Saturday, August 23, 2008

Spiritual Unity by Walter J. Veith

Spiritual Unity

By: Walter J. Veith

We are living in a time where there is an unprecedented drive toward unity and
conformity of religious thought. It is argued that all people serve the same God and
thus tolerance for different viewpoints is an essential ingredient for peace amongst
all peoples and nations of different persuasions.

We are living in a time where there is an unprecedented drive toward unity and
conformity of religious thought. It is argued that all people serve the same God and
thus tolerance for different viewpoints is an essential ingredient for peace amongst
all peoples and nations of different persuasions. After all, Christ did pray for unity
and it seems as if unity will have to come about before there can be any talk of real
peace on this strife-torn planet of ours. When Jesus prayed in His High Priestly

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even
as we are one. John 17:22

What type of unity did He have in mind? Was it a unity of the world so that world
peace could finally come about? Did He not say:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a
sword. Matthew 10:34

Jesus never advocated physical violence, so the sword He had in mind was the
sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
God. Ephesians 6:17

The spiritual battle to be fought was to be the battle over the Word. With this in
mind, we can take a fresh look at Christ’s prayer for unity. Firstly, Jesus is clearly not
praying for world unity but for Word- based unity:

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest Me out of the world;
thine they were, and thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy word. I pray for
them. I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given Me, for they are
thine. I have given them thy Word, and the world hath hated them because they are
not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth. Thy
Word is truth. John 17:6,9, 14,17

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is beautifully simple, but it does require the
surrender of the heart to His sanctifying power. There can only be one Jesus and
that is the Word made flesh. The true can only be separated from the spurious on the
basis of the Word.

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy, for I have espoused you to one
husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear lest by any
means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be
corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth
another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye
have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well
bear with him. 2 Corinthians 11:2-4

Besides the Word being the key ingredient to true unity, there must also be fruits
in accordance with the Word.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us
that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and
godly, in this present world, looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious
appearance of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us that
He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works. Titus 2:11-14

God’s people need earnest confession of sins. They need to come up to the
standard of the Word and not compromise to meet the standards of the world. They
need to stand together in humility of spirit and meekness. Where there are wrongs
they need to be corrected. They need to restore the erring gently knowing that he
that thinks he stands should take heed lest he also falls. They need to support and
sustain each other. God can and will use an obedient church.

True Christianity and Christian unity is thus Word based - "Thy Word is truth",
and such unity, according to Christ’s words, will bring about hatred rather than
peace. In the light of this, how are we to interpret the drive towards Christian unity in
the ecumenical movement, on the one hand, and the wider goal of a unity of
religions culminating in a one-world religion? This unity can only be achieved at the
expense of truth and has to be achieved through compromise. To the ecumenically
minded theologian, unity at all cost is the driving force of his religious endeavors. If
the Word cannot be the unifying force, then unity must be based on other criteria
that can take its place, and for the Christian world these criteria fall into two main

1. Dogmatic unity is the basis on which many theologians strive for unity. The
dogmas bind them, what the church fathers said, the sacraments, the liturgies and
the social interactions.

2. Experiential unity where that which one experiences and feels - the moving of the
Spirit, the signs and wonders, become the unifying factor. The experience is
normative. This type of unity can cross Biblical, doctrinal as well as cultural barriers
and bring diverse persuasions together in a common bond of praise. The question is,
however, how do we know which ‘Spirit’ is leading, particularly in the light of the
warning regarding the deceptions of the last days.

Take heed that no man deceive you...For there shall arise false Christs, and false
prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were
possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:4,24

Christian Unity and the Ecumenical Movement

How can the ecumenical spirit be squared with the stand of the Reformation on
the Papacy and the doctrines of the Catholic Church?

The reformation had based its separation from Rome on the Word of God, and
had placed the gospel of Jesus Christ at the disposal of the common man. The
striving of the reformers was to make the Word of God available to everyone
seeking knowledge of the plan of salvation. The free availability of the Scriptures
severely challenged the doctrines and supremacy of Rome, and restored truths that
had been lost through centuries of suppression of religious liberty. It is not here the
intention to repeat what has been said in the previous chapters on the question of
papal dogmas, but a brief summary is necessary to set the stage for events
pertaining to the restoration of lost “Christian unity.”

The reformation had restored many Biblical truths that had been lost or
suppressed. The reformers had clearly identified the papal system with the antichrist
system. In the twelfth century, the Waldenses gave clear witness of the Antichrist,
who they claimed was reigning in the church. Joachim, however, was one of the first
to interpret prophecy pertaining to the Antichrist. Wycliffe, Jerome, Luther, Knox,
Calvin, Baxter and the other leaders of the reformation were united on the identity of
the Antichrist. H. Grattan Guinness says:

Lost Truths Restored

1370 A.D.
John Wycliffe
Bible Restored

16th Cent.
Martin Luther

John Calvin
Free Grace

God's Law, Bible Baptism

17th Cent.
John Smyth
Bible Baptism

John James
7th Day Baptists

18th Cent.
John Wesley
Law & Grace, Conversion, Sanctification

19th Cent.
Bible Prophecy
Advent Movement

Mission Movement

And the views of the reformers were shared by thousands, by hundreds of
thousands. They were adopted by princes and peoples. Under their influence,
nations abjured their allegiance to the false priest of Rome. In the reaction that
followed, all the powers of hell seemed to be let loose ...Yet the reformation stood
undefeated and unconquerable. God’s word upheld it&ldots;[i]

Even the foreword of the old King James Bible refers to the Papacy as the man of
sin, and warns against malignment from what it calls Popish persons.

