Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction!

By COGwriter

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?

Since the Continuing Church of God is not Protestant (see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants), why bother with any of this? Well the messages in the Bible are to be taken to all people (Matthew 28:19-20; Revelation 22:9-10), and since there are a couple of hundred million, at least nominal Protestants, they should to be told what is and what will affect them!

Background on the Ecumenical Movement

Growing up Roman Catholic, I remember the words to a hymn that went like the following (which is from my memory):

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. And we pray that our unity may one day be restored.

The prayer that the song makes reference to basically is for the non-Catholic faiths to accept the authority of the Vatican and cease to be separate from Rome. Specifically, the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant faiths, but also including others as well. I remember singing that hymn in the late 1960s. Which was after Vatican II, a conference that seemed to awaken many in the Roman Catholic Church to attempt to work towards overcoming theological divides between Rome and others.

Wikipedia had the following synposis about the ecumenical movement:

One understanding of the ecumenical movement is that it came from the Roman Catholic Church's attempts to reconcile with Christians who had become separated over theological issues. Others see the 1910 World Missionary Conference as the birthplace of the ecumenical movement. Others yet point to the 1920 encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarch Germanos of Constantinople “To the Churches of Christ Everywhere” that suggested a "fellowship of churches" similar to the League of Nations.

After World War I, which had brought much devastation to many people, the church became a source of hope to those in need. In 1948 the first meeting of the World Council of Churches took place. Despite the fact that the meeting had been postponed due to World War II, the council took place in Amsterdam with the theme of “Man’s Disorder and God’s Design”.

The focus of the church and the council following the gathering was on the damage created by the Second World War. The council and the movement went forward to continue the efforts of unity the church globally around the idea of helping all those in need whether it be a physical, emotional, or spiritual need. The movement led to an understanding amongst the churches that despite difference they could join together to be an element of great change in the world. To be an agent of hope and peace amongst the chaos and destruction that humans seem to create. More importantly the council and the movement lead to not only ecumenism but to the forming of councils amongst the denominations that connected churches across continental lines.

Today, the World Council of Churches sees its role as sharing "the legacy of the one ecumenical movement and the responsibility to keep it alive" and acting "as a trustee for the inner coherence of the movement". (Ecumenism. Wikipedia, viewed 02/27/14)

While other items could be added (and Vatican II is conspiciously missing), the reality is that the ecumenical movement is having major effects and impacts.

Involvement in other faiths used to be prohibited by Rome in canon 1258 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law:

  1. It is illicit for the faithful to assist at or participate in any way in non-Catholic religious functions.
  2. For a serious reason requiring, in case of doubt, the Bishop's approval, passive or merely material presence at non-Catholic funerals, weddings and similar occasions because of holding a civil office or as a courtesy can be tolerated, provided there is no danger of perversion or scandal.

But that changed after Vatican II, which had no corresponding canon. Now canon 1983 forbids Roman Catholic priests to concelebrate the Eucharist with members of communities which are not in full communion (canon 908), but allows, in certain circumstances and under certain conditions, other sharing in the sacraments. The Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 102 states: "Christians may be encouraged to share in spiritual activities and resources, i.e., to share that spiritual heritage they have in common in a manner and to a degree appropriate to their present divided state."

This was a major step by Rome to allow it to reach Protestants and others.

How Do Catholics Plan to Accomplish This?

The Catholics have an office called the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It is currently held by a former Swiss Bishop, now Cardinal, named Kurt Koch. He is supposed to have great insight with the "reformation" churches (meaning the Protestants) and also has held meetings with Eastern Orthodox leaders and others.

Over the past several decades, the Catholics have held a lot of ecumenical meetings. Other than important ones with the Eastern Orthodox and various Protestants, those involved with the Lutherans and Anglicans are more relevant to this article.

In terms of the Lutherans, two groundbreaking events of their ecumenical dialogue was a joint statement on the doctrine of Justification by Faith in 1983 and the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) on October 31, 1999. Here is part of the Preamble to the JDDJ:

1.The doctrine of justification was of central importance for the Lutheran Reformation of the sixteenth century. It was held to be the "first and chief article"[1] and at the same time the "ruler and judge over all other Christian doctrines."[2] The doctrine of justification was particularly asserted and defended in its Reformation shape and special valuation over against the Roman Catholic Church and theology of that time, which in turn asserted and defended a doctrine of justification of a different character. From the Reformation perspective, justification was the crux of all the disputes. Doctrinal condemnations were put forward both in the Lutheran Confessions[3] and by the Roman Catholic Church's Council of Trent. These condemnations are still valid today and thus have a church-dividing effect.

2.For the Lutheran tradition, the doctrine of justification has retained its special status. Consequently it has also from the beginning occupied an important place in the official Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue.

