Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
April 19, 2000
Last Updated :
April 16, 2011
Roman Catholic Empire-Building, Where There Is No Vision, A Light Hid Under A Bushel, Magnificent Cathedrals Built At The Expense Of The Poor, Deplorable Spiritual Condition Of The United States, Doctrinal Compromise By Roman Catholic Church, Merger Of Pagan And Christian Holy Days, Very Slow Process Of Assimilating Heathen Beliefs And Practices Into Roman Catholicism, Ecumenism And One World Religion, Roman Catholic Air Of Spiritual Superiority, Did Christianity Convert Rome Or Did Rome Convert Christianity?, Oppressive Religion Which Converted Through Violence, Persecution And Torture, Constantine's Alleged Conversion To Christianity, Ungodly Marriage Of Roman Politics And Christianity, Israel Hath Forgotten His Maker, Lip Service Only, Byzantine Era, The Poor Neglected While Leaders Revelled In Their Wealth, Roman Catholic Church Reacts With Violence To Reformers, Millions Killed By A Violent Holy Mother Church, Is RCC Symbolic Of Babylon?, Is There A Modern Queen Of Heaven?
As we concluded in part six, rather than remain true to the Christian faith which they had received from the Apostles and Disciples who had preceded them in the previous three hundred years, the worldly-minded bishops of the early Fourth Century chose to accept Satan's devilish offer, by compromising with Rome. With the issuance of Emperor Constantine's Edict of Milan in 313 AD, which resulted in the Roman government no longer persecuting the Christian Church, the bishops seem to have lost the vision for establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth, and instead chose to concentrate on building a vast empire of power and wealth, which would eventually extend all across the physical Roman Empire. In the Old Testament, we find the following verse:
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
Proverbs 29:18, KJV
In other words, the bishops of the Fourth Century lost their connection with God; and while they may not have perished in a physical sense, they most certainly perished in a spiritual sense. They shriveled up just like the fig tree that Jesus cursed in the twenty-first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. Contrary to what Jesus instructed us to do in the Gospels, the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church chose to hide their spiritual light under a bushel, and they became completely engrossed in the task of building a vast empire which was symbolized by its beautiful and richly decorated cathedrals and church buildings, all at the expense of the poor, who were required to pay indulgences to the church, in order to be forgiven for their sins, and to receive a reprieve from Hell. But please consider what Jesus said:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:16, KJV
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Mark 8:38, KJV
"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
John 18:36, KJV
So even though our Kingdom is not of this world, the bishops were set on establishing one anyway.
The same thing has happened in the United States of America. Just look at the deplorable spiritual condition in which the nation currently finds itself. After only two hundred and thirty-five years of being in existence, she has gone from being a God-fearing nation, which was founded upon Biblical principles, to becoming a multi-cultural society where even our school-aged children are now being instructed to say the more politically-correct "happy holidays", lest they offend someone who is not a member of the Christian faith.
Add to this the widespread practice of murdering the unborn innocent through abortion, the rampant sexual promiscuity which is now accepted even in some of the churches, the legalization of ungodly sexual relationships which are both an offense and an abomination to God, the rejection of God in the public school system as well as in other areas of public life, the corruption of both government and Big Business, the propensity for violence and war, the widespread use of drugs, and so many other social ills which now afflict the nation, and one must truly wonder how much longer the nation can last in its current state.
But returning our discussion to events of the Fourth Century, one of the methods that the Roman Catholic Church bishops employed in order to achieve their worldly objectives, and to strengthen their position within the Empire, was to adopt many pagan beliefs and practices, and to meld them with the pure Christian doctrine which had been carefully passed down to them since the time of Christ and His original Apostles, only a few centuries before.
For example, Roman festivals which honored the pagan gods were transformed into Christian holy days. This was made particularly easy when the dates of the Roman festivals closely coincided with those of Christian holy days. As we have now seen, this is precisely what happened in the case of Roman Spring fertility rites and the worship of the Sun, and the day of our Lord's Resurrection. The Passover feast was ultimately transformed into Easter, just as the Roman Saturnalia festival eventually became Christmas, despite the fact that there is no clear Biblical evidence to support the belief that Jesus was even born during that time of year.
