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THE CITY OF ROME IN PROPHECY

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FOREWORD

Every page in the prophecy section of this web site is either 1) dedicated to an explanation of the 70-Weeks Prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27), or 2) built upon the foundation of a proper understanding of that prophecy.

In Daniel's 70-Weeks prophecy God gave the world two prophetic timetables:

    1) A 69-week timetable leading up to the first coming of Jesus Christ.

    2) A remaining 70th week leading up to His second coming.

The 69-week timetable consisted of 69 'weeks of years', each week lasting for 7 years (for a total of 483 years). Jesus fulfilled that timetable when He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, four days before His crucifixion.

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


THE GREAT WEEK OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

The key to fully understanding Daniel's 70th Week lies in understanding four Bible prophecies that form a great 'prophetic chain'.

The individual 'links' in this prophetic chain were given to the world by God over a period of roughly 2000 years; beginning with Abraham around 1900 BC, and ending with the apostle John's reception of the book of Revelation around 65 AD. These four links are presented chronologically from top to bottom below:

My first prophecy web page, titled AN INTRODUCTION TO BIBLE PROPHECY, explains both the Abrahamic Covenant and Daniel's 70-Weeks Prophecy.

The second page, titled THE OLIVET DISCOURSE, explains the important 'keystone' prophecy that Jesus gave to His disciples while they sat together upon the Mount of Olives, two days before His crucifixion.


It is a 'keystone' because if provides the vital link between Daniel's 70-Weeks Prophecy and John's Little Book. When we compare the three versions of the Olivet Discourse side-by-side (from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke), and allow Luke's 'Gentile version' to clarify Jesus' reference to Daniel's 'Abomination of Desolation' in Matthew and Mark, it becomes clear that this 'Abomination of Desolation' that marks the mid-point of Daniel's 70th Week is the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Rome in 70 AD.

In the third page of this prophecy section, titled THE TIMETABLE FOR JESUS' RETURN, I explain John's Little Book itself. John received the Little Book in Revelation chapter 10. He was told to eat it, and was warned that it would be sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach. John then proceeded to write down the contents of that Book in Revelation chapters 11-13.

John's Little Book provides us with four visions of Daniel's 70th Week:

    1) THE TEMPLE AND THE COURTYARD (Revelation 11:1-2) The first vision describes the second half of the Week as a time during which the Temple Mount in Jerusalem would be given to the Gentiles.


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


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


    4) THE BEAST FROM THE SEA (Revelation 13) The fourth vision describes God's authorization of the Beast of Revelation to continue in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week.


When we combine a proper understanding of Jesus' Olivet Discourse with these four visions from John's Little Book, the nature of Daniel's 70th Week becomes obvious. It is indeed the 'great week' of the Abrahamic Covenant.

I have posted this 'Foreword' at the beginning of every page in this prophecy section, because without a proper understanding of Daniel's 70th Week it is impossible to 'watch' effectively for the Lord Jesus' return, or to understand any of the other important subjects in God's prophetic word; subjects such as the Great Tribulation, the Beast, the False Prophet, the Antichrist, the United States and the City of Rome (Babylon).

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THE CITY OF ROME IN PROPHECY

THE SHORT VERSION

The majority of what the New Testament has to say about the city of Rome is found in two chapters of the Bible; chapters 17 and 18 of the book of Revelation. Chapter 17 describes an evil, whorish 'Woman' (a prostitute) riding upon a Beast that has 7 heads and 10 horns, and calls this Woman 'Babylon the Great':

And upon her forehead was a name written: "Mystery: Babylon the Great. The mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth".

Revelation 17:5

Revelation 17 then makes it clear that this 'Babylon' is the city of Rome. First it tells us that the 7 horns upon the Beast represent 7 hills upon which the Woman sits:

And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the Woman sits.

Revelation 17:9

Rome has long been known as "the city of seven hills". Those hills all have individual names:

THE SEVEN HILLS OF ROME

Secondly, God told John that the Woman is the city that was then ruling over the kings of the earth (when the apostle John received the book of Revelation):

And the Woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

Revelation 17:18

Rome is the only city that fulfills this description, reigning over the kings of the earth in the apostle John's day.

In addition, Revelation 17 describes the circumstances surrounding the final, fiery destruction of Rome. It tells us that the 10 Horns upon the Beast represent 10 kings (or kingdoms) that will give their power to the Beast in the final 'prophetic hour'. These 'Horns' will hate the 'Woman' and destroy her with fire:

And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the Beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast.

Revelation 17:12-13

And the ten horns which you saw upon the Beast, these shall hate the Whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the Beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Revelation 17:16-17

Finally, this fiery destruction of Babylon is described in Revelation chapter 18. My ultimate conclusion in this web page is that Revelation 18 describes a surprise nuclear attack upon the greater 'Roman Catholic world', found primarily in the Western Hemisphere and centered financially in the United States of America.

