Exposing the identity of the Antichrist and the Great Prostitute
This study will include some revision for those who have been following my blog for some time and have covered the prophetic books Daniel and Revelation. It is important for this series that is looking at the continual battle through the ages for the hearts and minds of mankind, to study prophecy and see what God is revealing to us through His Word. The study, therefore, focuses on three very important areas of prophecy:
- The Antichrist.
- The Tribulation
- Babylon Religion
The Antichrist in scripture
Some deny that there will be a sinister individual called the Antichrist who will ascend to be the world governing power in the future. The term antichrist, they reason, is a general term used to suggest a spirit of unbelief that is directed against the teachings of Jesus. According to them, there is no identification in scripture of a single individual who would be considered “the Antichrist.”
A study of John’s letter is required to clarify the issue: John reminds his readers that they had heard that “the antichrist is coming” (1 John 2:18), but then goes on to warn that there will be many antichrists in the future and that even at the time of his writing the letter there existed those who had the spirit of the antichrist. John is the Biblical author who coined the name “Antichrist” in his letters, which were thought to be written between 90-95AD. With John then being one of the last contributors to the scriptures, it is only logical that no other author of scripture would have used a term John coined. That does not mean they did not write and warn us about the Antichrist. A close look at scripture shows that a number of Biblical authors write in detail about the Antichrist, only they each give him a name fitting to their own description of him.
Examples of Biblical authors’ names for the Antichrist would be:
- Moses refers to the Antichrist as the “seed” of the serpent (Gen. 3:15).
- Daniel has several names for the Antichrist in his detailed prophecies of the End Times. In two of Daniel’s visions, he is called the Little Horn (Daniel 7:8 and 8:9); he is called a contemptible person in 11:21; and a wilful king in chapter 11:36. Then in 9:26, Daniel refers to him as the prince that shall come (KJV).
- Zechariah calls the Antichrist the idol shepherd (Zech. 11:16-17), which is in strong contrast to Jesus, the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep.
- In the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, he calls the Antichrist the man of sin and the son of perdition (2 Thess. 2:3 [KJV]), and that wicked one (2 Thess. 2:8 [KJV]). All these adjectives that Paul uses to describe the Antichrist point to his rebellion against God.
- In a vision that the Apostle John is given by God, John sees the Antichrist as the Beast (Rev. 13:1). This is in stark contrast to his earlier referring to Jesus as a Lamb (Rev. 5:6). Jesus is The Lamb of God who died for the sins of others in an act of agape love and selflessness. The Antichrist is the Beast who will destroy others through acts of hatred and selfishness.
Jesus pointed to the Antichrist
“I have come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”(John 5:43)
In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes a direct reference to the coming of the Antichrist, pointing out that the deceiver will be recognised as the Messiah. The True Messiah is rejected, but the false messiah will be accepted. Note that Jesus is not just speaking about the attitude of the religious leaders of the day, He is stating that the Jewish people, because of their hardheartedness will reject Him, and in time open their arms to the counterfeit messiah – the Antichrist.
A hardened heart results in a reprobate mind
Scripture tells us that Pharaoh hardened his heart seven times to the requests of Moses to let the nation of Israel go, the other three times it was God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart. God gave Pharaoh seven opportunities to repent and accept His wishes, so, the Pharaoh had intentionally and continually hardened his heart before God handed him over to a reprobate mind. I would suggest that there was a fourth hardening of Pharaoh’s heart by God, which took place on the shores of the Red Sea. Pharaoh, despite all the warnings he had received, plunged recklessly into the gap between the standing waves to follow the people of Israel. The result of a hardened heart is judgement. Pharoah had given instructions that the new born sons of Israel were to be drowned, so God drowned Pharoah.
“The coming of the lawless one (Antichrist) will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion (the Antichrist) so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”(2 Thess. 2:9-12)
Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians, warns that mankind will reject “the truth,” and because of this, God will send them “a powerful delusion.” Mankind, like Pharaoh, has hardened his heart, this time to the Good News of Jesus, so God will give mankind what he wants, the counterfeit of Jesus – the Antichrist. When mankind continually sins and refuses to acknowledge God, God will hand man over to a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:28). The true Messiah has been rejected, so the counterfeit is given, and he will be accepted (John 5:43).
Mystery Babylon Religion
In earlier presentations evidence was presented to show that God used the “Land of Nimrod” to judge the sin of Babylonian religion and idolatry in the Promised Land:
- The nation of Israel was ruled by Mesopotamia during the time of the judges.
- The rebellious Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians, their capital city was Nineveh, a city established by Nimrod.
- The Southern Kingdom of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians, whose capital city was the home base of Nimrod.
In the Last Days God will judge mankind for falling for the deceptions of Babylon Religion, by using the Antichrist, the leader of Babylon religion to bring judgement. Just as God used the kings of the territory of Babylon Religion to judge the apostate worship of Babylon Religion. So, the Antichrist, the End Time ruler of Babylon religion, will be the delusion sent by God to fulfil the judgement on mankind for their rebellion and worship of Babylon religion.
In Daniel 9:27, Daniel warns of a ruler of great standing who will initiate a covenant with Israel, it is one of the most important prophecies regarding the Antichrist, which links to the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1-2. Daniel warns of a ruler who will “confirm a covenant with many for one seven,” this “seven” is a heptad, which is a week consisting of seven years. The covenant will apparently be a peace treaty for a duration of seven years. However, in the middle of the seven-year period the ruler will break the covenant, ending the Temple sacrifices and placing a statue of himself in the Temple as an object of worship (Dan. 9:27b; Matt. 24:15; Rev. 13:14-15). The “ruler” Daniel refers to in his prophecy must therefore be the Beast of Revelation 13 – the Antichrist – the seed of Satan. The erection of the idol in the Temple is an abomination to the Jews and will signal the end of the covenant they have with the Antichrist, and then the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21) will commence. The Great Tribulation will consist of both the consequences of the rule of the Antichrist, such as wars, famine and economic hardship, and also the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements from God. Because the focus of fulfilled prophecy is on the Jews during this time, the Tribulation is also referred to as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7).
The Antichrist will Persecute Believers
God repeatedly warns in scripture that believers during the Tribulation will be persecuted by the Antichrist and False Prophet during the Great Tribulation.
“As I looked, this horn (Antichrist) made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.” (Daniel 7:21–22 ESV).
“Also, he (Antichrist) was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given him over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 13:7-8).
God allows the persecution of the Saints as He has given authority to the Beast. The persecution ensures there is no sitting on the fence, you are either with the Antichrist or against him.
“And it (the False Prophet) was allowed (by God) to give breath (demonic life) to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain” (Rev. 13:15).
The question as to how believers will be killed by the Antichrist is answered in Revelation 20:4: “I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus.”
“And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it”(Rev. 12:3-4).
The first wonder of Revelation 12 is a woman representing the nation of Israel, the second wonder is the great red dragon. John reminds the reader that the dragon is a sign, therefore not literal, it is a very good representation of Satan – the evil murderer and destroyer. As has been stated previously, Satan in Scripture is either a serpent (the deceiver), casting doubt and lies, or he is the dragon (the murderer). The early Church experienced Satan as the dragon, as he sought to wipe out Christianity through the hubris of a succession of Roman Emperors, who each claimed to be god, and demanded to be worshipped, persecuting all that refused to do so. When the dragon did not succeed, and the fledgling Church continued to grow, so Satan then became the serpent, and through deception opened the door of the Church to paganism. The result was the formation of the Roman Catholic Church, which led the Church into the Dark Ages, a time dominated by man’s traditions, superstation, idolatry and greed.
The Last Days will once more see Satan as the Dragon, as he seeks to destroy all the saints of God through the rule of the Antichrist: “And to it (the Antichrist) the dragon (Satan) gave his power and his throne and great authority” (Rev. 13:2b).
Babylon Religion Identified
“1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (Rev. 17:1-6).
The Vision of the Woman – Ten details describe this woman
Revelation Chapter 17 is a parenthesis that pauses the narrative of the book of Revelation, giving details to explain why God’s great wrath is directed against Mystery Babylon Religion. John is led by one of the bowl angels into a desert wildness and shown the “great prostitute,” the mother of all false religions. The angel then proceeds to reveal ten important details about this woman:
- It is important to remember that the symbolism of a woman in scripture is a spiritual or religious movement. John refers to this woman as being sexually immoral, in other words an apostate religious system – a system that elevates man’s philosophies above God’s word. A prostitute is promiscuous; she is not a wife! A wife enjoys an intimate relationship with her husband within a covenant bond, and she is faithful to him! However, a prostitute is not a wife, for she is engaged in sexual promiscuity, and does not function in a covenant relationship with one man. The rejection of God’s word for the worship of other gods is referred by to as “spiritual prostitution” in scripture (Leviticus 20:6; Exodus 34:15, 16). The term “great prostitute,” emphasizes that the woman is a notorious false religious system. She is far more than just a false religion, she is the greatest of all apostacy, the very origin of all false religions, the mother that spawned all other rebellious beliefs.
