Beware of the Ecumenical Movement!

FROM THE EDITOR IN CHIEF: BOB THIEL  

 

What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?

 

Since the Continuing Church of God is not Protestant, why bother with any of this?

 

Well the messages in the Bible are to be taken to all people (Matthew 28:19-20; Revelation 22:9-10), and since there are a couple of hundred million, at least nominal Protestants, they should to be told what is and what will affect them!

 

Background on the Ecumenical Movement

 

Growing up Roman Catholic, I remember the words to a hymn that went like the following (which is from my memory):

 

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. And we pray that our unity may one day be restored.

 

The prayer that the song makes reference to basically is for the non-Catholic faiths to accept the authority of the Vatican and cease to be separate from Rome. Specifically, the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant faiths, but also including others as well. I remember singing that hymn in the late 1960s. That was after Vatican II, a conference that seemed to awaken many in the Roman Catholic Church to attempt to work towards overcoming theological divides between Rome and others.

 

The ecumenical movement is having major effects and impacts.

 

On June 24, 2015, Pope Francis stated:

 

Looking at the present state of the ecumenical landscape and the world at large, we have to confess that divisions among Christians are there, that we are not sharing the gifts of the Triune God and the fruits of the works of our hands through the holy Eucharistic fellowship.

 

Note that “the Triune God,” which was officially declared at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. is to be what the groups will have in common.

How Do Catholics Plan to Accomplish This?

 

The Catholics have an office called the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It is currently held by a former Swiss Bishop, now Cardinal, named Kurt Koch. He is supposed to have great insight with the “reformation” churches (meaning the Protestants) and also has held meetings with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant leaders.  He is ecumenical and is one I have been watching for some time.

 

Over the past several decades, the Catholics have held a lot of ecumenical meetings.

 

In terms of the Lutherans, two ground breaking events related to their ecumenical dialogue was a joint statement on the doctrine of Justification by Faith in 1983 and the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) on October 31, 1999. Having looked the JDDJ over, it does not look like anything that Martin Luther, himself, would have agreed to.

 

Yet, some feel that the JDDJ agreement has already effectively eliminated the need for Protestantism as the ‘justification doctrine’ is seen by many to have been amongst the most significantly theological differences between Roman Catholicism and Martin Luther’s movement.

 

Much more ecumenical compromise is expected from Protestants and the Church of Rome.

Anglican Palmer’s and Televangelist Copeland’s Views

 

In February 2014, I watched a video where the Charismatic Protestant Kenneth Copeland endorsed Catholicism. He also had a visiting Anglican bishop speak. In this video, Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer (who since died) and Kenneth Copeland encouraged ecumenical unity with Catholicism.

 

Tony Palmer also said:

 

I have come in the Spirit of Elijah…to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers…to prepare the way of the Lord…Elijah will come before the Second Coming…The spirit of Elijah is the spirit of reconciliation…We know for a thousand years, there was one church called the catholic church… Catholic does not mean Rome…Redeem what belongs to you…We are Catholic…Division destroys our unity…Fear keeps us divided…most of that fear is based upon propaganda…Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protests are over…The protests have been over for 15 years…If there is no more protests, how can there be a Protestant church…We now teach the same gospel, we now teach the same faith…The protest is over, the protest is over.

 

Of course, Tony Palmer did NOT come in the Spirit of Elijah, but a spirit of the world. The “faith” and gospel that these ecumenical groups teach is one that the Apostle Paul warned against (Galatians 1:6-9).

 

Contrary to Tony Palmer’s assertions, the Greco-Roman church was NOT Christ’s church for the first 1000 years as there was a split no later than the second century in Rome from the Church of God (see some details in the free booklet Continuing History of the Church of God).

 

Tony Palmer mentioned that the 1999 JDDJ agreement.  He said that agreement ended the primary disagreements between Church of Rome and the Protestants. That is why he declared that the protests were over and told people that they were once again Catholic.

 

After Tony Palmer spoke, a mainly translated message from Pope Francis was shown in which Francis said:

 

God is working all over the world… We are separated… We all share the blame… And let us pray to the Lord that He unites us all… Let God complete the job He has done… He will complete this miracle of unity.

