CHAPTER 3

 

THE ANTICHRIST AND THE MYSTERIOUS 666

 

Before we look at the circumstances behind the national Sunday law, we must identify the antichrist.

The Bible describes the number 666 in Revelation 13:18, and it specifically says that it is the number of a man. “Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.”

There is much confusion and speculation today concerning this mysterious number. Many believe this to be the number of the antichrist. Still others believe that this number is somehow associated with the sinister mark of the beast. Who is the man who bears this number? Is he the antichrist? When will he appear? What are the devastating effects his presence is expected to have on the earth? Will this person choose to remain unknown, or will his presence be announced and his work done openly? Or, will he masquerade as some holy person that the whole world looks up to, thinking he is working for God instead of the devil?

The world is expecting the antichrist to come in the near future. Will the antichrist announce his arrival when he gets here? An essence of evil surrounds the term antichrist, and evil rarely works openly. Instead, evil usually wears a facade of righteousness to cover its real character in order more easily to deceive.

When most people read the Bible, much of what they read they do not understand. In many places it is written in code or symbols, especially many of the prophecies that foretell future events. Codes and symbols were used to preserve the Bible down through the ages. If certain powers that had existed had been aware that the Bible was talking about them, they would have done their best to destroy every trace of it. They would have persecuted Christians with much more vigor than they did, and many millions more would have died at the stake or suffered other agonizing torture and death.

That the Bible should be written in symbols is not really so strange. We often use symbols today to convey information. For instance, suppose you picked up an evening newspaper in the United States and saw a political cartoon that portrayed a donkey kicking an elephant. You would immediately understand that the Democrats had defeated the Republicans in the recent election.

The Bible itself tells us what the codes and symbols mean, and when we are familiar with these prophetic symbols, we will be able to understand prophecy just as clearly as if it had been written in plain text. As we shall see, the Bible was meant to be understood by those searching for truth.

Let us begin by consulting the prophecy found in Daniel 7:1-8,15-21: “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.”

In the Bible passage we just read, wind and sea are mentioned. Jeremiah 25:32,33 shows that winds represent war and strife. “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.”

Medo-Persia fought against the ancient city of Babylon and conquered it, Jeremiah 51:1,11 tells us that this war was a destroying wind. “Thus says the Lord; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind. Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it.” Thus we see that “wind” in prophecy represents war and strife.

The next symbol we must consider is water. Revelation 17:15 tells us that water is used to represent people, the “sea” of humanity. “And he said to me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

With our understanding of these prophetic symbols, we can readily see that Daniel 7:2 describes war among the inhabitants of earth. “. . . the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.”

Verse three tells us what the results of these wars were: “And four great beasts came up from the sea, different one from another.”

Many animals or beasts are described in the prophecies. Daniel 7:17 tells us that “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, who shall arise out of the earth.” Verse twenty-three says, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” A beast, therefore, represents a king or a kingdom or a nation — some political entity.

Today, we also use beasts symbolically to represent various nations. A bear, for instance, represents Russia; a lion represents England; and an eagle represents the United States.

In the prophecy of Daniel 7:1-8,15-21 that we are considering, We see that as a result of the wars on the earth, four separate nations sequentially appeared on the stage of history, each one different from the others.

Verses four through eight: “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like a bear, and it raised itself on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth: and they said to it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, that had four wings of a fowl on its back; the beast also had four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. 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.” Here we have three more prophetic symbols: wings, horns and heads.

The symbol of heads is also used in various places in the Bible to represent kings and kingdoms. This can be shown by Revelation seventeen, verses nine and ten. “And here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space.” Verse ten would be more accurately translated as “They also represent seven kings. . . .”

Horns are yet another symbol that represents kings or kingdoms, as Daniel 7:24 indicates. “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise.” Thus, prophecy can show that one nation follows another in chronological sequence. For instance, a beast that grows several horns signifies a power followed by several other powers.

With our new-found knowledge of prophetic symbols, it is easy to see that as a result of military conquest, four powerful nations or empires arose successively on the stage of history. The first was represented by the lion, the king of beasts. The wings symbolized the rapid conquest of this power as it defeated one nation after another to assemble its empire. The second is represented to be a cruel power at whose hands many lost their lives as it devoured many nations.

The third beast had four wings, indicating extreme swiftness, and four heads, representing the four leaders or kings who divided the empire among themselves and took power concurrently.

The fourth power is represented by a beast such as is not known on earth, signifying an extremely cruel and powerful empire. Ten horns, or nations, succeed this cruel power, and then the power represented by the little horn with eyes and a mouth arrives on the scene among these other ten nations.

Continuing with Daniel 7:15: “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near to one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.”

As Daniel was witnessing this procession of future history, he did not understand, and asked one of the angels standing by to explain the vision to him. The angel’s explanation is found in verses seventeen and eighteen: “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”

In order to put Daniel at ease, the angel reassured him that the saints, the true Christians, the true people of God, will finally rule the world with their Lord, Jesus Christ.

Continuing with verse nineteen: “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, that was different from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; that devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other that came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.”

Here we have more information about the little horn that had eyes and a mouth and grew to be more stout than the others. The power that is represented by the stout horn made war against three of the ten nations, represented by the ten horns, and completely defeated and uprooted them so that today there is no trace of these nations. We see also that the power represented by the stout horn made war against the saints, God’s true people, and prevailed against them. This power put to death many millions of Christians, as we shall see.

The angel continues in verse twenty-three to explain the vision to Daniel: “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.”

Now we can identify these four empires. The angel told Daniel that this extremely cruel beast represented the fourth kingdom on earth. Daniel received this vision during the reign of Belshazzar, king of Babylon. Babylon, therefore, is represented by the first beast, the lion with wings. As we remember history, we see that Medo-Persia was the second kingdom, represented by the bear; Greece was the third, represented by the leopard.