Through this process of polluting and perverting our faith, the bishops of the Fourth Century enticed the heathen into joining the newly institutionalized version of Christianity. You need to realize that to just expect the pagans of Roman society to suddenly abandon their own pantheon of gods, in order to embrace the new Christian God, would have no doubt caused some rather serious problems for the Roman government; so it seems that the corruption of our faith was more than likely a very slow, gradual process.
This process of assimilation has continued to our very day. All over the world, Roman Catholicism has adopted some of the customs and beliefs of the native peoples which it has brought into its fold. Some of you reading this will know exactly what I am talking about. For a number of years now, the Roman Catholic Church has spearheaded the ecumenical movement. The ultimate goal of this movement appears to be to create a "One World Religion". If this objective is in fact achieved, there should be no doubt that the Church of Rome expects to be at its helm, with the latest Pope sitting firmly on his throne. As I have mentioned a number of times before, and as many non-Catholics are already aware, the Roman Catholic Church views itself as being far superior to all other denominations within the Christian family, and also claims to be the inerrant voice of God on Earth -- the very "vicar of Christ".
While many modern Christians are of the opinion that the bishops of the Fourth Century Christianized Rome, I have to wonder if that is really true. Is it possible that the exact opposite happened? Stated another way, is it possible that Rome actually secularized and institutionalized our Christian faith, and to a large degree purged from it the Christian love and compassion which had been taught by Jesus Christ? In other words, did Christianity really convert Rome, or did Rome actually convert Christianity?
A brief look at the history of Europe and the Middle East following the Edict of Milan would certainly seem to uphold this belief. If anything, Rome turned our faith into a very worldly, oppressive, violent religion. Prior to that time, Christians most certainly did not create armies. To do so would have been totally contrary to the peaceful doctrines of Jesus Christ. Neither did they engage in wars or crusades as a means to convert the heathen to our faith at the edge of a sword. Honestly, what makes the Crusaders' actions so much different from a Muslim brandishing a sword for Allah? Neither did the early Christians engage in inquisitions in order to force people to accept our faith, lest they be persecuted and tortured, quite often to the point of death. This was not the Christian faith of Jesus and the Apostles. It was the Christianity of Rome, which wasn't very Christian.
While we often hear the story of how Rome was so filled with secret Christians, that it was bound to be converted sooner or later, my suspicion is that Constantine's conversion, if it ever really occurred at all, may merely have been nothing more than a strategic move on his part. After all, like all Roman emperors, Constantine was a shrewd ruler, who had to constantly protect himself from ambitious adversaries, even from within his own ranks. Perhaps Constantine realized that the Christian Church was a powerful force which he could use to his own advantage, in order to unite the Empire under one common faith, as long as he controlled that faith. In other words, is it possible that Roman politics and Christianity became entwined in an ungodly marriage due to what was seen at the time as mutual advantage?
While other branches of modern Christianity have serious issues of their own, such as the inroads that the gay and lesbian agenda has made into so many churches, infidelity within married couples, false prophets and charlatan faith healers, fast-talking profiteering preachers, etc., I still feel that Roman Catholicism may be the most polluted, the most materialistic, the most idolatrous and the most corrupt of them all. From the time that Constantine established his capital in the ancient Greek city of Byzantium -- which was later renamed Constantinople, and is today known as Istanbul -- until now, the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy has been drunk on worldliness, power, and wealth. Similar to Israel of old, the RCC seems to worship God in name only, and has glorified herself in her many richly-decorated cathedrals and church buildings and other materialistic possessions; but has she too forgotten her Maker? Consider the following verses:
"For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples."
Hosea 8:14a, KJV
"Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?"
Acts 7:48-49, KJV
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:"
Isaiah 29:13, KJV
"He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me."
Mark 7:6, KJV
During the Byzantine Period, Roman Catholic Churches sprung up all over the Empire, and her leadership revelled in their positions of power and wealth, while the common people were heavily burdened with indulgences, and the insecurity of their Salvation. At that time, the Bible was maintained in the language of scholars; that is, in Latin. As I point out in "The History Of The KJV Bible", when the brave Reformers of the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries began to translate the Holy Scriptures into English, so that their countrymen might better understand God's Plan of Salvation, the "holy mother church" reacted violently, and a clear record of her bloody deeds can be found in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs", a copy of which you will find on our "Armageddon FREE Files" server. You will need to use either the FreeShare or Hotline client in order to download it.
