Ecumenical Church Service
Former Roman Catholic Mike Gendron has the following in his February 2017 newsletter:
The Nature of Deception
Tragically, there are many who go to their graves having been deceived about life’s most critical issue. They either embraced the lie that good people go to heaven, or a similar lie that heaven can be merited by good works or religious activity. The only hope for victims of this kind of deception is for them to be lovingly confronted with the truth of God’s Word before it is too late.
The source of all spiritual deception is Satan, who is the god of this world, the master deceiver, and the father of lies. Rarely will anyone believe an outright lie, so he cleverly mixes truth with error to deceive even the elect if possible (Mat. 24:24). This is why so many evangelicals have been misled about Roman Catholicism. Many believe Roman Catholicism is a Christian denomination instead of an apostate church that radically departed from the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ. This deceitfully insidious religion, headquartered in the Vatican, has become Satan’s greatest counterfeit. It hides its false and fatal gospel with a thin veneer of truth that seduces undiscerning people. Whenever truth is mixed with error it is no longer true. We need to heed the warning given by Dr. Harry Ironside, the former pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church. He said, “Error is like leaven which leavens the whole lump. Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent-looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.”
Those evangelical leaders who continue to promote ecumenical unity with Roman Catholics are being unfaithful to God’s Word and to the sanctity of His Church. As Ironside warned, “God hates such a mixture!”
Mike Gendron also put out the following in his newsletter a while back:
In his first-ever video declaring his “prayer intentions,” Pope Francis called for dialogue and collaboration among those of the various world religions asserting that they are simply “seeking or meeting God in different ways.” Francis contends that all the religions of the world simply represent mankind’s diversity in seeking God. He says that despite the differing beliefs, everyone is a child of the same God. The pope said, “Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways, but there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God.”
Mike’s following comments are from his interview with CNN: Tragically, those who do not know the Bible or who refuse to submit to it as the supreme authority for truth, will be deceived by the pope’s latest pronouncement. The pope’s assertion that all mankind seeks after the same God, just in different ways, is false according to the Word of God. No one seeks for (the true) God (Rom. 3:11), but there are many who seek after false gods of their own imagination or false gods of their religious traditions. The only way to meet with the true God is His way, through the one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). The Word of God reveals that the human race is made up of people who are either children of God or children of the devil (1 John 3:10). When the Lord Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for refusing to believe the truth of His Word, He told them that their father was the devil (John 8:44). This remains true today in that the god of this world (Satan) has created a variety of religions to blind all of his children from the light of the Gospel and the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). Everyone is a child of the ‘god of this world’ until they exchange their religion for a relationship with the one true God through Jesus Christ. Only those who receive Jesus by believing in His name become children of God (John 1:12-13).
The Apostle Peter taught:
10 … the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12)
Yet, Pope Francis has an interfaith agenda that does NOT teach that one must accept Jesus in order to be saved. This is s FALSE GOSPEL! Yet, many are being taken in by it.
Mike Gendron also had a link in that February 1, 2016 newsletter to the following from the improperly named publication Christianity Today regarding the growing acceptance of the pontiff’s agenda by Protestant ministers.
From Antichrist to Brother in Christ: How Protestant Pastors View the Pope
More than half of evangelical pastors say Pope Francis is their brother in Christ.
More than one-third say they value the pope’s view on theology, and 3 in 10 say he has improved their view of the Catholic Church.
Those are among the findings of a new study of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors, released this week from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
Overall, the survey found that many Protestant pastors have taken a liking to Pope Francis.
Nearly 4 in 10 say the pope, known for his humility and concern for the poor, has had a positive impact on their opinions of the Catholic Church. Almost two-thirds view Pope Francis as a genuine Christian and “brother in Christ.” …
Evangelical pastors report more skepticism about Pope Francis than their mainline Protestant counterparts. While 80 percent of mainline Protestant pastors believe the pope is a true Christian, only 58 percent of evangelical pastors agree. About a quarter of evangelicals (23%) disagree, while one-fifth (19%) are not sure.
“The fact that some pastors don’t see the pope as their ‘brother in Christ’ seems strange to many outside Protestantism and evangelicalism, I imagine,” Stetzer said. “However, the forerunners of most Protestant pastors—from Luther, to Wesley, to Spurgeon, to many others—certainly did not see the pope as their ‘brother in Christ.’
“Within a few centuries, the pope has gone from anti-Christ to ‘brother in Christ’ for a lot of Protestants.”
In an editorial for CT this week, evangelical pastor Chris Castaldo argued that among Protestants and Catholics, disagreement over religious authority and salvation fades as piety trumps doctrine. http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/september/antichrist-brother-christ-protestant-pastors-pope-francis.html
Piety trumps doctrine?
Christianity Today really means that it believes that outward claims of piety trump truth.
