By: Dave Hunt
(Dave Hunt’s 14 reasons Rome is
Focus on Jerusalem, in its continuing
endeavor to make available interesting and doctrinally sound articles associated
with Bible Prophecy is pleased to present this scripturally sound and
provocative article entitled, “Mystery Babylon identified,” by Dave Hunt. Dave
Hunt is an excellent expositor on Biblical themes, and is widely regarded as one
of the most astute Biblical scholars in apologetics. His ministry, The Berean
Call, is listed on the FOJ links page for your easy access. This is an
intriguing article about the identification of the mysterious entity presented
in Revelation chapter 17. Personally, I think Mr. Hunt’s exposition on this
topic is the best that I have ever reviewed on this subject. FOJ hopes that its
presentation in the Library section of our website will inspire your further
interest in the study of the things of our Lord. (11-10-2005)
hundred years ago God gave the prophet Daniel a vision of four strange beasts
representing the four world empires which are now history: the Babylonian, Medo-Persian,
Grecian and Roman. Yes, there were other large empires based in Egypt, China,
Central and South America and Arabia, but Scripture gives them no prophetic
significance because they will not rise again, only Rome will. Symbolic of the
Roman Empire, the fourth beast retained characteristics of the three empires
which preceded it, yet it was far more "dreadful and terrible, and strong
exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured" (Dan 7:7) the known
world, breaking and trampling all that opposed it.
fourth beast had ten horns corresponding to the ten toes on the huge image seen
in Daniel chapter two, an image which depicted the same four world empires. The
image's two legs foretold the split of the Roman Empire: politically, when
Constantine moved his capital to Constantinople in 330 A.D.; and religiously,
between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, when in 1054 Pope Leo IX in
Rome excommunicated Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople. The ten
toes of iron mixed with clay signified ten kings who must reign when "the God of
heaven [shall] set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed" (Dan 2:44).
years after Daniel, around 95 A.D., the Apostle John was given three further
prophetic visions of this terrible fourth beast as recorded in Revelation 12,
13, and 17. At that time, the world empires represented by the first three
beasts had come and gone exactly as Daniel had prophesied. The fourth beast-the
Roman Empire-was then at the height of its power. It, too, would fall, but
unlike its three predecessors and exactly as the Bible foretold, it would not be
conquered by a successor. No fifth empire would arise to take its place.
Scripture foretold that the Roman Empire itself would be revived in a more
powerful form to control all of earth just before Christ's Second Coming.
Numerous Scriptures indicate this. Since the Roman Empire was never ruled by ten
kings at one time as foreseen in the image's ten toes and the fourth beast's ten
horns ("ten kings that shall arise" - Dan 7:24), it must be revived worldwide
di-vided into ten regions under separate sub-rulers accountable to Antichrist.
Ten nations in Western Europe could hardly represent the revival of an empire
which included far more in its day. Moreover, we are clearly told that "power
was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell
upon the earth shall worship him..." (Rev 13:7-8). Interestingly, today's world
has already been divided into ten regions by the Club of Rome. Only when
Antichrist's position and power have been fully established will the Second
Coming take place with Christ returning to destroy Antichrist and his kingdom
and to set up His own Millennial reign over this earth from Jerusalem: "whom the
Lord shall destroy... with the brightness of his coming..." (2 Thes 2:8-9).
12, 13, and 14 of Zechariah prophesy quite clearly not a gradual take-over of
the world as some teach, but a cataclysmic intervention by Christ from heaven.
So did Daniel: "...a stone [Christ] was cut out without hands, which smote the
image... [which] became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor; and the
wind carried [it] away... and the stone that smote the image became a great
mountain [Christ's kingdom], and filled the whole earth" (Dan 2:34-35). This
unprecedented event known as the Second Coming can only take place "in the days
of these [ten] kings..." (2:44).
this fourth beast three times: first as a red dragon seeking to destroy Israel:
"...and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven
crowns upon his heads..." (Rev 12). In chapter 13 this dreadful beast appears
again representing the revived Roman Empire whose "deadly wound was healed"-and
also its ruler, the Antichrist whom "all that dwell upon the earth shall
worship." Notice, "the dragon gave him his power and his seat and great
authority." So the "red dragon," who is Satan, is actually building his kingdom
and using Antichrist to his own ends.
expresses no shock at the sight of the beast; but in his third vision of this
scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns he is staggered (Rev 17:6) when he
sees a woman on its back. A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST! And not as in a rodeo on a
creature which is trying to buck her off, but sitting relaxed and comfortable,
holding the reins, obviously a key player in the unfolding drama of Antichrist's
rule over the revived Roman Empire! Who is this woman? John's vision
provides at least fourteen specifics which identify her beyond question.
OF ALL, she is a
city (v 19). Some authors have identified the United States as MYSTERY
BABYLON, but that is clearly erroneous because the USA is a country and
the woman is a city.