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day; death, and mourning and famine. And she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

Revelation 18:8

SEVEN KINGS

Revelation chapter 17 tells us that the seven heads upon the Beast not only symbolize seven hills, but also represent seven kings. These seven kings, and the eighth king that follows them, portray an important historical change in the city of Rome; its transition from being the seat of the Roman Empire, to being a religious city that would ride upon the backs of empires for the next 1900+ years.

This transition or 'metamorphosis' took place during the Roman Civil War of 69 AD; otherwise known as 'the year of the four emperors'. I have written about this 'metamorphosis' of Rome in my page titled Understanding the Beast, and some of what follows is borrowed from that page.

In Revelation 17:8 John was told that the Beast of Revelation would be the product of a death and resurrection experience:

The beast that you saw 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.

Revelation 17:8

Then God told John that the seven Horns represent a series of seven kings that would pass across 'the stage of history' before an eighth 'resurrected king' would follow them; a king who would himself become the Beast of Revelation:

And there are seven kings. Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

Revelation 17:10-11

Who were these seven kings? They are the first seven emperors of the Roman Empire. The first six are known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. This was a group of men, beginning with Julius Caesar, who took Rome from being a Republic to becoming an Empire. When the apostle John received the book of Revelation, five of those emperors had already died; Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. The sixth king, Nero, was on the throne when John received the book of Revelation.

As God foretold, Nero was followed by an emperor who would only last a short time. His name was Galba. With Galba's rise to power in June of 68 AD, a series of events was set in motion during which four separate men would declare themselves to be the emperor of Rome in the same year; known as 'the year of the four emperors'.

Beginning in January of 69 AD, Galba was overthrown and put to death by a conspirator named Otho. Otho was then overthrown by the General of the Roman armies in Germany; Vitellius. Finally, in December of 69 A.D., Vitellius was overthrown and replaced by the General of the Roman armies in Syria; a man named Vespasian. Vespasian went on to establish the next dynasty of Roman emperors; the Flavian dynasty.

VESPASIAN AS THE BEAST

In Revelation 17 God did not recognize Otho or Vitellius as emperors or legitimate successors to Galba. Vespasian is the eighth king, described as being 'of' the original seven, because he was also Roman and had served under the emperors that preceded him. There is something important about God's description of Vespasian that we must not miss. God describes Vespasian as the Beast:

And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

Revelation 17:11

Although he was just a single man, in this verse Vespasian is called 'the Beast'. Why? How does he qualify for this description? First of all it is because, when he rose to the throne, Vespasian had been the Roman General who was sent to Israel to put down the rebellion of the Jewish people. Vespasian was very violent, and he hated the Jewish people. He was wholeheartedly pledged to destroying Israel and every vestige of its religion. Thus as Satan was cast down to earth and began to rework the Roman Empire for his own purposes, Vespasian would be the first in a series of military leaders over the following 1900+ years that would embrace Satan's agenda. Vespasian is called 'the Beast' because he was the first of many who would fulfill the traits of the Beast of Revelation.

Vespasian had to break off his warfare against Israel in order to return to Rome and assume the emperorship in 69 AD. When he did so, he left his son Titus in charge of the war against Israel. Titus, who had thus become a prince of Rome, would complete that 'war' in an incredibly vicious way. And the Jewish wealth gained from his victory would pay for such things as the 'Arch of Titus' and the 'Flavian Amphitheatre' (also known as the Roman Coliseum). Titus' victory over the Jews, as a prince of Rome's new dynasty, was foretold in the book of Daniel:

And after sixty-two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of the prince that shall come (Titus) shall destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (Temple). And the end thereof shall be with a flood (of destruction and dispersion). And until the end of the war (by the Beast against the Jewish people) desolations (of the Temple Mount) are determined.

Daniel 9:26

ROME'S POLITICAL METAMORPHOSIS

A concept that illustrates the events of 69 A.D. is 'metamorphosis'; like the transition of a caterpillar into a butterfly within a cocoon. But in the case of the Roman Empire two creatures emerged from the cocoon rather than one.

When a caterpillar forms a cocoon, it essentially 'dies' within the cocoon. Its body parts are completely broken down, and its chemicals are used to make something new. In a sense this is also what happened in 69 A.D. Before the Roman Empire entered the 'cocoon' of the Roman Civil War after Galba's death, it had been unified; headquartered and ruled from one city. The Roman Empire was defined by the city of Rome. But after the Roman Civil War, and the rise of Vespasian to power, what had once been a monolithic Empire now became a combination of two different things:

    1) The city of Rome functioning as a religious and cultural center.
    2) A broad, independent and international military 'Beast'.

Metamorphosis

Prior to the rise of Julius Caesar, the Roman Republic had been governed by the city of Rome and its Senate. Rome itself was the seat of power, and decisions about the administration of the Republic were made there. But with the rise of Julius Caesar, and the wars that he fought with other Roman military leaders for supremacy, the city of Rome and its Senators decreased in relative power. The various generals of the Republic began to decide who would rule the Empire next. This tension between the city of Rome and the Roman military continued until the Roman Civil War of 69 AD, when a complete break between the city and the generals became a permanent fact of life. To put it Biblically, Daniel's fourth Beast entered the cocoon in 69 AD; and a Woman riding upon the back of Revelation's seven-headed Beast came out.

