Revelation of Jesus Christ to St. John through the Church Age to the formation of The One-World Ecumenical Church (Rev. 2 & 3 and Rev. 13:8)
(Rev.13:8) Says-" All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-All whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." This is the prophesy regarding the formation of the One - World Ecumenical Church which will worship the beast (Anti-Christ ) in the middle of the tribulation period . The word, ecumenical, came from the Greek word, "OIKOUMENE," which means, "The inhabited earth. "This is now the motto of the world council of churches which is composed of apostate Protestantism, the Eastern Orthodox Church , and The Roman Church . It is becoming obviously clear the three big religious groups will soon unite to form the One-World Ecumenical Church .
The Church Age, as prophesied in revelation 2&3, manifesting the true and false churches fulfilled according to their respective periods, which will culminate in the formation of the One-World Ecumenical Church, the bride of the Anti-Christ (Rev. 13:8), will be presented chronologically.
The Seven Churches addressed in Revelation chapter 2&3 were actual churches of John's day. But they also represent types of churches in all generations. This idea is supported by the fact that only seven were selected out of the many that existed and flourished in John's time and by the statement at the close of each letter that the spirit was speaking to the churches.
There are seven distinct periods of church history. (1)Ephesus represents the apostolic church and (7)Laodicea represents the apostate church .This prophetic picture is largely fulfilled and is now church history, which makes this chapters extremely remarkable.
Christ methods, first, He gives a word of commendation, and then He gives a word of condemnation. But there is no word of condemnation to (2)Smyrna or (6)Philadelphia. Smyrna was the martyr church, and He is not about to condemn that church. (6)Philadelphia was the missionary church that was getting out His word. And He did not condemn it. He has no word of commendation for (7)Laodicea, the apostate church, it is also remarkable to see the prophetic picture for the seven churches were written in a chronological order from apostolic to apostate church that will continue to the formation of One-World Ecumenical Church.
DATE: 33-96 A.D.- THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH
This is the first church- the Apostolic Church - established by the apostles of the Lord Jesus from 33 to 96 A.D. The account of this first event in the Church Age was in a letter sent to the church in (1)Ephesus, (Rev.2:1-7)
The Outstanding Characteristic of This Church Are:
(1) An active missionary church -"You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary". (Rev.2:3)
(2) Purity in life "----- I know that you cannot tolerate wicked man -------"(Rev.2:2). This church hates sins and all forms of wickedness.
(3) Purity in doctrine-"You have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false."(Rev.2:2)
(4) The deficient in love "-----You have forsaken your first love" (Rev.2:4). But take note this church at first practiced "first love for God" although some time later they grew cold and left their first love.
(5) Hates the practice of the Nicolaitants (Rev.2:6) " Nicolaitanes" comes from the words "Nikao", to conquer, and "Laitanes" - Laity or members. At this time, the apostolic churches hated any form of dictatorship in the Lord's church. Yet, inspite of the defect of this apostolic church, it was still desirable in the sight of the Lord , the head of the church
DATE:96-316 A.D.- THE PERSECUTION OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH
Satan's first weapon to destroy the Lord's Church is persecution. This is next event in the Church Age. The record of this prophesy is in a letter sent to the church in (2)Smyrna. " Smyrna" means "Myrrh"- A spiny shrub used for incense or perfume. Myrrh is bitter to the taste but sweet when ground to powder. Was the apostolic church terribly ground? History records this true Prophesy foretold in Revelation 2:10 " Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for10 days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life". History accurately fulfilled the fact that 10 days means ten imperial reigns, that is, of the many emperors of Rome only ten emperors persecuted the Christians, from emperor Nero to emperor D'ocletian. Yes, persecution was bitter. Many Christians died for their faith; but a good number of the believers fled for their lives." Those who have been scattered preached the word where ever they went". (Acts 8:4). And the sweet smell of the gospel was felt through- out the known world . Yes, bitter but sweet.
DATE:316-500A.D.-.SATAN'S IMITATION CHURCH
Persecution stopped in 316 A.D. The Apostolic Church came out strong and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in all parts of the earth. In the letter to the church in (3)Perganum recorded in Rev .2:12-17, Satan, realizing that he could not destroy the apostolic church by persecution, instead, he strengthened and multiply it, change his strategy. He at this particular period, organized his own imitation church. Revelation 2:13, the Lord said to the perganum church, " I know where you live-where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name . You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city-where Satan lives".
HERE ARE SOME OF THE OUTSTANDING CHARACTERISTICS OF SATAN'S IMITATION CHURCH AS PROPHESIED IN Rev.2:12-15
[I]" Apostolic church live-where satan has his throne" (Rev.2:13).
