THE CHURCH
AND THE STATE

February 10, 2000
by: S.R. Shearer

INTRODUCTION:

We begin today a new series of articles dealing with our growing proximity to the "end of the age." WE ARE A LOT CLOSER THAN MOST PEOPLE THINK, and if we are not careful, the same trap that caught the Jews of Germany will catch us. In the Antipas Papers, I wrote:

"As evangelicals, we say that we believe we are living in the "Last Days," but we live as though they will never come - as if ignoring it all will make it go away and give us time to relax and enjoy the "Good Life" that we - as citizens of the richest and most powerful nation on earth - think accrues to us as a result of 'divine right'.

"Of course, insofar as God is concerned, it doesn’t really matter what we think. His plans do not exist for our convenience - they will come to pass whether we approve of them or not. In the long run, it only matters to us - AND TIME FOR RECOGNIZING THIS FACT IS RUNNING OUT! To continue to ignore God’s Word with regard to the "end of days" is as stupid as what the Jews did with regard to Hitler on the eve of the Second World War. L.S. Dawidowics, a Jewish writer, in her authoritative account of the Holocaust, War Against the Jews, 1933-1945,wrote:

'The Jews, whose dazzling success in business blinded them to the encroaching blackness of National Socialism (Nazism), were caught unaware by the onslaught of Hitler. The model German Jew was metropolitan, a businessman or professional, (moderate) ... in his practice of Judaism ... (and) in his politics, with a more passionate attachment to Germany than to his Jewishness (a fact which strangely parallels the seemingly stronger attachment of American Christians to America than to their own Christianity - editor). Most German Jews regarded Zionism (the longing of certain Jews to return to their ancient homeland) as an alien doctrine; the son who left Judaism for Communism was less likely to be rejected than the one who chose Zionism'."

THAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH MONEY!!- especially as it pertains to us in these "last days." MONEY HOLDS US BACK! Just as it did with the Jews, MONEY HAMPERS US FROM EMBRACING THE RADICALISM SO NECESSARY TO THE EMERGENCY THAT PRESENTLY CONFRONTS US. That's why we have spent so much time recently on the subject of money. God deliver all of us from its deceptive power.

The truth is, the real danger - indeed, the MASSIVE peril - that wealth presents to the believer lies not so much in the danger that one will immediately descend into sin, as it does in the fact that IT RENDERS ONE'S CHRISTIAN LIFE HALF-HEARTED; causing it to be nothing more than a series of little compromises between Mammon and God; a life that is neither cold nor hot - just lukewarm; a world in which one is never sure he is serving God or Mammon; a hybrid world which is made up of a little of both. It's, therefore, not without reason that Jesus warned His disciples against the "deceitfulness of riches:"

"He ... that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; ... (but) the ...DECEITFULNESS OF RICHESchoke the word, and he becometh UNFRUITFUL." (Matt. 13:22)

HALF-HEARTEDNESS

To be half-hearted is, of course, the last thing we can afford to be as the "end of the age" draws advances on us. This is a time that demands extreme measures; there is no room now for luke-warm responses; no room for moderate solutions and temperate action. The time for that is gone!

To embrace moderation when you are stuck in a car on a track with a locomotive bearing down on you is foolish in the extreme. RADICALISM is surely right at that point - abandoning your car, even if it is an uninsured $65,000 SUV with $250,000 in cash in the trunk (all destined to be burned up in any kind of crash) is surely appropriate. To hesitate then in order to save the car and the cash will cost you your life.

TWO GREAT TRENDS AS THE "END
OF THE AGE" DRAWS NEAR

The Bible speaks of two great trends as the "end of the age" draws near: first, that Jerusalem will become a "cup of trembling" and a "burdensome stone" for all people on the earth (and this is precisely what is happening right now):

"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zech. 12:2-3)

And second, the church will be apostatized and "marry" the state (and this too is exactly what is occurring now - indeed, the process is already far advanced); the Bible speaks of this phenomenon as a woman (i.e., the church) riding a beast (i.e., the state):

"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (Rev. 17:3)

In the coming weeks, we will be dealing with both these topics - i.e., (1) Jerusalem and (2) the marriage of the church with the state. It is our hope that as you study this material, you will begin to appreciate how really close we are to the end and will - as a result - start to make the needed changes in you life necessary to get you through the time to come. Remember what prophecy is all about. Prophecy is like a road sign saying: "Slow down, sharp right hand turn ahead!" But if we fail to heed the sign, if we fail to slow down BEFORE we get to the turn and see it physically with our eyes, it will be too late to brake when we finally see the curve, and we will surely slide off the road and crash.

