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EXAMINING  OUR  FAITH,  part  14  quotes

1)     “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5.

2)   Characteristic #3.  This Beast has 10 horns and 10 crowns upon its horns, and this indicated that as the ancient Roman Empire consisted of precisely 10 different regions of power which supported it, so this Beast of Revelation 13 would arise after the Roman Empire had fallen and would also be supported and upheld by these same 10 different regions of now kingly power located in Western Europe.

     The 10 different Western European horns/powers which upheld and supported Imperial Rome were 1- Alemanni; 2 - Anglo-Saxons; 3 - Burgundians; 4 - Franks; 5 - Heruli; 6 - Lombards; 7 - Ostrogoths; 8 - Suevi; 9 - Vandals; 10 - Visigoths.  Even before Rome fell the Roman Catholic Church was already becoming a power in Europe.  After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 AD, the Roman Catholic Church quickly sought to take over Rome’s place of authority over these 10 nation-states of Europe.
     “The Church gradually became a defining institution of the Roman Empire (see The Church in the Roman Empire Before A.D. 170, Part 170, by Sir William Mitchell Ramsay).  Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 proclaiming toleration for the Christian religion, and convoked the First Council of Nicaea in 325 whose Nicene Creed included belief in ‘one holy catholic and apostolic Church’.  Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica of 380 (see The Ecclesiastical Edicts of the Theodosian Code, by William Kenneth Boyd, Columbia University Press, 1905).
     “After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, there emerged no single powerful secular governments in the West, but there was a central ecclesiastical power in Rome, the Catholic Church. In this power vacuum, the Church rose to become the dominant power in the West.” Church and State In Medieval Europe, by Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_and_state_in_medieval_Europe, accessed 8-11-16.
     As the Roman Catholic church gained more power and control over these 10 nation-states of Europe, it became evident that all but three of these nations – the Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths – were in favor of, or yielded to, the Catholic religion and authority. The Catholic church then made war against these three nations, and uprooted them in succession (the Heruli in 493, the Vandals in 534, and the Ostrogoths in 538) - exactly what the Bible predicted would occur (see Daniel 7:8, 24).  But although these 3 horns/powers were now uprooted from being nations, yet their remaining territories were absorbed into the surrounding nations and thus still empowered the Roman Catholic Church.

3)   Characteristic #4.  The Dragon gives this Beast its power and authority, revealing that Satan is the real power behind the working of this Beast, and the Devil gives it great authority to rule over the world.

     In Revelation chapter 12 is depicted the great controversy between the Dragon or Satan and his followers, verses Christ and His followers.
     “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne....And the great dragon...that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world”. Revelation 12:1-5, 9.  

Who represents this woman clothed with the sun, standing on the moon, and wearing a crown of 12 stars?

     In Bible prophecy, a pure woman represents God’s bride or church.
     “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” Jeremiah 6:2.

     “For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion”. Jeremiah 4:31.

     This woman or church of God is depicted as being clothed with the sun, meaning that she is adorned with the brightness of Christ’s righteousness (Isaiah 62:1, 61:10).  She is also depicted as standing on the moon.  As the moon does not give off any of its own light but only reflects the light of the sun shining upon it, so then this means that this church is only to reflect the light from the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2) to all around her and not give them any light of her own.  She is also depicted wearing a crown of 12 stars, and the only church and people in history that were made up of twelve parts was Israel.
     The Jewish church and people were clothed by God in His righteousness and all 12 tribes were to shine forth His light of truth to all nations.  And this man child that Israel gave birth to, who afterwards ascended up to God and to His throne, was Lord God Jesus Christ who was indeed born of the Israelite people (Luke 2:4-14; Acts 1:9-11)!

4)   The dragon or Satan, through his agents, sought to "devour" this baby or Jesus Christ as soon as He was born into humanity.
     “And when they (wise men) were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.  When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt...Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.” Matthew 2:13-16.

     King Herod sought to devour Christ when he was born, and Herod was directly connected with the pagan Roman Empire.  Thus the real power behind Herod was pagan Rome, and the real power behind pagan Rome was the dragon or Satan.  So Rome and king Herod were agents of Satan to carry out his devious plots against Jesus Christ.

     As the dragon or Satan was the power behind the pagan Roman Empire, is he also the power behind the Roman Catholic Church!
     "The Roman Church...pushed itself into the place of the Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation...The Pope...is Caesar's successor." What is Christianity?, p 270, by Adolf Harnack, translated by Thomas Bailey Saunders, 2nd edition revised, New York: Putnam, 1901.

     "The mighty Catholic Church was little more than the Roman Empire baptised. Rome was transformed as well as converted. The very capital of the old Empire became the capital of the Christian Empire. The office of Pontifex Maximus was continued in that of Pope." The Rise of the Mediaeval Church, p 148-149, by Alexander Clarence Flick, reprint: New York: Burt Franklin, 1959.

     When pagan Rome fell in 476 AD, the Roman Catholic Church managed to step in and take control and carry on the very same purposes of pagan Rome - world dominion.  Roman Catholicism had received her capital city and power from pagan Rome, and since Satan was the power behind Rome, so he was now the power behind Roman Catholicism and was giving this Beast its power and authority!
     Lucifer or Satan is the real king and ruler over Babylon and author of its pagan mystery religion (see Isaiah 14:4-22).  Since so much of the mystery religion of Babylon is found within the Roman Catholic Church (see Characteristic #2), then this also proves that Satan is the real power behind Catholicism!

