I know this–and I know that!

I know this–and I know that!

(J.C. Ryle)

“In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice: Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!” Luke 4:33-34

“Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting: ‘You are Christ the Son of God!’ But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ.” Luke 4:41

We should notice, in this passage, the clear religious knowledge possessed by the devil and his agents. Twice in these verses we have proof of this. “I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” was the language of an an evil spirit in one case. “You are Christ the son of God,” was the language of many demons in another. Yet this knowledge was a knowledge unaccompanied by faith, or hope, or charity. Those who possessed it were miserable evil beings–full of bitter hatred both against God and man.

Let us beware of an unsanctified knowledge of the truths of Christianity. It is a dangerous possession, but a fearfully common one in these latter days. We may know the Bible intellectually–and have no doubt about the truth of its contents. We may have our memories well stored with its leading texts, and be able to talk glibly about its leading doctrines. And all this time the Bible may have no influence over our hearts, and wills, and consciences. We may, in reality, be nothing better than the demons!

Let it never content us to know religion with our heads only. We may go on all our lives saying, “I know this–and I know that!“–and sink at last into Hell with the words upon our lips! Let us see that our knowledge bears fruit in our lives.

Does our knowledge of sin make us hate it?
Does our knowledge of Christ make us trust and love Him?
Does our knowledge of God’s will make us strive to do it?
Does our knowledge of the fruits of the Spirit make us labor to show them in our daily behavior?
Knowledge of this practical kind is really profitable.

Any other religious knowledge will only add to our condemnation at the last day!

 

Does God hate the sin but love the sinner?

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I am the Devil–I am a deceiver! I will lead you into Hell!

I am the Devil–I am a deceiver! I will lead you into Hell!

(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light!” 2 Corinthians 11:14

The Devil disguises himself as an angel of light–that he may more effectually lead us into darkness. If he were to come like a devil, like an enemy–then everyone would run from him. But he comes masked and puts on the face of a friend–and so he tricks and cheats us. Indeed, he prevails more by his wily subtleties–than by his power.

If the Devil had come to Eve and spoken to her as follows: ‘I was once a glorious angel and lived above in the Court of Heaven–but I have sinned and am now cast down to Hell. Eat the forbidden fruit–and you will be like me!’ Would this have succeeded? Surely not!

Thus if he came and tempted men to sin, by telling them that sin is the sure way to Hell–would this prevail with them to sin? No! The Devil is a subtle old serpent–he cloaks and paints sin. He covers his hook with a bait–and draws men in before they are aware of it. He is a deceiver–and lest he should be known, he puts on a false garb and disguises himself as an angel of light.

He dare not say, “I am the Devil–I am a deceiver! I will lead you into Hell!“–for that would spoil his wily schemes.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” Matthew 7:15

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Should Suicide be Honored?

half mast for suicide

Flags are flying at half mast today in Massachusetts in honor of  SSG Michael J. Mantenuto, HHC- 1st Special Forces Group – Fort Lewis, WA, of Holliston, Massachusetts. It is heartbreaking that this young man reached the point where he had no hope and could find no reason to continue living, and so took his own life.

Does anyone else feel that it sends a wrong message for a State to honor someone who kills themself? No matter how loved or what good they might have done in their life, flying flags at half mast across the state to honor someone who committed suicide just sends a wrong message, especially to young people who might themselves be contemplating suicide. It sends the message: not only is it ok to commit suicide, it is worthy of respect and honor.

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The Blessings of Christian Fellowship

beverly SDA stage fort park2

My mother and I have been so blessed by our Christian family at Beverly SDA Church http://www.beverlysda.org/. There is no dearer human connection in life than with our true family — our brothers and sisters in Christ — those with whom we share the joys and tribulations of this world, and with whom we will spend eternity in the presence of our Lord and Savior. We have attended numerous churches together, seeking one where their is no compromise in the truth of God’s word, where the love of Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit are manifest, and where the beautiful diversity of God’s human creation worship together as one — we found all we were seeking at Beverly Seventh Day Adventist Church, and we thank God for leading us there.

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An unerring chart by which to steer through the dangerous sea of life!

Many professed Christians today have become lazy when it comes to daily study of the unerring, fascinating and uplifting chart we have been given to navigate this fallen and dangerous world. “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” If we are not following God’s chart along the narrow way, we are following Satan’s along the broad road — there are only two ways.

(Arthur W. Pink, “The Attributes of God”)

God has placed His Word in our hands for an intensely practical purpose–namely, to direct our walk and to regulate our deportment. The primary purpose for which God gave the Scriptures, is to make a practical use of them–ordering the details of our lives by its rules and regulations.

“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. The metaphor used here is taken from a man walking along a dangerous road on a dark night, in urgent need of a lantern to show him where to walk safely and comfortably, to avoid injury and destruction.

God, in His infinite condescension and transcendent grace, has given us His Word for this very purpose, so that we need not stumble along blindly, ignorant of what pleases or displeases Him–but that we might know His mind. That divine Word is not given to us simply for information, but . . .
to regulate our conduct,
to enlighten our minds,
and to mold our hearts.

The Word supplies us with an unerring chart by which to steer through the dangerous sea of life. If we sincerely and diligently follow, it will deliver us from disastrous rocks and submerged reefs–and direct us safely to the heavenly harbor. That Word has all the instructions we need for every problem, and every trouble we may be called upon to face. That Word has been given to us “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:17. How thankful we should be, that God has favored us with such a Word!

This world is a dark place, and it is only as we take heed to the Word, to the light God has given us, that we shall be able to perceive and avoid “the broad road which leads to destruction,” and discern the narrow way which alone “leads unto eternal life.”

Our first duty, and our first aim, must be to take up the Scriptures to ascertain what is God’s revealed will for us–what are the paths He forbids us to walk, what are the ways pleasing in His sight.

The Scriptures are not given us, primarily, for our intellectual gratification, nor for emotional admiration, but for life’s regulation. Nor are the precepts andcommands, the warnings and encouragements contained therein, simply for our information. They are to be reduced to practice–they require unqualifiedobedience. He who treasures the divine precepts in his heart, and diligently seeks to walk by their rule, will escape those evils which destroy his fellows.

Thus the great business of the Christian is to regulate his life by, and conform his conduct to–the precepts of the written Word, and the example left us by the Incarnate Word. As he does so, and in proportion as he does so, he is:

emancipated from the darkness of his natural mind,
freed from the follies of his corrupt heart,
delivered from the mad course of this world,
and escapes the snares of the devil.

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Understanding Laodicea and Daniel’s 2300 day prophesy

We are currently in the Laodicean period of the church – the last of the seven letters to the churches (Revelation 3:14-22) – the last age of the church. Laodicea means “judging the people”. Since 1844, the end of Daniel’s 2300 days prophesy, the church (the body of Christ) has been in the period of investigative judgment, and Christ has been cleansing the heavenly sanctuary in preparation for His coming for His own. Daniel 8:14 “And he said to me, ‘For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” The investigative judgment and cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary must be accomplished before His coming, as Jesus says in Revelation 22:12: “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Those who will be deemed worthy to take part in the first resurrection (both those who have been sleeping, and those still alive and abiding in Christ, keeping the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus) must be identified before He comes.

There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who, among the dead, are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to take part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent.—Fundamental Beliefs, 23

The words to the church at Laodicea are from the “Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” (Revelation 3:14). The Amen signifies that this is the final church age leading up to the second coming of Christ Jesus. Christ is the Creator and being the “faithful and true witness”, He is the perfect representation of the character of God, which all Christians should be seeking to attain. “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” The church of this final age receives no commendations, only rebuke.

Jesus says that this church is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm – thinking that she is rich and in need of nothing. The church in this age has been blessed with great light concerning the Word of God; but she has not moved forward, living the great truths that God has given her, and sharing them with the world. This church is worse than cold, and is offensive to God. The great light – the great Bible truths for our time, which should have caused the church to be zealous unto good works, living and sharing these precious truths with the rest of the world – has been hidden under a bushel of worldliness. Someone who is hot is obviously zealous, living the faith they proclaim, keeping the commandments of God, thereby evidencing their love for Jesus. Someone who is cold has lost their faith and feels unworthy to be called a follower of Christ. They know they are weak and desire to have faith, which is why Christ would rather this church to be cold than lukewarm. Being lukewarm is so bad because the members have backslidden and become of the world, content with their position and what they are doing. They do not feel the need to advance any further, being satisfied with self. They sit back, thinking that their “knowledge” will save them, but their knowledge has become the teachings and traditions of men – they do not read and study God’s word for themselves. This is so nauseating to Christ that He will vomit anyone like this out of His mouth, and they will surely be forever lost! This church believes that she has everything, but doesn’t realize that she is “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” They have become a people “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:5). Many in the Laodicean period of the church suffer from backsliding but refuse to see or do anything to correct their course. Jesus clearly tells us in Revelation 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life…” We need to understand that we can be blotted out of the book of life, or spewed from the mouth of Jesus. We as Christians should all go through this list honestly and prayerfully, and determine where we stand and where we need to repent and make corrections in our relationship with God in Christ.

  1. When prayer ceases to be a vital part of a professing Christian’s life, backsliding is present.
  2. When the quest for biblical truth ceases and one grows content with the knowledge of eternal things already acquired, there can be no mistaking the presence of backsliding.
  3. When the biblical knowledge possessed or acquired is treated as external fact and not applied inwardly, backsliding is present.
  4. When earnest thoughts about eternal things cease to be regular and gripping, it should be like a warning light to the backslider.
  5. When the services of the church lose their delights, a backslidden condition probably exists.
  6. When pointed spiritual discussions are an embarrassment, that is certain evidence of backsliding.
  7. When sports, recreation and entertainment are a large and necessary part of your lifestyle, you may assume backsliding is in force.
  8. When sins of the body and of the mind can be indulged in without an uproar in your conscience your backslidden condition is certain.
  9. When aspirations for Christlike holiness cease to be dominant in your life and thinking, backsliding is there.
  10. When the acquisition of money and goods becomes a dominant part of your thinking, you have clear confirmation of backsliding.
  11. When you can mouth religious songs and words without heart, be sure backsliding is present.
  12. When you can hear the Lord’s name taken in vain, spiritual concerns mocked and eternal issues flippantly treated, and not be moved to indignation and action, you are backslidden.
  13. When you can watch degrading movies and television and read morally debilitating literature, you can be sure you are backslidden.
  14. When breaches of peace in the brotherhood are of no concern to you, that is proof of backsliding.
  15. When the slightest excuse seems sufficient to keep you from spiritual duty and opportunity, you are backslidden.
  16. When you become content with your lack of spiritual power and no longer seek repeated enduements of power from on high, you are backslidden.
  17. When you pardon your own sin and sloth by saying the Lord understands and remembers that we are dust, you have revealed your backslidden condition.
  18. When there is no music in your soul and no song in your heart, the silence testifies to your backsliding.
  19. When you adjust happily to the worlds’ lifestyle, your own mirror will tell the truth of your backsliding.
  20. When injustice and human misery exist around you and you do little or nothing to relieve the suffering, be sure you are backslidden.
  21. When your church has fallen into spiritual declension and the Word of God is no longer preached there with power and you are still content, you are in a backslidden condition.
  22. When the spiritual condition of the world declines around you and you cannot perceive it, that is testimony of your backslidden stance.
  23. When you are willing to cheat your employer, backsliding is apparent.
  24. When you find yourself rich in grace and mercy and marvel at your own godliness, then you have fallen far in your backsliding.
  25. When your tears are dried up and the hard, cold spiritual facts of your existence cannot unleash them, see this as an awful testimony both of the hardness of your heart and the depth of your backsliding.

(taken from Revival, Richard Owen Roberts)

Therefore, says the True Witness, “I council thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire that thou mayest be rich.” That is, love and faith working together, hand in hand to make them rich in good works, and rich toward God. They are counseled to buy white raiment; that is, to put on a robe of righteousness, or to have their characters conform wholly to the law of God. They are counseled also, to anoint their eyes with eye salve that they may see. This eye salve is the unction from on high, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which gives us the true discernment in spiritual things. And God’s people, during this time, will be rebuked and chastened by Him until they become zealous and repent. (Uriah Smith Biblical Institute, p 250-252).

This message to Laodicea is not a message of hopelessness. Christ is rebuking this church for their lukewarm condition but He confirms that He loves those who He rebukes and is standing at the door waiting for them to let Him in. He is pleading with them to repent of this condition, so that they may obtain His grace and be clothed in His righteousness. Although this church is in a dire state, if the people heed the warning and repent, then their lukewarmness can be corrected. If this warning is not heeded and action is not taken to correct this awful state, then Christ will “spew” them out of His mouth – they will be blotted out of the book of life and they will be thrown into the lake of fire, and forever lost. Revelation 18:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Christ is calling His people out of the lukewarm apostate church before they suffer her plagues.

We are in the Laodicean “judging the people” period right now. If we are still living for this world and not moving forward in our faith, in obedience to Christ Jesus, His rebuke is for us. We are called to be faithful overcomers. Revelation 2:7 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Revelation 2:11 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Revelation 2:17 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” Revelation 2:26 “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:” Revelation 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:21 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 21:7 “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” 1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

Cases are being decided right now as to who will be worthy to enter into the heavenly kingdom. God is judging the world with Christ Jesus as our only Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), pleading our cases for us. And just as the High Priest in the Old Testament cleansed the sanctuary on the day of atonement with the blood of an animal, to cover the sins of the people, Jesus our Heavenly High Priest moved into the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary to “spiritually” cleanse it with His own blood and to blot out the sins of those who truly follow Him, beginning in 1844.

Below is a great chart for understanding Daniel’s 70 week prophesy, 2300-day prophecy and the 1260-day prophecy of the beast of Revelation. In interpreting prophesy, a day equals a year “I have appointed thee each day for a year.” (Ezekiel 4:6). A week is 7 days/literal years; a month equals 30 days; a year equals 360 days.

2300 day prophecy of daniel chart

Daniel 9:24-27 “Seventy weeks [490 years] are determined upon thy people [Jews] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem [457 B.C.] unto the Messiah the Prince [baptism of Jesus] shall be seven weeks [49 years], and threescore and two weeks [434 years, for a total of 483 years]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off [crucified], but not for himself [for all of mankind]: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [7 years]: and in the midst of the week [3-1/2 years] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease [at His crucifixion Jesus becomes the ultimate and final sacrifice for sin, ending the sacrificial system], and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate [the temple which has been overspread with abominations], even until the consummation [the stoning of Steven, the end of probation for the Jews when the gospel was only preached to them, and the preaching of the gospel to the gentiles], and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel 8:13-14 “…How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”

Hebrew 9:24 “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” [This is referring to the heavenly sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, where Jesus now intercedes on our behalf during Judgment, the cleansing of the sanctuary, the Atonement.]

Ecclesiastes 3:17 “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked.” Both the righteous and the wicked will be judged, but judgment begins with the house of God. 1 Peter 4:17 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” Judgment begins with those who profess to follow Christ. Can we confidently say that we are living up to the faith we proclaim? Are we living for Jesus every day; is He our love, our life, our ALL? If we have any secret sin that no one else knows about, we need to repent of it and let it go now, because God will bring everything we do into judgment. Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Nothing can be hidden from God.

