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Revelation 17:9 makes it perspicuous that the seven heads of the beast, on which the woman sits, are seven mountains. That is pellucid code for Rome. No great city could be so bedizened with fame, and with seven hills, but Rome. It is referred to as "the great city" in 16:19, and also as "great Babylon". This continues from the reference in 14:8 where there is a case of a power which "has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication". The 'fornication' is a normal Biblical reference in such symbol for spiritual adultery, or impurity, or admixture of the truth of God with the imaginations about God or worshipable things. Thus we see it in Ezekiel 16 when Jerusalem is addressed: "O harlot!" in verse 35; and reference is made (v.37) to her "lovers", though she be a city. The metaphor is sustained for many verses, and it is even internationalised: "Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who dwells to the south of you, is Sodom and her daughters"- vv. 45-6. In Ezekiel 23 two sisters who 'played the harlot' are noted, and these are quite explicitly Judah and Samaria, and the wrath and irony are scorching. Knowing better, they did worse at the spiritual level.
The entire book of Hosea proceeds on the basis that the nation is a harlot, and Hosea marries one physically, bringing the testimony home in sharp relief, after the practical manner of prophets - and as directed to do, indeed.
The harlotry of a city-as-such, then, when as in Revelation 14:8 this makes whole nations receive wrath, is undoubtedly spiritual, fitting the metaphor and the Biblical mode of address. "Drunkenness" (Revelation 17:2) comes from the "wine of her fornication": that is, something which damages intellectual sight, spiritual perception. While kings fornicated with her (17:2), she is allied with (closely and intimately associated with, sitting on) a beast: and this ? It is "full of the names of blasphemy" (17:3); and she herself, the city of Rome (17:6) is not merely guilty of killing saints, but is "drunk with the blood" of these, her victims. It is apparent she is mortally, immorally, viciously and persistently aligned against true religion, cohesive with gross blasphemy and living with force, dynamic devilry and appalling folly.
From all this, our first point is this: a city is specified, allied with this-worldly power, but readily distinguishable from it ('sitting on it'), and able to be detached violently (as if there were no other way!) from it - 17:16. It shares the life of the beast, without being assimilated individually to it; it rides, uses, deploys, avails itself of the beast. That is, this city is a user of political dominion, reposing in an Empire, in kings, with whom the real power is, politically and militarily. She is not that power; hers is the use of it. She is incorporated into the blasphemies of that power; she is pleased to dwell on its "back" - in its midst with similar aims, spiritually. However, she, Rome is certainly not confused or merged with the political power per se; she is the spiritual specialist for whom brute power is a perquisite and a prerequisite.
When is this phenomenon, as described here in Revelation, to be ? By this time (and although all may not be sequential in Revelation, some things are): judgments of a successive character are stated to have occurred, over the earth. Thus Rev. 5 showed a scroll to be unsealed, and judgments were written there. Christ unsealed it (5:5). Seven seals (6:1,3,5,7,9,12, 8:1) are 'opened' with cataclysmic results for the earth, reaching to the heights of astronomy and the depths of plague and famine.
It is then that seven angels prepared to sound trumpets (Rev. 8:6) and up to 9:13, we hear these trumpets and watch fearful events strike the earth, to its depths, and wound it to its heights. Surging armies lock. The sixth angel sounds (9:14), until a mighty angel (10:1), covered with cloud and with rainbow-clad head, exposes a book. Seven thunders then intervene 10:3, but their results were forbidden to utterance (10:4). We are then told that 'there would be delay no longer' (10:6), the voice of the seventh of the series of seven angels to bring an end to the 'mystery of God', with judgment impending. A small book is then eaten by the apostle, bringing bitterness to the belly (10:9). The process of prophecy is rejoined (10:11) and various spectacular episodes then occur, relating to further prophecies required, which move to the fountain of testimony and the earth's desire to kill it, as it killed Christ (12:6).
In 11:15, we find the seventh angel sounding, with the transforming revelation of a situation where ''the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'' We are told (14:15) that the time of reaping is now at hand (cf. Matthew 13:39 ff.), one synonomous with 'the end of the world' and the end of waiting for evil guilefully to deceive, mixed artfully with the good. As in Christ's 'reaping' parable (Matthew 13), it is time for the severance, selection and end of the whole mix, in judgment. The time of testing and contesting is becoming the time of assessment, with vast and manifest judgment duly occurring (Revelation 14:14 ff.), at Christ's direction (v.16). The result is terrible beyond imagining (Revelation 14:20). Then we are introduced to the "seven lastplagues" (15:1 - italics added).