Concerning the Antichrist (the Greek meaning of ‘anti’ being “in the place of”),
the Bible says:

Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come except there
come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who
opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped; so
that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. II
Thessalonians 2:3,4

Such claims have been made by the Papacy when Pope Boniface VIII, in his Bull
Unam Sanctam, stated:

The Roman Pontiff judges all men, but is judged by no one. We declare, assert,
define and pronounce: To be subject to the Roman Pontiff is to every creature
altogether necessary for salvation...that which was spoken of Christ ‘thou has
subdued all things under his feet’, may well seem verified of me...I have the
authority of the King of kings. I am all and above all, so that God Himself and I, the
Vicar of God, have but one consistency, and I am able to do all that God can do. What
therefore, can you make of me but God?

Pope Leo XIII also claimed he was God in his encyclical letters and it is
interesting that Time Magazine, on the incidence of Pope John Paul II’s
assassination attempt, wrote: “It’s like shooting God.”[ii]

Rome was not willing to compromise on issues of doctrine with the reformers,
and Pope Paul III called the Council of Trent, which met in three sessions between
1545 and 1563. Protestants were present during the second meeting. The Council
reaffirmed most of the doctrines disputed by the reformists, including:

1. Transubstantiation

2. Justification by faith and works

3. The medieval mass

4. The seven sacraments

5. Celibacy

6. The doctrine of Purgatory

7. Indulgences

8. Papal power increased by giving the Pope the authority to enforce the decrees of
the Council, and requiring church officials to promise him obedience. [iii]

The Council of Trent (1545), which had been called by Pope Paul III to counter the
reformation and to clarify the Roman Catholic doctrinal position had, instead of
reforming the church, entrenched the Catholic doctrinal position and teaching so
abhorrent to the reformers. The Council reaffirmed the Church’s position on the
doctrines of transubstantiation, faith and works, the mass, the seven sacraments,
celibacy, purgatory and indulgences, and increased the Papal power.[iv]

The Counter Reformation

In spite of the separation of the reformed churches from Roman Catholicism,
Scripture predicts that at the end of time the whole world would follow the beast.
This includes the churches of today. The Reformation would grind to a halt, and the
principles, which lead to separation from Rome, would not be considered obstacles
at the end of time. As discussed in the chapter The Wine of Babylon, Rome
considers herself the mother of all the churches, and her strivings have been to
bring about the return of her separated children to her.

Preterism and Futurism

To meet the challenge and exposure of the Papacy as the Antichrist and the
Pope as the “son of perdition”, the Jesuits were summoned to counter the
reformers’ teachings, and here two Jesuit scholars stand out in particular. They are
Alcasar and Ribera, and they developed the preterist and futurist systems of
prophetic interpretation. The preterist interpretation puts all prophecy pertaining to
the Antichrist into the past (persecutors outside the Jewish or Christian religion), and
the futurist interpretation puts them into the future after the Christian dispensation
and the Secret Rapture. Ribera published his futurist views in 1585.

According to the futurist view, the antichrist was to come from the tribe of Dan,
and would make his appearance after the secret rapture. He was to rebuild the
temple, abolish the Christian faith, pretend to be God and then conquer the world in
the space of threeandahalf years. Furthermore, futurism teaches that, instead of
coming with the clouds with great power and great glory, our Saviour will come
secretly and silently to take away his Church a teaching foreign to that of the

For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we
which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to
meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. I Thessalonians 4:

The apostles referred to the spirit of antichrist already working in their time, to be
fully revealed at the end of time. There is no question of referring to the antichrist
power in the past. Jesus in Matthew 24 speaks of this great apostasy as a future
event, not a past occurrence.

In the nineteenth century, the Protestant world, starting with the Anglican priest
Samuel R. Maitland, accepted the futurist teachings and saw in it an opportunity to
cease hostilities with Rome.

The prophetic interpretation of futurism was further refined, when, according to
S.P. Tregelles, dispensationalism originated in an “utterance” by means of tongues
in Edward Irving’s church in England. The futurist dispensationalistic mode of
prophetic interpretation has been accepted by most Protestant churches today, and
is the form of interpretation employed in the Scofield Reference Bible.[v]
Dispensationalism is a product of futurism and it teaches that history is divided into
seven dispensations:

Human History

Innocence Kingdom

Before Eternity sin (Eden)
Antediluvial Civilization
Postdiluvial Period
Abraham to Exodus
Levitical Era
Church Period
Era of Peace

During the dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom, the Jews will preach the
gospel after the rapture of the Christians. The Jews will be suppressed by antichrist
and the visible appearing of Christ will save them at the end of seven years.
According to futurists, the Church is concerned with grace, and the Jews are
concerned with the Kingdom. The Lord’s prayer, “Thy kingdom come” can therefore
have no meaning to the Christian. Furthermore, Scofield allows for no continuity
between the Old Testament believer and the New Testament church. Not even Christ
spoke to us (because he taught under the old dispensation); only the epistles speak
to us.

