By Pastor Hal Mayer
Special Christian greetings to you and your family this month. We really appreciate your prayers and support. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you in His loving care. As we near the end of this year, I want to remind you that you must re-subscribe to Keep the Faith to continue your subscription in 2008. We only ask this once every year or two to be sure that all of our subscribers actually want to receive our monthly sermons and prophecy updates. You must send back the little card by December 31, 2007 so that your subscription will not lapse. So be sure to send in your yellow card this month. If you have re-subscribed already, you can also share the yellow card with those not on our monthly list, just ask them to write “new subscriber” on the card and we will treat it that way.
Also, some time ago, we sent you a DVD about Hartland College. I hope by now you have had the opportunity to watch it, and have shared it with someone else. So many have commented to me about the blessing they received and how heartwarming the DVD was. If you would like another copy to share with someone else, please feel free to ask for it. We’ll be glad to send it to you.
Lastly, on one of our recent sermons, Secret Forces of the Church, Rome’s Foot Soldiers, I failed to mention that some of the material presented in that sermon was triggered by the excellent research of my friends at the Eternal Gospel Herald. Though I always attempt to verify everything from publically available sources, there are times when excellent research tips me off to important developments. We will continue to keep our eyes open and share with you the important progress in prophecy.
As we near the close of time, it is clear that the forces of evil are at work to distance God’s people from His truth. It is amazing to me what the devil is going through just so that he can one day make a last effort to crush a small group of faithful souls who love Jesus with all their hearts. Think about this for a minute. Satan has been going through a world-wide program of ramping up methods and technology at enormous expense just so he can have it available to persecute God’s faithful people when the time comes. He is working very hard through his earthly agencies, to bring the whole world under his control, some directly and some indirectly. He is also building a world-wide religious coalition through the ecumenical movement so that it will be very difficult for God’s true people who don’t go along with this fake “love” ecumenical movement to escape accusation and condemnation. These are very expensive and long-range plans. As we near the climax of it all, we must realize that only the angels of heaven are holding back the winds of strife.
This month we are going to explore more of the workings of Satan’s agencies to deceive and destroy the very ones on whom God bestows his supreme regard. Before we close, I’m going to share with you an explosive and shocking statement that reveals what is planned for God’s true people. May God bless you as we study together. Let us pray.
Our Father in Heaven, in Jesus’ name we come to You today seeking for the blessing of Your Holy Spirit to guide us into the truth for this time and show us where we are, as unfolding events herald the nearness of Jesus’ return. Please Father, open our eyes. Help us see that the time is now to purify our lives. Give us an understanding of our faith more fully. You continue to lead us each day and we see Your hand in our lives. So we pray that You will open prophecy to us in a powerful way today. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Turn with me in your Bibles to the 18th chapter of Revelation, verses 1-8. “ And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 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. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”
What an amazing prediction of scripture. Rome says “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” As you will see today, Rome’s arrogance is one of her secret forces. Through it she lifts herself up politically and religiously. Through it she shall be brought down to a great destruction. But in this passage we read a message that is very important in relation to God’s people at the end of time. An angel represents a message given by God’s people. The message of the Angel of Revelation 18 is the last and final message before the destruction of the Papacy, the arrogant queen of the earth. It is a message for all of God’s true people to come out of her and separate themselves from Rome and join those giving the message. Notice that there is going to be a huge contrast between the message of God’s faithful people and the message of Rome. One is to come out of her and repent, the other is that she is sitting as a queen and that all must come under her authority. Notice too that the final warning message to come out is given just before Rome’s final destruction. And lastly, notice that a conflict will rage between the giant modern Goliath, and the small but powerful band that give the message.