 

Realize that improper unity with those who do not teach the true gospel is NOT the work of God! It also should be noted that while the pontiff wants a ‘miracle,’ the ‘miracles’ associated with the coming ecumenical unity are warned against in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 13:11-18).

 

As far as blame, yes the Church of Rome and the Protestants have a lot of blame, but the biggest blame is perhaps their failure to misunderstand the following:

 

3…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)

 

Because they do not understand original and real Christianity, many falsely think that the Church of Rome had the original faith before and that it has it now. This is biblically outrageous, but sadly it is what many think.

 

Kenneth Copeland, related to Pope Francis’ message, said the following:

 

Glory, glory, glory…Father…we agree with him in his quest…for the unity of the body of faith.

 

After this, Kenneth Copeland sent a message back to Pope Francis:

 

My dear sir… Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart… We love you… Our desire sir, is in the fourth chapter of the Book of the Ephesians…unity…Thank you sir, we do bless and receive your blessing…We thank God for you…Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen, amen… I’m telling you. I’m telling you right now. Heaven is thrilled over this.  Thank you Lord.

 

Yet, “Heaven,” meaning God, is not thrilled by this.

 

Shortly, thereafter this video was played:

 

Francis met with the important ‘evangelical leaders’ plan for the alliance between the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical, or rather establish a “unity in diversity”. The meeting was held at the Vatican June 24, 2014 at the Palace of Santa Marta. Here are the names of those who met with him: John and Carol Arnott (founder of Catch The Fire), Kenneth Copeland (founder of KCM Ministries), James Robison (founder of Life Outreach Int), Geoff Tunnicliffe (Head of Worldwide Evangelical Alliance that is the World Evangelical Alliance).

 

The Pope also spoke in South Korea later that Summer and attracted Protestants to a massive Mass.

Many are Endorsing the Ecumenical Message

 

Many do not realize that the famous Protestant evangelist Billy Graham made a deal with the Church of Rome years ago. According to E. Bynum, Billy Graham in 1948 taught against Catholicism, but a later he changed his mind:

 

In 1948, Graham said, “The three gravest menaces faced by orthodox Christianity are communism, Roman Catholicism, and Mohammedanism,” NOW, he is continually saying nice things about the Catholics. In 1963 Dr. Graham spoke at Belmont Abbey College, a North Carolina Catholic school. On Nov. 21, 1967, he returned to Belmont Abbey to receive an honorary degree. At that time he made a shocking statement. He said, that he “knew of no greater honor” than the receiving of this degree. Then the shocker comes when he said, “The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation.”

 

More and more Protestants are supporting the Vatican’s ecumenical agenda and gospel.

 

Televangelist Joel Osteen met with Pope Francis in 2014 (in his case, June 5th) and expressed  pleasure with the Pope’s ecumenical agenda. Joel Osteen mainly preaches self-improvement on his telecast. He is among the more influential Protestant leaders in the USA.

 

Perhaps I should mention that my wife and I visited Trinity Broadcast Network’s (TBN) Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida in late 2014. Its Church of All Nations resembles the Coliseum in Rome. There is also a display of Crouch family antiques included of a lot of Roman Catholic ornaments, like several Monstrances.  A monstrance is something used to venerate the eucharistic host that Roman Catholic use as a substitute for the type of bread Jesus used for Passover.

 

TBN was founded by the late Paul Crouch. His son Andrew Crouch is one of the two editors for the improperly named publication, Christianity Today which has long endorsed aspects of the ecumenical movement. On November 25, 2014 it had an article titled What Was the Best News of 2014? Notice the first item:

 

“Engagement between evangelicals and Catholics has gone to a whole new level. In June, I had a three-hour project meeting with Pope Francis—with no agenda. In my tenure, I have not seen that kind of openness. There’s a shift taking place under Francis. He seems clearly geared toward evangelicals.” ~Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general, World Evangelical Alliance

 

Gaining acceptance by the pontifex maximus of Rome is certainly NOT THE BEST NEWS OF 2014. It is a prelude to the rise of the final Babylonian system that the Bible condemns. Yet, many within the Protestant world keep endorsing aspects of it.

 

Notice some news items from 2015:

 

As Pope Francis traveled to the United States last month week for a six-day visit, megachurch leaders Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Robert Jeffress and Joel Osteen expressed their excitement and support for the papal pomp and circumstance. Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas said, “I have great respect for Pope Francis. He´s a humble Christ follower. We all can learn from him.” Jeffress went on to say, “I have much more in common with my Catholic friends than I do even with liberal Baptist because we are fighting together against a common enemy, the kingdom of darkness.” (Gendron Mike. Evangelicals Applaud Pope’s Visit. PTG Newsletter, November 2015)

 

More than half of evangelical pastors say Pope Francis is their brother in Christ. More than one-third say they value the pope’s view on theology, and 3 in 10 say he has improved their view of the Catholic Church. Those are among the findings of a new study of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors, released this week from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. Overall, the survey found that many Protestant pastors have taken a liking to Pope Francis. Nearly 4 in 10 say the pope, known for his humility and concern for the poor, has had a positive impact on their opinions of the Catholic Church. Almost two-thirds view Pope Francis as a genuine Christian and “brother in Christ.” (Green LC. From Antichrist to Brother in Christ: How Protestant Pastors View the Pope  Christianity Today, September 24, 2015)

 

The ecumenical movement has been going on for some time, but it seems to be accelerating and is taking many forms. More and more Protestant leaders are falling for it.

 

In 2016, the pro-Vatican news agency Zenit asked British Methodist minister Tim Macquiban How is Pope Francis advancing ecumenical relations? Here is his answer:

 

All that Pope Francis says and does, particularly now in this Year of Mercy, opens doors once shut and the wind of change blows through. His warmth for those who are other, whether Christian or not, is evidence of God’s love reaching out to all.

 

But the Bible says that God, not a human, opens and closes the doors:

 

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:  8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. (Revelation 3:7-8)

 

While being friendly is fine, what is being opened now by Pope Francis is not of God.

 

In 2016, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Vatican, Archbishop David Moxon, was asked by Zenit, How is Pope Francis advancing ecumenical relations? He responded with:

 

In every way. He is beginning to advance many of the hopes and ideas of the ecumenical papal encyclical Ut Unum Sint. Also, by his own natural extroversion and genuine love for other churches and ecclesial communities he is making ‘ecumenical’ personable and attractive.

 

Pope Francis is not doing this in every way (he is overlooking many scriptures), but he wants it badly.

From Antichrist to Brothers in Christ?

Former Roman Catholic Mike Gendron published the following in his newsletter of February 1, 2016:

 

In his first-ever video declaring his “prayer intentions,” Pope Francis called for dialogue and collaboration among those of the various world religions asserting that they are simply “seeking or meeting God in different ways.” Francis contends that all the religions of the world simply represent mankind’s diversity in seeking God. He says that despite the differing beliefs, everyone is a child of the same God. The pope said, “Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways, but there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God.”

 

Mike’s following comments are from his interview with CNN: Tragically, those who do not know the Bible or who refuse to submit to it as the supreme authority for truth, will be deceived by the pope’s latest pronouncement. The pope’s assertion that all mankind seeks after the same God, just in different ways, is false according to the Word of God. No one seeks for (the true) God (Rom. 3:11), but there are many who seek after false gods of their own imagination or false gods of their religious traditions. The only way to meet with the true God is His way, through the one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5) … Only those who receive Jesus by believing in His name become children of God (John 1:12-13).

 

Actually, it is only those who have accepted Jesus and received God’s Spirit are really Christian brothers (Romans 8:9). The Apostle Peter taught:

 

10 … the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’  12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)

 

Yet, Pope Francis has an interfaith agenda that does NOT teach that one must accept Jesus in order to be saved.  This is s FALSE GOSPEL!  Yet, many are being taken in by it.

 

In an editorial for Christianity Today in late 2015, evangelical pastor Chris Castaldo argued that among Protestants and Catholics, disagreement over religious authority and salvation fades as piety trumps doctrine.

 

Piety trumps doctrine?