These relate to bowls "full of the wrath of God who lives for ever and ever". Instructed to pour this forth, His agents do so, leading to pain, tragedy and blasphemy (16:9,11) such as continued when they did not repent at an earlier stage of the cataclysms (9:21). False religion, personalised, projected from power symbols (16:13-14), proliferates wildly, with impressive spectacles to further the fraud, now in its fatal agonies, yet still insubordinate to truth ... Armageddon arrives (16:16). Then come earthquakes and celestial happenings: the event is beyond any of former history.
It is now that "great Babylon" is brought into rich focus (16:19). The turmoil on earth almost bankrupts imagination (16:20). We are in the terminal writhings of a judged earth, surpassing all that went before, beyond all to come (cf. Matthew 24:21, 24,29). Enormous hail signifies that the time is here (16:21).
Then, 17:1 we are shown the judgment to be poured out on our old... acquaintance, "great Babylon", indubitably already established to be a city, and that, Rome.
Now we need to make a simple distinction. If we want to interpret this writing: that is one thing. If anyone, however, is pained by it, or wishes to reconstruct it or reject it, this is not the current issue. What does it mean ? this is as clear a need to satisfy as this would be, if we were studying Shakespeare. In this setting it is utterly irrelevant what we want, or how we 'evaluate' the knowledge of John. If we are interpreting, let us get on with it, keep to it, and not admix with it.
That is what is done here. At the very end of this current Age, there is to be a distinct city, not to be confused with an empire as such, and this city is to be engaged in vile and violent religious activities which invoke wrath of an extraordinary nature from God. These are still operative, unrepented, at the end of sequence upon integrated sequence of wraths, judgments and divine actions, leading to Armageddon itself.
We now learn that this city, the great Babylon (17:5), is "the mother of harlots". In its setting, this means, as shown: Having a religious blasphemy, admixture and activity which in some sense involves primordial religious passions, diversion from divine declaration, antique follies, a rich and varied company of sin administered with corrosive and corruptive, or hypocritical religious zeal ... Its ''mystery'' (17:5) enshrines the synthetic religious syncretism of babbling, doomed Babylon (Isaiah Chs. 13-14, Jeremiah 51), applied to Rome. Thus Babylon, a city condemned by prophets, and destroyed in antiquity, is allegorically projected ... onto Rome. (See *1 p. 1031C infra; pp. 729, 743-744, 749-750D supra.)
Revelation 18 adds data on this 'Rome'. She is something to "come out of" (Rev. 18:4, cf. II Cor. 6:17): on the part of the people of God. She represents a potent, potential-entangling, religious alliance, something of spiritual whoredom (cf. pp. 743-744, supra, 1060 infra). This is a horrible misuse of good things with bad, a turning from a sound spiritual past to a corrupt spiritual present and a judged spiritual future. That, we have seen, is the force of it, the lament of it, the grief of it: marriage, as it were, with the Lord has led to gross fornication - misuse of worship has followed, as if by breaking the purity of marriage. That is the imagery. Rome is the fact.
We find that this city has this testimony, at this terminal time of history before the return in judgment of Christ: that it has "glorified itself" (Revelation 18:7). Sitting as "a queen", she has bought and amassed treasure (one is reminded of Manhattan's The Vatican Billions). Prophets and apostles are to rejoice at her doom (18:20). "In her was found the blood of prophets and saints..." (18:24. Cf. Extension 4, infra and pp. 729, 743 supra.) Sudden judgment has come upon this unillustrious religious centre, this city of seven hills, the base of inconceivable blasphemy, heightened to the very end of the Age: ruin by fire arrives, robbing her merchants of their successful trading ventures, reminiscent of those in the Temple, at Jerusalem, when Jesus Christ overthrew their proud tables, requiring it of them, that they had turned a house of prayer into a den of thieves. That was then; but this is the Gentile episode, and their peculiar height of blasphemy. The Roman religion's misuse of the young is attested by the millstone (Rev. 18:21, cf. Jer. 51:63-64) which is cast about her, Babylon as it were ejected with it, into the sea. 'Rome' is eternally finished.
The question is simple. Christ has not yet returned, and the times are scripturally near as we have shown (cf. Luke 21:28). IS there current a city of this description, the city of the seven hills, the great and famous centre of religion, of whom this could be written ? Is there one of great riches, of great persecution record, against simple Christians ? Is it to be found ?
