ROME'S YEAR 2000 PENANCE -
TRUE REPENTANCE OR ECUMENICAL NEWSPEAK?
On March 10, 1999, Cutting Edge Ministries posted an article on the predicted "Year 2000 Penance" of Pope John Paul II. The Pontiff offered this penance last week. The context of the Pope's statements was exactly as reported in the 1999 Cutting Edge article. As a matter of fact, Time magazine's Time.com March 13 assessment of the penance was just as offered on The Cutting Edge 12 months earlier. To quote:
The March, 1999 article follows in its entirety.
A wave of terror rolled over Benjamin as his knees buckled beneath the weight of his body. The nightmare unfolding before his eyes was almost too frightening to comprehend. The Temple at Jerusalem, the religious center of the New World Faith, was becoming engulfed in a shroud of blackness as ominous dark clouds filled with thunder and lightning descended over the entire structure. This was not a mere thunderstorm, but something deeply sinister, something overwhelmingly evil. Benjamin watched in horror as the once kind, gentle Pontifex Maximus of the World Faith, (formerly Pope Peter II of the now absorbed Roman Catholic Church), emerged from the enveloping blackness. Something about him was different. The loving, fatherly expression was erased from his face, and his eyes burned with the fire of hatred. This most holy man had come to the Temple as the representative of the Great Man, the priest-king of the New World Order, and removed the sacred Ark of the Covenant from the Holy of Holies. In its place, he placed an image of the Great Man, proclaiming the time had come for all to realize the Great Man was not merely a mortal messiah, but was in reality, "God in the flesh".
This blatant desecration of the Holy of Holies, the removal of the sacred Ark, and the installation of the statue deeply disturbed Benjamin. An alarm sounded in the depths of his soul warning him that something was terribly amiss. Even in his terrified state, he could not help but wonder what would happen next. He did not have long to wait. Moments later, the statue of the Great Man, miraculously and unbelievably given life by the "great spiritual power" of the Pontifex Maximus, appeared by the holy man's side. The living image made a proclamation that all Jews were immediately condemned to death. Benjamin and all those in the street were panic-stricken. They began to run for their lives out of the city. Benjamin had no idea where to seek refuge, or if escape was even remotely possible. He simply ran as fast as his legs would allow. As the wholesale slaughter began, many Jews escaped south and east of the city of Jerusalem into the desert of what was once Jordan. As he fled, Benjamin wondered how an entire nation could have been so deceived. How could they have possibly believed that Pope Peter II sincerely embraced the Jews without an ulterior motive? Would the children of Israel ever see their true Messiah? Was all hope lost? Miraculously, Benjamin and thousands of other Jews found safe haven in the ancient city of Petra, protected by direct intervention from Almighty God and the narrow passageway into the city. As for the Pontifex Maximus, the millennia-old desire of the office of the "Vicar of Christ"--complete control of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount without interference from the Jews-- was at last a reality.
While Benjamin is a fictional character per say, this account is as the Bible describes the events which will transpire at the beginning of the second half of the "Tribulation Period", known as "The Time of Jacob's Trouble". The placement of the image of the "Beast" in the Holy of Holies is the "Abomination of Desolation" as described by Daniel the Prophet and Jesus Christ Himself. (1) The New World Order will certainly come to pass, there will be a one-world government, and a one-world religion will certainly arise. The New World Order will begin with a time of "peace and safety", led by the false "Messiah", a benevolent priest-king of "royal lineage". (2) A religious leader of the new one world religion will accompany this Great Man. Many Bible scholars believe that this "holy man" will be the Pope. (3) Not only is this contention Biblical, but the pieces of this one world religion with the Pope as its leader are coming to fruition today. The Roman Catholic Church, the United Nations, the United Religions, and other such organizations are calling for the search for "common ground" and common values among the world's religions in order to insure global tranquility. The "Ecumenical Movement" which began in the 1960s with an effort to bring Protestant denominations back into the fold of the "Mother Church" has now been expanded to embrace all world religions.
