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A Woman Rides the Beast #3

An Incredible Metamorphosis!

A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST


by Dave Hunt



I saw the woman... and when I saw her, I wondered with great
admiration.
Revelation 17:6

The man who enters (a fourth-Century church] is bound to see
drunkards, misers, tricksters, gamblers, adulterers, fornicators,
people wearing amulets, assiduous clients of sorcerers.
astrologers....
He must be warned that the same crowds that press into the
churches on Christian festivals, also fill the theatres on pagan
holidays.
St. Augustine


AN INCREDIBLE METAMORPHOSIS


     That a gorgeously clad woman should be holding the reins
astride such a terrifying, world-devouring beast was just cause
for astonishment. John appears, however, to have been dumbfounded
by more than that fact-indeed, by the woman herself ("when I saw
her, I wondered with great admiration [amazement]"). Why? Was it
because the woman was a religious figure? Hardly.
     That religion should wield great authority was a universal
fact of John's day. Church and state were one, with religion
playing the dominant role. If the woman merely represented pagan
world religion, John would hardly have been surprised. What could
there have been about this woman that astonished him? Had he
known her before and was shocked by the unbelievable
transformation?
     Beneath the luxurious attire, the priceless jewelry, the
heavy cosmetics, and the shamelessly impudent stare there was a
haunting familiarity. It couldn't be possible! How had Christ's
chaste bride become this brazen whore? What diabolical mutation
had transformed that small, despised flock of humble followers of
the Lamb into this notorious prostitute toasting Satan with the
blood of the martyrs in a golden chalice! How could the church,
hated and persecuted by the world, as Christ had said she would
be-how could she have become this powerful worldwide institution
that reigned over the kings of the earth? 
     John was staggered. What he was being shown seemed
impossible: that those who belonged to Christ would find
themselves in a false church, a whore. There would be no
possibility of reforming her from within. The cry would come from
the Lord Himself in heaven, "Come out of her, my people, that ye
be not partakers of her sins" (Revelation 18:4). History
authenticates John's vision. It has become quite clear that the
world religion under Antichrist will not be atheism, Hinduism,
Islam, Buddhism, or even New Age. It will be Christianity, but in
a paganized form - exactly what it became under the leadership of
Constantine and his successors, the popes. The coming world
religion will have its headquarters in Rome.

The Persecuted Early Church

     For more than two centuries, as Tertullian said, the blood
of the martyrs was the seed of a heavenly-minded church without
earthly ambition, a church whose members had increased to about
10 percent of the Roman Empire. The church that Christ had
established seemed to thrive under persecution. Mistreatment by
the world kept her pure, detached from earthly desires, and
longing to be with Christ in heaven. Christians were radically
different from pagans; they were misfits, despised and blamed for
every disaster because their refusal to worship the idols had
presumably brought down the wrath of the gods. Early in the third
century Tertullian wrote:

"If the Tiber reaches the walls, if the Nile does not rise to the
fields, if the sky doesn't move or the earth does, if there is
famine, if there is plague, the cry is at once: 'The Christians
to the lions!'"

     A successful Roman lawyer and convert to Christianity from
Stoicism, Tertullian was one of the church's first and most
prominent theologians and apologists. He openly attacked every
facet of pagan culture and religion. Needling the pagans who
debated him, Tertullian declared: "Day by day you groan
over the ever-increasing number of Christians. Your constant cry
is that your state is beset by us, that Christians are every-
where." An early church leader described Christians with these
words:

"But while they dwell in Greek or barbarian cities according as
each man's lot has been cast, and follow the customs of the land
in clothing and food, and other matters of daily life,. yet the
condition of citizenship which they exhibit is wonderful, and
admittedly strange.
They live in countries of their own, but simply as sojourners. ..
endur[ing] the lot of foreigners.... They exist in the flesh, but
they live not after the flesh. They spend their existence upon
earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. They obey the
established laws, and in their own lives they surpass the laws.
They love all men, and are persecuted by all."