In Revelation 22:12 Jesus says “And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Now for Jesus to be able to give His reward to everyone at His Second Coming, whether life eternal or the lake of fire, everyone will have been judged one way or the other before He returns, and this is the judgment that is taking place now. This is an “investigative” judgment to determine who His true people are and who are not; who have overcome and are written in the Book of Life, and who have not; who are keeping the commandments of God and the faith and testimony of Jesus, and who are not; who are the wheat and who are the tares. Matthew 24:30 “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” When He returns, He will issue the “executive” judgment, that is, we will either be taken up to meet Him and rewarded with eternal life, or sentenced to the second death. Revelation 21:7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.” And Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”

Those who do not take part in the first resurrection, who were not found written in the Book of Life, will remain dead for 1000 years awaiting the second resurrection, while the duration of their second death punishment in the lake of fire is confirmed. Revelation 20:12-15 “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” This judgment takes place after the 1000 years, and determines the duration of time the unredeemed will spend in the lake of fire, during which they are eternally destroyed by the second death. There is no eternal suffering in fire and brimstone – not even for Satan and his angels, the beast or the false prophet, although their time there will be the longest. Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Matthew 24:44 “Therefore be ye ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.” John 5:28-29 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” For people to be rewarded with eternal life and others to be sentenced to damnation at the resurrection, the judgment has to have already taken place. At the resurrection every case will have been decided, never to be reversed.

How should we be living in this time of judgment? 2 Peter 3:11,14 “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness …. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” Knowing that we are in the time of judgment, and that this world and everything in it will be laid waste, we need now to start living godly lives, putting aside worldly things and truly living for Christ. Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Luke 21:36 “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”

If there ever was a time when serious reflection becomes every one who fears God, it is now, when personal piety is essential. The inquiry should be made, “What am I, and what is my work and mission in this time? On which side am I working – Christ’s side or the enemy’s side?” Let every soul now humble himself or herself before God, for now we are surely living in the great Day of Atonement. The cases even now of many are passing in review before God, for they are to sleep in their graves a little season. Your profession of faith is not your guarantee in that day, but the state of your affections. Is the soul-temple cleansed of its defilement? Are my sins confessed and am I repenting of them before God, that they may be blotted out? Am I willing to make any and every sacrifice for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ? Do I feel every moment I am not my own, but Christ’s property, that my service belongs to God, whose I am? (Ms 87, 1886 Preparing for the Time of Testing).

We can ONLY be saved by the grace of God, through faith in the atoning blood of Jesus willingly shed for us on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, which is a free gift to all and not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:7-9 “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” The message here is that faith ALONE cannot save us as James 2:14-26 confirms: “that faith without works is dead.” True faith will produce works, and the evidence of our faith is the works that we do. If we have a true faith, we will be lovingly striving to keep God’s commandments, turning away from worldly things, focusing more of our time on Jesus than anything else, sharing the gospel with others, studying our Bibles, helping those in need, using the resources that God gave us to further His kingdom, rather than for our own pleasure – our lives will be consumed with Christ Jesus.

When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Before the Flood, after Noah entered the ark, God shut him in, and shut the ungodly out; but for seven days the people, knowing not that their doom was fixed, continued their careless, pleasure-loving life, and mocked the warnings of impending judgment. So, says the Saviour, ‘shall also the coming of the Son of man be’ (Matt. 24:39). Silently, unnoticed as the midnight thief, will come the decisive hour which marks the fixing of every man’s destiny, the final withdrawal of mercy’s offer to guilty men. While the man of business is absorbed in the pursuit of gain, while the pleasure lover is seeking indulgence, while the daughter of fashion is arranging her adornments – it may be in that hour the Judge of all the earth will pronounce the sentence: ‘Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. (E.G.White, Last Day Events, p.230)

Revelation 14:6-7 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

 

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A Thought Before the Snow

When I grumble about the weather!

2013 blizzard annisquam(J.R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)

“The Lord has heard all your grumblings against Him!” Exodus 16:8

Does God really hear every discontented word which I ever speak?

Does He hear when I grumble about the weather . . .
about the hard winter,
about the late spring,
about the dry summer,
about the wet harvest?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .
about the frosts,
about the drought,
about the high winds,
about the storms?

Does He hear when I grumble . . .
about my circumstances,
about the hardness of my lot,
about my losses and disappointments?

If we could get into our heart, and keep there continually, the consciousness that God hears every word we speak–would we murmur and complain so much as we now do?

We are careful never to speak words which would give pain to the hearts of those we love. Are we as careful not to say anything that will grieve our heavenly Father?

“I tell you this–that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak!” Matthew 12:36

“He who complains of the weather–complains of the God who ordains the weather!” William Law

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The most beautiful thing I ever heard of!

The most beautiful thing I ever heard of!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us–so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God!” 2 Corinthians 5:21

What could be better than the divine plan of substitutionary atonement? God must punish sin–He could not be God unless He did. It is a necessity of His nature, that He should hate sin with an infinite hatred, and must punish it!

Yet, as He had loved His people with an everlasting love, how could He better show His love to them and His hatred of sin–than by giving up His well-beloved Son to die instead of them! This seems to me to be the most beautiful thing I ever heard of–and it delights my soul to preach it!

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, by becoming a curse for us!” Galatians 3:13

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The First Seal, Beasts and Mark of the Beast

Chapters 6-7 Opening of the first six seals. The first three seals are Satan orchestrated systems (religious, political and economic) which overlap and are working together to create the one world order (one world religion, government and monetary system) which will usher in the mark of the beast, aided by the second beast who will cause the world to follow the first beast. The fourth seal is the system that will be used to convince the world that the mark of the beast is a good thing. The fifth seal addresses the martyrs past, present and to come. The sixth seal is the great shaking – a great earthquake, stars falling to earth in great numbers, sky becoming black, etc., the sealing of God’s people “these are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev. 7:14.

The information is very long and involved, and may be more than many people care to read through. It does however clearly evidence how effectively Satan has pulled the wool over humankind’s eyes while he has worked in darkness to create these systems which are now coming together rapidly and seamlessly to create the One World Religion, Government and Monetary system, which has been his goal all along – to control the world, attempt to defeat our Lord Jesus Christ and His followers, and exalt himself above God Almighty. He knows he will be defeated in the end, but he will take many down that “broad road that leads to destruction” with him, including many unregenerate “Christians” (Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”).

All the conspiring at Satan’s direction is being revealed and made known to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Luke 8:17 “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” Jesus warned us in Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” May the Holy Spirit lead you in all wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and whether you are a Catholic Christian in the beast system, or a Protestant Christian in the second beast false prophet system, these words of our Lord are directed at all of His: “Come out of her, my people, that ye not be partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4.

pope-francis-in-white-with-twisted-cross

Seal 1 – The White Horse (Papal Roman Catholicism – Beast/Antichrist System) rides out to conquer, paving the way for One World Religion/Government and the mark of the beast. The Papal Roman Catholic religious-political system has reigned in varying degrees of power since 312 AD; however, the legally recognized supremacy of the Pope began in 538 AD, when Emperor Justinian elevated the Bishop of Rome to the position of Head of all Churches by the Edict of Justinian. “And I saw, and behold a white horse, and its rider had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” Revelation 6:2. From its beginning, Papal Roman Catholicism aggressively set out to conquer, establishing her power and control over men, kings and nations, by whatever means necessary.

Concerning the color of the horse: The Papal vestments are white, having scarlet or purple capes sometimes worn over. The mitre is also white; the tiara or “triple crown” is gold inset with jewels. While ordinary clergy wear black, the pope wears white, cardinals wear scarlet and bishops wear purple.

Concerning the bow: The Hebrew word commonly used for bow means warrior (1 Chronicles 8:40 ). It also denotes falsehood, deceit, treachery, cunning, scheming (Psalms 64:3-6, Hosea 7:16Jeremiah 9:3). Note the bow interestingly created by the twisted crucifix.

Concerning the crown: “First, the crowns represent the Pope’s universal office, his jurisdiction over the whole church, and his temporal power. Second, they represent the pope’s authority over the church militant on earth, the church penitent in purgatory, and the church triumphant in heaven. Finally, the dominant rationale today, they represent that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, who shares in His three-fold office of priest, prophet, and king and consequently shares in His work to sanctify, teach and lead others in the faith.” http://catholicstraightanswers.com/where-did-the-papal-crown-come-from-will-the-new-pope-wear-one/.

“It is quite telling that out of all the beautiful and truly Catholic crucifixes and croziers the Vatican II “Popes” could use, they use the disgusting and repulsive Bent Cross, but this is no accident: It is definitely a fitting symbol for the sinister Vatican II Church, which has mocked Christ, humiliated Him, betrayed Him, has trampled Him under foot, loathes Him, teaches heresy, and presents to the world a distorted and twisted faith that is repulsive to true Catholics.” http://novusordowatch.org/2013/04/francis-brings-back-bent-cross/ (Note: Paul VI used this bent cross for the first time for the closing of the Second Vatican Council, on December 8, 1965.). Novusordowatch.org is quite interesting. Their name comes from Novus Ordo Missae, the new order mass which came out of Vatican II. They are Catholics who “conclude that the authority which gave us Vatican II is not in fact the legitimate Catholic authority; that is to say, the “Popes” which gave us Vatican II are not true Popes, nor are their successors, who have implemented and expanded this new religion that has its roots in the council. In fact, the entire religion that now occupies the Vatican and the official structures of the Catholic Church throughout the world is false — it is not the Catholic religion at all, and its putative authorities are not Catholics but heretical usurpers.” They identify all popes since Vatican II as anti-popes. It is wonderful to see the Holy Spirit at work within the belly of the beast.

The early Christians did not consider the cross on which Jesus died a virtuous symbol, but rather as “the accursed tree,” a device of death and “shame” (Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”). They did not trust in an old rugged cross. Instead, their faith was in what was accomplished on the cross; and through this faith, they knew the full and complete forgiveness of sin. It was in this sense that the apostles preached about the cross and gloried in it (1Corinthians 1:17-18 “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”). They never spoke of the cross as a piece of wood or metal one might hang from a little chain around the neck, hang on the wall, or carry in the hand as a protector or charm.

The prophecies in the Books of Daniel and Revelation concerning the first beast and the antichrist system started to be fulfilled with the reign of Emperor Constantine. Before the battle of the Milvian Bridge outside Rome in 312 A.D., Constantine claimed to have seen a cross in the sky with this inscription: IN HOC SIGNO VINCES or IN THIS SIGN THOU SHALT CONQUER (remember what the white horse goes out to do). He immediately had the Roman eagle replaced by the cross on his battle standards, and the words IN HOC SIGNO VINCES or IHS became the battle standard of the Papal Roman Empire.

The cross is the one indispensable MARK of the Papal Roman Empire. The proclaimed MARK of her ecclesiastical authority is her change of God’s Sabbath to Sunday. The coat of arms of Pope Francis displays three charges (emblems on the shield) on a blue field (background of the shield). As Pope Francis is a Jesuit, the uppermost charge is the emblem of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The emblem is composed of a Sun radiant (Sol Invictus “Unconquered Sun” was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers), within which is the IHS (IN THIS SIGN CONQUER) in red, with a red cross surmounting the H and three black nails below the H, forming a V.

“Constantine’s division of the Empire into halves was the fulfillment of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel chapter 2:41-42. Emperor Constantine began to fulfill Bible prophecy when he founded a new capital for the Roman Empire in Constantinople, and divided the Empire into halves creating the Eastern and Western Empire. Pagan Rome ended and Papal Rome began with the CROSS. Imperial Rome became PAPAL Rome on October 28, 312 AD, when Constantine exchanged the eagle for the cross and caused the sign to be impressed on the very shields of his soldiers, and commanded that his embattled forces should be preceded in their march, not by golden eagles, as heretofore, but only by the standard of the cross.” (Eusebius, Life of Constantine, p. 545).

“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.” Daniel 7:25. 

And shall intend to change times and law

This refers to the Roman Catholic Church’s proclaimed MARK of her authority, whereby she changed to Sunday God’s 4th commandment to keep His Sabbath Holy and do no work – the only one of His laws that has to do with specified times (“from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath” Leviticus 23:32). Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Letter from C.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons on October 28, 1895 —

“Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. It could not have been otherwise, as none in those days would have dreamed of doing anything, in matters spiritual, ecclesiastical and religious without her. This act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.”

Father Enright C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, Mo., History of the Sabbath, p. 802.

“It’s the MARK of our authority to over-rule God’s law.”

Catholic Record (September 1, 1923):

“The [Catholic] Church is above the Bible, and this transference of the Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.

Sunday is our mark of authority…The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.”

Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers (p. 89)

“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday.”

For a time and times and half a time

In this passage, a “time” represents a year (360 days by the Hebrew calendar). The period described as “time and times and half a time” is thus a three and a half year period. For further confirmation of this time period, we can turn to Revelation 12:14 “And to the woman [the church] were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”, which uses the same expression. In other verses, the same event is described in different words. This parallelism gives us greater clarity about the precise time period involved. In Revelation 12:6, the same time period is given as, “a thousand two hundred and three score days.” This is 1260 prophetic days, or three and a half prophetic years. Also in Revelation 13:5 “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue [make war] for forty-two months.” A prophetic month is 30 days/years.

In Bible prophecy, a day represents a year. Numbers 14:34 says, “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years.” See also Ezekiel 4:6 “…I have laid on you a day for each year.”

According to the day-year principle, 1260 prophetic days becomes 1260 years. The word used here for “time” means a prophetic year consisting of 360 days. Therefore, “time and times and half a time” refers to three and a half prophetic years, consisting of 1260 prophetic days. This is highlighted in the parallelism of the prophecy in Revelation where the three and a half year period is equated with 1260 prophetic days, or 1260 literal years.

This day-year principle specifically applies to prophecy and is used for prophetic interpretation of “days” in prophecies. Historicist interpreters have understood the “time, times and half a time”, “1260 days” and “42 months” mentioned in Daniel and Revelation to be references to represent a period of 1260 years. These time periods occur seven times in scripture:

Daniel 7:25, “time, times and a half”.

Daniel 12:7, “time, times and a half”.

Revelation 11:2, “42 months”.

Revelation 11:3, “1260 days”.

Revelation 12:6, “1260 days”.

Revelation 12:14, “time, times and a half”.

Revelation 13:5, “42 months”.

Shall persecute the saints of the Most High

The Papacy would persecute the saints (God’s people) for 1260 years. The legally recognized supremacy of the Pope began in 538 AD, when Emperor Justinian elevated the Bishop of Rome to the position of Head of all Churches. This is known as the Edict of Justinian. Adding 1260 years to 538 AD brings us to 1798, which is the year the Pope was deposed when the French General Berthier, under Napoleon, led him into captivity. Napoleon tried to crush the Papacy, and about 18 months later the Pope died in exile in Valence, France. This act ended papal power in terms of its ability to enforce papal decrees.

“From the birth of Popery to the present time, it is estimated that more than fifty million people have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious murders for every year of the existence of popery.” History of Romanism, pp. 541, 542. New York: 1871.

“Under the guise of Christianity, the Papal Church committed more enormities than ever disgraced the annals of paganism. Disregarding the maxims and the spirit of the Gospel, the papal Church, arming herself with the power of the sword, vexed the Church of God and wasted it for several centuries, a period most appropriately termed in history, the ‘dark ages’. The kings of the earth, gave their power to the Beast.” (Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1563, Ch. IV). The 2009 Encyclopædia Britannica notes that Foxe’s work is “factually detailed and preserves much firsthand material on the English Reformation unobtainable elsewhere.”

“To wring out confessions from these poor creatures, the Roman Catholic Church devised ingenious tortures so excruciating and barbarous that one is sickened by their recital.” (Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1994): 80, 261).