The recent breaking news on this front was the announcement on November 28, 1998 by Pope John Paul II that the year 2000 would be a time when the Roman Catholic Church would seek forgiveness for "the historical injustices it committed in the past". (4) This is certainly a monumental announcement. Is the Church going to admit to the murder of the millions of innocent people massacred by the Inquisition and the Crusades? Will Popes from the past be labeled as heretics, impostors, charlatans, mass murderers, adulterers, or raving psychotics? How can the purity of Catholic Church Doctrine be maintained when the truth is revealed? Will this not expose the malicious, errant teaching that has condemned millions of duped Catholics to Hell? Or--is this just the next step to the One World Faith of Antichrist under the leadership of the Pope? Perhaps this can be best understood by examining the historic position and perspective of the Church of Rome.
THE RISE OF THE PAPACY
Contrary to misguided popular belief, the Popes are not the successors to the Apostle Peter. They are, however, the successors to the Roman Emperor, Constantine. It was Constantine who first legalized Christianity with the hope of uniting a fragmented and decaying Roman Empire. In 330, he then moved the capitol of the Empire to Constantinople, leaving the Bishop of Rome in charge in the west. (5) He himself, however, continued to worship Sol, the sun god. While Constantine remained pagan for the rest of his life, he maintained influence over the business of the church in the Empire. This was evidenced as he personally convened the Council of Nicea. Two emperors later, Theodosius the Great made Christianity the official religion of the Empire, and church attendance became compulsory. (One can but imagine the effect this had upon the spiritual character of the church). (6) At this point, the pagan temples were converted to churches, statues of Jupiter became statues of Peter, images of Isis and Venus became the images of the "blessed virgin", and the blending of paganism with Christianity resulted in the multitude of unbiblical doctrines and traditions of the Church of Rome. Justinian I (527-565), greatest of all the rulers of the Eastern Roman Empire, regulated all theological matters by seating the Bishop of Rome as the "Head of all the Holy Churches", thus laying the legal foundation for papal supremacy. (7) The papacy became involved in international political intrigues as early as 678 with the assassination of the Merovingian king, Dagobert II. The Church orchestrated the end of the Merovingian Dynasty in a failed attempt to secure the title of "King of Jerusalem" for the Pope. (8) Papal authority was greatly enhanced in 750 with the so-called "discovery" of a document known as the "Donation of Constantine". This alleged 312 AD document officially gave the Bishop of Rome the Emperor's imperial symbols and regalia, which became the Church's property. It declared the Bishop of Rome to be the "Vicar of Christ," and offered him the status of Emperor. The regalia was returned to Constantine who wore them with ecclesiastical permission more or less as a loan. (9) With this document in hand, the Church claimed the right to make and depose monarchs, and the Pope became the supreme mediator between God and kings. This document was proven to be a forgery by Lorenzo Valla in 1440. (10)
MURDER AND ATROCITY IN THE NAME OF CHRIST
The influence of the Emperors into the affairs of the Church in order to support a collapsing imperial machine resulted in a rapidly deepening apostasy. In a few short centuries, "Christianity had developed into something totally different from its beginnings as Jesus Christ and His apostles taught. It became a sophisticated pagan philosophy tinged with the teachings about a transcendent, all-powerful God." (11) With this spiritual infidelity came a downward spiral in the morality of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Absolute power began to corrupt absolutely, and those who opposed the teachings of the Church soon became the targets of its wrath. Persecution of dissidents became the order of the day, and the Church began to incarcerate "heretics" and confiscate their property. In 1203, Pope Innocent III published a decree of Inquisition to stamp out heresy in southern France and Italy. (12) Innocent III, in what he called the "crowning achievement of his papacy", ordered the massacre of 60,000 Albegensian Christians in a single afternoon. (13) Other statistics of the Inquisition are horrifying:
"St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre" 70,000 French Huguenots murdered in a single day (14)... Pope Martin V (1417-31) commanded the king of Poland to exterminate the Hussites (15)... In Spain alone, more than 3,000,000 burned at the stake... between 1540 and 1570 no fewer than 900,000 Waldenses put to death... (16)
The Inquisition lasted until 1870, spanning the reign of 80 Popes who never once repented, recanted, or otherwise acknowledged any error on the part of the Church in the torture and/or murder of millions of innocent victims. (17)
REPENTANCE FOR THE ATROCITIES
Pope John Paul II is now proclaiming that the year 2000 needs to be a year of repentance of these atrocities. He specifically stated:
