THE INHUMAN INQUISITION
SO OPENLY CORRUPT did the fallen church become in the Middle
Ages, we can readily understand why in many places men rose up in
protest. Many were those noble souls who rejected the false
claims of the Pope, looking instead to the Lord Jesus for
salvation and truth. These were called "heretics" and were
bitterly persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church.
One of the documents that ordered such persecutions was the
inhuman "Ad exstirpanda" issued by Pope Innocent IV in 1252. This
document stated that heretics were to be "crushed like venomous
snakes." It formally approved the use of torture. Civil
authorities were ordered to burn heretics.
"The aforesaid Bull 'Ad exstirpanda' remained thenceforth a
fundamental document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by
several Popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68),
Nicholas IV (1288-92), Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and others. The
civil authorities, therefore, were enjoined by the Popes, under
pain of excommunication to execute the legal sentences that
condemned impenitent heretics to the stake. It is to be noted
that excommunication itself was no trifle, for, if the person
excommunicated did not free himself from the excommunication
within a year, he was held by the legislation of that period to
be a heretic, and incurred all the penalties that affected
Men pondered long in those days on how they could devise
methods that would produce the most torture and pain. One of the
most popular methods was the use of the rack, a long table on
which the accused was tied by the hands and feet, back down, and
stretched by rope and windlass. This process dislocated joints
and caused great pain.
Heavy pincers were used to tear out fingernails or were
applied red-hot to sensitive parts of the body. Rollers with
sharp knife blades and spikes were used, over which the heretics
were rolled back and forth. There was the thumbscrew, an
instrument made for disarticulating fingers and "Spanish boots"
which were used to crush the legs and feet. The "iron virgin" was
a hollow instrument the size and figure of a woman. Knives were
arranged in such a way and under such pressure that the accused
were lacerated in its deadly embrace. This torture device was
sprayed with "holy water" and inscribed with the Latin words
meaning, "Glory be only to God" 2
Victims after being stripped of their clothing had their
arms tied behind their backs with a hard cord. Weights were
attached to their feet. The action of a pulley suspended them in
mid-air or dropped and raised them with a jerk, dislocating
joints of the body. While such torture was being employed,
priests holding up crosses would attempt to get the heretics to
Ridpath's History of the World includes an illustration of
the work of the Inquisition in the Netherlands. Twenty-one
Protestants are hanging from the tree. A man on a ladder is about
to be hanged, below him is a priest holding a cross.3
"In the year 1554 Francis Gamba, a Lombard, of the Protestant
persuasion, was apprehended and condemned to death by the
sentence of Milan. At the place of execution, a monk presented a
cross to him, to whom Gamba said, 'My mind is so full of the real
merits and goodness of Christ that I want not a piece of
senseless stick to put me in mind of Him.' For this expression
his tongue was bored through and he was afterwards burned."4
Some who rejected the teachings of the Roman church had
molten lead poured into their ears and mouths. Eyes were gouged
out and others were cruelly beaten with whips. Some were forced
to jump from cliffs onto long spikes fixed below, where,
quivering from pain, they slowly died. Others were choked to
death with mangled pieces of their own bodies, with urine, or
excrement. At night, the victims of the Inquisition were chained
closely to the floor or wall where they were a helpless prey to
the rats and vermin that populated those bloody torture chambers.
The religious intolerance that prompted the Inquisition
caused wars which involved entire cities. In 1209 the city of
Beziers was taken by men who have been promised by the Pope that
by engaging in the crusade against heretics they would at death
bypass purgatory and immediately enter heaven. Sixty thousand, it
is reported, in this city perished by the sword while blood
flowed in the streets. At Lavaur in 1211 the governor was hanged
on a gibbet and his wife thrown into a well and crushed with
stones. Four hundred people in this town were burned alive. The
crusaders attended high mass in the morning, then proceeded to
take other towns of the area. In this siege, it is estimated that
100,000 Albigenses (Protestants) fell in one day. Their bodies
were heaped together and burned.
At the massacre of Merindol, five hundred women were locked
in a barn which was set on fire. If any leaped from windows, they
were received on the points of spears. Women were openly and
pitifully violated. Children were murdered before their parents
who were powerless to protect them. Some people were hurled from
cliffs or stripped of clothing and dragged through the streets.