Like a road sign, prophecy tells us things BEFORE they happen so that we can take action BEFORE events catch up with us. If we wait until they finally overtake us, it will be too late to do anything - we will crash! Watch, therefore, for the "signs of the times," and don’t wait to take action. YOU MAY WAIT TOO LONG!

Jesus said,

"... When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matt. 16:2-3)

And Paul warns us,

"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." (I Thess. 5:4-6)

THE MARRIAGE OF THE CHURCH WITH THE STATE

We have already dealt at some length with regard to Jerusalem in the series articles that preceded our series on money, and while there is much left here to discuss, we will turn our attention for the moment to the matter of the church and the state, and we will begin by reviewing what the Antipas Papers has to say with regard to this subject. Please take the time to study this material in depth; it will form the basis for the articles that will come.

FROM THE ANTIPAS PAPERS

[Old version of the Antipas Papers - CHAPTER XV]

Every so-called "Christian" in "Western Christendom" has historically had two loyalties: one to the "spiritual" church and one to the "temporal" state, i.e., those twin powers of Regnum and Sacerdotium that govern the lives of "Western Man" - most especially in the Middle Ages, but also - more than secularists would care to admit - even today. To the caesars of the state must be rendered certain honors, and to the church of God other honors must be rendered.

Hildebrand [Gregory VII (pope from 1073 to 1085)] put it this way:

"... the spiritual (i.e., churchly) and temporal (i.e., civil) powers are entrusted to two different orders, each drawing its authority from God, each supreme in its own sphere, and independent, within its own sphere, of the other ... the king is subject to the bishop in spiritual matters, the bishop is to the king in temporal matters.

"This doctrine became known as the "Doctrine of the Two Swords" (i.e., the "temporal sword" and the "spiritual sword").

Ultimately, however, the spiritual power was held to be supreme. The church insisted that there could be no end to the validity of God's law, and where conflict arose between the power of the state over and against the power of the church, the state must give way. Why? - because the church held that spiritual laws were fixed and immutable, and as a result,

"All customs and all written laws (i.e., all man-made laws and customs) which were adverse to natural (i.e., spiritual) law were to be accounted null and void."

There was to be no gainsaying the voice of the church: Si Roma locuta sit, cause finita sit. Secularists tend to believe that such thinking is dead and gone - but for them to think so is very naive. Indeed, most sincere Christians - even today - if given the choice between obeying the "Law of God" as opposed to the "Law of Man" (i.e., the state) would not hesitate to choose the "Law of God." One has only to look at the Culture War which is raging in the United States for confirmation of this fact - especially insofar as it pertains to abortion and homosexuality.

Secularists are making a big mistake in underestimating the power of the "spiritual sword" - i.e., the primacy of "God's Law" over and against "Man's Law" in most people today - in doing so, they may be digging their own graves in the ever intensifying Culture War. There is, of course, nothing Biblical about this kind of thinking; indeed, it is precisely this kind of reasoning that will lead to the disaster of the "end of days." And it is exactly this relationship between the state (Regnum) and the church (Sacerdotium) that the Bible portrays as A WOMAN RIDING A BEAST!

MYSTERY BABYLON

As we have previously indicated - and as Dwight Pentecost of Dallas Theological Seminary has already suggested - the various verses in the Bible which refer to Babylon make it plain that the Scripture has in view something more than just a commercial and political reality; there is also a religious reality in view. Pentecost writes:

"... (in the end of days) we see the whole stage (i.e., the world) filled with two personalities only: a ‘Beast’ and a ‘Woman’ ..."