[II] Antipas the faithful witness of the apostolic church was murdered "where satan has his throne". (Rev.2:13). Antipas, a courageous disciple of the Lord, and a true militant fundamentalist, must have vigorously protested the formation of this false and satanic imitation church and he paid with his own life.
[III] Satan imitation church taught and practice false satanic doctrines:
1.The doctrine that water baptism washes away sin and can make everyone who submits to it, Christian.
2.The doctrine of Balaam (Rev.2:14) ".....Who taught Balak to entice the Isrealites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by commiting sexual immorality". He taught Balak the way to corrupt Israel by inter-marriage with the Moabite woman. This was introduced into the nation of Israel both idolatry and fornication.
3.The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes (Rev.2:15), the doctrine that the clergy is above the laity (members), which God and the already early apostolic church hate.
4. The practice of idolatrous worship common among pagan temples. The pergamos church members continued with their idol worship and "eating food sacrificed to idols". (v. 14)
Satan worked this out in a clever way. This master-deceiver used emperor Constantine, leading his troops in a decisive battle, one night; He saw a cross in the sky with words written above: BY THIS YOU SHALL CONQUER. And he won the battle. He was so impressed by Christianity and personally wanted to become a Christian with all his idol-worshipping subjects. So he wrote a decree ordering all his pagan subjects to be baptized, the way the Christians were. All were baptized by water without any personal faith in Christ. By this satanic way, satan's imitation church was established. They were Christians in name, but obviously pagans and satanic in practice and doctrine as shown in their outstanding characteristics.
DATE: 500-1500 A.D.- THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
By this time the apostolic church is being swallowed by satan imitation church because its members were more in numbers, nevertheless, the apostolic church within satan imitation church faithfully continued with her testimony, still persecuted by the followers of satan's imitation church.
FALSE DOCTRINE OF SATAN'S IMITATION CHURCH
1. The doctrine of the Nicolaitants : The Romish Priest believe they have authority and power to send souls to hell and to deliver them to heaven by the sacrifice of the masses.
2. The doctrine of Balaam: The Romish Priest collect high fees for masses and other religious rites which they perform for their members.
3. The idolatrous worship and practices.
4. The doctrine of baptismal regeneration: The baptism by water makes one who submits to it, Christian, and will save his soul.
5. The doctrine of the mass: The unbloody sacrifice of Christ in the so - called " HOST", The hallowed bread in the holy communion. The doctrine of the mass which plays a very important part in the life of this church (RCC), Roman Catholic Church, was sort of prophesied in the name, (4) THYATIRA, to church the fourth letter was sent (Rev.2:18-29). The name, THYATIRA, means, a sacrifice and continual offering of the same. When , in the performance of his office, the priest takes a piece of thin bread called "HOST", and as he raises it up, saying ," THIS IS MY BODY, " the bread is transformed into real body-flesh and bones (without blood) of the Lord Jesus. This is the Romish teaching of 'TRANSUBSTANTIATION." The same thing with the wine. When the priest eats of the ''HOST" and drink of the" WINE" in a special service for the dead or the living, a mass, is offered, and the soul of the dead in purgatory rises from the depths of the fire, thus easing his sufferings. This may be repeated until the soul of the dead is taken to heaven" while money had to be paid to the priest for his performance.
The prophets, Jezebel, in v.20, is a type of the Jezebel of the old testament. The wife of king Ahab of Israel, who caused the children of Israel to worship her idol Baal. Idolatry is indeed the very life of this imitation church of Satan.
DATE: 500 A.D.- THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH
This church is a split from the Roman Catholic Church. This comprises the Greek, Syrian and Russian Orthodox Churches. The cause of the big split was on the mode of Baptism of Infants. Base on the belief that water baptism washes away sin, the Roman Catholic Clergy deducted that since babies are also born with sinful nature, they have to be baptize as soon as they are born, so they will not go to a dark place called" LIMBO", if they die early. When the Romish Priest observed that immersion is difficult for babies they adopted sprinkling. To this mode of baptism-sprinkling -Eastern Orthodox Church objected. They contented that all must be immersed - babies, young people and adults. This was the cause of split.
DATE: 1500 A.D.- THE PROTESTANT CHURCH
The apostolic church continued with her testimony. So did the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches. The big event in the church age at this period was the reformation movement, which lead to the formation of the Protestant Church. This was a movement back to the Bible and Salvation by faith in Christ alone. This movement shook the Roman Catholic system from its very foundation. Great reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Zwingli, John Hoss, Melancton, Wycliff, and so on., were used by the spirit of God to bring this prophesy to pass.