     The persecutions of the third century were far more severe
than the earlier ones. Clement reported "roastings, impalings and
beheadings" of Christians in Alexandria before he fled that city
around 203. Persecutions came in waves, punctuated by periods of
relative tolerance and tranquility. The totalitarian system of
the Caesars made the pagan view of the emperor as deity (he had
absolute control over life and death) seem all the more credible.
Loyalty to the traditional pagan cults, headed by the emperor as
Pontifex Maximus, was a form of patriotism. The Christian
rejection of the pagan gods and emperor worship was seen as
treason and fuelled popular hatred against this "unpatriotic"
minority.
     Aroused by the fact that "the heathen temples began to be
forsaken and the Christian churches thronged," the Emperor
Decius, around A.D.250, martyred thousands of people, including
the bishops of Rome, Antioch, and Jerusalem as well as a number
of the emperor's own soldiers who refused to sacrifice to idols.
"Not a town, not a village of the Empire escaped," historian
Philip Hughes informs us, then adds significantly, "but the
emperor's intention was not so much the massacre of Christians as
their conversion to the old religion ...[through] long drawn-out
trials ... repeated interrogations and the extensive use of
torture in the hope of gradually breaking down the resistance."

Chadwick further explains:

"[Dedus required] that everyone should possess a certificate
(libellus) that he had sacrificed to the gods before special
commissioners.... They [the certificates] were a deliberate
attempt to catch people, and were the gravest attack hitherto
suffered by the Church.
Especially among property-owners the number of apostates [those
denying their faith to save their lives and possessions] was
immense...?"

     It sounds like a foretaste of what it will be like when the
Roman Empire is revived under Antichrist. Following a brief
respite, the persecution directed by Emperor Valerian (253-60)
forbade all Christian worship and specifically focused on the
execution of church leaders. Among ordinary Christians as well,
the martyrs were innumerable. The worst, however, was yet to
come.

The "GREAT Persecution," as it came to be called, began in 303
under the Emperor Diocletian and his coemperor, Galerius. All
Bibles had to be surrendered to the authorities, all churches
were to be destroyed, all Christian worship was forbidden, all
clergy were to be imprisoned, and all citizens of the empire were
to sacrifice to the pagan gods on pain of death. In many places
it was a bloodbath. For example, in Phrygia, "where the whole
population was Christian, a whole town was wiped out."

Setting the Stage for Apostasy

     At the height of the most devastating persecution,
deliverance came from an astonishing direction in the form of a
new emperor, Constantine. A brilliant military commander, he took
control of the empire in the West, while his ally, Licinius,
conquered the East. Together they signed the Edict of Milan in
313, restoring to Christians full rights as citizens.
     Freedom at last from persecution seemed like a gift from
God. Unfortunately, it set the stage for an apostasy that would
envelop Christendom for more than a millennium. Christ's bride
had been wedded to paganism. No wonder John was shocked!
     The only Christianity John knew was the "little flock" (Luke
12:32) of those who, hated by the world, were following in
Christ's path of rejection and suffering. The Lord had promised:

"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.... If they have persecuted
me, they will also persecute you..." (John 15:19,20). And so it
happened.

     That this despised little band, persecuted by the world for
its holiness and fidelity to Christ, could ever metamorphose into
an evil institution sitting astride the very seat of worldly
power and ruling over earthly kings and kingdoms seemed
impossible to John, but there she was in that vision of the
future.
     With the at-first-reluctant but increasingly enthusiastic
consent and participation of the bishops, the church entered upon
an apostasy which led to Roman Catholicism and has lasted until
the present time. In fact, it is now gaining momentum for God's
final judgment upon the great whore. Will Durant, a purely
secular historian with no religious axe to grind, comments upon
the marriage of Christianity and paganism that came about through
Constantine's pretended "conversion" and assumption of church
leadership:

"Paganism survived... in the form of ancient rites and customs
condoned, or accepted and transformed, by an often indulgent
Church. An intimate and trustful worship of saints replaced the
cult of pagan gods.... Statues of Isis and Horus were renamed
Mary and Jesus; the Roman Lupercalia and the feast of
purification of Isis became the Feast of the Nativity; the
Saturnalia were replaced by Christmas celebration... an ancient
festival of the dead by All Souls Day, rededicated to Christian
heroes; incense, lights, flowers, processions, vestments, hymns
which had pleased the people in older cults were domesticated and
cleansed in the ritual of the Church ... soon people and priests
would use the sign of the cross as a magic incantation to expel
or drive away demons...
[Paganism] passed like maternal blood into the new religion, and
captive Rome captured her conqueror. ...the world converted
Christianity. ... "

From Persecuted to Persecutor

     Referring to developments after Constantine, Peter Brown
writes: "Far from being a source of improvement, this alliance
[with the state] was a source of 'greater danger and temptation'
[than persecution had been] .... The spread of Christianity in
Africa, by indiscriminately filling the churches, had simply
washed away the clear moral landmarks that separated the 'church'
from the 'world.'" 
     Political considerations began to subtly influence Christian
life and doctrine (just as today), because what was best for the
state loomed large in ecclesiastical affairs and the emperor was
now in charge of both. With the fall of the Roman Empire, the
popes would assume the emperor's role and the marriage with the
world would be complete.

     In its new role as the favored (and eventually official)
religion of the empire, "Christianity" became polluted by its
avid pursuit of secular power. The purity and spiritual power of
the early church had been so awesome that unbelievers dared not
join it (Acts 5:13). In contrast, what the Church would become
after Constantine has been described eloquently by Peter de Rosa:

"The time is not far off [after Constantine] when Peter's
[alleged] successors will be not the servants but the masters of
the world. They will dress in purple like Nero and call
themselves Pontifex Maximus. They will refer to the Fisherman as
"the first pope" and appeal not to the authority of love but to
the power invested in him to act as Nero acted.
In defiance of Jesus, Christians will do unto others what was
done unto them, and worse will they do. The religion that prided
itself for triumphing over persecution by suffering will become
the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen....
They will order in Christ's name all those who disagree with them
to be tortured, and sometimes crucified over fire. They will make
an alliance between throne and altar; they will insist that the
throne is the guardian of the altar and the guarantor of faith.
Their idea will be for the throne (the state) to impose the
Christian religion on all its subjects. It will not trouble them
that Peter fought against such an alliance and died because of
it."

     From being persecuted, the Church became the chief
persecutor, not only of religious faith but, as we have seen, of
any form of freedom of conscience. Hasler explains how the
metamorphosis occurred: "Once Christianity became the state
religion, deviations from orthodoxy threatened both the unity of
the empire and of the Church. And it was the emperor who had the
greatest interest in settling doctrinal disputes. He convened
ecumenical councils and largely dictated their results."  The
popes, however, had the trump card - the keys to heaven - and
used it to intimidate kings and emperors into becoming the
secular arm which did their bidding, especially the executions
during the Inquisitions.
     In 1864, Pius IX's "Syllabus of Errors" condemned "the whole
existing view of the rights of conscience and religious faith and
profession." The Syllabus said it was "a wicked error to admit
Protestants to equal political rights with Catholics, or to allow
Protestant immigrants the free use of their worship; on the
contrary, to coerce and suppress them is a sacred duty, when it
has become possible ... the Church will, of course, act with the
greatest prudence in the use of her temporal and physical power,
according to altered circumstances...."