Most men who subscribe to dispensationalism are of Calvinistic creed, with a
deeprooted belief in predestination. According to this doctrine, man has so far fallen
in sin that he is unable to choose for himself. Salvation is therefore not conditional
but unconditional, and one is either predestined to eternal salvation or to eternal
damnation. All promises of scripture are also unconditional, and the Jews were God’
s chosen people whether they wanted to be or not.

This is not a Biblical teaching: it destroys man’s freedom of choice, relegates
him to the position of a pawn, and renders the teaching of the Gospel obsolete. This
teaching is in clear violation of the Biblical teaching of conditionalism (Exod. 19:5,6;
Deut. 28:1,15; Jeremiah 18:710 and many other texts in both the Old and the New
Testament). It is the doctrine of predestination, which opened the way to the
acceptance of dispensationalism by the Calvinistic churches. Without the uttering in
tongues in Irving’s church, this system of interpretation would never have arisen,
because no one taking the Bible alone (sola scriptura) would have accepted it.
Scripture warns against deceptive teachings of spirits. Paul writes:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from
the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. 1 Timothy 4:1

Paul admonishes all to make the word of God our standard and to come into
harmony with the teachings of Christ so that we would be protected from false

And he gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some
pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for
the edifying of the body of Christ. Till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the
knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of
the fullness of Christ. That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro and
carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning
craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive. Ephesians 4:1114

Higher Criticism and Rationalism

A further attack on Protestant teachings was introduced through the Roman
Catholic scholars, Richard Simon and Dr. Alexander Geddes in 1678, whereby most
of the Biblical stories pertaining to the flood, the virgin birth and the resurrection
were slated as myths. Higher criticism and German rationalism have destroyed
fundamental beliefs in Biblical truths and, unfortunately, scholars of the reformed
churches have adopted these teachings, ie. there is hardly a Protestant church that
has not officially endorsed the teachings of Darwinism on origins.

A further rift between Protestantism and Catholicism should have occurred when
Pope Pius IX, in 1854, proclaimed the immaculate conception of Mary, thus laying the
foundation for Mary veneration. He also enthroned tradition as being of greater value
than the Scriptures. (He once rebuked a dissenting bishop with the words:
“Tradition, I am tradition.”) In 1869, he called the Vatican I council.

Vatican I

The peak of papal power under Pius IX was reached with the opening of Vatican
I where the Ultramontanists, under Jesuit leadership, gained a resounding victory,
and the result of this victory was the publication on 13 July 1870 of the dogma of
Papal Infallibility.

Pope Pius IX also issued an encyclical “The Syllabus of Errors” which
condemned liberal theology, and condemned the Bible Society and Scripture
distributors as heralds of infidelity and heresy. Furthermore, the Pope issued a
strong attack on the separation of church and state.[vi]

Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Wesley and other reformers were
ordained by God to do a great work but, unfortunately, the church which arose after
them, having restored lost Bible truths, was not willing to search for other lost truths
or to include those found by others into their creeds. John Robinson summed it up in
these words, as he charged the Pilgrim Fathers:

If God should reveal anything to you by any other instrument of His, be as ready to
receive it as ever you were to receive any truth of my ministry; for I am very
confident the Lord hath more truth and light yet, to break forth out of His holy Word.
For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the reformed churches, who
are come to a period in religion, and will go at present no further than the instrument
of their reformation. The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther says;
. . . and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man of
God, who yet saw not all things. This is a misery much to be lamented; for though
they were burning and shining lights in their time, yet they penetrated not into the
whole counsel of God, but were they now living, would be as willing to embrace
further light as that which they first received.... take heed, I beseech you, what you
receive for truth, and compare it and weigh it with other scriptures of truth before
you accept it; for it is not possible the Christian would come so lately out of such
thick antichristian darkness, and that full perfection of knowledge should break forth
at once.[vii]

The consistent rejection of truth can grieve away the Holy Spirit whose task it is to
lead us into ‘all truth’.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth .... John

Sad to say, that apart from the Papacy following false doctrine, the Protestant
Churches, by not accepting all the lost truths, began to sip the wine of Roman

The Sunday error is adhered to by almost all Protestantism. Infant baptism is
practised, and there are Protestants who preach purgatory. The prophecies of Daniel
and Revelation are rejected. Says Dr. R. L. Elson (Presbyterian):

What is needed today is to finish the Reformation, which reached its apex in the
sixteenth century through the ministry of Luther, Calvin and Knox.

Unification with Rome

Prior to 1960, the Catholic Church was still regarded by many with suspicion,
and the ideas of the reformers had not yet been obliterated from the minds of many
Protestants. Furthermore, the Roman attitude was still believed to be that salvation
was only to be found within the Catholic Church. The reformed churches, however,
had moved towards ecumenism, and in 1948 the World Council of Churches was
formed, embracing most of the Protestant Churches, but excluding the Orthodox and
Catholic churches.

The Impact of Vatican II

Pope Pius XII, in 1950, defined and enforced the doctrine of the Bodily
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which should further have increased the
distance between Catholics and Protestants on questions of doctrine. His successor,
Pope John XXII, called the Vatican II Council, which did not revoke a single doctrinal
position of the Catholic Church, but in 1962, however, declared that salvation was not
only restricted to Roman Catholics, but could henceforth be found by all who live
according their conscience.

