This article is adapted from his recent books,
Truth Left Behind and The Left Behind Deception.
For almost a thousand years, Europe had been ruled by the iron hand of Rome. Only a few Bibles existed then, and Christianity was largely permeated with superstition. Faith in Jesus Christ, heartfelt appreciation for His love, and a simple trust in His death on the cross, were almost unknown. The New Testament truth about grace, full forgiveness, and the free gift of eternal life to believers in the Son of God (Romans 6:23), had been buried under a mass of tradition. Then Martin Luther arose like a lion in Germany. After a period of tremendous personal struggle, Martin Luther began teaching justification by faith in Jesus Christ (being declared “just” by God), rather than through reliance on “creature merits,” or any human works (Romans 1:16; 3:26, 28; 5:1).
|Martin Luther, as well as all of the other Reformers, were unanimous in their interpretation of the Antichrist as the papacy.
Eventually, Martin Luther turned to the prophecies. By candlelight, he read about the “little horn,” the “man of sin,” and “the beast,” and he was shocked as the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart. Finally, he saw the truth and said to himself, “Why, these prophecies apply to the Roman Catholic Church!” As he wrestled with this new insight, the voice of God echoed loudly in his soul, saying, “Preach the word!” (2 Timothy 4:2). And so, at the risk of losing his life, Martin Luther preached publicly and in print to an astonished people that Papal Rome was indeed the Antichrist of Bible prophecy. Because of this dual message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ apart from works and of Papal Rome being the Antichrist, the river of history literally changed its course. Hundreds of thousands of people in Europe and in England left the Catholic Church.
“‘There are two great truths that stand out in the preaching that brought about the Protestant Reformation,’ American Bible Commentator, Ralph Woodrow, reminds us, ‘The just shall live by faith, not by the works of Romanism and the Papacy is the Antichrist of Scripture.’ It was a message for Christ and against Antichrist. The entire Reformation rests upon this twofold testimony.’”2 It has been said that the Reformation first discovered Jesus Christ, and then, in the blazing light of Christ, it discovered the Antichrist. This mighty, Spirit-filled movement, for Christ and against the Antichrist, shook the world.
H. Grattan Guinness wrote these memorable words: “From the first, and throughout, that movement [the Reformation] was energized and guided by the prophetic word. Luther never felt strong and free to war against the Papal apostasy till he recognized the pope as Antichrist. It was then that he burned the Papal bull. Knox’s first sermon, the sermon that launched him on his mission as a reformer, was on the prophecies concerning the Papacy. The reformers embodied their interpretations of prophecy in their confessions of faith, and Calvin in his ‘Institutes.’ All of the reformers were unanimous in the matter, even the mild and cautious Melanchthon was as assured of the antipapal meaning of these prophecies as was Luther himself. And their interpretation of these prophecies determined their reforming action. It led them to protest against Rome with extraordinary strength and undaunted courage. It nerved them to resist the claims of the apostate Church to the utmost. It made them martyrs; it sustained them at the stake. And the views of the Reformers were shared by thousands, by hundreds of thousands. They were adopted by princes and peoples. Under their influence nations abjured their allegiance to the false priest of Rome.
“In the reaction that followed, all the powers of hell seemed to be let loose upon the adherents of the Reformation. War followed war: tortures, burnings, and massacres were multiplied. Yet the Reformation stood undefeated and unconquerable. God’s word upheld it, and the energies of His Almighty Spirit. It was the work of Christ as truly as the founding of the Church eighteen centuries ago; and the revelation of the future which He gave from heaven—that prophetic book with which the Scripture closes—was one of the mightiest instruments employed in its accomplishment.”3
In 1545, the Catholic Church convened one of its most famous councils in history, which took place north of Rome in a city called Trent. The Council of Trent actually continued for three sessions, ending in 1563. One of the main purposes of this Council was for Catholics to plan a counterattack against Martin Luther and the Protestants. Thus the Council of Trent became a center for Rome’s Counter-Reformation. Up to this point, Rome’s main method of attack had been largely frontal—the open burning of Bibles and of heretics. Yet this warfare only confirmed in the minds of Protestants the conviction that Papal Rome was indeed the Beast which would “make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7). Therefore a new tactic was needed, something less obvious. This is where the Jesuits come in.
On August 15, 1534, Ignatius Loyola (in the title picture) founded a secretive Catholic order called the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits. The Jesuits definitely have a dark history of intrigue and sedition, that’s why they were expelled from Portugal (1759), France (1764), Spain (1767), Naples (1767), and Russia (1820). “Jesuit priests have been known throughout history as the most wicked political arm of the Roman Catholic Church. Edmond Paris, in his scholarly work, The Secret History of the Jesuits, reveals and documents much of this information.”4 At the Council of Trent, the Catholic Church gave the Jesuits the specific assignment of destroying Protestantism and bringing people back to the Mother Church. This was to be done not only through the Inquisition and through torture, but also through theology.
|The Jesuit Commission
|At the Council of Trent, the Jesuits were commissioned to develop a new interpretation of Scripture that would counteract the Protestant Reformation, specifically, the application of the biblical Antichrist to the Roman Catholic Church.
At the Council of Trent, the Jesuits were commissioned by the Pope to develop a new interpretation of Scripture that would counteract the Protestant application of the Bible’s Antichrist prophecies to the Roman Catholic Church. Francisco Ribera (1537-1591), a brilliant Jesuit priest and doctor of theology from Spain, basically said, “Here am I, send me.” Like Martin Luther, Francisco Ribera also read by candlelight the prophecies about the Antichrist, the little horn, that man of sin, and the Beast. But because of his dedication and allegiance to the Pope, he came to conclusions vastly different from those of the Protestants. “Why, these prophecies don’t apply to the Catholic Church at all!” Ribera said. Then to whom do they apply? Ribera proclaimed, “To only one sinister man who will rise up at the end of time!” “Fantastic!” was the reply from Rome, and this viewpoint was quickly adopted as the official Roman Catholic position on the Antichrist.
|Francisco Ribera and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, two Jesuit scholars, published works that taught that the Scriptures written by Paul, Daniel, and John had nothing whatsoever to say about the Papal power.
“In 1590, Ribera published a commentary on the Revelation as a counter-interpretation to the prevailing view among Protestants which identified the Papacy with the Antichrist. Ribera applied all of Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end time rather than to the history of the Church. Antichrist would be a single evil person who would be received by the Jews and would rebuild Jerusalem.”5 “Ribera denied the Protestant Scriptural Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2) as seated in the church of God—asserted by Augustine, Jerome, Luther and many reformers. He set on an infidel Antichrist, outside the church of God.”6 “The result of his work [Ribera’s] was a twisting and maligning of prophetic truth.”7
|Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, who helped popularize and propagate the futuristic interpretation of biblical prophecy.
Following close behind Francisco Ribera was another brilliant Jesuit scholar, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) of Rome. Between 1581 and 1593, Cardinal Bellarmine published his “Polemic Lectures Concerning the Disputed Points of the Christian Belief Against the Heretics of This Time.” In these lectures, he agreed with Ribera. “The futurist teachings of Ribera were further popularized by an Italian cardinal and the most renowned of all Jesuit controversialists. His writings claimed that Paul, Daniel, and John had nothing whatsoever to say about the Papal power. The futurists’ school won general acceptance among Catholics. They were taught that Antichrist was a single individual who would not rule until the very end of time.”8 Through the work of these two tricky Jesuit scholars, we might say that a brand new baby was born into the world. Protestant historians have given this baby a name—Jesuit Futurism. In fact, Francisco Ribera has been called the Father of Futurism.