It is interesting to note that the leopard with four wings (which symbolize speed of conquest) represents the Grecian Empire. Under the reign of Alexander the Great, this Grecian power marched its army over 25,000 miles during a two-year period as it conquered virtually the entire known world. Alexander’s troops ranged as far as India and China. Thus, to indicate very great speed of conquest, the symbol of four wings is used instead of just two wings as on the first beast, the lion. In the political intrigue that followed Alexander’s death, his young son, heir to the throne, was murdered, and four of Alexander’s generals divided the kingdom among themselves. The four heads on the leopard represent these four generals and the sections of the empire that they took.

The Roman Empire was the fourth kingdom, represented by the last beast with ten horns in this prophecy.

Continuing with Daniel 7:24,25: “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be different 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.”

The ten horns of this terrible beast represent the nations or kingdoms into which the Roman Empire disintegrated, seven of which are the ancestors of the modern nations of Europe. These ten nations were the Anglo-Saxons (English), the Franks (French), Suevi (Portuguese), Visigoths (Spanish), Burgundians (Swiss), Alemanni (Germans), Lombards (Italians), Ostrogoths, Heruli, and the Vandals in northern Africa.

After these ten nations were established, another power, represented by the stout horn that had eyes and a mouth, arose. This power subdued and completely uprooted three of the ten nations.

The verses just read give numerous clues to help us to identify the power represented by the stout horn. It is vitally important that we understand who this power is, and for this reason God has given us many identifying points. Let us now consider the points of identity of this power.

(1.) Daniel 7:24 states that the stout horn power would arise after the Roman Empire and after the emergence of the other ten horns, or nations, following the disintegration of the Roman empire.

(2.) This power is different from the other ten kingdoms. Daniel 7:24 says, “He shall be different from the first.” We have a clue in verse twenty-five as to just how this power differed from the other kingdoms. This power made an attempt to change the law of God and the times of God. The Catholic Douay translation of the Bible in Daniel 7:25 says that “he shall think himself able to change times and laws.” This power has published the changed law and admits to changing a time of God, and nearly the entire Christian world follows the dictates of this power rather than the times and laws of God as found in the Bible. Since this power thought itself able to change God’s times and God’s laws, it must be a religious power. The other ten powers were political. That is the difference mentioned in verse twenty-four.

(3.) This power went to war with three of the ten kingdoms and defeated them. Daniel 7:24 says, “He shall subdue three kings.” The reason for this war was that the three defeated nations would not accept the religious doctrine of the stout horn; the other seven nations, under pressure, accepted its dictates. The three defeated nations were the Ostrogoths, Heruli, and the Vandals. Verse eight says they were plucked up by the roots. There is no trace of these nations today; they have been completely uprooted, as this prophecy foretold. The last of these three nations was defeated in 538 AD.

(4.) The power represented by the stout horn speaks blasphemous words against God. Daniel 7:25 says, “He shall speak great words against the most High.” The first beast of Revelation 13 also represents this stout horn power, as we will see shortly. Revelation 13:5 says “And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.” What is blasphemy? We can find the definition of blasphemy in John 10:30-33: Jesus said, “I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.” For a man to claim he is God is blasphemy. Of course, this was not blasphemy for Jesus to make this claim because He was God.

Another definition of blasphemy is found in Mark 2:7: “Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” For a man to claim to be able to forgive sins is also blasphemy.

This power, therefore, must claim either that its human leader is God or that it can forgive sins, or both. Did a religious power arise after the breakup of the Roman Empire that makes either of these claims?

(5.) The stout horn power kills God’s people. Daniel 7:25 says, “And shall wear out the saints of the most High.” This power is a cruel, persecuting power that has put to death many hundreds of millions of Christians who wanted to worship God according to the Bible. This power put forth its own doctrine and required that people follow its laws. If a person worshiped God as specified in the Bible, he was in danger of severe persecution, even being burned at the stake. During the Saint Bartholomew’s Massacre in August, 1572, an estimated 70,000 Christians were slaughtered, and this power boasted about it in its various writings. We will look at some of these writings shortly.

(6.) This power attempted to change the times of God. Daniel 7:25 says, “he shall think himself able to change times and laws.” (Catholic Douay version). In some of its publications this power admits to having changed the day of worship from Saturday, God’s Sabbath day, the seventh day of the week, to Sunday, the first day of the week, and virtually the entire “Christian” world follows its dictates rather than the Bible.

(7.) He would attempt to change the laws of God. (Daniel 7:25). We shall shortly compare the Ten Commandments as found in the Bible with the Ten Commandments as published by the stout horn. The changes will be readily apparent.

(8.) Finally, this power reigned supreme for 1260 years. Daniel 7:25 says, “And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Here we must stop and consider these new symbols of Bible prophecy: days and times.

In prophecy the word “day” means “year.” Numbers 14:34 tells us, “After the number of the days in which you searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, you shall bear your iniquities, even forty years.” Ezekiel 4:6 also mentions that a day represents one year. “I have appointed you each day for a year.”

As an example of this day for a year principle, Daniel 9:25 tells us that there will be sixty-nine weeks between two events. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times.” A score is twenty. Sixty-nine weeks is 483 days. Historical records show that the actual time interval between the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until Christ’s first advent was 483 years.

Thus we see that when “day” is used in Bible prophecy, a year of actual time is meant. The prophetic year consists of twelve months of thirty days each, or 360 days, and represents 360 years of actual time. That the prophetic year contains 360 days can be shown quite clearly in the book of Revelation, since one particular period of time is mentioned in four different verses. Revelation 12:6 and Revelation 12:14 both speak of the same period of time, as is obvious from the context. Verse six: “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Clearly, this time period is 1260 days, or 3½ years of 360 days each. Now notice verse fourteen: “And to the woman 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.” Since this time period is 3½ years, the word “time” in verse fourteen is therefore one year, “times” is two years, and “half a time” is one-half year. Revelation 11:2,3 shows that the prophetic month contains thirty days. “But the court that is outside the temple leave out, and do not measure it; for it is given to the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” Here again we have this same period of 1260 days that is mentioned in verse two as forty-two months. Forty-two months of thirty days each is exactly 1260 days, or 3½ 360-day years.

For those who think it strange for prophecy to use a 360-day year, consider that almost every bank, before the proliferation of computers, used a 360-day year consisting of twelve months, each having thirty days to calculate interest.