" ...a time for an examination of conscience' by the Church in preparation for the coming millennium The problem of the Inquisition belongs to a tormented phase in the history of the Church, which I have invited Christians to examine in a spirit of sincerity and open-mindedness (historians) are not being asked to make an ethical judgement- which is beyond their competence... (the Inquisition is) another painful chapter to which the children of the Church must return in a spirit of repentance over the acquiescence... to the methods of intolerance even in violence in service to the truth." (18)
This is nothing more than double-talk pitched as an apology, and there is absolutely no measure of true biblical repentance in these statements. The very fact that it is "beyond the competence of historians to make ethical judgements" is an assertion of the Catholic concept that only the Church is qualified to make ethical and moral judgements. Also, the last statement concerning "intolerance in service of the truth" completely ignores any actual guilt involved on the part of the Church. The basic problem is simply that any admission of guilt by those in the Church hierarchy would destroy the very foundations of Roman Catholic doctrine-specifically, Papal Infallibility. However, there is no cause for concern among faithful Catholics. The situation was clarified by Dominican Gorges Cottier, theologian for the papal household:
"It is critical to preserve a proper understanding of the distinction between the Church, which is holy, and her children, who are sinners ." The Church herself need not ask for forgiveness; rather the Church asks forgiveness for her wayward children... " (19)
In the final analysis, this is not repentance at all. This is simply a political move to advance the cause of ecumenism. Bill Clinton (he of "that depends on how you define sex" fame) could not do a better job of double-talk and spin to achieve his goals than the Vatican is doing in this instance.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND ISRAEL
In the midst of the rise of the papacy and the Church of Rome, Augustine penned his famous work, The City of God. It was this work that set forth the foundation for what has come to be known as Replacement Theology. Simply stated, Replacement Theology espouses that the Church has permanently replaced Israel-forever. This means that all the promises God made to Israel were transferred to the Church when the Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah. Furthermore, this eliminates the future Millennial Kingdom, the rebuilding of the Temple, and all millennial promises and concepts are spiritualized and fulfilled by the Church in this present age. Augustine was canonized as an official saint, and Replacement Theology became a stone of Roman Catholic doctrine. (20) As a result, Rome published over 100 anti-Semitic documents between 6th & 20th Centuries. The Church of Rome further declared that "Christ Crucifiers" had no rights to the Holy Land or anything else. (21) The Crusades were then specifically organized to reclaim the Holy Land for the Church. This did not only consist of attacks against the Moors, but also against the Jews. "Godfroi de Bouillon, the leader of the First Crusade, proclaimed that he would avenge the blood of Jesus upon the Jews, leaving not one of them alive He would kill all Jews who would not convert to Catholicism." (22) Pope Gregory XIII declared the guilt of the Jews worthy of perpetual slavery, (23) and a total of 40 Popes issued encyclicals, statements, and warnings against the Jews. (24) "When the Italian army liberated Rome from papal control in 1870, thousands of Jews were released from the ghettos, ending over 1500 years of degradation and humiliation at the hands of those who claimed to be the Vicars of Christ.'" (25) In the 20th Century, the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII endorsed Hitler and the Third Reich. Never once did the Church speak out against Hitler or the Holocaust, which led to the massacre of 6,000,000 Jews. (One must remember that Hitler was a practicing Roman Catholic, and to this day has not been excommunicated.) (26)
The Catholic Church has softened its position on Israel in the last thirty years. This began when Pope Paul VI, on October 28, 1965, declared that the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God. This remark in and of itself was a total reversal of the Vatican's view of Israel. However, he prefaced that remark by stating, "Although the Church is the new People of God " (27). This reveals that in spite of an apparent change in public dialogue, the attitude still echoed Replacement Theology. The Vatican also officially refused Israel's right to exist for 46 years. Not until 1994 were diplomatic relations established between the Vatican and Israel. In October of 1998, the Vatican, in an effort to improve relations with Israel, did issue an apology to the victims of the Holocaust. However, the apology did not implicate the Catholic Church or Pius XII. Instead, the Pope blamed "centuries of anti-Jewish prejudice for deadening' Christian resistance to the Nazi persecution of the Jews.." (28) Once again, a cleaver play on words overtly produced a diversion of guilt to others and avoid the consignment of any blame to the papacy or the hierarchy of the Church.