     The Bible was the most dangerous Book in the world and had
to be kept from the common people. The clergy would give them
selected readings and tell them what it meant. The Protestant
view that anyone could read and understand the Bible would
destroy Catholicism. Pope Clement XI's Constitution "Unigenitus"
(1713) denounced the following Jansenist propositions presented
by Pasquier Quesnel:

"Christians are to sanctify the Lord's Day with reading godly
books. more particularly the Holy Scriptures:" Clement's
judgment: "CONDEMNED!"
"To pull the New Testament out of the hands of Christians is to
shut the mouth of Christ against them." ..CONDEMNED!"
"To forbid Christians the reading of the Holy Scriptures and
especially of the Gospel is to forbid the use of the light by the
children of light and to punish them with a kind of
excommunication." "CONDEMNED!"

Freedom-Roman Style

     The Vatican can't enforce its edicts today in the
totalitarian manner it once employed. So it professes to stand
for freedom of religion and conscience because it wants such
rights for its own people where Catholics are in the minority.
Vatican 11 has an entire section titled "Declaration on Religious
Liberty" which contains such statements as "the human person has
a right to religious freedom." What it promotes, however, is
freedom from government interference or discrimination in
religion. The dishonest impression is given that Rome advocates
full freedom of religion. There is no mention of, much less
repentance for, the millions of people who were martyred and
massacred century after century simply because they would not
accept the Roman Catholic interpretation of the Bible.
     Nor does Vatican 11 concede genuine freedom of conscience.
Yes, it says everyone is free to pursue truth. But it declares
that truth exists only within the Roman Catholic Church. Nor does
the Council point to the Bible, God's Word, as the source of
truth, to be read and understood by all. As in the Middle Ages,
the Church alone can interpret the Bible. She alone has the
sacraments and is the means of salvation. The Church possesses
the truth and is its guardian and sole dispenser for all time.
Therefore, for all the talk about freedom of religion and
conscience in this section of Vatican 11, there is no true
freedom because this same document makes it clear that the truth
can only be known and the soul saved by complete and blind
submission to Rome. Consider the following from this section on
"Religious Liberty":


"We believe that this one true religion continues to exist in the
Catholic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of
spreading it among all men....
So while the religious freedom which men demand in fulfilling
their obligation to worship God has to do with freedom from
coercion in civil society, it leaves intact the traditional
Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies
towards the true religion and the one Church of Christ....
Throughout the ages she [the Roman Catholic Church] has preserved
and handed on the doctrine which she has received from her Master
and the apostles.... in forming their consciences the faithful
must pay careful attention to the sacred and certain teaching of
the Church. For the Catholic Church is by the will of Christ the
teacher of truth. It is her duty to proclaim and teach with
authority the truth which is Christ and, at the same time, to
declare and confirm by her authority the principles of the moral
order which spring from human nature itself."

     So while in theory there is freedom of conscience, in fact
there is not. One is free to pursue truth, but truth exists not
in the Bible in a form which the conscience can recognize and is
available to all mankind, but resides only within the Roman
Catholic Church, and her prelates alone can recognize it and
dispense it. No one may judge her "truth" by conscience or God's
Word, but her dogmas must be accepted blindly because she is the
one true Church founded by Christ upon Peter, and her popes are
Peter's successors.
     Antichrist will himself acknowledge this fantastic claim
(the woman will ride the beast), but with no more sincerity than
did Constantine. It will be a ploy to use the Church to his own
ends until finally he puts his image in the temple and demands
that all people worship him as god. At that point the beast will
turn upon the woman and devour her (Revelation 17:16).

Shepherds Deceiving the Sheep

     Remember, it was the totalitarian papal system which, first
of all, destroyed those men who became part of it, and then
through them destroyed the Church. The shepherds became corrupted
with the lust for power and then corrupted all of the clergy, who
in turn corrupted the people. Cardinal Sadolet said of Clement
VII, whom he knew intimately, that before his election he studied
the Bible constantly, but afterward his character deteriorated
and his pontificate was "a series of mistakes, a perpetual
dodging to evade the Council which he hated and feared." Before
he became pope, Paul IV favored Church reformation, but afterward
he avidly pursued his own selfish interests and the advancement
and enrichment of his nephews. A contemporary described Pius IV
before his pontificate as "humane, tolerant, beneficent, gentle
and unselfish," but just the reverse as pope. He "abandoned
himself to vulgar sensuality and lusts, ate and drank
immoderately, became imperious and crafty," and even stopped
attending "Divine service in the chapel." So it was with Innocent
X, Alexander VII, and a host of others. 