Rome is working to regain her position as queen of the earth. She is doing everything she can politically and religiously to place herself at the head of the world. In the end, all the many and varied forces that will oppose her in the world, such as secularism, radical Islam, etc., will not rise to the same level as those who give the powerful message of the fourth angel of Revelation 18. For those who don’t know it, the first three angels’ messages are found in Revelation 14:6-12. These are wonderful passages to study and they involve very much indeed. But today, we shall examine more closely the arrogance that the scripture predicts will characterize Rome’s final assault on God and His truth.
On June 29, 2007 Benedict XVI released a document in which he again suggested that those “churches” that are not in communion with the bishop of Rome are not true churches in the proper sense. This dealt a blow to other religious groups especially Protestants. Many protestant groups were very upset. Here they are in ecumenical dialog with Rome, some of them for 30 years or so, and now they are being told that they are not on equal spiritual footing with Rome and that they are somehow inferior.
The new document actually comes from the former Office of the Holy Inquisition now known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and can be found on the Vatican website. The document was written in a question and answer format. Here is what the Vatican actually said in the new doctrinal statement clarifying its position concerning the meaning of the Church. It says that “Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one Church and instituted it as a ‘visible and spiritual community…’ governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him.” This means that the Catholic Church believes itself to be the only true visible church on earth.
The Catholic catechism says similarly in item 846 that “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the church… is necessary for salvation… They could not be saved who, knowing that it was founded as necessary [for salvation],… would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.” This is saying that the rite of baptism in the Catholic Church is essential to salvation and that Salvation can only be gained when in her communion.
This is an absolute blasphemy. The Bible teaches that the only way to salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, not through ritual and ceremony or some earthly structure. Though baptism is important as a public testimony of one’s conversion to Jesus Christ, it does not add any virtue to the soul or provide any merit. One can be saved without it. Jesus Himself taught this when He was making the supreme sacrifice on the cross. You may remember that He said to the thief that he would be with Him in paradise even though he would have no opportunity to be baptized. The Catholic Church, in other words, is claiming to hold the keys of salvation, a prerogative that is usurped from Christ Himself. This is nothing new. The Catholic Church has claimed this blasphemous power since time immemorial.
The new document goes on to say that “there are numerous elements of ‘sanctification and of truth’ which are found [in churches] outside her structure, but which ‘as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ [meaning the Catholic Church], impel [these other churches] towards Catholic Unity,… These separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects,… the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church.” In other words because Christ is working in these other communions with elements of grace that supposedly belong to the Roman Catholic Church, it is the alleged purpose of the Holy Spirit in using them in these other communions to impel or push them toward conversion, or unity with the Catholic faith.
Here is how the catechism puts it. “Many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: ‘the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.’ Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to ‘Catholic unity.”
So you see, Rome claims all the gifts of the Holy Spirit as her possession supposedly given to her by Christ, and teaches that they all arise from her when the Holy Spirit uses them in these other communions so that they will return to her in repentance and submit to her authority. Rome has to believe and teach these things. It is absolutely impossible for the prophecy of her rise to the heights of power and to sit as a queen upon the earth to be fulfilled unless she has some theological or dogmatic teaching that will support her as the only church invested with God’s authority on earth. This blasphemous teaching is very real today, as it has always been since the 6th century. Without it, Rome has no power.
The implications of this are important to understand in light of the ecumenical movement. The ecumenical movement then, must only be defined as a movement of the Protestant churches and other communions toward Rome, and ultimately to full, visible, sacramental communion with Rome, not a movement of Rome toward them. For any Protestant church to be involved in the ecumenical movement then would be an effort to move that church toward Rome in a blasphemous denial of their faith. Most people don’t have any awareness that this is the underlying purpose of the ecumenical movement. They think that Rome is somehow different now than it was in the past, and that we can trust Rome, and that the Vatican is now the friend of Protestants.
Listen to this important statement. It is found in Great Controversy, pg. 571. “The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. “Faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy” (Lenfant, volume 1, page 516), she declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ?”