To refresh your memory, here again is that key verse in Daniel, chapter seven that shows the eighth point of identity of the stout horn. (8.) This power reigned supreme for 1260 years. Daniel 7:25 says, “And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

The word “time” in this verse is a year, “times” is two years, and the “dividing of time” is one half-year. The 360-day prophetic year consists of twelve months of 30 days each. The three and one-half years mentioned in this verse, therefore, are this 1260-day time period. Since one day in Bible prophecy represents one year of actual time, we arrive at the 1260-year period for the stout horn power. Revelation 12:14 shows us that God’s true church had to go into hiding during these 1260 years in an attempt to avoid the severe persecution which this power inflicted on the true Christians. “And to the woman 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.”

The serpent in the Bible is Satan, the devil, as shown in Revelation 12:9: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world: he was cast out to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

We saw in chapter one that a woman in Bible prophecy represents a church. We saw that a pure, virtuous woman represents Christ’s true church, and a harlot represents a false or counterfeit church.

Revelation 17:5 describes a harlot, who represents a false church and is the mother of numerous false churches. “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

The following chart summarizes the basic keys to understanding Bible prophecy.

Additional points of identity of the stout horn are found in Revelation 13:1-10,18. As we consider these verses, it will become apparent that this first beast of Revelation thirteen represents the same power as the stout horn of Daniel seven.

Revelation 13:1-10,18: “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 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. And they worshiped the dragon that gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty and two months. 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 to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six [666].”

Let us now continue with collecting points of identity of the antichrist.

(9.) Notice here that this beast, which is the same power as the stout horn of Daniel, chapter seven, rises out of the sea. Revelation 13:1 says, ”I . . . saw a beast rise up out of the sea.” Water, you will remember, is the symbol for many people, the sea of humanity. The ninth point of identity of this power, represented by the stout horn in Daniel 7 and the first beast of Revelation 13, is that it arises in a populated area of the world. We saw that when the Roman Empire fell, it disintegrated into ten nations, represented by the ten horns on the terrible beast of Daniel 7. It was among these nations, the heavily populated area of Europe, that this power, the stout horn, arose.

(10.) This power received a deadly wound. Revelation 13:3 says, ”I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death.” Exactly 1260 years after this power defeated the last of the three nations represented by the three uprooted horns on the head of the terrible beast of Daniel seven, the stout horn power received its deadly wound, and the world believed that this was the end of this power.

(11.) But, as Revelation 13:3 says, ”His deadly wound was healed.” This power recovered from its wound and regained much of its former strength.

(12.) Virtually the whole ”Christian” world follows the dictates of this power as Revelation 13:3,4 says. ”3All the world wondered after the beast. 4And they worshiped the dragon that gave power to the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” Indeed, who is like the beast? He is completely different from all other nations, as this verse and Daniel 7:24 say. Notice who gives this power its authority and political power in this world; it is the devil. This power is known by practically everyone today, and it is a major factor in world events. The text says that ”All the world wondered after the beast.” The whole world follows after this beast. According to prophecy, this power will very shortly exert much more control over the people of the world than at present.

The reference to making war with this beast is interesting. Few nations dared to make war with this religious power during the 1260 years of its reign because they were deceived into believing that this satanic power could consign them to hell for eternity if they tried to rebel.

(13.) This power is a worldwide, well-known religion, for Revelation 13:8 says that ”all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are NOT written” in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Since those who worship this power are not written in the book of life, it is obvious that this power is one of Satan’s counterfeit religions. Remember that we read in Revelation 13:2 that the devil gave this power its great authority. People worship this power and obey its dictates rather than God’s requirements as found in the Bible. This power effectively changed God’s requirements in the minds of most, and the people of the world obey (worship) this power rather than God, thinking that they are obeying God.

(14.) The last point of identity of this power is the number 666. Revelation 13:18 tells us that this is the number of a man. ”18Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six. [666]” It was customary in Roman times to speak of a person’s number. This number was obtained by adding the values of the Roman numeral letters in a person’s name.

Can you identify this power from the preceding fourteen points of identity from the pages of the Bible? What great religious power arrived on the scene of history shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire? Which great religious power defeated the Vandals, Ostrogoths, and the Heruli as described in history? Which great religious organization wielded enormous power over ”all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” during the Dark Ages? Indeed, which great religious power was the only large religious organization that existed during the Dark Ages? Which great religious power persecuted and put to death many millions of Christians, God’s true people, during the Dark Ages? Which great religious power attempted to change God’s times and God’s laws? Which great religious power spoke great, blasphemous words against God? Which great religious power commits blasphemy when it claims to be able to forgive the sins of the people? Which great religious power does practically the entire world ”wonder” after, and follow, and obey?

Please understand that these prophecies are speaking about an organization and its leaders, and not about individuals who ignorantly worship within this organization. At the present time true Christians are to be found in all churches, but God has an urgent message for His people who find themselves within this system. This vitally important message from God will be covered later.

Anyone who is moderately familiar with history should easily be able to understand that the power symbolized by the stout horn with eyes and a mouth in Daniel seven and the first beast of Revelation thirteen is the Roman Catholic Church, often referred to as the papacy.

Let us review again these fourteen points of identity and fill in the historical details that prove beyond any doubt that the power referred to is the papacy. The following chart summarizes these points and gives the Bible verses in which they are found.

(1). The ten nations that arose after the breakup of the Roman Empire were fairly well established when the papacy appeared on the stage of history, exactly as Daniel 7:24 foretold.

(2). Daniel 7:24 also foretold that the papacy would be different from the other nations. The papacy is a religious power whereas the other nations were political powers.

(3). Daniel 7:8,20,24 says that the papacy would subdue three of these nations. Because the Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths had religious beliefs that were different from those of the papacy, considerable pressure was put on these nations to conform with papal doctrine. History shows that when they would not change their beliefs and accept papal doctrine, the papacy was instrumental in destroying them in battle, uprooting them so that there is no trace of these three nations in the world today. The last of these nations, the Ostrogoths, was destroyed by the papacy in 538 AD, the year in which the papacy achieved supreme power and the year in which the 1260-year prophecy of Daniel 7:25 begins.