SECONDLY, the city
sits on (i.e. is built on) seven hills (v 9). Several cities sit on seven
hills. John's vision, however, eliminates all but one as we shall see. That the
seven heads also signify seven kings does not take away from the fact that they,
too, represent seven hills upon which the woman/city sits.
emblazoned on her forehead is her name, MYSTERY, BABYLON. Saddam Hussein has
been rebuilding Iraq's ancient city of Babylon, headquarters of the first world
empire. The Woman could not be that city, however, rebuilt for the
Antichrist, for several reasons. It is the fourth Empire headquartered in
Rome which is to be brought back to life, not the Babylonian Empire. The ten
toes and ten horns belong to Rome. And Babylon was not built on seven hills, nor
does it meet any of the other identifying criteria. Rome, however, was
and has universally been known as the city of seven hills. The
Catholic Encyclopedia states: "It is within the city of Rome, called the
city of seven hills, that the entire area of Vatican State proper is now
Dyer counters, "The seven heads are associated with the beast, not the woman...
it does not identify the location of the prostitute because she is not an
organic part of the beast." Nor is any cowboy an organic part of his horse. The
seven heads are associated with the woman: they represent seven hills on
which she sits. That's location. No organic relationship is required.
Interestingly, Rome was also known as Babylon. In his book, Catholicism and
Fundamentalism, Catholic apologist Karl Keating writes: "Babylon is a code
word for Rome. It is used that way six times in the last book of the Bible [so
he acknowledges that the woman in Rev 17 is Rome!] and in extrabiblical works
such as Sibylling Oracles (5, 159Q, the Apocalypse of Baruch (ii,
1), and Esdras (3:1). Eusebius Pamphilius, writing about 303, noted that
...Peter ...referr[ed] to [Rome] figuratively as Babylon [in 1 Pe 5:13]." The
Bible often addresses a person or city under another name. For example,
Jerusalem is called "Sodom and Egypt" (Rev 11:8) and Satan is addressed as the
king of Babylon in Isaiah 14 and as the prince of Tyrus in Ezekiel 28.
be the Woman on the Beast? That would make good sense because the Beast she
rides is the revived Roman Empire.
this Woman is called "the great whore... with whom the kings of the earth have
committed fornication..." (vs 1-2). While Ninevah (Nah 3:4) and Tyre (Isa
23:16-17) were associated with prostitution because of their rampant sexual
immorality, literal whoredom and fornication would be impossible for a city.
Spiritual fornication, however, would be possible for a city if it were a
is such a city. It's called the "holy city" and the "city of God," having been
chosen by God to represent Him to the nations. Tragically, Jerusalem violated
that relationship and was repeatedly accused by God's prophets of spiritual
harlotry and adultery. Isaiah said of Jerusalem: "How is the faithful city
become a harlot" (1:21)! (See also 2 Chr 21:11; Jer 3:9, Ezek 16:1-15, etc.)
Jerusalem, however, can't be the woman riding the Beast because it wasn't built
on seven hills nor does it meet any of the other criteria in John's vision.
one other city in the world-and only one-which is a spiritual entity and
could there-fore commit spiritual fornication with the kings of the earth. And
it is built on seven hills. Again that city is Rome, the headquarters of Roman
Catholicism, which claims to be the true Christianity. Its Pope claims to be the
Vicar of Christ. Moreover, the Roman Catholic Church claims that its members
have taken the place of Israel as the true people of God and that Rome is
therefore the New Jerusalem. Catholic Rome claims the very titles God gave to
Jerusalem: "the Holy City" and "the City of God" and even "the Eternal City."
state right now that I have no desire to attack Catholics. I'm not a Catholic
"basher" as I've been accused of being. I love Catholics and want them to know
the truth. Let's set the record straight. The Canons and Decrees of the Council
of Trent, which Vatican II re-proposed, contain more than 100 anathemas damning
me and every evangelical Christian for our beliefs and our unwillingness to
accept Catholic dogmas and authority. So who is really "bashing" whom? Let's
face the facts honestly from history and the Bible-whatever they may be
already discovered from John's vision that these four criteria-being a city,
known as Babylon, built on seven hills, that committed spiritual fornication
with earth's rulers-have ruled out every city on earth except Rome. We
are, of course, not talking about political/civil Rome, but about religious Rome
and more specifically, the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church as the
worldwide leader of a false and antichrist "Christianity." The pope is currently
leading the greatest ecumenical movement in history in order to unite all
religions under Rome's leadership.
one example, in 1986, Pope John Paul II gathered in Assisi, Italy the leaders of
the world's major religions to pray for peace. There were snake worshipers, fire
worshipers, spiritists, animists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, North American
Indian witchdoctors. I watched in astonishment as they walked to the microphone
to pray. The Pope said they were all praying to the same "God" and that
their prayers were creating a spiritual energy that was bringing about a new
climate for peace. On that occasion John Paul II allowed his good friend the
Dalai Lama to put the Buddha on the altar in St. Peter's church in Assisi and
with his monks to have a Buddhist worship ceremony there, while Shintoists
chanted and rang their bells outside. The prophesied world religion is in the
process of being formed before our eyes and the Vatican is the headquarters of
the movement. Is this not spiritual fornication such as no other city either has
or could commit?
objection is raised that Vatican City is only a small part of Rome and is not
itself built on seven hills. Historically, however, the Popes ruled as kings
over all of Rome and the surrounding area, as well as over large territories
across Italy known as the papal states. Pope Innocent III abolished the Roman
Senate and placed the administration of Rome directly under his control. It
wasn't until 1870 that Rome and the other Vatican-controlled territories were
finally captured by the army of the newly united Italy, the Jews were liberated
at last from Rome's shameful ghetto and Pope Pius IX took refuge in Vatican
City, which has been the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church ever since.