Defining the Issue
Before we go much farther, let’s define some terms. Historicism is the belief that Biblical prophecies about the little horn, the man of sin, the Antichrist, the Beast, and the Babylonian Harlot of Revelation 17, all apply to the developing history of Christianity and to the ongoing struggle between Jesus Christ and Satan within the Christian Church, culminating at the end of time. Historicism sees these prophecies as having a direct application to Papal Rome as a system whose doctrines are actually a denial of the New Testament message of free salvation by grace through simple faith in Jesus Christ, apart from works. Historicism was the primary prophetic viewpoint of the Protestant Reformers. In direct opposition to Historicism, and rising up as a razor-sharp counterattack on Protestantism, was that of the Jesuits with their viewpoint of Futurism, which basically says, “The Antichrist prophecies have nothing to do with the history of Papal Rome, rather, they apply to only one sinister man who comes at the end.”
Thus Jesuit Futurism sweeps 1,500 years of prophetic history under the proverbial rug by inserting its infamous GAP. This theory teaches that when Rome fell, prophecy stopped, only to continue again right around the time of the Rapture, thus the “gap” was created. The ten horns, the little horn, the Beast, and the Antichrist have nothing to do with Christians until this “last-day Antichrist” should appear. According to this viewpoint, there were no prophecies being fulfilled during the Dark Ages!
Inroads in Protestantism
For almost 300 years after the Council of Trent, Jesuit Futurism remained largely inside the realm of Catholicism, but the plan of the Jesuits was that these theological tenets be adopted by Protestants. This adoption process actually began in the early 1800s in England, and from there it spread to America. The story of how this happened is both fascinating and tragic. As I briefly share some of the highlights, I want to clarify that I am not judging the genuineness of these Christian men. They may have been sincere, yet at the same time deceived in some areas of their theological understanding.
“The Futurism of Ribera never posed a positive threat to the Protestants for three centuries. It was virtually confined to the Roman Church. But early in the nineteenth century it sprang forth with vehemence and latched on to Protestants of the Established Church of England.”9 Dr. Samuel Roffey Maitland (1792-1866), a lawyer and Bible scholar, became a librarian to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is very likely that one day he discovered Ribera’s commentary in the library. In any event, in 1826 he published a widely-read book attacking the Reformation and supporting Ribera’s idea of a future one-man Antichrist. For the next ten years, in tract after tract, he continued his anti-Reformation rhetoric. As a result of his zeal and strong attacks against the Reformation in England, the Protestantism of that very nation which produced the King James Bible (1611) received a crushing blow.
After Dr. Maitland came James H. Todd, a professor of Hebrew at the University of Dublin. Todd accepted the futuristic ideas of Maitland, publishing his own supportive pamphlets and books. Then came John Henry Newman (1801-1890), a member of the Church of England and a leader of the famous Oxford Movement (1833-1845). In 1850, Newman wrote his “Letter on Anglican Difficulties,” revealing that one of the goals in the Oxford Movement was to finally absorb “the various English denominations and parties” back into the Church of Rome. After publishing a pamphlet endorsing Todd’s futurism about a one-man Antichrist, Newman soon became a full Roman Catholic, and later even a highly honored Cardinal. Through the influence of Maitland, Todd, Newman, and others, a definite “Romeward movement was already arising, destined to sweep away the old Protestant landmarks, as with a flood.”10
Then came the much-respected Scottish Presbyterian minister, Edward Irving (1792-1834), the acknowledged forerunner of both the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. Irving pastored the large Chalcedonian Chapel in London with over 1,000 members. When Irving turned to the prophecies, he eventually accepted the one-man Antichrist idea of Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera, yet he went a step further. Somewhere around 1830, Edward Irving began to teach the unique idea of a two-phase return of Christ, the first phase being a secret rapture prior to the rise of the Antichrist. Where he got this idea is a matter of much dispute. Journalist Dave MacPherson believes Irving accepted it is a result of a prophetic revelation given to a young Scottish girl named Margaret McDonald.11 In any case, the fact is, Irving taught it!
|Adding to the Futuristic interpretation of prophecy, John Nelson Darby added the theory of dispensationalism, or the idea tht God deals with mankind in major dispensations or periods of time.
In the midst of this growing anti-Protestant climate in England, there arose a man by the name of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). A brilliant lawyer, pastor, and theologian, he wrote more than 53 books on Bible subjects. A much-respected Christian and a man of deep piety, Darby took a strong stand in favor of the infallibility of the Bible in contrast with the liberalism of his day. He became one of the leaders of a group in Plymouth, England, which became known as the Plymouth Brethren. Darby’s contribution to the development of evangelical theology has been so great that he has been called The Father of Modern Dispensationalism. Yet John Nelson Darby, like Edward Irving, also became a strong promoter of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture followed by a one-man Antichrist. In fact, this teaching has become a hallmark of Dispensationalism.
Dispensationalism is the theory that God deals with mankind in major dispensations or periods. According to Darby, we are now in the “Church Age,” that is, until the Rapture. After the Rapture, then the seven-year period of Daniel 9:27 will supposedly kick in, and this is when the Antichrist will rise up against the Jews. In fact, John Nelson Darby laid much of the foundation for the present popular removal of Daniel’s 70th week away from history and from Jesus Christ in favor of applying it to a future Tribulation after the Rapture. Thus, in spite of all the positives of his ministry, Darby followed Maitland, Todd, Bellarmine, and Ribera by incorporating the teachings of Futurism into his theology. This created a link between John Nelson Darby, the Father of Dispen-sationalism, and the Jesuit Francisco Ribera, the Father of Futurism. Darby visited America six times between 1859-1874, preaching in all of its major cities, during which time he definitely planted the seeds of Futurism in American soil. The child of the Jesuits was growing up.
|Futurism in America
|Cyrus Scofield, the famed publisher of the Scofield Reference Bible, liberally interspersed the footnotes of his Bible with large doses of Futurism. These footnotes are still widely accepted by many theologians today.
One of the most important figures in this whole drama is Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921), a Kansas lawyer who was greatly influenced by the writings of Darby. In 1909, Scofield published the first edition of his famous Scofield Reference Bible. In the early 1900s, this Bible became so popular in American Protestant Bible schools that it was necessary to print literally millions of copies. Yet, in the much-respected footnotes of this very Bible, Scofield injected large doses of the fluid of Futurism also found in the writings of Darby, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera. Through the Scofield Bible, the Jesuit child reached young adulthood. The doctrine of an Antichrist still to come was becoming firmly established inside 20th-century American Protestantism.
The Moody Bible Institute and the Dallas Theological Seminary have strongly supported the teachings of John Nelson Darby, and this has continued to fuel Futurism’s growth. Then in the 1970s, Pastor Hal Lindsey, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, released his blockbuster book The Late Great Planet Earth. This 177-page, easy-to-read volume brought Futurism to the masses of American Christianity, and beyond. The New York Times labeled it “The number one best-seller of the decade.” Over 30 million copies have been sold, and it has been translated into over 30 languages. Through The Late Great Planet Earth, Jesuit Futurism took a strong hold over the Protestant Christian world.