“The Medieval Inquisition had flourished for centuries when Pope Paul III, in 1542, gave it permanent status as the first of Rome’s Sacred Congregations, the ‘Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Inquisition’. Known more recently as the ‘Holy Office’, its name was changed in 1967 to the ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’…Therefore it is not surprising that the ‘Office of the Inquisition’ still occupies the Palace of the Inquisition adjacent to the Vatican, though under its new name, the ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’. Its current Grand Inquisitor, who reports directly to the pope, is the former Archbishop of Munich, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, whom Time [Magazine] has called ‘the world’s most powerful cardinal [and] the Catholic Church’s chief enforcer of dogma…’”

“I do not pretend to be a prophet. But though not a prophet, I see a very dark cloud on our horizon. And that dark cloud is coming from Rome. It is filled with tears of blood. It will rise and increase till its flanks will be torn by a flash of lightning, followed by a fearful peal of thunder. Then a cyclone, such as the world has never seen, will pass over this country, spreading ruin and desolation from north to south.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

In 1940, French statesman Baron DePonnat stated, “Roman Catholicism was born in blood, has wallowed in blood, and has quenched its thirst in blood, and it is in letters of blood that its true history is written.”

“Through relentless torture, starvation, genocide, massacres, burning at the stake, against every conceivable fury of [Papal] Rome, they [i.e., the ‘seeds of protest’] could not be extinguished. History estimates that over one hundred million people lost their lives during that time of [Papal] Roman tyranny. Is it any wonder that God graphically describes this onslaught of [Papal] Rome as her being ‘drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus’, and calls her the ‘Beast’?” John Daniel, The Grand Design Exposed (CHJ Publishing, 1999).

There is no way to truly know the extent of death and harm to children perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church because so many victims or their families never come forward, but this reveals the tip of the iceberg http://www.end-times-prophecy.org/vatican-crimes-children.pdf.

On November 21, 2016, Pope Francis extended the ability of priests to forgive women for having abortions, thereby removing a barrier to commit murder by threat of excommunication, which may have prevented many women from having abortions in the past. The Pope and priests have no authority to forgive sins – that authority belongs to God alone, and no mediator on our behalf other than Jesus Christ is supported by the Bible.

He shall speak pompous words against the Most High

“… This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men— … ‘All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.’” Mark 7:6-7, 9.

The Bible clearly identifies Papal Rome as the Beast and predicts that this same power will continue to reign until the end and will again enforce its decree contrary to God’s law. The Papacy has introduced and enforced the following non-biblical false doctrines and traditions of men, and has even gone so far as to rewrite God’s law in their catechism to promote their traditions over His law, specifically with reference to the 2nd and 4th commandments. http://www.the-ten-commandments.org/catholic_church_idolatry.html.

Idol Worship (337 AD) Removal of 2nd commandment. Exodus 20:4-5 “Thou shalt not MAKE unto thee ANY graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not BOW DOWN thyself to them Nor SERVE them.” Below are three depictions of mankind breaking God’s 2nd commandment by worshipping graven images.

idol-worshippers

Replacing God’s Holy Sabbath which He blessed and hallowed, with Sunday (321-364 AD Council of Laodicea). Change of 4th Commandment. Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Rosary (366 AD) Matthew 6:7 “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

Eternal Torment (590 AD) This is a most treacherous deception of Satan, one that has effectively driven many away from the knowing the love of God. The Bible tells us repeatedly that the wicked will perish, be destroyed, consumed, blotted out, without leaving a trace – they will be forever and eternally destroyed and cease to exist. Nowhere does the Bible tell us anyone – not even Satan, the beast or the false prophet – will be eternally tormented, but shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Psalm 37:20 “But the wicked shall perish… they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.”

Eternity is only granted to those who have been redeemed by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”). Those who have not will perish – period.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 1 John 5:13-14 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Revelation 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” It does not say, “And shall be tormented for eternity.” If the word “eternity” had been used in the text, there could be no question about the length of time denoted. But the passage says, “And shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” – thus it is a matter of days and nights, and not eternity. The suffering of some sinners in the lake of fire undoubtedly will last a period of many days and nights. Every man will be rewarded “according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5-6 “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:”). Therefore, some will suffer longer than others, for some have been more wicked than others. Prior to his dying the second death in the lake of fire, each sinner will suffer the torment proportionate to his guilt (James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”). This being so, the devil certainly will suffer long after all other sinners shall have been consumed in the flames, because he is the author and instigator of all evil.

God’s judgment is righteous judgment – He is not the tyrant Satan makes Him out to be.

(2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”).

Job 34:12 “Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.”

Psalm 9:7-8 But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

Colossians 3:25 “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”

Proverbs 11:1 “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.” This teaching is unquestionably a false balance, and an abomination to the LORD.

Finally, compare Revelation 20:10 with Exodus 21:6 “Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.” How long does “for ever” mean here? It evidently means as long as both parties should remain alive. How long it takes for someone to perish in the lake of fire is directly and justly proportional to their disobedience.

John 12:44-48 “Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

Indulgences (1095 AD) This corruption in the Catholic Church was the primary cause of the Protestant Reformation. Indulgences emerged in the 11th and 12th centuries when the idea of purgatory took widespread hold and when the popes became the activist leaders of the reforming church. In their zeal, they promoted the militant reclamation of once-Christian lands—first of Iberia in the Reconquista, then of the Holy Land in the Crusades – offering “full remission of sins,” the first indulgences, as inducements to participation.

Papal pronouncements, oral and written, were often vague, however, and raised many questions among the pious. To clarify all these issues, the Scholastic theologians of the 12th and 13th centuries worked out a fully articulated theory of penance. It consisted of three parts: contrition, confession, and satisfaction. The debt of forgiven sin could be reduced through the performance of good works in this life (pilgrimages, charitable acts, and the like) or through suffering in purgatory. Indulgences could be granted only by popes or, to a lesser extent, archbishops and bishops as ways of helping ordinary people measure and amortize their remaining debt. “Plenary,” or full, indulgences cancelled all existing obligation, while “partial” indulgences remitted only a portion of it. The good works of Jesus Christ, the saints, and others could be drawn upon to liberate souls from purgatory. In 1343 Pope Clement VI decreed that all these good works were in the Treasury of Merit, over which the pope had control. This highly complicated and corrupt system, framed as a means to help people achieve their eternal salvation outside of saving faith in Jesus Christ (“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:16). Indulgences is a prime example of “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High.”

Mary Worship (850 AD) This in an excerpt from an excellent study on Mary Worship by Mary Ann Collins (a former Catholic nun) http://www.jesus-is-savior.com. Visit her site to see her complete analysis on this and many other false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

“My sources for this section are the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which has numbered paragraphs. For the sake of simplicity and brevity, I will just say Catechism plus the number of the paragraph(s). For example, “Catechism 411, 493” means “Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs numbered 411 and 493”. For each doctrinal category, I will indicate the Catholic doctrine, followed by the appropriate references from the Catechism. I will follow this with quotations from the Bible which relate to the doctrine. For the sake of clarity, I will emphasize some portions of Biblical quotations by using boldface type. The last book in the Bible is called “The Book of Revelation” in Protestant Bibles and “The Apocalypse” in Catholic Bibles. I will refer to it as “Revelation”.

Immaculate Conception (1854 AD) – Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first instant of her conception. (Catechism 490-492). Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception of Mary an article of faith on December 8, 1854. According to his pronouncement in Ineffabilis Deus, Mary was given grace to be sinless at the instant of her conception. The teaching was controversial among Christians at large, with neither Protestant nor Orthodox accepting it.

In general Christians insist that any major doctrine must be clearly backed up by some Scripture. Yet, as the Catholic Encyclopedia admits: “No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture.” Edward O’Connor, compiling a massive defense of the belief went even further, acknowledging that the idea was not even a tradition of the early church, coming to the fore only about 1100 AD. According to O’Connor, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was “handicapped by the lack of any clear Scriptural evidence (or, even any explicit patristic tradition) in its favor, but it even seemed to go counter to the clear teaching of St. Paul and Christ’s own declaration.”

What is more, many of the greatest fathers of the church and its “doctors,” explicitly rejected the idea. How could this belief be accepted when it is not taught in Scripture, and was explicitly rejected by theologians of the highest rank?

While the early church recognized that God chose Mary for a special place in His plan, countless sources both east and west show that she was not considered sinless. However, by the twelfth century, the idea of the Immaculate Conception of Mary was widely accepted in the Roman Church, although there was still strong opposition to the belief. St. Thomas Aquinas especially objected that, “If the soul of the Blessed Virgin had never been stained with the contagion of original sin, this would have detracted from Christ’s dignity as the savior of all men.” Many others stood with him. Thomas recognized that if Mary were without sin, she would not need a Savior; the Bible would then be wrong in saying Jesus was the Savior of all men and that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; there is none righteous, no not one.”

In Luke 1:46-47, Mary said: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour”. Mary knew that she needed a savior.

Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.

Revelation 15:4 says, “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy”.

Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one”.

Jesus is the only person identified in scripture as sinless.  

Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

1 Peter 2:22 says, “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth”.

In contrast, Mary said that God is her Savior. (Luke 1:47) If God was her Savior, then Mary was not sinless. Sinless people do not need a Savior.

In the Book of Revelation, when they were searching for someone who was worthy to break the seals and open the scroll, the only person who was found to be worthy was Jesus. No one else, in Heaven or on earth (including Mary), was worthy to open the scroll or even look inside it. (Revelation 5:1-5)

Confessional (1198 AD) This came into being during the evolution of the Indulgence system mentioned above. 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” 1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Nowhere in the Bible are we told that we can receive forgiveness of our sins by confessing them to a man. We certainly can and are called to forgive the trespasses of others against us “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”, but only God can forgive our sins. We are also told to confess our faults to each other as believers and pray for each other, as the effectual fervent prayer of other avails much. James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Transubstantiation (Lateran Council in 1215). As Martin Luther pointed out “Moreover, the Church had the true faith for more than twelve hundred years, during which time the holy Fathers never once mentioned this transubstantiation — certainly, a monstrous word for a monstrous idea — until the pseudo-philosophy of Aristotle became rampant in the Church…” Matthew 26:26-28 “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Mark 14:22-24 “And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.”

Luke 22:15-20 “And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Forbidding reading of the Bible (1299 AD) COUNCIL OF TOULOUSE – Canon 14. “We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; unless anyone from motive of devotion should wish to have the Psalter or the Breviary for divine offices or the hours of the blessed Virgin; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books.”

Infant Baptism (1377 AD) The Bible never teaches infant baptism. Acts 2:38-39 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Baptism is the public evidence of our response to the call of our Lord to repentance in His name. No infant is capable of that response.

Colossians 2:11-12 “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

Romans 6:3-4 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” It is the symbolic dying of self and being buried, by the immersion in water, and raising up by faith in him to walk in our newness of life.

Tradition Above Scripture (Reaffirmed 1563) Mark 7:13 “Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down.” When banning the Bible could not quench the Word, the Word was made void through the doctrines of higher criticism. The authority of tradition was made more important than Scripture. The Church’s teachings that are in direct opposition to the plain “Thus saith the Lord.”

Purgatory (Reaffirmed 1563) There is no biblical support whatsoever for purgatory or “limbo”.

Justification by Faith and Works (Reaffirmed 1563) Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”

Galatians 2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Galatians 2:21 “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

James 2:17-18 “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

Works is the evidence of our justification, but it can never be the cause of our salvation, which only comes by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. If we say we have faith and have been justified, but evidence no good works – if we are not obeying and following the commands of our Lord – it behooves us to look more closely at ourselves to make sure our faith is not dead. Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

John 14:15-21 “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

Preterism/Futurism (1585) The Roman Church produced two contradictory interpretations of end-time prophecy, neither of which is true to Scripture.

Francisco Ribera – In 1585 Jesuit scholar Francisco Ribera (1537 – 1591) started the futurist interpretation by publishing a 500-page commentary on the book of Revelation. Ribera took the last “week” (seven day-years) of the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:25, divided it into two 3 ½ year periods, and applied it to a future Antichrist, while avoiding any application to the papal system.

Robert Bellarmine – Ribera’s views would have fallen away quickly if not for Robert Bellarmine (1542 – 1621), an Italian Jesuit Cardinal, and one of the most important figures in the Counter-Reformation, who promoted Ribera’s ideas. His lectures were published as Polemic Lectures Concerning the Disputed Points of the Christian Belief Against Heretics of This Time. Froom describes these lectures as “the most detailed apology of the Catholic faith ever produced.” Froom also says they “became the arsenal for all future defenders and expositors.” Le Roy Edwin Froom, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers Volume 2 (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1948). Froom argued that the “historicist” interpretation of Bible prophecy had been the earliest and most extensively used throughout history, and that other schemes were not only novelties in comparison but had emerged as the result of attempts to deflect the condemnation of the Roman Catholic Church, which typically accompanied historicist exposition.

Luis de Alcasar – Spanish Jesuit scholar, Luis de Alcasar created preterism in 1604. His book, Investigation of the Hidden Sense of the Apocalypse, was published in 1614. Froom states this:

Applying the New Jerusalem to the Catholic Church, Alcasar contended that the Apocalypse describes the twofold war of the church in the early centuries—one with the Jewish synagogue, and the other with paganism—resulting in victory over both adversaries. Revelation 1 to 11 he applied to the rejection of the Jews and the desolation of Jerusalem by the Romans. Revelation 12 to 19 Alcazar allotted to the overthrow of Roman paganism and the conversion of the empire to the church, the judgment of the great Harlot being effected by the downfall of pagan idolatry; Revelation 20 he applied to the final persecution by Antichrist, and the day of judgment; and chapters 21 and 22, referring to the New Jerusalem, he made descriptive of the glorious and endless triumphant state of the Roman church.

The Dangers of Futurism and Preterism

In his book Truth Matters, Professor Walter Veith explains the following:

“To counter the stand of the Reformers, the Catholic Church launched the counter-reformation spearheaded by the Jesuit Order. The doctrines of Preterism and Futurism, published by Alcasar and Ribera, two Jesuit priests, in 1585, redefined the reformation position on the Antichrist and shifted the emphasis away from the papacy to the Greek king Antiochus Epiphanus IV and to some tyrant who would persecute the Jews some time in the future.

Further, Professor Veith observes that by accepting these alternative approaches to Biblical prophecy, “the Protestant world…saw in it an opportunity to cease hostilities with Rome.”

Here the true danger is exposed: if Protestantism ceases to protest against the falsehoods of Rome, then there is no opposition to the Roman plans, and no check against the corruption of Biblical Christianity found in the Roman Catholic system. The Dark Ages can come again with a vengeance.” http://amazingdiscoveries.org/RT_encyclopedia_Futurism_Preterism_Catholic#_

Immaculate Conception (1854) (see above under Mary Worship)

Papal Infallibility (1870) Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Ecclesiastes 7:20 “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.”

Pope Sovereign Rules (1929)

Assumption of Mary (1950)

Mary as Mediatrix (pending final Vatican declaration) “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” 1 Timothy 2:5.

These pagan practices are symbols of apostasy against God. The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism says the following:

“The missionary history of the [Catholic] Church clearly shows her adaptability to all races, all continents, all nations. In her liturgy and her art, in her tradition and the forming of her doctrine, naturally enough she includes Jewish elements, but also elements that are of pagan origin. In certain respects, she has copied her organization from that of the Roman Empire, has preserved and made fruitful the philosophical intuitions of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, borrowed from both Barbarians and the Byzantine Roman Empire—but always remains herself, thoroughly digesting all elements drawn from external sources…In her laws, her ceremonies, her festivals and her devotions, she makes use of local customs after purifying them and ‘baptizing’ them.”

The Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church has long been known to be the Antichrist System. All of the great reformers were united in their recognition of papal Rome as the Antichrist power.