Is Rome still with us ? If so, and we interpret the scripture by taking it to mean what it says, then of this current city (certainly it has... a past) these things are said. Imagery is amassed around the big girl on the seven hills. The point of the imagery is catastrophic, the judgment utter, the horror unrelieved, the misuse of divine things total, and the designations are current (Revelation 17:3-4), 'sitting', 'having' and 18:2 'has', for example: the cup and its contents are still held in hand (17:4).
Rome of course is a city within the fourth empire of Daniel, as we developed the case simply; and this Empire, as shown in this chapter, has a partly strong, partly broken element, and a wound to be healed. But it is to a city as such that these words in Revelation 16 to 18 are addressed; and in particular, that city is divorceable and in fact violently to be divorced from the empire, as noted above.
The case is open and shut, and stays shut. The Bible means Rome, and Rome before the return in judgment, which, in fact, is shown in Revelation 19.
The full scope of horror within the devastating terminal sequence of the Age, at this crescendo and consummation, has come. Rome, as a city, is to be judged at this time because of what as a city it is guilty of - and this, pre-eminently: religious impurity, power hunger, glory seeking and slaughter. (Cf. p. 1060 infra.)
Rome, indeed is not an empire; but it is the centre of a well-known religion, which arose because of the activities of the bishop of Rome, who lays claim (as shown in this Chapter and Chapter 10 infra): directly spiritually, and indirectly governmentally, to the earth! "In one hour," says Revelation 18:10, its treasures and its undoubtedly ancient name, will be destroyed, and it will be judged for all that for which it holds just fame: the fame of infamy. (Cf. Revelation 18:16-20.)
Thus will the 'first' be last. So will the condemnation of this exaltation by Bishop Gregory I of Rome, be vindicated, his warning verified. That mere man who, though a sinner, dared to call himself 'God Almighty on earth', with the visionary claim of blasphemy, will find precise retribution from reality for His presumption (cf. Ezekiel 28:9), and once again will be fulfilled that scriptural word: ''He who exalts himself will be humbled.'' No law of physics is as certain as this. It is dangerous and in the end, deadly to harbour blasphemy. No pretension will spare it; no claim will condone. Judgment is according to truth; and in truth, gods who are no gods will not live. (Cf. Deuteronomy 32:21,31; Isaiah 45:21, 43:10 and Jeremiah 10:11, 2:28.)
These terms do not seem too strong; indeed, perhaps they should lead us to follow where the lava flows. It is not merely attitudinal, but physical violence to which we refer; nor is it violence regretted, but rather outrage not seldom pursued with passionate persistence; nor is it merely assumed, but rather declared in principle. Before we turn to Aquinas and others rich in the history of the Roman religious body, let us hear* from historian John B. Wilder in his work, The Shadow of Rome (Zondervan 1960):
The records of historians and martyrologists show that it may be reasonable to estimate that from fifty to sixty-eight millions of human beings died, suffered torture, lost their possessions, or were otherwise devoured by the Roman Catholic Church during the awful years of the Inquisition.Dr Robert Cooke in his The Vatican-Jesuit-Global Conspiracy (Manahath School of Theology, Hollidaysburg, Penna. 1985) has a valuably succinct word on the variable ways of the expressly declared Roman desire for world power, and its also express papal focus. After evidencing some of the practical aspects, he declares:
... the Vatican has always shown great resiliency and adaptability in keeping abreast of national and international changes. It is working tirelessly toward one goal to bring the entire world to the feet of the Roman Pontiff. The methods used to achieve this goal have included and do include (as we have seen above) murder, massacre, Marxism, propaganda, irenic dialogue, revolution, repression, assassination, education, kindness, coercion, brotherhood, charity, monasticism, enforced celibacy, Jesuit casuistry, intrigue, financial threats and chicanery, and last but certainly not least, a global conspiracy with an historical continuity, and loyal henchmen to see that it continues to endure, unsurpassed in the annals of recorded history. The ends justify the means is no empty slogan ... (p. 53 - bold italics added).What sort of 'means'... arise, we shall in more and more detail see. Meanwhile, let us consider words from the mouth of Rome herself. Thomas Aquinas: a writer of things theological (one does not say theologian), as close to Rome as Calvin to Presbyterianism, advises that heretics - of which, of course, Protestants would be prima donnas - need in due course to be given to the State for extermination. Now of course you can love people like that, but fellowship? in what ? Your approach deserves flames, and in all reality, that is scarcely the basis for collegiality; it does not have the criterion of comradeship! nor the substance of common sense.