Now we have Left Behind. In the 1990s, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins took the future one-man Antichrist idea of Hal Lindsey, Scofield, Darby, Irving, Newman, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera, and turned it into “The most successful Christian-fiction series ever” (Publishers Weekly). Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth, was largely theological, which limited its appeal, while Left Behind is a sequence of highly imaginative novels, “overflowing with suspense, action, and adventure,” a “Christian thriller,” with a “label its creators could never have predicted: blockbuster success” (Entertainment Weekly). The much-respected television ministries of Jack Van Impe, Peter and Paul Lalonde, and Pastor John Hagee, have all worked together to produce LEFT BEHIND: The Movie. The entire project has even caught the attention of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, resulting in an interview of LaHaye and Jenkins on Larry King Live. The Left Behind books have been made available on displays at WalMart, Fry’s Electronics, and inside countless other stores.
Again, let me clarify, I am not judging the genuineness of the authors of Left Behind and the leaders of these television ministries. They may be sincere, and have their own walk with God. But they are deceived into wrong ideas concerning Bible prophecy. God may even use Left Behind to influence people for Jesus Christ. But, in the full light of Scripture, prophecy, and the Protestant Reformation, something is terribly wrong. Left Behind is now teaching much of the same Jesuit Futurism as Francisco Ribera, which is hiding the real truth about the Antichrist. Through Left Behind, the floodgates of Futurism have been opened, unleashing a massive tidal wave of false prophecy which is now sweeping over America. Sadly, it is a false “idea whose time has come.”
The Prophetic Foundation
As we have already seen, the theological foundation for the entire Left Behind series is the application of the “seven years” of Daniel 9:27 to a future period of Tribulation. Are you ready for this? Guess who was one of the very first scholars to slice Daniel’s 70th week away from the first 69 weeks, sliding it down to the end of time? It was Francisco Ribera! “Ribera’s primary apparatus was the seventy weeks. He taught that Daniel’s 70th week was still in the future. . . It was as though God put a giant rubber band on this Messianic time measure. Does this supposition sound familiar? This is exactly the scenario used by Hal Lindsey and a multitude of other current prophecy teachers.”12
When most Christians look at the last 1,500 years, how much fulfilled prophecy do they see? None, zero, because almost everything is now being applied to a future time period after the Rapture. As we have seen, this GAP idea originated with the Jesuits, and its insertion into the majority of 21st century prophetic teaching is now blinding millions of hearts and eyes to what has gone before, and to what is happening right now inside the Church. “It is this GAP theory that permeates Futurism’s interpretation of all apocalyptic prophecy.”13 In love and in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, someone should publicly appeal to the major prophetic television ministries of today to re-evaluate their positions. Hopefully, like noble ships with a new command from their captain, they will yet change their course.
Jesuit Futurism has almost completely changed the beliefs of Protestant Historicism. “The proper eschatological term for the view most taught today is Futurism, which fuels the confusion of Dispensationalism. The futuristic school of Bible prophecy came from the Roman Catholic Church, specifically her Jesuit theologians. . . However the alternative has been believed for centuries. It is known as Historicism.”14 “It is a matter for deep regret that those who hold and advocate the Futurist system at the present day, Protestants as they are for the most part, are thus really playing into the hands of Rome, and helping to screen the Papacy from detection as the Antichrist.”15
Who Had It Right?
Who had the right theology—those who were burned at the stake for Jesus Christ, or those who lit the fires? Who had the true Bible doctrine—the martyrs or their persecutors? Who had the correct interpretation of the Antichrist—those who died trusting in the blood of Christ, or those who shed the blood of God’s dear saints? Dear friend, Jesuit Futurism is now at war with the Protestant Reformation by denying its power-packed application of prophecy to the Vatican. “The futurist school of Bible prophecy was created for one reason, and one reason only: to counter the Protestant Reformation!”16 In fact, Jesuit Futurism is at war with the prophecies of the Word of God itself! And if that’s not enough, consider this: Jesuit Futurism originated with the Roman Catholic Church, which makes it the very doctrine of the Antichrist! And when Christian ministries and movies like A Thief in the Night, Apocalypse, Revelation, Tribulation, and Left Behind, proclaim an Antichrist who comes only after the Rapture, what are they really doing? I shudder to even say it. Are you ready for this? They are sincerely and yet unknowingly teaching the doctrine of the Antichrist!
Now you know why truth has been left behind. You are now able to see The Left Behind deception. I appeal to you in the loving name of Jesus Christ, the Crucified One—Don’t fall for it.
THE TESTIMONY OF THE REFORMERS
THE SECRET RAPTURE
HISTORY OF THE JESUITS, Vol. 1, 1816
HISTORY OF THE JESUITS, Vol. 2, 1816
THE JESUITS, AS THEY WERE AND ARE, 1845
HISTORY OF THE JESUITS, 1854
MODERN JESUITISM, 1855
SECRET INSTRUCTIONS OF THE JESUITS, 1857
THE JESUITS; A COMPLETE HISTORY, 1885
THE JESUITS IN GREAT BRITAIN, 1903
THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH & THE PRIMACY OF ROME, 1910
FOURTEEN YEARS A JESUIT, Vol. 1, 1911
FOURTEEN YEARS A JESUIT, Vol. 2, 1911
THE JESUITS IN HISTORY, 1914
|Scriptures Prove Secret Pre-tribulation Rapture is Anti-biblical!
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.... 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 24:21,22,29-31)
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus' disciples asked him what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? the first thing he told them was, Take heed that no man deceive you. He then preceded to give them a long list of things that were to transpire just before his second coming and the end of the world. Jesus said,
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matt. 24:37-39).What is the common denominator in these scripture passages? Secret Rapture proponents argue that the ark in Matthew 24:38 is symbolic of Christ as a vehicle by which Christians will be taken out of the world prior to the great tribulation thereby escaping the wrath of God upon the wicked. But this theory does not float (no pun intended). The obvious common denominator in these scriptures is that while both Noah and Lot escaped the destruction of the wicked neither of them was taken out of the world. The common denominator is that the wicked are going about their daily lives and the righteous are obeying the commandments of their Lord. Noah obeyed God and was kept safe through the great flood. Lot obeyed God and was kept safe during the fiery destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Noah and Lot were not secretly or otherwise Raptured out of the world. Jesus said, I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (John 17:15)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not taken out of the midst of the burning fiery furnace, they were kept safe from the destructive force of the flames (Dan. 3:21,25,27). Daniel was not taken out of the den of lions, he was kept safe from the lions’ mouths (Dan. 6:16,22). Noah, and Lot, were not taken from the earth when the wrath of God fell upon the wicked. Daniel, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not taken out of the midst of their tribulations and temptations and the fiery trials of their faith. Noah, and Lot, and Daniel, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were all kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (I Pet. 1:5,10,11). The prophet Isaiah said, No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. (Is. 54:17). Jesus said, But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matt. 24:13)
A very significant Bible passage concerning the second coming of the Son of man is also very revealing in that it warns us against belief in a secret coming of Christ: Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.(Matt. 24:25,26). The scriptures consistently describe the second coming of Christ as a very noisy and visible event:
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(Matt. 24:27)
The events described in the above scriptures make it clear that Christ's second coming is anything but secret. We are told in no uncertain terms that the coming of Christ will be as the lightning(Matt. 24:27), that 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....(Matt. 24:30,31). Proponents of the secret rapture claim that Matthew 24:29-31 describes the second coming, which will include a great sound of a trumpet(Matt. 24:31). So how can 1st Corinthians 15, which speaks of the last trump when the trumpet shall sound, refer to the Rapture when there is yet another trumpet to be sounded, several years later, at the second coming? When Matthew 24 and 1st Corinthians 15 mentions the last trump, a great sound of a trumpet, and as the lightning, all are describing the same event the second coming of Christ. There is nothing secret about lightning. And there is nothing secret about a great sound of a trumpet. To deduce from any of these Bible verses a secret coming of Christ is to deny the plain meaning of the scriptures.