Vatican owns about one-third of Rome and its influence is everywhere through its
monuments, churches and other institutions scattered throughout the entire city
of seven hills. That Church proudly identifies itself as the Roman
Catholic Church. A recent article in the National Catholic Reporter,
titled "Rome, where the pontiff is supreme," declared: "No city comes close to
being so suffused with religious culture as Rome is with Catholicism. What has
emerged over the centuries is unmistakably a culture of the papacy." The article
goes on to refer to the monuments to Roman Catholicism found everywhere in Rome
and states: "All roads lead, sooner or later, down the via della Concilizione to
the Vatican .... Rome is... the world's spiritual crossroads." Our Sunday
Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia adds: "...hence, one understands the central
place of Rome in the life of the Church today and the significance of the title,
Roman Catholic Church .... Since the founding of the Church there... Rome has
been the center of all Christendom." World's spiritual crossroads ...center
of all Christendom! This is the one city in the world built on seven hills
and known as Babylon which is undoubtedly a spiritual entity.
spiritual Rome violated its claimed relationship with Christ and thus been
guilty of spiritual fornication? The popes have repeatedly engaged in
partnership and thus spiritual fornication with emperors, kings and princes.
Claiming to be the Bride of Christ, the Roman Catholic Church has been in bed
with godless rulers down through history. Hundreds of examples could be given,
not just from centuries past but from recent times as well.
the alliances with Mussolini and Hitler. The Vatican literally put Mussolini
into power. Pope Pius XI and his cardinals praised Mussolini as a man chosen by
God and forbade Roman Catholics to oppose him politically. In turn, Mussolini
signed the Concordat with the Vatican in 1929, making Roman Catholicism the sole
religion of Italy. The Vatican received 750 million lire in cash and 1 billion
in state bonds. Four years later in 1933 came a similar Concordat with Hitler,
resulting in the Vatican's reception of hundreds of millions of German marks
from the Nazi regime all through World War II. Similar concordats with many
other governments have made the Roman Catholic Church the only religion allowed
in those countries and have brought persecution and death upon thousands of
evangelicals. One could not ask for clearer examples of "fornication with the
kings of the earth"! Ancient Babylon doesn't meet this criteria, nor does any
never joined forces with Caesar nor did Peter or Paul. But the Roman Catholic
Church has continually engaged in adulterous relationships with secular rulers
right up to the present. The cover of Time magazine for February 24, 1992
declared: "HOLY ALLIANCE: How Reagan and the Pope conspired to assist
Poland's Solidarity movement and hasten the demise of Communism." The
alliance between Reagan and Pope John Paul II, between the CIA and the alleged
Vicar of Christ, could only be called spiritual fornication. It violated
everything Christ taught about His church not being of this world. Former
Secretary of State Alexander Haig acknowledged that "the Vatican's information
was absolutely better and quicker than ours in every respect." Vatican liaison
to the White House, Arch-bishop Pio Laghi, kept reminding American officials,
"Listen to the Holy Father. We have 2000 years experience in this." Two thousand
years is an exaggeration, but there have been centuries of political intrigue at
which the Vatican is clearly the master! And this is the true Church? No, this
is the whore!
Gorbachev has called the pope "the highest spiritual authority on earth."
Gorbachev paid tribute to the earthly power of the Roman Catholic Church when he
wrote in his syndicated column: "Pope John Paul II played a major political role
in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe ...the events in Eastern Europe
might not have been possible without the presence of this pope, without the
great role... which he knew how to play on the world scene." Such praise could
never have been given to Christ or His Apostles who were martyred by the secular
world which the popes have embraced in spiritual fornication and have even
this city on seven hills "rules over the kings of the earth" (v 19). In John's
day it was the Rome of the Caesars that ruled the world. After the Caesars lost
their power the popes ruled in their place and over wider territories and often
more ruthlessly. Christ said that His kingdom is not of this world and His
servants are not to fight. In direct disobedience, the popes, who included some
of the greatest military commanders in history (Innocent HI, who "held all
Europe in his net," never lost a battle), fought with armies and navies in the
name of Christ to build a huge kingdom, an unrivaled worldwide empire of
property, wealth, and political influence which is very much of this world.
Papal worldly power has been wielded for centuries in fulfillment of John's
remarkable vision-while ancient Babylon has been in ruins. Hundreds of examples
could be given. Here are a few.