Similar methods were used in the massacre of Orange in 1562. The
Italian army was sent by Pope Pius IV and commanded to slay men,
women, and children. The command was carried out with terrible
cruelty, the people being exposed to shame and torture of every
Ten thousand Huguenots (Protestants) were killed in the
bloody massacre in Paris on "St.Bartholomew's Day", 1572. The
French king went to mass to return solemn thanks that so many
heretics were slain. The papal court received the news with great
rejoicing and Pope Gregory XIII, in grand procession, went to the
Church of St.Louis to give thanks! He ordered the papal mint to
make coins commemorating this event. The coins showed an angel
with sword in one hand and a cross in the other, before whom a
band of Huguenots, with horror on their faces, were fleeing. The
words 'Ugonottorum Stranges 1572' which signify "The slaughter of
the Huguenots, 1572", appeared on the coins.
An illustration from Ridpath's History of the World, shows
the work of the Inquisition in Holland. A Protestant man is
hanging by his feet in stocks. The fire is heating a poker to
brand him and blind his eyes.5
Some of the Popes that today are acclaimed as "great" by the
Romish church lived and thrived during those days. Why didn't
they open the dungeon doors and quench the murderous fires that
blackened the skies of Europe for centuries? If the selling of
indulgences, or people worshipping statues as idols, or Popes
living in immorality can be explained as "abuses" or excused
because these things were done contrary to the official laws of
the church, what can be said about the Inquisition? It cannot be
explained away as easily, for though sometimes torture was
carried out beyond what was actually prescribed, the fact remains
that the Inquisition was ordered by papal decree and confirmed by
Pope after Pope! Can any believe that such actions were
representative of Him who said to turn the cheek, to forgive our
enemies, and to do good to them that despitefully use us?
"LORD'S OVER GOD'S HERITAGE"
THE HIGHEST RANKING men of the Roman Catholic Church, next
to the Pope, are a group of "cardinals." The Bible says that
Christ placed apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and
teachers in his church (Eph. 4:11). But we never find any
indication that he ordained a group of cardinals. To the
contrary, the original cardinals were a group of leading priests
in the ancient pagan religion of Rome - long before the Christian
Era. A booklet published by the Knights of Columbus, "This is the
Catholic Church," explains: "In ancient times the cardinals were
the chief clergy of Rome - the word is derived from the Latin
word 'cardo,' - 'hinge', and thus referred to those who were the
pivotal members of the clergy."1
But why were these priests of ancient Rome linked with the
word "hinge"? They were, evidently, the priests of Janus, the
pagan god of doors and hinges! Janus was referred to as "the god
of beginnings" - thus January, the beginning month of our Roman
calendar, comes from his name. As god of doors, he was their
protector or caretaker. Even today, the keeper of the doors is
called a janitor, a word from the name Janus!
Janus was known as "the opener and shutter."2
Because he was worshipped as such in Asia Minor, we can
better understand the words of Jesus to the church at
Philadelphia: "These things saith he that is holy, he that is
true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man
shutteth: and shutteth, and no man openeth ... I have set before
you an open door" (Rev. 3:7,8). The pagan god Janus was a
counterfeit; Jesus was the true opener and shutter!
"The college of Cardinals, with the Pope at its head", writes
Hislop, "is just the counterpart of the pagan college of
Pontiffs, with its Pontifex Maximus, or Sovereign Pontiff, which
is known to have been framed on the model of the grand original
Council of Pontiffs at Babylon!"3
When paganism and Christianity were mixed together, the
cardinals, priests of the hinge, that had served in pagan Rome,
eventually found a place in papal Rome.
The garments worn by the cardinals of the Catholic Church
are red. Cardinal birds, cardinal flowers, and cardinal priests
are all linked together by the color red. The Bible mentions
certain princes of Babylon who dressed in red garments: "...men
portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed
with vermillion" - bright red - "girded with girdles upon the
loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them
princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of
Chaldea" (Ezekiel 23:14,15).
The harlot symbolizing Babylonish religion was dressed in
scarlet - red garments (Rev. 17:4). From ancient times, the color
red or scarlet has been associated with sin. Isaiah, in his day,
said: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as
snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool"
(Isaiah 1:18). Adultery is sometimes referred to as the scarlet
sin. The color red is associated with prostitution, as in the
expression "red-light district."
In view of these things, it does not seem unfair to question
why red would be used for the garments of the highest ranking men
in the Romish church. We are not saying it is wrong to wear red,
yet does it not seem like a curious custom for cardinals? Are we
to suppose such garments were worn by the apostles? Or is it more
likely that the red garments of the cardinals were copied from
those worn by priests of pagan Rome?