The theologian most associated with the proVatican spirit is the Jesuit, Karl
Rahner. Rahner endorses traditional Catholic doctrine and its claim to universal truth,
and asserts that salvation comes through Christ and the church on the one hand, but
on the other hand, he believes that the people of God extend outside the Catholic
Church and the other churches, to include the whole of humanity.[viii]

The principles of the ecumenical movement were spelled out at Vatican II and it
was asserted that the main aim of the entire ecumenical effort was to bring about the
recognition of the supremacy of the bishop of Rome. In order for churches to unite,
all churches must recognize the primacy of the papal See. Pope John Paul II, in
September 1995, issued a similar statement in which he claimed that recognition of
the primacy of the pope is essential for church unity. The headline of the article in
the Catholic newspaper, Southern Cross, September 17, 1995, read:

For unity all churches must accept papal authority.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church also states:

Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe,
subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it
will continue to increase until the end of time. Article 820

The final object of ecumenism, as Catholics conceive it, is unity in Faith, worship,
and the acknowledgement of supreme spiritual authority of the Bishop of Rome.
Priest J.Cornell

For the Catholic Church, this unity that must be achieved, does not only apply to the
separated Reformation Churches, but includes all the people of the world:

All Men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God ... And to it, in different
ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and
finally all mankind, called by God’s grace of salvation. Article 836, Catechism of the
Catholic Church

It is surprising to see how rapidly the world community of churches has
accepted the idea of the universal primacy of the papacy. Prior to Vatican II, there
was still a noticeable rift between Catholics and Protestants but moves towards
dialogue between reformed churches were well under way. By 1958, the World
Council of Churches (WCC) and the International Missionary Council (IMC) had joined
forces, and in 1961 the Orthodox churches and some Pentecostals were also
represented at the meeting of the Council. In 1963 the AllAfrica Church Conference
resolved that:

Church unity was a Unity, which we seek among ourselves, between ourselves and
the independent churches, and between ourselves and the Roman Catholic Church.

Time Magazine, November 25, 1966 stated that the brand new Lutheran council in
the United States sent cordial greetings to the Washington meeting of Roman
Catholics. This was stated “as evidence that the spirit of unity is reciprocal.” A
Lutheran theologian has urged Protestants to focus their attention on a return to their
ecclesiastical homeland - the Roman Catholic Church. In 1969, the pope visited the
headquarters of the World Council of Churches, and Time Magazine, June 20, 1969
reported this to be: “The real event of the trip.” In the 1968 Uppsala meeting of the
WCC, the Roman Catholic Church sent observers and again in 1975 to the Nairobi

In 1975, the growing partnership between Protestantism and Catholicism was
demonstrated by the release of a joint common catechism. This 720page book offers
comprehensive statements of the Christian faith and, according to the editors, was

to help ensure that Christians cooperate within their own communities in the
common growth of the churches towards that unity in variety, which is the goal of all
ecumenical effort.

This document encourages many compromises, and brushes aside basic Biblical
precepts with impunity. The following are a few extracts to illustrate this point:

1. The moral directives we might find in the Decalogue, as well as in the Sermon on
the Mount are, “to a large extent conditioned by their age and their cultural

2. Many New Testament passages are described as interpretations rather than
historic events, and some statements of Jesus were, “put in the mouth of Jesus” by
his apostles; sayings which "the historical Jesus never uttered.”

3. Subjects such as the physical resurrection of Jesus are regarded as a “permanent
problem” for modern man, “full of difficulties.”

Its message needs to be reinterpreted in a more meaningful manner since the
raising of Jesus from the dead is a concept formulated ‘in the language of the Jewish
apocalyptic’ which has hardly any relevancy in our modern sociocultural context.

Has the Roman Church perhaps changed its attitude and moved closer to the
Protestant faith? The Vatican II council did not change one doctrine of faith, and
since then the Vatican has become even more austere in its policy regarding the
preservation of traditional Catholic doctrine.

The Impact of Vatican II

Pope John Paul II revived the “Congregation for Doctrine and Faith”, a new name for
the organization of the Inquisition, presided over by Germanborn Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger. The Pope has appointed tough disciplinarians to the hierarchy and stated
that he is not running a democracy: “It is an institution governed by Jesus Christ, a
theocratic one”; run, of course, by His Vicar, the Pope. Also, he has issued an
encyclical A Refinement of Evil, in which Catholic doctrines are strongly supported.
In spite of this, he expressed his confidence that the ecumenical movement would
succeed in uniting the churches once again. Pope John Paul II In his book Crossing
the Threshold of Hope states:

Pope John XXIII, who was moved by God to summon the council used to say:‘ What
separates us as believers in Christ is much less than what unites us.’ In this
statement we find the heart of ecumenical thinking.” ... By the year 2000 we need to
be more united, more willing to advance along the path toward the unity for which
Christ prayed on the eve of His Passion. This unity is enormously precious. In a
certain sense, the future of the world is at stake. pp. 146,151

Vatican II emphasized the importance of the Sunday assembly in Catholicism and by
extrapolation in the whole world. Vatican II documents state:

