Chapter Two – Persecution, Killing and War
The great whore is a persecutor of God’s people. Her fruit is strife, sedition (bring about rebellion against established authority), envy, hatred, violence, murder, warfare, deceit, killing, deception, false witness, adultery, etc. All one has to do is research who the “persecutors” have been or who they currently are (in a corporate sense, not individually). Jesus said: John 16:2, “They shall put you out of the synagogues (i.e. churches): yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” Any religious group that persecutes another whether through bodily injury, imprisonment or death are not of God and do not “know” God. Also, any religious group that takes away from (downplays, lessens) obedience to God’s commandments, does not “know” the Lord and the truth is not in them (1 Jn 2:4). In other words, the false church walks in hate. It sacrifices individuals/groups (identifying them as heretics or such) for the perceived benefit of the institution which is attributed to doing God a service.
The true church walks in love! 1 John 4:16, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him (also 2 Cor 6:16).” Love sacrifices self for the benefit of another. Jesus through love sacrificed Himself for the benefit of man (Rm 5:8). Those who are Christ’s dwell in love! Christ’s two great commandments reveal that man must sacrifice self for God foremost (heart, mind, soul and strength, Mt 22:37-40, Mk 12:30-31, Lk 10:27) and that man must also sacrifice self for his neighbor (Mt 5:43, 19:19, 22:39, Mk 12:31, 33, Lk 10:27, Rm 13:10, Gal 5:14, Js 2:8). The true church is led of the Spirit and obeys the Lord’s commandments. This requires a sacrifice of self (no way around this). You cannot be selfish and fulfill Christ’s two great commandments.
They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues (religious councils), and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers (secular authorities) for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony (Lk 21:12-13). This church-state union will persecute true believers, but in doing so the testimony of Christ’s gospel will be clearly annunciated (to announce or proclaim) for all to hear. Consider what the scriptures say about Jesus (whom believers follow): Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession (1 Tim 6:13). The words of this gospel will come from the Lord through His followers (Lk 21:15). These worldly authorities shall be without excuse when true believers appeal their cases to be heard before the judgment seat of God Almighty. The true believer must uphold God’s Word while willingly and nonviolently submitting to the punishments of the worldly authorities. Many shall be put to death and all shall be hated of men for Christ’s name’s sake (Lk 21:16-17). The matter must be left in God’s hands.
The false church does not walk in God’s love. The false church loves the things of the world; she loves the darkness (Jn 3:19, 1 Jn 2:15-17). 1 John 4:20, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” Hate is the opposite of love and sacrifices others for selfish benefit. Those that do this become very creative in how they justify the reasons why they do it, but the fruit is evident for all to see.
Now here is something crucial that we must take to heart: the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rm 5:5). We must walk in God’s Spirit to be His and have His love (Rm 8:9, 1 Cor 3:17, 6:19, 2 Jn 1:2). Jesus says to all sincere believers: “behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you (Lk 24:49, Jn 7:38-39). This is Jesus giving the power to become the sons of God to as many as will receive Him (Jn 1:12, Rm 8:14). Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive, effect grace, revive) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” So the Spirit dwells in us that love may dwell in us. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS AS WE PROCEED: Romans 13:10, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” The law restrained the evil nature of man toward each other. In other words, the law reavealed thus: Luke 6:31, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” The Holy Spirit, dwelling within a man, will never lead that man to persecute or hate/harm his neighbor (including enemies). Hatred, killing, violence and warfare are of another spirit altogether.
Protestants (reformers of Roman Catholicism), as a leg of Mystery Babylon, are a little harder to define because some legitimate groups have been lumped under the umbrella of Protestantism (see Chapter 5, False Doctrines). As a matter of course, any group that is not Orthodox or Catholic will most likely be considered or labeled Protestant. Therefore, Protestants will have to be defined by their actions (not by a name), namely hatred/killing/violence and false doctrines. These shocking attributes will be discussed at length within this book. The Protestant’s mother is the Roman Catholic church. The Protestants tried unsuccessfully to reform parts of Roman Catholicism. Since Satan’s kingdom walks in hatred, there is no love between the Catholics and Protestants. Thus, the Catholics adopted the counter-reformation to combat Protestantism. The Protestants have been very good at pointing out their mother’s evils (Catholicism), but never acknowledge their own.