 

Sadly many believe that outward claims of piety trump truth.  Those that believe that do not heed Jude’s instructions to contend earnestly for the true faith (Jude 3).  Nor the following from Jesus:

 

17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.  19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (John 17:17-19)

 

Christians are to be sanctified, meaning be SET APART for religious purposes, by the truth in the word of God.  Those who compromise the word of God are not true followers of Jesus. The Pharisees of old had an outward show of piety, and instead of wanting unity with them, Jesus condemned them for it (Matthew 23:25-28).

 

Seventh-day Adventists Softening a Bit

 

As far as Sabbath-keepers go, the Seventh-day Adventists support some of the goals of the ecumenical movement, but also see that it has dangers:

Ecumenical Movement

The General Conference Executive Committee has never voted an official statement regarding the Seventh-day Adventist relationship to the ecumenical movement as such. . . Generally, it can be said that while the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not completely condemn the ecumenical movement and its main organizational manifestation, the World Council of Churches, she has been critical of various aspects and activities. Few would wish to deny that ecumenism has had laudable aims and some positive influences. Its great goal is visible Christian unity. No Adventist can be opposed to the unity Christ Himself prayed for. The ecumenical movement has promoted kinder interchurch relations with more dialogue and less diatribe and helped remove unfounded prejudices. Through its various organizations and activities, the ecumenical movement has provided more accurate and updated information on churches, spoken for religious liberty and human rights, combated against the evils of racism, and drawn attention to socioeconomic implications of the gospel. In all this the intentions have been good and some of the fruit palatable. (Official Statement Documents. Seventh-day Adventist Church)

 

It should be noted that the type of unity that Jesus prayed for, will not occur until after Babylon falls (Zechariah 2:6-7) and Jesus returns (cf. Zechariah 2:10-11)–and that is something that the Seventh-Day Adventists should teach. Historically, the Seventh-Day Adventist were a bit more forceful in their resistance to the ecumenical movement than they currently seem to.

Pope hopes 2017 Reformation anniversary will encourage Christian unity

Pope Francis is planning on going to a celebration of the split from his church by Martin Luther and what became the Protestants on October 31, 2017.

In 2016, Zenit reported:

Pope Francis will travel to Sweden for a joint ecumenical commemoration of the start of the Reformation.

The news came this morning as the Holy See Press Office issued a statement about the Oct. 31 visit to the southern Swedish city of Lund, which will bring together leaders of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of other Christian Churches. …

During the one-day event, there will be a common worship service in Lund cathedral, which will based on a Catholic-Lutheran “Common Prayer” liturgical guide, that was published earlier this month by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation.

 

By appearing on the celebration of the Reformation, Pope Francis is sending a strong message that Catholics and Protestants are no longer enemies.

 

This is clever from a worldly perspective, but not a biblical one.  In May 2015, Pope Francis told Church of Sweden Archbishop Antje Jackelen that the Vatican wants further unity.

 

Consider that Antje Jackelén is a female and the Bishop of the Church of Sweden.  If that doesn’t sound off alarms, consider that she doesn’t even believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. She has said that the virgin birth is a mythological term or a metaphor rather than an actual event. She endorses the theory of evolution and supports same-sex marriage in church. No real biblical church would want unity with her views on those matters.

 

Of course, the Bible is clear that Jesus was born of a virgin (e.g. Matthew 1:18-25), that God created all life (see Genesis 1; Exodus 20:11), and that homosexual relations are an abomination (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13).

 

Antje Jackelén, herself, is married to a man.  And while the Bible does endorse that bishops get married, the Church of Rome does not endorse that.  Furthermore, the Bible specifies that bishops are to be males (Titus 1:5-7).

 

The Bible does not endorse the ordination of women, but men. To accept females as bishops is clearly in conflict to what the Bible teaches.

 

Compromise is not what Jesus taught His Church to do.

 

Now the Lutherans, who take their name from Martin Luther, have repeatedly compromised in various areas, including several related to their political quest for ecumenical unity.

 

Martin Luther, himself, taught against the concept that the Roman Catholic Church was the one true church.   And while most modern Protestant leaders would agree on that point, Martin Luther took this much further.

 

Specifically, Martin Luther taught that the Roman Catholic Church was the “great harlot of the Apocalypse” and that the Pope was the “Antichrist.”