     With his usual clarity, de Rosa provides further insight.
"In the tenth century, for all its adolescent, adulterous and
murderous popes, the papacy was a local phenomenon. The head of a
powerful Roman family put his cherished teenaged son on the
throne; the lad made hay for a few frantic months or years and
was ambushed by members of a rival family whose hour had come.
But since the eleventh century Gregory VII had put his stamp upon
the papacy. It had grown in stature and prestige; it was able to
control the entire church, from the simplest country curate to
the most powerful archbishop. What emerged was the most appalling
corruption that Christianity has ever seen or is likely to see.
It began at the top. The papacy was auctioned off in conclave to
the highest bidder, irrespective of a candidate's worth." 

     Von Dollinger extended the blame to the entire Curia:

"When the Cardinals said, in the letter they addressed to their
Pope, Gregory XII, in 1408, that there was no soundness in the
Church from the sole of the foot to the crown of the head, they
should have added, if they wished to tell the whole truth, 'It is
we and our colleagues, and your predecessors, it is the Curia,
who have gone on saturating the body of the Church with moral
poison, and therefore is it now so sorely diseased.'"

     St.Bonaventure declared that in Rome "Church dignities were
bought and sold, there did the princes and rulers of the Church
assemble, dishonoring God by their incontinence, adherents of
Satan, and plunderers of the flock of Christ.... the prelates,
corrupted by Rome, infect the clergy with their vices; and the
clergy, by their evil example of avarice and profligacy, poison
and lead to perdition the whole Christian people." Others "called
the Curia the utterly corrupt 'carnal Church.'. . ." Those who
still had some hope for a reformation of the Church, writes von
Dollinger, "predicted a great renewal and purification through a
holy Pope, the 'Papa Angelicus,' long looked for, but never
willing to appear."

     Petrarch, close observer for many years of the Roman Curia,
came to the conclusion that Rome was the fulfilment of John's
vision in Revelation 17. She was "the Apocalyptic woman drunken
with blood, the seducer of Christians, and plague of the human
race." Von Dollinger says that Petrarch's descriptions of the
papacy and the Curia "are so frightful that one would suppose
them the exaggerations of hatred, were they not confirmed by all
his contemporaries.... Augustinian monk of Florence, Luigi
Marsigh, [said] the Papal Court no longer ruled through hypocrisy
- so openly did it flaunt its vices - but only through the dread
inspired by its interdicts and excommunications."

     The popes had loaded St.Bonaventure with honors. As a
cardinal and General of his Order, he was bound by the closest
ties to Rome. Yet in his "Commentary on the Apocalypse" he
declares that Rome was "the harlot who makes kings and nations
drunk with the wine of her whoredoms." Dante, too; applied to the
popes the apocalyptic prophecy of the harlot on the seven hills
who is drunk with the blood of men and seduces princes and
peoples. It was a metamorphosis that John found hard to believe
could ever occur - but it has been fulfilled exactly as Christ
revealed it.

Some Contrasts to Ponder

     The Church holds a position for the average Catholic that is
entirely different from the relationship between an evangelical
and whatever denomination to which he or she may belong. For
the evangelical, Christianity involves a personal relationship
between the believer and God and Jesus Christ. Many Protestants
lack that personal relationship and thus are not real Christians.
The lack of that personal relationship, however, is not because
they have been taught to look to a Baptist or Methodist or
Presbyterian or some other denominational church for salvation;
at least that is not generally the teaching of any Protestant
church.
     In contrast, a Mormon is taught that salvation comes by
belonging to and remaining in good standing with the "Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." The same is true of a
Jehovah's Witness, a Christian Scientist, or a member of most
other cults, whether "Christian" or Hindu or Buddhist. Rome, too,
decrees that the individual can only receive "the merits and
graces of Christ" through the Church. The essential personal
relationship with Christ apart from any institution, and the
accompanying assurance of being with Him the moment one dies, is
denied to individual Catholics. Their hope is in the Church: They
hope that its continued efforts even after their death will
eventually bring them to heaven.