The priests of the hinge in pagan days were known as the
"flamens." The word is taken from 'flare,' meaning one who blows
or kindles the sacred fire.4
They were the keepers of the holy flame which they fanned
with the mystic fan of Bacchus. Like the color of the fire they
tended, their garments were flame color - red. They were servants
of the pontifex maximus in pagan days and the cardinals today are
the servants of the Pope who also claims the title pontifex
maximus. The flamens were divided into three distinct groups and
so are the cardinals - Cardinal-bishops, Cardinal-priests, and
Next in authority under the Pope and the cardinals are the
bishops of the Catholic Church. Unlike the titles "pope" and
"cardinal", the Bible does mention bishops. Like the word
"saints", however, the word "bishop" has been commonly
misunderstood. Many think of a bishop as a minister of superior
rank, having authority over a group of other ministers and
churches. This idea is reflected in the word "cathedral", which
comes from cathedra, meaning "throne." A cathedral, unlike other
churches, is the one in which the throne of the bishop is
But turning to the Bible, all ministers are called bishops -
not just ministers of certain cities. Paul instructed Titus to
"ordain elders in every city" (Titus 1:5), and then went on to
speak of these elders as bishops (verse 7). When Paul instructed
"the elders" of Ephesus, he said: "Take heed unto yourselves, and
to the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers
(bishops), to feed (pastor) the church of God" (Acts 20:17,28).
The word translated "overseers" is the same word that is
elsewhere translated bishops. The word "feed" means the same as
the word translated pastor. These ministers were referred to as
elders, bishops, overseers, and pastors - all of these
expressions referring to exactly the same office. Plainly enough,
a bishop - in the Scriptures was not a minister of a large city
who sat on a throne and exercised authority over a group of other
ministers. Each church had its elders and these elders were
bishops! This was understood by Martin Luther. "But as for the
bishops that we now have", he remarked, "of these the Scriptures
know nothing; they were instituted ... so that one might rule
over many ministers."5
Even before the New Testament was completed, it was needful
to give warnings about the doctrine of the Nicolaitines (Rev.
2:6). According to Scofield, the word "Nicolaitines" comes from
'nikao,' "to conquer", and 'laos,' "laity", which, if correct,
"refers to the earliest form of the notion of a priestly order,
or 'clergy', which later divided an equal brotherhood (Mt. 23:8),
into 'priests' and 'laity'."6
The word "priest" in a very real sense belongs to every
Christian believer - not just ecclesiastical leaders. Peter
instructed ministers not to be "lords over God's heritage" (1
Peter 5:1-3). The word translated "heritage" is 'kleeron' and
means "clergy"! As The Matthew Henry Commentary explains, all the
children of God are given the "title of God's heritage or clergy
... the word is never restrained in the New Testament to the
ministers of religion only."
In rejecting an artificial division between "clergy" and
"laity", this is not to say that ministers should not receive
proper respect and honor, "especially they who labor in the word"
(1 Tim.5:17). But because of this division, too often people of a
congregation are prone to place all responsibility for the work
of God upon the minister. Actually God has a ministry for all of
his people. This is not to say that all have a pulpit ministry! -
but even giving a cup of cold water is not without its purpose
and reward (Matt.10:42). It would be well for each of us to
pray,"Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6).
In the New Testament, the full work of a church was not
placed on one individual. Churches were commonly pastored by a
plurality of elders, as numerous scriptures show. "They ordained
elders (plural) in every church" (Acts 14:19-23) and in "every
city" (Titus 1:5). Expressions such as "the elders (plural) of
the church" are commonly used (Acts 20:17; James 5:14).
All who have been washed from their sins by the blood of Christ
are "priests unto God" and are "a royal priesthood" (Rev. 1:6; 1
Peter 2:9). The priesthood of all believers is clearly the New
Testament position. But as men exalted themselves as "lords over
God's heritage", people were taught that they needed a priest to
whom they could tell their sins, a priest must sprinkle them, a
priest must give them the last rites, a priest must say masses
for them, etc. They were taught to depend upon a human priest,
while the true high priest, the Lord Jesus, was obscured from
their view by a dark cloud of man-made traditions.
Unlike Elihu who did not want to "give flattering titles
unto man" (Job 32:21), those who exalted themselves as "lords"
over the people began to take unto themselves titles which were
unscriptural, and - in some cases - titles that should belong
only to God! As a warning against this practice, Jesus said,
"Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father
which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your
Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be
your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased;
and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matt.
