much headway in the world today, especially amongst the intellectual younger generation, is being groomed for this particular task?
Are you amazed and perhaps even a wee bit angered at such a blanket statement? You shouldn’t get too upset because the apostle John was also just as or even more amazed at what he saw.
In verse 6 we are told that when he saw a woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, he marveled greatly with wonderment and admiration.
At first glance it may seem a bit odd that John was overcome by wonderment and admiration by such a scene of bloodshed and persecution. Indeed, John was utterly amazed when he saw a woman sitting on a scarlet coloured beast full of names of blasphemy and a name written on her forehead “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE BABYLONIAN CONNECTION
There never has been any difficulty in the mind of any enlightened Protestant in identifying the woman “sitting on seven mountains,”
and having on her forehead the name written, “Mystery, Babylon the Great,” with the Roman apostasy. “No other city in the world has ever been celebrated, as the city of Rome has, for its situation on seven hills.
Pagan poets and orators, who had not thought of elucidating prophecy, have alike characterized it as ‘the seven hilled city.'”
Thus Virgil refers to it: “Rome has both become the most beautiful (city) in the world, and alone has surrounded for herself seven heights with a wall.”
Propertius, in the same strain, speaks of it (only adding another trait, which completes the Apocalyptic picture) as “The lofty city on seven hills, which governs the whole world.”
Its “governing the whole world” is just the counterpart of the Divine statement – “which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18).
To call Rome the city “of the seven hills” was by its citizens held to be as descriptive as to call it by its own proper name.
Hence Horace speaks of it by reference to its seven hills alone, when he addresses, “The gods who have set their affections on the seven hills.” Martial, in like manner, speaks of “The seven dominating mountains.”
In times long subsequent, the same kind of language was in current use; for when Symmachus, the prefect of the city, and the last acting Pagan Pontifex Maximus, as the Imperial substitute, introduces by letter one friend of his to another, he calls him “De septem montibus virum” – “a man from the seven mountains,” meaning thereby, as the commentators interpret it, “Civem Romanum, “A Roman Citizen.”
Now, while this characteristic of Rome has ever been well marked and defined, it has always been easy to show, that the Church which has its seat and headquarters on the seven hills of Rome might most appropriately be called “Babylon,” inasmuch as it is the chief seat of idolatry under the New Testament, as the ancient Babylon was the chief seat of idolatry under the Old.
But recent discoveries in Assyria, taken in connection with the previously well-known but ill-understood history and mythology of the ancient world, demonstrate that there is a vast deal more significance in the name Babylon the Great than this.
It has been known all along that Popery was baptized Paganism; but God is now making it manifest, that the Paganism which Rome has baptized is, in all its essential elements, the very Paganism which prevailed in the ancient literal Babylon, when Jehovah opened before Cyrus the two-leaved gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. . . . .
Rome is in very deed the Babylon of the Apocalypse; that the essential character of her system, the grand objects of her worship, her festivals, her doctrine and discipline, her rites and ceremonies, her priesthood and their orders, have all been derived from ancient Babylon; and, finally, that the Pope himself is truly and properly the lineal representative of Belshazzar.
In the warfare that has been waged against the domineering pretensions of Rome, it has too often been counted enough merely to meet and set aside her presumptuous boast, that she is the mother and mistress of all churches – the one Catholic Church, out of whose pale there is no salvation.
If ever there was excuse for such a mode of dealing with her, that excuse will hold no longer. If the position I have laid down can be maintained, she must be stripped of the name of a Christian Church altogether; for if it was a Church of Christ that was convened on that night, when the pontiff-king of Babylon, in the midst of his thousand lords, “praised the gods of gold, and of silver, and of wood, and of stone” (Dan 5:4), then the Church of Rome is entitled to the name of a Christian Church; but not otherwise.
This to some, no doubt, will appear a very startling position; but it is one which it is the object of this work to establish; and let the reader judge for himself, whether I do not bring ample evidence to substantiate my position. (Emphasis added)
Indeed, Hislop’s observations appear to have put many of today’s most esteemed evangelical leaders in a very startling position. Dave Hunt writes as follows in his book “A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST, pages 5, 6.
The most significant event in nearly 500 years of church history was revealed as a fait accompli on March 29, 1994. On that day leading American evangelicals and Catholics signed a joint declaration titled “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the 3rd Millennium.”
The document, in effect, overturned the Reformation and will unquestionably have far-reaching repercussions throughout the Christian world for years to come. They toiled together in the movements against abortion and pornography, and now leading Catholics and evangelicals are asking their flocks for a remarkable leap of faith: to finally accept each other as Christians.