(4). Has the papacy spoken great words of blasphemy against God, as Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:6 predicted? Blasphemy, you will remember from John 10:30-33 and Mark 2:7, is committed when a man claims to be God, and also when a man claims to be able to forgive sins. Consider some quotations from Catholic literature. Here are a few where the pope is claiming to be God.

We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty. — Pope Leo XIII, in an encyclical letter dated June 20, 1894, The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, p. 304. New York: Benziger Brothers.

All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which it is established that he is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope. — On the Authority of Councils, Bellarmine (R. C.), book 2, chap. 17 (Vol. II, p. 266), ed. 1619.

Let us consider some of the names applied to Christ in the Scriptures and see if they could possibly apply to the pope: Almighty God, Creator, Savior, Christ, Lord, Most Holy, King of kings, and Reverend. What could be more blasphemous than for a man to claim any of these titles? “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, . . .” (Revelation 13:6).

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “antichrist” means a false Christ.

The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the Vicar of God. . . . The Pope is of such lofty and supreme dignity that, properly speaking, he has not been established in any rank of dignity, but rather has been placed upon the very summit of all ranks of dignities. . . . The Pope is called most holy because he is rightfully presumed to be such. . . . The Pope alone is deservedly called by the name “most holy,” because he alone is the vicar of Christ, who is the fountain and source and fullness of all holiness. . . . He is likewise the divine monarch and supreme emperor, and king of kings. . . . Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions. . . . Moreover the superiority and the power of the Roman Pontiff by no means pertain only to heavenly things, to earthly things, and to things under the earth, but are even over angels, than whom he is greater. . . . So that if it were possible that the angels might err in the faith, or might think contrary to the faith, they could be judged and excommunicated by the Pope. . . . For he is of so great dignity and power that he forms one and the same tribunal with Christ. . . . The Pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings. . . . The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws. — Translated from Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, art. “Papa,” (Pope) II, Vol VI, pp. 26-29.

Can you imagine anything more pompous or arrogant or blasphemous than that last quote? “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God. . . .” (Revelation 13:6). Here are other quotes from Catholic literature.

Bishops and priests being, as they are, God’s interpreters and ambassadors, empowered in His name to teach mankind the divine law and the rules of conduct, and holding, as they do, His place on earth, it is evident that no nobler function than theirs can be imagined. Justly, therefore, are they called not only Angels, but even gods, because of the fact that they exercise in our midst the power and prerogatives of the immortal God.

In all ages, priests have been held in the highest honor; yet the priests of the New Testament far exceed all others. For the power of consecrating and offering the body and blood of our Lord and of forgiving sins, which has been conferred on them, not only has nothing equal or like to it on earth but even surpasses human reason and understanding. — Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests, trans. by John A. McHugh and Charles J. Callan (1958), p. 318. New York: Wagner, 1934.

Just as the Bible predicted nearly two thousand years ago, the papacy “opened his mouth in blasphemy against God.” (Revelation 13:6). That last quote from Catholic literature claims that their priests “exercise in our midst the power and prerogatives of the immortal God,” and have the power to forgive sins! But the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:5 that “there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” A human priest can not be a mediator for us. Only Christ can do that, and only Christ can forgive our sins.

(5). Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:7 foretold that this power would put Christians to death. Has the papacy done this? Indeed it has. The number of Christians whom the Catholic Church put to death during the Dark Ages is not known exactly, but some estimates run as high as 200 million. This makes the papacy the most cruel, persecuting power that has ever existed, surpassing Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Where is the uproar by the news media against this holocaust, which is thirty-three times the number claimed that Hitler murdered?

That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history. — W. E. H. Lecky, History of the Rise and influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, (reprint: New York: Braziller, 1955), Vol. 2, pp. 40-45.

Consider a few more quotations from Catholic literature:

When she (the Catholic Church) thinks it good to use physical force, she will use it. — The Western Watchman, December 24, 1908.

The absurd and erroneous doctrines or ravings in defense of liberty of conscience are a most pestilential error — a pest, of all others, most to be dreaded in a state. — Pope Pius IX, Encyclical letter, August 15, 1854.

One of the things that makes the United States Constitution such a fabulous document is that it guarantees the right to liberty of conscience. Here are some more Catholic quotations.

Heretics, schismatics, and rebels to our said lord (the Pope), or his aforesaid successors, I will to my utmost persecute and oppose. — The Oath of Allegiance to the Pope, Josiah Strong, Our Country, Ch. 5, pars. 2-4.

We have always defended the persecution of the Huguenots, and the Spanish inquisition. — The Western Watchman, December 24, 1908.

In order to show the horror of the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew, the following is quoted from The Great Controversy, by E. G. White, pages 272, 273.

But blackest in the black catalogue of crime, most horrible among the fiendish deeds of all the dreadful centuries, was the St. Bartholomew Massacre. The world still recalls with shuddering horror the scenes of that most cowardly and cruel onslaught. The king of France, urged on by Romish priests and prelates, lent his sanction to the dreadful work. A bell, tolling at dead of night, was a signal for the slaughter. Protestants by thousands, sleeping quietly in their homes, trusting to the plighted honor of their king, were dragged forth without a warning and murdered in cold blood.

As Christ was the invisible leader of His people from Egyptian bondage, so was Satan the unseen leader of his subjects in this horrible work of multiplying martyrs. For seven days the massacre was continued in Paris, the first three with inconceivable fury. And it was not confined to the city itself, but by special order of the king was extended to all the provinces and towns where Protestants were found. Neither age nor sex was re[s]pected. Neither the innocent babe nor the man of gray hairs was spared. Noble and peasant, old and young, mother and child, were cut down together. Throughout France the butchery continued for two months. Seventy thousand of the very flower of the nation perished.