Romans 16:17, Ephesians 5:3,5-7 (re "all uncleanness", cf. pp. 744, 705 supra), II Timothy 2:15-19, 3:4-5, 4:1ff., II John - all say one thing. Fellowship here is forbidden... as with all that insists on teaching/acting against God's word or purity in any sense. (See - Separation.)
That the civil State might not in some cases be inclined to co-operate with this thirst of Rome, in the process or procedure of extermination: this does nothing to diminish the bloodthirsty intention, which history constantly confirms. It does so in areas of which the 75,000 slain, more or less, in the weeks from St. Bartholomew's Day are merely illustrative. That alone, with populations far smaller at that time, in the midst of the long and brutal royal discrimination against the Protestant Huegenots for decades, changed the face of France, which has never recovered from the losses of trade, talent and truth, never becoming Reformed, though it be the birth place of the great Reformer Calvin, who found it necessary to work in... Switzerland.
Sometimes primary infections become secondary; and sometimes sustained persecution can produce a harvest, among those who remain living, of a sour doctrinal dyspepsia, a cynical cloying with religious pretence and a sardonic secularism, perhaps tinctured with revolutionary drama and vision, only to be disappointed. All this happened in France, which paid with its own blood, at the hands of its own executioners, in 1791. (Nor does the Lord ignore such things: Revelation 17:6, 18:20-22.)
Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, advised that it would be expedient to prevent heretics reaching into major government; in wealth; and to kill a few to warn the others. Come, let us give him his Roman institution's title, "Saint" Ignatius Loyola. Even the most gracious judge would expect such a would-be murderer to repent, or his heirs to do so, and to condemn categorically the wicked and evil words stated. Where has the Pope done this ?
Roman canon law, for centuries, has enshrined the thoughts of Gregory VII that the killing of "an apostate, or a heretic, and an excommunicated man... is not murder, nay it is a good, a Christian action" (italics added). That decree, declares the highly honoured ex-priest Chinniquy, for many years a priest of Rome before becoming a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, "is incorporated in the canon law, which every priest must study, and which every good Catholic must follow."
After all, pope Boniface VIII amplified things a little with his two swords: the Pope's and the State's. Of these swords, he says this:
"the latter to be used for the Church, the former by the Church; the former in the hand of the priest, the latter by the hand of princes and kings, but at the nod and sufferance of the priest... ",
as it has been rendered. Picturesque word, that 'nod'.
The case of Archbishop Stepinac of Yugoslavia (whose fostering of force and whose failure to prevent or condemn massive R.C. martyring of Orthodox Serbs, who were outside the rule of Romanism, led to his condemnation as a war criminal) requires attention. It rather suggests that the message, so clear from so many prominent, unrebuked Romanists, is far from being merely symbolic. Given a 15 year prison sentence, following a careful enquiry after the War in Zagreb, in his own country - this in our own recent past - he had been exposed at trial by over a thousand newspaper reports, official church publications from the time of the massacres of the Serbs, by photographs and by witnesses.
Without doubt, the conviction that Hitler would win the war led to some of the journalistic candour of the time, when hundreds of thousands of Serbs were mutilated, tortured, rounded up, shot, condemned to death unless they converted to Romanism, and at times, killed later in the next round of massacre... even if they did 'convert', broken in the brutality.
Stepinac's subsequent elevation to a cardinal's post, with considerable speed, may seem a papal protest; but there is little the victims can do, directly at least, to protest. The dead in this sense deserve our respect. The unholy partnership of Archbishop Stepinac and mass-killer Pavelich, both of them received by the Pope, produced a fitting prelude to Belsen, but it was quicker.
It is worthy of note, that the testimony cited exhibited a continuing collaboration between Stepinac and the Ustashi mass slaughters: indeed he and ten other Roman priests sat in the Ustashi parliament; nor is there known record of any protest by this R.C. leader in Yugoslavia, any rebuke to the many priests involved in the ghoulish and heartless slaughter, though he sat in the parliament of power.