The Beast answers to the civil authority; the woman answers to the religious authority - and the picture given in the Revelation suggests the union of these two powers in the "latter days" - a condition of things not unlike what’s happening today in the Islamic world - only here the picture depicts the Christian world, and the "players" are not the mosque and the state, but the church and the state! And be clear here, we’re not talking about some strange "New Age" religion, but one which is clearly characterized as "Christian" (an apostatized form of Christianity, no doubt, but "Christian" as the world counts "Christian," nonetheless) - and to this, most evangelicals - from Barnhouse, to Gaebelein, from Chafer to Pentecost, from Ironside to Ryrie - agree. Somehow or other - most likely as the result of what Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard has labeled "Civilization Warfare" ["Ethnos shall rise against ethnos" (Matt. 24:7)] - the Christian world (i.e., the West) will be profoundly radicalized much in the same way the Islamic world is presently being radicalized - and indeed, it appears that the process has already started in the rise of the radical "Christian-right" parties in Europe and the Religious Right in the United States).

Specifically, the Bible says:

"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 colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

"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.

"And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." (Rev. 17:3-9)

THE TWOFOLD NATURE OF BABYLON THE GREAT

That TWO Babylons are spoken of here is evident from the fact that when (i.e., the Woman) is destroyed shortly after the Abomination of Desolation, she is destroyed because of the jealousy and hatred of the Ten Kings and the Beast (Revelation 17:6); but when Commercial Babylon (i.e., the Beast) is destroyed, these same kings, together with the business leaders of the world, are sorrowful and mourn her destruction [see Revelation 18].

RELIGIOUS BABYLON

As to the identity of Religious Babylon, she is without a doubt the false Super-Church of the "last days" which will lend to Commercial Babylon and the Antichrist the religious legitimacy that they require in their headlong pursuit of world domination.

Many people - especially those who have grown up in this country during the last twenty or thirty years and who are thus accustomed to thinking that civil power can be separated from religious power - are puzzled as to why the Bible speaks of two Babylons in the "Latter Days" - one a religious entity and the other a civil entity. They seem genuinely bewildered by the picture the Bible uses to portray their relationship one with the other - a woman (the religious entity) riding a beast (the civil entity). Why, they ask, does the civil power (the beast) have need of the religious power (the woman)?

The fact of the matter is, however, there is a fundamental mutual interdependence between religion and politics, and today’s multicultural and secular elites have been making a grave mistake in believing otherwise. Why? - because civil power, in the end, must be legitimized, and an appeal to the fickle and even capricious "democratic will of the majority" - while adequate enough during periods of cultural and economic stability - often fails to ensure that same stability during periods of turmoil and dislocation.

Religion gives sanction to obedience on the part of ordinary people, and it legitimizes the exercise of power on the part of rulers. For this reason, religion has historically been impressed into all of society’s experiences and actions - from simple family chores to the corporate activities of the state. The fact is, in most societies religion has been a state obligation and responsibility. It has manifested the very essence of the state itself - so much so that there has rarely been any question, at least at the popular level, concerning the vital link between the practice of religion and the health of the state. To most societies it has seemed self-evident that all authority emanated from the divine because from no where else could the certitude so necessary to social order be derived. The result of religion has been to put men and women in right relation to their society. It has assured the order and certainty so necessary to the stability of most social structures. The proposition that the state could be separated from a religious undergirding - embodied in the concept of "separation of church and state" - represents relatively new political thinking.

THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN
RELIGION AND THE STATE

Even today it may be somewhat premature to speak of true "secular societies" when talking about the more modern societies of the Western World. The fact is, they may not be so secular after all. There exists the very real and somewhat sobering possibility that the so-called "secular states" of the Western World are much more religious than many care to admit. Today’s "secular state" may resemble nothing so much as a devout priest stripped of his clerical frock and dressed up as a modern businessman - but a priest nonetheless. It isn’t necessarily the clerical garb that makes the priest, as it is his inner disposition of mind. One may strip a man of his garments and alter his outward appearance, but it is a far more difficult task to strip him of the way he thinks and to alter his inner most being.

