THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: THEN AND TODAY


Revelation 2:18-29 “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

Reformation scholars have ascribed these words of Christ to the “church in Thyatira” as the era of the Catholic Church. And in this passage we read words of comfort, encouragement, and of warning to all involved within this church. Within the LORD’S warning there is seen the key lesson to take to heart: how the very leadership seduces those who are genuine and true in their service to Christ to share in the damnable sins of the Catholic priesthood. But there is also a key component that is readily seen in the history of the Catholic Church when Jesus said, “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and THE LAST TO BE MORE THAN THE FIRST” (v.19). This will be the focus of our study.

It is based on this aspect of Christ’s prophecy “that cannot lie” that we need to address the historical changes that have taken place within the Catholic Church (Ti.1:2). While the doctrines evangelizing sin haven’t changed, the LORD has known His Own within Catholicism throughout the history of the church. And today we see many souls within the Catholic Church who have taken up the banner of gratitude toward Christ and the charity He calls for from all men while living up to the light of their understanding as Paul so clearly stated: “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” Rom.2:15.

So, what we want to see is how Christ’s words came to pass in how the latter works today far exceed the former works of old. We will summarize the history from the dark ages and compare this tyrannical spirit, so common during those dark centuries with the works we see today from the devout within the Catholic Church. It must also be noted that the rise of America played a large role in shaping the character of the Catholic Church. Even before Roger Williams established religious liberty and the foundation that led to the first amendment of the Constitution, a devout Catholic named Cecilius Calvert was the first to establish religious liberty in Maryland. Although he was derided by some, the Spirit of the LORD tugged his heart to the virtue: the liberty of moral conscience.

The Catholic Church Then:

There are many horrid stories of the abuses of the papacy throughout her 1260 year reign. Volumes have been written chronicling the atrocities of man’s inhumanity to man. In every Protestant home during the great reformation of the church was the book: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. This book was always placed next to the Bible. Remember, the Roman Church forbid the Scriptures to be allowed in the home of the common man. And they fiercely persecuted any and all who dared to translate the Bible into their native tongue. And if it weren't for the reformation of the church, none to this day would be allowed to hold a Bible in their hands.

John Foxe arranged a brief compilation of testimonies of those who were persecuted and tortured by the Inquisitors. The three most common tortures were to be hung by the arms until they were pulled from their sockets; to be forced to swallow gallons of water; and to be racked. While others were burned at the stake: the most famous being the Bohemian, John Huss, who merely wanted the church he loved to remove the errors of their ways. Then there is the story of Protestant prisoners being sent out naked in winter during a freezing blizzard, only to perish in the cold. And among the most horrific was an atrocity against the Apostolic Waldenses where an entire community were murdered and then mounted on poles to line the road for miles as warning to any and all who dared oppose the pope.

The books of heaven have kept a strict record of every deed of every man from Adam to the last man (before the close of probation for the human race). And when Christ returns after GOD’S wrath of “the seven plagues” (Rev.16) to carry His Bride home to His Father’s House in Heaven (Jn.14:2), a thousand years is prophesied (Rev.20:4) to review the history of every man that is to face “the resurrection of damnation” (Jn.5:29). And every soul who receives eternal life or eternal death is to be judged by the Holy Bible (Jn.12:48). This is why having the “received text” of the King James Version is imperative for today’s Christian, for every modern translation corrupts the intended lessons on faith and blinds to discern the snares of Satan. And for those who struggle with the Middle English, the KJV Easy Reading Bible removes the dated language without compromising any of the doctrines of the KJV.

The inquisition kept records of interrogations, and these records show people begging to be told what to admit so they could escape their agony. "I have said that I did all that the witnesses say. Señores, release me, for I do not remember it. . . . for God's sake have mercy on me," pleaded one woman. A man undergoing the torture insisted he was a good Catholic. If they wanted him to say he was a heretic, he would because of the torture. "Señor Inquisidor, what does your lordship want me to say?" Another cried out: "I don't know what to say. . . . Oh God, Oh God there's no mercy, Oh God help me, help me!" Others would have their skin peeled away piece by piece. One woman who was victimized in this way, filled with the Holy Ghost she boldly declared, “Is this all that you can do?” Another man had portions of his beard with his flesh pulled from his face. Again, filled with the Holy Ghost he declared, “Now you have given me more mouths with which to praise my Jesus!”

Even beyond the inhumane tortures they committed, was “immolation” [killed as a sacrifice]. Satan exulted in what his religion was doing to GOD’S faithful people while they spoke the Good Name of Jesus through the most unholy lips! This brutal dealing was done in the name of Christ, who never raised a finger to hurt anybody but willingly gave his own life to deliver His faithful children from this sin cursed Earth, whether they knew His Name or not. It was these abuses of the papacy that led to the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and the atheist’s domination of society today. Christians today need to take stock in why our society is so frail in spiritually moral discipline as were the papists. It all centers in the words of Paul: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Rom.8:7.

The Catholic Church Today

Charity Hospital run by the Sisters of Charity in New Orleans, along with the Upjohn company developed the plasma system in the 1930's that saved tens of thousands of lives in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and in the middle east today.

During the American Civil War most of the nurses were Catholic nuns.

When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no hospitals. Today, one out of five people in this country receive their medical care at a Catholic hospital.

When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no schools. Today, the Catholic Church teaches 3 million students a day, in its more than 250 Catholic Colleges and Universities, in its more than 1200 Catholic High Schools and its more than 5000 Catholic grade schools.

Every day, the Catholic Church feeds, clothes, shelters and educates more people than any other organization in the world. In one year alone the Catholic Church spent over one billion dollars on charity. So, when today's atheists deny Christ based on the history of the church's abuse of the dignity of man, their pride has blinded them to a most simple but ethical teaching:

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." Eze.18:4.

They have no right to blame today's Christianity from the abuses of the past. In the 20th century, atheists have murdered over 100 million men, women and children in cold blood. Church history is merely their excuse to live a life of sin while accusing others for their godless lives. The same may be said of America's slavery of the past. And the atheists need to take stock of their own despicable cruelty including the wholesale slaughter of over 60 million innocent American babies on their godless altar while they stand on their dead corpses as their so-called moral high ground.

So yes, Christ’s prophecy was true: “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” But in the midst of these facts there is a sect of priests ruling over the church that Christ also addressed whose spirit is far from charitable: “that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” And the prophecies are clear concerning these priests’ influence over the Earth: the sins of Rome are bringing the world to its knees. And men are called to steer clear of these sins as Jesus warned Catholics and Protestants alike:

“For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 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. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Rev.18:3-5.

This prophetic warning assigned to our near future goes back many centuries before: “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” Ex.34:5-7. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19.

Gary McAleer


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