Neither the Catholic or Protestant entities have any desire to repent of past evils or change, but may evolve when it suits them. The chief difference between the false and the real is that one group is led of man and exhibits the nature of Satan (goats, tares) and the other is led of the Holy Spirit and exhibits the nature of Christ (sheep, good seed). The Protestants did have a measure of truth and over time some individuals/groups who sincerely sought the Lord went on to realize the true gospel of Jesus Christ. These sobered up (no longer intoxicated) and came to the light. Even so, no one will “follow” the true gospel without significant resistance from religious man (those who presume to serve God apart from His Spirit). Religious man attempted to hinder Christ and so it will be with His followers (Lk 11:52). Matthew 15:13, “But he (Jesus) answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.”
When God looks upon man, He does not necessarily see men as Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or whatever, but rather as either walking in faith (obedience) or unbelief (disobedience, Mal 3:18). God doesn’t look for those trusting in religion (its doctrines and sacraments), but rather those trusting in Jesus Christ. The church doesn’t save anybody (it is a vessel to proclaim God’s truth, read Jn 1:12-13), but rather those saved are the church (His body),which Jesus adds to daily such as should be saved (Acts 2:47). Those walking in faith (the just shall live by his faith, Hab 2:4) are willfully dying to self in surrender and obedience to the will of God. Through faith, they are kept by the power of God (the Holy Spirit, the grace that should come unto you, 1 Pt 1:10) unto salvation (1 Pt 1:5). Those walking in unbelief are increasing in self and disregarding God’s will in order to seek (realize, attain) their own will – this can be done in a religious way. Those led of the Spirit will be led to understanding, given an obedient heart (Pv 2:6, Col 1:10, 3:10). 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The Spirit of truth leads to the truth of Christ (1 Cor 2:12-14). So, whatever the starting point may be, those led of the Spirit will be led to the truth.
The Spirit of truth will never lead into the devil’s lie or the darkness. Jesus is constantly calling individuals, wherever they may be in the darkness (even religious darkness), to come to His light (truth). Those who respond are born of God (to be discussed) and led to walk in the Lord’s truth (in Christ’s steps). Those who willfully remain in the darkness are of the darkness and love it (Jn 3:19). Ye are sanctified (set apart), and are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11). They are turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, sanctified by faith in Jesus (Acts 26:18, Rm 5:2). Many will seek to enter in (by religious means), but shall not be able (Lk 13:24). Many are called, but few are chosen (Mt 20:16, 22:14). This is because most will ignor God’s Way and trust in their religious organization and its way or their own ability and means. Of those called, God is looking for the ones who trust and obey.
Persecution, Killing and War (the Crux of the Matter)
Those of the flesh persecute those of the Spirit. This is analogous to Ishmael and Isaac. Galatians 4:22, “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.” One child resulted from man’s efforts and the other child resulted from God’s intervention due to His promise/covenant with Abram. Galatians 4:28-29, “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” Psalms 37:12, “The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.” The wicked watcheth and plotteth against the righteous and just to slay him (Ps 37:12, 32). The very first murder also demonstrates this: Cain was of the flesh and killed his brother Able (who pleased God, Gen 4:4-5, 8, Heb 11:4). 1 John 3:11-12, “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” Notice that Cain, the wicked one (had Satan’s nature), was the persecutor. Able, the righteous one, was the one who was persecuted (Heb 11:4). Those who are of God love one another. Those who are not of God hate one another which is manifested through envy, violence, war, and killing. Those of the flesh are always the persecutors and those of the Spirit are always the victims. There are no victims when all walk in love (which is a picture of heaven). Those of the Spirit are delivered when the Lord chooses to intervene.