If, on a broader scale, one compares the priestly garb to the outward trappings of a society’s religion, and the inner disposition of mind to the society’s culture, then one can begin to appreciate the relationship between religion and culture. While it is true that most western societies have been stripped of their religious trappings, it is a far different thing to believe this has really affected the "core dependence" of the society’s culture on principles which can - in the end - only be fixed by religion or by an "appeal to the divine."

Governing elites and "politically correct" academicians in this country may have been making a very grave mistake in over estimating our society’s freedom from a fundamental dependence on a religiously based ethical system.

Society organizes itself around culture. Culture sets the parameters of the society. It determines what is "right" and what is "wrong." It provides the underlying assumptions upon which society is based. But what a culture determines to be "right" or "wrong" must be anchored by something. For example, who is to say whether abortion is "right" or "wrong?" or whether homosexuality is acceptable behavior? or whether divorce should be condoned or not? or whether the society should be organized as a patriarchy? or maybe as a matriarchy? One may assert that he "feels" homosexuality is wrong; that abortion is murder; and that men should be the head of the family. But that’s not enough. Others may "feel" the exact opposite. And an appeal to philosophy to end the argument is more often than not futile. Philosophical or ethical speculation in the absence of some kind of an anchor has normally proven useless for such purposes. Indeed, all it seems to accomplish is to further erode fixity and stability, the essential ingredients of the bonds of social existence. In the absence of an acceptable anchor, philosophical and ethical speculation exists in a state of perpetual agitation. Should the agitation continue unchecked, it may lead to the ultimate contempt of all authority.

Moreover, history is full of situations where even an appeal to the "will of the majority" has not sufficed to establish cultural parameters. It didn’t suffice a century ago with regard to the question of slavery - where, contrary to popular belief, a majority of people, both north and south, saw the question of slavery not worth fighting over. Neither did it suffice to quell the controversy over "prohibition." And it does not seem to suffice today over the question of abortion. In all these instances, the turmoil was (is) kept boiling by a small minority driven largely by a religious absolutism which was (is) obsessed with its own righteousness.

Religious absolutism has, over the long run, a dogged and persistent way of carrying the day, of ultimately triumphing over people and ideas which are less solidly based. Iran, Algeria and the Sudan are only the latest in a long list of societies which have succumbed or are in the process of succumbing to religious absolutism - especially in this time of cultural disorder and confusion.

Too often, academicians have shoved religion aside, deeming it not fit for serious study. But what they have perhaps failed to recognize is the central - indeed, pivotal - role that religion plays in setting up a culture’s parameters, of fixing its boundaries. In the end, one finds more often than not that it is religion upon which the cultural norms of a society are ultimately based, either explicitly as in the case of Iran, or implicitly as in the case of most of the nations of the Western World. All great societies - especially those which are expansive - must claim their legitimacy originates from a divine mandate. The cost of expansion is too terrible and heavy a load for average people to bear unless they can somehow be made to believe that "God is on our Side" - Gott mit uns - and that they are acting under a divine mandate.

CHRISTIANITY: CHANGING THE MOLD

Historically, then, the main function of religion has been to legitimize state authority - and this has been as true in Western societies as it is true in Islamic societies and the societies of Asia, India, Latin America and Africa.

But this is where Christianity - at least Biblical Christianity - has differed from all other religions of the world. All the early Christian literature attests to the fact that primitive Christianity had as its object the establishment of a heavenly kingdom - one of the heart, not one which was based on brute force; after all, what could worldly politicos do with a religion whose Author spoke of authority in terms of servitude:

"Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

"But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant);

"And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your slave:

"Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matt. 20:25-28)

And this is all that Christ and Christianity offered. The "New Testament" speaks of no "earthly state;" it has no earthly ambitions.

Unfortunately for Western leaders, after Constantine’s acceptance of Christianity (312 A.D.), Christianity was the only religion the rulers of the West had to work with. The people had made it so. The ethical force and power of Christianity coupled with the withering force of Greek philosophy had reduced the hold of paganism on the people’s imagination to the point where paganism proved insufficient a force to any longer undergird state power and authority.