'Father' Petar Oajic, in the publication organ of the Archbishop of Sarajevo, Katolicki Tjednik, No.35, August 31, I941 has these 'Catholic' words to say from the place of power, where Romanist Adolf Hitler was using his force to help:
Until now God spoke through papal encyclicals, numerous sermons, catechisms, the Christian Press, through missions, through the heroic examples of the saints, and so on ... And ? They closed their ears. They were deaf. Now God has decided to use other methods. He will prepare missions. European missions. World missions. They will be upheld, not by priests, but by army commanders, led by Hitler. The sermons will be heard with the help of cannons, machine guns, tanks and bombers. The language of these sermons will be international. No one will be able to complain that he did not understand it, because all people know very well what death is, and what wounds, disease, hunger, fear, slavery and poverty are. (Bold italics added.)The archbishop was not dismissed, his words condemned as heresy; it was not secret; it was read; meant to be read. Its language was soon to be followed in fact by the deeds of its doctrine.
And so this promised 'new' language was heard; except that it was not so novel, nor so diverse, in type at least, from the language composed in former Roman eras of operation. The flames of this war were more diversified than those of Smithfield's gruesome, charred corpse centre in London, than those that burned Huss, Cranmer; but it was not really a new language; only a modernised idiom. And modern ? that is the point. The lordly lullaby of Rome has not lost its quietening tone; and that quietness has for centuries, been that of death. The drunkenness seems to occur no less in words than in deeds, depending on the season; but it is intense, immense, objective and characteristic of Rome both as a political empire of the past, and in that empire's convenient church of the past and present ... As another eminent and vocal Romanist put it a little earlier in this century: "The Church can condemn heretics to death as any rights they have is because of our forbearance".
That party ? The Jesuit's General Wernz (Paris, op.cit., p. 143). The same author cites Muckermann, A Jesuit whose work had a forward by the hierarch, and future pope, Pacelli: 'The pope appeals in favour of Catholic Action's new crusade... Catholic Action means the gathering of world Catholicism. It must live its heroic age... The new epoch can be acquired for Christ only through the price of blood.'
Dr Marianus de Luca, Professor of Canon Law in Rome, in his Institution of Public Ecclesiastical Law, personally commended by pope Leo Xlll, advises (1901):
The Catholic Church has the right and duty to kill heretics because it is by fire and sword that heresy can be extirpated. Mass excommunication is derided by heretics. If they are imprisoned or exiled they corrupt others. The only recourse is to put them to death.It is here that he adds perhaps the most picturesque - say quaintest - touch of all:
Repentance cannot be allowed to save them, just as repentance is not allowed to save civil criminals; for the highest good of the church is the duty of faith, and this cannot be preserved unless heretics are put to death.So does this appalling caricature of divine mercy show its secular air and religious 'credentials': they certainly do not relate to the Saviour, who said, ''He who comes to me I shall certainly not cast out'' (John 6:37).
Indeed, Christ has other thoughts to speak. He said:
Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think he offers God service.One may follow one or other, wisely Christ, or foolishly the Roman perversion of Christianity; but not both. Elijah's word is still relevant:
How long will you halt between two opinions ?
Here - is it fellowship with uncorrected
canons of murder in Christ's name, or the following of
His word ?
Innocent IV, called pope, passed a Papal Bull - a rampaging bull indeed - for the purpose of inquisitorial torture; and in the Inquisition, provision was made that accusers' names be withheld from the victim, and that there be confiscation of property. Do we realise fully what those simple words mean ? We talk of refugees now, and seek to protect them. What of making people refugees, or their equivalent, in the name of Christ ? Does not your personal and ecclesiastical blood shrivel at such ? Would you condone or have fellowship within that field ? For even in this ourblessed century, it has been so blessedly... said: "repentance cannot be allowed to save them... they corrupt others."
The lust for ecclesiastical power, ostensibly dragged from God, does not stop at coercion into 'conversion', mere force to make you 'change' your mind; a religious perversion. No, that does not suffice for this spirit of Rome. Death itself is herein desired. Murderous inquisitions ?
Torquemada, as justly famous (correction, infamous) as almost any war criminal, was confirmed in 'office' - if such Mafia style arrangements can be dignified by such a term - by Alexander VI. Where does that place that pope ? First it places him in the confines of his canons; but second, it places him, in any moral terms, in the position of trying to clear a nation... amongst others, of professing Christians!