When we consider this metamorphosis of the Roman Empire, we must not forget that 69 AD coincides with the casting of Satan out of heaven and down to earth (Revelation 12:7-12). One of the most important keys to understanding God's addition of the seven heads to the Beast of Daniel chapter 7, and the changes that those seven heads represent, is to understand that those changes were accomplished by Satan after he was cast down to earth.

Although God, in His sovereignty, authorized the continuing existence of the Beast of Revelation throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th Week (Revelation 13:5), the cooperation between that Beast and the Woman riding upon its back has been the brainchild of Satan. When he was cast out of heaven, Satan immediately set about to establish two things that would allow him to pursue his agenda both spiritually and physically. And thus through the chaos of the Roman Civil War, Satan brought forth a team comprised of a Roman Woman and a military Beast. And these two creations, the Woman and the Beast, have continued to work cooperatively with each other ever since.

FEET OF IRON AND CLAY

This metamorphosis, from a single empire to a city riding upon the backs of many successive empires, is also revealed to us in Daniel chapter 2. In that prophecy the Roman Empire is initially symbolized by the iron legs of the statue. But over time the iron legs would be succeeded by feet that would be a mixture of both strong iron and weak clay. These 'iron and clay feet' represent this metamorphosis of Rome; a weak 'clay Woman' riding upon the back of 'iron' military power. It is this cooperative arrangement between the city of Rome and the various military 'powers' of the world that will continue until the second coming of Jesus Christ, but will be crushed by Him.

statue

This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, and his feet part of iron and part of clay. You saw until that a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.

Daniel 2:32-34

This mixture of iron and clay symbolizes a policy that has been followed by the city of Rome ever since 69 AD; a policy of striking alliances with military leaders throughout the world in the pursuit of wealth, power and influence. It is a policy that has come to be known in more recent times as 'clericalism'; a close cooperation or union between 'church and state'. From the very beginning, in 70 AD, the pagan religious leaders of the city of Rome dedicated themselves to the tactic of manipulating those with 'iron' military power. It is a skill set which, since the supposed 'conversion' of Rome to Christianity under Constantine, the leaders of the Roman Catholic church have perfected into a science.

WHY ROME IS CALLED 'BABYLON'

The ancient Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar fell to the Persian Empire roughly 2500 years ago, around 540 BC. And yet in the book of Revelation, written by the apostle John 600 years after Babylon's fall, God says that 'Babylon' will still exist until just prior to the second coming of Christ. How can He say this? How is it that Babylon still exists in our world today? As I have pointed out, both in this web page and in the other prophecy pages in this web site, the statue of Daniel 2 explains to us how 'Babylon' can still exist today.

statue

In Daniel 2 the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome were all represented as one statue; they were all 'Babylon' in God's eyes. This is because Persia, Greece and Rome have continued what the original Babylonian Empire started; displacement of the promised kingdom of David and God. This is how God can still call something 'Babylon' in the book of Revelation. He can do this if the thing being described 1) has its roots in the original Babylon, and 2) continues what the original Babylon began.

In Revelation 17 it is the city of Rome, rather than the Beast, that is called 'Babylon':

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials and talked with me, saying unto me "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great Whore that sits 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". So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a Woman sitting upon a scarlet colored Beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the Woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH".

Revelation 17:1-5

Why isn't the Beast called 'Babylon' in Revelation? Doesn't Revelation 13:2 tell us that the Beast of Revelation is the fourth Beast of Daniel chapter 7. Doesn't the Beast constitute the iron in the feet of Nebuchadnezzar's statue? What is it about the city of Rome, rather than the Beast, that qualifies it to be called 'Babylon'? I believe that the answer to this question is twofold.

Firstly, the fact that the Woman rides upon the back of the Beast implies some control and guidance of the Beast. This idea is inherent in the notion of riding upon the back of any animal. People who ride upon animals generally exert control over them using reigns. And so the city of Rome qualifies as Babylon because it has directed many of the Beast's activities.

The fact that Vespasian was a Roman does not mean that the military people who have followed in his footsteps have always been Roman. In fact these various military leaders, who have comprised the Beast over the centuries, have come from throughout the world. And so the only sense in which the Beast can be viewed as Roman is because of Rome's influence over it. While the city of Rome has in a sense 'Romanized' the Beast, the Beast has never made the city 'Roman'.

Secondly, while the Beast has blasphemed God and opposed His people militarily throughout history, it is the city of Rome that has been the most direct and deliberate in its opposition to Christianity. What distinguishes the Roman Catholic Church from the Beast is the presence of a 'religious agenda'. Most nations and armies wage war over the world's material resources; land, gold, oil or whatever (James 4:1-3). Men and nations are often aimless, and will sometimes go to war just because they don't have anything better to do. Even when nations claim to fight for ethical reasons, this is often only a cloak for underlying greed.