The problem then became how to reorient Christianity away from its primitive objective - the establishment of a heavenly kingdom - and replace the heavenly and spiritual calling of the church with the worldly goal of establishing God’s kingdom on the earth; then to use this "apostatized" form of Christianity to undergird Western political power. The church was reduced in this process to a mere tool in the hands of men who cared little or nothing for its true spiritual and heavenly message. Their only interest was in earthly power and their care for the church extended only as far as the ability of the church to secure that power. The tool these men used to transform the church was Roman Catholicism.

ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND STATE POWER

The touchstone of Roman Catholicism was (and still is) the integration of the church with the Roman state - the Western World. This is the antithesis to all that the church was meant to be - a heavenly reality, not something of the earth, and most especially, not something of Imperial Rome; indeed, the Bible - as we have already indicated - is very plain on this matter:

Jesus said,

"My kingdom [reign (basileia)] is not of this world (Kosmos): if my kingdom were of this world (Kosmos), then would my servants fight ... but ... my kingdom (is) not from hence." (John 18:36)

And the Apostle John warns,

"The whole world (Kosmos) lieth in the evil one." (I John 5:19)

and -

"Do not love the world, or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world ... comes not from the Father ..." (I John 2:15-16)

Satan is the great KOSMOKRATER (world-ruler) of this earth, and he has directed all his strength and ingenuity into causing it to flourish. To what end? - to capture man’s allegiance and draw him to himself. He has one object: to establish his own dominion in human hearts worldwide.

The Bible teaches that the world is under Satan’s control, and he is its ruler. But many Christians - especially those who are being drawn into the effort to save the nation for "Christ and the church" - apparently have an extremely difficult time in understanding this. They seem unable to fathom exactly who really is in charge here. True, they will acknowledge that Satan has an "influence" in the world and among the nations, but that is all that they will ever ascribe to him - influence, not control. But that is not what the Bible says; the Word of God clearly states that Satan CONTROLS the world. Satan controls the entire world:

"And the devil, taking him (i.e., Christ) up into an high mountain, shewed unto him ALL the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

"And the devil said unto him ... (ALL THIS) IS DELIVERED UNTO ME AND TO WHOMEVER I WILL GIVE IT." (Luke 4:5-6)

The church is to have nothing to do with the world. Why? - because it belongs to Satan; therefore, it is beyond remedy; there is nothing that can be done to "reform" it - it is fit only for judgment. In Chapter II of the Antipas Papers we used the parable of a ship to explain what apostasy is, but the Scriptures use a much harsher parable: they compare apostasy to harlotry. Why? - because as Christians we have been espoused to Christ and are no longer to consider ourselves citizens of this world, but rather we are now subjects of a heavenly kingdom

"... which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God" (Heb. 11:10)!

As we indicated in Chapter 2, we are now to think of ourselves as "pilgrims and strangers" to this world - to its politics and all such things; we are to have none of it - it no longer is of concern to us. Once it was of great and legitimate concern to us, but no longer, for we have been translated from this world to the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Paul says,

"... for people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking (another) homeland ... that is a HEAVENLY one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city (another country - a HEAVENLY one)." [Heb. 11:13-16]

And again, Paul writes:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the HEAVENLY PLACES in Christ ... In (Whom) ... we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, in (Whom) ... we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will ... I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the HEAVENLY PLACES, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Eph. 1:3, 7, 11, 18, 19-23)

Where is our inheritance, then? - clearly, it’s in the heavens with Christ Jesus our Lord.

THE CATHOLIC DOCTRINE OF "END TIMES"

So - again - what is apostasy? It is the turning back of Christians from faith in the heavenly kingdom of Jesus Christ to the worldly kingdom from which we came. And more - and at its subtle best - it is the seeking of Christians to advance the Kingdom of Christ through worldly means. How far and to what extent the development of this synthesis has proceeded in the Catholic world (and in those Protestant bodies which have embraced post-millennialism) can best be seen in a study of Catholic eschatology (doctrine of "end times") - because eschatology is the summation of a faith’s theology: it defines the goals of that theology, what it is ultimately aiming at.

Catholic eschatology points unwaveringly to an earthly kingdom; there is little hint as to anything "heavenly" in its doctrine of "end times." Its aims are totally directed at earthly domination. And the twists and turns of this eschatology are mind boggling, especially in its manifestation as it relates to the re-unification of the Western World under Vatican domination.

