We are living in exciting times; awesome times. The speed at which the events foretold in Bible prophecy have been occurring over the past 50 years is alarming. Socially, the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960's has entirely redefined global norms by challenging the status-quo of governance, race relations, sexuality, women's rights, music and entertainment, drug abuse and dress. With these changes also came declines in morals as "every way of a man" was "right in his own eyes" (Proverbs 21:2). In the natural world, the occurrence of disasters has spiked since the 1980's resulting in some of the deadliest storms, earthquakes, tsunamis and droughts the world has ever witnessed. Religiously, since the late 1990's, Protestantism has been weakening as several churches have indicated a "truce" with Catholicism. Most notably, in 1999, the Lutheran World Federation collaborated with the Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to create and agree on a definition of what it means to be saved; a document called the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. The ramifications of such a move should cause us to stir uncomfortably as right before our very eyes Protestantism is giving up the protest. The World Methodist Council also conceded to the statement in 2006.
Could it be that Babylon, the Mother of Harlots (Revelation 17:5), is bringing her children back under her wings? Babylon, or the Roman Catholic Church, has tainted herself over the centuries by living deliciously with the secular world; mixing the truth of God with the errors of paganism to create an empire of confusion. This concoction she has made many denominations to drink (Rev. 17:2), and her influence, although imperceptible, is vast. Right now, the world is ripe for harvesting, and Satan knows it. Speaking via a pre-recorded video message to a gathering of Charismatic Pentecostal ministers hosted by Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Pope Francis called for an end to the division that has plagued Christianity since the beginning of the Reformation. He stated that, "*We are kind of, permit me to say, separated. Separated because it's sin that has separated us; all our sins; the misunderstandings throughout history. It has been a long road of sins that we all shared in. Who is to blame? We all share the blame. We have all sinned. There is only one blameless, the Lord. I am nostalgic (yearning), that this separation comes to an end and gives us communion."* Such words are powerful and, for those wanting some stability in an uncertain world, tempting to believe. Who doesn't want the divisions within Christianity to be healed? It is the age-old question: if we claim to serve one God, then why are there so many denominations? Riddled by wars, economic turmoil, societal breakdown and inequality, the world does want a unity of love to fix these issues. Again, Satan knows this, and the world, at this time, is ripe for the picking.
As with Eve at the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Satan has slithered in with his lies. Bishop Anthony Palmer of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches and a former mentee of the now Pope Francis, preceded the video message in order to prepare the viewers for the papal message. He stated, *"I've come to understand that diversity is divine; it's division that's diabolical."* Speaking on unity, he stated that, *"If you accept that Christ is living in me and the presence of God is me, and the presence of God is in you, that's all we need; because God will sort out all our doctrines when we get upstairs."* But how can the same Spirit of truth who is to guide us into all truth (John 16:13) not "sort out" our doctrines down here? If it is not the truth of God that binds us together, what then is it? Jesus, in praying to the Father, requested that His people be sanctified by truth (John 17:17); by the "washing of water by the Word" (Ephesians 5:26); by "taking heed thereto according to" His "Word" (Psalms 119:9). To Timothy, Paul exhorted to "give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine" until he arrived (1 Timothy 4:13); to "continue in them", for so it is that he would save himself and others (vs. 16). As for division, it must come. Christ did not come with peace but with a sword (Matthew 10:34-36). What did He mean? How could the Gospel of peace divide a man and his father, a daughter and her mother, and create foes of the same household? Isn't the spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of the sons to the fathers, and the fathers to the sons? Of a truth the message of our crucified and risen Saviour is one of reconciliation (Romans 5:1)! Of course it is one that binds earth to Heaven! But it is because the world is not of Christ, and Christ is not of the world that there is separation and contention. It is the Word that causes the division (John 15:19-21) because men refuse to believe it.
The time foretold by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:3, 4 has come. People no longer wish to hear the straight testimony of the Word. Instead, they desire fables; false hopes that will keep their spirits up but not alive. It is at this time that David calls on God to stand up, because man has made void His laws (Psalms 119:126). The truths of the Word give us the correct image of God and as such teach us the way in which He desires us to walk. It is the incorrect image of God that causes sin; it is the lie that we will not surely die that causes sin. When the entire world comes together under this banner of love and unity, barring the image of God we each hold, it is then that the time of trouble spoken of in Revelation 13:15 will come to pass. The world will be divided into two camps: those who follow the papal beast and worship his image, and those who adhere unmovably to the Creator and His commandments.
Where do you stand with God? The great day of His coming will come, but where do you stand? All around us prophecy is fulfilling; so much so that to scoff and say it isn't being fulfilled is a fulfilment itself (2 Peter 3:3, 4). God has given so much evidence of His existence, and so much evidence of His love. He has warned us of the deceptions coming upon the earth and He wants us to be saved. He will judge the ungodly, the wicked, the liars, the murderers and thieves of this world, who have not had their sins covered by the blood of Jesus, but He will save those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The evidence is there. What more do you need? It was to make a way of escape from the just punishment for sin that Christ, the spotless Treasure of Heaven, willingly came to die on our behalf. Will you accept it? Or will you follow the beast?
*End notes (in order of appearance): *
Proverbs 21:2 - Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts
*Revelation 17:5 - And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH evelation 17:2 - With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabiters of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication John 16:13 - Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come John 17:17 - Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. Ephesians 5:26 - That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word Psalms 119:9 - Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word 1 Timothy 4:13,16 - Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine...Take heed to thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee Matthew 10:34-36 - Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household Romans 5:1 - Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ John 15:19-21 - If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me 2 Timothy 4:3, 4 - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables Psalms 119:126 - It is time for Thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void Thy law Revelation 13:15 - And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed 2 Peter 3:3, 4 - Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation