Chapter 12 Babylon
The Roman Empire integrated the religious practices of conquered nations into its own religion. For example, the title of Pontifex Maximus (supreme pontiff, pope) was given to the leader of ancient Roman religion centuries before Christ. In many other ways the emperor Constantine merged the Babylonian and Christian religions and made the resulting Roman Church preeminent. Declaring himself the Pontifex Maximus, Constantine claimed authority over the universal church. This situation could have been corrected over the centuries, but instead the Catechism of the Catholic Church continues to regard its pagan traditions as being coequal with scripture in authority.
Revelation depicts a Roman Church that shares in the corruption of the Roman Empire. It depicts this Church (woman) and Empire (beast) as entwined. The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18) Yet few people connect the corruption of the Roman Church with the Roman Empire, this connection basically remains a hidden secret. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. (Revelation 17:7) Rome is a mystery with two components. The first is a woman who is steeped in adultery (Roman Church) and the other is a malicious beast (Roman Empire). While one seeks dominance in religion, the other seeks world conquest.
Because religious practices from Babylon were incorporated into the Roman Church, it is referred to as Babylon. The relationship Babylon has with world leaders is based on adultery—a shared disloyalty to God. With Babylon the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality (Revelation 18:3b). Babylon commits adultery against God by being faithful to the kings, the leaders of this world, but not to the king of heaven. An example of the close relationship between world leaders and the Roman Church is the funeral of Pope John Paul II. This event is considered the largest gathering of statesmen in history; it included four kings, five queens, and at least seventy presidents and prime ministers.
Countless people, even many believers, continue to think highly of the Roman Church. Instead of widespread condemnation for the many thousands of priests who have molested children, the inhabitants of the earth are intoxicated with her religion and traditions. This is a church with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” (Revelation 17:2)
Babylon is dressed like a shameless prostitute; she is clothed in purple and scarlet garments and covered with expensive jewelry. However, what really offends God is kept inside a gold cup. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, (Revelation 17:4). Central to the adulterous behavior of the Roman Church is the veneration (worship) of what is being held inside a gold cup.
Catholic sacraments are the supposed ability of priests to perform miracles. For example, priests are supposedly able to transform bread into the body of Christ. Catholics call this transformation transubstantiation. Catholic doctrine says through transubstantiation, its chalice contains the literal Body of Christ—and therefore this bread is worshiped as being God. Catholics venerate this bread; they kneel before this bread as if it were God (Exodus 20:4).
The Wrong Rock
The position of Pontifex Maximus, thought by many to have started with Peter, actually began hundreds of years before Christ. Julius Caesar became Pontifex Maximus in 63 BC. Caesar Augustus became Pontifex in 12 BC, and held that position at the time of Christ.
The idea that there should be a Christian Pontiff (Pope) resulted from the misinterpretation of a single scripture. Jesus said, I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. (Matthew 16:18) However, the “rock” upon which the true church was built was Jesus, not Peter (Isaiah 26:4).
Peter identified Jesus as the primary rock, the cornerstone of the church.
For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (1 Peter 2:6)
God sends a message to people in this false church; many are authentic believers who have been deceived.
I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
“Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not participate in her sins
and receive of her plagues;
for her sins have piled up as high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:4-5)
PARTIAL RAPTURE THEORY