 

Similarly, Protestant Reformer John Calvin said this about the pope of Rome, I deny him to be the vicar of Christ. … He is an antichrist — I deny him to be the head of the Church” (John Calvin Tracts, Volume 1, pages 219, 220).

 

With all the ecumenical discussions going on these days, not many Protestant leaders no longer seem to believe in the papal-antichrist position of many of their early leaders.

 

For the record, I should that I agree with certain Catholic leaders who have claimed that the final Antichrist will be some type of antipope. But less Protestant leaders seem to fear the papacy.

Jesus and the Apostle Paul Warned Against Improper Unity

 

Contrary to the views of Pope Francis and many in the ecumenical movement, Jesus DID NOT come so that the world would be united in this age. Notice what He said:

 

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)

 

Religious leaders who profess Christ and the interfaith and ecumenical agendas clearly are overlooking what Jesus taught. He taught His people should be willing to stand alone, even among family members.

 

The Apostle Paul warned about believers being yoked together with unbelievers, including idolaters:

 

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 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 among them.  I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”

 

17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”

 

18 ‘I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

 

Having been raised Roman Catholic, as well as having visited many Eastern Orthodox (Catholic) churches, I can testify that their places of worship are filled with idols.

 

Christians are to be separate from idols. Those who accept the true God as their Father must realize that. Isaiah wrote:

 

11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there,
Touch no unclean thing;
Go out from the midst of her,
Be clean,
You who bear the vessels of the Lord. (Isaiah 52:11)

 

To depart means to separate. Isaiah’s sentiments here are also captured in the New Testament in Paul’s writing (2 Corinthians 6:17) and the Book of Revelation (18:2-4).

 

Scripture does not endorse the type of coming ecumenical unity that Pope Francis and various Protestant leaders endorse.

What Do Catholics Teach Will Happen to Protestants?

 

Many Protestants do not realize what Catholics believe and teach will happen to Protestants.  They teach that Protestants is bad, and the Protestantism will eventually be eliminated.

 

This is also consistent with some older Catholic writings:

 

Father Laurence Ricci, S.J. (died 1775): … a valiant duke will arise from the ancient German house which was humiliated by the French monarch. This great ruler will restore stolen Church property. Protestantism will cease… This duke will be the most powerful monarch on earth. At a gathering of men noted for piety and wisdom he will, with the aid of the Pope, introduce new rules, and ban the spirit of confusion. Everywhere there will be one fold and one shepherd.” (Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. 1984, p.37)

 

Frederick William Faber (died 1863): Protestantism {is} an anticipation of Antichrist… All its sects unite against the Church. (Connor, p. 88)

 

Werdin d’ Otrante (13th century): “The Great Monarch and the Great Pope will precede Antichrist…All the sects will vanish. The capital of the world will fall…The Great Monarch will come and restore peace and the Pope will share in the victory.” (Connor, p. 33).

 

Priest P. Kramer (21st century): Pope St. Pius V teaches in his Catechism, the Roman Catechism — also known as the Catechism of the Council of Trent — that all of the Protestant religions are false religions, they’re inspired by the devil; and therefore their fruits are evil…The Protestant religions, as such, are inspired by the devil, as Pope St. Pius V teaches in his catechism. (Kramer P. The Imminent Chastisement for Not Fulfilling Our Lady’s Request. THE FATIMA CRUSADER Issue 80, Summer 2005, pp. 32-45)

So, the elimination of Protestantism is a goal.  And I should, that at some point in the future that will happen.

Does the Bible Warn Against This?

 

Does the Bible warn about the type of Babylonian ecumenical unity that many Protestants are falling for?

 

Yes.

 

The Bible warns about a time when a leader who will have worldwide religious support.  Here is something from the New Testament:

 

4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

 

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world…

 

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

 

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:4-8, 11-18)

 

Here is something from the Old Testament:

 

36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:36-39)

 

The foundational steps for this are taking place now.  In addition to various Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is doing, this antichrist movement is moving forward.

 

Now that the Bible clearly warns against the Babylonian system:

 

2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

 

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:2-5)

 

That is the system that the ecumenical movement trying to prop up.