When the news of the massacre reached Rome, the exultation among the clergy knew no bounds. The cardinal of Lorraine rewarded the messenger with a thousand crowns; the cannon of St. Angelo thundered forth a joyous salute; and bells rang out from every steeple; bonfires turned night into day; and Gregory XIII, attended by the cardinals and other ecclesiastical dignitaries, went in long procession to the church of St. Louis, where the cardinal of Lorraine chanted a Te Deum. . . . A medal was struck to commemorate the massacre, and in the Vatican may still be seen three frescoes of Vasari, describing the attack upon the admiral, the king in council plotting the massacre, and the massacre itself. Gregory sent Charles the Golden Rose; and four months after the massacre, . . . he listened complacently to the sermon of a French priest, . . . who spoke of ‘that day so full of happiness and joy, when the most holy father received the news, and went in solemn state to render thanks to God and St. Louis. — Henry White, The Massacre of St. Bartholomew, Ch. 14, par. 34, quoted in The Great Controversy, pp 272, 273 — Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, Pacific Press Publishing Assn., Mountain View, CA., 1950, p. 272, 273.

We can easily see that the papacy had no hesitation in putting people to death for not obeying its dictates. Indeed, the day is coming when it will again use force over the consciences of men, and many of God’s people will again be slaughtered.

The Church of Rome says that she has a right to punish with the confiscation of their goods, or the penalty of death, those who differ in faith from the Pope. — Charles Chiniquy, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, The Wickliffe Press, Protestant Truth Society, Wickliffe Avenue, 104 Hendon Lane, Finchley, London, N3., 1885, p. 376.

(6). How did the papacy change the times of God, as predicted in Daniel 7:25? By its own admission it is the one who changed the day to be kept holy from God’s Sabbath day of the Fourth Commandment, which is Saturday, to Sunday, the old pagan day of worship on which people paid allegiance to their sun god. Consider again some quotations from Catholic sources. Remember that Revelation 13:2 tells us that the devil, Satan, gave the Catholic Church “. . . his power, and his seat, and great authority.” The part about “divine mission” in the following quote is a lie. The Catholic Church is not on a divine mission. It is on a Satanic mission as we have seen.

The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. — Catholic Mirror, official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893.

Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters. — C. F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons.

Sunday is our mark of authority . . . The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact. — Catholic Record, September 1, 1923 (Ontario).

The observance of Sunday by the protestants is an homage they pay in spite of themselves to the authority of the [Catholic] Church. — Mgr. Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, Boston: Patrick Donahoe, 1868, page 225.

If the Bible is the only guide for the Christian, then the Seventh-day Adventist is right in observing the Saturday with the Jew. . . . Is it not strange that those who make the Bible their only teacher, should inconsistently follow in this matter the tradition of the [Catholic] Church? — Bertrand L. Conway, The Question Box Answers, The Columbus Press, 1910, pp. 254,255.

Question: How prove you that the church hath power to command feasts and holy days?

Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which protestants allow of, and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.

Question: How prove you that?

Answer: 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, New York: Edward Dunigan and Brothers, 1833, p. 58.

Question: Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?

Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her — she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority. — Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, 3rd. American edition, revised; New York: T. W. Strong, 1876, page 174.

Catholics claim that God gave them their power and authority, but the Bible says that it was the devil. Revelation 13:2 tells us that the devil gave the papacy the great power and authority they have in this world. “. . . and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

(7). Did the Catholic Church change God’s laws as Daniel 7:25 predicted? The Catholic Church completely deleted the Second Commandment, that prohibits the making and worshipping of statues. They also changed the Bible Fourth Commandment, which is now their third, by removing all the instruction that tells us how to keep the Sabbath Day holy. They removed the statement which says that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. In order to have ten, they divided the Bible Tenth Commandment and made part of it their ninth.

The following chart compares the Ten Commandments as found in the Bible in Exodus 20:2-17 with the Ten Commandments as commonly published in Catholic catechisms.

COMPARISON OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
as found in the Bible with the Ten Commandments as changed by the papacy

 

 THE TEN
COMMANDMENTS
As originally given by God

 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
As commonly found in Roman Catholic catechisms

 1st
 Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.  I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.

 2nd
 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything 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: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

3rd
 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.  Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.

4th
  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.  Honour thy father and thy mother.

5th
 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.  Thou shalt not kill.

6th
 Thou shalt not kill.  Thou shalt not commit adultery.

7th
 Thou shalt not commit adultery.  Thou shalt not steal.

8th
 Thou shalt not steal.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

9th
 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.

10th
 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods.

Thus, we see that the Catholic Church has, indeed, changed the times and laws of God just as Bible prophecy said it would nearly one thousand years before it happened.

If a king puts out a proclamation of ten laws, what must he do to make it official? He must place his seal upon it so that the people know it is from the king. Otherwise it would only be a piece of paper without signature, a proclamation with no authority. The great King of the universe has issued ten commandments. In order to make them official, He must have placed His seal in these laws. The seal of any monarch must include these three elements: (1) his name, (2) his title, (3) the territory over which he is empowered to rule. The presidential seal of the United States contains the president’s name; his title: President; and the territory over which he rules: the United States of America.

The fourth commandment is the only one of the ten that contains the seal of God. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor the stranger that is within your gates: For in six days the LORD [His name: Lord] MADE [His title: Creator] HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IN THEM IS [the territory over which He is empowered to rule: the universe], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20;8-11)

Here we see that all three essentials of a seal are contained in the Fourth Commandment: (1) His name: Lord; (2) His title: Creator (Maker); (3) The territory over which He is empowered to rule: Heaven and Earth, the universe. Thus, the seal of God is in the Fourth Commandment. You can see why Satan tries so hard to have the world reject the Fourth Commandment, for if this commandment were eliminated, the seal would be removed and what would remain would be just a list of laws without signature. One of the reasons the Catholic Church abbreviated the Sabbath commandment so drastically was to get rid of God’s seal.

(8). The papacy reached undisputed power in 538 AD by defeating the Ostrogoths, the last of the three nations represented by the three uprooted horns, and then, as Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:5 indicate, reigned supreme for 1260 years before it received its deadly wound.

(9). The papacy appeared in the populous area of Europe exactly as the Bible predicted in Daniel 7:24 by the stout horn arising among the other ten horns and in Revelation 13:1 by the beast rising out of the sea.

