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Of Popes and Beasts

Reader comment on item: Middle East threats, American retreat
in response to reader comment: End Time Prophecy

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 24, 2014 at 04:38

Hi, Lujack

"Jews are not the aggressors. Zechariah 14:2 Its all nations whom (sic) come after Israel are the aggressors."

I'm glad you see that. Note, however, that ALL the gentiles will come after Israel -- no exceptions: not the US, not anyone.

"Rome is the great harlot..."

Rev. 17
[5] And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

"Mother" Church is described as a harlot, but also as the mother of harlots. Lots of interpreters, such as Martin Luther, felt this talked about the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church. But what about the "child" churches -- the Lutherans, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc.? They are children of the harlot. I agree with you, that the "fornication" of the church with the kings of the earth took a great leap forward during Constantine's day. From that time forward, the Emperor was the de facto ruler of the Eastern church. The pope came into his own with the coronation of Charlemagne; and during the days of Hildebrand (shortly before the First Crusade), he was able to sever himself completely from the Eastern church.

In my last post to you here, I said that the New Testament identified Christianity with "Great Babylon". The comment in Rev. 17, that the seven heads of the beast that the woman sat on represented "seven hills", almost certainly identifies her with Rome. "Babylon", curiously, was the place of exile of the Jewish people; and even after Kurosh allowed them to return to what is now the land of Israel, few did so. In Rev., the very Jewish Apostle John saw the Roman Empire as the new place of exile for both the church and the Jewish people, the two of them being somewhat blended together in his thinking. In 3 John, we can see that even in the First Century CE, the churches were dominated by leaders who rejected John and his teaching, and in the opening chapters of Rev., we can see that the majority of churches were already well on their way to apostasy. Shortly after John came Ignatius, who told the Christians that their primary duty was to support their leaders. By the time Constantine came to power, over 200 years later, those leaders had taken to open power struggles with one another; to the point that the not-yet-baptized Emperor had to convene councils to settle their disputes, in order to maintain peace in the Empire.

I've often seen "Evangelical" Christians (whatever that means) trying to dissociate themselves from the Harlot churches, describing the latter as "apostate" and themselves as the "true church". I hope you can see the folly in this. I once had a pastor who joked that some churches had become so self-righteous (and small in numbers), that they called themselves "We Four and No More". Orthodox Jewish sects follow the same pattern, though not to such extremes. Regardless of who are, or think they are, the "true church", some 80% or more of Christians today are Roman or Orthodox Catholics; and the rest generally accuse one another of being "heretics", "apostates" or "lukewarm". Identifying "Babylon" with all the church, then, is not a great leap of generalization.

There is fodder for centuries of theological discussion in the above; but I am not a theologian. I have many opinions; but for the sake of this discussion, suffice it for me to say that I do not forsee a Jewish "Antichrist" rising up in the future to oppress the church and rule the world. The world itself, without the need for any "antichrist", is itching to go to destroy Israel; and only the hand of God is restraining. them. At the moment, the US and its UNSC veto power is pretty much the only thing standing in the way of a UN resolution to attack Israel and wipe the Jews off the face of the earth; and the US cannot be counted on to maintain this stance forever.

Rev. 17 says that the "eighth" is not a head, like the seven kings; but is "the beast itself". If the heads represent kings, then the beast must represent the people. In our day, the world is no longer ruled by kings; the main powers are democracies, powers governed "by the people". It is the people themselves who are the end-time "beast", in my opinion; their ruler is not some president or king, but that dragon, Satan, who, you will notice, has a form almost identical to that of the beast. He gives them their power and also their character. That is the world we live in.

Shalom shalom :-)

Submitting....

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