Arnulf Bishop of Orleans (Roman Catholic)
“deplored the roman popes as “monsters of guilt” and declared in a council called by the King of France in 991ad that the pontiff, clad in purple and gold, was, “Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself as God” -Phillip Schaff, History of the Christian church, 8 vols., reprint of the 3d (1910) ed. (Grand Rapids Mich.: Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Co., n.d.)

Eberhard II, archbishop of Salzburg (Roman Catholic)
“stated at a synod of bishops held at Regensburg in 1240 (some scholars say 1241) that the people of his day were “accustomed” to calling the pope antichrist.” -LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, 4 vols. (Wash DC: Review and Herald publishing assc, 1950-1954)

John Wycliffe
“When the western church was divided for about 40 years between two rival popes, one in Rome and the other in Avigon, France, each pope called the other pope antichrist – and John Wycliffe is reputed to have regarded them as both being right: “two halves of Antichrist, making up the perfect Man of Sin between them.” -Ibid

Martin Luther (Lutheran)
“We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist…personally I declare that I owe the Pope no other obedience than that to Antichrist.”  (Aug. 18, 1520) Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 2., pg. 121 by Froom. (In response to a papal bull [official decree]): “I despise and attack it, as impious, false… It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein… I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself.” –D’Aubigné, b.6, ch. 9.

Cotton Mather (Congregational Theologian)
“The oracles of God foretold the rising of an Antichrist in the Christian Church: and in the Pope of Rome, all the characteristics of that Antichrist are so marvelously answered that if any who read the Scriptures do not see it, there is a marvelous blindness upon them.”  Taken from The Fall of Babylon by Cotton Mather in Froom’s book, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, Vol. 3, pg. 113.

John Wesley (Methodist)
Speaking of the Papacy he said, “He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers… He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped…claiming the highest power, and highest honour…claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.”  Taken from Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms by John Wesley, pg. 110.

Thomas Cranmer (Anglican)
“Whereof it followeth Rome to be the seat of antichrist, and the pope to be very antichrist himself. I could prove the same by many other scriptures, old writers, and strong reasons.” (Referring to prophecies in Revelation and Daniel.)  Taken from Works by Cranmer, Vol. 1, pp. 6-7.

Roger Williams (First Baptist Pastor in America)
He spoke of the Pope as “the pretended Vicar of Christ on earth, who sits as God over the Temple of God, exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea over the Spirit of Christ, over the Holy Spirit, yea, and God himself…speaking against the God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws; but he is the son of perdition (II Thess. 2).” Taken from The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers by Froom, Vol. 3, pg. 52.

1689 London Baptist Confession

Chapter 26: Of the Church. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, in whom, by the appointment of the Father, all power for the calling, institution, order or government of the church, is invested in a supreme and sovereign manner; neither can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof, but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God; whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. (Colossians 1:18; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11, 12; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-9).   

John Knox (Scotch Presbyterian)
Knox wrote to abolish “that tyranny which the pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church” and that the pope should be recognized as “the very antichrist, and son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.” Taken from The Zurich Letters, pg. 199 by John Knox.

John Calvin (Presbyterian)
“Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt… I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” Taken from Institutes by John Calvin.

Ellen G. White: Seven Day Adventists
“This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of ‘the man of sin’ foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power – a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.”

Presbyterian Church (Year 2000)
The following Resolution was unanimously passed by the South Atlantic Presbytery of the Bible Presbyterian Church meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, March 25, 2000.

THE THREAT OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Whereas: The mass media has captivated the world with the activities of Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Holy Land in March 2000; and

Whereas: The Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation have signed, in October, 1999 a joint declaration of accord on the doctrine of justification (only the synods of Wisconsin and Missouri dissented); and

Whereas: In the middle of February, 200, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat met with Pope John Paul II at the vatican to sign an agreement regarding the future of Jerusalem that warned Israel against any unilateral decision affecting Jerusalem; and

Whereas: Bob Jones University has been unjustly slandered for anti-catholic bias by Senators McCain, Torricelli, Hollings and the liberal mass media; and

Whereas: The House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress has just appointed a Roman Catholic priest as its chaplain for the first time, March 23, 2000; and

Whereas: Pope John Paul II has declared the year 2000 a “Great Jubilee Year” for Roman Catholics that establishes the restoration of indulgences, THE VERY ISSUE THAT PROMPTED MARTIN LUTHER TO DRAFT THE 95 THESES IN OCTOBER OF 1517: papal spokesman Timothy Shugrue states, “The indulgence is one of the spiritual privileges extended during Jubilee. It is a way of applying the merits of the good deeds of the saints and the Virgin Mary and Christ Himself to the rest of us.”;

Therefore: The South Atlantic Presbytery of the Bible Presbyterian Church, at its spring meeting in the Bible Presbyterian Church of Charlotte, N.C., March 25, 2000, resolves and warns the Roman Catholic Church, Mystery, Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth (Rev 17:5) constitutes the greatest threat to fundamental Christianity in the 21st century! The Roman Catholic Church has long since forsaken the Bible alone, Grace alone, faith alone, and Christ alone. There should be no confraternity with this apostate church in ministerial associations, community Easter sunrise services, Thanksgiving services, mass evangelism or common social endeavors. We admonish devout believers to lovingly and firmly win Roman Catholics to Christ and urge new converts to obey Rev. 18:4, “And I heard a another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sin, and that ye receive not her plagues.”

“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Matthew 19:21

“Bankers’ best guesses about the Vatican’s wealth put it at $10 billion to $15 billion. Of this wealth, Italian stockholdings alone run to $1.6 billion, 15% of the value of listed shares on the Italian market. The Vatican has big investments in banking, insurance, chemicals, steel, construction, real estate.” Time Magazine, 1965.

There is no way of identifying the true financial wealth and global holdings of the Vatican and Papal Roman. The Vatican is the smallest country in the world with an economy (and most everything else) shrouded in secrecy. There is no way of knowing the number of “the merchants of the earth [who will] weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargos any more, cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.” Revelation 18:11-13. What entity on earth has adorned herself more with such specific merchandise than the Roman Catholic Church?

“Not to be lost in the pomp and circumstance of Pope Francis’ first visit to Washington is the reality that the Catholic Church he oversees has become one of the largest recipients of federal largesse in America. The Church and related Catholic charities and schools have collected more than $1.6 billion since 2012 in U.S. contracts and grants in a far-reaching relationship that spans from school lunches for grammar school students to contracts across the globe to care for the poor and needy at the expense of Uncle Sam, a Washington Times review of federal spending records shows. Catholic Charities USA, the largest charitable organization run by the church, receives about 65 percent of its annual budget from state and federal governments, making it an arm of the federal welfare state, said Brian Anderson, a researcher with the Manhattan Institute.” The Washington Times, September 24, 2015.

 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16.

“The Roman Catholic Church, a principal world religion today in competition with other Christian faiths, had, by 1600, achieved dominance over huge swaths of Europe. A virtual monopoly in these areas, the Church captured and set rules for marriage as a religious institution, manipulated capital markets, engaged in military campaigns and pogroms to suppress competition in a variety of ways, and effectively controlled civil governments and leaders with threats of excommunication and non-support. Most importantly, the Church developed a vertically integrated super-national organizational structure – a  global firm – with an upstream component setting policy and doctrine (the pope as CEO and curia in Rome) and a downstream church (parishes, monasteries, legates to civil governments and so on) that “sold” the primary product – assurances of eternal salvation.” – Rachel M. McCleary, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. 

The Ten Horns, the Little Horn and the Three that were Plucked Up in Daniel 7

“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Daniel 7:8.

“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:24-25.

The identification of the ten horns of Daniel 7:20 is firmly established in history; they are: the Alemanni, Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Burgundians, Visigoths, Suevi, Ostrogoths, Heruli, Lombards and the Vandals. If, as the Reformers contended, the little horn represents the Papacy, then history must testify to this fact.

Justinian became Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire in 527. A man of religious inclinations, Procopius, Justinian’s campaign historian, revealed that Justinian’s motivation was to “protect the Christians.” By Christians he meant Catholics. He was protecting the Catholic faith against Arian invaders who taught that Christ was altogether human and not divine. In 538 the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, Justinian, bestowed the title of Universal Bishop upon Pope Vigilius. History must also testify to the identity of the three horns (kingdoms) that would be uprooted at the time of the rise of the papal power.

The Ostrogoths, Vandals and Heruli have vanished from Europe, leaving no trace in the twenty-first century. But when did this loss of entity take place? Amazingly all three vanished shortly after the time in which they had reached the zenith of their power. Their decline in each case was dramatic, unexpected and sudden. This prophecy thus is a most compelling one.

Odovacar, the Heruli leader, had, only sixty-two years before 538, unseated the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire in 476.This led to the fall of that mighty empire. At this pinnacle of power Odovacar had extended his nation into a domain where Emperor Zeno of the Eastern Roman Empire would tolerate no more usurpation of Imperial power by the Heruli. Emperor Zeno commissioned Theodoric, the king of the Ostrogoths, to deal with this Herulian affront to the Empire. Theodoric needed no urging from Zeno for he, too, was envious of Odovacar’s success. Zeno’s command was motivated by a second consideration. The Ostrogoths then occupied territory close to Constantinople and the Emperor hoped that by this military distraction he could ease the pressure he received from the powerful Ostrogoths. The conquest began in 487 and after fifty years the Heruli were quelled, never again to rise as a nation. The first of the three horns had been uprooted. “[By] mid 6th century they [Heruli] vanished from history” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1990 edition, art. Heruli).

The Vandals were a teutonic race related to the Burgundians and Goths. In 439 the Vandals captured Carthage, the third most significant city in the Roman Empire, and held it until 533. The Vandals in the fifth century became the leading maritime power in the Mediterranean. In 455 their king, Gaiseric, conquered Rome and appropriated its wealth to himself. With the exception of one king, Hilderic, the Vandal rulers were Arians. When Hilderic’s cousin, Gelimer, imprisoned him, Justinian found an excuse to attack. Under Justinian’s general, Belisarius, the Vandals were overthrown in 536. “After this,” the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1963 edition, Vol. 22, p. 973, reports, “the Vandals disappeared from history.” The second horn had been uprooted just two years prior to Pope Vigilius exercising the title of Universal Bishop which Emperor Justinian had accorded by the words creating him “head of all the holy churches.” Another historical work described the demise of the Vandals in the words, they “disappeared as a mist” (C. W. Previté-Orton, Shorter Cambridge Medieval History, 4th edition, University Press 1953, Volume 1, p. 189).

But a third horn, the Ostrogoths, held a stranglehold on Italy, the conquest of which they had made at the behest of the Emperor Zeno in destruction of the Heruli tribe. In 538 Justinian’s forces evicted the Ostrogoths from Rome. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1990 edition, art. Goths).

In the destruction of the Ostrogoth kingdom we see God’s foreknowledge displayed, for all the advantages at first appeared to be on their side, and the army of Justinian being ripe for annihilation. Procopius in his History, Vol. 5, chapter 16, page 11, recorded that Emperor Justinian’s army, led by Belisarius, received scant opposition as they marched virtually unopposed into Rome in 536. But his army boasted no more than 5000. The Ostrogoths counter-attacked with 150,000 and laid siege to Rome. With a thirty-to-one superiority in forces the Ostrogoths appeared to possess every advantage. But God had foreseen the fearful tactical error the forces of the Ostrogoths were to make. Reasoning that if they blocked the fourteen aqueducts which provided Rome’s water supply they would soon force Belisarius into surrender, the Ostrogoths had not counted the environmental consequences of their action. As Andrews University Professor of Church History, Dr. Mervyn Maxwell reported:

The torrents that poured from the broken aqueducts created a quagmire that bred malarial mosquitoes and caused epidemics. The large Gothic army was so grievously reduced by disease that in March 538 Belisarius with his small force was able to defeat it handily. (God Cares, Pacific Press, Boise, Idaho, 1981, Volume a, page 146).

The destroyers of the Heruli, Vandals and the Ostrogoths thought they were carrying out their own purposes. But in reality they were fulfilling the word God had given through His prophets, a word proclaimed at a time when none of these nations existed, a millennium prior to their prophesied demise.

Thomas Hodgkin in his history, Italy and Her Invaders, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1899, Volume 4, page 250, rightly declared that Catholic soldiers “dug the grave of the Gothic monarchy.” The last of the three uprooted horns had met its demise, never to rise again. The way was now open for the Papacy to rule western Europe. The 1260 year period of Papal rule had commenced.

It is little wonder that the apostle Peter wrote, as the date for his martyrdom approached:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:19—21).

That which no man could have foreseen, the God of heaven knew.

http://www.sundaylaw.net/books/other/standish/twobeasts/tb06.htm 

He will think to change Times and Laws and shall wear out the saints of the Most High 

The following verse is God’s warning from the Bible that the Roman Catholic Church would in fact actually think to change His laws. As for the wearing out the saints, this was the persecution, torture and death of between 50 and 150 million Christians accused of being heretics for 1260 years called the dark ages.

Daniel 7:25 “…And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change TIMES and LAWS: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Note it says they would THINK to change laws. This is because in reality man cannot change God’s law. They think they have changed it and boast they have changed it; however, even though most Churches have come out of her and hence unknowingly followed her tradition, as far as God is concerned, His Commandments remain unchanged. God’s law is eternal and unchanging as He is. Jesus commented the following in regards to putting human traditions in place of His law.

Mark 7:6-9 “And he said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’

You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.’ And he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!’”

http://www.the-ten-commandments.org/romancatholic-tencommandments.html This is an excellent study concerning the Ten Commandments and how the Roman Catholic Church has changed God’s Word.

The Papacy would persecute the saints (God’s people) for 1260 years. The legally recognized supremacy of the Pope began in 538 AD, when Emperor Justinian elevated the Bishop of Rome to the position of Head of all Churches. This is known as the Edict of Justinian. Adding 1260 years to 538 AD brings us to 1798, which is the year the Pope was deposed when the French General Berthier, under Napoleon, led him into captivity. Napoleon tried to crush the Papacy, and about 18 months later the Pope died in exile in Valence, France. This act ended papal power in terms of enforcing papal decrees – the deadly wound that was healed in 1929 with the signing of the Lateran Treaty. The agreement signed by Benito Mussolini and Cardinal Gasparri, on behalf of the King Victor Emmanuel III and Pope Pius XI, restored the full diplomatic and political power of the Holy See of Rome. The dispute regarding the temporal power of the popes as rulers of a civil territory in the context of the Italian Risorgimento, ended with the Lateran Pacts between King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Pope Pius XI in 1929. And today, all the world indeed “wonders” at the revived power of the Roman Catholic Church, the epitome of Church and State combined and a major player in global politics.

“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Revelation 13:3

The Bible clearly identifies the papal system as the Antichrist. The Papacy has exalted itself in the place of Jesus Christ on Earth, and claims to be able to mediate between people and God, forgive sins and change God’s commandments. The great reformers were all united in their recognition of papal Rome as the Antichrist power.

“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” Revelation 17:9-11.

Only one city has for more than 2000 years been known as the city on seven hills – that city is Rome – and that specification eliminates ancient Babylon. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “It is within the city of Rome, called the city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now confined.” In ancient times, hills were sacred high places, used to worship and offer sacrifices to deities. The systems of worship were based on salvation by works, and also included a counterfeit saviour or Messiah and mediators of both sexes. The gods that were worshipped in these places were manifestations of the sun god who was androgenic in that he/she could manifest himself/herself in the male or the female form.