The new document also says that “according to Catholic doctrine, these [Protestant] communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church.” Because they lack a priesthood in communion with the Bishop of Rome through the Eucharist, these Protestant communities “cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense.” They are somehow “defective,” according to Rome. Do you think that people who have no clear concept of what the Protestant Reformation was will feel insecure in their faith and in their church if Rome can convince them that they are somehow defective? When people lack a knowledge of the facts of history, and when they lack the convictions that made them what they are, they easily become insecure about their faith, and will look to Rome as the religious standard.
But there is a pecking order as far as Rome is concerned. The Eastern Church or the Orthodox churches are a cut above the other separated communities. The Orthodox Churches are considered by Rome to be actual churches, as the new document says, and I quote, “because these Churches, although separated, have the true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us… they merit the title of ‘particular or local Churches’ and are called sister Churches… However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is…one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches.”
In other words, Rome sees these churches that have the ritual of the Eucharistic Mass as better than the Protestant churches, but there is still something lacking because they are not under the authority of the Bishop of Rome. Rome obviously claims that the ritual Eucharistic Mass belongs to her, and comes from her, so the churches that use her ritual technically have apostolic succession, but are separated because of schism. By contrast, the Protestant Communities, the document says, “do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of [all] constitutive element[s] of the Church.”
So, if any church or individual allows Rome to define the meaning of “church” based on her own terms which are the Mass and loyalty to the Pope, Rome then controls the discussion and eventually all unity must inevitably involve full, visible and sacramental communion with the Church of Rome.
Rome essentially sets herself up as the head of all the churches. This title was given to her by a human emperor named Justinian in 533 AD. But Rome treats it as if she was given this title by God and she has never forgotten to claim that prerogative. Nearly 1500 years later, she still speaks of herself as the head and judge of all other churches. The Roman Catholic Church essentially sets herself up as ‘holier than thou,” and tries to keep other churches at a psychological disadvantage. This arrogance reflects her own view of herself, a view that is described in the Bible. “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow” (Rev. 18:7). This is also the way the Vatican relates to other nations. She sets herself up as superior to them, as queen over them.
It is impossible for God’s people living in the last days to be involved in any aspect of the ecumenical movement and escape the condemnation and plagues found in Revelation 18:4-8; “double unto her double,” “torment and sorrow,” and “mourning and famine.” The ecumenical movement has been one of Rome’s key tools to increase her power, by reducing opposition to her in politics and to her faith, particularly in Protestant countries. The ecumenical movement is designed to bring these separated communions into league with her as her daughters in harlotry as the scripture says in Rev. 17. Speaking of the great whore, the apostle reveals what he saw in vision about the Papacy. Verses 5-6 say: “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”
Bible prophecy reveals to us that a woman is a church. No other church in history has persecuted and shed the blood of godly men and women more than the Papacy. No other church in history has done so much to blaspheme God, His truth and His principles, all the while claiming to be the church of Christ, yet crucifying Him afresh.
The Pope has developed quite a habit of criticizing other religions. Back in September of 2006, Benedict criticized Muslims by quoting a reference from a medieval emperor that inflamed the Muslim world. For more on that, request our sermon entitled Benedict Lights a Fuse. The Pope then reached out to Muslims and even had a joint prayer service in a mosque in Turkey.
When he went to Brazil in May of 2007, the Pope outraged Indian leaders in Brazil by saying that “the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas. They had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were ‘silently longing’ for Christianity, he said.” (May 14, 2007 Reuters) Indian leaders were especially upset by his ‘arrogant and disrespectful’ comments in saying that the Roman Catholic Church had “purified” them, though millions of Indians were believed to have died as a result of European colonization backed by the Church, through slaughter, disease and enslavement,’ said Reuters.
“’It’s arrogant and disrespectful to consider our cultural heritage secondary to theirs,’ said Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, chief coordinator of the Amazon Indian group Coiab. Also, “priests blessed conquistadors as they waged war on the indigenous peoples,…” said Reuters.