In what’s being called a historic declaration, evangelicals including Pat Robertson and Charles Colson [one of the chief originators] joined with conservative Roman Catholic leaders today in upholding the ties of faith that bind the nation’s largest and most politically active religious groups. They urged Catholics and evangelicals . . . to stop aggressive proselytization of each other’s flocks.
John White, president of Geneva College and former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said the statement represents a “triumphalistic moment” in American religious life after centuries of distrust . . .
Other evangelical endorsers include the heads of the Home Mission Board and Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention [who acted in an independent capacity], the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, and Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ . . . Mark Noll of Wheaton University . . . [Os Guinness, Jesse Miranda (Assemblies of God), Richard Mouw (President, Fuller Theological Seminary), J.I. Packer and Herbert Schlossberg]. . .
The leaders of the Reformation were certain that she represented the Roman Catholic Church in general and the pope in particular.
That belief, however, has been rejected lately by most Protestants as provocative and demeaning to a body of fellow Christians with whom evangelicals desire to work together in the task of winning most of the world for Christ before the year 2000.
In fact, the subject of the woman is generally avoided today as too divisive to discuss. . . .
Could it be that the apostle John was greatly disturbed (marveled with admiration) at the sight of the drunken woman because his expectations of seeing a pure, holy and untarnished Bride of Christ was shattered by this abominable vision of a harlot riding a beast? It reminds one of Paul’s heartrending lament in some of his epistles.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (Galatians 1:6-7)
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2).
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (Acts 20:29)
Apostasy was no small matter for Paul and neither should it be for us. The next question we should ask ourselves is: How is the Protestant-Roman Catholic-Babylonian connection being implemented? What are the change agents doing to facilitate the journey back to Rome and Babylon?
The short answer is MYSTICISM and all of its tentacles, amongst others contemplative prayer, lectio divina, labyrinths, stillness, and meditation which brings us to –
THE EMERGENT CHURCH AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH CONNECTION
A quick glance at some of the more eloquent websites and blogs engineered by some of South Africa’s most esteemed Emergent Church leaders does not only show how they aggressively promote the books written by mystics such as Thomas Keating, Anthony de Mello, Thomas Merton, Morton Kelsey, Trevor Hudson and others but also randomly quote many Roman Catholic clergy.
In fact, their sayings are often given greater preference over Scripture on websites such as http://blog.ekerk.org/. I could not help noticing this when I read one of Stephan Joubert’s most recent comments (The cost of discipleship) in which he appreciatively writes about the Franciscan priest, Maximilian Kolbe. (The article seems to have been removed by the author).
To counteract any would-be charges of me being judgmental, let me immediately say this: Kolbe’s substitutionary and voluntary death to save the life of a fellow prisoner in Auschwitz is truly commendable.
But, ironically, Kolbe’s beliefs were directly responsible for the persecution, martyrdom and death of millions of true followers of Christ. Maximilian Kolbe’s sacrifice may have saved one person’s life but his beliefs were the cause of many saints’ untimely death.
A leading Catholic Professor in the nineteenth century, Thomas Aquinas, wrote the following indictment in his Summa Theologica, 1857, vol. 4, p. 90.
Through the influence of Gratian . . . and unwearied activity of the Popes and their legates since 1183, the view of the Church had been . . . [that] every departure from the teaching of the Church, and every important opposition to any ecclesiastical ordinances, must be punished with death, and the most cruel of deaths, by fire . . . (Emphasis added).
And so, by order of the Popes, many saints were mutilated, martyred, butchered and burned at the stake because they renounced the bloodless sacrifice of the Mass as blasphemous and extremely dishonoring to God and his Son.
The sacrifice of the Mass is the very heart of Roman Catholicism. Let us now look at some of the things Maximilian Kolbe said about the sacrifice of the Mass and martyrdom.
“God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.”
“You come to me and unite Yourself intimately to me under the form of nourishment. Your Blood now runs in mine, Your Soul, Incarnate God, compenetrates mine, giving courage and support. What miracles! Who would have ever imagined such!”
“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.” (Read here)
“I prayed very hard to Our Lady to tell me what would happen to me. She appeared, holding in her hands two crowns, one white, one red. She asked if I would like to have them one was for purity, the other for martyrdom. I said, ‘I choose both.’ She smiled and disappeared.” (Read here).
Was it the Mary of the Bible who appeared to Maximilian Kolbe or could it have been a demon masquerading as Mary? Since when is it necessary for Mary to allegedly appear to someone to inform them of imminent martyrdom when Jesus repeatedly tells us in his Word that persecution and even martyrdom is unavoidable when Christians remain faithful to Him and his Gospel?
Can we contribute Maximilian Kolbe’s death to his faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? John saw a woman with a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.
Is this not the bloodless sacrifice of the Mass which led to the death of millions of martyred and persecuted saints? In Foxe’s Book of Martyrs on page 240 some of Rome’s executions at the stake are described.