5)   Characteristic #5.  This Beast receives a deadly wound, which becomes healed over time, indicating that as this Beast is a world-ruling power arising after Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome had fallen, then for it to receive a deadly wound that would be healed signifies that this Beast power would be conquered and almost cease to exist, only to be revived back to power sometime later.

     In 1798 French general Berthier went down to Rome and took pope Pius VI prisoner and sent him to France to live out his remaining days in exile. Napoleon then decreed that at the death of this pope, the papacy would be discontinued. The pope died in France in August of 1799.   This meant that the Catholic church was, for a period of time, without a visible head to rule. This was definitely a death blow or a deadly wound to the church, because without a visible head or pope, the Catholic Church was dead!  It had ruled Western Europe for centuries, but now it was powerless – just as prophecy declared!
     "In 1798 the French republican army under General Berthier took possession of the city of Rome, and entirely superseded the whole papal power. This was a deadly wound..." A Commentary and Critical Notes, by Adam Clarke, 1850.

     "Half Europe thought...that without the Pope the Papacy was dead.", "The Modern Papacy," Lectures on the History of Religion, Lecture 24, p 1, by Joseph Rickaby, London: Catholic Truth Society, 1910.

     Many believed that the Roman Catholic church had come to its end.  But in 1929 Cardinal Gasparri and Benito Mussolini signed the concordat which restored temporal powers to the Roman Catholic Church. Once again the Vatican began to function as she had before, and thus her deadly wound began to be healed.  And since its initial healing, the strength of the Roman Catholic Church has grown and increased until today she is again one of the most powerful organizations in the world.

6)   Characteristic #6.  This Beast is both a political as well as a religious power.  This is because the Bible declares that “all the world wonders after the Beast”, and “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him”, thereby revealing that this Beast wields immense world-wide political as well as religious power over all mankind!   

     “For centuries, the Catholic Church straddled the world of medieval Europe.  Every king, queen, knight, serf and soldier lived and died within the embrace of the Catholic faith....In medieval Europe, the church and the state were closely linked.  It was the duty of every political authority – king, queen, prince or city councilman – to support, sustain and nurture the church.  With notable exceptions, the church reinforced the political authority of the states, and the states reinforced the authority of the church.” The Roman Catholic Church in Medieval Europe, article from PBS, at http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/people/catholic-church.html (accessed 8-11-16).

     “In Medieval Times, the Roman Catholic Church exercised significant social and political authority.  Church worship was at the center of public life.  As the only unified institution throughout Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Church asserted its influence over the continent's monarchs and even had the power to remove them from the throne....
     “The Church was very influential in political affairs.  Throughout the Middle Ages, clergy in many cases held real political power.  The Church was sovereign over a number of territories in Italy known as the Papal States, which had their own armies.  The Pope also exercised an important power called the papal deposing power, which was the authority to declare a monarch heretical and powerless to rule.” What Was the Role of the Church in Medieval Times?, from Reference.com website, at https://www.reference.com/history/role-church-medieval-times-edf37e73a336eeca (accessed 8-11-16).

     “...the earliest vision of Christendom was a vision of a Christian theocracy, a government founded upon and upholding Christian values, whose institutions are spread through and over with Christian doctrine.  In this period, members of the Christian clergy wield political authority.  The specific relationship between the political leaders and the clergy varied but, in theory, the national and political divisions were at times subsumed under the leadership of the Catholic Church as an institution.  This model of church-state relations was accepted by various Church leaders and political leaders in European history.” Church and State in Medieval Europe, from Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_and_state_in_medieval_Europe (accessed 8-11-16).

     Also in the year 1075, Pope Gregory VII composed the Dictatus Papae, asserting that the Roman church was founded by God alone, that the papal power (the auctoritas of Pope Gelasius) was the sole universal power, and the deposal of an emperor was under the sole power of the pope (see article How the Pope Got His Political Muscle, p 36, by R. Scott Appleby, from the US Catholic magazine, Volume 64, Issue #9, September, 1999.
     But king Henry IV of Germany who was the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire rebelled against the Pope’s claim to sole universal power, and was thereby excommunicated by the Pope.  But just 2 years afterwards king Henry humbly submitted to the Pope’s authority.
     “In (January) 1077, he (king Henry IV) traveled to Canossa in northern Italy to meet the pope and apologize in person. As penance for his sins...he dramatically wore a hair shirt and stood in the snow barefoot in the middle of winter (for 3 days) in what has become known as the Walk to Canossa. Gregory [then] lifted the excommunication...” Investiture Controversy, from Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investiture_Controversy (accessed 8-11-16).

     After regaining much of her power and authority back since her deadly wound, the power of Catholicism is not just limited to Europe, but now is worldwide!
     Malachi Martin, who was a consummate Vatican insider and intelligence expert, writes in his book The Keys of This Blood, that the Vatican is unmatched as a "listening post" (p 120); it knows by Saturday what will happen on Monday anywhere in the world (p 439); that the Pope is protected by four governments (p 120); that he is personal friends with the leaders of 91 countries (p 490); and that the people of the world seem to him to be ready for strong worldwide moral government with control (p 160).