The city of Rome, however, has always been the religious center of Roman paganism. As such, it has always hated and opposed the God of the Bible, and has waged war against Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom on a spiritual level. While the last great military battle for rulership of the world will occur at Armageddon, between Jesus Christ and the Beast (Revelation 19:19), a much longer spiritual battle between Rome and Jesus Christ has been going on for centuries.

When once asked about the arrival and appearance of the kingdom of God, Jesus said that the coming of the kingdom would not be apparent. Instead He said that the coming of the kingdom would occur within the hearts of men:

And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said "The kingdom of God comes not with observation. Neither shall they say 'Look here!' or 'Look there!' For behold, the kingdom of God is within you".

Luke 17:20-21

What Jesus was saying, in effect, is that the kingdom of God has been 'under construction' since the days of Adam. This construction has continued for the past 2000 years since the times of Jesus and His apostles. The kingdom of God has been growing as one person and then another has come to repentance and faith, and then has qualified for eternal life in God's kingdom through continuance or perseverance in the faith (for a discussion of Christian 'qualification' and 'disqualification', see The Necessity of Christian Perseverance).

And so while the Beast has fought against Christians on a physical level (militarily) for the past 1900+ years, the city of Rome has been warring against the establishment of God's kingdom spiritually, in the hearts of men; one soul at a time. Day by day the city of Rome has done everything it can, through spiritual deceit, to prevent people from coming to Christ. And thus it has been Rome, first and foremost, that has coordinated and directed warfare against the kingdom of God.

Without an understanding of this very important point in history, when Satan was cast out of heaven, Rome experienced civil war, and then Jerusalem and its Temple were destroyed and the Jewish people dispersed throughout the world, it is not possible to understand Rome's history and development over the past 1900+ years.

ROME'S RELIGIOUS METAMORPHOSIS

For 240 years after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the pagan religious leadership of Rome encouraged Roman emperors to impoverish, imprison and kill Christians. Rome instigated many officially-sanctioned waves of persecution against the church. Then in 312 AD, with Constantine's supposed embrace of Christianity, Rome went from trying to destroy the church, to declaring 'I am the true Christian church'. While many viewed this turn of events as a victory for Christianity, it was in fact one of the most diabolical developments in history. Rome went from persecuting Christianity from the outside, to devouring Christianity from within, like a worm within a piece of fruit. And while seeking to hollow out Christianity from within, Rome has continued its war against genuine Christians as well.

There are two prophetic passages in the New Testament that describe Rome's metamorphosis into the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), its subsequent behavior, and its final end. Those two passages are Jesus' Olivet Discourse, and the six seals of Revelation chapter 6. These two prophecies, although completely independent and separate from one another, agree remarkably in their description of the Roman Catholic Church's role upon the world stage between the rise of Constantine and the second coming of Christ.

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

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

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

Jesus listed six developments that would take place between the destruction of Jerusalem and His second coming. They are...

    1)  FALSE CHRISTIANITY

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

Matthew 24:4-5

One of the things that Constantine did was to convene the 'Council of Nicea'. Constantine did this in order to determine what the orthodox view on the nature of Christ was. The foundations of Roman Catholicism were laid upon a correct understanding of both the eternal deity and full humanity of Jesus Christ. And since that time the RCC has rightly proclaimed that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and the Savior of the world. But Jesus warned that we must look beyond these outward professions, because deceivers will use them.


    2)  WARFARE

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

Matthew 24:6-7

    3 & 4)  FAMINE AND PESTILENCE (disease)

And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes (troubles or commotions) in various places.

Matthew 24:7

    5)  PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

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

Matthew 24:9-14

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

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

Matthew 24:15-21

And then Jesus described the sixth and final event that would immediately precede His second coming:

    6)  THE SUN DARKENED, STARS FALLING FROM HEAVEN

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

Matthew 24:29-31

THE WHITE HORSE OF ROME

We find these same six traits of world history, between the destruction of Jerusalem and the second coming of Christ, in the six seals of Revelation chapter 6. But before considering them, we must first understand the fundamental deception of Constantine, the founder of Roman Catholicism. Constantine saw a vision instructing him to wage war and to conquer the world under the banner of the cross. Such an idea is directly contrary to all that the Bible tells us about Jesus as the gentle Savior and 'Lamb of God'. And it contradicts how Christ and His apostles instructed Christians to live. Nevertheless Constantine proceeded to obey the vision. And with his subsequent victories Constantine gained a great many followers, including many professing Christians who were tired of being persecuted, and who longed to be on the wealthy and 'winning side'.