Alexander II decreed that Harold, the lawful King of Eng-land, was a usurper,
excommunicated him and his followers and gave the throne to William, Duke of
Normandy. With the Pope's blessing, William the Conqueror killed Harold in
battle, took over England and was crowned in London on Christmas Day in 1066. He
accepted the crown of England "in the name of the Holy See of Rome." As the
Pope's agent, William the Conqueror, now their king, was required to teach the
English people "due obedience to Christ's Vicar" and to pay their taxes to the
Alexander Ill excommunicated the Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarosa. The latter
came for revenge with his armies against the pope and was soundly defeated.
Frederick I, the emperor, came to Venice where he grovelled at the pope's feet
with his face in the dust, begging forgiveness. The pope put his heel on the
emperor's neck while the cardinals chanted, "Thou shalt tread upon the lion and
adder ...." Papal Rome has ruled the kings of the earth!
Gregory VII's claim to be "King of kings" was no idle boast! In 1077, Gregory
forbade Henry IV, heir of Charlemagne (who had been crowned emperor by Pope Leo
Ell) and supreme head of the Holy Roman Empire, to rule the kingdoms of Italy
and Germany and threatened to excommunicate anyone who would serve him as king.
In fear for his life, Henry journeyed across the Alps in winter to beg the
pope's forgiveness. The humbled emperor had to stand 3 days in penitence,
barefoot and in a haircloth shirt outside the Pope's castle at Canossa before he
was granted an audience to express his repentance.
Pope Adrian IV gave the crown of Ireland to the King of England, consigning the
Irish to the merciless cruelties of Henry II. A later King of England, John
Lackland, tried to break free from Rome, and Pope Innocent III forced him to
surrender his crown, thereafter allowing him to rule only as a vassal of the
Holy See. One 18th-century Catholic historian counted 95 popes who claimed to
have divine power to depose kings and emperors. Historian R.W. Southern
declared: "During the whole medieval period there was in Rome a single spiritual
and temporal authority exercising powers which in the end exceeded those that
had ever lain within the grasp of a Roman emperor."
Gregory XI's papal bull of 1372, In Coena Domini, claimed papal dominion
over the entire Christian world, secular and religious, and excommunicated all
who failed to obey the popes and to pay them taxes. That bull was confirmed by
subsequent popes and in 1568 Pope Pius V swore that it was to remain an eternal
other city at the present or in history can rival the way in which Rome,
especially Catholic Rome, qualifies as being a city reigning over kings! Again
these are but a few of hundreds of examples that could be given covering
centuries when Babylon lay in ruins. Nor is empire building an abandoned feature
of the past. The Second Vatican Council in Lumen Gentium on November 21,
1964 declared that "the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for
the return of all humanity and all its goods under Christ..," meaning, of
course, under the Pope, Christ's alleged Vicar.
SIXTH POINT: Not only
is Babylon the code name for Rome, but Rome's connections to Babylon go much
deeper. Ancient Babylon drew its Semitic name, Bab-ilu ("gate of god") from
the Tower of Babel around whose ruins it was built. That tower, designed to
reach heaven, was the headquarters of the first world religion, just as Rome
will be for the coming world religion of Antichrist. Furthermore, just as
Babel's tower and city ("Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach
unto heaven" - Gen 11:4) united church and state, so the popes wielded both
civil and religious authority; and in like manner the Woman and the Beast she
rides unite the coming world government and world religion.
attempt to reach heaven by steps of its own making, Babel/Babylon was the
ultimate works religion. And so it is in Roman Catholicism: salvation is
unquestionably by works. Vatican II declares: "To gain indulgences the work
prescribed must be done .... From the most ancient times in the church
good works were also offered to God for the salvation of sinners .... [A]II
men may attain to salvation through faith, baptism and the observance of the
Council of Trent as reproposed by Vatican II decreed: "If anyone says that the
sacraments of the New Law are not necessary for salvation... and that without
them... men obtain from God through faith alone the grace of justification
...let him be anathema." Clearly good works play a key role in earning salvation
in Catholicism as the average Catholic would testify. Thus by its practice of
salvation through good works and ritual, Catholic Rome, once again, fits the
description of the Woman whose name is Babylon.
feature: John tells us that the name BABYLON emblazoned on the Woman's forehead
is preceded by the word, MYSTERY. Here again Rome qualifies: mystery is the very
heart of Roman Catholicism. Pope Paul VI's encyclical on the Eucharist is
titled, Mysterium Fidei. Vatican II refers repeatedly to "the
mystery of the Eucharist." The Vatican's new universal catechism
declares that all of the church's liturgy is "mystery" and that its aim is "to
initiate souls into the mystery of Christ (It is mystagogy)." By
claiming to be the custodian of a "mystery" which only its priests and bishops
can mediate, the Roman Catholic Church keeps its members dependent upon it
rather than upon Christ for their salvation, which it has historically sold for
money and still does so today (Mass cards and indulgences, for example) and thus
trades in the "souls of men" (Rev 18:13).
EIGHTH POINT: John
notes that the Woman on the Beast is clothed "in purple and scarlet" (v 4).