SUBTRIFUGE AND MORE DOUBLE-TALK
With the apparent paradoxes of animosity, double-talk, and recent diplomacy, one must certainly question the Vatican's motives regarding Israel. To better evaluate the situation, a review of the most relevant points should be noted:
The facts simply do not lie. Israel's possession of Jerusalem is a direct affront to the Vatican's 1500 year old claim that Rome had replaced Jerusalem as the Holy City, the Eternal City, the City of God, and the earth's true spiritual center. (29)
These facts lead to the inevitable conclusion that the Vatican must have an ulterior motive in making current advances to Israel. As a matter of fact, recent events explicitly expose that very motive. Inside Israel, an Israeli news magazine, reported in its July 1994 edition that Shimon Peres, Israel's foreign minister, offered Pope John Paul II and the Vatican control of the Holy City. This was confirmed in the weekly Israeli newspaper Shishi, which interviewed the French writer, Mark Halter, who delivered the letter from Peres to the Pope. Halter, a personal friend of Peres stated,
"Peres offered to hand over the sovereignty of Jerusalem's Old City to the Vatican... Jerusalem would stay the capitol of Israel but the Old City will be administered by the Vatican. The city will have an Israeli mayor and a Palestinian mayor, both under the orders of the Holy See... " (30)
The plan is to insure peace in the Holy City by allowing a neutral power, the Vatican, to guarantee the protection of religious sites by using the mercenary Swiss Guards that presently guard the Vatican in Rome. In 1997, the Vatican took the next step by signing an agreement that recognizes the legal status of Catholic institutions in Israel. "The Vatican is being granted formal recognition of its stake in the Holy Land, in acceptance of Israel's sovereignty." (31) The final step in this process is on the horizon. Pope John Paul II revealed the plan for Jerusalem to Parade Magazine in 1994:
This statement was a follow up to his declaration in 1984:
One certainly needs no extraordinary psychic ability to ascertain exactly which "international entity" he had in mind when he made this statement.
It appears that the Catholic Church, after all these years, has finally succeeded where the Crusaders failed. The Pope will gain control of the Old City of Jerusalem with all its Holy sites. The Jews, while still there, will be subject once again to the Vicar of Christ. The pathway for Antichrist and the death of 2/3s of the Jewish population as prophesied by Zechariah (34) will be in place.
ONE WORLD RELIGION UNDER THE POPE-THE OCCULT CONNECTION
Just as certainly as the assurance of a coming one world government, the religions of the world will unite into one syncretistic, all-encompassing, one-world faith. The Bible describes this religion and its demise in Revelation 17. Interestingly, the Bible is not the only source that predicts this ecclesiastical unity. This new world religion is a common subject in "new age" and occult circles. For example, Citizens for Excellence in Education reports:
Alice Bailey, noted Theosophist and founder of the Lucifer Publishing Company (now renamed Lucis Trust), recorded in her books Reappearance of the Christ and The Externalization of the Hierarchy:
This new world religion as described by Bailey was explained in detail by Bill Lambert, the Director of the New England District of the Theosophical Society in a seminar given in Boston, MA, 8/18/91. David Bay, National Director of Cutting Edge Ministries, attended this seminar and logged the following notes:
1. Festival of Goodwill -- normally in May-June
2. Festival of Easter -- normally in April (Celebrates new birth, as exemplified by the Christ --Jesus Christ to Christians)
3. Festival of Wesak -- normally in March (Celebrates birth of the Buddha)
How incredible is it that the occult world links the new one-world religion to the Pope? Actually, this may not be nearly as incredible as one would initially perceive. John Paul II was actually trained in magic, occult initiation-Theosophy. Though some may find this hard to believe, as a young man Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) was a fledgling actor in Kracow under stage director Mieczyslav Kotlarczyk. "Kotlarczyk read and meditated on the texts of Helene Petrovna Blavatsky" (Blavatsky was the predecessor to Alice Bailey, and her book, The Secret Doctrine, was profoundly influential in directing Hitler and other occult adepts in the Third Reich.), "the phonetic and linguistic tradition (Otto Jespersen), the Hebraic tradition (Ismar Elbogen), and blending all of it into a personal synthesis." (39) This synthesis leads one to the deadly occult mixture of metaphysics, gnosticism, and the Kabalistic heresy which is best exemplified in the beliefs of the Theosophical Society. Kotlarczyk initiated Wojtyla into a particular kind of "theatre" deeply associated with Theosophy. In the very words of Wojtyla:
"It was a mission, a vocation; it was the priesthood of the Art the actors endowed with unlimited power to renew the world, to remake all of mankind, to heal moral through beauty proclaimed, transmitted the highest metaphysical values. Such were the ideals preached by archpriest' Kotlarczyk... " (40)
Another interesting news item concerning Pope John Paul II is his devotion to the shrine of the "Virgin of Jasna Gora". (41) The "Virgin of Jasna Gora" happens to be one of many shrines to the "Virgin" which are "Black Virgins". Shrines to the "Black Virgin" were first introduced into Europe during the Merovingian Dynasty, and were later multiplied by knights returning from the Crusades. (42) The "Black Virgin" does not imply any racial designation, nor does she represent Mary of Nazareth. According to Ian Begg (a Dominican monk) in his book, The Cult of the Black Virgin, these images represent the goddess Isis, the pagan goddess of female sexuality, the underworld, and Earth Wisdom. (The Mystery Schools of ancient Egypt described Isis as the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus.) The "Black Virgin" also represents Mary Magdalene, who according to the Cult of the Magdalin and the Illuminist society, Prieure de Sion, married Jesus; and their children produced the "Fisher Kings" descended from the Merovingian Dynasty. (43)
Based on this astounding information, is there any doubt as to why Rome's ecumenical strategy parallels that as outlined by Theosophist Alice Bailey? The Church of Rome has spearheaded a drive for unity based on the common values held by not just Christians, but all religions-exactly as Bailey outlined! Pope John Paul II has been the leader of this movement, worldwide. He most certainly has an agenda to create a universal church involving all the world's religions. He initiated the Vatican Interfaith Council in 1986, participated in the Parliament for a Council of World Religions in 1993, and opened the Sixth Assembly of the World Conference of Religion and Peace in 1994. John Paul II has met to seek common ground with the Dalai Lama, the head of Tibetian Buddhism, and has prayed with snake handlers from Togo, shamans and witch doctors from Africa, Hindu gurus from India, and liberal Protestant clergymen from Great Britain. (44) The Associated Press reported:
"Pope John Paul II on Thursday sought common ground with the believers in voodoo, suggesting they would not betray their traditional faith by converting to Christianity." (45)
This is exactly how the new one world religion will be built. It will be a blending of all religions based on the common values found in each. When Antichrist arrives, he will be perceived as the fulfillment of the prophecies for the Jewish Messiah, the Buddhist Maitreya, the Hindu Krishna, the Christian Christ, etc. This new faith will not be exclusive, but rather, all-encompassing. Remember, the occult world has stated and Bible scholars believe the pope will be the leader of the one world church. Apparently, John Paul sees himself established in the same role. Catholic Priest Malachi Martin and others regarding his religious rulership of the planet have quoted Pope John Paul II. In an interview with the National Research Institute, Martin revealed the following:
The Bible does not speak of the second coming of Mary, nor does the aforementioned event contain biblical concepts. This "sign in the sun" rings of pagan if not occult overtones.
The Bible reveals the acid test of a prophet of God or a prophecy from God: PREDICTIONS GIVEN BY GOD ARE ALWAYS FULFILLED WITH 100% ACCURACY. In lieu of the Pope's age and failing health, the probability of fulfillment of this particular prophecy is very slim. Also, there are three places of origin of any prediction: 1) God 2) Lucifer and/or his angels 3) The imagination of the originator. The determination of origin of this particular prophecy will soon be established.
THE POPE OF THE GLOBAL VILLAGE
The vision of John Paul II is explicitly detailed in Malachi Martin's book, The Keys of this Blood. This vision is one in which the Pope sees himself in competition with other globalist groups for the ultimate control of the planet Earth in the coming millennium. His plan is relayed as follows:
Dr. Martin goes on to reveal:
This plan is nothing more than the repackaged, two millennia old dream of traditional Catholicism-complete religious control of the entire planet. The dream has not changed, but the methods and the puppeteers pulling the strings have definitely changed. The methods are still changing. When Malachi Martin wrote his book in 1990, John Paul was (supposedly) concerned about the globalist plans of humanists, new agers, and religions that were basically atheistic (Buddhists, Hindu, etc.), but now he seeks common ground and dialogue with all of these groups. Also, the attitude and dialogue resulting from Vatican II indicate that the Vatican is marching to the beat of a different drum. The ultimate question is-Who is the drummer?