Catholic apologist, Karl Keating, explains that Rome has long been known as Babylon. Keating points to Peter’s statement in 1 Peter 5:13 “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son” proves that Peter was writing from Rome. He explains further:

“Babylon is a code word for Rome. It is used that way six times in the last book of the Bible [four of the six are in chapters 17 and 18 and in extrabiblical works such as Sibylling Oracles (5, 159f.), the Apocalypse of Baruch (ii, 1), and 4 Esdras (3:1). Eusebius Pamphilius, writing about 303, noted that “it is said that Peter’s first epistle… was composed at Rome itself; and that he himself indicates this, referring to the city figuratively as Babylon.” Karl Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” (Ignatius Press, 1988), p. 200.

There have been eight sovereigns (kings) of Vatican City State since its establishment by the Lateran Treaty of 1929. The position as head of state of Vatican City is an ex officio role of the pope. The eighth sovereign, since his election on March 13, 2013, is Pope Francis.

According to Revelation 16, end-time Babylon will be a three-part confederacy, under the leadership of the Pope. The three components are the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet Lamblike Beast.

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” (Revelation 16:13-14).

Dragon

The Dragon is identified as Satan, and represents a hidden god, a counterfeit of God the Father. Satan has always wanted to usurp God’s power and position—to take the place of God. As the counterfeit God the Father, Satan now hopes to gain the allegiance of the world to overcome God’s kingdom. His workings are disguised, and his power is made manifest through spiritualism in all its forms. In addition to the obvious manifestations of Satan through demons, spirits, and witchcraft, Satan also pulls people away from God to himself through the modern New Age movement, another form of spiritualism. This movement is one of the manifestations of the Dragon component.

Beast

The Beast represents the false son or counterfeit of Jesus Christ. It is Roman Catholicism, or more specifically the papacy, claiming to be the representative of Christ on earth – Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar Son of God). According to www.askacatholic.com: “As you can work out for yourself, Vicarius Filii Dei does add up to 666 in Latin: Vicarius=112; Filii=53, Dei=501. (Ignore letters which are not assigned a numerical value.)

V = 5         F = 0         D = 500

I = 1          I = 1           E = 0

C = 100     L = 50        I = 1

A = 0         I = 1

R = 0         I = 1

U = 5

I = 1

S = 0

112    +       53    +       501  = 666

Note: “U” and “V” have the same numeric value. Verify this in any Encyclopedia.

The problem is that Vicarius Filii Dei is not a title of the Pope.”

Apparently the author was not aware of this evidence to the contrary, in spite of the great lengths the Roman Catholic Church has gone to in an attempt to hide or destroy such evidence since being identified, for obvious reasons.

http://biblelight.net/vicarius-filii-dei-documentation.htm

“What are the letters supposed to be in the Pope’s crown, and what do they signify, if anything? The letters inscribed in the Pope’s mitre are these: Vicarius Filii Dei, which is the Latin for Vicar of the Son of God. Catholics hold that the Church which is a visible society must have a viable head.” A. Wylie, in his comment on the Apology of Ennodius written in defense of Pope Symmachus:

“We find the council [of Rome, A.D. 502 or 503] convoked by Theodoric demurring to investigate the charges alleged against Pope Symmachus, on the grounds set forth by his apologist Ennodius, which were, ‘that the Pope, as God’s Vicar, was the judge of all, and could himself be judged by no one.’ ‘In this apology,’ remarks Mosheim, ‘the reader will perceive that the foundations of that enormous power which the popes of Rome afterwards acquired were now laid.’ ” [47]

In recent years, the validity of this title has been questioned, but historical evidence remains that this arrogated title has served to support the authority of the popes in building up their vast temporal supremacy during the heyday of Romanism in medieval times, and in maintaining their spiritual authority to this day.

The particular title Vicarius Filii Dei appeared as early as 752-774 in a document historically known as the “Donation of Constantine.” Though this document was later proved to have been written by someone else and signed with the name of Constantine the Great to give it the weight of his authority—a practice not uncommon in medieval times—yet this so-called Donation of Constantine was used as valid by at least nine of the popes over a period of seven centuries or more in establishing the spiritual and temporal supremacy of the bishops of Rome. [48]

[47] J. A. Wylie, The Papacy, pp. 35, 36.
[48] See Christopher Coleman, Constantine the Great and Christianity, p. 178

http://biblelight.net/envoy.htm#2012

Just as Christ received a mortal wound at the cross, so the Beast received a mortal wound but lived. Just as Christ was raised from the dead, so the mortal wound of the Beast was healed. Just as Christ is to receive all homage, so the whole world will wonder after the Beast (the Papacy), and pay it homage. Just as at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, so the Papacy today demands acknowledgement of its supremacy.

False Prophet

The final component of Babylon is the False Prophet, which counterfeits the Holy Spirit. The best-known experience of the Holy Spirit in the Bible was Pentecost, when tongues of fire came down upon the disciples, filling them with the Holy Spirit, and empowering them to speak in other tongues so they could spread the Gospel. Acts 2:4-8 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” Acts 2:11 “ – we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” (Emphasis added). The counterfeit holy spirit has a similar manifestation however it does not spread the Gospel, glorify God, or edify those hearing it; but only creates confusion, and we know “God is not the author of confuson”.

The second beast of Revelation 13:11-17, America, will compel the world to worship the first beast, papal Rome, whose deadly wound was healed. America will play an important role in establishing the Papacy’s status as world spiritual leader, will comprise a part of the end-time Babylonian confederacy, and will cause all who will to take the mark of the beast.

In Protestant America, we see manifestations of tongues and healings, holy ghost laughter and being “drunk” in the spirit which are not being used for edification or spreading the Gospel, but are a counterfeit. These experiences are full of emotionalism and euphoria, but do not glorify God. Also known as Pentecostalism, these great miracles, signs, and wonders are one of the False Prophet’s ways of unifying denominations under false doctrine.

Prosperity ministries, and others that focus on entertaining the masses with sensationalism over preaching the Gospel and building up and edifying the Church in faith and all righteousness, should be avoided. We are told how to test them. “You shall know them by their fruits” and “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” And finally, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” And “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

When Christ prayed for unity within His Church, He never meant unity through compromise, but always unity in truth. Any differences in doctrine must be brought to the Word of God for examination with an open mind, so that the Word and the Word alone will dictate our doctrinal beliefs. This is the unity Christ wanted for His followers. “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:22).

The Evangelical and other Protestant churches and US Government are already joining themselves to ecumenical movement of Rome in the name of unity, accepting papal supremacy and becoming part of Babylon, thereby forming this third component of end-time Babylon, the False Prophet. The ecumenical unity sought by most religious and political leaders today can only be achieved at the expense of God’s truth and only through compromise. Unity at all cost is the driving force of their religious endeavors. This false unity is not based on God’s Word, but on dogma and experience:

Dogmatic unity is the binding of people together through principles and doctrine. Dogmas can include words of the church fathers, sacraments, and liturgies.

Experiential unity is found when emotions or supernatural happenings become the unifying factor. This type of unity can cross Biblical, doctrinal, and cultural barriers, bringing people together in a communal emotional high.

The apostle Paul warns us that a false spirit and false Jesus will come:

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2-­4).

As it was in our early history, so it will become again at the end, only falsely. On Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Madison followed Jefferson’s example, although unlike Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, Madison came in a coach and four Worship services in the House – a practice that continued until after the Civil War – were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared.

At our very beginning, on April 30th, 1789, America had a Constitution and a newly formed government. On that day, the government, the House, and the Senate gathered for the Inauguration of our first president, George Washington. In his Inauguration Address, Washington gave a prophetic warning: “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and the right which heaven itself has ordained.” Washington’s warning was, if we would begin to depart from God, He would remove His blessings, His prosperity and His protection from our nation.

After Washington’s address, the government, the House, the Senate, and America’s first president traveled on foot to Saint Paul’s Chapel, where the entire government went on their knees praying and consecrating this nation to God. In the chapel there is a plaque above Washington’s pew with the words “Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that you will keep the United States in Holy protection.” Saint Paul’s Chapel, located at the corner of Ground Zero, is the spiritual birthplace of America.

America’s first Presidential Inauguration incorporated seven specific religious activities, including: 1. the use of the Bible to administer the oath; 2. affirming the religious nature of the oath by the adding the prayer “So help me God!” to the oath; 3. inaugural prayers offered by the president; 4. religious content in the inaugural address; 5. civil leaders calling the people to prayer or acknowledgement of God; 6. inaugural worship services attended en masse by Congress as an official part of congressional activities; 7. clergy-led inaugural prayers.

Our new President, his administration and advisory council of evangelicals will lead us more fully into this role, whether wittingly or unwittingly. God’s hand was on Donald Trump’s miraculous coming into office as leader of America, but not for the worldly reasons many believe.

Babylon and Babylon the Great

Ancient Babylon served as a symbol of end-time Babylon the great. Just like the warning to separate from ancient Babylon, so the warning is repeated about end-time Babylon:

“Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” (Jeremiah 51:6-7).

“For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:3-4. All Christians today need to be heeding this call.

End-time Babylon cannot find its fulfillment in the ancient ruins of literal Babylon, even if the city were restored. Rather, Babylon represents the greater worldwide contempt for God that exists at the end of time. The components of Babylon will bind together in one final attempt at total world control and war against God’s Kingdom. The three components of Babylon represent Satan’s counterfeit system of worship and counterfeit trinity. One further reason why the end-time religious confederacy, under the leadership of the Papacy, is called “Babylon” is that the pagan Babylonian system of worship has been passed down through history – its rituals and doctrines are present in Catholicism, as well as religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, earth religions, and even Islam.

http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception_confederacy_Babylon_beast

http://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/study-guide/e/4997/t/the-mark-of-the-beast

Rev 17:1-3 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

Church and State

The woman of Revelation 17 rides a symbolic beast. A beast in scripture is symbolic of an empire or state. Examples of this are explained in Daniel 7, where a lion represented Babylon, a bear represented Medo-Persia, and a leopard  represented Greece. Therefore, the woman of Revelation 17 riding a beast is symbolic of the combining of the ecclesiastical power of church (the woman) and political power of the state (the beast) – a church in control of state power.

Rev 17:18 “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

Vatican City is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, and since the Lateran Concordat of 1929 it is also an independent country, the epitome of Church and State combined. The full formal diplomatic title in Italian is STATO DELLA CITTÁ DEL VATICANO, as seen on the 2 Lira coin from the pontificate of Pope Pius the 12th minted in 1940, which means: Vatican City State or City State of Prophesy. Vatic means prophesy, Vatican = of or from prophesy. Interestingly, the Pope’s license plate number is SCV1, or #1 of the City State of Prophesy. http://biblelight.net/vatican.htm

Jesuits (Pope Francis is the only Jesuit Pope in history) 

After three nails were added under the insignia (together with a cross above), some noticed that the inscription now contained a “V” below the IHS – so that we see IHSV. In this form it was adopted by St. Ignatius as the symbol of the Jesuits. IHSV represents In Hoc Signo Vinces, “In this sign shalt thou conquer”.

Jesuit: Member of Society of Jesus, R.C. Order founded by Ignatius Loyola and others (1534); dissembling person, equivocator. – Concise Oxford Dictionary. In case you do not know, dissemble means “to conceal one’s true motives, feelings, or beliefs”; equivocator is “one who uses ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead; prevaricate to speak falsely or misleadingly; deliberately misstate or create an incorrect  impression; lie) or hedge”.

The Jesuit Order (The Society of Jesus) was created by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1534. The Jesuit order is bound by a vow of absolute obedience to the Pope as directed by the ghostly father (Superior General of the Society). One might wonder how a Jesuit can become Pope, who therefore must vow absolute obedience to himself – or more accurately to the “dragon who gave his power and his throne and great authority.” Revelation 13:2.

Loyola founded the so-called “Society of Jesus” in 1534, with a small band of friends; and on September 27, 1540, the Jesuit “Constitution” was drafted and Pope Paul III issued a bull approving (and thus officially “founding”) the Jesuits as a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. But here a most important fact must be carefully noted, for it throws such light on the real nature of the Society: Loyola established the Society before it received papal approval. The small group of men who made up the Society at its inception in 1534 vowed to obey Loyola, as the Superior General of the organization, before they ever went to the pope. It was not Loyola’s original intention to submit his Society to the pope, but only to himself as its General. Only if he found it absolutely necessary, did Loyola intend to seek papal approval for his Society. This fact is borne out by a Roman Catholic author, Alban Butler, who wrote, “In 1534… St. Ignatius and his six companions… made a vow at Montmartre to visit the Holy Land, and unite their labours for the conversion of the infidels; or, if this should be found not practicable, to cast themselves at the feet of the pope, and offer their services wherever he thought fit to employ them.” This fact, so often overlooked, is tremendously significant. The truth is that it was only when Loyola and his small group failed to begin work in Palestine, and cast their eyes towards Europe as a field of operation, that Loyola approached the pope for papal approval – knowing as he did that, there being so many religious orders already in Europe, he could not work in Europe without such approval.

This means that, ever since its founding, the Society has been totally dedicated, first and foremost, not to the pope, but to the Jesuit General. The Jesuits are a law unto themselves. While outwardly acknowledging the authority of the pope of Rome, their real allegiance is to the Jesuit General. All orders come from the General; even the pope’s instructions are only passed on if the General sees fit. It is not surprising that the Jesuit General came to be known as the “black pope”.  Naturally enough, when Loyola approached Paul III, the latter had strong reservations. It was not difficult to discern that men swearing absolute obedience to their General would be independent of the Papacy and thus dangerous to it, even though they professed to be submissive to it. Loyola cunningly suggested that the Jesuits also take a vow of obedience to the pope, to go wherever he should send them; and Paul III agreed to this, and sanctioned the Society. Yet, in practice, the Jesuits have never taken any notice of this vow. The pope is only obeyed when it suits them.

Arturo Mercelino Sosa Abascal of Venezuela was elected the 31st Jesuit Superior General on October 14, 2014. Sosa is the first Latin American Superior General of the Society of Jesus, the largest religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. Interestingly, Francis, a fellow Jesuit, is the first Latin American as well as Jesuit Pope. Sosa entered the Society of Jesus in September 1966 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He was provincial superior of the Society of Jesus in Venezuela from 1996 to 2004, and has known Francis since both were together in the 1983 General Congregation (the highest authority in the Society), and has grown closer to him since Sosa moved to Rome in 2014 to take charge of the Jesuit houses in Rome. Latin America has the largest population of Catholics, with 41.3% (483 million).

Pope Francis, then Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became a Jesuit on March 12, 1960, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina’s provincial superior of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). At the end of the Oath, the Superior says: “Go ye, then, into all the world and take possession of all lands in the name of the Pope.” Since this Pope is a Jesuit, by his oath, he must go out into the world in his own name to take possession of all the lands. Earlier in his oath, he will “declare and swear, that his holiness the Pope is Christ’s Viceregent and is the true and only Head of the Catholic or Universal Church throughout the earth…” He is Viceregent, he is the only head, he does not answer to anyone. Or does he answer to the Superior General?

“We never imagined that a Jesuit could become pope. It was an impossible thing,” said Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro. “It sent me into a crisis, in a sense, when he was elected. We Jesuits are supposed to be at the service of the pope, not to be a pope.”

“He may act like a Franciscan, but he thinks like a Jesuit.” Fr. Thomas Reese, fellow Jesuit and columnist for National Catholic Reporter.

October 24, 2016 Catholic News Service “The Jesuits aim to ‘move forward, overcoming the impediments which the enemy of human nature puts in our way when, in serving God, we are seeking the greater good,’ Pope Francis told more than 200 Jesuits chosen to represent the more than 16,000 Jesuits at the order’s general congregation.”