These were the colors of the Roman Caesars, became those of the Roman Catholic
hierarchy and remain so today. For example, the Catholic Encyclopedia
declares: Cassock (also called Soutane) - The close-fitting, ankle-length
robe worn by the Catholic clergy as their official garb .... The color for
bishops and other prelates is purple, for cardinals scarlet."
Perhaps this seems like a small point, but as one identifying feature after
another falls into place the case becomes overwhelming. No other city meets all
criteria as does Rome.
feature: The woman is wealthy beyond calculation: "decked with gold and precious
stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand..." (Rev 17:4). The Roman
Catholic Church is by far the wealthiest institution on earth. Every cathedral
has its "treasury" where priceless objects are displayed. The value of
innumerable sculptures by such masters as Michelangelo, paintings by the world's
greatest artists and countless other art treasures and ancient documents which
she possesses (not only at the Vatican but in cathedrals around the world) is
beyond calculation. Nino Lo Bello, former Rome correspondent for Business
Week, calls the Vatican "the tycoon on the Tiber" because of its incredible
wealth and worldwide enterprises. His research indicates that it is probably the
largest holder of stocks and bonds in the world, to say nothing of its ownership
of industries from electronics and plastics to airlines and chemical and
engineering firms. There is no church, no city which is a spiritual entity, no
religious institution past or present which even comes close to possessing the
incalculable wealth of the Roman Catholic Church.
clothing adorning the woman reflect the fact that the robes worn by popes and
the regalia used in pomp and cermony were inherited from the Caesars. One
Catholic historian has written: "...the Bishop of Rome looked like Constantine,
lived like him, dressed like him, inhabited his palaces, ruled over his lands,
had exactly the same imperial outlook... the popes had become obsessed with
power and possessions. Peter's [alleged] successors [became] not the servants
but the masters of the world. They... dress in purple like Nero and call
themselves Pontifex Maximus."
the woman riding the Beast has a golden cup in her hand. This is the holiest
instrument in Roman Catholicism: the golden chalice used in the Eucharist or
Mass. The Roman Catholic Church possesses literally hundreds of thousands of
solid gold chalices.
perceives that this golden chalice is filled with the "filthiness of her
abominations," reflecting the Bible's view of the sacrifice of the Mass, the
very heart of Roman Catholicism. Such was the conviction of hundreds of
thousands of Christians throughout history who were burned at the stake for
refusing to participate in the Mass, which they earnestly believed was the
greatest abomination conceivable. Why? Because it claims to be the literal
sacrificial offering again and again of the body and blood of Christ, whereas
the Bible clearly says that Christ's sacrifice upon the cross was completed once
and for all, never to be repeated again.
Catholicism claims that when, at the Last Supper, Christ said, "This is my
body... this is my blood," He had to be taken literally: the bread and wine He
held in His hands had, with those words, become His literal body and blood; and
when the priest speaks those words today the bread and wine become again
Christ's literal body and blood to be sacrificed endlessly on Catholic altars as
truly as Christ was sacrificed on the cross. Yet no one takes it literally when
Christ said, "I am the door, I am the light of the world, I am the Good
Shepherd" or when He called His disciples sheep. Christ was obviously speaking
figuratively when He referred to bread and wine as His body and blood. There is
no way that the bread could literally be His body when He was sitting there in
His physical body holding the bread! Much less can millions of tiny wafers each
be simultaneously Christ's literal body and blood, soul, personality, divinity,
whole and entire as Catholicism claims. That is not literalism but mysticism,
the MYSTERY emblazoned on the Woman's forehead.
another grave error involved. Vatican II declares, "Our Savior at the Last
Supper... nstituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood ...." The
Council of Trent agrees that Christ at the Last Supper "offered up to God the
Father His own body and blood under the form of bread and wine ...." If so, then
He was sacrificed for the sins of the world at the Last Supper before He went to
the cross! Indeed, He wouldn't have to go to the cross at all if Catholic
priests, as they claim, can truly turn bread and wine into the literal body and
blood of Christ and offer it as a propitiatory sacrifice on their altars! This
is the great MYSTERY at the heart of Catholicism!
Pocket Catholic Dictionary states: "The Mass is a truly propitiatory
sacrifice" by which "the Lord is appeased, He grants grace... and He pardons
wrongdoings and sins ...." The Council of Trent declared, "regarding the great
mystery of the Eucharist... it is the true and only sacrifice." Then the cross
Catholicism teaches that the cross is essential, yet it reduces the cross to the
same level as the Mass, declaring that Christ's sacrifice upon the cross is only
effective in its repetition in the Mass, and then only partially each time the
Mass is repeated. It takes many repetitions of the Mass to take a soul to
heaven; nor can the Pope himself tell how many Masses may be needed. As the
Pocket Catholic Dictionary explains:
the Mass is the divinely ordained means of applying the merits of Calvary.