Herod was proud (exalted) and sinful (Mk 6:17-18, Lk 3:18-19, Acts 12:20-23). John the Baptist was humble, sent of God, and the greatest prophet (Mt 3:4, 11:10, Mk 1:2-3, 6:20, Lk 7:28). Herod killed John rather than humble himself to save him (Mk 6:17-28, Lk 9:9). John was a bright light on Herod’s dark life. Rather than repent, Herod put out the light. Proud religious men (of the flesh) also killed humble Jesus (of the Spirit) out of jealousy and envy (Mt 27:17-18, Mk 15:10). Rather than repent, religious man attempted to put out Christ’s light. Those that love the darkness do not come to the light, but rather try and extinguish the light. “For every one that doeth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light…(Jn 3:20).” Paul was a persecutor, but when he came to the light (saw the light), he became the persecuted (Acts 9:16). Paul once dragged believers to prison, falsely accused them, gave his consent in stoning them or putting them to death otherwise. Once Paul became a believer, he was stoned, falsely accused, imprisoned and later killed (2 Tim 3:10-11, 4:6). Those in the darkness always persecute those in the light.
The Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants have all persecuted others in defense of their institution’s traditions and doctrines being driven by the desire to control – history reveals this plainly. They considered everyone who did not agree with them (at one time or another) to be heretics and thought they were doing God a service by killing them. These groups used secular governments and man made laws to do this (they rode the beast). 1 John 2:9-10, “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” How could one group who “professes” love for Christ, have such hatred toward another group who does the same? – and then use God’s Word to defend their hatred. We are not talking about breaking fellowship or separating from those in error, but rather desiring ill will and harm and inflicting violence upon them. 1 John 2:11, “But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” Those who do not walk in brotherly kindness and charity are blind, and cannot see afar off (2 Pt 1:8-9). Consider this: 1 John 3:10, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” AND 1 John 3:14-15, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Therefore: those that hate walketh in darkness, are murderers and abideth in death. Being in the darkness blinds to the truth. To hate is to desire harm or ill (bad, harm, trouble, suffering) upon another. To hate is to sacrifice others for selfish benefit. We shall further determine how this applies to all the wars these groups have endorsed and participated in.
Some might say that the Roman Catholics persecuted the Protestants; shouldn’t the Protestants also be the true church? The answer is found in how the Protestants reacted or responded (in general, note comment below). For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword (Mt 26:2, also Job 4:8). In most cases the Protestants simply returned evil for evil (Rm 12:17, 1 Thess 5:15, 1 Pt 3:9). They fought against their adversaries (i.e. Catholics). For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light (Jn 3:20). Proverbs 24:29, “Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.” Judgment is not in our hands! The Lord says: Romans 12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord (also Nah 1:2-3, Rev 6:10-11).” 1 Peter 4:19, “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”
The true church hates no one nor does it render evil for evil, it just goes to the slaughter as a lamb (Acts 8:32). The true church patiently receives the wrath of others, forbearing the inflicted injuries. Romans 8:36, “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter (also Ps 44:22).” These are under the altar of God having laid down their lives without resistance for the Word of God and the testimony which they held (Rev 6:9). The true church may be in the midst of wolves (aggressors that want to devour), but it is harmless as doves (Mt 10:16, Php 2:15). The true church trusts in God and then accepts their fate (Thy will be done, Nah 1:7). The Lord has said that there are a certain number of saints that shall be killed and this must be fulfilled (Rev 6:11).