Satan knows the Bible well and is always working to twist its meaning ever so subtly that many would never see his deception. The “enemy of human nature” (the carnal mind) is God (actually vice versa as God is Creator); and so he is saying that the Jesuits’ aim is to move forward to overcome the impediments which God puts in their way. Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Old French Proverb – “When two Jesuits meet, the devil is always there to make a threesome.”

“Throughout Christendom, Protestantism was menaced by formidable foes. The first triumphs of the Reformation past, Rome summoned new forces, hoping to accomplish its destruction. At this time the order of the Jesuits was created, the most cruel, unscrupulous, and powerful of all the champions of popery. Cut off from earthly ties and human interests, dead to the claims of natural affection, reason and conscience wholly silenced, they knew no rule, no tie, but that of their order, and no duty but to extend its power. The gospel of Christ had enabled its adherents to meet danger and endure suffering, undismayed by cold, hunger, toil, and poverty, to uphold the banner of truth in face of the rack, the dungeon, and the stake. To combat these forces, Jesuitism inspired its followers with a fanaticism that enabled them to endure like dangers, and to oppose to the power of truth all the weapons of deception. There was no crime too great for them to commit, no deception too base for them to practice, no disguise too difficult for them to assume. Vowed to perpetual poverty and humility, it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power, to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism, and the re-establishment of the papal supremacy.” Great Controversy, p.234

“Since the beginning, the purpose of the Jesuits has included global political domination, as Loyola himself once said: “Finally, Let all with such artfulness gain the ascendant over princes, noblemen, and the magistrates of every place, that they may be ready at our beck, even to sacrifice their nearest relations and most intimate friends, when we say it is for our interest and advantage (emphasis added).”

The world’s wars and revolutions occur because the Jesuits want to establish a one-world government with the Papacy at its head. Even over a century ago their plans were succeeding, as 19th-century theologian Luigi De Sanctis tells us: “At what then do the Jesuits aim? According to them, they only seek the greater glory of God; but if you examine the facts you will find that they aim at universal dominion alone. They have rendered themselves indispensable to the Pope, who, without them, could not exist, because Catholicism is identified with them. They have rendered themselves indispensable to governors and hold revolutions in their hands; and in this way, either under one name or another, it is they who rule the world (emphasis added)” 

As the sources below attest, the Jesuits have been involved in—and even spearheaded—many of the world’s worst wars, revolutions, and massacres. At times, the Jesuits are directly involved, at other times, they use their influence over the Freemasons and other secret societies.” www.amazingdiscoveries.org.

The purpose of the Jesuit Order, was to destroy the Protestant Reformation. They called it the Counter-Reformation. Sadly, they have all but succeeded, turning America and her apostate Protestantism into the second beast/false prophet of Revelation 16:13 and 13:11-14, as the US government and American evangelical “Christians” (church and state – the two horns of the lamblike beast) join together in bowing before the beast, causing and deceiving others to do the same.

Nicolini of Rome wrote: “The Jesuits, by their very calling, by the very essence of their institution, are bound to seek, by every means, right or wrong, the destruction of Protestantism. This is the condition of their existence, the duty they must fulfill, or cease to be Jesuits.” [Footprints of the Jesuits, R. W. Thompson, 1894]

Following is the Oath of the Jesuits.

It is said that there has been a reversal of the Jesuits’ relationship to the Vatican since 1967. The relationship between the Papacy and the Jesuits has been checkered throughout the last 350 years, but since Vatican II the Jesuits have become a force in opposition to both the Papacy and the so-called “traditionalists” position in the Roman Catholic Church. When founded by Ignatius of Loyala, the Society of Jesus was the driving force behind the Counter-Reformation of the Roman Catholic Church, and the oath was fully operational and enforced. The Jesuits now constitute the most powerful force for liberalism in the Roman Catholic Church.

INDUCTION AND EXTREME OATH OF THE JESUITS (Library of Congress, Washington D.C., Library of Congress Catalog Card #66-43354, made public in 1883.)

“When a Jesuit novice is about to be inducted into the higher levels of the Order, he kneels on a red cross before the Superior of the Order. Before him are two flags, the familiar yellow and white flag of the papacy, and the black flag with a dagger and red cross above a skull and crossbones, the flag of the Jesuit Order. On the Jesuit flag is written the words, IUSTUM, NECAR, REGES, IMPIOS. (It is just to exterminate or annihilate impious or heretical kings, governments, or rulers.) The Superior of the Order hands the novice a small black crucifix which he presses to his heart, and the Superior then presents to the novice a dagger. The novice grasps the bare blade and presses the point to his heart. The Superior, still holding the hilt of the dagger then speaks to the novice.

Superior
My son, heretofore you have been taught to act the dissembler: among Roman Catholics to be a Roman Catholic, and to spy even among your own brethren; to believe no man, to trust no man. Among the Reformers, to be a Reformer; among the Huguenots, to be a Huguenot; among the Calvinists, to be a Calvinist; among the Protestants, generally to be a Protestant; and obtaining their confidence to seek even to preach from their pulpits and to denounce with all the vehemence in your nature our Holy Religion and the Pope; and to descend so low as to become a Jew among the Jews, that you might be enabled to gather together all information for your Order as a faithful soldier of the Pope.

You have been taught to insidiously plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities, provinces and states that were at peace, and incite them to deeds of blood, involving them in war with each other, and to create revolutions and civil wars in countries that were independent and prosperous, cultivating the arts and sciences and enjoying the blessings of peace. To take sides with the combatants and to act secretly in concert with your brother Jesuit, who may be engaged on the other side, but openly opposed to that with which you might be connected; only that the Church might be the gainer in the end, in the conditions fixed in the treaties for peace and that the end justifies the means.

You have been taught your duty as a spy, to gather all statistics, facts and information in your power from every source; to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of the family circle of Protestants and heretics of every class and character, as well as that of the merchant, the banker, the lawyer, among the schools and universities, in parliaments and legislatures, and in the judiciaries councils of state, and to “be all things to all men,” for the Pope’s sake, whose servants we are unto death.

You have received all your instructions heretofore as a novice, a neophyte, and have served as a coadjutor, confessor and priest, but you have not been invested with all that is necessary to command in the Army of Loyola in the service of the Pope. You must serve the proper time as the instrument and executioner as directed by your superiors; for none can command here who has not consecrated his labors with the blood of the heretic; for “without the shedding of blood no man can be saved.” Therefore, to fit yourself for your work, and make your own salvation sure, you will, in addition to your former oath of obedience to your Order and your allegiance to the Pope, repeat after me.

I, _____________, Now, in the presence of Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the blessed Michael the Archangel, the blessed St. John the Baptist, the holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul and all the saints and the sacred hosts of heaven, and to you, my ghostly father, the Superior general of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, in the Pontificate of Paul the Third, and continued to the present, do by the womb of the Virgin, the matrix of God, and the rod of Jesus Christ, declare and swear, that his holiness the Pope is Christ’s Viceregent and is the true and only Head of the Catholic or Universal Church throughout the earth; and that by virtue of the keys of binding and loosing, given to his Holiness by my Saviour, Jesus Christ, he hath power to depose heretical kings, princes, states, commonwealths and governments, all being illegal without his sacred confirmation and that they may safely be destroyed.

Therefore, to the utmost of my power, I shall and will defend this doctrine and his Holiness’ right and custom against all usurpers of the heretical or Protestant authority, and all adherents in the regard that they be usurped and heretical, opposing the sacred Mother Church of Rome.

I do now renounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or state named Protestants or Liberals or obedience to any of their laws, magistrates or officers. I do further declare that the doctrines of the churches of England and Scotland, of the Calvinists, Huguenots and others of the name Protestants or Liberals to be damnable, and they themselves damned and to be damned who will not forsake the same.

I do further declare that I will help, assist and advise all or any of his Holiness’ agents in any place wherever I shall be,  in any other kingdom or territory I shall come to, and do my uttermost to extirpate the heretical Protestants or Liberals’ doctrines and to destroy all their pretended powers, regal or otherwise.

I do further promise and declare, that notwithstanding I am dispensed with, to assume any religion heretical, for the propagating of the Mother Church’s interest, to keep secret and private all her agents counsels’ from time to time, as they may entrust me, and not to divulge, directly or indirectly, by word, writing or circumstance whatever; but to execute all that shall be proposed, given in charge or discovered unto me, by you, my ghostly father, or any of this sacred convent.

I do further promise and declare, that I will have no opinion or will of my own, or any mental reservation whatever, even as a corpse or cadaver, (perinde ac cadaver,) but will unhesitatingly obey each and every command that I may receive from my superiors in the Militia of the Pope and Jesus Christ. That I will go to any part of the world whithersoever I may be sent, without murmuring or repining, and will be submissive in all things commanded to me.

I furthermore promise and declare that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do, to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth; and that I will spare neither age, nor sex or condition; and that I will hang, burn, waste, spoil, flay, strangle, and bury alive these infamous heretics, rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants’ heads against the walls, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race.

That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poisoned cup, the strangulating cord, the steel of the poinard or the leaden bullet, regardless of the honor, rank, dignity, or authority of the person or persons, whatever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed to do so by any agent of the Pope or Superior of the Brotherhood of the Holy Faith, of the Society of Jesus.

In confirmation of which, I hereby dedicate my life, soul, and all of my coporeal powers, and with this dagger which I now receive, I will subscribe my name written in my own blood, in testimony thereof; and should I prove false or weaken in my determination, may my brethren and fellow soldiers of the Militia of the Pope cut off my hands and feet, and my throat from ear to ear, my belly opened and sulphur burned therein, with all the punishment that can be inflicted upon me on earth, and my soul to be tortured by demons in an eternal hell forever.

All of which I, _____________, do swear by the blessed Trinity and blessed Sacrament, which I am about to receive, to perform and on my part to receive inviolably; and do call all of the heavenly and glorious host of heaven to witness these my real intentions to keep this my oath.

In testimony hereof I take this most holy and blessed sacrament of the Eucharist, and witness the same further, with my name written with the point of this dagger dipped in my own blood and sealed in the face of this holy convent.

Superior
You will now rise to your feet and I will instruct you in the Catechism necessary to make yourself known to any member of the Society of Jesus belonging to this rank.

In the first place, you, as a Brother Jesuit, will with another make the ordinary sign of the cross as any Roman Catholic would; then one crosses his wrists, the palms of his hands open, the other crosses his feet, one above the other; the first points with forefinger of the right hand to the center of the palm of the left, the other with the forefinger of the left hand points to the center of the palm of the right; the first then with his right hand makes a circle around his head, touching it; the other then with the forefinger of his left hand touches the left side of his body just below his heart; then the first with his right hand draws it across the throat of the other, and the latter then with his right hand makes the motion of cutting with a dagger down the stomach and abdomen of the first.

The first then says Iustum; the other answers Necar; the first then says Reges. The other answers Impios. The first will then present a small piece of paper folded in a peculiar manner, four times, which the other will cut longitudinally and on opening the name JESU will be found written upon the head and arms of a cross three times. You will then give and receive with him the following questions and answers.

Q: From where do you come?
A: From the bends of the Jordan, from Calvary, from the Holy Sepulchre, and lastly from Rome.

Q: Whom do you serve?
A: The Holy Father at Rome, the Pope, and the Roman Catholic Church Universal throughout the world.

Q: Who commands you?
A: The successor of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus or the Soldiers of Jesus Christ.

Q: Who received you?
A: A venerable man with white hair.

Q: How?
A: With a naked dagger, I kneeling on a cross beneath the banners of the Pope and of our sacred Order.

Q: Did you take an oath?
A: I did, to destroy heretics and their governments and rulers, and to spare neither age, sex or condition. To be as a corpse without any opinion or will of my own, but to implicitly obey my superiors in all things without hesitation or murmuring.

Q: Will you do that?
A: I will.

Q: How do you travel?
A: In the bark of Peter the fisherman.

Q: Whither do you travel?
A: To the four quarters of the globe.

Q: For what purpose?
A: To obey the orders of my General and Superiors and execute the will of the Pope and faithfully fulfill the conditions of my oath.

Go ye, then, into all the world and take possession of all lands in the name of the Pope. He who will not accept him as the Vicar of Jesus and his Viceregent on earth, let him be accursed and exterminated.”

The methods for accomplishing their ends may have changed with the times, but the goal has not.

The Second Beast/False Prophet and Mark of the Beast

“In Revelation 14, men are called upon to worship the Creator; and the prophecy brings to view a class that, as the result of the threefold message, are keeping the commandments of God. One of these commandments points directly to God as the Creator. The fourth precept declares: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: . . . for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:10, 11. Concerning the Sabbath, the Lord says, further, that it is “a sign, . . . that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20. And the reason given is: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:17.

“The importance of the Sabbath as the memorial of creation is that it keeps ever present the true reason why worship is due to God”–because He is the Creator, and we are His creatures. “The Sabbath therefore lies at the very foundation of divine worship, for it teaches this great truth in the most impressive manner, and no other institution does this. The true ground of divine worship, not of that on the seventh day merely, but of all worship, is found in the distinction between the Creator and His creatures. This great fact can never become obsolete, and must never be forgotten.”–J. N. Andrews, History of the Sabbath, chapter 27. It was to keep this truth ever before the minds of men, that God instituted the Sabbath in Eden; and so long as the fact that He is our Creator continues to be a reason why we should worship Him, so long the Sabbath will continue as its sign and memorial. Had the Sabbath been universally kept, man’s thoughts and affections would have been led to the Creator as the object of reverence and worship, and there would never have been an idolater, an atheist, or an infidel. The keeping of the Sabbath is a sign of loyalty to the true God, “Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” It follows that the message which commands men to worship God and keep His commandments will especially call upon them to keep the fourth commandment.

In contrast to those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, the third angel points to another class, against whose errors a solemn and fearful warning is uttered: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” Revelation 14:9, 10. A correct interpretation of the symbols employed is necessary to an understanding of this message. What is represented by the beast, the image, the mark?

The line of prophecy in which these symbols are found begins with Revelation 12, with the dragon that sought to destroy Christ at His birth. The dragon is said to be Satan (Revelation 12:9); he it was that moved upon Herod to put the Saviour to death. But the chief agent of Satan in making war upon Christ and His people during the first centuries of the Christian Era was the Roman Empire, in which paganism was the prevailing religion. Thus while the dragon, primarily, represents Satan, it is, in a secondary sense, a symbol of pagan Rome.

In chapter 13 (verses 1-10) is described another beast, “like unto a leopard,” to which the dragon gave “his power, and his seat, and great authority.” This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy, which succeeded to the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient Roman empire. Of the leopardlike beast it is declared: “There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. . . . And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” This prophecy, which is nearly identical with the description of the little horn of Daniel 7, unquestionably points to the papacy.

“Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” And, says the prophet, “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death.” And again: “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.” The forty and two months are the same as the “time and times and the dividing of time,” three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7– the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people. This period, as stated in preceding chapters, began with the supremacy of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798. At that time the pope was made captive by the French army, the papal power received its deadly wound, and the prediction was fulfilled, “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity.”

At this point another symbol is introduced. Says the prophet: “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb.” Verse II. Both the appearance of this beast and the manner of its rise indicate that the nation which it represents is unlike those presented under the preceding symbols. The great kingdoms that have ruled the world were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey, rising when “the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” Daniel 7:2. In Revelation 17 an angel explained that waters represent “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:15. Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.