While a precise figure is not known, the general consensus is that literally millions of people all across Europe and the Middle East were killed by the Roman Church, as a result of their refusal to accept Rome's brand of Christianity. Is it any wonder then, that from the time of the Reformers until now, many people have been strongly convinced that the Roman Catholic Church, or the popish church as she has been called, is the Biblical Babylon the Great, in whom was found the blood of Prophets and of Saints? Truly, she has ridden upon the political beast of the world, and has proclaimed herself the queen of the Christian faith, the "holy mother church", just as Babylon is called in the Book of Revelation, as we see here:
". . . MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
Revelation 17:5, KJV
This brings us to our final topic for this series. We have seen how the "Easter" goddess has been loved and worshipped from culture to culture down through the ages. The question I would like to ask you is this: Is it possible that she is still worshipped today in a very subtle way? We have already seen that the day which has been designated to celebrate our Lord's Resurrection from the dead has been besmirched by the name of this false sex and fertility goddess, but does the deception truly end there? Is it possible that this deceptive mistress of disguises, who has gone by many different names down through the ages, has acquired a new identity in our modern times? Before you dismiss this possibility, please consider the following tantalizing hints.
From previous Scriptures which I have shared with you, we know that the ancient Israelites worshipped the Babylonian Tammuz and Ishtar, or the Phoenician Baal and Ashtoreth if you prefer. In the Books of the Prophets, there are some rather startling clues which may assist us in answering my previous questions. For example, in exposing the Israelites' sin of worshipping Ishtar, the Prophet Jeremiah wrote the following lines:
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger."
Jeremiah 7:18, KJV
"But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men? . . . Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows."
Jeremiah 44:17-19, 25 KJV
While some scholars believe that this "queen of heaven" may have been Asherah, personally, I am of the belief that she is none other than Ishtar -- the wife and companion of Tammuz -- who, as we saw earlier in this series, was also worshipped by the Israelites. Here again are the verses in order to refresh your memory:
"He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east."
Ezekiel 8:13-16, KJV
What is amazing about the previous verses from the Book of Jeremiah, is the fact that the ancient Israelites were so spiritually blind, so deeply deceived, and so backslidden in their hearts, that they were convinced that they had been blessed by Ishtar, the "queen of heaven". Notice that they even go so far as to inform the Prophet Jeremiah that the minute that they stopped worshipping Ishtar, and no longer offered sacrifices to her, their troubles returned in the form of war, invasion, famine, etc. In other words, they were convinced that their blessings were dependent on their adoring that pagan goddess, and not on worshipping the true God of Heaven, who had spared them time and time again from their enemies. What a far cry from the praises of King David who only a few centuries earlier wrote the following:
"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."
Psalms 20:7, KJV
Having said that, allow me to ask you now: Is there a major world religion today, in which literally millions of people worship a spirit which manifests itself as a beautiful woman surrounded by stars? Similar to Ishtar of old, is not this modern spirit also reverentially referred to as the "Queen of Heaven" by her millions of faithful followers? Just as the Israelites believed that their blessings were a result of their veneration of Ishtar, do not these modern believers diligently obey the words of their "goddess" as well, and do they not also constantly refer to her as "Blessed Mother"?
It is also very interesting to note that, just as Ishtar was associated with the Sun god, it is claimed by the followers of this modern "Queen of Heaven", that they too have seen miracles occur in association with the Sun. Personally, if I were a member of this religion, I would be terribly troubled by the information that I have just relayed to you. For more information regarding this topic, allow me to refer you to my series titled "Lying Wonders Of The Endtime". In conclusion, Do you still feel comfortable with saying "Happy Easter"? If so, are you also comfortable with William Tyndale referring to Christ as our "easterlamb", or "esterlamb"; or should we really be saying "Ishtar's Lamb"?
With these questions I will bring another series to a close. I pray that it has been informative, and a blessing in your life.