Today’s congregational reading is from the 17th chapter of Revelation which is one of the most fascinating, intriguing portions of the book. This chapter gives a glimpse of the future of religion in the time of the Tribulation, and in many ways it mirrors the current religious climate of our world today. Described in these verses is the religion system of the Antichrist that is an integral part of his government. This religious system is a mixture of all the great religions of the world headed up by apostate Christianity.
In has never been Satan’s main tactic to convince people to be atheists. He knows that man was created with the innate knowledge of God and rather than fight against human nature he chooses to exploit to his best advantage man’s ignorance of the true God. Since the beginning of the church two thousand years ago, Satan’s greatest weapon has been to pervert the gospel by corrupting the church and creating a confusing counterfeit. Today, Christianity claims two billion adherents most of which have some affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church. Through the centuries, Roman Catholicism has proved to be a great compromiser and thus Satan’s most effective counterfeit. During the Reformation, it was common for the reformers to equate Mystery Babylon the Great (17:5) with the Roman Catholic Church. Having been part of the Catholic system themselves, they were very familiar with the rife corruption within.
It has always been the method of Catholicism to increase her numbers by compromise. In the fourth century, Constantine saw the advantages of joining Christianity with his secular government but it was difficult to convince pagans to give up their mythological gods. To diffuse the opposition, the gods of the pagans were given new names and incorporated into the worship of Catholicism. Although known by different names, their practice of worshipping Mary, the saints, and angels predates Christianity by thousands of years going all the way back to the construction of Babel in Genesis 11. In its missionary efforts through the centuries, when Catholicism wanted to embrace a different culture it was never a problem for them to incorporate the superstitions of their converts.
In the Tribulation, history will repeat itself as Roman Catholicism will be the head of the Antichrist’s apostate religion. Compromises will be abundant in order to mix all of the world’s religions into one satanic concoction that will help the Antichrist rise to power and control the world. Today, we see the movement has already begun. When the ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) was signed in 1994, many big name Protestant and Catholic leaders agreed to cooperate in their efforts to propagate the gospel. This was done notwithstanding Rome’s gross perversion of the doctrine of justification. The chief battle in the Reformation was the correction of Rome’s false gospel which doomed the souls of its adherents to hell. This was laid aside in the ECT as being inconsequential, which makes the ecumenicism of the agreement nothing less than the affirmation of the Antichrist’s agenda.
In 2015, it is hard to find a religious leader that still identifies the Great Whore of Revelation with the Roman Catholic Church. Satan’s deception goes on as one world church and religion become more of a reality every day. When the leaders of our country, which claim to be Christians, cover up the atrocities of Islam and approve them as seekers finding their own path to God they are setting us up for the convergence of all religions. As the president and congress give up national sovereignty, they pave the way for the one world government of the Antichrist. Mix these two together, apostate Christianity and one world government, and the result is Mystery Babylon the Great, the wickedest vilest enemy of God that ever inhabited earth.
Revelation 17 is the worst of the world’s history looking backwards or forwards. Thank God for chapters 18 and 19! Mystery Babylon will fall and the King of kings will rule supreme! We pray daily for God’s Kingdom to come to earth. Until it comes, we oppose religious dualism. We cannot and will not join any ecumenical efforts that promote unity by compromise. We are not ashamed to name names and warn everyone against current and coming apostasy. There is still a church and pastor that sees Roman Catholicism painted all over Revelation 17.
Pastor V. Mark Smith