Christ won for the world all the graces it needs for salvation and
sanctification. But these blessings are conferred gradually and continually
since Calvary and mainly through the Mass ....
is indispensable, since he alone by his powers can change the elements of bread
and wine into the body and blood of Christ... the more often the sacrifice is
offered the more benefit is conferred.
words, Christ's sacrifice is not yet complete but is still in process through
the Mass. Vatican II says: "For it is the liturgy through which, especially in
the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, 'the work of our redemption is
accomplished." But the Bible says redemption has already been accomplished.
Hebrews 9:12 assures us that "by his own blood [Christ] obtained eternal
redemption for us." Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:14 both state, "In whom
[Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins ...." Yet
Vatican II insists: "For in the sacrifice of the Mass Our Lord is immolated...
the Mass is... a sacrifice in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated."
The Pocket Catholic Dictionary explains that in the Mass Christ "offers
himself... as really as he did on Calvary." Then what did Christ mean when He
cried in triumph, "It is finished!"? Indeed, that golden cup is "full of
abominations" (v 4).
Contradicting itself, Catholicism explains that Christ is not really being
sacrificed over and over but His sacrifice on the cross is being "represented"
or made present. Such a statement is meaningless. An event that was completed in
the past cannot be made present. Moreover, if the past event accomplished its
purpose then there is no reason for wanting to perpetuate it in the present even
if that could be done. For example, if a benefactor pays a creditor the debt
someone owes, the debt is gone forever. It would be meaningless to speak of
representing or reenacting or perpetuating the payment in the present. The debt
has been paid by a transaction that was effected and completed in the past. One
could well "remember" with gratitude the payment that was made, but no
reenactment would have any virtue since there no longer remains any debt to be
new Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "As sacrifice, the Eucharist
is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to
obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God." (par 1414, p 356) That is like
trying to pay more installments of a debt that has been paid in full. Clearly
the Mass is a denial of the sufficiency of the payment Christ made for sin upon
Catholic Church claims to be in the process of procuring through its rituals the
redemption/salvation which the Bible says Christ has already accomplished. In
order to carry on the "work of redemption," the Catholic priesthood claims to
perform the miracle of transubstantiation: turning bread and wine into the body
and blood of Christ "under the appearance of remaining bread and wine." This
MYSTERY is supposed to be a great miracle even though the wafer and wine
remain unchanged in physical qualities. There is no such "miracle" in the Bible.
Did Christ ever give a blind man his sight "under the appearance of the man
remaining blind"? Did He ever raise a dead man to life "under the appearance of
the man remaining dead"? Under those circumstances it would not be unbelief but
common sense to deny that the alleged miracle had occurred at all!
the water turned to wine by Christ at the wedding in Cana had been this kind of
"miracle"! The servants pour it out to the governor of the feast and he
exclaims, "I asked for wine. This is water!" The servants insist, "Sir it is
wine." Angrily the governor shouts, "It looks like water, tastes like water, it
is water!" "You need faith," the servants insist. "This is a miracle! Christ
turned water into wine-but under the appearance of remaining water." "That's not
a miracle, that's a fraud!" would be the governor's response. And he would be
right. And so it is with transubstantiation! The golden cup is "full of
of purgatory is another abomination in the golden cup. Vatican II says that
although Christ suffered to bear our eternal punishment, we must personally
suffer to to bear our eternal punishment, we must personally suffer to expiate
the temporal punishment due for our sins: "Sins must be expiated ...through the
sorrows, miseries and trials of this life... [or] in the next life through fire
and torments or purifying punishments... in purgatory the souls of those
'who died in the charity of God and truly repentant for their sins and
omissions' are cleansed after death with punishments designed to purge away
their debt." Yet Peter himself declared that Christ has "once suffered for sins,
[He] the just for [us] the unjust, that he might bring us to God" (1 peter 3:18)
not to purgatory.
There is a
further contradiction. Although Catholicism says we must personally suffer, it
also says we don't have to. Masses and rosaries can be said, even after one's
death, to reduce one's suffering in purgatory. For those who die wearing the
brown scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and fulfill certain other obligations,
she promises to go into purgatory the Saturday after their death and take them
out to heaven. So they don't have to personally suffer. Christ's sacrifice on
the cross was not sufficient, but its alleged repetition in the Mass, if done
enough times, will eventually get one to heaven. Moreover, good Catholics may
offer their sufferings to release souls from purgatory. Padre Pio manifested the
stigmata for 40 years to pay the penalty for the sins of the world so that souls
could be released from purgatory. Of such alleged saints, Vatican II says, "They
have carried their crosses to make expiation for their own sins and the sins of
others. They were convinced that 'by their suffering' they could help their
brothers to obtain salvation from God ...." Catholicism has indeed filled that
golden cup with abominations! 35:25
centuries the payment of money brought deliverance from purgatory. That practice
eventually troubled Martin Luther's conscience and sparked the Reformation. Who
can forget the infamous sales pitch of the Dominican Friar Tetzel, commissioned
by Pope Leo X to reap a fortune for Rome: "As soon as the coin in the coffer
rings, a soul from purgatory springs"!