Another set of scripture passages frequently used by secret rapture proponents is Matthew 24:37-41 and Luke 17:31-37, which says that Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. But look closely at Matthew 24:39: it is not the wheat the saints, God's elect, the church that is taken; it is the tares the wicked, unbelievers, counterfeit Christians that are taken they knew not until the flood came, and took them all away;(Matt. 24:39); Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.(Matt. 13:30).
Titus 2:13 is often used to support a secret rapture. The argument is that the blessed hope is the rapture and the glorious appearing is the revelation. But this would postulate a second and a third coming, of which there is not the slightest intimation of such in all of scripture. What is the Christian's hope? Paul gives us the answer in his first letter to Timothy, Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;(I Tim. 1:1).
Another scripture used by the Secret Rapture proponents is Luke 21:36, Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. They contend that this scripture means that the church will be Raptured out of the world prior to the great tribulation period. They argue that the phrase to stand before the Son of man is to be taken in a literal sense. But the same phraseology is used in Revelation 11:4 when speaking of the two witnesses standing before the God of the earth. Whether literal or not, neither Luke 21:36 nor any other Bible verse gives the slightest hint of a secret catching away of the saints. Second Thessalonians chapter two is, according to Secret Rapture proponents, further proof that the saints will be secretly caught away:
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;
Let us examine the above text in the light of the scriptures. Verse 3 says, that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (II Thess. 2:3). Writing to Timothy, the apostle Paul warned, Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith [a falling away2Thess.2:3], 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.... (I Tim. 4:1-3). Paul said, For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:29,30). And the apostle John warned, Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, exclaimed John, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (I John 2:18,19). To be made manifest means to be revealed. Paul said that the mystery of iniquity doth already work: and that he might be revealed in his time. What is the mystery of iniquity? In the book of Revelation chapter 17 verse 5 the apostle John tells us,
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.This mysterious mother of harlots is also called the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. (Rev. 17:1,2). The Bible tells us that in the days of the apostles the mystery of iniquity doth already work and even now are there many antichrists (II Thess. 2:7, I John 2:18). The angel of Revelation chapter 17 said unto John,
I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Rev. 17:7,8)
Who else in scripture shares a similar attribute was, and is not, and yet is? The Lord Jesus Christ I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Rev. 1:8). Lucifer said, I will be like the most High. (Is. 14:14). This is the great counterfeit of Christ which John said is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (I John 4:3). Paul said, And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. (II Thess. 2:6). This is the great counterfeit Christian church that was to come to power not far in the distant future after the apostle Paul's death. We are told that this great power would come in the name of Jesus Christ to draw away disciples after a falling away from the truth (Acts 20:30; Mat. 24:5; II Thess. 2:3). The angel then tells John,
The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman [harlot church] sitteth. [in scripture hills are sometimes called mountains] (Rev. 17:9)
The Catholic Encyclopedia states: It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined. (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, 1976, see Rome). The official Catholic Bible, the NASB, states, The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits enthroned. (Rev. 17:9) (See Defining Antichrist). The ecclesiastical-temporal union of church and state by the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century marked the beginning of the establishment of the mother of harlots, with whom the kings of the earth have committed spiritual fornication (Rev. 17:2). This religio-political power of Rome is the fulfillment of many Bible prophecies, being recognized by the remnant of faithful believers over the centuries as the four beasts and little horn of Daniel chapter 7, Paul's man of sin of 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, and John's beast of Revelation chapters 13 and 17. But despite the abundance of scripture evidence and historical facts many of our pro-secret rapture friends are still not convinced.
Let us look again at 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 and compare scripture with scripture: here we are told of that man of sin whom the apostle Paul said would be revealed in his time. (II Thess. 2:3,6). Secret Rapture proponents argue that these scriptures point to one single sinister devil-man who is to appear on the scene after the true church is caught away. They contend that the phrases that man of sin be revealed and that Wicked be revealed refers to a single individual person. But could not Paul be using these terms in the same plural sense as in That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works(II Tim. 3:17) and the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience(Eph. 2:2) and this is that spirit of antichrist(I John 4:3)? In light of the scriptures presented here along with irrefutable historical corroborating evidence we have every reason to believe that the man of sin refers not to a single person, but to a long succession of Christian impostors.
It is both interesting and disturbing to see how that in recent years many once Bible believing churches have compromised the Word of God and fallen away from the sound doctrine of the scriptures back to the fables of the Roman Catholic church, as the prophecies of the scriptures are literally being fulfilled before our eyes (II Thess. 2:3; I Tim. 4:1-5; II Tim. 4:1-4). The falling away foretold in second Thessalonians chapter two began in the early days of the church and excelled in the fourth century with the establishing of the Pagan/Christian Roman Catholic church. The falling away refers to the falling away from true Apostolic Christianity, the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (II Thess. 2:3; Jude 1:3). The early Christians clearly understood this, as did the Protestant Christians of the Reformation. Read what Protestant churches taught for centuries in their official prayer books and in their public declarations of faith. Even the Episcopal church in America and the Anglican church in England exposed many of the blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits of the Roman Catholic church (see Book of Common Prayer, Article 31). As late as the middle of the twentieth century, circa 1953, the Episcopal church in America understood and revealed, at least in part, the doctrines of antichrist. (See A FALLING AWAY)
For more than three centuries, the vast majority of American pulpits reverberated the sound doctrine of the Holy Scriptures. Ministers of the gospel knew the true source of man's salvation as revealed in the Holy Bible. They also knew the source of man's depraved nature and his inclination to follow dangerous heresies. And this is why pastors of churches regularly preached against false doctrines and cunningly devised fables. It is only in the last two generations that many, if not most, American Christians have become ignorant of the history of the world, of the history of their nation, and of the history of the churches both at home and abroad.
The Lord said, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Herein lies one of the grave dangers of believing in a pre-tribulation rapture: if Christians believe they're going to be "raptured" from the earth before the great tribulation and the mark of the beast, they will have no reason to believe that it is in fact the mark of the beast and will readily accept it.