The recorded letter was sent to the church in (5) Sardis. " Sardis" means remnant. In Rev.2:23, a portion of the letter sent to Thyatira, we read about this remnant. " Now I say to rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned satan's so-called deep secrets" ( I will not impose any other burdens on you)" (Rev.2-24). Yes, no doubt, there are remnants who did not hold to the Romish doctrines in Thyatira, and did not know the depths of satan. From this group the Holy Spirit worked to bring about the church of the reformation- a big split from the Roman Catholic Church of the 16th century - forming the Protestant church. Part of those who came out of the Romish system during the reformation period identify themselves with the apostolic church ", but some remained in the middle, because they decided to continue with some of the Romish practices like the use of incense, the use of priestly habiliments, the crucifix, sprinkling, baptizing of infants, candles, altars, veils, and so on. We identify them as the Protestant church. Only their fundamental doctrines are identical with the apostolic church, but not in practice.
The Lord found a very outstanding and disappointing characteristic of the Protestant church (Rev.3:1-6). This church is living but dead. "----I know your deeds " you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead " (Rev.3:1). This spiritual condition is the deadness of the formalism in local churches. At the start of the formation of the Protestant church, outwardly they did not appear different from the Roman Catholic adherents (supporters) in their practices. They showed no signs of spiritual awakening. They dared not preach the Gospel outside.They had no Bible instructions outside of the temples; no prayer meetings; and no missionary efforts of any kind. Jesus Christ, therefore , did not find their work perfect before God. God told them to watch, hold fast, and repent. Yes, in Sardis, there were people who have not soiled their clothes. They walked with God, dressed in white, for the were worthy(v.4).
DATE: 1700- THE APOSTOLIC-PROSTESTANT MISSIONARY CHURCHES
This period is characterized by intensive missionary activities of the apostolic and the Protestant churches. God prophetically said , "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut." (Rev.3:8). This is the open door of missions. It started in 1700 A.D. The spirit stirred the Christians in Europe, and America, and many have left their loved ones, and homes, and comfort, and when to all parts of the world to preach the Gospel of Christ to their brothers where in darkness of sin and heathenism. Missionaries gave their lives in heathen lands. But many souls were saved and brought to the life of Christ, and churches were established in many lands.
The letter describing this event recorded in (Rev.3:7-13) was sent to (6)Philadelphia Church. "Philadelphia means" brotherly love, Here was the spirit of missions. Christians went as missionaries to all parts of the world, to bring the message of salvation to lost mankind because of their brotherly love for them.
This is the church - the missionary church- God has nothing to say against. But Satan does not want to be left behind. He also activated his own churches, and the Romish and Orthodox Churches sent, likewise, their missionaries to propagate their satanic doctrines and have won universal adherents.
DATE: 1900-???- THE APOSTATE CHURCH
This event is recorded in the letter sent to the church in (7)Laodecia (Rev.3:14-22). " LAODECIA" means - people's rights". The time has come when the church or church leaders deny God's right set forth in His word, the Bible, and insists on man's rights. Yes, man's rights over God's rights will mark this last event in the church age. There is the move to deify man" to make man master of his own destiny without God -Humanism. This came about due to the teaching of so-called higher criticism. Modernism has set in, which is outright denial of the fundamental doctrines of the faith- a departure from the faith. The spirit clearly says that in latter times some will abandon the faith and follow the deceiving spirit and things taught by demons "(1 Tim.4:1)
LET US OBSERVED THE OUTSTANDING CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS LAST CHURCH, AS PROPHESIED IN (REV.3:15-17)
FIRST" This church is lukewarm-neither cold or hot-(Rev.3:15-16). " I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one of the other. So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot or cold" I 'm about to spit you out of my mouth." We have here a deplorable or lamentable picture of the churches in apostasy. It is difficult to know whether their are Christians or not. Modernism has wrecked the testimony of these churches beyond recognition.
SECOND: (Rev.3-17a). Says-" You say, I'm rich" I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing ". This last church is materially rich, powerful and autocratic. Here is modernism at a rampage.
THIRD: (Rev..3-17b) Says-" But you do not realize that your are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Here we see unsaved sinners in the church, spiritually impoverished, spiritually blind, and spiritually naked. Christ offers salvation to this church (Rev.3-20) " Here I am". I stand at the door and knock. If any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me". Christ wants to enter the door of their hearts and offer spiritual fellowship.
Also, Christ has offered great reward to churches who repudiate modernism. In (Rev.3-21) Jesus said, "to him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat with my father on His throne."