- She sits on many waters, which means her apostate faith is world-wide covering all nations.
- The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, which refers to the rulers of these nations having benefitted from a relationship with this false religion, this emphasizes that the apostacy is universal.
- The inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries, which indicates that the people of the world had been deceived by the false religion and will have consumed her toxic ideology.
- The woman is seated on a scarlet beast – the Antichrist. So, the harlot holds the reigns, she is the driving force behind his rise to power.
- The woman is dressed in purple and scarlet, which seems contrary to her being referred to by the angel as the Great Harlot. Dyed cloth of purple and scarlet was very expensive and reserved for the elite of the day, worn by the aristocracy, Roman officials and the royal household.
- The great prostitute is adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls. Just as a pimp is garishly in your face flashy, this Madam is gaudily over dressed in expensive cloth and lavish jewellery, emphasizing her great wealth, attained through corrupt means.
- The extent of her corruption is revealed by the contents of the golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things, and the filth of her adulteries. When God’s word is contaminated by man’s philosophies, mankind no longer stands on the firm ground of God’s Word, the leaven is allowed to spoil the whole lump.
- On her forehead, the place where God puts His seal on His saints (Rev. 14:1), she advertises her status as “Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Abomination of the Earth”. Her identity is exposed, the Great Prostitute is the original false religion established in the rebellion against God, led by Nimrod and symbolised by the Tower of Babel.
- She is drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. The depth of her apostacy is revealed in her murderous attacks against the Bride of Christ.
An important reason for the use of symbolism by John to describe the Mother of Prostitutes, is that the message that he is giving may then be interpreted by any church through history to the modern era. The message is clear, that all false religions are related to the Great Whore and will therefore persecute the Church of God. However, God is in control and the apostate religious system will be held accountable by Him – the seventh bowl judgement, which is the destruction of Rome, is confirmation of this fact.
The detailed information that John provides in His description of the Great Prostitute, enables us to make a clear and decisive identification of the apostate faith that is Babylon Religion in modern times. It is extremely important to identify the apostate Christianity, as it is the corrupted faith through which the Antichrist will rise to power. Knowing the false religion will enable believers to identify the Antichrist, and give forewarning before they are raptured to all who will listen.
The description of the apostate faith is very detailed, and enables the conclusion to be made that the description of the Mother of Prostitutes, and her location given in verse 9, is indicating Roman Catholicism. Also, when looking at the detailed evidence pointing to the Roman Catholic Church as the Great Whore, it is also important to ask the question, what other religion matches the many and varied requirements given in Revelation 17? The answer is that none come anywhere near matching even a few of the ten points!
The identity of the Antichrist
“… and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names” (17:3).
Note that John describes the Whore riding the beast, controlling his movements. The Antichrist will rise to power through the false religious system. As the beast comes to prominence, the apostate church will seek to promote world unity under the authority of the Antichrist. A second important factor in identifying the Antichrist is that the beast is “full of blasphemous names”. There can be no more blasphemous designation on earth than “Pope”:
Pontifex Maximus is a pagan title bequeathed to the emperor of Rome by Attalus III of Pergamum in 133 BC. Pontifex means “bridge builder,” and maximus means “greatest,” thus the title means “the greatest bridge builder”. Thus, the Emperor was seen not only as the ruler over his empire but also the bridge maker between God and man, a king and high priest. Emperor Gratian, a devout Christian recognised that the title was pagan and refused it in AD 378. In the early church the lead elder of a church within a city was referred to as a bishop, all bishops were of equal standing. Over the years the Bishops of Rome continually sought to elevate their authority over the other churches; Churches such as those in Jerusalem where the first church was founded, or Antioch the home of the first Gentile church, or Alexandria where all the great scholars congregated had intellectual status in the Church community. The church of Rome’s only claim was that it was the seat of the emperor, so when Gratian refused the title Pontifex Maximus, the bishop of Rome took the pagan title for himself, looking to cement his position as the superior Christian bishop – the bishop who was the “greatest bridge builder” between man and God. A common trend in Roman Catholicism, is their willingness to combine paganism with Christianity – syncretism, which God hates.