Rome's version of Christianity is represented by Revelation's four horsemen.

four horsemen
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF ROMAN CATHOLIC MILITANCY

    1)  THE WHITE HORSE OF MILITANT CHRISTIANITY

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

Revelation 6:1-2

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

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

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


    2)  THE RED HORSE OF WAR

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

Revelation 6:3-4
    3)  THE BLACK HORSE OF FAMINE

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

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

Revelation 6:3-4
    4)  THE PALE HORSE OF DISEASE

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

    Revelation 6:5-8
      5)  PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

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

    Revelation 6:9-11

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

      6)  THE SUN DARKENED, STARS FALLING FROM HEAVEN

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

    Revelation 6:12-17

    ROME'S BITTER END

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

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

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

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

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

    Revelation 6:16-17

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

    2 Peter 3:10-13

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

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

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

    Isaiah 2:12, 17-21

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

    Isaiah 13:9-11

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

    Joel 3:14-16

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

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

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

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

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

    Daniel 12:2

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

    1 Corinthians 15:51

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

    1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

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

    Revelation 20:4-6

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

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

    Revelation 7:9-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

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

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

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

    James 1:19-20

    ROMAN CATHOLICISM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

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

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

    Daniel 11:36-38

    In this passage we see four things:

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

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

    A TOOL IN SATAN'S HANDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Isaiah 14:12-20

    SPIRITUAL WARFARE

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

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

    Ephesians 6:10-12

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

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

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

    Revelation 19:11-16

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


    WHY CATHOLICISM IS NOT CHRISTIAN

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

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

    Matthew 24:4-5

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

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

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

    Prophet, Priest and King

    PROPHET

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

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

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

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

    2 Timothy 3:16-17

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

    Revelation 22:18-19

    PRIEST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    cup

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

    KING

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

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

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

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

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

    Matthew 5:43-48

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

    Matthew 26:51-54

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

    Luke 23:33-34

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

    Revelation 13:9-10

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

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

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

    Revelation 19:11-16

    TRUE CHRISTIANITY: KNOWING CHRIST

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

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

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

    Jeremiah 31:31-34

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

    Matthew 7:21-23

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

    John 10:27

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

    John 17:3

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

    2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

    HOW CAN WE KNOW CHRIST?

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

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

    Hebrews 4:12

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

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

    Romans 10:17

    ROMAN PHARISEES

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

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

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

    Matthew 23:5-9
    robes
    FANCY GARMENTS

    marketplace
    GREETINGS IN THE MARKETPLACE

    holy father
    BEING CALLED 'FATHER'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Matthew 15:6-9

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

    2 Corinthians 11:13-15

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

    Revelation 2:2

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

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

    John 8:31-32

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

    John 16:33

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

    Revelation 12:11

    FORBIDDING TO MARRY

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

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

    1 Timothy 4:1-3

    Paul's words describe the false doctrines and hypocrisy of Rome. They also touch upon Rome's practice of forbidding its priests and nuns to marry. While Paul told Christians that they might be happier and more effective servants of Christ if they remained single, he also told them that marriage was an honorable thing, and that they would not be sinning if they married (1 Corinthians 7, see also Hebrews 13:4).

    But what's really important to realize is that success in marriage was one of Paul's qualifications for leadership in the church. In 1 Timothy Paul taught that Bishops and Deacons should be married to one wife, and should be able to demonstrate capable leadership in a family as a qualification for leadership in the church:

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

    1 Timothy 3:1-5,12

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

    THE PROBLEM WITH CELIBACY

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

    Rome's insistence upon celibacy has tended to recruit people who place less value upon heterosexual relationships, marriage, family and the procreation of children. As a result Rome has recruited people who are relatively ignorant about these things, living outside of the mainstream of human nature and experience. But it is far worse than that.

    Through its insistence upon celibacy, Rome has shifted its recruitment of priests and nuns toward young people who are often confused or guilt-ridden about their sexuality, toward homosexuals and child abusers, and toward people who will pretend to be celibate while secretly pursuing a heterosexual lifestyle.

    ROMAN CATHOLIC CHILD ABUSE

    One of Rome's primary recruitment techniques is the 'brainwashing' of children; particularly the children of Roman Catholic parents. Gaining the trust and confidence of pure-hearted little children is one of the easiest and most successful ways of maintaining Catholic Church membership. And this approach is in keeping with the wisdom of Solomon:

    Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.

    Proverbs 22:6

    Given this great emphasis upon winning the trust and confidence of children, it is not surprising that child abuse has flourished in the Catholic Church. When you recruit people who are willing to swear off on heterosexuality, marriage and parenthood, and then direct them to win the hearts of children, what should you expect? What job could be more attractive to a pedophile?

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

    WHY HASN'T GOD FORBIDDEN SEXUAL INTIMACY WITH CHILDREN?
    BECAUSE SUCH A THING IS BEYOND WORDS. IT IS SIMPLY UNTHINKABLE!

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

    In reality, Rome's sexual abuse of children is simply the 'tip of the iceberg'. It's spiritual abuse of children is much more horrendous. Jesus said "Let the little children come unto Me" (Mark 10:14), and warned that those who cause children to stumble spiritually would be better off if a millstone was tied around their necks and they were cast into the sea (Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2). But instead of allowing little children to come directly to Jesus biblically, Rome insists that they must come to Rome. By assuming this stance, Roman Catholics are poking out the eyes of children 'in the cradle' and consigning them to destruction, their professed opposition to abortion notwithstanding.