     While the Bible teaches submission to Church leaders, it
also insists that this submission go only as far as the leaders
are following Christ Himself. Paul wrote, "Follow me as I follow
Christ" (from 1 Corinthians 11:1). He didn't suggest that all
Christians must follow him because of his high office, but only
as he was true to Christ and His Word. Obviously, to make that
judgment the individual must know Christ and His Word for
himself.
     Paul says that each believer, and not just a special clergy
class, is free to present God's truth to the church, and that
when leaders speak to the church those who hear them are to judge
for themselves the validity of what is said (1 Corinthians
14:29-32). In contrast, Catholicism's "Code of Canon Law" says,
"The First See (papacy) is judged by no one." Vatican 11 declares
that pronouncements by the pope on faith or morals are
infallible, irreformable, "in no way in need of the approval of
others, and do not admit of appeal to any other tribunal." The
same is said of "the body of bishops when, together with Peter's
successor [the pope], they exercise the supreme teaching office."

     John says that all true believers have the anointing of the
Holy Spirit and thus must not follow anyone blindly (1 John
2:20-27), but must discern whether a doctrine is biblical by
following the leading of God through His Word and the Holy
Spirit. How else could each of us judge whether those who preach
and teach are presenting God's truth, as Paul says we must? In
Catholicism, however, it is explicitly declared that no one may
come to his or her own personal opinion concerning biblical truth
but must accept whatever the Church hierarchy teaches.

Great Responsibility, Great Privilege

     As we have already seen from the language of Matthew
28:19,20 ("teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have
commanded you"), several conclusions are inescapable: 1) An
unbroken chain of command flows from our Lord through successive
generations of disciples down through history to Christians
today; 2) every ordinary Christian is to obey every applicable
command that Christ gave His original disciples and to do what He
trained and commanded them to do, including preaching the gospel
in all the world and making disciples; 3) each Christian has been
given by the Lord the same privileges, responsibilities,
authority, and power which the original twelve received. How else
could each generation of new disciples obey every command Christ
had given the original twelve?
     The early Christians followed these instructions. Not even
the knowledge that they would be killed deterred them. After the
death of Stephen the Christians were scattered, and we are told
that everywhere they went they preached the gospel (Acts 8:4). We
must do the same. Each individual Christian is a full-fledged
successor of the apostles, called and empowered by the Holy
Spirit to carry on the task of representing Christ and bringing
His gospel to the world. Charged with the Great Commission to
preach the gospel to "every creature," each disciple at every
moment in history is a soldier of the cross and an ambassador of
the King of kings. What an awesome responsibility - but what a
great privilege!

     Unfortunately, many Christians are unwilling to take this
responsibility. They want to leave it to a special class of
professionals, many of whom are only too eager to lord it over
the flock. Every Christian has the authority to resist the devil
and see him flee, to "bind and loose" as Christ empowered His
first disciples, and to be His ambassador to mankind. In the
metamorphosis in the centuries following Constantine, the Roman
hierarchy claimed for itself the exclusive right to do what
Christ had intended to be the task of all His disciples.

Vital Distinctions

     Christ made a clear distinction between Caesar and God:

"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the
things that are God's" (Mark 12:17). This is foundational. The
Catholic Church wedded God to Caesar. Church and state became
one, with the Church in control and the state doing its bidding.
That situation is still much the same in Catholic countries
today.
     Christ made a clear distinction between His kingdom, which
is not of this world, and the kingdoms of this world (John
18:36). In disobedience to the Christ whom they claim to
represent, the popes have built a kingdom which is very much of
this world, yet they claim it is God's kingdom. And they have
done it in unholy alliance with secular rulers.
     Christ made a clear distinction between His Church, which He
has called out of the world, and the world itself (John
17:18-20). John declared, "Love not the world, neither the things
that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the
Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15).
     The distinctions that Christ made must be adhered to by
those who belong to Him: "If a man love me, he will keep my words
.... He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings" (John
14:23,24); "Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things
which I say?" (Luke 6:46).