But the beast with lamblike horns was seen “coming up out of the earth.” Instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus represented must arise in territory preciously unoccupied and grow up gradually and peacefully. It could not, then, arise among the crowded and struggling nationalities of the Old World–that turbulent sea of “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” It must be sought in the Western Continent.

What nation of the New World was in 1798 rising into power, giving promise of strength and greatness, and attracting the attention of the world? The application of the symbol admits of no question. One nation, and only one, meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America. Again and again the thought, almost the exact words, of the sacred writer has been unconsciously employed by the orator and the historian in describing the rise and growth of this nation. The beast was seen “coming up out of the earth;” and, according to the translators, the word here rendered “coming up” literally signifies “to grow or spring up as a plant.” And, as we have seen, the nation must arise in territory previously unoccupied. A prominent writer, describing the rise of the United States, speaks of “the mystery of her coming forth from vacancy,” and says: “Like a silent seed we grew into empire.”–G. A. Townsend, The New World Compared With the Old, page 462. A European journal in 1850 spoke of the United States as a wonderful empire, which was “emerging,” and ” amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride.” –The Dublin Nation . Edward Everett, in an oration on Page 441 the Pilgrim founders of this nation, said: “Did they look for a retired spot, inoffensive for its obscurity, and safe in its remoteness, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy the freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which, in peaceful conquest, . . . they have borne the banners of the cross!”–Speech delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, Dec. 22, 1824, page 11.

“And he had two horns like a lamb.” The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as “coming up” in 1798. Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views found place in the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the great truth that “all men are created equal” and endowed with the inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.

But the beast with lamblike horns “spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed; . . . saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Revelation 13:11-14.

The lamblike horns and dragon voice of the symbol point to a striking contradiction between the professions and the practice of the nation thus represented. The “speaking” of the nation is the action of its legislative and judicial authorities. By such action it will give the lie to those liberal and peaceful principles which it has put forth as the foundation of its policy. The prediction that it will speak “as a dragon” and exercise “all the power of the first beast” plainly foretells a development of the spirit of intolerance and persecution that was manifested by the nations represented by the dragon and the leopardlike beast. And the statement that the beast with two horns “causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast” indicates that the authority of this nation is to be exercised in enforcing some observance which shall be an act of homage to the papacy.

Such action would be directly contrary to the principles of this government, to the genius of its free institutions, to the direct and solemn avowals of the Declaration of Independence, and to the Constitution. The founders of the nation wisely sought to guard against the employment of secular power on the part of the church, with its inevitable result– intolerance and persecution. The Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of public trust under the United States.” Only in flagrant violation of these safeguards to the nation’s liberty, can any religious observance be enforced by civil authority. But the inconsistency of such action is no greater than is represented in the symbol. It is the beast with lamblike horns–in profession pure, gentle, and harmless–that speaks as a dragon.

“Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.” Here is clearly presented a form of government in which the legislative power rests with the people, a most striking evidence that the United States is the nation denoted in the prophecy.

But what is the “image to the beast”? and how is it to be formed? The image is made by the two horned beast, and is an image to the beast. It is also called an image of the beast. Then to learn what the image is like and how it is to be formed we must study the characteristics of the beast itself–the papacy.

When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of “heresy.” In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends.

Whenever the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. An example of this is given in the long-continued persecution of dissenters by the Church of England. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thousands of nonconformist ministers were forced to flee from their churches, and many, both of pastors and people, were subjected to fine, imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom.

It was apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy–the beast. Said Paul: “There” shall “come a falling away, . . . and that man of sin be revealed.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3. So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image to the beast.

The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord there will exist a state of religious declension similar to that in the first centuries. “In the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Timothy 4:1. Satan will work “with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” And all that “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved,” will be left to accept “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11. When this state of ungodliness shall be reached, the same results will follow as in the first centuries.

The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed–however important they might be from a Bible standpoint–must necessarily be waived.

Charles Beecher, in a sermon in the year 1846, declared that the ministry of “the evangelical Protestant denominations” is “not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy. Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another general council! A world’s convention! Evangelical alliance, and universal creed!”–Sermon on “The Bible a Sufficient Creed,” delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846. When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force.

When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.

The beast with two horns “causeth [commands] all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16, 17. The third angel’s warning is: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.” “The beast” mentioned in this message, whose worship is enforced by the two-horned beast, is the first, or leopardlike beast of Revelation 13–the papacy. The “image to the beast” represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. The “mark of the beast” still remains to be defined.

After the warning against the worship of the beast and his image the prophecy declares: “Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Since those who keep God’s commandments are thus placed in contrast with those that worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, it follows that the keeping of God’s law, on the one hand, and its violation, on the other, will make the distinction between the worshipers of God and the worshipers of the beast.

The special characteristic of the beast, and therefore of his image, is the breaking of God’s commandments. Says Daniel, of the little horn, the papacy: “He shall think to change times and the law.” Daniel 7:25, R.V. And Paul styled the same power the “man of sin,” who was to exalt himself above God. One prophecy is a complement of the other. Only by changing God’s law could the papacy exalt itself above God; whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to that power by which the change was made. Such an act of obedience to papal laws would be a mark of allegiance to the pope in the place of God.

The papacy has attempted to change the law of God. The second commandment, forbidding image worship, has been dropped from the law, and the fourth commandment has been so changed as to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. But papists urge, as a reason for omitting the second commandment, that it is unnecessary, being included in the first, and that they are giving the law exactly as God designed it to be understood. This cannot be the change foretold by the prophet. An intentional, deliberate change is presented: “He shall think to change the times and the law.” The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy. For this the only authority claimed is that of the church. Here the papal power openly sets itself above God.

While the worshipers of God will be especially distinguished by their regard for the fourth commandments,–since this is the sign of His creative power and the witness to His claim upon man’s reverence and homage,–the worshipers of the beast will be distinguished by their efforts to tear down the Creator’s memorial, to exalt the institution of Rome. It was in behalf of the Sunday that popery first asserted its arrogant claims; and its first resort to the power of the state was to compel the observance of Sunday as “the Lord’s day.” But the Bible points to the seventh day, and not to the first, as the Lord’s day. Said Christ: “The Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” The fourth commandment declares: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” And by the prophet Isaiah the Lord designates it: “My holy day.” Mark 2:28; Isaiah 58:13.

The claim so often put forth that Christ changed the Sabbath is disproved by His own words. In His Sermon on the Mount He said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:17-19.

It is a fact generally admitted by Protestants that the Scriptures give no authority for the change of the Sabbath. This is plainly stated in publications issued by the American Tract Society and the American Sunday School Union. One of these works acknowledges “the complete silence of the New Testament so far as any explicit command for the Sabbath [Sunday, the first day of the week] or definite rules for its observance are concerned.”–George Elliott, The Abiding Sabbath, page 184.

Another says: “Up to the time of Christ’s death, no change had been made in the day;” and, “so far as the record shows, they [the apostles] did not . . . give any explicit command enjoining the abandonment of the seventh-day Sabbath, and its observance on the first day of the week.”–A. E. Waffle, The Lord’s Day, pages 186-188.

Roman Catholics acknowledge that the change of the Sabbath was made by their church, and declare that Protestants by observing the Sunday are recognizing her power. In the Catholic Catechism of Christian Religion, in answer to a question as to the day to be observed in obedience to the fourth commandment, this statement is made: “During the old law, Saturday was the day sanctified; but the church, instructed by Jesus Christ, and directed by the Spirit of God, has substituted Sunday for Saturday; so now we sanctify the first, not the seventh day. Sunday means, and now is, the day of the Lord.”

As the sign of the authority of the Catholic Church, papist writers cite “the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; . . . because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin.”–Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, page 58. What then is the change of the Sabbath, but the sign, or mark, of the authority of the Roman Church–“the mark of the beast”?

The Roman Church has not relinquished her claim to supremacy; and when the world and the Protestant churches accept a sabbath of her creating, while they reject the Bible Sabbath, they virtually admit this assumption. They may claim the authority of tradition and of the Fathers for the change; but in so doing they ignore the very principle which separates them from Rome–that “the Bible, and the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants.” The papist can see that they are deceiving themselves, willingly closing their eyes to the facts in the case. As the movement for Sunday enforcement gains favor, he rejoices, feeling assured that it will eventually bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome.

Romanists declare that “the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church.”–Mgr. Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, page 213. The enforcement of Sundaykeeping on the part of Protestant churches is an enforcement of the worship of the papacy–of the beast. Those who, understanding the claims of the fourth commandment, choose to observe the false instead of the true Sabbath are thereby paying homage to that power by which alone it is commanded. But in the very act of enforcing a religious duty by secular power, the churches would themselves form an image to the beast; hence the enforcement of Sundaykeeping in the United States would be an enforcement of the worship of the beast and his image.

But Christians of past generations observed the Sunday, supposing that in so doing they were keeping the Bible Sabbath; and there are now true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion, who honestly believe that Sunday is the Sabbath of divine appointment. God accepts their sincerity of purpose and their integrity before Him. But when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honor popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshipping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honor in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome–“the mark of the beast.” And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive “the mark of the beast.”

The most fearful threatening ever addressed to mortals is contained in the third angel’s message. That must be a terrible sin which calls down the wrath of God unmingled with mercy. Men are not to be left in darkness concerning this important matter; the warning against this sin is to be given to the world before the visitation of God’s judgments, that all may know why they are to be inflicted, and have opportunity to escape them. Prophecy declares that the first angel would make his announcement to “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” The warning of the third angel, which forms a part of the same threefold message, is to be no less widespread. It is represented in the prophecy as being proclaimed with a loud voice, by an angel flying in the midst of heaven; and it will command the attention of the world. In the issue of the contest all Christendom will be divided into two great classes–those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark. Although church and state will unite their power to compel “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” (Revelation 13:16), to receive “the mark of the beast,” yet the people of God will not receive it. The prophet of Patmos beholds “them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God” and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. Revelation 15:2, 3.” Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, Ch. 25, God’s Law Immutable, pp. 437-450.

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Why God Said Remember

By Joe Crews
http://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/book/e/87/t/why-god-said-remember
What Could He Do?

Numerous surveys and questionnaires have confirmed that the most popular form of modern skepticism is to deny the creation story. Seventy-two percent of ministers interviewed expressed varying degrees of doubt that God actually spoke the world into existence according to the biblical account. This fundamental disbelief has led to the rejection of other foundational doctrines of Christendom such as the virgin birth and the atonement.

It is interesting to note that God apparently anticipated a lot of controversy over the Genesis record of fiat creation. His claims of manufacturing all the staggering mass of matter by merely commanding it to exist—well, there would certainly be doubters and disbelievers of such an account. And even those who read about it and believed it would soon forget the miraculous fact under the confusing influence of a million false gods who would arise.

So God needed to do something unusual to preserve the knowledge of His mighty act of creation. That power to speak heaven and earth into existence would distinguish Him from all the counterfeit gods and their deceptive claims. What could He do that would constantly point mankind back to the focal week of creation when He forever established His divine authority?

Creation – The Mark of God’s Sovereignty
God chose to memorialize that convincing display of creative power by setting aside the seventh day of creation week as a holy day of rest and remembering. It would constitute a tremendous safeguard of God’s sovereignty—a mark of His right to rule as the only true God. It would, at the same time, stand as a devastating debunking of every god who had not created the heavens and earth.

The writings of Old Testament prophets are saturated with reminders of God’s peculiar powers of creation. David wrote, “For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens” (Psalm 96:5). Jeremiah expressed it: “But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God. . . . The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish. . . . He hath made the earth by his power” (Jeremiah 10:10-12).

Did God Himself demonstrate an extreme urgency in keeping the truth of creation vividly before the eyes of the world? Yes. To such a degree that He wrote into the heart of His great moral law the binding obligation of every living soul to keep the Sabbath holy, and thus, to acknowledge His divine authority. Within those eternal principles forming the foundation of His government and reflecting His own perfect character, God wrote these words: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work. . . . For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is . . . wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).

What an act to highlight the omnipotent work of creation! Once a week, as the earth rotated on its axis, the Sabbath reminder would travel around the earth reaching every man, woman, and child with the message of an instant creation. Why did God say remember? Because to forget the Sabbath is to forget the Creator also.

Conversion—Creative Power at Work
Parallel to the accounts of a physical creation we find the record of God’s power to recreate the human heart. Evidently, the two processes stem from the same omnipotent source. It requires just as much power to effect conversion or recreation as to call something into existence by creation. Said the apostle, “Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Since the new birth is the most basic identifying mark of the justified believer, it is no wonder that the Bible writers constantly remind us of the creative power that distinguishes the true God from all counterfeits.

Pointing beyond the mere fact of a physical creation, God spoke these words also, “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them” (Ezekiel 20:12).

Please note that a sanctified Sabbath was to be the mark of a sanctified people. The word, “sanctify,” meaning to set aside for a holy use (a day which spoke of God’s creative power), served also as a reminder that God could set people apart for a holy use through regeneration or recreation.

In the light of these facts, it is easy to understand why the devil has waged a continuing, desperate battle against the seventh-day Sabbath. For almost six millenniums he has worked through pride of tradition, misinformation, and religious bigotry to destroy the sanctity of God’s special sign of authority—the Sabbath.

As a mark of God’s right to rule, the Sabbath challenged Satan’s boast that he would take God’s place. Said the adversary, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. . . . I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:1314). Satan actually wanted to be worshiped. To accomplish this, he had to nullify God’s claim as the rightful ruler. God’s authority rested on His claim to be the Creator, and the Sabbath was the mark of that authority. By destroying the Sabbath, Satan would prepare the way to set up a counterfeit government based on counterfeit claims of authority symbolized by a counterfeit day of worship.

The Battle Over Authority
It is fascinating to look back over the ages and see the outworking of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. The contest has always focused upon the issue of authority.

The strategy of the evil one has been a two-pronged attack on God’s claim to be the Creator. First, by the theory of evolution with its humanistic doctrine of natural selection. Second, by an age-long effort to destroy the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the mark of creative power.

We can only say in passing that each of these hellish attempts to discredit God’s authority has produced a bitter success beyond all expectation. Millions have been turned into religious skeptics and agnostics because of Darwin’s doctrine of organic evolution. Denying any fall of man that would require a Savior from sin, evolution struck at the plan of redemption as well as the fact of creation.

In a similar vein, Satan’s attacks on the Sabbath have led millions to disobey the one commandment in the Decalogue that God had made the specific test of obedience to the entire law.

A successful plan to subvert the loyalty of millions who were devoted to the true God required a masterpiece of satanic strategy. It would take time. It would involve centuries of deceptive mind-bending. There would be no dramatic turn from serving God to serving Satan. The secret would be to win obedience through religious subterfuge. Satan understood the principle of Romans 6:16 long before Paul ever penned the words, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?”

Obedience is the highest form of allegiance and worship. If Satan could create an issue that would cause people to disobey God, he had an even chance of winning their obedience to his cause. The decisive contest would take place over the law of God. It constituted the foundation of God’s government. How could Satan destroy confidence in the law and make people obey him instead? And which commandment should he attack? Obviously, the one that pointed to God’s creative power and His right to rule. As the identifying sign of the true God, the Sabbath has always been an object of satanic hate. God had chosen the Sabbath as a test of loyalty to His law in the Old Testament: “That I may prove them,” said the Lord, “whether they will walk in my law, or no” (Exodus 16:4).

The Test Point of the Law
Since God had made the Sabbath the test point of all the Ten Commandments, Satan determined to make it the giant issue of the ages. By destroying the Sabbath, Satan would be prepared to launch his super-plan to claim obedience to a counterfeit day of worship. Manipulating the weakness of a compromised Christianity that had slowly acceded to pagan influences, Satan set up his masterpiece—a worldwide church-state—that would ruthlessly enforce compliance with his counterfeit system of worship.

