Before we begin a study of Revelation 17 and 18, I feel that it’s necessary to spend some time discussing specific reasons why I, Steve Wohlberg and others believe that the Roman Catholic Church is the antichrist and the ‘beast out of the sea’ of Revelation 13. We’ve talked about the atrocities committed by the papal system throughout the middle ages, but what is the Roman Catholic Church teaching today that would lead us to believe that they will continue to oppose God? As I’ve stated before, I have no personal agenda against individual Catholics. God loves each one of us and each of us will be individually judged by Him. I have been led to write about the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church for one reason – after much prayer and research, it is clear to me that the papal system is deceiving us. Many of their doctrines are not biblical. If they’re not biblical, where do they come from? These doctrines were created by men, not God. If they were created by God, then you and I would find them in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. What has also been astonishing to me is how deceptively these Catholic doctrines lead people away from a direct relationship with Jesus Christ. How is this possible you ask? How can a church that claims to guide people to Christ actually be leading them away from Him? These are the questions we’re about to answer. As I’ve mentioned before, whether you are a Catholic or not, whether you are now a born again Christian or not, you must put away pre-conceived notions of what you may have been told in the past and open your mind to the truth. You must pray to our Father in heaven about these things and ask him for true wisdom. It took me some time to understand what is happening in the world and the world’s deception. At first, I didn’t want to believe any of it. I didn’t want to believe how deceived the world truly is….but I kept praying for wisdom and understanding and faith. As a result, I now know what is happening in the world and why and most importantly, I now know who our true enemy is. Our enemy is not walking around on this planet scheming against us, he is a spiritual being who is using non-believers of Jesus Christ against us. You and I cannot take on Satan by ourselves. We must follow God’s plan for us to fight the enemy. We fight with spiritual weapons, not the weapons of this world. One of these weapons is Truth. God is going to give you a little more truth today. This is part of God’s plan for me – to show others the truth of what our enemy is doing.
Let’s start with a major change that the Roman Catholic Church has made to God’s Word. We have discussed this previously, but it is of the utmost importance, so we’re going to spend some more time discussing it. Remember what the Lord tells us in Daniel 7:25, ‘And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws…’ Daniel tells us that this ‘little horn’ will change times and laws. Let’s first look at what laws have been changed.
The following are the original Ten Commandments taken from Exodus Chapter 20 (KJV):
1. I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Now, let’s take a look at the Ten Commandments according to the Roman Catholic Church:
1. I, the LORD, am your God...You shall not have other gods besides me.
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
Do you see what has been changed? The Lord’s second commandment has been removed and the tenth commandment has been split into two commandments. What is the second commandment? ‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…’ (Exodus 20:4). Why would the Roman Church remove the second commandment? If you walk into any Catholic church, I believe you’ll see why. I recently participated in a blood drive that was setup in a Catholic Church. I saw tall, prominent statues of the virgin Mary and dead saints. I’ve seen pictures of Popes bowing and praying in front of statues of Mary. Is this biblical? Should we pray to anyone besides God? Absolutely not. I believe that the second commandment was removed because the Roman Catholic Church is violating it. What better way to hide the truth than to simply remove it from your teachings. The Catholic Bible has even removed this commandment. I would not want to try and explain to God on the day of judgment why I changed His laws.
Something else that bothered me when I was inside the Catholic Church is the Crucifix that is used by the Roman Church. It is a cross with Christ being crucified on it. Is this actually Christ on the cross? Of course not. What is it then? It is an image of Christ on the cross. This is also forbidden by the second commandment. It was also hard to ignore that the statues of Mary and the Saints were tall and imposing figures. Christ is depicted on the cross in a humiliating posture. Yes, Christ was humiliated and yes, He was crucified. But when he spoke, ‘It is finished!’….His ultimate sacrifice was over. ‘When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit’ (John 19:30). Is Jesus still hanging on the cross in a humiliating manner? No! He sits at the right hand of God Almighty with all Power and Authority. ‘”But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God”’ (Luke 22:69). So, why would Jesus be depicted in this manner? Why would Mary and the Saints be depicted in such powerful images while Jesus is shown in a humiliating manner? The Bible is clear on this topic – no images.
Let’s continue by taking a closer look at other Roman Catholic Doctrines. The source for these doctrines is the Roman Church itself – the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This was written to summarize the basic teachings of the Roman Church and was approved by Pope John Paul II in 1992.