nothing new. Rome had consistently sold salvation for centuries. Again we say,
she has "made merchandise of...souls of men" (Rev 18:13). Popes published lists
of every crime from incest to piracy to murder with a price for which the Church
would give absolution for each. For example, a deacon guilty of murder could be
absolved for 20 crowns. The "anointed malefactors" as they were called, once
pardoned by the Church, could not be prosecuted by civil authorities because the
Church reigned supreme. Here is a further abomination filling the Woman's cup:
selling tickets to heaven which actually send people to hell!
practices continue in Roman Catholicism to this day. One may obtain a Mass card
from any mortuary. When the names of the deceased and the donor have been filled
in and an offering given to the church, the priest will place the card on the
altar during Mass, allegedly reducing the time of suffering for the deceased in
purgatory. Of course, the Church makes no guarantee how much the suffering will
be shortened nor how many more Masses must be said before the gates of heaven
can be opened. Consequently, multiple Masses are purchased hoping that
eventually enough will have been celebrated. A friend's father died recently and
he told me that $2,000 in Mass cards were purchased at the funeral.
Catholics claim they don't believe in indulgences; but Vatican II declares: "The
Church... teaches and commands that the usage of indulgences-a usage most
beneficial to Christians and approved by the authority of the Sacred
Councils-should be kept in the Church; and it condemns with anathema those who
say that indulgences are useless or that the Church does not have the power to
grant them." There are 20 complex rules governing indulgences. Rule 17 explains
that the use of a crucifix, rosary, scapular or medal "can gain a partial
indulgence. But if this object of piety is blessed be the Pope or any bishop,
the faithful who use it with devotion can also gain a plenary [full] indulgence
o the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul ...."
another abomination filling that gold chalice. What kind of "God" grants favors
depending upon whether a priest or a bishop has blessed some scapular or medal
and whether it is used on a feast of Peter or Paul-and favors, remember, which
the sufferings of Christ upon the cross could not procure!
the Woman is called "the mother of harlots." As well as spiritual
harlots, Roman Catholicism has created literal harlots by the millions.
Throughout history, and today, priests, bishops, cardinals and popes without
number who claimed to be celibates have had their lovers. There were popes who
were the sons of supposedly celibate popes: Pope Sylverius was fathered by Pope
Hormisda and John XI by Sergius El. The list of bastards who ruled the church
includes Popes Boniface I, Gelasius, Agapitus, Theodore, Adrian IV and others.
No wonder Pope Pius II, who himself fathered illegitimate children, said that
Rome was "the only city run by bastards." For centuries it was a favorite joke
that Rome had more prostitutes than any other city because she had the most
exploits of supposedly celibate priests and nuns, once hushed up, are , are
increasingly coming out in the open. For example, the National Catholic
Reporter recently stated: "Seven French women ... companions of priests
who... are forced to 'live clandestinely, for a lifetime, the love they share
with a priest' [and who] represent thousands of women in similar
relationships... arrived at the Vatican Aug. 20. [They] asked the pope to...
look into the reality faced by 'thousands of priest's companions who live in the
shadows, often with the approval of church superiors, and by the children who...
are raised by their mothers alone or are abandoned."
Archbishop of Vienna recently stepped down after being charged with sexual abuse
of minors. The Bishop of Basel, Switzerland, too, resigned after admitting to an
affair with a woman whom he made pregnant. The resignation of Ireland's Prime
Minister and collapse of its government was recently precipitated by exposure of
40 years of the Catholic Church and Catholic government officials covering up
the continued sexual abuse of a pedophile priest. Homosexual priests are dying
of aids worldwide, with estimates that as many as 70% of priests in some
seminaries are practicing homosexuals. The Roman Catholic Church in America has
paid out an estimated 1 billion dollars in the past few years in out-of-court
settlements to cover up its clergy's sexual abuse. The Franciscan Seminary in
Santa Barbara, California recently had to shut down because of the sexual
involvement of its priests. The Milwaukee archdiocese is in serious financial
trouble due to payments it has had to make for out-of-court settlements
involving its priests' sexual affairs. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico
is on the brink of bankruptcy because of the lawsuits against it for priestly
sexual abuse. I have a file nearly two inches thick of news articles involving
sexual immorality of Roman Catholic clergy just within the past two years. It is
not that Catholic priests and nuns are any more lustful than the average person
they may have started out with higher ideals-but they have had imposed upon them
the unbiblical rule of celibacy which becomes a burden too great to bear. The
woman is indeed and literally "the mother of harlots."