Then on July 8, the Observer, a London paper, wrote that “Jewish leaders and community groups criticized Pope Benedict XVI strongly yesterday after the head of the Roman Catholic Church formally removed restrictions on celebrating an old form of the Latin mass which includes prayers calling for the Jews to ‘be delivered from their darkness’ and converted to Catholicism. …The older rite’s prayers calling on God to ‘lift the veil from the eyes’ of the Jews and to end ‘the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ’ – used once a year on Good Friday, have sparked outrage.
“Yesterday,” said the Observer, “the Anti-Defamation League, the American-based Jewish advocacy group, called the papal decision a ‘body blow to Catholic Jewish relations.’” Nevertheless, the Vatican allows the ceremony, and eventually Jewish criticism went away.
Why is the Pope arrogantly criticizing others when the Roman Catholic Church is guilty of many of the sins it points out in others? What is the real agenda, especially when Rome has been pressing for ecumenical discussions with many, many religions for almost five decades?
First, it is important to understand that Rome has not changed her views. She is the same as she was when she ruled the Holy Roman Empire. These actions are essentially reaffirming Rome’s old ways. Second, it is also important to understand that when Rome criticizes, she is actually attempting to open the door of opportunity by reaching out to the offended and thereby placing herself in closer relation to them. It gives Rome and enormous psychological advantage with the other religions. Third, Rome is trying to shape and even control the conversation, for only when she is dominant can she work toward her desired outcome. Fourthly, it is interesting to notice that the Pope has now criticized Islam, Judaism and Christian churches. This is too significant to merely be coincidental.
Ecumenism has been around almost as long as the Christian church has been around. By the time of Constantine in the fourth century, there was serious compromise with the world. There was a lot of ecumenical interaction with paganism, which is a little different kind of ecumenism than we think of today. Constantine’s nominal conversion expanded his ecumenism and brought many pagans into the church with him and led to more worldly conformity and the temporal power of the Vatican.
As the bishop of Rome asserted his authority over all the churches of the empire both East and West, there was a corresponding growth of persecution. It started with Justinian’s decree in 532 which essentially forced all to make a choice. The pure church, or those that followed the Bible and disagreed with Rome’s emerging false doctrines, were forced to choose between becoming Catholic and loyal to the pope, or becoming exiles and forfeiting their lands and even their lives.
Archibald Bower, in his book History of the Popes (Vol. 1, p. 334), wrote of the ecumenical movement of the 6th century. ”By an edict which he issued to unite all men in one faith, whether Jews, Gentiles, or Christians, such as did not, in the term of three months, embrace and profess the Catholic faith, were declared infamous, and, as such, excluded from all employments both civil and military, rendered incapable of leaving anything by will, and their estates confiscated, whether real or personal. These were convincing arguments of the truth of the Catholic faith; but many, however, withstood them; and against such as did, the imperial edict was executed with the utmost rigor. Great numbers were driven from their habitations with their wives and children, stripped and naked. Others betook themselves to flight, carrying with them what they could conceal, for their support and maintenance; but they were plundered of the little they had, and many of them inhumanly massacred by the Catholic peasants, or the soldiery, who guarded the passes.”
This is the true nature of ecumenism. Once Rome gains the supremacy, she insists that all must follow her dogmas and practices. Those who don’t, no longer have the ecumenical spirit, and are given to the dungeon, the rack and the faggot.
Without the ability to force the conscience by governmental decree, Rome uses another secret force to move the ecumenical movement along today. Rome knows that there is nothing more powerful to unite people of different theological ideas than a common enemy. Rome has therefore made her primary distinguishing principles center around the moral decline of society, or secularism. This she knows will bring Protestants into cooperation with her on many fronts on which they are concerned as well, including abortion, euthanasia, pornography, etc. She calls on all Christians to unite with her in a crusade or Jihad against this common enemy, knowing that when they work together in this way, Protestants will see that Rome is no longer their enemy, but a friend. She knows that in cooperation on areas where they are in harmony, those outside of her communion will also find occasion to reduce their criticism of her teachings and doctrines and even find common points of belief there as well.