Moreover, any endeavor to make Sunday a genuine ‘day of joy and rest from work’
should be encouraged .... celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday, from the outset of
their Christian formation ‘Sunday should be presented as the primordial feast day,’
on which, assembled together, they are to hear the Word of God and take part in the
Paschal Mystery.[ix]

Beside Sunday being the first day of the week, no Bible believing Christian can
celebrate the Eucharist and take part in the Paschal Mystery, as these are of pagan
origin. Moreover, the Catholic idea of Sunday is diametrically opposed to the
Protestant concept of worship as it is a day founded on tradition, ‘the day of the sun’,
and dedicated to the veneration of Mary as clearly stated by Pope John Paul II
himself in his encyclical Dies Domini:

DIES DIERUM: Sunday: the Primordial Feast, Revealing the Meaning of Time. &ldots;
The spiritual and pastoral riches of Sunday, as it has been handed on to us by
tradition, are truly great. &ldots; Significantly, the Catechism of the Catholic Church
teaches that “the Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the
heart of the Church’s life...As they listen to the word proclaimed in the Sunday
assembly, the faithful look to the Virgin Mary, learning from her to keep it and ponder
it in their hearts (cf. Lk 2:19). With Mary, they learn to stand at the foot of the Cross,
offering to the Father the sacrifice of Christ and joining to it the offering of their own
lives. With Mary, they experience the joy of the Resurrection, making their own the
words of the Magnificat which extol the inexhaustible gift of divine mercy in the
inexorable flow of time: “His mercy is from age to age upon those who fear him” (Lk
1:50). From Sunday to Sunday, the pilgrim people follow in the footsteps of Mary,
and her maternal intercession gives special power and fervour to the prayer which
rises from the Church to the Most Holy Trinity.”

How far removed from the simplicity of Christ. Yet Protestantism seems blissfully
unaware of the compromise of faith they will have to contend with if they accept
papal authority and unity of churches and religions under his leadership. How far
have the Protestant churches moved towards this unity?

The Anglican Church

In 1966, Archbishop Dr. Michael Ramsay predicted the reunification of the
Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. His successor, Dr. Donald Coggan, declared
that, in such a union, the Pope would be Primate. In 1969, the joint Anglican/Roman
Catholic Commission (ARCIC) investigated doctrinal differences, and in 1977 issued
the following statement.

It seems appropriate that in any future union, a universal primacy, such as has been
described, should be held by [the Roman] See.[x]

In 1989, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Robert
Runcie, went to Rome and urged Christians to reconsider the Pope’s primacy as
spiritual leader. He wore a ring given to one of his predecessors by Pope Paul VI,
and told John Paul II that,

... it was a sign not unlike an engagement ring.[xi]

The successor of Robert Runcie is Michael Carey. Carey is a committed
ecumenist, and chairman of the important Faith and Order Advisory Group, which
deals with church doctrinal issues. According to Time Magazine, he has been closely
associated with the charismatic movement, which practices speaking in tongues. He
has encouraged parishioners to visit shrines of Mary and has rejected literal
interpretations of Biblical events such as the creation and the flood. He has publicly
gone on record as a supporter of reunification of Rome.

In June 1999 the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches issued a joint statement
"The Gift of Authority". The Daily Telegraph June 1999 responded with the

Churches agree Pope has overall authority.” The joint document states that the Pope
was to be recognized as the overall authority in the Christian world, and described
him as a “gift to be received by all the Churches.” The commission concluded that
the Bishop of Rome had a “specific ministry concerning the discernment of truth”
and accepted that only the Pope had the moral authority to unite the various
Christian denominations.

With this statement, the Anglican Church has surrendered its protestant heritage and
has subjected itself to the papal hierarchy. If, as we have seen in the chapter The
Wine of Babylon, Rome is the visible head of the end-time Babylon, then sadly, there
can be no other conclusion than that the Protestant Anglican Church has officially
made itself part of Babylon.

The Lutheran Church

The Rev. Dr. Carl E. Braaten has said,

if Luther were here today he would sound a different call, especially if he knew that
his reformation would, in the long run, turn out so many illegitimate offspring.

The noted Dr. Alexander Campbell said,

The worshipping establish­ments now in operation throughout Christendom,
encased and cemented by their respective voluminous confessions of faith, and
their ecclesiastical constitutions, are not churches of Jesus Christ but the illegitimate
daughters of that mother of harlots the Church of Rome.

The Roman Catholics and the Lutherans have held communal masses, and in
1974 the US Lutheran Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States published the
Papal Primacy and the Universal Church: Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue, 1974,
Vol. V. (Minneapolis: Augsburg Press)

On December 31 1994, The Telegraph of London carried the stunning article with
the headline. “Germany calls to ask: forgive Luther.” In 1995, the Lutherans sent a
delegation to Rome and newspaper articles appeared in Germany and England
stating that the Protestant churches were seeking forgiveness from Rome for the
Reformation. In 1998, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation
issued their ‘Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification’ and the world press
heralded it as a healing of the rift. The synod of the Lutheran Church (Evangelische
Kirche) has also adopted the resolution that the pope should no longer be regarded
as the antichrist.

