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The Papacy and Apostasy

By Steve Meehan

One of the clearest signs that we are indeed living in the “end times” is the headlong rush into apostasy. The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians in chapter 2, warned the local church – and by extension, the rest of Christendom – that a falling away from the true faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, would ensue before the revealing of the Antichrist. Even from the very inception of Jesus Christ’s Church, the movement to lead people astray from the true faith was underway; Satan never rests in his attempts to foil the plans of God: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock” – Acts 20:29

In these present end times days that we find ourselves living in, there is no shortage of watered-down, feel good, false gospels abounding, to lead the masses cruising along the highway to apostasy. “Prosperity gospels” (‘name it and claim it’, a license for covetousness, instead of denying one’s self),”Purpose Driven” churches, “Kingdom Now” theology groups, charismatic movements and others are but among a few deceptive systems drawing in the crowds, designed to lead them away from the message of the cross. Another equally destructive scheme has been underway, to not only join together groups who are on a wayward path, but designed also to ensnare those who, up until present times, have remained loyal to Christ’s gospel.

For decades, the Roman Catholic Church has been involved in the process of ecumenism, with the desire to unite all “Christian” groups together, under the ultimate guidance of the pontiff in Rome. As of late, going back to the last three or four popes, they have even extended the welcome mat to those people of other religions, in an effort to draw them in under the Vatican’s influence. Not long ago, Pope John Paul II had a religious mass or gathering of participants from most every religious group outside of Christendom, as part of their ecumenical goal. He had even kissed the Quran – a diabolical book that denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God – in an effort to curry favor with the Muslims. There is nothing more insidious or evil than the ecumenical drive towards apostasy, where all roads will lead back to Rome, under one authority.

There can be no better example of apostasy than with what the Church of Rome has de-evolved into. With the marriage of church and state, under the guidance of Constantine, in the 4th century, pagan and idolatrous practices were introduced into the local ecclesia and over time, heretical teachings, doctrines, and traditions – as proclaimed by “infallible” popes – transformed the Roman Catholic religion into an entity that neither Jesus Christ, nor any of the apostles, ever instituted nor would be associated with.

Equating their magisterium and church traditions to be on par with Holy Scripture as the ultimate authority on “Christian” matters, has given Roman Catholicism free license to introduce unbiblical and false teachings, which have corrupted the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Below is a condensed list of the traditions that the popes instituted over the centuries, that has incrementally lead to the apostasy of Roman Catholicism. None of these traditions can be found nor supported by biblical scripture (with comments in brackets of how scripture rebuts these claims):

431 – Proclamation that infant baptism regenerates the soul. {Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is the sole means of regenerating the soul: Acts 16:39, 31; Romans 10:9, 10; Ephesians 2:8. 9; Titus 3:5 and]

500 – The Mass instituted as re-sacrifice of Jesus for the remission of sin [Christ offered Himself up ONCE for the complete remission of our sins: Hebrews 10:12, 14, and 18]

593 – Declaration that sin needs to be purged, established by Pope Gregory I [Christ cleanses us of ALL sin: 1 John 9]

600 – Prayers directed to Mary, dead saints, and angels. [Jesus directed us to pray to the Father: Matthew 6:9]

786 – Worship of cross, images, and relics authorized. [We are forbidden by the second Commandment not to do such things as worship statues, relics, etc. Exodus 20:4, 5]

995 – Canonization of dead people as saints initiated by Pope John XV. [ALL redeemed Christians are saints, living or otherwise: Acts 9:13; Acts 9:32; Acts 26:10; Romans 15:25; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; and others]

1000 – Attendance at Mass made mandatory under the penalty of mortal sin. [There is no distinction of sin – venial versus mortal – in the Bible; all sin is worthy of death: Romans 6:23. However, missing a Roman Catholic Mass is certainly not a “mortal” sin. Christ’s blood covers all sin for the Believer]

1079 – Celibacy of priesthood, decreed by Pope Gregory VII. [ Forced celibacy is a “doctrines of devils”, as Paul declared under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Look at the resulting sexual sins committed by the Catholic clergy as a result of this diabolical requirement: 1 Timothy 4:1-3]

1090 – Rosary, repetitious praying with beads, invented by Peter the Hermit. [vain, repetitive prayers not directed to the Father, are condemned by Jesus. Jesus also said that only the heathens do such things. Only God the Father answers prayers: Matthew 6:7]

1184 – The Inquisitions, instituted by the Council of Verona. [Nowhere in scripture are we told to go out to torture or kill those who would not accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was diabolical at its core: Matthew 28:19, 20]

1190 – The sale of Indulgences established to reduce time in Purgatory. [No such place as Purgatory exists; another doctrine of demons. Christ is sufficient to purge us of all sins. His free gift of atonement is not for sale: Romans 3:24]

1215 – Transubstantiation, proclaimed by Pope Innocent III. [ Idolatrous heresy. Christ does not come to us physically in the form of a wafer, but spiritually via a re-birth. The communion service is a memorial of what He accomplished for us on the cross. The elements of bread and wine are symbolic of His body and Blood: 1 Corinthians 11:25, 26]

1215 – Confession of sin to priests, instituted by Pope Innocent III. [Confession of our sin is made to God; He is the one we have sinned against. This practice by Roman Catholicism only further puts one in bondage to their system: 1 John 1:9]

1229 – Bible placed on Index of Forbidden Books in Toulouse. [Roman Catholicism likes to make the declaration that they gave Christendom the Bible, yet they banned people from owning or reading it – which resulted in their Inquisitions. 2 Timothy 3:16]