The apostle Paul, in Romans 8:15, gives one of the most wonderful revelations in scripture – that we, on the acceptance of the Lord Jesus as Lord and Saviour, become the sons and daughters of the living God: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (adoption). And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (emphasis added).
At the moment of our salvation, we fall under the divine protection and Love of our heavenly Father. It is for this reason that Jesus instructed believers not to call any man “father” in the spiritual sense: “Do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” (Matt. 23:9). God alone is our “Holy Father,” and for a man to usurp his title is to attempt to claim the role of divine protector, and to steal the adoration befitting the title for himself. No man is able to replace the divine perfection that is our Holy Father, the Lord God Almighty
The title “Holy Father” is also a pagan title, as pagan priests were referred to as “father”. The title “Pope” comes from the Italian “papa,” “Holy Father” in Italian is “Sancta Papa,” — which is where “Pope” is derived from. God is our “Abba, Father”, not the Pope.
For the Pope to claim the title of “Holy Father” is therefore blasphemous for three reasons:
- We are instructed by Jesus to “not call anyone ‘father,’ for you have one Father and He is in heaven” (Matt. 23:9). Yet the Pope calls himself not only “father” but moreover “The Holy Father” with a definite article. He therefore is defiantly placing himself in the place of God the Father.
- God alone is Holy, “Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy.” (Rev. 15:4).
- The Pope, by taking the title “The Holy Father,” is claiming the honour befitting that title for himself, which then takes the glory away from God, “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another” (Isa. 42:8).
Vicar of Christ
The title Vicar of Christ implies that the Pope has taken the place of Christ on earth, the Latin vicarious meaning “substituting, taking the place of another”. Jesus told His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to take His place (John 14:16), not the Pope! The word “anti” in antichrist means both against Christ and “IN PLACE OF” Christ. Now look at the following quote from John Paul II: “The leader of the Catholic Church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ (and is accepted as such by believers). The Pope is considered the man on earth who takes the place of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.” (John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 3 1994 [emphasis added]). This incredible claim by Pope John Paul is not an isolated belief, Pope lea XIII (1878-1903) said: “We (the Pope) hold upon this earth the place of God almighty,” and on April 30 1922; Pope Pius XI said: “You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on earth the Vicar of Christ, which means I am God on earth”. Thus, all Popes, having the title Vicar of Christ, hold the belief that they have taken the place of Jesus on earth, and are therefore to be considered “God on earth”.
King and high priest: As the Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, the Pope is crowned with a three-crown tiara (the triregnum), making Him a king and high priest, thus usurping the title reserved for Jesus alone. So, this one man claims the titles of each one of the Trinity, replacing them with himself.
Apostolic succession is the belief by the Roman Church, of an uninterrupted transmission of spiritual authority, from the Apostle Peter through successive Popes. This doctrine is very convenient for the Catholic Church. As with their claim that Peter was the first Pope, they then also claim full authority over the Church. So, the Pope is then the chief shepherdof the flock, while kings and rulers are merely one of the flock. This means that, according to the Vatican, the Pope is superior to, and has power over all the rulers of the earth. The problem for the Roman Church is that nowhere in the New Testament is the idea of “apostolic succession” set forth, scripture indicates that the other apostles were given the same authority as Peter (Matt. 16:19; 18:18; John 20:22-13). To add to this conundrum, there is also no record of Peter being superior to the other apostles. Apostolic authority was passed on through the writings of the apostles, not through apostolic succession. There is a long list of evidence against apostolic succession, some of the points against the claim are:
- The keys to the Kingdom of Heaven given to Peter by Jesus in Matthew 16:19, are “keys” which were symbolic of the work Peter would do in opening the way to salvation for both Jews and Gentiles. God used Peter to reach Jews from all over the Roman Empire at Pentecost (Acts 2). Then God used Peter to bring the gospel message to the Gentiles through the conversion of Cornelius at Caesarea (Acts 10:24-48). These two acts revealed the work that the Holy Spirit would do through the great commission which was given to all the disciples (Matt. 28:18-20).
- Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, explains that it is He who has the God-given responsibility to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, while Peter was to do the work of the Lord among the Jews (Gal. 2:7-8). Paul, in his letters, repeatedly refers to himself as the apostle responsible for teaching the Gentiles (Rom. 1:13; Gal. 1:16). So, scripture has Paul as the Apostle to the Gentiles and Peter as the Apostle to the Jews.
- Peter was not an infallible guide in faith and morals, as Paul rebuked Peter in Antioch for hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11-13).
- There is no record in scripture of Peter passing the apostolic authority onto anyone else.
- A study of the New Testament Greek shows that Peter’s name in the Greek is Petros, which means a stone (John. 1:42). Jesus, in Matthew 16:18, says that the Church would be built upon the Petra which means a “rock”. Rock in Scripture is a metaphor used to describe God in the Old Testament, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge” (2 Sam. 22:2). Also, a rock is used as a symbol representing Jesus: In Daniel 2:35, “the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth,” points to Jesus returning at the end of the age to set up His Kingdom. In the Book of Romans Jesus is “a stumbling stone and rock of offence; and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 9:33 [KJV]). In the parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27, the “rock” is the word of God upon which the wise builder builds his house. The Word of God is Jesus (John 1:1), the solid foundation is Jesus, and the rock that the Church is built upon is Jesus, not Peter.
- In Acts 15 James is presiding over the very important council at Jerusalem, if Peter was the first Pope why did he not preside? To ignore this important evidence is wilful blindness.
- Peter did not allow Cornelius to show reverence towards him (Acts 10:25-26). Peter would be appalled that a man claiming to be his successor, not only sitting in a chair entitled “Peter’s chair,” but also that men kneel before the chair to kiss the Pope’s ring, and that the Pope is carried in the chair on the shoulders of other men, on occasions of pomp and ceremony. This is not the humility that Peter showed, and which is required by scripture. The requirement Jesus set for the leaders of the Church is recorded in Matthew 20:25-26, “You know that rulers of gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you (the disciples). Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Papal infallibility (ex cathedra)
The dogma of Papal infallibility was declared in the year 1870 by Pope Pius IX. Papal infallibility means that “The Supreme Pontiff, by virtue of his office, possesses infallible teaching authority when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful… he proclaims with a definitive act that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held as such” (Canon 749).
Papal infallibility may only have become dogma in 1870, but the Roman Catholic Church holds on to a belief in “Semper idem” (“always the same”), which means that the declaration of being infallible by Pope Pius IX extends back to the first Pope, and therefore has always been a doctrine of the Catholic Church. When the Pope makes a proclamation regarding faith or morals it is to be seen as authoritative as scripture, which is made clear in Catechism 82: “As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scriptureand Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence” (emphasis added).
Ironically, this power given to the Pope to nullify scripture through papal decrees is seen by Catholics as fulfilling the role of the apostle Peter in his task “to keep the Church together in unity and defend the message of Christ against wrong teachings.” (Hirmer, Oswald. Our Joy in being Catholic. Mariannhill Mission Press, 2007.3).
The Pope, then, has the power when speaking “ex cathedra” (from the seat of authority of the Pope as the divine head of the Catholic Church), to be able to bring in doctrine and tradition that not only contradict scripture, but are also to be considered equal with scripture.
When the Pope speaks “ex cathedra” he is seen to be speaking with the voice of God, and therefore this requires that all Roman Catholics must submit to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, even when these traditions are manmade and have no basis in Scripture. The Catholic Church requires that all mankind believe that Popes – who all through the history of this Church have been involved in all manner of sin, wickedness, corruption and debauchery – were incapable of making a mistake when they make pronouncements on matters of faith and morals.
A path has effectively been laid by this “doctrine of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1 [KJV]), that directs people away from Jesus into the arms of the queen of heaven, the Great Whore. This authority will be a powerful tool in the hands of the Antichrist in the final stages of the development of the apostate church, as it opens its ecumenical arms to embrace all religions and form a one-world religion.
During the time of the Roman Emperors there were two kinds of religions: religio elicita (legal religions) and religio illicita (illegal religions). As long as the Emperor was acknowledged as a god, a person could have any religion he wanted. Their god would become part of the Roman Pantheon of gods, becoming part of the Roman religious system, the head being the Emperor. So, with papal infallibility in his arsenal at the start of the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will allow all religions to be practiced as long as they recognise him as the head of their religious system and worship his statue. Those who do not will be detained by the False Prophet as religio illicita, and put to death.
