One of the greatest dangers facing the church of Jesus Christ today is the exact scenario I just described. In this scenario, this world would have the church of Jesus Christ married together in fellowship with other so called faiths and cults under the banner of all getting along to get along so that we may see great changes come about in our world as a result of putting aside differences for what they would call the greater good. Now while that may sound alright and even like a good thing, folks it’s far from a good thing! What this philosophy is known as is ecumenicalism and it means worldwide or universal.
The ultimate goal of the ecumenical movement will be to bring all religious groups together into one worldwide group, if not in organizational unity, at least in sympathy of the movement. In their words, we may not all be Catholics or Methodists, Muslim or Lutherans, etc., but we all still worship the same God; but we do it in ‘our own way’; so naturally, because we are sincere about our love & worship, we can be sure God DOES hear us because God is love & if we love each other, then certainly God must love us.
Folks that philosophy is false, wrong, and dare I say Satanic in nature! The ecumenical movement is a Satanic system of lies built on a lie and is NO single final Scriptural authority within the ecumenical movement. You say, oh there you go again on Scriptural authority. That’s right, if it’s not approved in the Word of God, than we have no part taking part in it! Now that doesn’t mean you be mean or nasty about it but you take a stand where the Word of God takes a stand! We have no part being yoked up with those that don’t match up with this Bible!
Now, the dream of a worldwide church is nothing new. In fact, the idea was first presented in 1910 at the World Conference on Missionary Cooperation at Edinburgh. The movement became recognized in 1944 with the formation of the World Council of Churches. From 1944-1961 this Council was of interest primarily to liberal Protestant denominations. But in November of 1961 when the World Council met at New Delhi there were Roman Catholic observers present for the first time.
The first Ecumenical Council was called by Pope John and recalled by Pope Paul. This was an invitation “to the Christian brothers, separated from its perfect unity, in a way to make attractive, easy, and joyous to them the sincere restoration in truth and charity, of the mystic body of the sole Catholic Church.” This condition for unity was that the separated Protestant brothers return to the sole Catholic Church.
See folks, this right here is the chief goal and danger of the ecumenical movement and that is to create a One World Religion that is intended to build bridges that are, in reality, impossible to construct between people of widely divergent beliefs in an effort to bring them together on some illusionary “common ground.” And the reason it’s impossible folks is because the very Word of God says it’s impossible because it would be false, it would be total apostasy!
We know this because the Bible teaches clearly that following the rapture, this Ecumenical Church will be the church of Antichrist, the church of the Tribulation Period, totally apostate!
And sadly enough folks, we are seeing early signs of this corruption in the church today. The Church of Laodicea, which we can be likened to, and which is the professing church before the rapture, finds Christ outside the door trying to get in.
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Folks, this is a picture of things to come, a church that needs not Christ, a church that thinks they can do it all by themselves! That’s what the ecumenical movement essentially teaches, that we no longer need Christ! We’re okay on our own! And sadly, the Scriptures clearly show that the professing church will steadily increase in departure from God and His Word by inward corruption and outward conformity to this world!
Thankfully however, this apostasy cannot reach its height until after the rapture! The restraining power of the Holy Spirit still continues and the full apostasy of the Ecumenical Church and the manifestation of the Antichrist cannot yet take place!
II Thessalonians 2:6-7 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
As we know, the next big event on God’s timetable is the rapture of the church. After that, the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13) with its preserving quality will be gone and this world will go to corruption. The light of the world (Matthew 5:14) will be gone and great spiritual darkness will set in. With the saints gone to be with their risen Lord, this apostate church which will still bear Christ’s name mind you will reach its climax under the rise and revelation of the Antichrist!
The very last picture that the Bible gives us of this apostate Christianity is found in Revelation chapters 13-18.What we find is a merger of all religions under one great head in chapter 13. The beast of Revelation 13:1-10 is Antichrist. The whole chapter deals with the worship of this man by the people. All attention in our world today will be on this man.
So, we come to our text in Revelation 17 and what we find is a clear explanation of what the true Ecumenical Church will look like.
The very first thing to notice here is how Christ refers to this apostate church. He refers to it as “the great whore!” Now that’s not very surprising when you think about it. Here is this church that claims the name of Christ and yet it has rejected Christ for the godless system that this world offers! In other words, spiritual adultery has been committed! And folks you listen to me here tonight any church or person that claims to be Christian yet courts with this world commits spiritual adultery! You cannot claim you’re a Christian if you’re in love with the things of this world that God says He hates! A church cannot bring in the things of this world and still claim to be a true Christian church! It can’t be done! You want to know how to be the Christian God wants you to be? Go to this Book, not the world! You want to know how a church is supposed to be the church God wants it to be? Go to this Book, not the world! You can’t claim Christ’s name and be yoked up with this world and the things of this world! It’s spiritual adultery!
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
The verse goes on to say she “sitteth upon many waters.” In other words, this impure woman has worldwide influence over peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And because of this worldwide influence we see the result in verse 2.