The Lord’s people are often referred to as sheep (Ps chap 23, Jn chap 10, also Ps 78:52, 79:13, 95:7, Is 53:6, Jer 23:1, Ez 34:6, Mt 9:36, 26:31, Mk 14:27, Jn 21:16, 1 Pt 2:25). Psalms 100:3, “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture (also Ps 95:7).” The sheep never attack a wolf, no matter how many sheep there are – they always flee from the wolf. If there were a hundred sheep and only one wolf, the sheep would still run away. The nature of the wolf is to kill, devour and destroy. The nature of the sheep is to be meek, humble, loving, gentle and kind. Does a lamb bite a wolf? The wolf is the persecutor and the sheep are the persecuted. So it is with the children of the devil and the children of the Lord. The aggressor overcomes the humble through evil doings. The humble overcome the aggressor by not becoming an aggressor. 1 Peter 3:17, “For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” The sheep (followers) do depend upon the shepherd (Jesus) for protection (2 Kgs 17:39), even so, the true church yields to whatever God sends their way – suffering patiently (Js 1:3, 5:10-11, Rev 13:10). Luke 21:19, “In your patience possess ye your souls.” When ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God (1 Pt 2:20).
Jesus said: Matthew 10:23, “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” When persecuted, Christ’s sheep flee. Notice that Jesus did not say to stay and defend yourselves or hold your ground. Notice that Jesus’ sheep will flee from city to city until Christ returns. Jesus would not have us to stand and fight because then we would not be “following” Him and His example. Jesus Himself did not walk in some areas because the Jews sought to kill Him. John 7:1, “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” If we returned evil for evil, then we would be following Satan’s example further into the darkness.
Jesus explicitly said: “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them (Lk 9:56).” AND “for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world (Jn 12:47).” Those who “follow” Jesus do not destroy men’s lives (as in war), but are also here to save them – to be lights and vessels for the Master’s use. The purposes of Christ and His church are one in the same. Christ did not come to kill and destroy, but to seek that which was lost. Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus came calling sinners to repentance (Mt 9:13, Mk 2:17, Lk 5:32). Satan came (in Eden) to kill and destroy (Jn 10:10) – he scattered and lost. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Jesus came to undo the damage that Satan inflicted (Lk 15:1) – to destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8). Satan brought death; Jesus brought life. Those who follow Jesus will be about their Lord’s business of recovering the lost back to God’s kingdom. Christ’s followers will offer “life” and “liberty” and not “death” and “bondage.” ITS ALL ABOUT FOLLOWING JESUS IN ALL THAT HE DID – this cannot be emphasized enough.
The true church is meek – they forbear the injuries of others and justify God no matter what (Mt 5:5). Matthew 5:39, “But I (Jesus) say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” “Resist not” means no defense – to forbear. Those who walk in darkness cannot understand this – it is not their nature to understand it. These try to justify following Christ through the devil’s nature – it cannot be done. Jesus said: Matthew 5:9-10, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Can you see how the true church is peacemakers, yet persecuted (forbear the injuries of others)?
Remember, the true church “follows” Jesus. The true church is a light to shine Christ’s nature, not the devil’s nature. Weren’t Jesus, the prophets and the apostles all persecuted for righteousness sake? Did they return evil for evil? We must follow – in His steps (1 Pt 2:21). If you are not the salt of this earth (examples of Christ’s nature, conformed to His image, letting your light shine before men, Mt 5:16), then Jesus said you are good for nothing (Mt 5:13). We must love our enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us (Mt 5:44). We are called unto perfection – to be completely in God’s will and yielded to His purposes (Mt 5:48). The author does believe that their were many individuals within the Protestant church that ultimately saw God’s truth and laid down their lives (without resistance) when required.
The Roman Catholics (Western Christianity), Orthodox (Eastern Christianity) and Protestants (Reformed Christianity) have all rode the beast, meaning they have allied with secular worldly governments to further their goals (growth, power, control, security, riches). Revelation 17:3, “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” AND Revelation 17:7, “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.” The dragon or Satan gives the beast its authority and power (Rev 13:1-4). The beast has killed and shall kill God’s people (Rev 6:9). Revelation 13:7, “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
This is a combining of religion and state! – a man directed theocracy. Roman Catholicism once combined with the Roman empire (which included many European states) and later with Europe forming a Holy Roman Empire. The famous Protestant, Martin Luther, combined with Germanic countries. The famous Protestant, John Calvin, combined with Switzerland (Geneva). The Orthodox church once combined with Russia. Under all these circumstances, God’s true saints suffered greatly. The Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants have persecuted those who did not accept their dominance and also have warred with each other through the centuries. They demanded that everyone join the “state church” – the institution that they controlled. There was the state church and the stake church (as in being burned at the stake).
The Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants have all supported war and their members have engaged in war (killing, violence, hatred) – against each other or within their own ranks. This is an historical fact and we are not talking about isolated (few in number) occurrences (see Chapter 3, “A Disturbing History”). We are talking about a mindset, endorsement, patriotism and participation that profoundly exists today. God’s Word says: Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” The Holy Spirit will never lead to violence, killing, hatred and warfare. The Holy Spirit leads in paths of righteousness (Ps 23:3).
What does this say about these groups that claim to be Christ’s church? Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Does the Spirit quicken us to kill one another? Is this what Jesus did? You must have the Holy Spirit or you are none of His (Christ’s, Rm 8:9). The Holy Spirit is given to dwell in us and teach us (Jn 16:13, 1 Cor 2:12-14, 3:16, 6:19, 2 Cor 6:16). John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Does the Holy Ghost teach us to war? – to inflict violence and kill – to hate? Are these the things that Christ said to do? So who is leading and teaching those who participate in war and kill one another or God’s people? Who is leading the aforementioned groups – the Holy Spirit or man (and the one behind man, Jn 8:44)?
Jesus said: John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” AND John 15:12, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” How did Christ love us? Jesus loved us by sacrificing His very life for our benefit. He did this while we were still His enemies. Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (also Is 53:6).” 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” To sin is to transgress (violate and oppose) God’s will which is to be God’s enemy. Those that vex (irritate, make angry through provocations, trouble, distress) the Holy Spirit are enemies of God (Is 63:10). Christ’s sheep will follow His example. Therefore: 1 John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” The love of Christ always sacrifices for another (consider Jesus’ walk). You must value obedience to Christ and love of your neighbor more than your own life. Nothing can come before Jesus (Lk 14:26). Jesus’ commandments will never ever have us destroy one another.
A true Christian could never under any circumstance kill another Christian (or even an enemy). Re-read Christ’s new commandment! This is not a suggestion, but rather defines a true follower. Every one that is perfect shall be as his master (Lk 6:40). To be as Jesus is to love your enemies. Just for further emphasis, Jesus said: John 15:17, “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” Please keep this in mind as you read the remainder of this book. Jesus did not say I command you…except under the following conditions. There are no exceptions to Christ’s comandment of love. Those who hear Christ, follow (obey) Christ. Those who do not hear Christ, add their exceptions (reasonings, logic, presumptions) to what Jesus said – they do not obey – they do not hear. The harlot church does not obey God! The harlot church thinks to change the truth of God into a lie(Rm 1:25)!
Now you must explicitly understand that everyone that is of the truth will hear Christ’s voice (Jn 18:37). Jesus’ truth (and He is the Word of God), His commandment, our clear direction, is to “love one another.” Do you hear His voice? To come to any other understanding is to not hear Christ’s voice and to walk away pondering: “What is truth (Jn 18:38)?” Pilate questioned what truth was when the very embodiment of truth was before Him (Jn 1:14, 18:38). He didn’t have ears to hear (or eyes to see) and neither do most men. By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive (Mt 13:14).
Can we imagine the early churches going to war against each other? Killing each other? Would the church at Corinth battle the church at Ephesus or Galatia? Would it be acceptable for members within each of these churches to kill one another (i.e. Corinthians killing Corinthians)? Paul once chastised the Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 3:3, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” If we can see the wrongfulness and absurdity in this, then why can we not see it in our world today? This article is going to consider how Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants have fought and killed one another and each other through the centuries. They all presumably profess to follow the same Jesus – what a sad reflection that continues to play out even today. They have also persecuted and killed true believers – who offered no resistance. Would Jesus acknowledge those who bear such fruit as His church? Would the apostles (i.e. Peter, John and Paul) acknowledge those who bear such fruit as being the Lord’s church?