And this has indeed been the result since the second Vatican Council, known as Vatican II, which was held from 1962 through 1965. Four future popes took part in the council’s opening session, including a 35-year-old priest known as Joseph Ratzinger.
Vatican II dropped the teaching that Protestants were heretics and stopped anathematizing them. They started to call them separated brethren instead and began inviting them to cooperate with Rome in social causes.
Subsequently, Rome invited the main Protestant churches to begin dialog about unity in their efforts to influence the policies of nations, so that eventually there could be better alignment with Rome in the political marketplace. This very shrewd adjustment has been secretly at work for nearly 50 years. During this time the foundation for a tremendous shift has taken place in attitudes toward Rome among Protestants. Forty years is not a long time at all in terms of Rome’s history. But in those forty years there has been a tremendous alignment that has taken place between Catholics and Protestants. No longer do Protestants feel comfortable using the Bible to identify the Papacy as the antichrist. After all, when working side by side to accomplish the common good of all, Catholics and the Catholic Church don’t seem to be as bad as they once thought or as the scripture seemed to say.
As a result, Protestants began to think that they had misinterpreted scripture, especially those texts in Revelation that identify the Papacy as the Beast and the Pope as antichrist. They had to come up with another explanation to take the finger of condemnation away from Rome. This led them down the path of prophetic confusion and chaos. In the end, most Protestants lost their spiritual bearings and began to wander around in a theological and prophetic muddle, constantly trying to adjust their interpretations of prophecy so that they would not be offensive to Rome.
Listen to this interesting statement from the pen of Inspiration. This is found in Great Controversy, page 571, 572.
“It is not without reason that the claim has been put forth in Protestant countries that Catholicism differs less widely from Protestantism than in former times. There has been a change; but the change is not in the papacy. Catholicism indeed resembles much of the Protestantism that now exists, because Protestantism has so greatly degenerated since the days of the Reformers.”
Rome has capitalized on this. As Protestants have become less and less familiar with their own teachings and the teachings of the Bible, there has been a corresponding uncertainty about the difference between them and Rome. The result has made them vulnerable to the secret forces at play in Rome’s plan to retake Protestantism by getting them to cooperate with her on any areas of common interest or agreement.
Worldliness has been another weakness that has made Protestant churches vulnerable to Rome. Their lifestyles don’t seem to be much different than those of their Catholic acquaintances. They watch the same movies, they read the same novels, eat the same foods and drink the same wine. They drive the same cars and live in the same kinds of houses. They wear the same kinds of jewelry, and go to the same amusement parks. Nothing really sets them apart, unless they are truly Bible believing protestants that keep the Bible Sabbath.
I will continue reading from Great Controversy. “As the Protestant churches have been seeking the favor of the world, false charity has blinded their eyes. They do not see but that it is right to believe good of all evil, and as the inevitable result they will finally believe evil of all good. Instead of standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, they are now, as it were, apologizing to Rome for their uncharitable opinion of her, begging pardon for their bigotry.”
Protestants even taught that the law was done away with at the cross. But eventually Rome began to urge moral reform. Rome began to promote opposition to the immoral plague of abortion, and more recently opposition to gay marriage. These causes also concerned Protestants. After all they are good causes. How can any Christian stand apart from Rome on these? A greater and greater sense of emergency developed among both Catholics and Protestants as these evils were publicized more and more. Nothing is better calculated to unite in ecumenical effort, than a common enemy and an emergency involving that enemy. A blizzard makes neighbors into friends. A war against a common foe can make even enemies into friends.