    Seen in this light, it is easier to understand how Roman Catholic priests who lie to children about the way to eternal life, might have few qualms about sexually abusing them as well. And it is easier to make the connection between Jesus' warnings about millstones in judgment, and God's description of Rome's destruction:

    And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying "Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all".

    Revelation 18:21

    People trust Rome's clergy because they claim to know what the Bible teaches. For this reason their condemnation will be more severe. It will be a terrible thing to be a Roman Catholic priest in the day of judgment, explaining to the Son of God why you contradicted the Bible and steered people away from a direct relationship with Himself. Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they not only refused to enter heaven themselves, but also prevented others from entering it as well (Matthew 23:13). What a horrid position to be in!

    ROME AS THE VICTIM

    Many people who say the things about the Roman Catholic Church that I am saying in this web page, are called 'Catholic-bashers'. This is a common defensive tactic that many predatory people and groups use to portray themselves as innocent victims, and to portray those who oppose them as evil 'haters'. It is used by racists, both black and white, to justify their own racism. It is used by homosexuals to damn Christians while masking their own assault upon the fabric of human society. It is used by Muslims to cloak their aggressive agenda for domination of the world through Sharia law, and by 'Palestinians' to portray God's restoration of Israel as an 'occupying' assault upon peaceful people. And it is used by Rome to claim victimization while portraying those who oppose her as enemies of God. God has a warning for those who promote such lies:

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

    Isaiah 5:20-24

    And in her (Babylon) was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

    Revelation 18:24

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

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

    Revelation 18:4-5

    God commands people to come out of the Roman Catholic Church, and to separate themselves from it. And His commandment is accompanied by a warning that if they do not do that, they will partake of Rome's judgment. Christians must separate themselves completely from Rome, the Roman Catholic Mass, and any activities or associations that portray Roman Catholicism in a positive light. When we do not do this, we leave other people in darkness. God will hold us accountable for this.

    As I have already pointed out, I believe that the sixth seal of Revelation chapter 6 portrays a surprise nuclear attack upon the 'Roman Catholic world'. In Revelation chapter 7 two things immediately follow this attack. First, God's angels control the winds of the earth (that can spread fire and radioactivity) until 144,000 young Jewish men are marked for conversion and leadership in a restored kingdom of David (Revelation 7:1-8). Secondly an uncountable number of people appear before the throne of God. This is the 'rapture' or 'first resurrection' of God's people (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, Revelation 20:5-6).

    What needs to be recognized here is that God's faithful people living in Babylon will not experience this attack. They will fulfill the words of Jesus, and know the joy of being counted worthy to be among those who will stand before His throne:

    Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore, for you know not at what hour your Lord is coming.

    Matthew 24:40-42

    Watch therefore and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

    Luke 21:36

    God's commandment and warning, that His people must separate themselves from Babylon, will be completely enforceable by Him. Those who have faithfully protested against Rome's false claims, suffering the hatred of Satan and the world, will be saved from the nuclear nightmare that is coming. Those who have compromised with Rome will share in its agony.

    IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS


    SATAN & THE GREAT TRIBULATION (Matthew 24:21, Revelation 7:14) It is impossible to understand the 'Prophetic Players' listed below without a proper understanding of "The Great Tribulation". The Great Tribulation is the time of Satan's wrath. It is not the time of God's wrath, which is 'The Day of the Lord' referred to throughout the Bible, and which is revealed in the Trumpets and Bowls of Revelation (chapters 8-9 and 16).

    The Great Tribulation began after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and with the casting of Satan out of heaven and down to earth. That event is described in Revelation 12:

    And the great dragon was cast out; that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world. He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

    Revelation 12:9

    Therefore rejoice you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

    Revelation 12:12

    The first manifestation of Satan's wrath was the destruction of Jerusalem and desolation of Israel in 70 AD, with the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews and the dispersion of the surviving Jewish people throughout the world.

    And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) who brought forth the Man Child (Christ).

    Revelation 12:13

    Satan's wrath, while beginning with the Jewish people and progressing to Christians (Revelation 12:17), will find its ultimate expression in the onset of nuclear war described in the sixth seal of Revelation 6:12-17. This late exercise of Satan's wrath, which will engulf all of mankind, was foretold by the prophet Isaiah:

    How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, who did weaken the nations! They that see you shall narrowly look upon you and consider you, saying "Is this the one that made the earth to tremble and that shook kingdoms? That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities? That opened not the house of his prisoners?"

    Isaiah 14:12, 16-17

    To put it in simplest terms, the Great Tribulation is the second half of Daniel's 70th Week, beginning with Satan's destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD, and continuing to this very day. For people living in the wealth and comfort of the 'western world', it is hard to think of ourselves as living in 'The Great Tribulation'. But for much of the world today, and throughout many centuries, the Great Tribulation has always been real. And times are soon going to change drastically for Christians in the 'West'.