The kings and rulers of this earth have greatly benefited because they so enthusiastically accepted this worldly system. They have become intoxicated, drunk, with this false doctrine, and overtaken by it. A simple way of putting it is, these rulers were in bed with evil. And folks, if we were to take part in this ecumenical movement, we ourselves would be in bed with evil. Sadly, too many today have given in. They’ve put aside what they believe in, what they stand for, so on, and so forth for this false idea and hope that if we bring all faiths and cults together, it will result in a better world! The only way for a better world is for a person to get saved and when Christ returns. That is when we will have a better world!
Here in verse 3 we see the relationship between the Antichrist and the harlot. We see the Antichrist supporting the harlot for his own advantage. Now, two things are referred to in this verse. Number 1, the beast here is described as “scarlet coloured.” The connection to the red dragon of Revelation chapter 12 is what is evident here. The scarlet colored beast clearly is the antichrist, empowered by the devil. Secondly, it refers to the system of the beast. The corrupt, influential, religious city is described as sitting upon it. A relationship between the two is implied.
We see that this impure woman (the influential religious city) is “full of the names of blasphemy.” Clearly this religious city by its very nature is blasphemous to God. And folks mark it down, the Ecumenical Church and movement because of its very nature is blasphemous to almighty God!
Here in verse 4 we find the wealth of this woman. The distinctive regalia of the leadership of this religious city are “purple and scarlet.” Further we see, the leadership wore expensive jewelry of “gold and precious stones and pearls.” In addition, a distinctive mark of the leadership of this religious city is an upheld “golden cup.” The contents of that cup are described as an abomination typical of her impurity.
Now, what I’m about to say may not be popular but it’s needful to be said. What we have here is a picture of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church, headquartered in Rome, has had great apostate religious influence over the political rulers of much of the world down through the centuries. Numberless kings and rulers have been ‘in bed’ with Rome through the centuries. It has intoxicated untold masses with its blasphemous apostasy.
The official clothing of its top leadership, the pope and cardinals, is distinctively purple and scarlet. These top leaders routinely wear a display of jewelry on their clothing. The presiding clergy of ‘the Church,’ from the pope on down, routinely hold forth a golden cup during the mass saying it contains the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Is not this an abomination?
The blasphemous apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church is described in terms of ‘abomination’ and ‘filthiness of fornication.’ The religious apostasy of Rome is likened to the moral impurity of prostitution, many being in bed with her. This apostate religious system headquartered at Rome is directly connected to the antichrist and the devil himself. Clearly implied is that the Roman Catholic Church or a religious system derived there from will be a significant partner along with the antichrist in the Tribulation.
Folks, don’t buy into this notion that Roman Catholicism is simply “just another denomination.” It’s not, far from it! It is a false faith leading many to a very real Hell!
Finally, and this is we we’ll prepare to close tonight, we come to the culmination of all the religious efforts of man and the last stage of apostasy, Babylon. See, Babylon was the city which arose shortly after the debacle of the Tower of Babel. In fact, many believe that Babel was the origin of Babylon. Which is where we had the birthplace of false counterfeit religion in the first place. The description however of this city being the “MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” no doubt refers to the source of spiritual apostasy and idolatrous abomination down through the ages. The devil has always and will always give people false hopes to believe in. False counterfeit religion that is the complete opposite of the Word of God.
Here we see the Antichrist turning against the Ecumenical church and in the first few verses of chapter 18, we find the complete collapse of this church as it is judged from heaven.
So, what are we as God’s people to do in regards to the Ecumenical movement? The answer is found in verse 4 of Revelation 18.
This world teaches that we are to unite with all manner of people and faiths showing a spirit of unity to a godless world that we might bring about a change. God says: come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins! In other words, no. Don’t unite with all of the false faiths and cults that would seek to shake what you believe and stand for! Because you mark it down folks, not many (if any) in the Ecumenical movement believe in the Virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the Atonement, the Resurrection, the authority of Scripture, and the Second Coming.
The Ecumenical Movement is simple a vehicle going to a One World Religion. That’s what it is folks and God says have no part in it! Man-made unity is not what God desires. He wants a holy people. Many Christians believe that unity in itself will bring about a holy revival. But unity cannot bring holiness, only holiness can bring about true unity. For when God’s people start seeking to live, worship, and pray according to the Holy Word of God, then God Himself will answer Jesus’ prayer and make those who seek Him, truly “one!” THEN God will unite the hearts of those who love Him, and hate sin and error, and He will truly shine forth from the midst of such a people, the true people of God!
The unification of the various national identities, races, and religions can only be achieved through the eradication of sin. That means only through the Lord Jesus Christ can we become perfectly one. The only other avenue to unite people, the program of the Antichrist, will only be accomplished temporarily through deception. Listen here tonight, the Beatles can sing all they want about “Come Together”, but as Christians we must sing “Come Out of Her, my people!”
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