Consider the following verse: Matthew 13:33, “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (also Lk 13:20-21).” The author believes this verse has a different meaning than what it seems to be. In God’s Word, leaven has always represented sin (1 Cor 5:8, Amos 4:4-5, Ex 13:3), hypocrisy (Lk 12:1), false doctrine (Mt 16:6-12, Mk 8:15) and self exaltation (the leaven of Herod, Mk 8:15, Acts 12:20-23) – leaven is never good or desirable (Ex 12:14-20, 13:3, 7, 23:18, 34:25, Lev 2:11, 6:17, 10:12, Deut 16:4). The Lord forbid leaven from being offered in grain (flour) or sin offerings (Lev 2:11, 6:17, 10:12, 23:17). The leavening of the whole lump of dough/meal/ bread has always been used in a negative sense in scripture (1 Cor 5:6-7, Gal 5:7-9). Unleavened would be without sin, and walking in sincerity and truth (1 Cor 5:7-8, also numerous references and symbology in the Old Testament). To hide leaven (sin, hypocrisy and false doctrine) in three measures denotes “deception.” Why three measures? Three branches of Christianity claim to be Christ’s true church (yet all three have rode the beast and killed) – Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism. Who is the woman? The woman is Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots. She has deceived these three religious giants through sin (ye can sin and not die, Gen 3:4-5), hypocrisy (say but not do, Mt 23:3), false doctrines (allowing transgression and downplaying obedience to God) and self exaltation (you must submit to us). Remember a spiritual harlot is one that departs from the truth of God – she is not faithful or obedient. A bride loves, honors and obeys. The bride is pure for her betrothed. The meaning of the parable is a warning (similar to those given in Mt chap 24 and Mk chap 13) regarding deception, false doctrines and self exaltation which produce sin and hypocrisy.
Jesus said of this Babylonian spirit/behavior: Matthew 23:27-28, “Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” AND “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy (Lk 12:1).” Hypocrisy is feigning (make a show of; to pretend; to assume a false appearance) to be what one is not; or dissimulation, a concealment of one’s real character or motives; assuming of a false appearance of virtue or religion; a deceitful show of a good character, in morals or religion; a counterfeiting of godliness. The whore makes an outward show of godliness and claims to serve God, but she is hypocritical in that she really serves self. She disregards God’s Word and is full of iniquity. Iniquity is unrighteousness which is the transgression of the will or commandments of God (every single violation of the divine law, wickedness). The whore says in so many religious words that you do not have to obey God and “ye shall not surely die (Gen 3:4).” To obey “self” over God in any way is to “be as a god (Gen 3:5).” Iniquity separates man from God (Is 59:2) – and always will – eternally. So, iniquity against God = eternal separation from God. In other words, if you do not “obey” God, then you will be eternally separated from Him. Now consider the fact that obedience to God draws one unto God. So, obedience to God = unity with God. Oh religious man examine your doctrines to see if ye be in the faith or no (2 Cor 13:5).
In America, these religious organizations are still involved in politics (seeking favoritism through law, tax benefits, and influence) and support this country’s wars (killing, hatred, violence). The relationship between this false church and the state is mutually beneficial. How many who profess Christ are in the military? Who fights the wars? Jesus’ commandment was to love and not to kill. 1 John 1:6, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” Satan was/is a liar and a murderer and so will his children be (Jn 8:44). The deception is “whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (Jn 16:2). No Christian kills without thinking he is justified before God for whatever reason, yet God’s Word clearly says: 1 John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Most reading this will still not “get it,” they have been blinded by Satan. 2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” THE GOSPEL IS LOVE!!!! Those who do not walk in love do not walk in Christ’s gospel.