Notice what Jude wrote from the New Jerusalem Bible (a Roman Catholic approved translation into the English language):
3 I felt that I must write to you encouraging you to fight hard for the faith which has been once and for all entrusted to God’s holy people. (Jude 3, NJB)
That scripture would also not suggest that doctrinal compromise is appropriate for the faithful. Jude does not say go along to get along. Actually, Jude advocates the opposite.
Notice also what Jesus taught:
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (John 17:17-19)
Christians are to be sanctified, meaning be SET APART for religious purposes, by the truth in the word of God. Those who compromise the word of God are not true followers of Jesus.
The ecumenical movement ignores the truth. It keeps moving forward and the Vatican, Protestants, and many others are moving down a slope they should not.
Since many of the Protestants and Catholic have resolved certain of their differences and ignored some of their own histories, many of them are poised for greater unity. Such unity will happen, but it is not endorsed by the Bible. The Bible is clear that a group of churches, led by one from the city of seven hills, is to be avoided and will end in disaster (Revelation 17:1-10,18).
Martin Luther, the basic founder of the Protestant Reformation, taught against the concept that the Roman Catholic Church was the one true church. And while most modern Protestant leaders would agree on that point, Martin Luther took this much further. Specifically, Martin Luther taught that the Roman Catholic Church was the “great harlot of the Apocalypse” (O’Hare PF. The Facts About Luther, originally 1916, 1987 ed., p.9). Martin Luther also claimed that the Pope was the “Antichrist” (Ibid).
Notice also the following from some early Protestant leaders:
(1) Martin Luther:… We here are of the conviction that the Papacy is the seat of the true and real antichrist…
(2) John Calvin: I deny him to be the vicar of Christ. … He is an antichrist — I deny him to be the head of the Church (John Calvin Tracts, Volume 1, pages 219, 220). (Standish CD, Standish RR. The Evangelical Dilemma. Hartland Publications, 1996, p. 162)
Samuel Lee (a seventeenth century Rhode Island minister): It is agreed among all main lines of the English Church that the Roman pontiff is the Antichrist (Samuel Lee, The Cutting off of Antichrist, p. 1). (Standish CD, Standish RR. The Antichrist is Here. Hartland Publications, 1988, p. 16)
With all the ecumenical discussions going on these days, many Protestant leaders no longer seem to believe in the papal-antichrist position of many of their early leaders. But they should or they will not be able to tell Jesus Christ from the final Antichrist (watch also Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?).
It may be of interest to note that it was people in groups with COG ties that originally made the claim that the papal office was that of Antichrist.
Notice what the Catholic Cardinal Newman wrote about it in the 19th century:
Now, one of the first questions which it is natural to ask on entering upon the subject is, whereas the Pope is said to be Antichrist, sometimes from the fourth, sometimes from the seventh century, when was he first detected and denounced, and by whom?
On this point Dr. Todd supplies us with much information, from which it appears that the belief that the Pope was Antichrist was the conclusion gradually formed and matured out of the belief that the Church of Rome was Babylon, by three heretical bodies, between the eleventh and sixteenth centuries, in consequence of their being submitted to persecution for their opinions:
“In the middle of the eleventh century, numerous emigrants from Thrace and the East had established themselves in the north of Italy, and especially in the neighbourhood of Milan; and some, despising a fixed habitation, or unable to obtain one, itinerated throughout various parts of France and Germany. The doctrines of these sects exhibit various shades of extravagance and error, and appear to have had a close affinity with the Oriental Manichees or Paulicians, from whom they are historically descended…they despised all external religion, ridiculed the office and powers of the priesthood, the efficacy of the Sacraments, and especially the use of baptism.”—Pp. 28-30.
These were the Albigenses, the first of the three independent families of heresy above mentioned…It would appear from these that the Albigenses founded their opposition to the Church on a Manichæan principle, viz., that, as there was an evil deity, and he the author of the visible world, so was he author also of the visible Church, which in consequence was “the devil’s basilica and synagogue of Satan,” and, in the language of the Apocalypse, “the mother of fornications.” (Newman JH. The Protestant Idea of Antichrist. [British Critic, Oct. 1840]. Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman. Copyright © 2004 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. http://www.newmanreader.org/works/essays/volume2/antichrist1.html viewed 12/03/07).
What the Cardinal seems to be teaching is that beginning in the fourth-seventh century one or two groups apparently began to feel that the Pontifex Maximus was an antichrist and that one who calls himself Pontifex Maximus may be the final antichrist. The Roman bishops did not refer to themselves by the pagan title of Pontifex Maximus (literally meaning the “greatest bridge-builder” between mortals and the gods) until the late 4th century–hence that is probably why they began to be referred to as “anti-Christ” or at least his representative back then.