These five martyrs suffered together, January 31, 1556. John Lomas was a young man of Tenterden. He was cited to appear at Canterbury, and was examined January 17.
His answers being adverse to the idolatrous doctrine of the papacy, he was condemned on the following day, and suffered January 31. Agnes Snoth, widow, of Smarden Parish, was several times summoned before the Catholic Pharisees, and rejecting absolution, indulgences, transubstantiation, and auricular confession, she was adjudged worthy to suffer death, and endured martyrdom, January 31, with Anne Wright and Joan Sole, who were placed in similar circumstances, and perished at the same time, with equal resignation. Joan Catmer, the last of this heavenly company, of the parish Hithe, was the wife of the martyr George Catmer.
Seldom in any country, for political controversy, have four women been led to execution, whose lives were irreproachable, and whom the pity of savages would have spared.
We cannot but remark here that, when the Protestant power first gained the ascendancy over the Catholic superstition, and some degree of force in the laws was necessary to enforce uniformity, whence some bigoted people suffered privation in their person or goods, we read of few burnings, savage cruelties, or poor women brought to the stake, but it is the nature of error to resort to force instead of argument, and to silence truth by taking away existence, of which the Redeemer himself is an instance.
The above five persons were burnt at two stakes in one fire, singing hosannahs to the glorified Savior, until the breath of life was extinct. Sir John Norton, who was present, wept bitterly at their unmerited sufferings (Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Zondervan, 1967 pp. 240) (Emphasis added).
Undoubtedly, the Emerging or Emergent Church is playing a major part in the journey leading back to Rome and Babylon.
One of their fortés is to bridge the gap between the Christian religion and Eastern spirituality, particularly Buddhism to which Maximilian Kolbe looked with much respect and admiration and proved it by entering into dialogue with Buddhist and Shinto priests.
Nonetheless, this was not his main concern in life. In his book “Saint Maximilian Kolbe – Knight of the Immaculata” Father Jeremiah J Smith” describes Kolbe’s prime mission as follows:
Saint Maximilian Kolbe is famous as the saint of Auschwitz who volunteered to die of starvation and thirst in place of another prisoner.
But his heroic death in 1941 in the worst of the Nazi concentration camps was only the culmination of an amazing life – for Saint Maximilian was fired by the supernatural ideal of conquering for Christ through Mary all souls in the entire world–to the end of time!
Full of interesting stories, this little book describes his mischievous boyhood, his youthful prophetic vision of two crowns, his dream of martyrdom, his use of modern printing technology to further Our Lady’s work, his agreement with Saint Therese the Little Flower, his “Cities of the Immaculata” (the one in Poland grew from 19 members to 762 and was the largest religious community in the world), his knowledge that he was fighting Satan, and his prison abuse for being a Catholic priest.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe – Knight of the Immaculata [immaculate heart of Mary] shows the amazing deeds which Our Lady will accomplish through a person who consecrates himself to her.
It is a book to inspire many more Catholics to consecrate themselves to Mary Immaculate–confident that through them too she will do great things! (Emphasis added).
Have you noticed his choice of words “”conquering for Christ through Mary”? Who is this Mary in whose name many saints have been persecuted, martyred and burnt at the stake? Dave Hunt states the following about this Mary in his Book “A Woman rides the Beast” on page 435:
We have identified the woman astride the beast as Vatican City and the false World Church which will eventually be headquartered there. But why a woman on the beast and not a man? Why is this false World Church seen as a woman? Again this criterion, like all of the others in Revelation 17, fits the Vatican perfectly.
The most prominent figure by far in Roman Catholicism is a woman. She overshadows all else, including even God Himself.
More prayers are offered to the catholic Mary and more attention and honor is given to her than to Christ and God combined. There are thousands of shrines to Mary around the world (and hundreds of shrines to other “saints”), but scarcely more than a handful of minor shrines to Christ Himself.
Some Catholic leaders even boast that in this day of burgeoning “goddess consciousness” and “women’s liberation” the Catholic Church is right in tune with the times: A woman holds the position of highest honor and power.
In Catholicism it is a woman through whom all graces, gifts, blessings, and power flow a woman, who, . . . has the amazing potential to unite the entire world, including even the Muslims, in one religion.
Having dedicated himself to the immaculate heart of the Roman Catholic Mary, one can safely assume that Maximilian Kolbe sacrificed his life in her honor rather than Jesus Christ, something which the martyrs who were murdered because they rejected and renounced the Roman Catholic church’s doctrine of the sacrifice of the Mass would never have dreamt of doing because it demeans and dishonors the Name of Jesus Christ.
See this article as well: Mystery Babylon