It is difficult to understand how a church claiming to have
Christ as its founder - after a few centuries - would begin to
use the very titles that he said NOT to use! Nevertheless, the
bishop of Rome began to be called by the title "pope", which is
only a variation of the word "father." The priests of Catholicism
are called "father." We will remember that one of the leading
branches of the "Mysteries" that came to Rome in the early days
was Mithraism. In this religion, those who presided over the
sacred ceremonies were called "fathers."7
An article on Mithraism in The Catholic Encyclopedia says,
"The fathers (used here as a religious title) conducted the
worship. The chief of the fathers, a sort of pope, who always
lived at Rome, was called 'Pater Patrum'."8
Now if the pagans in Rome called their priests by the title
"father", and if Christ said to call no man "father", from what
source did the Roman Catholic custom of calling a priest by this
title come - from Christ or paganism?
Even the Bible gives an example of a pagan priest being
called "father." A man by the name of Micah said to a young
Levite, "Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest"
(Judges 17:10). Micah was a grown man with a son of his own; the
Levite was "a young man." The title "father" was obviously used
in a religious sense, as a priestly designation. Micah wanted him
to be a father - priest in his "house of gods." This was a type
of Catholicism, for while the young priest claimed to speak the
word of the "LORD" (Judges 18:6), the worship was clearly mixed
with idols and paganism.
The Roman Catholic Church uses the title "Monsignor" which
means "My Lord." It is somewhat of a general title, The Catholic
Encyclopedia explains, and can be properly used in addressing
several of the higher church leaders. "Instead of addressing
patriarchs as 'Vostra Beautitudine', archbishops as 'Your Grace',
bishops as 'My Lord', abbots as 'Gracious Lord', one may without
any breach of etiquette salute all equally as Monsignor."9
One of the meanings of "arch" is master. Using titles such
as arch-priest, arch-bishop, arch-deacon, is like saying master-
priest, etc. The superior of the order of Dominicans is called
"master general." We need only to cite, again, the words of
Christ which are in contrast to such titles: "Neither be ye
called masters: for one is your master, even Christ."
Even the title "Reverend", Biblically speaking, is applied
only to God. It appears one time in the Bible: "Holy and reverend
is his name" (Psalms 111:9). The word "reverend" comes from the
Latin 'revere' and was first applied to the English clergy as a
title of respect during the fifteenth century. Variations of this
title are these: The Reverend, The Very Reverend, The Most
Reverend, and The Right Reverend.
When Jesus spoke against flattering titles, the basic
thought was that of humility and equality among his disciples.
Should we not, then, reject the supposed authority of those high
offices in which men seek to make themselves "lords over God's
heritage"? And instead of men receiving glory, should not all the
glory be given to God?
1. The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.8, p.34.
2. Smith, 'Man and His Gods,' p.286.
3. Ridpath's History of the World, vol.5, p.304.
4. Fox's Book of Martyrs, p.103.
5. Ridpath's History of the World, vol.5, p.297.
1. Ritter, 'This is the Catholic Church,' booklet 50, p.38.
2. Hislop, 'The Two Babylons,' p.210.
3. Ibid., p.206.
4. Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature p.675.
5. Luther, 'To the German Nobility,' p.317.
6. Scofield, Scofield Reference Bible, p.1332.
7. Cumont, 'The Mysteries of Mithra,' p.167.
8. The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.10, p.403, art. "Mithraism."
9. Ibid., p.510, art. "Monsignor."
Truly the "Dark Ages" were named the Dark Ages correctly, not
only was there dark evil practices sanctioned and perpetrated by
the Roman Catholic church, but many of its theological teachings
and ideas (like a flat earth) were taught as the truths of God.
Even in this so-called enlightened age the main part of the
Catholic church and its Pope and high ranking leaders, stood by
while Hitler and his demonic ideas were brought into reality
before and during World-War Two.
No wonder God calls the Babylon Whore Woman in Revelation as
being DRUNK on the BLOOD of the saints.
One day her and her daughters and political governments will face
the anger and revenge of Almighty God. His saints who cry out in
symbolic form, for revenge (Revelation 6:9-11) will be speedily
granted their wish, but not before this scarlet Whore who rides
the end-time Beast under the power of Satan the Devil, AGAIN,
takes the lives of millions and drinks their blood so to speak.
You need to study the studies on this Website devoted to Bible
Prophecy and come to see what is going to take place on this
earth (if the nations do not repent - and there is little chance
of that happening) in the last THREE and ONE HALF years of this
It is NOT at all pleasant, but if you make your calling and
election SURE, if you endure to the END as Jesus and Peter
taught, THEN you can be in the resurrection at the coming of
Jesus, and with Him, bring salvation and truth, joy, peace, and
happiness, to all nations on earth for one thousand years.
We continue to pray, "THY KINGDOM come, Thy WILL be DONE on earth
as it is in heaven" - Keith Hunt
TO BE CONTINUED