One of the infallible declarations made by the Popes is Unam Sanctum(“One Holy”), meaning that salvation of every single person is dependent on total obedience to the Pope, and the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. As “The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls” (Catechism, paragraph 937). Unam Sanctum demands a total submission to the Pope before a person is able to earn salvation.
The debased men throughout the history of the Catholic Church who have held the position of Pope, and claimed the title of “Vicar of Christ,” have been able to institute traditions which contradict scripture, then force people to follow them through the threat of the loss of their eternal salvation through the Papal Bull (law) of Unam Sanctum. The hypocrisy is astounding. The Catholic stance regarding the well-documented immorality of their Popes is that no matter how sinful the Pope is, he remains the head of the Roman Church and thereby requires submission and obedience from all Catholics.
The Papal bull Unam Sanctum places the Pope above all human authorities, spiritual and temporal. This also emphasizes the Catholic doctrine that the salvation of every single person is dependent on total obedience to the Pope and the traditions of the Catholic Church. In 1302 Pope Boniface VIII, found that strong European rulers, such as Philip IV of France and Edward I of England, were ignoring his instructions. Consequently, Boniface issued the papal bull Unam Sanctum, stating that spiritual matters were superior to temporal matters, therefore the instructions of the Pope was superior to all authority. A very convenient method to ensure the Pope always got his way.
Bishop of Bishops
The title places the Pope as superior to all religious leaders. The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the Mother Church, and will eventually claim to be the Mother of all faiths – making her the Mother of Prostitutes, the Great Whore of Revelation 17.
With the claim that the Pope is superior to all leaders and authorities, it becomes inevitable that the Pope would lay claim to all territories on earth. Temporal power gives Popes political and governmental power and authority, along with their claim to complete spiritual and pastoral power as the head of the Catholic Church. Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) aggressively supported papal authority, stating that “the Roman Pontiff judges all men, but is judged by no one. We declare, assert and pronounce: To be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every human creature altogether necessary for salvation…” (The Bull Sanctum, Nov 18, 1302, found in the registers of Boniface VIII in the Vatican archives, “Reg Vatic.” L. FOL. 387, the Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1913 by the Encyclopaedia Press INC.) Boniface VIII was more concerned about ruling with power and authority, than he was about ensuring the lost received salvation.
Thomas Aquinas, the much revered “Angelic Doctor” and “saint” of the Catholic Church wrote in his Summa Theologica in 1272, “The Pope, by Divine Right, hath Spiritual and Temporal Power, as Supreme King of the World”. In 1494 Pope Alexander VI was required to intercede in a possible conflict between Spain and Portugal. These two Catholic countries were the two dominant European powers at that time, and their colonial aspirations were bound to conflict. To ensure that a clash between the two Catholic super powers did not happen, Alexander VI, under his claim to have Temporal Power over all territories on earth, was able to divide the New World between Spain and Portugal. He determined that the Spanish would be allocated South America (after the colonisation of Brazil), and Africa would be for the Portuguese.
If Temporal Power of the Pope only extends to the Vatican City, as many Catholics would have you believe, then the Pope should have disbanded the Jesuits. The Jesuits are kept by the Pope because they are the tool that works to bring about papal authority over all of mankind, and Temporal Power over all the territories of the world.
The large number of blasphemous titles held by the Pope places him in the centre of the spotlight when determining the future position of authority that the Antichrist will hold. There is no other faith where the religious leader can be said to hold anything close to the large number of blasphemous titles as the Pope. Only the Pope claims to replace the Trinity on earth, to hold authority over all secular and religious leaders, that his dogma is superior to the Word of God, and that only through obedience to him can salvation be attained.
The Donation of Constantine
The Donation of Constantine is an 8th Century forgery, supposedly written by the Roman Emperor Constantine I. According to the document, Constantine was cured of leprosy by Sylvester, the Bishop of Rome at that time. In gratitude, Constantine elevated Sylvester over all Christian Bishops and bequeathed vast territories of the Roman Empire to the Vatican. The document was used by the Roman Catholic Church to make legitimate the claim of the Pope as Bishop of Bishops, and enforce the temporal power of the Vatican over the territory of the Roman Empire. The Donation of Constantine gives authority to the Catholic Church to claim not only clerical supremacy over all Christianity, but to also make the Pope an Emperor over the territories claimed by the document.