Rome Considers Itself to Be the Mother Church

 

Nearly all familiar with the Book of Revelation realize that it contains the following statements:

 

3 And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

 

9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.

 

18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:3-6, 9, 18).

 

Even Catholic scholars admit that Rome has seven mountains/hills that it seems to fit the description in the Book of Revelation (which they normally call the Apocalpyse):

…the Apocalypse was an inexhaustible quarry where to dig for invectives that they might hurl then against the Roman hierarchy. The seven hills of Rome, the scarlet robes of the cardinals, and the unfortunate abuses of the papal court made the application easy and tempting (Van den Biesen, Christian. “Apocalypse.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. 1907).

 

(Note: although some Protestant scholars falsely teach that this is referring to Babylon in Iraq–this is wrong because the Iraqi Babylon is located on a flat plain and not seven hills or mountains like Rome is).

 

Are you aware that the Church of Rome has made statements indicating that it is the Mother of the World’s Churches and that those groups that came out of her (like the Protestants and somewhat according to the Romans, the Orthodox ) are her daughters?

 

The Catholics of Rome consider that they are the ‘mother church,’ and they want all back in their fold. This is not a new concept. Notice a decades old report:

 

Referring to the Anglican Church, the Pope has made the following significant statement: The Anglican Church is “a Church which she [the Roman Catholic Church] has loved so much and to which, one might say, SHE GAVE BIRTH!”

 

The Catholic Church “gave birth” to the Anglican Church? In the eyes of Roman Catholics, yes.

 

The Roman Catholic Church repeatedly speaks of herself as the “Mother” of the Protestant movement.

 

“The MOTHER CHURCH of Christendom lovingly invites the descendants of all the CHILDREN torn from her bosom by irrelevant issues to return to the practice of their forebears [meaning the Roman Catholic Church]…” (90 Common Questions about the Catholic Faith, by John O’Brien, p. 11). (McNair R. Why Church Unity Eludes Theologians. Plain Truth, September 1968)

 

Notice the following inscription, which I have personally seen on multiple trips to Rome on the outside of what, in certain respects, is the most important Cathedral for Rome:

 

Inscription on the Basilica of St. John Lateran

 

Below the inscription is translated from the Latin:

 

Sacred Lateran Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World

 

That inscription is in Latin on the Basilica of St. John Lateran which is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome that contains its papal throne (Cathedra Romana). This basilica is the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope (it ranks above all other churches in the Roman Catholic Church, even above St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican).

 

So it is clear to all who will look that the Vatican claims to be the Mother of the World’s Churches.  And Babylon certainly is the Mother of the WORLD’s churches.  However, the Vatican is NOT the mother of the Church of God which preceded the formation of the Church of Rome and did not come from the Church of Rome (like the Protestants tend to admit they did).

 

Consider also:

 

The Dominus Iesus declaration, which has been written by a close aide of Pope John Paul II, says that the Roman Catholic church is the “mother” of all Christian denominations and that it is incorrect to refer to the Church of England and other Protestant churches as “sister” organisations on a par with Rome. (Vatican declaration provokes churches.  BBC, September 5, 2000)

 

Perhaps I should add here that since the Church of Rome so highly condemns the beliefs of the Continuing Church of God as essentially apostate, it does not really consider itself to be its mother–which of course it is not.

 

Hence while the Bible is clear that there will be a false church, based out of the city of seven hills (Rome), who will somehow be a mother of abominations, the Church of Rome itself acknowledges that Rome is the city of seven hills, is the mother of worldly churches, and considers other churches to be its daughters.

 

Since most Protestant scholars admit that their religion sprang out of Rome, this should give them pause.

 

And for those Protestants who do not believe that their religion came out of the Greco-Romans, they should look into the beliefs and practices of the early faithful church and compare what they believe now to what the early true church believed.  For if they do that, they will find that they have a lot more in common with the Greco-Roman religion than the true religion of Jesus Christ and His immediate followers. (Two free booklets of possibly related interest would be Continuing History of the Church of God and Where is the True Christian Church Today?)

 

While some may think that all of this ecumenical unity between the Greco-Roman-Protestant churches is not possible or really happening, the reality is that it is.