    1) THE BEAST OF REVELATION

    I have explained the Beast of Revelation in my web page titled Understanding the Beast. I have reached my understanding of the Beast of Revelation based upon its six primary traits described in Revelation. I discuss those traits in the order that God presents them to us in His word. The first four traits are found in the first five verses of Revelation chapter 13:

      1) MILITARY EMPOWERMENT BY SATAN (Revelation 13:1,4)
      2) THE 4TH BEAST OF DANIEL 7 (Revelation 13:2)
      3) A WOUNDED HEAD THAT IS HEALED (Revelation 13:3)
      4) EXISTENCE FOR OVER 1900 YEARS (Revelation 13:5)

    The fifth trait is found in the second half of Revelation chapter 13:

      5) AN ALLIANCE WITH THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18)

    The sixth trait is found in Revelation chapter 17:

      6) A WOMAN RIDES UPON ITS BACK

    In Revelation 17 we are told that this 'Woman' is the city of Rome. In addition, Revelation chapter 17 explains the symbolic meanings of the Beast's seven heads and 10 horns, and provides God's explanation for the 'wounded head' of Revelation 13:3.

    In conclusion, the Beast of Revelation is comprised of military leaders and nations, beginning with the Roman Emperor Vespasian in 70 AD, who...

      A) HAVE LOVED MILITARISM AND BLOODSHED

      B) HAVE EMBRACED SATAN'S AGENDA OF PERSECUTING JEWS, WAGING WAR UPON CHRISTIANITY AND DESTROYING HUMANITY

      C) WILL USE THE 'FALSE PROPHET' OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE LAST DAYS TO IMPOSE 'POLITICAL CORRECTNESS' AND THE 'MARK OF THE BEAST' UPON ALL MANKIND

      D) HAVE ALLIED THEMSELVES WITH THE CITY OF ROME IN A 'CHURCH + STATE' RELATIONSHIP SINCE THE RISE OF VESPASIAN IN 70 AD

    The following list provides notable examples of men and nations who have fulfilled these criteria, and have been 'the Beast' over the past 1900+ years:

      1) The Roman Emperor Vespasian (9 AD - 79 AD), founder of the 'Flavian Dynasty'. As a Roman General, Vespasian began the destruction of Israel before becoming the Emperor of Rome. His son (Titus) completed Israel's destruction and the slaughter and dispersion of the Jewish people in 70 AD.

      2) The Roman Emperor Constantine; founder of Roman Catholicism in 312 AD. Up until the rise of Constantine, Rome had been the religious center of world paganism, and had sought relentlessly to exterminate Christianity. But with the rise of Constantine, Rome went from trying to destroy the Christian church, to proclaiming 'I am the true Christian Church'.

      Constantine usurped the three offices of Jesus Christ; Prophet, Priest and King. He established Roman prophetic authority through ecumenical councils that would 'decide' what the Bible says (as well as add to the Bible). Constantine embraced 'sacramentalism'; belief in a Roman priesthood whose sacraments would have the power to forgive sins and save souls. And Constantine declared Rome's authority to wage 'holy wars' in the name of Christ; thus making Rome the 'king of kings, and lord of lords'.

      Constantine's claim, to be waging war for Christ, is represented by the conqueror on a white horse in the first seal of Revelation chapter 6. The six seals of Revelation 6 portray the entire history of the Roman Catholic Church; from its rise to its destruction (for a further discussion of the Roman Catholicism, see The City of Rome in Bible Prophecy).

      3) Charlamagne (Charles the Great, 742-814), who was crowned the 'Emperor of Rome' (Holy Roman Emperor) by the Pope in 800 AD. Charlemagne imposed Roman Catholicism, at the point of a sword, upon those whom he conquered.

      4) The Crusaders, first called to wage war in the service of Christianity by Pope Urban II in 1095 AD. The religious wars of the Crusaders were characterized, from the very beginning, by the persecution of Jews wherever they found them. Ultimately, after having conquered the 'Holy Land' of Palestine, and then having lost it back to the Muslim world, these crusading 'kings and nobles' focused their attention upon their homeland of Europe; supporting Rome in its battle against Jews, Muslims and Protestant 'heretics'. These wars against anyone deviating from Roman Catholicism began around 1250 AD, and are known as "the Inquisition".

      5) King Ferdinand II of Spain (1452-1516), known as 'the Catholic'. As king of Spain he promoted the Spanish Inquisition and began the conquest of the 'Americas' (the Western Hemisphere) for Spain and the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). Ferdinand's grandson, Charles V, was a 'Holy Roman Emperor' who vigorously sought to unite Europe under the RCC. Charles V's son, Phillip II, sent the Spanish Armada against England in 1588, for the purpose of imposing Roman Catholicism upon Great Britain.