1438 – Purgatory elevated from doctrine to dogma by Council of Florence. [No such place; renders Christ’s agonizing death on the cross as insufficient. Once a person dies, there is no remission of sins: Hebrews 9:27]

1545 – Tradition claimed equal in authority with the Bible by the Council of Trent. [Jesus said that the keeping of traditions over the commandments of God renders them of none effect: Mark 7:5-13]

1546 – Apocryphal Books declared canon by Council of Trent. [the Apocryphal books contain error and are not recognized as being inspired by the Holy Spirit, nor were they adopted as part of the canon: II Timothy 3:16]

1854 – Immaculate Conception of Mary, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX. [ unbiblical teaching; no basis in Scripture. Only Christ was conceived without sin; not Mary: Romans 3:23]

1870 – Infallibility of the Pope, proclaimed by Vatican Council. [unbiblical teaching; no basis in Scripture for the office of a pope or his infallibility. Only God is infallible]

1922 – Virgin Mary proclaimed co-redeemer with Jesus by Pope Benedict XV. [ another Roman Catholic teaching that steals glory and honor away from Christ. Jesus is the only Redeemer of Mediator: 1 Timothy 2:5]

1950 – Assumption of Virgin Mary into heaven, proclaimed by Pope Pius XII. [ nothing in Scripture supports Mary being bodily assumed into Heaven; it is an invention]

Roman Catholicism likes to bill itself as “the one true church”, but what they have incorporated into their system of belief and overall history suggests otherwise. The one true Church of Jesus Christ would never have been involved in over 600 years of papal Inquisitions – where hundreds of thousands, if not millions, were tortured and exterminated – nor would the true Church level over 100 anathemas or curses at true Bible-believing Christians (those are still in effect; they’ve never been revoked or rescinded).

On the contrary, what Roman Catholicism represents is a counterfeit Christianity, complete with another gospel and another Jesus (even their version of Mary is a distorted one from the true biblical Mary of scripture).

Another gospel, in that they believe salvation by works, via the sacraments and ultimately time spent in Purgatory, instead of the true means of salvation through grace alone, apart from works.

Another Jesus is taught by them, in that their Christ’s one time atonement on the cross was insufficient, so He must be resacrificed over and over again via the mass; He didn’t pay the price for all sins, so that paying a penalty via a Penance is required, along with time in a fictcious place called Purgatory to purge all remaining sins; their Christ is received physically in the form of a wafer, instead of spiritually; and, Christ needs a co-redeemer and a co-mediator in Mary, since He again was insufficient to perform those roles on His own. Another gospel, another Jesus – this is the result of apostasy. Unfortunately, millions buy into this system, with billions more to soon sign on, once the Tribulation period begins in earnest.

Where this rush to apostasy will ultimately conclude, will be a one world religion – where people of all faiths will come together, under the sole control of one power.

Can there be any mistaking from scripture who will head this organization? Ample clues are given in Revelation 17:

* Her adornments are purple and scarlet (Rev. 17:4). Name any other entity on the face of the globe – religious or non-religious – whose primary colors of their attire are purple and scarlet; there is none besides Roman Catholicism.

* She is seen drunken on the blood of the saints (Rev. 17:6). Who in the past has killed more bible-believing saints via her Inquisitions and will do so again in the soon coming Tribulation period, than the RCC has?

* And who has lived more richly and cavorted with the kings of the world – as depicted by the woman arrayed in gold, precious stones and pearls (Rev. 17:4) – than the Roman Catholic Church? Her estimated worth in cathedrals, art, artifacts, relics, and other treasures reaches into the hundreds of billions.

* Its headquarters – the Vatican City – is firmly entrenched on seven hills:

“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits” – Revelation 17:9

Rome has forever been linked to the title of “The City of Seven Hills”. She has also been the great city that ruled over the kings of the Earth, in both pagan Rome via the Caesars, then Papal Rome, through the office of the Popes.

“And the woman which thou saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth” – Revelation 17:18

There can be no doubt who this mystery religion is and what role she will play in the soon arriving Tribulation. When the Apostle John was given the visions of Revelation on the Isle of Patmos, this religious woman was a mystery – Roman Catholicism had not been instituted yet. It was no wonder that he marveled at her appearance; she had a thin veneer of “Christianity” by outward appearances, but inwardly it was corrupted. Those of us living presently can easily see that only one religious organization comes close to meeting all of the Revelation 17 characteristics of this false, harlot “church”.

With the world nearing the very soon onset of the prophesied seven year Tribulation period and the formation of a one world government and the establishment of a one world religion, it isn’t any mystery to pan the horizon to see who most conforms to the religious entity described in Revelation 17. She has been in existence for quite some time, and more than mirrors all the attributes listed of this false religious system. She has been working at fever pitch, in recent decades, to draw all peoples of faith into her clutches.

Their “Come Home to Rome” cry goes out to all who used to be labeled “heretics” – those reformers who long ago cast off their Roman shackles to accept the true gospel of Christ – but are now referred to as “separated brethren”, in their attempts to get all to subjugate themselves once more to the pontiff’s authority. They have already been successful in luring back some groups, but once the Rapture takes place, more will fall victim to the Vatican’s control.

So, while the mega churches of “pastors” like Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and others have been successful in luring in those with “itching ears”, with a syrupy, sugar-coated, watered down message instead of the true gospel that requires repentance and a denying of one’s self, the ultimate destiny for those jumping on the bandwagon of ecumenical apostasy will find themselves on a track, pointed directly back to Mother Rome.

“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” – 1 Timothy 4:5

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