May one ask: whose task is that ? and to whom does fellowship in that belong, with such things unrepented, unrescinded, undamned indeed by those whose institution has performed them: and that, with such pomp, before all the world ? Who is served by this ? Who is helped by countenancing such wickedness and consorting with such atrocities! One remembers again the words of Christ:
You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous and say, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets - (Matthew 23:29-30).FELLOWSHIP WITH THE 'FATHERS' OF SUCH A BODY, WHEN REPRESENTING THIS ROMANIST TRADITION, IS NO LESS, IN ITS LAST ANALYSIS! Who should desire this ? Above all, it is the devil who does so. Certainly there is choice, and ours is to cleave from all such evils, leaving the adornments of fellowship to such keepers of the tombs of their slain, many of them like Wickcliffe, heroes and martrys of the faith. (Cf. Amos 3:3; II Chronicles 19:2; Isaiah 39:3-7; Romans 16:17.)
Or has Gregory XII's medal, struck with his own profile on one side, and the avenging angel on the other, as commemoration of the St. Bartholomew's Day contribution to the "highest good of the church": has this stayed unnoted ? If so by man, then scarcely is it unseen by Him who made him! It is God's property which has been so treated, God's both by creation and often also categorically His again, through His redemption of those who serve Him, not well served by slaughter.
Presbyterianism is not perfect, though by following the word of God we seek to make it more so: but it has well stated this. The Westminster Confession of Faith, the historic subordinate standard of this Church, makes the Pope an antichrist. It helped to warn, as did the Anglican 39 Articles, in its condemnation of this Roman religion: and shall the present title holders of such churches revert to, or even receive or countenance the representatives of such tyranny ? Neither does the Lord in Scripture, nor do its commandments written, condone such folly (e.g. 1 Timothy 4:1-6); but rather do we read condemnation of any such act. The movement of many from or in such churches, towards another end than that of the Biblical Christ, attests with perspicuous clarity, the falling away which is to characterise the time of the end of the Age.
We should seek the lost; but not follow them. We should love our enemies, but but not cling to them as friends. By this we know that we love the children of God... How ? When we love God and keep His commandments! (1 John 5:2). This does not for the Christian imply any lack of love to those caught up in this grave and persecutory religious error; far from it. Rather, for their own welfare, they may be directed to the inspired words of John:
Come out of her, my people, so that you do not become partakers of her sins, and that you do not receive her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven and God has remembered... ( from Revelation 18:4-5).[See also Chapter 10 infra: Religions of Violence, at the Faith Level - pp. 1032-1088 infra.]
Thus is the extreme result of our review, in terms of apologetic significance of this survey nearly 2000 years in advance, provided by Revelation concerning that crux of religious apostasy (Revelation 18:2-6,16,20-21), which has specialised in killing Christians while cultivating wealth, political intrigue and blasphemy.
Alas, the predicted "drunkenness", the "intoxication" with blood (Revelation 17:2, 6), it is attested by a sad history; and as to the prophecy concerning this religious phenomenon centring in Rome, it is verified with spectacular precision and grievous success.
(Re the topic of this quotation, see Ancient Words : Modern Deeds Ch. 14. The Iniquisition is given some further attention here.)
5 : 'The Idea Continues' (cf. pp.
750B-D supra, 1088G-H infra)
The Miasmic Message of Misbegotten Unity ... Looking Forward
On the topic of a 'united' Europe, there is of course a need for a draft, a force sufficient to draw together the disparate elements, for the prophecy to be fulfilled. The economic thrill has already been exploited, being a major, ostensible reason for the Europe of the European Parliament, Atomic Energy Commission and International Court of Justice: that is, the unity was not expressly political or religious, but significantly economic... ostensibly. However, religious and political overtones have long been apparent, from Churchill and his United Europe, on.
Sometimes these aspects are... not much stressed, for what is the good of causing... 'reaction' by premature announcements! While sin endures, the national and basically sound human desire for unity is always in danger of exploitation by the wrong kind of unity, without God or with false gods, be they of what kind they may; and 'gods' - hower illusory - they are, when they take precedence over things spiritual.
Meanwhile, the political realities associated even with so apparently 'small' a thing as a common European currency, have now become less hidden. Mrs Thatcher has roundly addressed the loss of sovereignty aspect, which she sees as certainly implicit. Now the Pope, John Paul II, in Bratislav, Czechoslovakia, has spoken of the need for a new united Europe: one in which the 'Church' (the Roman Church, by definition from their documents) is to play a role, act as a catalyst, contribute its... influence. The vision of the 'whole' is to be gained and implemented, without needless nationalisms thwarting or aborting it. This was the papal message of 1990, made in a broadcast on this theme, April 3, 1990, in this Czech city, once in the Roman Catholic Empire of Austria-Hungary. How then times have changed since Stalin asked, 'How many divisions does he have ?...' concerning the Pope! What however are the facts ?