                           ....................

Again Dave Hunt gives 25 "references" at the back of his book for
quotations in this chapter.

NOTE:

It is very true indeed as Dave Hunt presents, that there was a
great transformation in the "church at Rome" with Constantine in
power. It would now become the "state" religion, married to the
"secular" government. and it would start on the path of being the
one that WOULD PERSECUTE, and not one to RECEIVE persecution!

The true Church of God started to divide in half so to speak,
with those coming in and going out (taking many with them), with
false doctrines and practices, during the very lives of the first
apostles. The apostle Paul warned about this in Acts 20, and
Peter and John wrote about it in their epistles. I have covered
the matter in some depth, as I came to those section of
Scripture, going through the New Testament Bible Story.

By the beginning of the second century A.D. and as it moved on
into the third century A.D. the observance of Sunday, the first
day of the week, as the weekly Sabbath, was more and more being
accepted and practiced. The Passover, in commemoration of the
Lord's death, had been pushed aside, replaced by Easter, in the
church at Rome. False teachings and practices had already come
into the world of "Christianity" by the second century A.D. BUT
it is true that MANY who called themselves "Christian" regardless
of beliefs and practices, were willing to die for their faith.
Many DID DIE, MANY WERE KILLED, WERE PERSECUTED, WERE TORTURED,
for the simple fact they were "Christians." It was NOT UNTIL
Constantine finally STOPPED "Christian persecution" in 313 A.D.
after the "GREAT persecution" had last 10 years, that Christians
had some rest, some peace, from persecution. But as Dave Hunt has
shown, the popular Roman church gained political power, more and
more, from Constantine on. And then that church organization,
with government backing, became THE PERSECUTOR of anyone who
openly disagreed with its teachings and practices.

So it will be ONCE MORE, for the LAST TIME, in the future, just
before Jesus comes to this earth again. The church of Rome will
RIDE the Beast, the SEVENTH and final resurrection of the HOLY
ROMAN EMPIRE. 
It will be the" King of the North" of Daniel 11 (verse 40-45) It
will put an end to the Arab, Islam world. It will come against
the Arab Islam world, the "King of the South" of Daniel 11, and
overcome it. Roman Catholicism, with governments of Europe
backing will decide (because the king of the south will "push at"
it - Islam is, as we see today, a pushy religion), in the name of
Christ, that the Arab Islam world must be overthrown. It will
overthrow it, and march into Jerusalem - Daniel 11:45. And then
will come the time of trouble as never seen on this earth. Daniel
12 will be a reality. Matthew 24; Revelation 6, and the fifth
seal, will be a reality.
This Woman riding the Beast, will claim it needs to conquer the
world for Christ, to bring "rebellious" Catholics of the West,
and her "daughters of Protestantism" back into line, back into
the fold.
The Woman Whore, now riding the Beast of secular Government, will
for a short time, ABOUT (note I said "about") two and one half
years, will first of all, in battle, destroy the nations of the
House of Israel; especially the British Commonwealth and USA;
together with Judah, the Jews, and then persecute, even with
death, many of the peoples of the true Church of God.

All of this I have covered in detail with other studies on this
Website.

Only God knows the time for all this to take place. It could be
in the next decade or two, from 2010. Then it could be longer.
But if it is not in my lifetime (I'm 65 at this writing and
entering of this study - 2007), IT WILL COME TO PASS ONE DAY, if
the nations will not repent, JUST AS I'VE WRITTEN IT!! 

Keith Hunt     

Entered on this Website December 2007


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