Modernist" apostate churches all over the world have bonded themselves together to form the world council of churches organized in Amsterdam, Holland in 1948.The W.C.C. third world assembly held in New Delhi, India, November 19-to Dec.6, 1961, witnessed the admission of the communist-controlled Russian Orthodox Church. This movement is ecumenical, meaning"the inhabited world." The goal is a super-church." Unity in Christ is misused. " Union" is the goal irrespective of belief. Courting of the Roman Catholic Church has been done even before the 1948 formation of the W.C.C. (World Council of Churches.) Finally, in New Delhi, the Romish church was persuaded to send five official observers. At the W.C.C. third world assembly, the Oriental Orthodox Church was officially made a constituent member.
THE APOSTATE CHURCH AND ECUMENISM
I wish to mention , first, the event which will follow the closing of the church age. It is the coming of Christ in the air, when the trumpet shall sound and the dead in Christ shall rise, and the living born-again Christians be caught up. This is the rapture of the true church. After the rapture of the true church, the tribulation period which will cover seven years, will be ushered in.
(Rev.13:8) says," All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast. All whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." Let us note the phrase. " All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast"- the anti-Christ, the first beast. This is what the scripture prophesied there is going to be a one- world worship of the beast by a one-world church- the ecumenical church. The world council of churches (W.C.C.) is an ecumenical movement . The Greek word, " OIKOUNENE" is her rallying symbol. The Roman Catholic Church has had her ecumenical council since Oct. 11, 1962. "OIKOUNENE" means the inhabited earth, which is the same as the scripture phrase, " All of the inhabitants of the earth". Therefore, there is going to be an ecumenical one-world church to worship the beast. This is the only prophesy of its kind in the Bible.
When will this happen? Rev. 13:4-5 gives us the accurate answer. " Men (Ecumenical church) worship the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worship the beast and asked "Who is like the beast ? Who can make war against him? The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words , and blasphemies, and to exercise his authority forty two months. " There is the time element. The ecumenical church will be for the duration for 42 months 3 1/2 years. This means ecumenism, or the ecumenical church worship of the anti-Christ will take place in the middle of the seven year tribulation period.
MODERNISM PLUS ROMANISM = ECUMENISM
Who are in the inhabited earth that will worship the beast? Rev.13:8 continues to say,"-----All whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the lamb that was slain from the creation of the world". Modernism is mentioned here. Modernist deny or reject the death of Christ on the cross for our sins, and the blood of lamb. No wonder their names are not in the book of life of the lamb. They are the very ones who ran the world council of churches.
How will Romish church come into the picture? A graphic study of Rev. 17 will answer this. This portion of the scripture is the prophesy of the final distraction of the Romish church or system so that worship of the beast will be ecumenical. Rev.17 records the judgment of the great harlot or prostitute. The harlot is a woman who sits on many waters and on a scarlet colored beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. She is drunken with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.
THE FOLLOWING INTERPRETATIONS ARE CLEAR, AND FORTRIGHT..
"PROSTITUTE" is a harlot. Harlotry means spiritual adultery or adolatrous worship. " The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth".(Rev.17:18). The city, of course is Rome. So this idolatrous religious system is in Rome.
The woman or prostitute who sits on many waters- means - " People, and Multitude, and Nations, and Tongues." Rev.17:15. Romish, idolatrous religious system is universal or catholic.
The woman sits upon scarlet-colored beast---having seven heads and ten horns. " Seven heads means Seven mountains": on which the woman sits. This again indentifies Rome as the city of seven mountains." Ten horns means " ten kings" which have received no kingdom as yet" but receive power as kings one hour with the beast." Therefore, this Romish idolatrous system upon a scarlet- colored beast, shall reign over ten kings and their kingdoms with absolute sway. But these ten kings" have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast" (v.13) So these ten kings and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked: they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire . For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose be agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled : (v.16-17) The ten kings and the beast will destroy the Roman Catholic religious system completely. Why? the Romish church has in her teachings some fundamental truths: God, The Trinity, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, etc. We cannot deny this fact. If the beast must be worshiped all teachings with reference to Christ and God must be done away with. Therefore, complete destruction of this system must be done. All followers of this system, with the modernists, will form the ecumenical church and worship the beast- "All Inhabitants of the earth will worship the Beast"(Rev.13:8).
The marriage of the apostate -ecumenical church to the anti-Christ will only be 42 months or 3 1/2 years, the second half of the tribulation period. Then Christ will return to earth with His angels and the true church . He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power (2 Thess.1:8-9).
In the second coming of Christ " the beast and the false prophet together will be captured and thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur". This will close the tribulation period, hence the end of ecumenism.
Written by Osmundo Sabado