The Fourth Beast -Christians,Ecumenism and Politics,Part 1
- As we continue to examine the system of the fourth beast,the possible identity of the eight kings of Revelation is to be discussed.Before we do this however some aspects of current and past activities in the world, that are relevant will be looked at.The study following looks at some general principles but it must be noted that the study was done in 1995 and hence some things may not be relevant.A bibliography and note on sources is included in part 2.
CHRISTIANS, ECUMENISM AND POLITICS - 1
Ecumenism is the popular word in religious circles today and many religious groups are now in discussions with each other, in order to take a unified stand against sin and in fighting the problems of the world. But can the many different denominations which exist ever be united, considering the sometimes vast differences which may exist between them?
The major denominations are making serious attempts at this and the call to unite, under the things which are common and continue discussion of the differences, appears to have been heeded. This development is not only among Protestant Churches but also involves the Roman Church. Once the Roman Church was abhorred by the Protestant denominations and they would not associate with Rome, but now the belief is that in order to present a unified front to the world they should both make concessions in order to come together on a unified front. The Protestants claim the atrocities committed by Rome are in the past and that they will not occur again. But what has Rome done to change the world's perception of her? Has the leopard changed its spot, or has the Roman Church embarked on a massive public relations campaign in order to gain the favour of the world? They have done many commendable things, especially in their work with the poor and destitute and their efforts in education
and skills training. The Roman Church has an enviable social programme and works closely with many governments to set up programmes to aid the poor. Now instead of taking money from the people, to absolve them and their dead relatives of their sins and with no more plundering of lands by Holy Crusades, the Roman Church has now become benevolent. But is this a sign of genuine change in its doctrine and religious practices? Are these acts of kindness and "love" sufficient to allow Protestants to change their view of Rome and "join" with them in the effort to alleviate poverty and aid the needy in the society and also, in a united front of tackle a sinful society? I think not, because the basic doctrine and beliefs of the Roman Church still remains.(I Corinthians 13:3;I John 3;18;Psalm 119:151)
Just recently on a local radio station it was revealing to hear the explanation of the reverence for Mary and the reasons for Her title as Queen of Heaven - Mother of God, and also the ways in which the rosary was used (See Jeremiah 7:18) The Pagan symbols also are still in use and Pope John Paul II on one of his world tours could be seen carrying his pine cone staff and wearing his mitre, a symbol of the Sun-Fish-God Dagon.
In his visit to Africa a speech he gave encouraged the Roman Church there to incorporate the local customs and religious practices into the Liturgy of the Roman Church. One of these,which was used in a service which he took part in,was the Pagan Fertility Rite.
When elected in 1978, as Pope, John Paul II dedicated his period as Pope to Mary. He made it a point of duty to visit the most prominent Shrines of Mary and in his native Poland he led half (1/2) million pilgrims in consecrating that country to Mary.
These and other practices of the Roman Church serves as evidence that the Romanist's are not truly reformed but probably engage in the charitable acts in order to regain the favour of the world. Many will passionately defend the Roman Church as being "Godly" because of these acts of benevolence, without looking beyond this facade. The embracing of the pagan rituals in Africa has helped to fill Roman Seminaries in Africa. The strategy of bending to accommodate unity is also seen in the recent gambling dispute involving Mon. R. Albert and it is the strategy which is being used worldwide to further the cause of unity.
But is it not desirable for Christians to unite in order to be more effective in the spreading of the Gospel? Yes, I would answer but then ask, unite with whom or what? Let us see what the scriptures say about our associations as Christians.
Jeremiah 10:2 - "Thus says the Lord : Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the people are false."
I John 2:15-16 - 'Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the father but is of the world."
James 4:4 - "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world make himself an enemy of God."
// Corinthians 6:14-18 - "Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What
accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement has the Temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the Living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you and I will be a Father to you and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
From these passages we see that it is important that we be careful about those with whom we associate. In associating with the world, loving the things of the world and being friends of the world we will be enemies of God and will likely be influenced by the world and will not reprove the sinful ways of the world.
Hence for Christians to be in political organizations, is to be in danger of being enemies of God. They have to be careful they do not join their colleagues in ungodly practices or fail to rebuke them when they act in this manner. It is the same for Christians who would associate with others who claim to be worshipping God, but are in error. We should not as Christians have permanent associations with them but seek to teach them so that they may come out of the dark and enter into light. We, however, should be careful that no pagan or unscriptural practices are encouraged by the new converts as occurred in the early church. (See, John17:17)
Is the Roman Church the only one in error at this time? No, many of the Protestant Churches are also in error and hence those who seek to join in Ecumenical activities, should be careful that they are not influenced into error or become passive assistants to the erroneous teachings of these ecumenical groups. Even now in the United States various ecumenical groups are being formed and some of the more prominent ones are among the Evangelical - Pentecostal type groups. The comments and actions of leaders of these groups, show their aims are not only to preach the Gospel.