People often confuse sincerity with humility. We can be sincere, yet wrong. We can be sincere, yet deceived. True humility is to admit that our hearts are "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked", and then let the word of God correct us and be our final authority (I Pet. 5:5; Jer. 17:9; II Tim. 3:16). Sadly, many professing themselves to be Christians today are erring by failing to believe and trust the words of the Lord in the Holy Bible. And instead of trusting that the Lord preserved his pure words as promised, many modern-day Christians are putting their trust in the wisdom of man's inventions via Bible lexicons and such. All Christians profess to believe that God speaks to them in the Bible. He speaks, and therefore He can make us hear and know His voice. But we fall far too readily into the notion that the book only speaks to us; and we find, when we think so, that our spirit does not hear. Then we go to commentaries; we try one after another; we know not how to ascertain whether this or that commentary may be most safely trusted; we go further and further from the Book which all the time we profess to consider divine, and we despair of its teaching, even whilst we seem to ourselves to be reverencing it. (Bible Readings, Edinburgh, 1864, Preface, p. 6). Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. (Prov. 26:12)
Dear fellowservants in Christ, we are charge[d] to reprove, rebuke and exhort with the pure "preserve[d] sound doctrine of the inspired holy scriptures. We are living in the perilous times of the last days and the falling away from the faith which was once delivered unto the saints, when men are lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, Having a form of godliness, when they will not endure sound doctrine, but shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie (Psa. 12:6,7; II Tim. 3:1-5,16; 4:1; II Thess. 2:3-11; Jude 1:3).
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord is calling us back to himself and to his pure preserved word, saying, Come out of her, my people: I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works. The fables of the Roman church are ensnaring the souls of millions, while many once Bible believing Christians are being led astray and lulled into a state of complacency with the charms of THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS (II Tim. 4:1-4; Rev. 2:4,5; 17:1-6; 18:4).
A Dictionary of the Holy Bible
By John Brown
A Dictionary of the Holy Bible
By John Brown
(Note: In 18th century English a long sounding lower-case "s" resembled a lower-case "f" in appearance)
ANTICHRIST, an adversary of Jesus Christ. Heretics who denied the doctrine of the Trinity, or the divinity or incarnation of Christ, &c. were called Antichrist: of this sort there were many in the time of the apostle John, i John ii. 13, 22. and iv. 3. But one particular system of wicked persons, principles, and practices, is chiefly so designed: in the daily fear of which the primitive Christians lived. The scripture represents this Antichrist as a very man of sin, and son of perdition: as a strong delusion over-spreading the whole Roman empire; as a terrible judgment introduced by ignorance and hatred of the truth and apostacy from it; as springing from the bottomlefs pit, amidst terrible smoke of superstition and error; as sitting in the temple or church of God; as exalting himself above magistrates, angels, and every thing called God; as a contemner of the gods of the idolatrous hieathen, and the God of his prosessed fathers, in the primitive church, and setting up a new class of Mahuzzim, deities to protect his different dominions; as given to the vilest blasphemy, error, cruelty, and persecution; as possessing a civil and ecclesiastic power over the ten parts of the Roman empire, and seizing upon three of them for his proper domain; as establifhing his abominations, unnumbered by false miracles, and lying wonders; as excluding from civil commerce such as do not more or less solemnly acknowledge, and submit to his power. United under one head, the destructive angel of the bottomless pit, the promoters of this delusion, were to be many and mischievous, as locusts and scorpions: ruinous to such as had not the true grace of God; having their conscience seared as with an hot iron; speaking lies in hypocrisy; propagating the doctrines of devils, forbidding to marry, or on occasions, to use lawful and wholesome meats;—while their hearers had itching ears, heaped up teachers, and gave heed unto fables:
they were to be lovers of them-selves, covetous, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, falfe accusers, incontinent, wallowers in all manner of uncleanness, intemperate, fierce, defpisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, creeping into houses, and leading captive silly women laden with sins. The chief residence of this monster was to be Rome: its name, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth. The Number of his name is 666, whose numeral letters constitute Latinus or Romiish, and whose square root is 25, the number of the articles of faith, and of many other things in the Romish church. This Antichrist began to work in the apostolic age, but was checked by the power of the Roman empire till that was destroyed, and a fearful apostacy from the faith happened in the church. His duration is 1260 years; during which he promotes idolatry, lies, and blasphemy, treads the church under foot, and persecutes the saints, who all along bear Witness against his abominations; nor do the terrible ravages of the Turkish angels, loosed from the Euphrates, in the least make his subjets to repent of their idolatries, murders, sorceries, fornications, thefts. At the end of his reign, he shall, with craft and fury, almost entirely cut off faithful witnessing for Chrift:—but all of a sudden, by the pure preaching of the gospel; by the effusion of sevenfold plagues, or vials of divine wrath; by the revolt and opposition of his own subjects, shall he be terribly distroyed, to the consternation of his adherents, and the great joy of the saints, both Jews and Gentiles, Dan. vii. 8—12. 20—26. and xi. 36—40. 2 Thess. ii. 3—12. 1 Tim. iv. 1—3. 2 Tim. iii. 1—7. and iv. 3,4. Rev. ix. 1-—11. 20, 21. aud xi. and xiii. to xix. chapters. The above characters, drawn from the scripture, can, with no justice, be applied to the heathen emperors of Rome; much less to the fanciful Danitish Antichrift of Popish writers, the Armillus of the Jews, or the Daggial of the Mahometans. The Mahometan system may indeed be considered as a lesser and more improper Antichrist; but neither are the most of the characters applicable to it. It sits not in the church, nor contains any pretensions of men to power equal to God's: allows of no idolatry, nor is it noted for persecution of the saints: nor was it established by lying wonders, but by the power of the sword.
But every part of the above character is clearly applicable to the PAPACY. In the apostolic age it began to work in the ambition and false doftrines of the pretended apostles; all along, in the succeeding ages, it operated more and more in the growth of error and superftition; and in the aspiring temper of the clergy, chiefly of the bishops of Rome. The continued power of the emperors was long a check to the pride of the Roman bishops; but when the seat of the empire was removed to Conitantinople, about A.D. 330; when the western empire was entirely dissolved by the barbarians, A.D. 476; and finally, when ia A. D. 566, the emperor Justin stript Rome of her consuls and senate, and made it subject to the Exarch of Ravenna, they had full opportunity to exert their ambition.