At the main Lutheran cathedral ‘Der Dom’ in Berlin, Catholics and Lutherans hold
communal mass. Services are alternated between Roman Catholic and Lutheran
theologians. Pictures of Mary have been reintroduced, and the ritual of candle
lighting for favours from the virgin is once again common practice. Sadly, the
Lutheran Church has followed the same road as the Anglican Church.

The Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Methodists

In South Africa, these churches are negotiating reunification with the Anglican
Church, whilst the latter is grabbing the hand of Rome.[xii] In 1969, during Pope Paul’
s visit to the headquarters of the World Council of Churches, the Presbyterian,
Eugene Carson Blake, general secretary of the World Council, acknowledged the
historic import of the meeting in his welcome, telling the Pope that his visit
“proclaims to the whole world that the ecumenical movement flows on ever wider,
ever deeper toward the unity and renewal of Christ’s church”.

Bishop Stanley Mogoba, chairman of the Methodist Church in South Africa, said
that the great challenge of the different churches is to speak with one prophetic
voice to the State. He said that a strong, common base still existed between the

The Dutch Reformed Church

Dr. Bam of the Dutch Reformed Church made the following statement:

The time is more than ripe to look at what we have in common, and not only at what
separates us.

The assassinated Professor Heyns, erstwhile head of the Synod, supported him in
this. Pastor Justice du Plessis, known as Mr. Pentecost, and one-time leader of the
World Council for Charismatic Churches also urged the churches to join forces with
the Roman Catholic Church.

In South Africa, the ecumenical movement has since progressed, and besides
the South African Council of Churches, the Church Alliance of South Africa (CASA)
was formed in June 1988 with the expressed aim of encouraging Church unity and
acting as the conscience to the government. In their newsletter of 1st January 1990
they write:

The time has come for the children of God in South Africa to realize that they are all
in spite of differences in denomination, language and culture part of the body of
Christ in this beautiful country.

Just what is causing this wave of reunification? The Argus, 12 August 1972 under the
banner heading “Charismatic wave of unity among South African churches”, writes:

An unprecedented spirit of unity between Roman Catholic, Protestant and
Pentecostal churches in South Africa was said this week by churchmen to be
spreading. On our own doorstep there has been a tremendous response from
Roman Catholics and Anglicans far beyond our thinking and asking. Suddenly there
has appeared an open door at which members from two different poles the
Pentecostals and Orthodox churches - are finding a point of meeting.

The Dutch Reformed Church

Dr. Bam of the Dutch Reformed Church made the following statement:

The time is more than ripe to look at what we have in common, and not only at what
separates us.

The assassinated Professor Heyns, erstwhile head of the Synod, supported him in
this. Pastor Justice du Plessis, known as Mr. Pentecost, and one-time leader of the
World Council for Charismatic Churches also urged the churches to join forces with
the Roman Catholic Church.

In South Africa, the ecumenical movement has since progressed, and besides
the South African Council of Churches, the Church Alliance of South Africa (CASA)
was formed in June 1988 with the expressed aim of encouraging Church unity and
acting as the conscience to the government. In their newsletter of 1st January 1990
they write:

The time has come for the children of God in South Africa to realize that they are all
in spite of differences in denomination, language and culture part of the body of
Christ in this beautiful country.

Just what is causing this wave of reunification? The Argus, 12 August 1972 under the
banner heading “Charismatic wave of unity among South African churches”, writes:

An unprecedented spirit of unity between Roman Catholic, Protestant and
Pentecostal churches in South Africa was said this week by churchmen to be
spreading. On our own doorstep there has been a tremendous response from
Roman Catholics and Anglicans far beyond our thinking and asking. Suddenly there
has appeared an open door at which members from two different poles the
Pentecostals and Orthodox churches - are finding a point of meeting.

The Orthodox Church
Both the Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox churches have held extensive
ecumenical discussions with Rome and the patriarchs of these churches have
sought reconciliation with Rome. Pope John Paul II has visited Turkey and made a
speech in the Orthodox Cathedral wherein he alluded to the primacy of the papacy,
without a word of remonstrance from the patriarch. In May 2001 he visited Greece on
his famous ‘Following in the Footsteps of Paul’ crusade to demonstrate to the world
his reconciliatory spirit.

Relations with the Russian Orthodox Church have also been normalized. After
the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new patriarch was chosen as the head of the
Russian Orthodox Church - a longtime enemy of Roman Catholicism. The new
patriarch was, to the surprise of the world, not a Russian, and also had strong
associations with the ecumenical movement. Time Magazine reported:

The pope may no longer be an Italian, but it goes without saying, that the patriarch of
Moscow and all Russia must be a Russian. Until last week that is, when yet another
unbreakable rule was broken in the Soviet Union. At the resplendently gilded Trinity
- St. Sergius Monastery in Zagorsk, the election of an Estonian of German stock,
Metropolitan Aleksy of Leningrad, was elected as the patriarch of Moscow.

The article continues to say that the choice of an anti-Catholic prelate would have
sent anti-Catholic signals to the Vatican.

The widely traveled Aleksy, in contrast, is a committed ecumenist who for 22 years
served as president of the Conference of European Churches, a continent-wide
Orthodox and Protestant body.