He has several divisions in many countries, of clerics and Catholic Action and participant R.C. bystanders, who also serve, even if they seem only to stand and wait. (Cf. Extension 4, supra.)
To transfer now to Biblical language (see Extension 3, supra), the Harlot is firmly attached to the beast. She is looking, perhaps, for that 'Oh wouldn't that be loverly' situation that passed with the collapse of the 'Holy Roman Empire', the situation of having power made easy, through a concentration of it, politically, in Roman Catholic hands: hands that have not been notorious for mercy to dissidents, when power was with them, any more than has been the case of the Bolsheviks. These also, when not in power, promoted lovely dreams... they and their predecessors, and the theorists, who would have had 'heaven on earth'.
Without God, however, quite predictably, it turned into something far nearer... to hell! It is like children playing with a nuclear laboratory: fun with power becomes folly with devastation. Heaven is not made by children, rather for them, when they are in Christ; and it is the gift of God, of whom there is but One: the Father, the Sender, the Son, the Sent and the Spirit. There is no room for secular philosopher any more than pagan or Romish priest, for Minister or dreamer: God made man and makes for him the haven of heaven with all the naturalness of His first creation. God knows what He is doing; but men, they cannot play God without working ruin.
This new Roman bid which we are now seeing, so swift upon the heels of quasi-departing Bolshevik power in parts of Eastern Europe, Biblically, is wholly in keeping with prophecy and will not prevail, though it may be 'used' to help cement the situation. Men may be incredibly foolish at times, but just as a political party will often see better than to display again the tired old face of some defeated leader, or aspirant leader, so Europe may be expected to surge past the inclement performances of Popes-when-in-power, holding the reins to the beast, and seek something more... elemental. Exactly as predicted, Rome will be cast aside by the kings, for the beast in person (Revelation 17:7,16). To this we move, like a locomotive careering downhill, with a brake failure. The momentum is gathering, and the impact will not recede!
Revelation puts it superbly when it notes (17:10-11) that there are seven kings in view and that when they are done, then 'the beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven, and he goes into perdition.' That is, the symbolic series of kings - if so it be - will continue until the very essence of the situation, the chest and liver and kidney of it will become apparent. The integumental, the intestinal, the essential, the basic beastliness will itself come to the fore with less of symbol and picture; and more, far more of its real flaming features will come to be seen without any further need of 'translation'. Bare, essential beast will be on show. It is then that that ten horns make their presence felt, and these will find their match and master in the little one which will speak great things, to arise in their midst. That will be the crest and summit of evil on earth, a post-papal-spectacular (Daniel 7:8).
In this season, the harlot, religious Rome, having been made use of, just as she offered herself for so long (Revelation 17:2), will be cast aside (17:16) with no tender touch. She was 'just the thing' for her time, but now, enough: the show is at the last Act. Rome will be passé just as she will also be physically past (Rev. 17:10); the religious crux will be gutted and the method, interestingly, is 'fire' (Revelation 17:16, 18:9), the very specialty of our generation, which, when stirred, uses it in heat like that of the sun. It is also, this fire with which the ten nations are predicted here to burn the religious Rome: the very means that organisation used in incinerating so many martyrs, perhaps a sow the wind and reap the whirlwind situation. It is also noteworthy that they "make her desolate and naked" and "hate" her, just as Rome did to her victims so often, consigning them to all manner of flames, and to their children, leaving them with their parental means robbed, as orphans.
Using the fruits of the labours for her own sort of 'unity' that Rome has made, and with this, no doubt, anything that may also be learned of manoeuvre and manipulation from that short-lived other 'Rome'- Moscow with its earthy 'religion' - the beast for its part will seek entire control of the earth. Towards the end, it will yield to its new master, the antichrist, for whom so many for so long have prepared with such misdirected ardour, teaching such follies as this: 'the end justifies the means,' one of Rome's specialties. That wicked and amoral principle is one others have learned from her famous casuistry, only too well - with future applicability (Daniel 7:8,20-22).
For further information on the Forward Look for Europe, with political focus in mind, see Extension 6, following.
Thus, we read (ibid. p. 22):
No one outside Europe doubts, however, that whatever form it eventually takes, the Community will influence the balance of every kind of power in the rest of the world - economic, cultural, military and political.The omission of a category, for the specifically religious, may be as significant as is the inclusion of the military category (cf. p. 929 supra).