The Catholic tradition of "end times" pictures an era filled with great war and turmoil which will lead finally to the emergence of two breathtaking and towering personalities: (1) the "Great Monarch" (or "King of the West"), and (2) the "Angelic Pastor."

The "Great Monarch" will emerge out of the wars and revolutions of the "end times," assuming control over the Roman World (Western Civilization), eventually triumphing over the forces of the "godless East," and finally seizing control of the entire world. Under his rule, mankind will enjoy a great worldwide peace.

During this time, there will reign on the Throne of Peter a saintly pope who will be known as the "Angelic Pastor." The "Angelic Pastor" will assist the "Great Monarch" in the destruction of Protestantism, Islam, and Jewry, and the conversion of the entire world to the Catholic faith.

CATHOLIC "PROPHETIC UTTERANCES" AS TO THE
GREAT MONARCH & THE ANGELIC PASTOR

The prophecies of the "Great Monarch" (or "King of the West") and the "Angelic Pastor" find their origin in Catholic "prophetic utterances" dating from Hippolytus (died 235) to the present. The following are examples of but a few of these "utterances:"

(1) Hippolytus: "The Great Monarch who shall subject all the east, shall come around the end of the world."

(2) Caesar of Arles (469-543): "The Great Monarch shall extend his dominion over the entire earth. At the same time there will be a great Pope (the Angelic Pastor), who will be most eminent in sanctity and most perfect in every quality. This Pope shall have with him the Great Monarch ... This Great Monarch will assist the Pope in the reformation of the whole earth."

(3) Chronicles of Magdeburg (12th Century): "There shall arise an emperor (the Great Monarch) ... who shall rule ... and by whom the decayed estate of the church shall be reformed and the ancient glory of the empire (the Roman) restored."

(4) Abbot Joachim (died, 1202): "After many prolonged sufferings endured by Christians, and after a too great effusion of innocent blood ... a remarkable pope will be seated on the pontifical throne, under the special protection of the angels. Holy and full of gentleness, he shall undo all wrong ... and recover the kingdom of Jerusalem ... In order to obtain these happy results, having need of a powerful assistance, this holy Pontiff will ask the cooperation of the King of the West (the Great Monarch)."

(5) Holzhauser (died, 1658): "When everything has been ruined by war, when Catholics are hard pressed by traitorous co-religionists and heretics ... then the hand of Almighty God will work a marvelous change, something apparently impossible according to human understanding. There will rise a valiant monarch (the Great Monarch) anointed by God. He will rule supreme in temporal (i.e., in civil) matters. The Pope will rule supreme in spiritual matters at the same time. Persecution will cease and justice shall reign. He will root out false doctrines and destroy the rule of Moslemism. His dominions will extend from the east to the west. All nations will adore God their Lord according to Catholic teaching. The reign of the Great Monarch may be compared with that of Caesar Augustus, who became emperor after his victory over his enemies, thereby giving peace to the world - also with the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great, who was sent by God, after sever persecutions, to deliver both the church and state. By his victories on water and land, he brought the Roman Empire under subjugation, which he then ruled in peace ... The Great Monarch will have the special help of God and be unconquerable."

[AND HERE IS SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT - TO THOSE EVANGELICALS WHO HAVE AT LEAST A MODICUM OF KNOWLEDGE CONCERNING THE "END OF DAYS" - THEY SHOULD ASK THEMSELVES WHETHER OR NOT THE "GREAT MONARCH" AND THE "ANGELIC PASTOR" DO NOT BEAR A STRIKING RESEMBLANCE TO THE BIBLICAL PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE ANTICHRIST AND THE FALSE PROPHET!]

The battle, then, which the Catholic faith pictures for the church is not one which is waged against "principalities and powers in heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12), but one which is totally earthly and is carried on by means of the arms of the flesh. It’s a battle for the earth, not the heavens.

ROMAN CATHOLICISM AND REVELATION 17:
THE WOMAN RIDES A BEAST

Of course, such a plunge into the immoral and debauched affairs of this world could not help but leave its smell on Roman Catholicism, and it was against this stench, which had over the centuries attached itself to the "Church of Rome," that the Protestant Reformers revolted during the Reformation; to a person, they found little difficulty in identifying the woman on the beast in Revelation 17 as the Church of Rome. Indeed, as late as the early Twentieth Century, the Rev. Alexander Hislop of England found little trouble in receiving widespread acceptance for his book, The Two Babylons, in which he wrote:

"There never has been any difficulty in the mind of any enlightened Protestant in identifying the woman (of Revelation 17) ‘sitting on seven mountains’, and having on her forehead the name written, ‘Mystery, Babylon the Great’, with Roman apostasy. No other city in the world has ever been celebrated, as the city of Rome has, for its situation on seven hills ... To call Rome the city ‘of seven hills’ was by its citizens held to be as descriptive as to call it by its own proper name. Hence Horace speaks of it by reference to its seven hills alone, when he addresses, ‘Thy gods who have set their affections on the seven hills’. Martial, in like manner, speaks of ‘... the seven dominating mountains’ ... Now while this characteristic of Rome has ever been well marked and defined, it has always been easy to show, that the church which has its seat and headquarters on the seven hills of Rome might most appropriately be called ‘Babylon’, inasmuch as it is the chief seat of idolatry under the New Testament, as the ancient Babylon was the chief seat of idolatry under the Old."

Most evangelicals today would consider such a statement extreme. But until the latter half of this century, such thinking was considered well within the evangelical mainstream. The fact is, Hislop’s view here is the historic position of the Protestant / evangelical church: it was the view held by Luther, Zwingle, Huss, Calvin, Whitefield, Finney, Mueller, Moody, Ironside, Barnhouse, Gaebelein, Torrey, Warfield, Pentecost, Walvoord, etc., etc., etc. (for instance, Barnhouse, Ironside, and Gaebelein specifically endorsed the above passage) - and if there has in recent years been a softening of the evangelical / Protestant attitude towards the Catholic Church, it certainly hasn’t been because the Catholic Church itself has changed - it’s evangelicals who have changed!

The fact that many of the leaders of today’s evangelical church - people like the late John Wimber, Paul and Jan Crouch, and even Chuck Swindall, the current president of Dallas Theological Seminary - find it difficult to continue in the vein of their Protestant and evangelical forefathers insofar as their attitude toward Catholicism is concerned only indicates the kind of craven duplicity that some of ourpresent-day leaders are engaged in - hypocrites who present themselves as evange licals and as the heirs of our evangelical faith, and who cavalierly trade upon the godly reputation of yesterday’s evangelicalism, while all the while denying the very doctrines which empowered that church and made it what it was; it may be an indication of how close to the end we really are.

But it isn’t as if "old-line" evangelicals (men like Barnhouse, Gaebelein, Ironside, etc.) had not anticipated such a change. Most of them - if they were alive today - would have had little trouble in believing that the reference to the "whore" of Revelation 17 as "the mother of harlots" [Rev. 17:5] was a clear reference to these so-called "new-evangelicals" - men like Gary DeMar, Ed McAteer, James Kennedy, Ray Sutton, Duane Gish, Pat Robertson, Morris Cerullo, etc. - who seem to be hell bent on racing one another to embrace Roman Catholicism as a "sister church," especially as the exigencies of political warfare press themselves ever more heavily on them as they jam forward with their program to "take the nation back for Christ and the church" - a program which they have come to believe cannot succeed without Catholic support. To the men and women involved in this kind of political activity, heresy and doctrinal differences cannot be allowed to stand in the way of their politics.

But in doing so - in placing more emphasis on political aggrandizement than on spiritual growth, these men - and the denominations they lead - are acquiring the same stench to themselves that has historically attached itself to Roman Catholicism. Political activity requires compromise, and compromise leads ultimately to apostasy - the process is inexorable and is as sure as the proposition that the sun rises in the east. And when apostasy has done its work, heresy and idolatry are the inevitable result. That is what happened to Roman Catholicism, and this is what will happen to those who follow in Catholicism’s wake.

God bless all of you.

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries


 

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