Subsequent to these thunderous events, Pope John Paul II called upon the
Jesuit Order to oversee events in Russia, and take personal care of the retraining of
priests for this assignment. This was recorded in an article titled “Making up with the
Jesuits” in Time Magazine, Dec. 10, 1990.

American Evangelicals

Billy Graham is probably the greatest protestant evangelist of recent time. Yet
even he has become a supporter of the ecumenical movement seeking reunification
with Rome. The Religious News Service, January 13, 1981 reported:

Pope John Paul II was closeted for almost 2 hours with the Reverend Billy Graham,
the world’s best-known Protestant evangelist.

The Star, June 26, 1979 quotes Billy Graham as saying that the pope is almost an
evangelist. He praised the pope for pushing forward the religious revival worldwide.
On receiving an honorary degree from the Roman Catholic Belmont College, Billy
Graham told his audience, “The gospel that founded this college is the same gospel
which I preach today.”

Evangelicals in the United States have subsequently accepted reunification with
Rome. Thirty-nine leading evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics affirmed
each other as Christians, and vowed to reduce conflict between the groups. A
twenty-five page document was signed by such prestigious leaders as Charles
Colson, Pat Robertson, John Cardinal O’Connor of the Southern Baptist’s Home
Mission Board, as well as other distinguished archbishops, bishops, and scholars.
The drafters of the document included Catholic Richard John Neuhaus, head of the
Institute on Religion and Public Life, Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship,
Catholic George Weigel, director of the Ethics and Policy Centre, and Kent Hill,
president of Eastern Nazarene College. The document accepts that Protestants and
Catholics alike who accept Christ as Lord and Saviour are fellow Christians and
members of the one church of Christ. It also recognizes that:

Our communal and ecclesial separations are deep and longstanding, and that they
may never be resolved short of the Kingdom come.

Nevertheless they promise to work together for Christ. It also calls for a
strengthening of the relationship of trust. Robert Schuller is reported to have said:

It is time for us Protestants to go to the Holy Father in Rome and ask him how we can
come home.[xiv]

The Chattanooga Free Press reported a stunning summary of statements by the
Episcopal Church:

When the Most Rev Randolph Adler, Archbishop of the International Communion of
the Charismatic Episcopal Church spoke in Chattanooga recently, those who heard
him were shocked . . . He preached a message about the failure of Protestantism and
its forthcoming destruction . . . “God's church is Catholic!” he declared. “It was
Catholic in the beginning, and it will be Catholic in the end.” Dr. Ben Ohnson, a
professor at Columbia Theological Seminary: “We are seeing the ending of
Protestantism as it is known . . .”Dr. John Hall of the United Church of Canada: “We
are witnessing the demise of Protestantism.[xv]

In giving up its principles and compromising faith and doctrine, Protestantism has
opened the door to a flood of evils. Conforming to the world, spiritism, the consulting
of the dead and ancestral worship have become part and parcel of the religious
experience. At the 1961 WCC meeting in New Delhi, the slogan was: "The church
must be converted to the world of today" and in 1966 the WCC adopted the
resolution of "Unity of all Peoples". At the WCC’s Seventh Assembly, held in
Canberra, Australia, from February 7-20, 1991, the overall theme was: “Come Holy
Spirit - Renew the Whole Creation”. Ms. Chung Hyung Kyung, a theology professor
and minister of the Presbyterian Church, South Korea, gave the second key-note
address. She arrived on the stage dancing with two Aboriginal men in loincloths, and
16 Korean men with gongs, drums and banners. She invited the audience to “get on
holy ground with me by taking off your shoes while we are dancing to prepare the
way of the spirit”. Then with candles burning on either side of her, she invoked the
spirits of the dead by reading the names from a printed list. Among the departed
spirits she invoked were Hagar, Uriah, male babies killed by Herod, Joan of Arc,
Jewish people killed in the gas chambers, Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Biko, Martin
Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and finally “the spirit of the Liberator, our brother Jesus,
tortured and killed on the cross”. She then burned the list and scattered the ashes
into the air.

At the fifth "Christian Parapsychology” conference (patrons include the
Archbishop of York, Dr. David Hope), at Christ Church College, Canterbury, calls
were made to hold seances in the churches to assist deceased atheists in their
spiritual transition.[xvi]

Rome and World Religions
It is not only Christians that need to unite with Rome, but all religions need to
recognize the Pope as the spiritual leader of the world. The Vatican has repeatedly
made it clear that the pope was to be seen as the “Father of the whole human
family.” Malachi Martin wrote about Pope John Paul II:

For in the final analysis, John Paul II as the claimant Vicar of Christ does claim to be
the ultimate court of judgment on the society of states as a society.[xvii]

In 1986, a meeting of world religions was held in Assisi, where the pope acted as
host. The meeting was televised worldwide, and present were the leaders of
Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu religions as
well as leaders of most other minor religious organizations. At this meeting, and at
subsequent meetings in “the spirit of Assisi”, the pope is the spokesman and central
figure. This annual forum is celebrated with great pomp, and leaders of all religions
parade their solidarity with the pope. A further forum is the Parliament of World
Religions, which propagates the theme that all religions serve the same God. It is
noteworthy that the United Nations is the forum of many of these high level
discussions and that the pope has used this forum as the representative of all the
religions of the world.