For over a thousand years, beginning with the so-called conversion of the pagan Emperor Constantine, the dark history of apostasy unfolded. Almost the first act of the newly-professed Christian emperor was to make a law against Sabbath-keeping and to institute other laws requiring rest on the first day of the week, a wild solar holiday dedicated to pagan sun worship.

We will not dwell, at present, upon the well-documented history of the papal church councils that enforced the observance of the pagan Sunday on pain of death. The facts are well-known to those who have been willing to search the records with an open mind. During the fourth and fifth centuries, the first day of the week was exalted by papal decree to displace the true Sabbath of the Bible.

Unfortunately, prejudices and false information have led thousands of Christians to close their eyes to the overwhelming historical evidences of this substitution. The roots of their prejudice are not hard to identify. Satan has worked too long on his opposition system to allow it to be rejected easily. Through the ages he has perfected a series of subtle false arguments to bolster obedience to his counterfeit day of worship. He still hates the Sabbath that identifies the true God.

Only as we expose these attacks on the seventh-day Sabbath are we able to understand why millions continue to observe the first day of the week, a day for which there is not one supporting Bible text. No one disagrees with the meaning of God’s handwritten law, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord . . . in it thou shalt not do any work.” Yet millions do not obey it. No one can refute the overwhelming evidence of Sunday’s pagan origin, yet millions keep it instead of the plainly commanded Sabbath of the Ten Commandments. Why? I repeat, the reason is rooted in the clever arguments of Satan that have created a climate of prejudice against the holy Sabbath of the Lord. We shall now examine some major fallacies of those arguments.

Major Fallacy #1 – The Sabbath Was Made Only for the Jews
This falsehood has gained such strength that multitudes of Christians call this the “Jewish Sabbath.” But nowhere do we find such an expression in the Bible. It is called “the sabbath of the Lord,” but never “the sabbath of the Jew.” (Exodus 20:10). Luke was a Gentile writer of the New Testament and often referred to things that were peculiarly Jewish. He spoke of the “nation of the Jews,” “the people of the Jews,” “the land of the Jews,” and the “synagogue of the Jews” (Acts 10:2212:1110:3914:1). But please note that Luke never referred to the “sabbath of the Jews,” although he mentioned the Sabbath repeatedly.

Christ clearly taught that “the sabbath was made for man” (Mark 2:27). The fact is that Adam was the only man in existence at the time God made the Sabbath. There were no Jews in the world for at least 2,000 years after creation. It could never have been made for them. Jesus used the term “man” in the generic sense, referring to mankind. The same word is used in connection with the institution of marriage that was also introduced at creation. Woman was made for man just as the Sabbath was made for man. Certainly no one believes that marriage was made only for the Jews.

The fact is that two beautiful, original institutions were set up by God Himself before sin ever came into the world—marriage and the Sabbath. Both were made for man, both received the special blessing of the Creator and both continue to be just as holy now as when they were sanctified in the Garden of Eden.

It is also interesting to note that Jesus was the One who made the Sabbath in the first week of time. There was a reason for His claim to be Lord of the Sabbath day (Mark 2:28). If He is the Lord of the Sabbath day, then the Sabbath must be the Lord’s day. John had a vision on “the Lord’s day,” according to Revelation 1:10. That day had to be the Sabbath. It is the only day so designated and claimed by God in the Bible. In writing the Ten Commandments, God called it “the sabbath of the Lord” (Exodus 20:10). In Isaiah He is quoted as saying, “The sabbath, my holy day” (Isaiah 58:13).

But we must not overlook the fact that this God who created the world and made the Sabbath was Jesus Christ Himself. John wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”( John 1:1-314).

Paul clearly identified Jesus as the Creator, “. . . his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood. . . For by him were all things created” (Colossians 1:13-16).

For Christians to separate Jesus from the Sabbath is a tragic mistake. For He is the Author, the Maker, the Sanctifier, and the Architect of the Sabbath. To discount the blessing that He placed on that day is to deny His authority.

This argument has led many to believe that the Sabbath existed only for a limited period of time following creation. But is this a fact? Actually, the Sabbath could never be just a type or shadow of anything, for the simple reason that it was made before sin entered the human family. Certain shadows and typical observances were instituted as a result of sin and pointed forward to the deliverance from sin. Such were the sacrifices employed to symbolize the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God. There would have been no animal sacrifices had there been no sin. These offerings were abolished when Christ died on the cross, because the types had met their fulfillment (Matthew 27:51). But no shadow existed before sin entered this world; therefore, the Sabbath could not be included in the ceremonial law of types and shadows.

Paul referred to the temporary system of ordinances in Colossians 2:14-16 as being “against us” and “contrary to us.” He tied it to the meat offerings, drink offerings, and yearly festivals of the law that was “blotted out.” It is true he referred to sabbaths also in the text, but take careful note that he called them “sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come.” Were some sabbath days blotted out at the cross? Yes, there were at least four yearly sabbaths that came on certain set days of the month, and they were nailed to the cross. They were shadows and required specified meat and drink offerings. These annual sabbaths are described in Leviticus 23:24-36, and then summarized in verses 37 and 38: “These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: beside the sabbaths of the Lord.”

The Scripture plainly differentiates between the annual, shadowy sabbaths and the weekly “sabbaths of the Lord.” The ceremonial sabbaths were blotted out at the cross; they had been added as a consequence of sin. But the Sabbath of the Ten- Commandment law had been hallowed before sin was introduced and was later incorporated into the great moral law written by the finger of God. It was eternal in its very nature.

Major Fallacy #2 – Just Keep Any Day in the Seven
By this argument Satan prepared the world to accept a substitute for the Sabbath God had commanded. Upon the tables of stone God wrote the great, unchanging law of the ages. Every word was serious and meaningful. Not one line was ambiguous or mysterious. Sinners and Christians, educated and uneducated, have no problem understanding the simple, clear words of the Ten Commandments. God meant what He said and He said what He meant. No one has tried to void that law as too complicated to comprehend.

Most of the ten begin with the same words: ‘‘Thou shalt not,’’ but right in the heart of the law we find the fourth commandment that is introduced with the word “Remember.” Why is this one different? Because God was commanding them to call something to memory that already existed but had been forgotten. Genesis describes the origin of the Sabbath in these words, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made. . . . And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:1-3).

Which day did God bless and sanctify? The seventh day. How was it to be kept holy? By resting. Could any of the other six be kept holy? No. Why? Because God commanded not to rest those days but to work. Does God’s blessing make a difference? Of course. This is why parents pray for God to bless their children. They believe it makes a difference. The seventh day is different from all the other six days, because it has God’s blessing.

Some more questions: Why did God bless the day? Because He had created the world in six days. It was the birthday of the world, a memorial of a mighty act. Can the Sabbath memorial be changed? Never. Because it points backward to an accomplished fact. July 4 is Independence Day. Can it be changed? No. Because the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. Your birthday cannot be changed, either. It is a memorial of your birth, which happened on a set day. History would have to run through again to change your birthday, to change Independence Day, or to change the Sabbath day. We can call another day Independence Day, and we can call another day the Sabbath, but that does not make it so.

Did God ever give man the privilege of choosing his own day of rest? He did not. In fact, God confirmed in the Bible that the Sabbath was settled and sealed by His own divine selection and should not be tampered with. Read Exodus 16 concerning the giving of manna. For 40 years God worked three miracles every week to show Israel which day was holy. (1) No manna fell on the seventh day. (2) They could not keep it overnight without spoilage, but (3) when they kept it over the Sabbath, it remained sweet and fresh.

But some Israelites had the same idea as many modern Christians. They felt that any day in seven would be all right to keep holy: “And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” (Exodus 16:2728).

Get the picture? These people thought another day could be kept just as well as the seventh day. Perhaps they were planning to observe the first day of the week, or some other day which was more convenient. What happened? God met them and accused them of breaking His law by going forth to work on the seventh day. Would God say the same thing to those who break the Sabbath today? Yes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever—He changes not. God made it very clear that, regardless of their feelings, those who go forth to work on the Sabbath are guilty of breaking His law. James explains that it is a sin to break even one of the Ten Commandments: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:1011).

We Can’t Locate the True Seventh Day
This is a fallacy that has comforted many in their disobedience of the fourth commandment. It just is not true. Here are four positive proofs which identify the true Sabbath today:

1. According to the Scriptures, Christ died on Friday and rose on Sunday, the first day of the week.

Practically all churches acknowledge this fact by observing Easter Sunday and Good Friday. Here is the Bible evidence: “This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on” (Luke 23:52-54).

Here is proof that Jesus died the day before the Sabbath. It was called “the preparation day” because it was the time to get ready for the Sabbath. Let us read the next verses: “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment” (Verses 55, 56).

Please notice that the women rested over the Sabbath “according to the commandment.” The commandment says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath,” so we know they were observing Saturday. But the very next verse says, “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared. . . . And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher” (Luke 24:12).

How clearly these three consecutive days are described for us. He died Friday, the preparation day, commonly called Good Friday. He rested in the tomb on the seventh day, Sabbath, “according to the commandment.” That was Saturday. Then on Sunday, the first day of the week, Easter Sunday to many, Jesus arose from the grave.

Anyone who can locate Good Friday or Easter Sunday will have absolutely no difficulty finding the true Sabbath.

2. The calendar has not been changed so as to confuse the days of the week.

We can be positive that our seventh day is the same day Jesus observed when He was here. Pope Gregory XIII did make a calendar change in 1582, but it did not interfere with the weekly cycle. Our present Gregorian calendar was named after him when he made that small change in 1582.

What did Pope Gregory do to the calendar? Before 1582 the Julian calendar had been in effect, instituted by Julius Caesar about 46 B.C. and named after him. But the Julian calendar had calculated the length of the year as 365 1/4 days, and the year is actually eleven minutes less than 365 1/4 days. Those eleven minutes accumulated, and by 1582 the numbering of the calendar was ten days out of harmony with the solar system. Gregory simply dropped those ten days out of the numbering of the calendar. It was Thursday, October 4, 1582, and the next day, Friday, should have been October 5. But Gregory made it October 15 instead, dropping exactly ten days to bring the calendar back into harmony with the heavenly bodies.

Were the days of the week confused? No. Friday still followed Thursday, and Saturday still followed Friday. The same seventh day remained, and the weekly cycle was not disturbed in the least. When we keep the seventh day on Saturday, we are observing the same day Jesus kept, and He did it every week according to Luke 4:16.

3. The third evidence for the true Sabbath is the most conclusive of all. The Jewish people have been observing the seventh day from the time of Abraham, and they still keep it today.

Here is a whole nation—millions of individuals—who have been counting off time meticulously, week after week, calendar or no calendar, for thousands of years. Could they have lost track?

Impossible. The only way they could have lost a day would have been for the entire nation to have slept over an extra 24 hours and for no one ever to tell them about it afterwards.

There has been no change or loss of the Sabbath since God made it in Genesis. The origin of the week is found in the creation story. There is no scientific or astronomical reason for measuring time in cycles of seven days. It is an arbitrary arrangement of God and has been miraculously preserved for one reason—because the holy Sabbath day points to the creative power of the only true God. It is a sign of His sovereignty over the world and over human life; a sign of creation and redemption.

Is this not the reason God will preserve Sabbath-keeping throughout eternity? We read in Isaiah 66:2223: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.”

The Sabbath is so precious to God that He will have His people observe it throughout all time to come in the beautiful new earth. If it is so precious to Him, should it not be precious to us? If we are going to keep it then, should we not keep it now?

In an age of false gods, of atheistic evolution, and traditions of men, the world needs the Sabbath more than ever as a test of our loyalty to the great Creator-God and a sign of our sanctification through His power.

4. Proof number four lies in the fact that over one hundred languages of the earth use the word “Sabbath” for Saturday.

For example, the Spanish word for Saturday is “Sabado,” meaning Sabbath. What does this prove? It proves that when those hundred languages originated in the long, long ago, Saturday was recognized as the Sabbath day and was incorporated into the very name of the day.

Major Fallacy #4 – The Sabbath Was Only a Memorial of Deliverance Out of Egypt 
This strange idea is drawn from a single text in the Old Testament and is distorted to contradict many clear statements about the true origin of the Sabbath. The text is found in Deuteronomy 5:1415: “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”

Some people draw from this text that God gave the Sabbath as a memorial of the Exodus from Egypt. But the Genesis story of the making of the Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3) and the wording of the fourth commandment by God Himself (Exodus 20:11) reveals the Sabbath as a memorial of creation.

The key to understanding these two verses rests in the word “servant.” God said, “Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt.” And in the sentence before this one He reminds them “that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.” In other words, their experience in Egypt as servants would remind them to deal justly with their servants by giving them Sabbath rest.

In similar vein God had commanded, “And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him . . . for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:3334).

It was not unusual for God to hark back to the Egyptian deliverance as an incentive to obey other commandments. In Deuteronomy 24:1718, God said, “Thou shalt not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless; nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge. . . . Thou wast a bondman in Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence: therefore I command thee to do this thing.”

Neither the command to be just nor to keep the Sabbath was given to memorialize the Exodus, but God told them that His goodness in bringing them out of captivity constituted a strong additional reason for their dealing kindly with their servants on the Sabbath and treating justly the strangers and widows.

In the same way, God spoke to them in Leviticus 11:45, “For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt . . . ye shall therefore be holy.” Surely no one would insist that holiness did not exist before the Exodus, or that it would be ever afterwards limited only to the Jews, to memorialize their deliverance.

Major Fallacy #5 – Keep Sunday in Honor of the Resurrection
It is true that Jesus rose on the first day of the week, but nowhere is there the slightest intimation in the Bible for anyone to keep that day holy. The basis for Sabbath-keeping is the direct handwritten command of God.
Many wonderful events occurred on certain days of the week, but we have no command to keep them holy. Jesus died for our sins on Friday. That is probably the most significant event in all of recorded history. It marks the moment my death sentence was commuted and my salvation assured. But not one Bible text hints that we should observe this day of such great significance.

It was a dramatic moment when Jesus rose from the grave on that Sunday morning, but there is not a scintilla of biblical evidence that we should observe it in honor of the resurrection. Not one instance of Sunday observance has been found in the recorded Scriptures.

There is, of course, a memorial of the resurrection commanded in the Bible, but it is not Sunday-keeping. Paul wrote: “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Baptism is the memorial of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Those who believe that Sunday observance honors His resurrection cite the upper room meeting of the disciples on the same day He arose from the grave. To them that gathering was to celebrate His resurrection. But when we read the Bible record of the event, we discover that the circumstances were quite different. Luke tells us that, even though the disciples were confronted with the eyewitness story of Mary Magdalene, they “believed not.” “After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen” (Mark 16:12-14).

Obviously, none of those upper room disciples believed that He was raised, so they could not have been joyously celebrating the resurrection. John explains their reason for being together in these words: “The doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19).

Thus, we have examined the major arguments used against the observance of God’s holy Sabbath day. Not one of the objections provides a trace of evidence that God ever changed His mind about the Sabbath. When He wrote the word “remember” into the fourth commandment, it was in reference to the same seventh day that appears on our wall calendar. Neither men nor demons can diminish the validity of that eternal moral law.

May God grant each one of us the courage to honor the Sabbath commandment as heaven’s special test of our love and loyalty. As we have discovered, when Jesus returns, we will keep that same Sabbath with Him, ages without end. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

 

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