ENTER THE ILLUMINATI
The Roman Catholic Church had been a bastion of consistency of doctrine and purpose in its first 1700 years. The power of the Church was established on its self-ascribed infallibility, and those who took issue with its precepts were the recipients of its powerful wrath. However, a revolution quietly began within the post-World War II period, and finally went public in the early 1960s. This revolution removed the Church of Rome from its traditional teachings to a position that embraced humanism, neo-Paganism, and an emerging globalism. These concepts were more in keeping with the Illuminist philosophy that that of traditional Catholicism. With the convening of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), the revolution was complete. Illuminists had successfully infiltrated the Church at the highest levels.
Every Pope since Pius XII favored a world government in one form or another, (49) but when Pope Paul VI addressed the United Nations on October 4, 1965; he "propagated the social gospel so dear to the heart of revolutionaries, without a single reference to the religious doctrines that they [the revolutionaries] found so pernicious". (50) Just as significantly, after the speech the Pope entered the United Nations Meditation Room for a time of meditation and prayer. "This [meditation] room is a center of the Illuminati, given over to the Cult of the All-Seeing Eye that under a system of allegories and veiled secrets...is dedicated to the service of pagan cults, and the obliteration of Christian in favor of humanistic beliefs." (51)
Upon his return to Rome, Pope Paul VI "made use of a sinister symbol used by Satanists in the sixth century that had been revived at the time of Vatican II. This was a bent cross, on which was displayed a repulsive and distorted figure of Christ, which the black magicians and sorcerers of the Middle Ages had made use of to represent the Biblical term 'Mark of the Beast'. (see illustration) Yet not only Paul VI, but his successors, the two John Pauls, carried that object and held it up to be revered by crowds, who had not the slightest idea that it stood for anti-Christ." (52)
Pope John Paul II is a faithful disciple of the Vatican II globalist philosophy. He also claims to believe that "he is a winner-take-all competition with the Soviets and the capitalist West to determine who will establish the first one-world system of government that ever existed in the society of nations.'" (53) As a result, John Paul II has been active in working for a united Europe. In a Declaration signed by the Pope and Orthodox Bartholomew I (1995), John Paul stated:
The Sunday Telegraph , 8/25/91, reported:
"Current events corroborate the view that the post-Vatican II Roman Church, controlled by global planners, will be the instrument to bring about the unification of mankind." (56)
THE POPE, PROTESTANTS, AND EVANGELICALS
The formation of the World Council of Churches in 1948 opened the doors of the One World Church to mainline Protestant denominations. The WCC was formed in Amsterdam with 147 Protestant denominations (today there are 307) (57). The organization's goal was clearly stated at its inaugural meeting (August 1948) by General Secretary of the WCC, W.A. Visser't Hooft :
(Lest any misunderstand, the Universal Church certainly does exist. This is the "Body of Christ", consisting of all those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. However, this Universal Church DOES NOT include every member of every church and/or religion. This "Body" also DOES NOT include those who merely claim Christianity but have never experienced the new birth.) The opposite view of the WCC has been correctly conveyed by Dr. David Cloud:
Though the Roman Catholic Church is not officially a member of the WCC, the Vatican has worked very closely with the WCC since the "Ecumenical Movement" of the 1960s. Dr. Edward Panosian, chairman of the Department of History at Bob Jones University, stated,
After the apparent failure of the Ecumenical Movement of the 1960s, the 1970s brought forth the second wave of the "Charismatic Movement". The Charismatics actively seek unity on the basis of (supernatural) manifestations, many times at the expense of doctrinal truth. They have taken the position that differences in doctrine can be overlooked "as long as those with whom we seek unity confess the name of Jesus and appear to exhibit the gifts of the Spirit-particularly speaking in tongues . . ." (61). This has led many Charismatics into Dominion Theology and has also given Roman Catholics the opportunity to regain credibility with many Protestants (62). ("The gift of tongues' was received spontaneously by many Catholics as they were engaged in prayer to Mary.") (63) Many influential Charismatic leaders have begun to embrace unity with Roman Catholics. This includes such well-known men as Pat Robertson, Paul Crouch, and Oral Roberts. Meetings between Catholic and Evangelical Charismatics have expanded to up to 80,000 participants (64). This scenario is the direct result of the call for Charismatic Unity.