Seven forms of government, viz. by kings, consuls, decemvirs, tribunes, dictators, emperors, Heathen and Christian, and by Gothilh kings, had already had their turns at Rome; and the empire was parcelled out into ten different Sovereignties. The Chriilian clergy had heaped up the
unscriptural dignities of lordly bishops, archbishops, metropolitans patriarchs, one over another. They still wanted an head to unite them into one body. The bishops of Rome, by encouraging appeals to their bar, by pretending deeds of council in their favour, and a thousand other fraudulent methods, struggled for the sovereignty; nor were the patriarchs of Conftantincple idle. Gregory the Great filled tlve Romish see about A.D. 600. In opposition to John of Constantinople, he loudly maintained, That whoever claimed an uniiversal headship over the Christian church, was doubtless the forerunner of Antichrist, if not actually He. Meanwhile, he laboured with all his might to incrcase the fooleries of superstition; the multitude of which, along with their attendant errors, now darkened the face of the Chnftian church; and to procure preferment flattered Phocas. About A.D. 606, or 608, bishop Boniface the 3d, by flattering of Phocas the emperor of Constantinople, one of the vilest traitors and murderers, and one of the most inhuman and wicked wretches, that ever breathed, procured himself the title of Universal Bishop. Deputies were immediately dispatched through the western churches to introduce the new superstition, and procure submission to the Romish yoke. These deputies were often very ignorant, and quite incapable to officiate, in the language of the countries whither they came. A remedy was found; about A. D. 666, it is said Pope Vitalian appointed all religious worship in public to be performed in Latin. This at once concealed the ignorance of the deputies, and marked the churches with an implicit subjcilion to Rome. The Popes exerted their sacred power in promoting tho idolatrous worihip of images, reliques, saints, and angels; in adding to the farmer
superstition; in erecting new offices and orders of monks, till the nations groaned under the load of the numerous and oppressive clergy, who, by means crafty and base, appropriated to themselves the most part of the wealth and power of the Christian world. Not content with ecclesiastic authority, the Popes grasped at the civil. About 750, or 756, they became princes of Italy, lords of the three sovereignties of the dukedom of Rome, the exarchate of Ravenna, and the region of Pentapoles. They gradually proceeded to claim a suprcme authority over all the kings and emperors in Christendom; deposing the emperors of Germany, kings of France, England, &c. at pleasure, and absolving their subjefls from their allegiance. They pretended to dispose of the countries in Asia, Africa, and America, to the Portugoese and Spaniards, who conquered them. They extended their power to the angels, charging them to conduct to the celestial mansions, such departed souls as they pleased ; and ordering devils to leave the bodies which they had possessed. They assumed a practical supremacy over the divine persons themselves, in pretending to form and divide the glorified body of Jesus at pleasure; in altering the divine laws; issuing forth pardons, and indulgences in sin; in cancelling the obligation of oaths, &c. What ignornnt, proud, blasphemers, atheiits, inchanters, murderers, whoremongers, incestuous and perjured persons, many of the popes were! and how ignorance, superstition, idolatry, and every other crime, abounded by their means, is obvious to every one acquainted with their history. In the 10th and 11th centuries, things were in a most deplorable condition: the great part of the Romish Christians were similar to beasts in stupidity, and to infernals in im-
piety. In the subsequent age, the scholastic learning began. Its chief tendency was to pervert and obscure the scripture, render the Christian principles quite unintelligible, and to fupport the abominations then introduced. To render it impossible for the laics to discover the errors and horrid villainies of the clergy, their reading of the scripture was represented as extremely dangerous, and enacted to be no less criminal. To prevent every murmur againit their conduct, courts of inquisition were erected, by means of which, the least suspicion of pretended heresy, or even the falsest accusation, exposed multitudes to the danger of confiscation of goods, of imprisonment, tortures, and death.
In every part of the Antichristian period God had his witnesses for the truth; and terribly were these persecuted and murdered by the Papists. The Waldenses of Piedmont and France, in the 12th and 13th centuries; the Wickliffites of England, in the 14th; the Bohemians in the 15th, were the most noted; and between a million or two, or perhaps more, were murdered on that account. In the i6th century the shocking impiety, fraud and oppression of the Romanists provoked vast numbers to throw off their yoke. The Pope's authority was abolished in Britain, in Sweden, Denmark, Holland, and a great number of States in Germany and Switzerland. Multitudes in France, Poland, Hungary, and even in Italy and Spain, were convinced of, and rejefted the Popish delusions. By an establishment of their abominations in the council of Trent, but chiefly by murderous wars and persecutions in Germany, Low-countries, France; by horrid massacres in France and Ireland; by bloody perfections in Poland, Hungary, England, Scotland, Savoy, &c. the Popes agents, for about 150 year, attempted to reduce them.
Great men have thought, that Antichrist's general slaughter of the witnesses, and their death of three ytars and a half, have already happened. Some things similar have indeed taken place. After the council of Constance, about 1414, sat three years and a half to ruin them, and establish Popery, the Bohemians remarkably prevailed. After the affairs of the Protestants had been about three years and a half in a ruined condition, Maurice, who had formerly betrayed them, took arms in their favour, and recovered their liberties about A.D. 1551. After about three years and a half persecution, have the Protestants of Savoy oftener than once got relief. Three years and a half the Protestant religion seemed almost ruined in England, under Queen Mary; and again under King James II. of Britain; and at the end thereof, waa re-established by Elisabeth, and K. William: nor was it much above three years and an half; when relief from the massacres began to be granted the Protestants in France and Ireland. But it is observable, all these slaughters were particular; nor are the kingdoms of this world yet become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. We must therefore believe the sad and most grievous conflict with Antichrit to be still future. The present abounding of ignorance, the contempt of the scripture, the prevalent errors on the head of justification and free will, the attachment to gaudy pomp in the worihip of God, the pride, ambition, contention, and loose living of the Protestants, appear wide steps towards a return to Rome.
A Dictionary of the Holy Bible, By John Brown, Albany, 1816, pages 40-42
The Union Bible dictionary
For The Use Of Schools, Bible Classes, and Families
By Frederick Adolphus Packard, Philadelphia, 1855
Who is antichrist? has been a question of curious and not uninteresting speculation for ages. The prevailing opinion seems to be, that the papal power is intended to be represented; and that the history of that power thus far corresponds very accurately in its principal features with the sure word of prophecy.
The Westminster Bible Dictionary
Man of Sin
Whoever reveals the distinctive features of the Man of Sin; whoever wields the temporal or spiritual power in any degree similar to that in which the Man of Sin is described as wielding it,—he, whether pope or potentate, is beyond doubt a type of Antichrist.
People's Dictionary Of The Bible
The word antichrist does not always mean openly opposed to Christ, but putting something in the place of Christ. Any person teaching any way to God, excepting through Christ, is Antichrist. Any person teaching any way of salvation, excepting through the blood of Christ, is Antichrist. John says that in his day, "Now are there many antichrists." 1 John 2:18. The papal church, putting its traditions in the place of the Scriptures, putting the Virgin Mary, the saints, the Pope, the priest, good works, the mass, purgatory, etc., as the way of salvation, in place of salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is pre-eminently Antichrist.
Let us now move forward a hundred years and witness the apostasy of modern Christianity. Nominal Christians unfamiliar with history are easily misled by biased modern-day reference works such as the 1997 edition of the Illustrated Dictionary Of The Holy Bible which states:
The main reason the Bible discusses the Antichrist is not to encourage idle speculation, but to warn believers not to be misled by his deceit (Matt. 24:4-5, 23-24). The time when the Antichrist will appear will be very hard for the faithful. They need to be prepared with special instructions on how to deal with this unsettling event. (Illustrated Dictionary Of The Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1997, p. 68)
As we can see, even our modern Bible dictionaries now agree with the Jesuit propaganda of Francisco Ribera and Robert Bellarmine, and ignore the pages of history, the documented events that have taken place over many centuries which clearly reveals the system of antichrist. As early as the late 1800's, coinciding with the growth and spread of Roman Catholicism in America, Bible dictionaries began the process of omitting any reference that connected the papacy to Antichrist. Fortunately, the scriptures give us a clear picture of antichrist past, present and future.
1) Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;...Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, (1 Timothy 4:1,3) (Abstinence from meats on certain "holy days" and celibacy of the clergy is not in the New Testament.)
a) Canon 277 of the Roman Catholic church: Clerics [priests, bishops, etc.] are obliged to observe perfect and perpetual continence for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven, and are therefore bound to celibacy. (Compare this with the scriptures: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, (1 Timothy 3:2,12))
b) Canons 1250-1252 of the Roman Catholic church: The law of abstinence prohibits meat and soups made of meat....(1250.) and must be observed every Friday.(1251) every Ash Wed, every Friday and Saturday of Lent, [etc.]...(1252. 2.) (Compare this with the scriptures: For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:4,5))
2) and I saw a woman...full of names of blasphemy, (Revelation 17:3)
a) The Pope of Rome has taken unto himself the title of "Holy Father", a title belonging exclusively to God (John 17:11).
b) Circa 1200 A.D., Pope Innocent III declared himself "the bridegroom", a title belonging exclusively to the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 9:15; 25:1-13).
c) The Pope claims to have the authority to forgive sins ("And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" Luke 5:21)
d) Pope Pius IX declared himself "infallible" in July of 1870; (Theological quarterly, Vol. XIII, 1909 p. 66)
e) Pope Leo XIII, in an encyclical letter dated June 1894, said, We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty, i.e. We hold the regency of God on earth.
Note: These are not merely extravagant adulations of the Dark Ages, to be repudiated by the moderns; these terms express the unchanging doctrinal claims of the Roman Church, that put man in the place of God. ("so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4) (The Roman Catholic Church challenged, 1920, p. 155; The Encyclical Letters, p. 330; The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, p. 304; The Rights of the People: or, Civil Government and Religion, 1895, p. 216; Americanism Vs. Roman Catholicism, 1921, p. 194; Our Day in the Light of Prophecy, 1918, p. 149)
3) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (Matthew 23:9)
a) Catholic priests insist on being called "Father" by their followers.
4) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5)
a) The Roman Catholic church has substituted the one and only mediator between God and men, via Peter, Paul, Mary, the pope, the priest, etc.
5) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Matthew 6:7)
a) Catholics are told by their "Fathers" to say "12 Hail Marys", "10 Our Fathers", etc., and they will be absolved of their sins.
6) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, (Revelation 17:4)
a) Purple and scarlet are official colors of the Roman Catholic church. (Photos of Bishops and Cardinals at Pope John Paul II funeral: Photo 1; Photo 2; Photo 3)
7) I will shew unto thee...the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication....And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:1,2,18)
a) The Bible tells us that the kings of the earth will gather together under a religious cloak to do battle against the true God of the Bible, Jesus Christ and his true followers (Psalms 2; Acts 4; Revelation 16). (See Kings of The Earth)
8) Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. (Revelation 2:20,21)
a) Jezebel adopted the worship of "the queen of heaven" and taught God's servants to commit spiritual fornication. The Catholic church teaches people to bow down before idols and images of Mary whom they call "the queen of heaven." (Photos of Catholics worshipping the "queen of heaven": Photo 1; Photo 2; Photo 3)
9) Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. (Revelation 2:22)
a) During the Catholic Mass the priest holds up the bread and wine and says, "We believe that bread and wine truly become the glorified Body and Blood of Jesus Christ", and is "truly become the Body and Blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ", and "What had been bread before has truly become the Blood of Christ, and Jesus is truly present on the alter under both forms." (see "The Mass" in the NASB, 1975 Catholic heirloom Edition, pages 462:14-30). This practice is clearly defined as Idolatry and Adultery in Webster's dictionary; the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins (Revelation 18:3,4)
The same ancient Pagan symbols of idolatry are being used today in Roman Catholic churches around the world (see Photos comparing ancient Pagan idols with modern Catholic symbols).
10) And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: (Revelation 17:6); the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; (Daniel 7:21); And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: (Revelation 13:7)
a) See The Catholic Inquisition: Video; and Torture Tools of The Catholic Inquisitions. Beside those victims of the Inquisition, there were Huguenots, Albigenses, Waldenses, and other Christians who were massacred, tortured, and burned at the stake by the hundreds of thousands simply because they refused to align themselves with the Roman Catholic Church and its corruption and heretical dogmas and practices. Out of conscience they tried to follow the teachings of Christ and the apostles independent of Rome, and for that crime they were maligned, hunted, imprisoned, tortured, and slain. (A Woman Rides The Beast, Dave Hunt, 1994. These facts have been documented by many historians. Our Banquet, H.A. St. John, 1894, pp. 362-364)
11) And he [the man of sin of the harlot church] shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: (Daniel 7:25)
a) The Roman "Decretalia," an authoritative work in the Roman ecclesiastical law, exalts the pope thus: "He can pronounce sentences and judgments in contradiction to the right of nations, to the law of God and man....He can free himself from the commands of the apostles, he being their superior, and from the rules of the Old Testament, etc." "The pope has power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ." (Decretal De. Translat. Episcop. Cap.)
b) The Roman Catholic church changed the laws of God's ten commandments: 1st- by virtually abolishing the second commandment prohibition of idolatry, thus allowing the institution of statues of saints as a sort of intermediary between man and God; 2nd- by changing the fourth commandment to keep holy the seventh day sabbath, thus erroneously proclaiming the first day of the week as the day of the Lord and allowing the institution of the first day of the week as a sort of holy day. (See The Seventh Day Sabbath)
12) The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman [harlot church] sitteth. [hills are sometimes called mountains] (Revelation 17:9)
a) The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson, 1976, see "Rome"). The official Catholic Bible, NASB, states, The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits enthroned. (Revelation 17:9)
Only one church in the world fits all of these prophetic Scriptures perfectly. The Holy Bible foretold of it. History confirms it!