(10). At the expiration of the 1260-year period in 1798, the Catholic Church received its deadly wound, as Revelation 13:3 predicted. General Berthier, one of Napoleon’s generals, was sent to Rome in that year to take the pope prisoner. The pope died in exile in France the following year, and the French would not permit the election of another pope. People proclaimed, “The papacy is dead,” as once again Bible prophecy was perfectly fulfilled. Precisely 1260 years after the papacy reached undisputed supremacy by defeating the last of the three nations, who would not fall into line with its doctrine, it received its deadly wound.

(11). Obviously the deadly wound was healed exactly as Bible prophecy foretold in Revelation 13:3, for the papacy is very well respected throughout the entire world today. The deadly wound was healed on February 11, 1929, when Cardinal Gaspari and Mussolini, the leader of Italy during the Second World War, signed a concordat that made the pope a king again. Today the pope is the sovereign ruler of Vatican City, a separate country, that is not a part of Italy or the city of Rome. This papal country masquerades as a church, and because of this it has been able easily to infiltrate practically every political entity in the world. What an intelligence gathering system this papal country has with its subjects telling priests everything they want to know in confessionals. The papacy is a deadly enemy of the United States as we shall see. The papacy, through her facade of religion, has been able to infiltrate thoroughly the United States government. As a result, the United States will soon lose her constitution and become a tyrannical, persecuting power according to Bible prophecy. This is discussed in detail in chapter 4.

(12). Revelation 13:3 says, “All the world wondered after the beast.” Many nations of the world send ambassadors to the Vatican, a separate country in the city of Rome, just as they do to any other nation. When the pope travels to other countries he is given a tumultuous welcome, and millions upon millions flock to see him. Virtually all of the “Christian” churches of the world follow many of the papacy’s dictates. The whole world does indeed follow after the beast. The papacy has made colossal fools of untold millions of people down through history, and it is still doing so today.

(13). The Bible predicted in Revelation 13:8 that the papacy would be a worldwide, well-known church. This prophecy has indeed come true. But Revelation 13:8 also says that the whole world would worship the papacy with the exception of God’s true people, the Saturday Sabbath- keepers. Worship entails obedience. When the people of the world obey the dictates and laws of the papacy, they are worshiping the papacy. Satan, through his agency, the papacy, has deceived virtually the entire world into observing Sunday, a pagan religious day, that the papacy by its own admission has set up instead of Saturday, God’s holy Sabbath day of the Fourth Commandment.

Christ says, “If you love me, keep MY commandments.” (John 14:15).

Also: “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:9).

And finally: “Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).

(14). Revelation 13:18 says that his number is 666. What is the pope’s title? The following quotations from Catholic literature tell us that the pope’s title is “Vicarius Filii Dei.”

The title of the Pope of Rome is Vicarius Filii Dei. — Our Sunday Visitor, Nov. 15, 1914, p. 3.

The letters inscribed in the pope’s mitre are these: Vicarius Filii Dei, which is Latin for Vicar of the Son of God. — Our Sunday Visitor, April 18, 1915, page 3.

Thus, the official title of the pope is Vicarius Filii Dei; translated from Latin this is Vicar of the Son of God. A vicar is a substitute in office.

A person’s number was obtained by adding the numerical values of the letters in his name, that is, the values of the letters in the Roman numeral numbering system. If the letter had no value, the value of zero was assigned. For example, the value of ”I” is one; the value of ”V” is five; and the value of ”X” is ten. There was no ”U” in the Latin alphabet; the letter ”V” is the correct letter. (This is the reason why sometimes inscriptions on older public buildings use a ”V” instead of ”U” — for instance, PVBLIC LIBRARY.) The values of the letters of this name, Vicarius Filii Dei, add up to 666, exactly as predicted in Revelation 13:18! ”. . . for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:18).

No other power that has ever existed has precisely fulfilled every one of these fourteen points of identity as does the papacy. No other power has ever existed that even comes close to fulfilling these fourteen points of identity from the pages of the Bible. There have been many attempts made to throw the onus of this prophecy away from the pope and the Catholic Church, such as fitting the nations of empire into a different sequence than history shows. Many ingenious schemes have been devised to try to show that this number, 666, applies to other men, but these schemes are an obvious attempt to sidestep prophecy.

Consider the final verses of our prophecy in Daniel seven. Speaking of the papacy, the stout horn with eyes and a mouth, verse twenty-six says: “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” Here we see that the Catholic Church will finally be destroyed. The many millions of people who lost their lives at the hands of this ruthless power will finally be vindicated.

The title “vicar” means a substitute in office. Who is Christ’s true substitute in office here on earth? It is certainly not the pope, as they claim. Consider John 16:7, where Jesus says, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.” The Comforter, therefore, is the true Vicar of the Son of God. John 14:26 tells us who the Comforter is: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The Comforter is the Holy Ghost. He is the Vicar of the Son of God. He, not the pope of Rome, is Christ’s substitute in office. For a man to claim this position is blasphemy, as we have seen.

Don’t believe the lie that the Catholic Church was the first Christian church. Don’t believe the lie that Peter was the first pope. History shows us that the papacy did not appear on the scene until hundreds of years after Peter died.

The Catholic religion, actually, is very far from God’s religion as found in the Bible. We have already seen how they tried to changed God’s Sabbath day and His Ten Commandments. Here are a few more verses showing that the Catholic religion is not God’s religion.

Catholics always address their priests as “Father,” but Christ tells us in Matthew 23:9, “call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, who is in heaven.”

Catholics routinely bow down before idols, statues, and graven images of various so-called saints, but God tells us in the second commandment in Exodus 20:4-6, “You shall not make 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: You shall not bow down to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy to thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” This is the commandment that the papacy deleted from the law of God. This commandment tells us not even to make the images. Catholics routinely bow down to their idol statues and worship them.