Throughout history, there have been many religious groups that were heretical (in great error). There have also been many true gatherings of believers that were assumed or proclaimed to be heretical because they did not concede to the religious demands of the controlling false church. Just as Caesar, Hitler or Stalin demanded secular loyalty, so has this false church demanded religious loyalty throughout the ages. Was disloyalty ever tolerated by such rulers? The false church says that you will do this, that or the other thing (according to our interpretation and assumed authority) or we will do God a service and remove you from the earth (coercion at the end of a sword). There have also been many divisions based upon doctrines and traditions. This may have necessitated a break in fellowship (maybe justifiably due to unrepentance), but never justifies hatred or violence against another. For instance, when the Roman Catholics and Protestants historically fought one another (went to war), it only proved they were both wrong, in great error and in the darkness – irregardless of who started it. Again, anyone or group that hates or persecutes another does not love or know God. This includes fighting for defense. Christ’s church is known by their love for one another. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Believers are commanded to a higher standard: Romans 12:14, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” To curse is to injure; to subject to evil; to vex, harass or torment with great calamities.
Those in error are always in the majority and generally persecute the minority who are found in truth. Those found in God’s truth – who “know” God cannot fight back. Romans 12:17, “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest (truthful, sincere) in the sight of all men.” Jesus said: Matthew 5:42-45, “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust (also Lk 6:27-31).” Jesus forever closed any loopholes concerning love. You cannot hate anyone! – this includes your enemies. Hatred always leads to violence and killing. The children of God are those who walk in love.
Jesus further stated: Luke 6:32-36, “For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Followers of Christ have clearly been called to a much higher standard than unbelievers. We must love the unlovely – the good, bad and the ugly (Mt 22:10). Love is Christ’s nature and hate is Satan’s nature – we must always walk in love, even to our own demise. The aggressors (prideful) always prey upon the meek (humble). However, if you strike back, then you also become an aggressor – the opposite of that which you profess to be – this is evil for evil. You must walk in the nature of Christ irregardless of the consequences or personal loss. You cannot change natures to protect “self.” To exalt self is to walk in pride which is an abomination to God (Pv 16:5). To walk in “self” is to seek your way. We have been “called out” to walk in God’s way. The flesh is never exalted in God’s way – for no flesh shall glory before God (1 Cor 1:29). You must trust solely in God (not self) and accept the Lord’s will in all matters.
Therefore, the groups that have been historically persecuted and did not fight back (walking in God’s love and truth) are clearly the true church or sheep of Christ. Only through God’s love could this even be accomplished. The true church are the ones who assemble in Christ’s name and that the world despises. Romans 8:36, “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter (also Ps 44:22).” After all, consider our Lord: Acts 8:32, “The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth (also Is 53:7).” Christ’s sheep “follow” Him. Those who love Jesus obey Jesus, irregardless of the personal cost. Christ said: John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” The Lord’s commandments are to walk in love. Those who live godly in Christ Jesus are persecuted, yet blessed by the Lord (2 Tim 3:12, Mt 5:10-12). Many a religious man must ponder Christ’s question: Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Those who are intoxicated by Babylon the Great do not do what Christ says, yet feel justified by their own confused logic.
Now when speaking of these three religious giants that claim to be Christ’s church, we are speaking in generalities. Certainly there were true and sincere individuals within these organizations of man that came to understand God’s truth and served the Lord in obedience – despite the harlot. After all, this “Mystery” Babylon gobbled up the whole earth – peoples, nations, kindreds and tongues. This Mystery Babylon (riding the secular beast) has ruled with an iron fist. Even so, Christ’s true church is to be found outside this false church. We are warned of Mystery Babylon: Revelation 18:4, “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.” Once someone has been enlightened with God’s truth within Mystery Babylon, they are warned to come out of her. In other words, forsake the evil and do not attempt to “reform it” – you have not the ability. The Lord is continually calling men out of darkness which includes worldly and religious darkness. Scripture reveal that a great multitude (although a small percentage of the whole) will ultimately respond to God’s call (Rev 7:9).