 

Consider all that one evangelical Protestant has predicted that there will be a collapse of evangelicals by 2019 because of compromise and limited biblical confidence—and that many will join the Catholics and/or Orthodox:

 

Michael Spencer (2009): We are on the verge—within 10 years—of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West… Millions of Evangelicals will quit…massive majorities of Evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence…Even in areas where Evangelicals imagine themselves strong (like the Bible Belt), we will find a great inability to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith… Two of the beneficiaries will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue, with more efforts aimed at the “conversion” of Evangelicals to the Catholic and Orthodox traditions… (Spencer M.  The coming evangelical collapse. The Christian Science Monitor, from the March 10, 2009 edition)

 

And the above is not even including the fact that those “Catholic and Orthodox communions” will themselves likely come together and change under the guise of the ecumenical movement that will strengthen in Europe—an ecumenical movement that news events show is occurring.

 

Since Vatican II (a major Catholic ecumenical council that ran from 1962–1965), many Catholics have been justifiably concerned that doctrinal compromise for the sake of ecumenical unity with those outside of fellowship of Rome was inevitable.  And that is happening.

 

Even some Eastern Orthodox writers have been concerned that apparitions of “Mary” will be used as an ecumenical symbol for a false unity for Catholics, Muslims, and others that will lead people to follow the final Antichrist:

 

Peter Jackson  (20th century): To which Mary are Muslims and Protestants being drawn?… Rome began to see her more and more as a “goddess,” a fourth Hypostasis of the Trinity…Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a “One World Church,” the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apparently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the “new Christ” with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.

 

This was written decades before Pope Francis became pontiff.  And one of his top priorities seems to be to turn people to his version of Mary.  This too, will sadly, also impact Protestants.

 

What is astounding is that many Protestants are turning to Rome now, even without seeing signs and lying wonders. Many more will once those signs and wonders become more prevalent as they will (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12), including, likely apparitions that people will claim to be Mary (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 18).

The Bible Warns Against the Expected Unity

 

Again, realize that Jesus did NOT come to bring worldwide unity in this age:

 

51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)

 

The Bible shows that a false ecumenical unity will come (Revelation 13:4-8).

 

Notice also:

 

6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord. 7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.” (Zechariah 2:6-7)

 

The Apostle Paul also taught that true unity of faith would not happen until after Jesus returns:

 

13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:13)

 

Those who believe this unity comes prior to Jesus’ return are in error. We are not ‘perfect’ until after He comes (cf. 1 John 1:8). The prophesied unity of faith does not happen prior to Jesus’ return.

 

Also, when Jesus actually returns, He will destroy the unity of nations that are against Him (Revelation 11:15-18, 19:6,19-21).

 

Furthermore, while the true Christian faith will continue (Matthew 16:18), Protestantism as most understand it is doomed as that movement does not truly accept scripture as it should.

 

While the true Christian faith will continue (Matthew 16:18), Protestantism, as most understand it, is doomed. Please, if you are Protestant, believe what the Bible actually teaches, turn to God, and resist the coming, more powerful, ecumenical appeals which will deceive all but the very elect (Matthew 24:24).

 

Consider that the Bible teaches:

 

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:4-5)

 

The Bible does not endorse multiple religions along with multiple ‘lords’ and baptisms.  The time for true religious unity is not now–all religions would have to convert to the true Christian faith and that is not what the ecumenical/interfaith movements are all about.

 

As far as timing for unity, notice the following:

 

10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. 11 “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” (Zechariah 2:10-13)

 

It is only after Babylon falls (Zechariah 2:6-7) and Jesus returns that true Christian unity will occur (Zechariah 2:10-11).

 

Do not be deceived by the Babylonian ecumenical movement. The Bible warns that nearly all on the earth in the final end times will be deceived (2 Thessalonian 2:9-12) and fall for it (Revelation 13:8). Have the ‘love of the truth’ so that you will not fall for this as more and more are coming to believe that the interfaith/ecumenical movement is the key to peace.

 

The Bible says that Jesus is the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6) and it will take the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the millennial kingdom of God to bring peace–not the false interfaith/ecumenical movement.

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