Friday, January 12, 2018
God said, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come…evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:1, 13). This benefits no one if it’s glossed over and ignored, assuming it’s irrelevant. The Holy Spirit here is not speaking of “evil men and imposters” outside the church, but on the contrary, meaning inside the church!
Today, a spiritually destructive end-time deception is setting upon the church: the false unity of Roman Catholicism and evangelical Christianity. Are you paying close attention to written and oral materials being disseminated in your church? Is Mary elevated? Are Catholic meditations and prayers promoted? Is unity with the Roman Pontiff being suggested?
There’s a spiritually destitute effort underway by Roman Catholic leaders and non-discerning evangelical Christian leaders for the reunification of Reformation denominations who had come out of Roman Catholicism. Many who had left Catholicism when they found the truth of Christ in evangelical Christianity, are returning again to the deceptive performances of the flesh.
Many now desire to return to Catholicism as its works-based religion satisfies the flesh. But the same idolatrous Catholicism that gave rise to the Protestant Reformation, is the same today as it was during the thousand years that led up to the Reformation, it just wears a different mask. And be warned, to turn from the truth one once knew is spiritually fatal, see Hebrews 6:4–8.
Throughout the history of Catholicism popes made Papal Bulls, man-made decrees befitting of their pharisaical traditions. And as long as the church or any successor pope does not rescind the Papal Bull of a former pope, the decree stands as an official decree and belief of the church. With that in mind, note just a few Papal Bulls that intimidate and threaten the biblically ignorant.
“The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in heaven and earth” Pope Pius V (1504–1572); “We may according to the fullness of our power, dispose of the law and dispense above the law. Those whom the Pope of Rome doth separate, it is not a man that separates them but God.” Pope Innocent III (1160–1216); “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty” Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903).
“We declare, assert, define and pronounce to be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every creature altogether necessary for salvation…I have the authority of the King of Kings. I am all in all, and above all, so that God Himself and I, the Vicar of Christ, have but one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do. What therefore, can you make of me but God?” Pope Boniface VIII (1230–1303); “I alone…am the successor of the apostles, the Vicar of Jesus Christ. I am the way, the truth, and the life…” Pope Pius IX (1792–1878).
“To such extent did Mary suffer and almost die with her suffering and dying Son; to such extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for: man’s salvation…that we may rightly say she redeemed the human race together with Christ.” Pope Benedict XV (1854–1922)
“Every day, as the Church herself recommends, priests will recite the Holy Rosary, which, by proposing for our meditation the mysteries of the Redeemer, leads us to Jesus through Mary.” Pope Pius XII (1876–1958); “No man outside obedience to the Pope of Rome can ultimately be saved. All who have raised themselves against the faith of the Roman Church, and died in final impenitence have been damned, and gone down to Hell.” Pope Clement VI (1291–1352)
Popes demand they be worshiped as God, and for many hundreds of years popes tortured and murdered people who rejected their proud claims. And so will Antichrist, “the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:3–4).
I trust you know God’s Word with discerning spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear the blasphemy against God and His Christ in the above papal quotes. They frighten people into submission with their proud threats, self-exaltation and wishful authority. Pope Francis does it with false humility. So, how is it possible that large sectors of evangelicals now desire unity with such apostasy?
This is how it’s possible: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:9–12).
When the Holy Spirit warned, saying, “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” (Rev. 18:4), He warned people to come out of the great harlot, for, “her plagues will come in one day – death and mourning and famine…that great city [the Vatican] that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet…in one hour such great riches came to nothing” (Rev. 18:8, 16–17).
Roman Catholicism instills fear unto performance into the hearts of her subjects. She exalts the popes as God. She venerates Mary as equal to Christ. She makes repetitious and vain prayers to the dead, and bows down to her own carved images. She blasphemes Almighty God. And soon, she will once again pursue the true saints for their destruction, see Dan. 7:21 and Rev. 13:7.
Roman Catholicism creates an unholy fear of man by its intimidating papal decrees rather than a holy fear of Christ that “whoever believes in Him [Christ] should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16), and that “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9–10).
“Pope Francis said “Division is the Work of Devil” (The Gospel Herald Church–5/26/2015). But Jesus said He brings division! “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother…and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household…” (Matt. 10:34–39).
In effect, Pope Francis and evangelicals who support him make Christ a liar in order to promote a false unity that must not be allowed, “For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial?…And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Cor. 6:14–16).
Pope Francis is a deceiver. He is first and foremost a Jesuit Priest who gave leadership to the Jesuit’s from 1973 to 1979. “Jesuits are bound by oath not to seek higher office in the Roman Catholic Church, and now one of them has been elected to its highest office: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Pontifex Maximus. Pope Francis, the first Jesuit to become pope, not only represents a paradox for the papacy, but also the larger history of the Society of Jesus, as the Jesuits are formally known.” (Source: Religion News Service 03/14/2013)
Leading to the Reformation it was the Jesuits under oath of obedience to the pope who often carried out the tortures and murders of Christians who opposed the self-exalted and pretentious popes of Rome. Their oath of obedience has not changed. And the Roman Pontiff’s desire to be worshiped as God has not changed either. Nor has the papal throne forgotten the severe wound it suffered 500 years ago, and its revenge that comes through the Antichrist will be much worse.
God said saints cannot be silent about works and deceptions that lead away from Christ, and are thus commanded to, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11). Many deceived, are returning to Babylon, but God says, “come out of her”.
Marlin J. Yoder