3.Special attention should be drawn to the following reports: "The Gospel and the Church" (1972)[4] and "Church and Justification" (1994)[5] by the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Joint Commission, "Justification by Faith" (1983)[6] of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue in the USA and "The Condemnations of the Reformation Era - Do They Still Divide?" (1986)[7] by the Ecumenical Working Group of Protestant and Catholic theologians in Germany. Some of these dialogue reports have been officially received by the churches. An important example of such reception is the binding response of the United Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Germany to the "Condemnations" study, made in 1994 at the highest possible level of ecclesiastical recognition together with the other churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany.[8]

4.In their discussion of the doctrine of justification, all the dialogue reports as well as the responses show a high degree of agreement in their approaches and conclusions. The time has therefore come to take stock and to summarize the results of the dialogues on justification so that our churches may be informed about the overall results of this dialogue with the necessary accuracy and brevity, and thereby be enabled to make binding decisions.

5.The present Joint Declaration has this intention: namely, to show that on the basis of their dialogue the subscribing Lutheran churches and the Roman Catholic Church[9] are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God's grace through faith in Christ. It does not cover all that either church teaches about justification; it does encompass a consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification and shows that the remaining differences in its explication are no longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations.

[1] The Smalcald Articles, II,1; Book of Concord, 292. [2] "Rector et judex super omnia genera doctrinarum" Weimar Edition of Luther's Works (WA), 39,I,205. [3] It should be noted that some Lutheran churches include only the Augsburg Confession and Luther's Small Catechism among their binding confessions. These texts contain no condemnations about justification in relation to the Roman Catholic Church. [4] Report of the Joint Lutheran-Roman Catholic Study Commission, published in Growth in Agreement (New York; Geneva, 1984), pp. 168-189. [5] Published by the Lutheran World Federation (Geneva, 1994). [6] Lutheran and Catholics in Dialogue VII (Minneapolis, 1985). [7] Minneapolis, 1990. [8] "Gemeinsame Stellungnahme der Arnoldshainer Konferenz, der Vereinigten Kirche und des Deutschen Nationalkomitees des Lutherischen Weltbundes zum Dokument 'Lehrverurteilungen - kirchentrennend?'," Ökumenische Rundschau 44 (1995): 99-102; See also the position papers which underlie this resolution, in Lehrverurteilungen im Gespräch, Die ersten offiziellen Stellungnahmen aus den evangelischen Kirchen in Deutschland (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993). [9] The word "church" is used in this Declaration to reflect the self-understandings of the participating churches, without intending to resolve all the ecclesiological issues related to this term.
(JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION by the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church.
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html viewed 02/27/14)

In the wake of the JDDJ of 1999, round XI, "The Hope for Eternal Life" is seen as a precursor leading up to a shared Lutheran/Roman Catholic commemoration of the October 31, 2017, 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of his 95 Theses. It appears that the Church of Rome and many of the Lutherans wish to declare an end to much of the theological divides between the two groups on or by October 31, 2017.

Some feel that the above agreement has already effectively eliminated Protestantism and that Protestants and Catholics are now unified as the 'justification doctrine' is seen by many to have been amongst the most significantly theological differences between Roman Catholicism and Martin Luther's movement.

In the 21st century, there were major strides towards moving towards acceptance of the Anglicans as well. On October 20, 2009, CNN reported that the Vatican announced that it would allow Anglicans (and American Episcopalians) to become part of the Church of Rome without having to change much of their practices and rituals (Messia H. and Hanna J. Vatican welcomes Anglicans into Catholic Church.  CNN, October 20, 2009.  http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/20/vatican.anglican.church/).

Yet this is in conflict with Catholic teachings. Pope Leo XIII declared in 1896, “ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void” (Pope Leo XIII: On the Nullity of Anglican Orders, Apostolicae Curae, 1896. Modern History Sourcebook. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1896leo13-apost.html)–which means for the Vatican to now accept those baptized, etc. by Anglican priests as Roman Catholic shows that compromise has occurred.   The Vatican of the 21st century has since amended its constitution to accept the Anglicans.

On November 9, 2009, an Episcopal cleric explained how this would work and clearly stated that this allows for “the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments … according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition” (Franklin. B. Vatican’s Apostolic Constitution explained.  Episcopal Life Online, November 9, 2009. http://www.episcopal-life.org/80050_116538_ENG_HTM.htm). 

That is not the only recent compromise. In April 2014, Fouad Twal, the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins, was interviewed by the pro-Vatican news agency Zenit Notice one question and his answer:

ZENIT: Beginning, perhaps, with us Christians, how do you regard the Holy Father’s steps towards rapprochement with the Eastern Churches? 