The Catholic Church commits blasphemy every time one of its members goes to a man to get his sins forgiven. Mark 2:7 indicates that blasphemy occurs when a man says he can forgive sins. “Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?” Only God can forgive our sins, as Jesus indicated in the Lord’s prayer in Luke 11:4 “And forgive us our sins, . . .” First Timothy 2:5 tells us, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” A Catholic priest is not the mediator between God and men. A Catholic priest can not forgive anyone their sins.

Finally, the papacy teaches that when we die we go either to heaven, hell or purgatory, but God tells us in the Bible in Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10 that, “the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you are going.”

Psalms 146:3,4 also tells us that when we die we just go to the grave. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Without thoughts there can be no consciousness.

Everyone who dies, both good and evil, will experience a resurrection from death and will live again. Jesus describes these resurrections in John 5:28,29. “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in 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.” Death is like a very deep sleep. In death a person is not conscious. In death a person is not aware of any time passing. You could be dead for 1000 years, yet the time between your death and your resurrection will seem but an instant.

But, you say, who are all those people who have come back from the dead? What about seances where people’s loved ones come back and talk with them? For the answer to these questions we go to Revelation 12:9. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world: he was cast out to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” The devil and his evil angels (devils, demons) were thrown out of heaven to this earth, which is where they are today. When someone appears to come back from the dead, it cannot really be the person who died, for we know the dead are in their graves and are completely unconscious. It is the devil or one of his many evil angels masquerading as the person who died. These devils have the ability to masquerade as anyone they choose. Remember that Satan masqueraded as a serpent in the Garden of Eden to tempt Eve.

Satan will also have his devils impersonate the apostles, and they will contradict the Law of God, the Sabbath commandment, and the things the apostles wrote in the Bible.

When people see visions of Mary, the mother of Jesus, they are seeing the devil or one of his demons masquerading as Mary. Mary is asleep in her grave awaiting her resurrection, as we have just read from the Bible. A vision like this can be overwhelmingly deceptive. We must realize that God cannot lie to us. What the Bible says is the truth. Mary is asleep in her grave and cannot appear to anyone.

How do psychics know so much about us? They are in communication with the devil or his demons. When people go to a psychic for help or for advice, they are going to the devil. They are asking for trouble and are going to be deceived.

There are other verses in the Bible that describe the papal power. Because the early Christians in Thessolonica thought that Christ’s return was imminent, they were told in Second Thessalonians 2:3,4 that the return of Christ was yet far in the future, that people would corrupt the pure Christian doctrine and fall away from the truth, and that the pope, here referred to as the man of sin, would appear before the Lord’s return. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Here again is another prophecy describing how the pope exalts himself above God and demands worship from the people. The reference to the temple of God in this verse refers to the pope taking the place of God in the people’s minds. It does not refer to a physical temple on earth.

Many who do not understand that these verses refer to the pope believe that the temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem before this sinister person appears and that the Lord’s return is therefore far in the future. This is not the case. The end of this earth’s history as we know it is very near.

Continuing with Second Thessalonians 2:7-11, the faithful were told that evil had already started its sinister work at that time. “For the mystery of iniquity is already at work: only he who now hinders will hinder, until he be taken out of the way.” It was pagan Rome that was hindering or preventing the arrival of papal Rome. Continuing with verse eight: “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

Notice here that in order for a person to understand the truth, he must love the truth. He must, in fact, love and search for truth with all his heart; otherwise he will receive strong delusion so that he will believe lies.

The strong delusion that God sends to those who do not love and search for the truth with all their heart is the propaganda of the devil, his angels and his agents. If a person does not love the truth above all else, God does not shield him from the deception of the devil, which, of course, also includes the deceptions of the papacy, the devil’s agency.

The vast majority have fallen away from the truth, and nearly everyone believes the lies that are so prevalent in our world today. This is especially true in the churches of today and is commented on in Second Timothy 4:3,4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

In other words, people who do not love the truth — those who have itching ears — will find teachers who will tell them what they want to hear instead of Bible truth. They will go to church and listen to comfortable sermons. The people have itching ears; the false teachers turn them to fables — lies.

In the end, however, this papal power will be destroyed, as Daniel 7:11 prophesies. “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words that the horn spoke: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” The burning flame refers to the destruction of all the wicked at the end before God creates the new earth.

The Catholic Church is generally thought of as the Mother Church. It makes this claim itself:

I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church for the mother and mistress of all churches. — Art. 10, Creed of Pope Pius IV. Double Bull of Pope Pius IV, Nov. 13 and Dec. 9, 1564, trans. in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, New York: Harper, 1919, Vol. 1, p. 99.

With this in mind, and with the knowledge that an immoral woman in Bible prophecy is the symbol of a false church, consider Revelation 17:1-6: “And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me, Come hither; I will show you the judgment of the great whore that sits upon many waters.”

You will remember that water represents humanity. “Many waters” in this verse, therefore, refers to the many nations over which this prostitute, the papacy, has influence. In other words this false church is worldwide, having its organization in every nation. Continuing with verse two: “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.”

Fornication in this verse is referring to spiritual adultery, the defiling of the pure doctrine of the Bible with pagan practices and beliefs. Here we see that the nations of the earth have willingly accepted this harlot’s doctrine. Fornication also refers to the illicit union of the church and the state (nation) in which the church uses the police power of the state to enforce its doctrine.

Continuing with verse three: “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.”

The cup filled with abominations and filthiness of her fornication and the wine mentioned in verse two represent the false, pagan doctrines that this church teaches. Verse two indicates that the entire world is drunk on this wine of the papacy. Practically the entire world has believed the lies and deceptions that the Roman Catholic Church has put forth as Bible truth. The world is so intoxicated on this wine of the papacy that people will not even listen to the truth, much less consider it. No wonder God warns us in First Peter 5:8 to be sober and not drunk on this wine of the papacy. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”

Don’t misunderstand here. The Catholic Church is NOT a Christian religion. It is a strange combination of all the old pagan religions with a Christian facade. Just because they claim to be a Christian church does not make it so.