Potential German hegemony is currently viewed by some as a ground for a zeal for speed, in achieving greater unification: "... a few years from now it might be too late. The stronger Germany becomes," said Le Monde in a recent commentary, "the less interest she will have in melding into a European union" (ibid. p. 19).
In this mood, you hear from one US European official:
What you see in the European Community is a rush to consolidate, to freeze structures that will safeguard the region in a time of unusual political and economic instability (ibid. p. 19).To these various forces to excite early union is added the thrust of military desire, especially following the Gulf War, where, of the 'European Community', chiefly Britain and France took action. Small wonder French President Mitterand can reflect with a little apparent pleasure, after the U.N.-authorised action (and funds) for a Kurdish refuge along the border with Turkey, and deem it "a major advance for the political dimension of the Community" (ibid. p. 18).
Jacques Delors, leader of the European Commission, as Time summarises it (p. 22), holds that ''unless great, irretrievable steps are taken this year toward binding federation, the Europe that has grown up over three decades might stagnate, or 'retreat' towards 'nineteenth century nationalism.'' This, instead of marking finis to European unity, as we saw, is held much more likely to be an accompaniment to the entrenchment of its power. As to that, the military aspect, of course, begins to appear... Says Time (p. 19), "The conference on political union must also propose ways toward a common foreign policy as well as agreement, at least in principle, on how to create a distinctly European defence pillar within the Western alliance no later than the end of this year."
It is here that the Western European Union, currently 9, may play a leading role, as the European 'Community' continues to form its final shape. A central bank by 1994 is envisaged by some, and an operational common currency thereafter. Indeed, Time magazine, Nov. 11, 1991, evidences a sudden emphasis on those 9 nations. Access of one more would round them nicely, so restoring the ten1 nation focus, present for so long in the recent past, in the E.C. (cf. Revelation 17:12). It is of course true that with Benelux, as noted elsewhere, as a separate economic unity, 3 nations may be conceived as one for the purpose of this exercise, so making a current ten.
The point here, however, is this: France has persuaded Germany to agree in 'preparing a future European army to be directed by the Western European Union, whose nine member States also belong to NATO'. 'The French,' says Time, 'want to turn the WEU into the military wing of the European Community...' The Gulf War has stimulated a desire not only for a NATO Area force, but for a world force, based in Europe, whatever its format.
The association being proposed, vesting the power in the Western European Union, resembles if possible, yet more closely the habitat and focus of ancient Rome, in this way the more drastically stressing the fact that here, living, powerful, progressing, forming, developing (*21) before our eyes, is the continuation of that fourth kingdom which we have seen was the Roman empire, predicted by Daniel, with its variable but definite continuity. Now moving this way, now that, now fulfilling one aspect, now another, but moving with profound and constant progress, this European continuity, forming and gaining in organic unity, moves to its fruition. It appears as the child of history, of the World War II devastation, of American timely aid, of the desire for unity, and the passion for greatness: that some greater thing than nationalism might stand before God, but not, alas, with Him!
This empire was to flourish at the end, as the centre of world power, force and supervision. So it comes (in prophecy) - so it goes (in history). Startlingly and in sublime detail, with all the habiliments of verisimilitude, life-like and conspicuous, the factual prophecies find factual fulfilment from the mouth of the living God, to the history His hands supervise (Amos 3:5-7, Isaiah 45:19-22, 46:10, 43:13). The last of these cited scriptures reads:
Yes, before the day was, I am He; and there is none who can deliver out of My hand: I will work, and who shall prevent it ? (Cf. Isaiah 14:27.)Thus, stirred by events, desires, broken dreams, old moeurs, new visions, the predicted giant moves to its assigned post in prophecy, as everything else without exception has done in history, and will do. This it does, the vast European cruise liner, despite little waves, with all the ease of a ship berthing.
Page 959 continued in the next section
1. Since our First Edition, this has now happened. On November, 20, 1992, Greece was invited to join (becoming notionally the 10th member, in 1995 formalising its entry). Thus came to place the 10th. member of this WEU, now called the E.C.'s 'defence arm' ... as if conjured up by the inexorable rigour of the word of God. Then the E.C. became the European Union! (Nov 1, 1993 ... It includes the Irish Republic and Denmark, not members of the WEU.) Through The Australian, Feb. 25, 1994, it was seen from Brussels that what is now the ten-member WEU, no longer quietly 'slumbering', would deploy troops, enabling Europe to take ''autonomous military action''. Events rush, they surge, swept by the word of God to their appointed end.
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