Jerry Falwell. founder of the moral majority and leader of P.T.L. Club after Jimmy Baker's demise, was a major backer of Ronald Reagan's bid for the Presidency in 1980. This was because of his support of their ideas of returning to traditional values.
Pat Robertson. the owner of the Christian Broadcasting Network and founder of the 700 Club had aspirations for the very top of the political ladder, he said, " Unless Christians desire a nation and a world re-ordered to the Humanistic/Hedonistic Model, it is absolutely vital that we take control of the U.S. Government away from the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations;" he speaks of turning to God, "To galvanize Christians to political action".
Robert Grant leader of Christian Voice said, "If Christians unite we can do anything. We can pass any law or any amendment. And that's exactly what we intend to do." On nationwide t.v. he declared, "We can do anything, we can amend the Constitution, we can elect a president, we can change or make any law in the land, and it behooves us to do it. If we have to live under law, as well we should, we should live under moral and godly law.
In a letter, to the leader of the Religious Round-table, it was asked if it is not time someone influenced legislation to make Sunday a day of worship in our country. In reply the leader H. Edward Rowe wrote and said, "Legislation and proclamations by presidents to urge it - Yes"
The Lord's Day Alliance Group also wants a national Sunday law and has printed several articles concerning it.
The National Catholic Journal, Catholic Twin Circle, encouraged, "All Americans would do well to petition the President and the Congress to make a federal law - an amendment to the constitution if need be - to re-establish the Sabbath (meaning Sunday) as a national day of rest."
Papers and media messages pleads to the masses that, "It is the responsibility of Government to decree the establishment of the National Observance of Sunday." And that;
"There will be no relief from mounting economic disaster until a national Sunday law is strictly enforced!"
These groups have a desire to remove the provision for religious liberty in the U.S. Constitution under the banner of imposing God's law. The moral majority now called the Religious Right has sympathizers in politics and among political aspirants (Newt Gingrich, Pat Bucchanan, Colin Powell) and they are encouraging Christians to take leadership roles at state and national levels.
The attack on the Religious Liberty Provision in the U.S. Constitution had been most evident in the words of A Jesuit Priest in a Los Angeles Times Report, he said:
"I just don't understand the reverence which everybody here seems to pay to the American Constitution. I want to hear some American get up and shout, give us justice, give us decency and to hell with the American Constitution."(Reported in "The Catholic News" of July,1963.)
The danger these alliances pose is that the political power gained will be used to impose religious laws upon persons of differing religious views. This would be similar to the route taken by the Roman Church in the past and inevitably persons with opposing views would be persecuted. The view that Christians should get involved in Government is encouraged by the widespread corruption there, and the rise in violence, crime and poverty which the governments of the world seem unable to curb.
This view is also being encouraged in many other nations by various persons, groups and Christians now seem to see nothing wrong with being involved in politics in spite of the glaring contradiction of light and darkness being in communion. But suppose it was possible to get a Christian Government in office as some advocate, will they endeavour to operate by Christ's principles? Note the following:
'When the days drew near for Him to be received up, He set His face to go to Jerusalem. And He sent messengers ahead of Him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him, but the people would not receive Him, because His face was set towards Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them as Elijah did?" But He turned and rebuked them and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of, for the Son of man came not to destroy men's lives but to save them" ' (Luke 9:51-55)
"And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the Day of Judgement for the Lord of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town."( Matthew 10:14-15)
'But Jesus called them to Him and said, "You know the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but who ever would be great among you must be your servant and who ever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." ' (Matthew 20:25-28)
Will these "Christian" leaders be able to resist the trappings of power and continue to be like Christ? Based on the statements they have made, this is doubtful,because they all seek power in order to lord it over others, and to forcefully impose their views on others. Some may ask, "What effect will these developments in the U.S.A have on us?" It is to be noted that, in many areas, the U.S. A has been able to influence world opinion and hence these trends must be viewed on the basis of how much these leaders would like to influence the rest of the world when they gain power.
In the past, when religious groups were joined to secular powers, they have attempted to impose their religious beliefs on the entire world. The efforts of the "Holy" Roman empire is a prime example, but for the Reformers and Napoleon, it is highly likely that we would now be subjects of the "Holy" Roman Empire. But as we can see, from the trends in the U.S.A., Rome is once again encouraging the merger of the religious and secular worlds.
But this is not the only front on which Rome is making an attempt at world dominance, nor is it the first attempt this century. At the start of World War II, Hitler signed two (2) contracts, with the Vatican under Pope Pius XII, that Puis XII would use the church to support Hitler in the war and in return when Hitler was victorious he would establish the Roman Church as the only legitimate religion in the world.
In recent years the Vatican is again seeking power on the back of another secular power, which apparently has found a way to unite the whole world under one government, i.e. a New World Order.