First, let’s look at the Roman Church’s teachings on the virgin Mary. The Roman church teaches the doctrine of Immaculate Conception. This doctrine states that the virgin Mary was preserved of all stain of original sin from her conception (Catechism, 490-492). What did Mary say in the Bible? ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour’ (Luke 1:46-47). So, Mary was fully aware that she needed a savior. The church also states that Mary, the “All-Holy”, lived a perfectly, sinless life (Catechism 411, 493). What does the Bible say? ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23).‘As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one”’ (Romans 3:10). The Bible is clear – Jesus is the only person referred to in the Scriptures as sinless. ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin’ (Hebrews 4:15).
The Roman Church also teaches that Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ (Catechism 496-511). The Bible tells us something different. ‘Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us?’ (Mathew 13:54-56). The Bible even tell us the names of Jesus’ brothers. Other Scriptures that refer to Jesus’ brothers are Mathew 12:46, John 2:12; John 7:3; Acts 1:14; and Galatians 1:19.
This church teaches that because she is the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, therefore Mary is the Mother of God. (Catechism 963, 971, 2677). The Bible tells us that Mary was the mother of Jesus the man, not the mother of Jesus as God. According to the Bible, the world was created by Jesus, long before Mary was born. ‘For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist’ (Colossians 1:16-17). Jesus existed before ALL things on earth, including Mary.
According to Roman Catholics, Mary is the mother of the church (Catechism 963, 975). In Acts 1:13-14, we are told that a group of people (including some disciples and Mary) are praying together. Mary is not given any special importance. ‘When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers’ (Acts 1:13-14). It is notable that even though John took Mary into his home after Jesus was crucified, he mentioned Mary Magdalene more often in his writings than Jesus’ mother.
According to the Roman Church, Mary is the co-mediator to whom we can entrust all of our cares and petitions (Catechism 968-970, 2677). According to the Bible, there is only one mediator and He is Jesus Christ. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Simply stated, Jesus does not need Mary’s help to mediate for us. There are other unbiblical Catholic doctrines related to Mary, I will stop here and leave it up to you to research the rest. I have used the website http://www.answeringcatholicism.com/ in researching some of this material and encourage you to continue to research on your own.
I’ll end this posting with words written by Mary Ann Collins. Mary Ann is a former Catholic Nun who now has her own website (http://catholicconcerns.com/).
‘Catholic theologians speak of three degrees of homage, which have Latin words. "Latria" is the kind of worship which is due to God alone. "Dulia" is appropriate for honoring the saints. "Hyperdulia" is appropriate for honoring Mary. It is higher than "dulia" but not "latria". Therefore, Catholic theologians say that Catholics do not worship Mary.However, in the practical, down-to-earth, real world, these theological distinctions don't work. Most Catholics have never heard of these words. Of those who have, how many know how to apply them in practical ways? Catholics are not told how to engage in "hyperdulia" without crossing a line that results in actually practicing "latria" towards Mary without realizing it.When asked about praying to Mary and the saints, I always used to say that actually I was just asking them to pray for me, like I would ask a friend. Well, that is not really accurate, because when I talk to my friends I am not talking to people who have died. Also, I just ask them directly for what I want. I would never begin talking to my friends by saying something like: "Hail holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve."I personally participated in many kinds of Marian devotions. ("Marian" means something relating to the Virgin Mary.) I prayed the Rosary, which uses beads to keep track of the prayers. There are ten "Hail Mary's" for every "Our Father" (the Lord's Prayer). The words of the Hail Mary are: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death." I wore the Brown Scapular (two pieces of cloth attached with strings, worn in honor of Mary). I also wore the Miraculous Medal. Both the Brown Scapular and the Miraculous Medal resulted from apparitions of Mary. There are special prayers associated with them. The apparitions of Mary promised to help people who were faithful to these devotions. I went to special services where we recited litanies (a series of titles honoring Mary), prayed to her, and sang songs in her honor, or else recited the words of the songs. I participated in a procession where people carried a statue of Mary, and we all followed it, singing songs in her honor. I visited several Marian shrines. I read books about apparitions of Mary, and dreamed of some day going to Lourdes.I did not realize that what I was doing was actually a form of worship. I thought that it was pleasing to God. I thought that Jesus wanted us to honor His mother in this way. Copyright 2001 by Mary Ann Collins. All rights reserved.’