The two major common denominators of the Ecumenical and Charismatic Movements are: 1) the forsaking of biblical truth for the sake of unity, and 2) the influence of the Church of Rome. The forsaking of biblical truth is obviously the most tragic mistake an ecclesiastical body can make. Yet, so many have been willing to compromise truth for the sake of unity. As a result, the idea that theological teaching is dull, boring, or irrelevant for today's society is creeping into even the more conservative churches. Churches (influenced mainly by high profile media ministries) are starting to cater to emotional, psychological, or social teachings. This reaction to the compromise by the high profile ministries is paving the way to find that "set of common values" with those of every religion. This is the groundwork for the One World Church.
This certainly reveals the serious threat of ecumenism to Bible-based Christianity. Yet, many Christian leaders are busy making their own overtures of unity. In May of 1994, the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) was authored by Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship and R. J. Neuhaus, a Catholic priest. The document "laid the groundwork for Evangelicals to set aside their distinctive doctrines and unite with the Catholic Church and other religions which are coming together by the year 2000 AD" (65). Such notable Evangelicals as Bill Bright, Pat Robertson, and Mark Noll also signed the ECT document. Other Christian leaders have also been making statements that link them to this train of thought. The following are some prime examples:
While these Evangelicals continue to snuggle up to the Pope at every opportunity, John Paul has made his position very explicit regarding any future church hierarchy. The 5/31/95 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle reported:
The following chart exhibits the leadership and influence of the Church of Rome in building the coming one world church. Note that the left side of the chart shows the major religions of the world, the center of the chart the leading nonchurch organizations, and the far right side the influence and cooperation from the so-called, "evangelical" organizations and individuals.
For many years the followers of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and the other reformers were labeled as heretics. They were persecuted, condemned to death, and their properties confiscated by the Church of Rome. Since the days of Vatican II in the early sixties, the Protestants suddenly became "separated brethren". Now the Year 2000 penance comes on the heels of the ECT document and the honeymoon of leading evangelicals with the papacy. Is this true repentance? OR-Is this merely ecumenical newspeak to move one step closer to the future One World Religion?
Once the entire twisted tale is revealed, the truth becomes obvious. John Paul II is the undisputed leader of worldwide ecumenism. Like his predecessors since the mid-1960s, he is a "dyed-in-the-wool globalist", fashioned in the mold of Vatican II. He has taken on the role of contacting the leaders of the world's religions; and seeks the common goals of "social justice, ecological wholeness, and world peace". (72) He further has not attempted to convert any of these non-Catholics to Catholicism. Paradoxically, he continues to "claim that the Church of Rome is the bride of Christ, the one, true church devoted to one person, the Son of the living God." (73) Therefore, where repentance has been propagated, there is in reality, only double-talk and DECEPTION. This scenario leads to only one conclusion: The Year 2000 penance is merely the next step to build the One World Religion for the coming One World Government.
The inhabitants of Planet Earth are being set up for the greatest deception in all of history. Antichrist will reign immediately after the "Rapture of the Church" (I Thes.4:16-18), and the One World Government with its One World Religion will be firmly established. While the Bible teaches that multitudes who live during the reign of Antichrist will be saved (Rev.7:9-14), many will be deceived. Antichrist and his False Prophet will deceive the nation of Israel. Many religious individuals and their leaders who have never trusted Jesus Christ will be deceived. Most members of secular society will be deceived. Finally, ALL those who have rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be deceived (II Thes.2:10-12).
However, this story does not end with deception. The Lord Jesus Christ will return (with the previously raptured saints) as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. He will defeat the forces of Antichrist and cast the "Great Man" and his Pontifex Maximus into the Lake of Fire (Rev.19:11-21). He will then establish the promised Millennial Kingdom upon the earth, and thus fulfill all of His promises to Israel (Rev.20:1-6).
Benjamin, the young man introduced at the beginning of this article, will live to see his questions answered. He will come to realize how the nation was deceived. He will understand the motives of Pope Peter II. He will meet the previously rejected Messiah of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth. He will mourn when he realizes the tragic results of Israel's failure to recognize Him at His First Advent. Most importantly, he will accept Him as his personal savior, receive complete forgiveness of his sins, and be granted citizenship into the Kingdom promised to his forefathers so long ago.
Will YOU join him? Will YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDSbe there? -OR-Will you join Antichrist and his False Prophet in the Lake of Fire? Deception is building. The time is short. The choice is yours.