Malachi Martin, former professor in the Vatican Bible Institute, Jesuit Priest and author speaking on the World Tonight Radio Programme with Phillip Tell , says that Pope John Paul II is convinced the One World Government will be in place by the end of the 1990's and he wants to be at the center of it. The Pope says, because he is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the mouthpiece of God on moral and religious matters, he intends to be in the middle of Governmental Relations of any new system being set up. The Pope believes that he is the guiding light of the morality and religious truth of the human situation. The Pope intends to be more than a sort of Minister of Religion but would be the Patriarch of the Movement.
In another interview with Don Hoffman* on the radio programme, The Watchman Today, Martin says the Pope will one day be recognised as a leader full of compassion and understanding and that he has no intention of imposing Catholicism on anybody as his primary aim is to attain a harmonious peace, destruction of nuclear and chemical bombs and finding a new way to settle differences. But how can he be the mouth piece of God on moral matters, and guiding light of religious truth if he does not intend to impose his ideas of God upon the world he is leading? He would be a poor "Vicar of Christ" if he failed to do so. His tone of religious tolerance cannot be comforting because when elected as Pope in 1978 he spoke of his desire to persue The Ecumenical Vision of the Vatican Council II, by working resolutely to remove the real divisions that exist and restore the full unity of the faith. At the same time he insisted that Catholic Doctrine must not be compromised by undue
ecumenical zeal. He used the words of Pope Paul VI who said, "Let the work of drawing near to our separated brethren go on, with much understanding, with much patience, with great love,but without deviation from true Catholic doctrine.
Is the Pope masking his true intentions or has there been another radical change in the thinking of the Vatican on Ecumenism? In 1928 Pope Pius XI declared it was unlawful for Catholics to participate in Ecumenical activities as it would be supporting a false Christianity, therefore the professed tolerance of John Paul II is surprising. The change of attitude with respect to Ecumenism is even more severe recently, as previously Catholic Ecumenicity had only involved Christian Denominations, when Martin was serving in the Vatican under the previous Pope. Under John Paul II, the Cardinal (Bea)* responsible for Ecumenical activities has expanded the Movement to involve Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists and in fact all religions. But how can these widely differing views be reconciled? John Paul II believes an act of God, in the form of a sign through the Mother of God - Mary, will make unity possible. He believes it is his destiny to preside over this one world economic order
and one world government, and he believes it may take a war or two to consummate this union of nations, but this will have to be done. Malachi Martin stresses also that this one world government is not the Pope's idea but he has observed this trend in the world and that leaders cannot resist this development because of the economic system of the world and the need to trade. He says Saddam Hussien is the only anomaly in the present move to unity and he must be crushed and eliminated. He emphasizes that the world leaders take this seriously and that the Pope has great respect among them and some are in constant contact with him by phone and through emissaries.
While the Pope has been waiting on the "Act of God" to make his move, he is being ably assisted by the actions of men in his dream of unity. The New American Magazine of April 3rd 1995 reports that the United Nations has finally embraced a commission on religion. To assist in bringing the world together in the New World Order. It was revealed that The New World Order was to be developed on a political and economic basis, but the differences in religious beliefs was seen as an obstacle to this idea and it was theorized that if there was One World Religion then the political and economic unity, desired, would be more easily accomplished. But is this the real reason for the attempt being made to unite all religions?
I believe we are under political and economic control even now as the following comment by Malachi Martin, on the contents of his book "The Keys to this Blood", show, he says,
"The masses are just waiting for a group of men to make decisions and other men are sitting back watching to decide their next move. It is like a cat and mouse game, with us, the masses, being the mice. We belong to the group of ordinary people and our possession of money, our jobs, our careers, education and public institutions depend on forces and factors over which we have very little control, even by our votes. We have very little control over it because the hegemony of money, the leadership of money, the superiority of money is very overwhelming.
There are men on the international markets of the world who trade 20-40 billion dollars daily and they govern the flow of capital and the flow of capital goods, it is their investments or retrenchments which determine inflation, recessions, trade booms and decides whether a government can stand or fall and we have no control of this system."
Hence The New World Order is in place but has not been formalized. The change in the design of the U.S. $1 Dollar Bill also serves as a sign that this objective had been achieved.
After the recessions of the 1920's and 1930's in the United States, and just before World War II, a new seal was added to the U.S. $1 Dollar Bill. In the seal were words to the effect:
"The New Order of The World (or ages)" [Novus Ordo Seclorum] and; "Our Project has been Crowned with Success" [Anuitcueptos]. This change was in concert with the "New Deal" Social Programme of Franklyn Roosevelt which made reference to A New Social Order.
If we therefore examine the events of the world carefully, it would be clear that we have been under the New World Order for sometime. Hence Malachi Martin was able to repeat the quote that; "The bigger and vaster the changes overtaking us, then the less likely we are to see it until it is done with."
To be continued,