After the events pertaining to the Gulf Crisis, Israel came to establish diplomatic
relations with the Roman See. The longtime animosities between Rome and the
Jewish religion are matters of the past. In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope,
Pope John Paul II states that it had ever been his intention to establish links with
Israel. He also states that in one of their discussions, a Jewish leader thanked the
Church of Rome for all it had done for God over the past 2000 years. During the
pope's 1999 visit to the United States, Rabbi Robert Jacobs praised the Pope for
being the first pope to acknowledge Judaism.

The visible relations between Islam and Catholicism have also been astounding.
On the occasion of the Pope's May 2001 visit to Syria, Reuters International Press
featured the following report:

DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Pope John Paul made history on Sunday by becoming the
first Pontiff ever to enter a mosque, and urged Christians and Muslims to forgive
each other for the past. Speaking inside the Great Umayyad mosque, a splendid
testimonial to Syrian history, he also said religious conviction was never a
justification for violence. “Never more communities in conflict,” he said in the
mosque, which contains a memorial to St. John the Baptist. Outside lies the tomb of
Saladin, who drove the Crusaders from the East. The Pope, who revolutionized ties
with the Jews by visiting Rome’s synagogue in 1985, said it was now time to turn the
page with Islam too. “For all the times that Muslims and Christians have offended
one another, we need to seek forgiveness from the Almighty and to offer each other
forgiveness,” he said in his address to Muslim leaders, including the Grand Mufti of
Syria. “Better mutual understanding will surely a new way of presenting our
two religions, not in opposition as has happened too often in the past, but in
partnership for the good of the human family.” The Pope, respecting Muslim
tradition, took off his shoes before stepping into the worship site, to the cheers and
claps of scores of people waiting outside. “These are great historical moments. The entering the mosque,” Syrian state television announcer said. “It is the
meeting of Islam and Christianity.” The call for mutual forgiveness was the
continuation of a theme begun Friday in Greece, where the Pontiff sought God’s
forgiveness for the wrongs committed by Catholics against Orthodox faithful in the
past 1,000 years.

The Pope is the world’s highest religious authority. However, this status has
clearly not been achieved on the basis of truth but on the basis of compromise.
Moreover, the religious principles and doctrines of the papacy are the revival of
pagan sun worship (see Wine of Babylon ) and constitute what the Bible calls the
Babylon of the end times. Confederacy with Rome and submission to its authority
makes one part of Babylon. By acknowledging his leadership, they also
acknowledge his doctrines:

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are
to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Romans 6:16

Clearly, Protestantism, by its own admission, has returned to the Mother Church
and the other world religions are also in confederacy with her. The Bible warns about
this threefold confederacy of the Dragon, the Beast and the false prophet. The false
prophet is the component of Babylon that will produce the false signs and wonders
whereby the people will be deceived to follow the Beast and to receive its mark.

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles
before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast,
and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire
burning with brimstone. Revelation 19:20

Slighting truth is dangerous and opens the door to deception.

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and
lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, and for
this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That
they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

God never tempts or deludes anyone, therefore the delusion refers to God’s
permissive will. God permits that the devil deludes and deceives the people
because He has given them ample instruction and opportunity to accept the truth.
Eventually God will be the victor when He finally destroys spiritual Babylon who has
deceived the nations:

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the
bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee; for thy merchants
were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Revelation 18:23

Ecumenism is just another movement toward the establishment of that superchurch,
Babylon the Great, who will eventually persecute those who do not conform
themselves with her. How true are the words of John Knox in 1547 with reference to
the Papacy:

Flee from Babel, if you do not want to partake in her destruction” [xviii]

The second angel’s message declares,

Babylon is Fallen, is Fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the
wine of the wrath of her fornication. Revelation 14:8

Revelation 18 repeats the message of the second angel with the added admonition
to separate from her.

Babylon the Great is Fallen, is Fallen .... And I heard another voice from heaven
saying, come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye
receive not of her plagues. Revelation 18:2,4 (Emphasis supplied)

The second angel’s message is a message of separation from Babylon, whereas the
ecumenical movement is a message of uniting with Babylon. Compromise is
impossible. God is calling a people to make a stand for His truth. There are only
three definitions of truth in the Bible: Jesus is the truth, His Word is the truth, and His
law is the truth. (John 14:6, 17:17, Psalm 119:142) God is gathering a people. The
reformers were willing to die for what they believed. They had studied the
prophecies that clearly identified the papacy as the antichrist. Let us not reject the
prophets and may the following words of Jesus not apply to us:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are
sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a
hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not. Matthew 23:37


[i] Romanism and the Reformation

[ii] Time Magazine, May 25,1981, p. l2.

[iii] History of Christianity, p.410

[iv] The History of Christianity, p.410.

[v] D.F. Neufield, Ministry, July 1978.

[vi] The History of Christianity, p.505507

[vii] Martyn Vol. V, p.70.

[viii] The History of Christianity, p.608.

[ix] Documents of Vatican II, p. 117

[x] London Church Times, 21 January 1977.

[xi] Time Magazine, 16 October, 1989

[xii] Protestant Reveille, 1st Quarter,1977.

[xiii] Die Bürger, 27 January 1990.

[xiv] Texe Marrs: All Fall Down

[xv] Chattanooga Free Press, Editor’s Note, May 10, 1997