Rome has trumped the Protestants by championing moral causes, and placing herself as the moral authority in the world. And Protestants have yielded to the temptation to gather around Rome in the culture war in which they both see themselves as fighting Satan himself. Even many of those who don’t favor Rome have come to the point where they see little danger. Catholics and Protestants now see themselves in a “cosmic Jihad,” or a crusade against the powers of darkness that threaten to take over the world with sleaze and crime. Satan is viewed as attacking all religions or religion in general. This has united Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants (and even some Jews and Muslims) more powerfully than anything else in history.
But Rome’s strategy is very far-reaching. She has effectively disarmed Protestants in their view of her, while refocusing their attention on cooperation with her against their common enemy. This has led to the prevailing Protestant feeling that they must find a way to reconcile with Rome on other matters such as on doctrine and even ecclesiastical matters. This new alliance has caused them to somehow “love” each other while ignoring their scriptural differences. They think that the oppression and persecutions of the dark ages will not rise again. But God reveals the true result of this thinking.
“A large class, even of those who look upon Romanism with no favor, apprehend little danger from her power and influence. Many urge that the intellectual and moral darkness prevailing during the Middle Ages favored the spread of her dogmas, superstitions, and oppression, and that the greater intelligence of modern times, the general diffusion of knowledge, and the increasing liberality in matters of religion forbid a revival of intolerance and tyranny. The very thought that such a state of things will exist in this enlightened age is ridiculed. It is true that great light, intellectual, moral, and religious, is shining upon this generation. In the open pages of God’s Holy Word, light from heaven has been shed upon the world. But it should be remembered that the greater the light bestowed, the greater the darkness of those who pervert and reject it.”
“A prayerful study of the Bible would show Protestants the real character of the papacy and would cause them to abhor and to shun it; but many are so wise in their own conceit that they feel no need of humbly seeking God that they may be led into the truth. Although priding themselves on their enlightenment, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. They must have some means of quieting their consciences, and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering Him. The papacy is well adapted to meet the wants of all these. It is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world—those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of its power.” That’s from Great Controversy, pg 572.
This is ultimately played out in the Sunday law enforcing disobedience to God’s Ten Commandments, in particular the fourth commandment, all in the name of upholding them. Rome’s secret power is in her teaching that salvation does not involve forsaking sin. This subtly influences Protestants who have lost their spiritual rudder. Those who teach that you don’t have to overcome your sins through the power of Christ are especially vulnerable. They will go along with the Sunday law in violation of God’s holy law when pressure comes to bear upon them. Once the churches think that they can cooperate with Rome in matters of agreement, they are on a very slippery slope. They don’t realize that it is part of a much larger plan to overcome them, for the scripture says that “by peace, [Rome] shall destroy many,” Daniel 8:25. The ecumenical movement is all about peace between the Catholic Church and all other communions. These churches don’t think very deeply. They only think superficially.
Most Protestants have another weakness that makes them very vulnerable to Rome’s enticements. They are Sunday keepers. Protestants have adopted most of the same reasons for keeping Sunday as Rome. Rome has adopted the reasons that Protestants thought of so that there could be better alignment on Sunday keeping. Yet Protestants are unaware perhaps that there is not one shred of biblical support for Sunday keeping even though they like to suggest that Christ or His apostles changed the Sabbath. They claim this without naming a single, valid Bible text to support their view. And most members believe their pastors without questioning the biblical basis of what he/she teaches. Once Protestants left their deep commitment to the authority of Scripture, which was easy to do because of their inconsistent teaching on the Ten Commandments, particularly the fourth commandment, they became easy prey to Rome.
Originally Rome claimed to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, essentially by the church fathers. But they claim it as their right and power to do so. The Council of Trent after the Reformation reaffirmed this. Protestants have always claimed a loyalty to the teachings of scripture as the basis of their faith, but they have continued on with the traditions of Rome in keeping Sunday instead of God’s Sabbath. This makes them very vulnerable to Rome’s advances. Rome knows that they revere tradition as much as she does, to the point of giving tradition more authority than scripture, just as she does. Hence, almost all Protestants don’t have a clear biblical authority. Rome knows that they will accept Rome’s authority in the end because they tacitly accept it now.