Historian Dave Hunt said, Why would Rome ever apologize for or even admit this holocaust? No one calls her to account today. Protestants have now forgotten the hundreds of thousands of people burned at the stake for embracing the simple gospel of Christ and refusing to bow to papal authority. Amazingly, Protestants are now embracing Rome as Christian while she insists that the "separated brethren" be reconciled to her on her unchangeable terms! Many evangelical leaders are intent upon working with Roman Catholics to evangelize the world.... They don't want to hear any "negative" reminders of the millions of people tortured and slain by the Church to which they now pay homage, or the fact that Rome has a false gospel of sacramental works. (A Woman Rides The Beast, Dave Hunt, 1994)
Read the following information which was taken directly from the NAB (New American Bible), the official Roman Catholic Bible, and see if the church of Rome does not present a false gospel of sacramental works:
It is a true, but unbloody, sacrifice, in which the Body and Blood are offered to God under the appearance of bread and wine. On the Cross the sacrifice of Christ was physical and personal; in the Mass Christ is both priest and victim, and the sacrifice is made through the Ministry of His priests. Pope Pius XII indicated the role the laity should play in the celebration of the Mass.... The faithful are no longer to be mere spectators at the Mass, but are to participate in it, along with the priest. The second Vatican Council convened under Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, further declared: "The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ's faithful, when present at this Mystery of Faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a proper appreciation of the rites and prayers they should participate knowingly, devoutly, and actively. They should be instructed by God's word and be refreshed at the table of the Lord's body . . . by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him.... (page 462-2)
THE OFFERTORY (Liturgy of the Eucharist). After the Offertory procession, the priest prepares the gifts of bread and wine which will be used in the Eucharist.... "Blessed are You, Lord God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have this bread to offer which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become our bread of life. (page 462-14)
PREPARATION OF THE GIFTS (Liturgy of the Eucharist). Having prepared the gift of bread, the priest now prepares the gift of wine, which is to be changed into the Blood of Christ. (page 462-15)
THE CELEBRANT WASHES HIS HANDS (Liturgy of the Eucharist). This washing of the hands is symbolic of the purification of the soul, so that the priest may approach the great sacrifice without blemish. (page 462-16)
CONSECRATION OF THE BREAD (Liturgy of the Eucharist). We believe that bread and wine truly become the glorified Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. (page 462-19)
THE ELEVATION OF THE HOST (Liturgy of the Eucharist). Now the priest raises the consecrated Bread for all to see and adore. What had been bread before had truly become the Body and Blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ. (page 462-20)
CONSECRATION OF THE WINE (Liturgy of the Eucharist). The Wine has now truly become the Blood of Christ, and Jesus is truly present now on the alter under both forms. (page 462-21)
THE ELEVATION OF THE CHALICE (Liturgy of the Eucharist). Again, the celebrant raises the chalice for all to see. It is the Blood of Christ. Jesus offers Himself anew to His Heavenly Father as He did on the Cross.... (page 462-22)
BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD (Liturgy of the Eucharist). The celebrant holds a particle of the Eucharistic bread and uses the words first used by St. John the Baptizer: "Behold the Lamb of God; behold Him who takes away the sins of the world." (page 462-29)
THE COMMUNION PROCESSION (Liturgy of the Eucharist). Having humbly confessed their unworthiness, and asking for forgiveness, mercy, and peace, the communicants proceed to the foot of the alter to receive Holy Communion. The priest holds the Consecrated Host before each communicant saying: "The Body of Christ!" and each communicant replies: "Amen." (page 462-30) (New American Bible, 1975, Catholic heirloom Edition)
If the Roman Catholic Mass is not a false gospel of sacramental works, then nothing is. If the so called act of Transubstantiation and the elevation and veneration of the Host as the Real Presence of the true God is not gross idolatry and another gospel, another spirit and another Jesus, then neither is the Mormon Temple Ceremony false. So what if a Catholic claims to believe in only one God: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19). Compare the false Romish gospel of sacramental works with the once for all.... one sacrifice for sins for ever in the true scriptures of the Holy Bible where there is no more offering for sin, even as the Lord Jesus Christ was dying on the cross at Calvary some two thousand years ago, and said, It is finished (John 19:30), and the old covenant of sacrifices offered by priests for the sins of the people was finished and forever done away with (Heb. 8:13; 10:18):
But Christ... by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb. 9:11-14)
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, Who...by himself purged our sins (Heb. 1:3; 9:28). For we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.... But this man,.. offered one sacrifice for sins for ever.... For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin (Heb. 10:10-18)
Article six of chapter twenty-nine of The Westminster Confession of Faith states:
Of the Lord's Supper.
ART. VI. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood (commonly called transubstantiation) by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant, not to Scripture alone, but even to common-sense and reason; overthroweth the nature of the sacrament; and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries. (The Westminster Confession of Faith, 1646, 29:6)
We'll conclude this revealing study by quoting the apostles Peter and Paul, as they urge us to turn from these vanities of superstitious doctrines of men and from dead works to serve the living God (Acts 14:15; 17:22; Col. 2:22; Heb. 9:14):
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2); In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Eph. 1:13); Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (I Pet. 1:9); Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (I Cor. 10:14)
THE SECRET RAPTURE
TESTIMONY OF THE REFORMERS
ANTICHRIST: Catholic Origins of Futurism (& Pre-Trib Rapture)
Secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory Questions Answered
ANTICHRIST: Denying Jesus Christ is Come in the Flesh
BIBLE POSSESSION BANNED BY CATHOLIC CHURCH
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND CATHOLICISM
ECUMENISM - NEW AGE OF DARKNESS
THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH
THE POPE KISSING THE QU'RAN
THE ISLAM & CATHOLIC CONNECTION
20th CENTURY ATROCITIES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
THE RELIGIOUS VIEWS OF ADOLF HITLER
ANGELS & DEMONS: THE VATICAN AGENDA #1
ANGELS & DEMONS: THE VATICAN AGENDA #2
ANGELS & DEMONS: THE VATICAN AGENDA #3
ANGELS & DEMONS: THE VATICAN AGENDA #4
A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST
CATHOLIC INQUISITION VIDEO
FOXE's BOOK of MARTYRS 1830 (and 1563) PREFACE
THE PAPACY UNCOVERED
APPARITIONS OF MARY
THE WORSHIP OF MARY
WHAT EVERY CATHOLIC SHOULD KNOW
CATHOLIC MYSTICISM and the EMERGING CHURCH
VOICES OF THE EMERGING CHURCH
IDENTIFYING THE EARLY CHURCH
ROOTS OF CATHOLICISM
REACHING CATHOLICS WITH THE GOSPEL
If you have heard of the Illuminati Order and you thought it was some kind of mythological conspiracy theory, here are the archives from George Washington himself, which prove not only their existence, but that they were intensively active in the United States of America. George Washington was also certain that some of the illuminati had infiltrated some of the American Lodges of Freemasonry.TO G. W. SNYDER.It is an undeniable fact that conspiracies exist. It is also un under appreciated fact that most people have been conditioned to pay little or no attention to conspiracies. Misinformation is often circulated in the media and elsewhere for the purpose of leading people away from the truth. This was in the past and still is today one of the main functions of the Catholic Jesuit organization. It is no coincident that high level Jesuits are also high ranking Freemasons. The following information reveals some of the methods employed to deceive. Morals and Dogma is an official Masonic book written by occultist Albert Pike. Pages 104 and 105 of this Satanic occult book states:
Mount Vernon, 24 October, 1798.
I have your favor of the 17th instant before me, and my only motive for troubling you with the receipt of this letter is, to explain and correct a mistake, which I perceive the hurry in which I am obliged often to write letters has led you into.
It was not my intention to doubt, that the doctrines of the Illuminati and the principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States, On the contrary, no one is more fully satisfied of this fact than I am.
The idea that I meant to convey was, that I did not believe that the lodges of freemasons in this country had, as societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the former, or pernicious principles of the latter, if they are susceptible of separation. That individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects, and actually had a separation of the people from their government in view, is too evident to be questioned. (The Writings Of George Washington, Vol. XI., 1855, p. 337)Masonry, like all the religions, all Mysteries, Hermetiscism, and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve to be mislead;Only the illuminated ones at the highest levels of Freemasonry and other secretive societies are privy to the Luciferian agenda of the New World Order. (See Theosophy: The Worship of Lucifer and also George Washington's Prayers)
So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray. (Morals and Dogma, pp. 104, 105)
CLICK HERE FOR HISTORICAL BOOKS & DOCUMENTATION OF FACTS
FOXE's BOOK of MARTYRS, 1830 PREFACE
WORLD RELIGIONS - Article 2