Continuing with Revelation 17:5, “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Notice that Babylon is a name that the Bible gives to the harlot and her family, and it represents this mother church and all the false daughter churches. The word “Babylon” means “confusion.” What better term to describe the religious situation in the world today? This harlot, the Catholic Church, is the mother of harlots; she has spawned many other churches that teach much of the same doctrine that this mother church teaches, and they all worship on Sunday instead of Saturday, God’s holy Sabbath day of the fourth commandment.

Notice that the design on the Vatican 100 Lira coin displays a woman holding a cup in her hand with the symbol of the sun god in the cup. This is a rather graphic fulfillment of the prophecy in Revelation 17:4. It strongly implies that they know they are the great harlot of Revelation 17.

Remembering that the Catholic Church slaughtered hundreds of millions of God’s true Christians during the dark ages, continue with verse six: “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”

How many denominations are there of Christ’s true church, the one that He Himself established? Ephesians 4:4-6 tells us that there is one — and only one — true church. “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” The 500 or so church denominations we find in the world today are the daughter churches of this harlot and are not of God, and they do not serve God, although they think they do. What better way for the devil to keep people out of Christ’s true church than to have some 500 denominations, each claiming to be the true church? It is easy to see why those searching for the truth would give up in despair. Satan is clever enough to make sure that when a person gets into one of his counterfeit churches, that person feels as if he were in God’s church. Satan provides all kinds of spiritual “highs” to make people believe that their experiences are from God. They are drunk on the wine of Babylon. How thoroughly Satan has deceived the people of the world! How complete is their deception at the hands of this master liar and his ministers! But God will never accept any of Satan’s counterfeit religions.

When atheists and others write articles and books against Christianity and the Bible, they are writing against Babylon, the Catholic church and the Catholic religion, and against all the harlot daughters of Babylon, the Sunday-keeping churches. Very few people know what true Biblical Christianity is really like.

This is not to say, however, that people in these many false churches will not be saved if with all their heart they are following the Lord to the best of their knowledge. In John 10:14-16,26-28 Christ tells us that He has many of His true people scattered throughout all denominations. “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knows me, even so I know the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, who are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. But you believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Notice that Christ tells us here that there is ONE fold. He tells us that His sheep hear His voice and know Him. When the true Christians in the false churches hear the truth, they will abandon their church and join Christ’s true church so that they can more readily follow the Lord as the Bible requires. Those who are not of the Lord’s flock will not respond to the truth, to the Shepherd’s call, and will remain in the false churches. They will continue to ignore the law of God. They will continue to believe a lie, and they will eventually mock, ridicule, and even persecute God’s true people.

The vitally important message from God to His true Christians in all the false churches is found in Revelation 18:1-5. Christ tells His true people in all the denominations to come out of them, to have nothing more to do with them. “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 a 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 you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” God says, “Come out of her my people,” and be part of the true Christians who keep all of the commandments of God.

Again in Second Corinthians 6:14-18 God strongly pleads with His true people to come out of Babylon, to come out of the papacy and all her Sunday-keeping daughter churches and be separate. “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Come out from among them and be separated from them.

In these final days of earth’s history, the papacy has even managed to infiltrate the church organization that was God’s true church. The papacy has been able to place its people as leaders in this organization and, to a large extent, ministers in the pulpits, so that now no church denomination is following God as the Bible specifies.

God’s true people are now starting to meet in small groups in people’s houses, just as they did shortly after Christ was crucified. Romans 16:5 mentions one of these church groups meeting in a house. “Likewise greet the church that is in their house.” Please understand that the people constitute God’s true church and not any organization or building. When Christ was on earth the denomination at that time was the Jewish organization, and the Jewish people were God’s true church, but after they crucified Christ the true church consisted of true Christians and not the Jewish organization.

Some of the small groups of true Christians today, who keep all the commandments of God, publish magazines and books, and put out audio and video tapes that contain the accurate truth of the Bible, and some even have radio and television programs that proclaim the truth. Some have even started small independent church congregations and meet in a separate church building. It is the responsibility of each of us to study the Bible continually so that we will understand enough to be able to locate a group of people who are God’s true church. We will see that just before the end, the entire world will be arrayed against the small groups of people that make up God’s true church in an attempt to put them to death!

Perhaps you have been wondering why this book uses the King James version of the Bible and goes to the trouble of converting each Bible text into modern English when there are many translations available in modern English.

When the papacy first came to power, they kept what few copies of the Bible there were locked away from the people. They also made sure that the few copies available were in the obscure Latin language. They knew that if the people could read the Bible the papacy would be exposed as the great whore of Revelation that she is.

After printing became available and the papacy realized that Bibles would soon be translated into the languages of the common people, she attempted to keep Bibles from the people by making sure these translations came from corrupted Catholic manuscripts. With few exceptions, all the English translations of the Bible came from Catholic manuscripts such as the Vaticanus Codex B and the Siniaticus.

The King James version was translated from manuscripts that escaped Catholic influence. The King James version is the only English version that accurately shows all of God’s principles. The King James version is the only English Bible you can trust. Only this version tells us exactly what Armageddon is, for example. Even the New King James version shows considerable adulteration from Catholic influence.

We saw earlier that the papacy will be destroyed. Referring to the papacy, we read in Revelation 18:21-24, “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in you; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in you; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in you; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in you: for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by your sorceries all nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Notice that last sentence: “in her was found the blood . . . of ALL that were slain upon the earth.” Since it came to power, the papacy, has been the instigator of all the wars the world has had. The world has never realized the far-reaching effects of the papacy. For instance, here is a quote by Abraham Lincoln about the Civil War:

This war would never have been possible without the sinister influence of the Jesuits. We owe it to Popery that we now see our land reddened with the blood of her noblest sons. Though there were great differences of opinion between the South and North, on the question of slavery, neither Jeff Davis nor any one of the leading men of the Confederacy would have dared to attack the North, had they not relied on the promise of the Jesuits, that, under the mask of Democracy, the money and the arms of the Roman Catholics, even the arms of France, were at their disposal if they would attack us. — Charles Chiniquy, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, The Wickliffe Press, Protestant Truth Society, Wickliffe Avenue, 104 Hendon Lane, Finchley, London, N3., 1885, p. 388

 

CHAPTER 4