Mystery Babylon is governed by “man” and walks in the nature of its father, the devil (Jn 8:44). This shall be proven in a succeeding paragraphs. In other words, Mystery Babylon is not led of the Holy Spirit nor is Christ the head (Jn 14:6, Acts 20:28, 1 Cor 11:3, Eph 1:20-23, 4:15, 5:23, Col 1:18, 2:10). The author does not attempt to judge all of this (I have no such authority), but simply presents the historical evidence and the scriptural rebuttal and draws the inevitable conclusion based upon Christ’s Words: Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
Certainly there are individual and group exceptions (who followed their Lord) within Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism, but these went against the grain/current – many to their demise. Some may have been hopelessly trapped within Babylon’s sphere of dominance, but this does not mean that they were aligned in spirit and heart. The Lord ultimately judges with righteousness.
Some might say of these three major religious groups that make up Mystery Babylon: “but they profess Jesus and do many wonderful works.” They outwardly appear righteous, but inwardly are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Mt 23:28). Jesus said: Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Profession of Jesus is not good enough, you must actually keep the commands of God. Works are not good enough, you must do the will of God. Those that work iniquity disregard God’s commands and will – they transgress the Lord’s will. They justify their own actions in direct contradiction of God’s Word (stated will). This is manifested in their outward nature. All those things which offend (take from God’s righteous nature or glory) and them which do iniquity shall be gathered and cast into the furnace of fire (Mt 13:41-42). The things of Satan are an offence unto Christ (Mt 16:23). Jesus said, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments (Mt 19:17, also Jn 14:15-17, 20-21, 23, 15:10, 1 Jn 2:3-4, 3:24, 5:2-3). Christ’s commandments are founded upon love (Mt 22:37-40, Mk 12:30-31, Lk 10:27, Jn 13:34, 15:12, 17). You must surrender obediently to God and practice brotherly love (Rm 12:10, 1 Thess 4:9).
The Lord’s true church has always been small – a little flock, few (Lk 12:32, 13:23-24, Mt 7:13-14). These nameless and less visible groups have existed along side of Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism since the beginning. Jesus never defined his church as characterized by buildings (with names), but rather those who worship God in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” God’s Word further relates: God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth (2 Thess 2:13).
The English word “church” is “ekklesia” in Greek which means called out ones (out of the darkness and into the light, 1 Pt 2:9) or in some cases a gathering of called out ones. Those who are set apart for salvation are filled and led of the Holy Ghost (indwelling) and walk God’s truth which is His very nature (Jesus is The Word which is The Truth which is The Way which is The Life, Jn 1:14, 14:6, Rev 19:13, The Spirit of Truth testifies of Jesus, Jn 14:26, 15:26, 16:13, 1 Jn 5:6). Much of the formalized religious infrastructure so evident today is of man. Jesus said: Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” A couple of sincere believers gathered in spirit and truth is the minimum requirement for a church (it can certainly be more).
These groups have been persecuted, murdered, misrepresented, and demonized by religious man (they said Jesus had a devil, Mt 12:24-28, Lk 11:15). These groups never fought back except with the spiritual weapon of God’s Word (Eph 6:12-18). They did not war after the flesh with carnal weapons (2 Cor 10:3-4). They arrayed themselves with God’s armor and placed their lives in the Lord’s hands – come what may (Jesus said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, Lk 23:46). True believers do not fight with men: Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” These groups have existed all over the world as the Holy Spirit raises them up. The chief difference is that they are led of the Holy Spirit and not man. They have Christ as head and not man. Some of the names that man assigned to them would be Paulicians, Cathars, Brethren, Nestorians, Lollards, Waldenses, Albigenses, Beghards, Moravians, Anabaptist, and Stundists. Often these groups were declared heretics and assigned false beliefs that they did not hold in order to demonize and discredit them. These man-made names were also sometimes applied to more than one peoples/groups to lump together so as to discredit and smear the legitimate ones. Their writings were often destroyed or obliterated to hide the truth. The truth of many of these persecuted peoples will not be known until God’s judgment (whether they walked in truth or error).
Anabaptist were considered to be radical reformers. All they did was take God’s Word literally and apply it to their lives as scriptures require. Subsequently they were a much hated and persecuted peoples. Their refusal to compromise the truth of God’s Word was the secret of their strength. Jesus said: Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” AND Luke 12:8, “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.”