It is of interest to note that groups that traced their descent from the Paulicians were clearly teaching a version of the papal antichrist doctrine in the eleventh and later centuries. Some affiliated with the Paulicians and Albigenses were in the Church of God (see articles The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present; 2. The Smyrna Church Era was predominant circa 135 A.D. to circa 450 A.D. The Church led by Polycarp, Melito, Polycrates, etc.; 3. The Pergamos Church Era was predominant circa 450 A.D. to circa 1050 A.D. An especially persecuted Church; 4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition).–hence an understanding of the papal antichrist view has long been a Church of God view.
Although the Bible teaches that there are many antichrists, but that one will later be the Antichrist. And essentially all the antichrists preach a message different from John–hence we in the Churches of God recognize that to a degree, all false religious teachers claiming Christianity are antichrists–we do not limit this to Roman or Orthodox Catholic leaders (we also include Protestant leaders).
This seems to be consistent with what one group told Bernard the Inquisitor, in the early 14th century, who reported:
…they claim that there is a double Antichrist, one spiritual or mystical and the other the real, greater Antichrist…(Bernard Gui: Inquisitor’s Manual, Chapter 5. Translated by David Burr, History Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. http://phi.kenyon.edu/Projects/Margin/inquisit.htm 04/09/07).
As far as a spiritual or mystic antichrist and a later one, that is consistent with what the Apostle John taught in 1 John 2:18. The “spiritual antichrists” would be perhaps all false Christian leaders (this is not at all limited to Roman Catholic and Protestant leaders, it includes even some who claim to be in the Church of God), while the “real Antichrist” is the final MAJOR false prophetic leader.
For the record, I should state that I agree with certain Catholic leaders who have claimed that the final Antichrist will be some type of antipope (see Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies?).
Jesus DID NOT come so that the world would be united in this age. Notice what Jesus said:
51 ‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. (Luke 12:51, NJB).
Scripture warns against a coming ecumenical unity which it teaches will be successful:
4 They prostrated themselves in front of the dragon because he had given the beast his authority; and they prostrated themselves in front of the beast, saying, ‘Who can compare with the beast? Who can fight against it?’ 5 The beast was allowed to mouth its boasts and blasphemies and to be active for forty-two months; 6 and it mouthed its blasphemies against God, against his name, his heavenly Tent and all those who are sheltered there. 7 It was allowed to make war against the saints and conquer them, and given power over every race, people, language and nation; 8 and all people of the world will worship it, that is, everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the sacrificial Lamb’s book of life. 9 Let anyone who can hear, listen: 10 Those for captivity to captivity; those for death by the sword to death by the sword. This is why the saints must have perseverance and faith. (Revelation 13:4-10, NJB)
The Bible warns against an end time Babylon unity (Revelation 17:1-6; 18:1-9).
In Zechariah, the Bible warns against a coming Babylon and shows that proper unity will not happen until after Jesus returns:
10 Look out! Look out! Flee from the land of the north — Yahweh declares- for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven — Yahweh declares. 11 Look out! Make your escape, Zion, now living with the daughter of Babylon!
12 For Yahweh Sabaoth says this, since the Glory commissioned me, about the nations who plundered you, ‘Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye. 13 Now look, I shall wave my hand over them and they will be plundered by those whom they have enslaved.’ Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me! 14 Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion, for now I am coming to live among you -Yahweh declares! 15 And on that day many nations will be converted to Yahweh. Yes, they will become his people, and they will live among you. Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me to you! 16 Yahweh will take possession of Judah, his portion in the Holy Land, and again make Jerusalem his choice. (Zechariah 2:10-16, NJB; note in translations such as the NKJV these are shown as Zechariah 2:6-12)
The ecumenical and inter-faith movements that the Vatican and the Eastern Orthodox leaders are promoting are clearly condemned by the Bible and should not be encouraged.
The Bible itself warns against the type of ecumenical unity that Pope Francis and various Protestant leaders are working towards (e.g. Revelation 17). The Bible does not teach that Christians will have the type of unity that the Vatican claim to want UNTIL AFTER THE FALL OF BABYLON (Zechariah 2:10-13 NKJV; Zechariah 2:12-16 NJB).
The Bible tells that the ecumenical/inter-faith movement will also end in destruction (Revelation 18 & 19). This is not something that Catholics nor the Protestants should want. But Pope Francis keeps pushing for it.
Despite the Reformation rallying cry of sola Scriptura, the reality is that the Catholics of Rome and the Protestant both must ignore many scriptures for the type of reconciliation and unity that many are pushing for.
Only the return of Jesus Christ and the millennial kingdom will bring the true type of unity that the world needs. The Vatican and many of the Protestants are pushing for a type of unity that will end in disaster according to the Bible.
Our newest BNP video covers this and is available online: Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary.
Some items of possibly related interest may include:
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! and World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.