Furthermore, as time has gone on, most Protestants have increasingly used the new translations which harmonize with Rome’s corrupted Bible from Alexandria, Egypt instead of their own uncorrupted version and its translations from the Eastern Textus Receptus. This has strengthened their theological confusion. As a result, what loyalty they have left to biblical authority has been reduced to Rome’s Bible. All of this leads them to further uncertainty in their faith. Eventually, they will face a crisis of authority and will look to Rome for guidance. Once they accepted Rome’s authority over the Bible, they will have no choice but to join her at the sacramental table, and strengthen themselves, not by the Holy Spirit and their convictions concerning the word of God, but by uniting with her in worship on her Sunday.
Rome is shrewd. She has co-opted many Protestants who don’t understand their own faith, and more dangerously, don’t understand their danger. They don’t even realize that they are being brought skillfully into partnership with Rome in such a way as to immobilize them in their opposition to her doctrines, dogmas and practices. They’re clueless. Eventually, they will turn against those that give the last warning message before Jesus comes, to “come out of her my people…” (Rev 18:4), and keep God’s holy Sabbath day and all the rest of His wonderful commandments. They will actually think that they are doing a good thing by persecuting God’s remnant people. And because they have been cooperating with Rome all along, she will easily convince them that they need to cooperate with her in exterminating any opposition to her dogmas and teachings.
Where is the ecumenical movement heading? Rome is attempting to get the Protestants to accept her as the moral authority in the world so that she can compel conscience and force all to acknowledge her supremacy and worship in her way and on her day.
But before we close, I must share with you the explosive statement that reveals Rome’s ecumenical arrogance and Rome’s real goals in reforming society. It is from the book The Liberal Illusion, by Louis Veuillot, published by the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Washington DC in 2005. Louis Veuillot wrote in the 19th century defending Catholicism against liberal and secular influences. In this statement, Rome reveals what is planned for dissenters from her principles. I will quote it now…
“When the time comes and men realize that the social edifice must be rebuilt according to eternal standards, be it tomorrow, or be it centuries from now, the Catholics will arrange things to suit said standards.
“Undeterred by those who prefer to abide in death, they will re-establish certain laws of life. They will restore Jesus to His place on high, and He shall no longer be insulted. They will raise their children to know God and to honor their parents. They will uphold the indissolubility of marriage, and if this fails to meet with approval of the dissenters, it will not fail to meet the approval of their children. They will make obligatory the religious observance of Sunday on behalf of the whole of society and for its own good, revoking the permit for freethinkers and Jews to celebrate incognito, Monday or Saturday on their own account. Those whom this may annoy, will have to put up with the annoyance. Respect will not be refused to the Creator nor repose denied to the creature simply for the sake of humoring certain maniacs, whose frenetic condition causes them stupidly and insolently to block the will of a whole people.”
This is the spirit that will develop once the people are reined up enough with fear or fanaticism to join with Rome on her ecumenical projects. In the end, those that disagree with the new unity will be treated as enemies of social order and decency.
My friends, we are almost there. Are you ready? We can watch the movements of prophecy being fulfilled in the world and in the policies and global politics of nations. But we can also see the marshalling of Satan’s forces in the movements taking place in the churches. There is more to come, so stay tuned.
Now let us pray that God will help us prepare our hearts and minds so that we will not be deceived by the arguments and sophistries of the ecumenical movement.
Our Father in heaven, we pray that we will have Your Holy Spirit to lead us back to the scriptures. May we develop such a love for You that we will have an unshakable loyalty to Your commandments. As we see the onrushing events leading to the final crisis, we pray that our families and friends will accept the fullness of the truth as it is in Jesus and come out from Babylon and come into harmony with Your final message. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
The ecumenical movement has been one of Rome’s key tools to increase her power, by reducing opposition to her in politics and to her faith, particularly in Protestant countries.