THIRTEENTH, the Woman
is drunk "with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of
Jesus" (v 6). For centuries, to disobey the popes was heresy punishable by
death. J.H. Ignaz von Dollinger, a leading nineteenth century Catholic professor
of Church History, confessed: [S]ince 1183, the view of the Church had been
...[that] every departure from the teaching of the Church ...must be punished
with death, and the most cruel of deaths, by fire.
years before the Reformation there were Christians who refused to give
allegiance to Rome and who were slaughtered by the millions. Everyone knows of
the Crusades to retake the Holy Land, but few know that even larger and more
numerous crusades were fought to exterminate Christians all over Europe who, out
of conscience to God and obedience to the Bible, would not submit to the
authority of the popes or embrace Rome's heresies.
promised instant entrance to heaven for those who died in this slaughter of the
"heretics." It took about a century to exterminate the Albigensian Christians
who at one time were the majority of the population of southern France. Among
the cities wiped out by Pope Innocent ifi was Beziers, France-60,000 massacred
there, including women and children, in 1208 AD, which the pope called "the
crowning achievement" of his papacy. In the infamous St. Bartholemew's massacre
in August 1572, 70,000 Huguenots were killed, another 200,000 slaughtered over a
period of months, causing 500,000 to flee to Protestant countries for refuge.
The Waldenses were all but exterminated as were the Hussites. Here is part of
Pope Martin V's letter commanding the King of Poland in 1429 (100 years before
the Reformation) to exterminate the Hussites: Know that the interests of the
Holy See, and those of your crown, make it a duty to exterminate the Hussites.
Remember that these impious persons dare proclaim principles of equality... that
all Christians are brethren... that Christ came on earth to abolish slavery;
they call the people to liberty .... While there is still time, then, turn your
forces against Bohemia; burn, massacre, make deserts every where for nothing
could be more agreeable to God or more useful to the cause of kings, than the
extermination of the Hussites.
time to mention the horror of the tortures and murders of the Inquisitions which
terrorized Europe for centuries. There is no city on earth which even comes
close to having shed as much blood both of Christians and Jews as has Rome.
Pagan Rome's killing of Christians during periodic persecutions in the first
three centuries was nothing compared to the slaughter of both Christians and
Jews by Catholic Rome. Historian Will Durant writes candidly: "Compared with the
persecution of [alleged] heresy in Europe [by the Roman Catholic Church] ...the
persecution of Christians in the first three centuries after Christ [by pagan
Rome] was a mild and humane procedure." Yes, this Woman is indeed "drunk with
the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus" and no other city even comes
close to Rome in this regard.
FOURTEENTH, the fact
that it is a WOMAN who rides the Beast also points to Roman Catholicism.
Its main figure is a woman, a false sinless, perpetually virgin and all-powerful
"Mary" whom Rome has invented and worships. Catholics deny they worship Mary and
insist that the devotion and honor they give her is of a lesser quality than
that given to God and Christ. Perhaps in theory, but not in practice. There are
thousands of large and ornate shrines to Mary around the world (nearly 1,000 in
France alone) visited by hundreds of miserably. Obtain for me, then, the pardon
of my sins ...."
Catholic Mary is not the Mary of the Bible, but the Woman who rides the Beast.
She is appearing around the world in thousands of apparitions, offering her
peace plan for the world and millions are believing in her instead of in Christ.
17 and 18 refer to the same city, which was and is both religious and
commercial. By pointing out the similarities, Dyer established that last year. I
consider these chapters to be among the most remarkable prophecies in the Bible,
foretelling with absolute accuracy the rise of this city to world dominion and
its religious abominations.
woman riding the beast cannot be the literal city of Babylon being rebuilt in
Iraq for many reasons.
While Babylon could seem to meet some of the criteria in Rev 17, she falls far
short of meeting them all. She has been in ruins for 2000 years meeting none of
the fourteen criteria given to John, while the Vatican has been fulfilling them
all. Even if, as Dyer argues, Babylon has never been completely without
inhabitants, she has certainly not played any role in world affairs during that
Furthermore, that a rebuilt ancient city would somehow become such a great city
as to rule the world (it's not the Beast that is said to rule the world at this
point, but the woman riding it) in a brief time and make up for having been in
ruins ever since John penned these lines is rather far-fetched. It also would
seem to argue against imminency for the rapture, considering the great length of
time it would take not only for ancient Babylon to be rebuilt but to be
inhabited by hundreds of thousands of people and to become dominant in world
affairs. That it would happen to a city in Iraq makes it even more unlikely.
have attempted to show from the Bible and history is not some new theory lately
dreamed up but has been the conviction of untold numbers of evangelical
Christians who down through the ages existed independently of Rome and would not
give allegiance to her and were therefore slaughtered by the millions. Martin
Luther referred to them when he said, "We are not the first to declare the
papacy to be the kingdom of Antichrist, since for many years before us so many
and such great men (whose number is large and whose memory is eternal) have
undertaken to express the same thing so clearly and plainly."
martyrs, historian Will Durant wrote, "The Roman Church, they were sure, was the
Whore of Babylon ...." Such was the opinion even of many leading Roman Catholics
in the Middle Ages. For example, St. Bonaventure, cardinal and general of the
Franciscans, said that Rome was just like the harlot of the Apocalypse. The
Reformers were certain of this and it was written into their creeds. Thus D.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones declared, "I would not hesitate with the Reformers of the
16th century to [say that Roman Catholicism] is, as the Scripture puts it, 'the
whore." One could hardly come to any other conclusion from John's vision. This
has been the view of the evangelical church for 1500 years, yet that opinion is
lately being abandoned by evangelicals in the interests of ecumenism.