The Donation of Constantine was proved to be fraudulent by Lorenzo Valla in 1439, when he gave evidence of historical flaws that revealed the document to have been written centuries after the death of Constantine in AD 337. Ten Popes used The Donation of Constantine to back their claims to religious and political authority, and for the last 600 years since the document was exposed as a forgery, the Catholic Church has remained steadfast in its refusal to acknowledge this. Titles and powers claimed by the Pope give ample evidence to the idea that the Antichrist will assume the position of Pope, fulfilling the prophecies of the beast “that was covered with blasphemous names.”
The Roman “Decretalia”
Roman Decretalia is an authoritative work in the Roman ecclesiastical law: “Each pope, when invested with the ‘succession,’ declares the papal decretals to be true. He (the Pope) can pronounce sentence and judgements in contradiction to the rights of nations, to the law of God and man… He can free himself from the commands of the apostles, he being their superior, and from the rule of the Old Testament” (de Transcat. Eriscop, cap).
“The Pope has power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things even the precepts of Christ” (de Transcat. Eriscop, cap). Notice the wording of this quote matches a prophecy in Daniel that points to the authority of the Antichrist. Daniel 7:20 refers to the Antichrist as a little horn; a horn in the Bible is often a symbol of strength and authority (Psalm 89:24; 132:17). This little horn will blaspheme God and persecute God’s people during the tribulation, right up until the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Daniel prophesies that this evil king pictured as the little horn “will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people” (Daniel 7:25a). He will seek to change times and laws, and he will exert oppressive power over God’s people for three and a half years (Daniel 7:25b).
The very testimonies from these arrogant Popes, who make claims of their superiority to all mankind, place them firmly in the telescopic sights of the prophetic evidence in scripture that point to the Antichrist, a further example is: “The Pope will stand for reason, he can dispense above the law: and of wrong make right, by correcting and changing laws.” (Pope Nicholas, Dist. 96, quoted in ‘Facts for the Times’, pp 55, 1893.)
The Pope is “God on Earth”
The earlier section on The Vicar of Christ included a quote from Pope John Paul II: “The leader of the Catholic church is defined by the faith as the Vicar of Jesus Christ (and is accepted as such by believers). The Pope is considered the man on Earth who takes the place of the Second Person of the omnipotent God of the Trinity.” (John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 3 1994). This damming quote exposes the Roman Catholic belief that the Pope is “God on Earth”. This belief was earlier proclaimed by Pope Pius XI in 1922.
Venerated as God:
The Pope is venerated as God by the Roman Catholic Church, and requires priests to lie prostrate before Him, and he is carried on men’s shoulders in the chair of Peter, in the same manner as the ark (the presence of God on earth).
To answer the question is the “Great Whore” present in the world today? The answer must most definitely be yes! Without doubt the history of the Roman Catholic Church must be seen as starting at the time of historical Babylon (Gen. 11:1-9), including the mother-child cult of Semiramis and Tammuz (Jer. 44:16-19; Ezek. 8:9, 14), which entered other cultures as Ashtoreth – Baal, Aphrodite-Eros, Venus-Cupid, and eventually becoming Madonna and Child. Semiramis, Nimrod’s wife, was worshiped as the “mother of god,” Mary has now taken her place. The Roman Catholic Church is the result of the secret power of lawlessness (2Thess. 2:7), that has been at work since the Tower of Babel. The counterfeit apostate church is the result of the will of Satan imposed upon a rebellious mankind. The modern Roman Catholic Church is working towards not only all Christian denominations returning to her fold but also becoming the Mother of all faiths. The groundwork for the Antichrist to establish a one-world religion is being laid.
End Times prophecy is largely ignored by churches today, which is an error similar to the like of Neville Chamberlin the British Prime minister saying “peace in our time” on his return from a meeting with Hitler. To ignore God’s warnings in scripture of the events of the Last Days is gross negligence on the part of church leaders. There is a time soon coming when God is going to draw a line in the sand to define His true Church. God has to do this; He cannot allow churches to sit on the fence regarding His plans for mankind in the Last Days. Those churches who like the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane have ignored the command of Jesus to “watch and pray”, but instead fell asleep, are in for a rude awakening.