      6) King Ferdinand II of Austria (1578-1637), also declared a Holy Roman Emperor, was the initiator of the '30 Years War' against Protestantism (1618-1648). This war left countless Protestant Christians dead and Europe devastated. The war ended in the Peace of Westphalia, which laid the European foundation for the modern, secular nation-state; seeking to restrict religious meddling in the internal affairs of nations.

      7) The European Axis powers of World War II (WW2), comprised of Germany, Italy and Spain. These powers had all reached 'understandings' with the Roman Catholic Church prior to WW2. Together these governments of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco (along with the Vichy government of conquered France) facilitated the deaths of many millions, including the murder of 6 million Jews.

      8) The United States, with a large Roman Catholic population and many Roman Catholic institutions, was strongly urged by the Vatican to wage war against Communism after WW2 (i.e. against Russia, China, Korea and Viet Nam). A close connection between the government of the United States and the RCC continues to this day.

    As the lead nation within 'the Beast' of these last days, America will leverage the three 'miraculous' technological powers of the False Prophet (military advances, communication advances and economic advances) to impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world. Ten kingdoms (or nations) will soon join the United States and the 'West', giving their power and authority 'to the Beast' (Revelation 17:12-13). This will unify the Beast throughout the world, convincing many that world peace and security have finally been achieved (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

    But the final version of the Beast, that will battle against Jesus Christ at His second coming (Revelation 19:19-20), will be comprised of these 10 kingdoms alone (Revelation 17:14). The United States and the 'Roman Catholic world' will not be a part of the Beast that confronts Christ at Armageddon.

    The 10 kingdoms will have destroyed 'Roman Catholic Babylon' with a sudden, unexpected fiery attack before then confronting the Lord Jesus Christ. God describes this attack as 'eating her flesh and burning her with fire' (Revelation 17:16), and says it will occur in fulfillment of His will (Revelation 17:17). This attack upon 'Babylon' (which I believe will be a nuclear attack) is described at length in Revelation chapter 18.


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

    This is the second Beast described in Revelation 13. It is described as coming up out of the earth or land. It possesses the traits of a false prophet, appearing like a lamb while speaking like a dragon (Satan).

    The False Prophet does not experience the long lifespan of the Beast; from 70 AD until the present. The False Prophet is a product of our modern times. It performs what the apostle John might have viewed as three 'miracles', corresponding to today's technology:

      A) It brings down fire from heaven through the technology of powered flight; rockets, airplanes, drones, satellites, lasers, missiles and bombs.
      B) It causes an image to come alive and speak, through the technology of movies, television, smart phones and 'virtual reality' devices.
      C) It will impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world through Block Chain technology; a computerized 'distributed ledger' system that will make every person a part of the world's 'Internet of Things', and will revolutionize the economy and administration of the world.

    I discuss the False Prophet at greater length in my web page titled Understanding the Beast.


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

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

    I have discussed the city of Rome, and its 'metamorphosis' in 69 AD, in my web page titled Understanding the Beast. In the Roman Civil War of 69 AD, Rome went from being the 'seat of power' in the Roman Empire, to being a religious city that has ridden upon the back of military power ever since. I explain Bible prophecy regarding the religion of Rome in my web page titled The City of Rome in Prophecy.


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

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

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

    2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

    Paul was not describing a single man, but a unique class of men; the Roman Catholic priesthood. How do Rome's priests portray themselves as God in the Temple of God? By claiming to be Christ's representatives on earth, when they are in fact stealing the three divine offices of Jesus Christ; those of Prophet, Priest and King.

    Roman Catholic priests claim prophetic authority to interpret the Bible, and add to it. They claim priestly authority (in the Mass) to do what Christ alone can do; offer a sacrifice before God that can atone for the sins of men. And Rome's priests claim kingly authority to wage holy wars in the name of Christ, making themselves the 'king of kings'.

    God tells people to come directly to His Son by faith, hearing Him speak by reading their Bibles, and speaking to Him in prayer. But Rome says that we must come to Rome, and has always discouraged the free distribution and study of the Bible throughout its history. Rather than represent Jesus Christ before the world, Rome actually competes directly against Him for the souls of men. For further information about Rome, I refer my reader to my web pages titled 'The City of Rome in Prophecy', 'Understanding The Beast', and 'The United States in Prophecy'.


    5) THE ANTICHRIST

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

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

    1 John 2:18-19

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

    1 John 2:22

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

    1 John 4:3

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

    2 John 8

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

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

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

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

    Rather than take caution from this, many have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is said about him, many have felt free to plug the Antichrist into their end-times scenario wherever they please. For Luther and the Calvinists the Antichrist was the Pope. For others the Antichrist has been 'the Prince who is to come' (of Daniel 9:26), the 'Abomination of Desolation', Paul's 'Man of Sin', and 'the Beast'. One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John's very limited words about 'the Antichrist'.

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

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


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


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


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


    9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9-12 - The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War. It then defeated its southern enemy, Carthage, in the Punic Wars. And finally it proceeded to move east, conquering Greece and Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) before eventually taking over the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

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


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