–Fouad Twal: One of our crosses here in the Holy Land is also the division of Christians. We have three great families, the Catholic, the Orthodox and the Reformers. We are thirteen Churches in total, each one with its own administration. Through our institutions, the Catholic Church has broken down these divisions, because we accept all Christians.

Before God and history, I feel responsible for the whole Christian community in the Holy Land, regardless of the rite. A rite can be richness, but it can never be a source of division. With the arrival of the Holy Father, who wishes to commemorate the meeting of 1964 (between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, ndr), I hope that this ecumenical movement will take on new life and hope. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/may-jerusalem-be-the-capital-of-the-world

The position of earlier pontiffs and bishops was that the Church of Rome did not accept all Christians, but only those who accepted the authority of the Roman pontiff.  Rome is more and more adopting an ecumenical stance.  A stance that many leaders in the Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches like. Historically, the Church of Rome has tended to consider those in groups like the Continuing Church of God as apostates, and will do so in the future.  It is those of the Greco-Roman persuasion that the current ecumenical movement considers to be ‘Christian,’ but the ecumenical movement errs in that as well (to learn more about the history of true Christianity, check out the free booklet (The Continuing History of the Church of God).

Much more ecumenical compromise is expected. But not just from the Church of Rome.

Rome has also been trying to reach Protestant leaders of various sorts, and with a certain amount of success. Notice, for example, something from an interview with Protestant author Dr. Alvin Plantinga by Zenit (a pro-Vatican news agency), in an article titled On a Catholic-Protestant Philosophical Alliance:

March 4, 2014

ZENIT: You've taught for nearly two decades at Notre Dame, one of America's foremost Catholic universities, and that, from within a Reformed (Calvinist) framework. This gives you a special vantage point from which to speak about the developments in ecumenism, at least those occurring within philosophy. Is there much dialogue of an ecumenical nature between Catholic and Protestant philosophers today, and if so, what are the most promising areas of dialogue between these two groups? 

Where do philosophers from these two traditions differ most?

Plantinga: In philosophy, there isn't much debate or difference of opinion between Catholic and Protestant philosophers; differences between Catholicism and Protestantism don't show up much at the level of philosophy (although on the whole Catholic philosophers seem to hold a higher opinion of Thomas Aquinas than Protestant philosophers do). There is more debate, within each of those philosophical communities, between philosophers who are more or less conservative or orthodox and those who are more or less liberal. Conservative Protestants have more in common with conservative Catholics than with liberal Protestants; conservative Catholics have more in common with conservative Protestants than with liberal Catholics...

I follow Augustine, in thinking that to do philosophy properly, one starts with the opinions one actually has, and investigates their interconnections, considers objections to them, tries to deepen your understanding of them and the like. This can obviously be of use to Christians, in that, for example, it can provide answers to objections to the Christian faith, and enable a deeper understanding of that faith, and enable one to see what implications that faith has for various philosophical questions. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/on-a-catholic-protestant-philosophical-alliance

Basically, Dr. Plantinga is expressing a greater acceptance of Catholicism with few real differences. His following of Augustine should set off alarms amongst Protestants, but few will realize that at many levels ecumenism is moving forward.

Anglican Bishop Palmer and Televangelist Kenneth Copeland's Reactions to JDDJ and Pope Francis

In February 2014, I watched a YouTube video where Kenneth Copeland endorsed Catholicism, and also had a visiting Anglican bishop speak (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehFpeVGLyxs) who was referring to JDDJ.  Here is something about it:

“The Catholic and Charismatic Renewal is the hope of the Church,” exclaims Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer, before a group of cheering followers at the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Palmer said those words are from the Vatican. Before playing the video message from Pope Francis to Kenneth Copeland, Palmer told the crowd, “When my wife saw that she could be Catholic, and Charismatic, and Evangelical, and Pentecostal, and it was absolutely accepted in the Catholic Church, she said that she would like to reconnect her roots with the Catholic culture. So she did.

The crowd cheered, as he continued, “Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?”

Even Kenneth Copeland finds this development incredible: Said Copeland, “Heaven is thrilled over this…You know what is so thrilling to me? When we went into the ministry 47 years ago, this was impossible.” http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/02/pope-to-copeland-catholics-and-charismatics-must-spiritually-unite/

Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer stated that Pope Francis told him that the Charismatics were the “hope of the Church.” He also called Pope Francis his spiritual father. Furthermore, Tony Palmer claimed that Jesus was ‘sacramental’ and implemented the sacraments, presumably referring to those that the Church of Rome uses. This is in severe biblical and historical error (notice one example in the article Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist?).

Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer made many ecumenical statements in the video. He also made a variety of positive statements about Pope Francis, whom he knew before Francis became Pope.

In this video, Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer and Kenneth Copeland encouraged ecumenical unity with Catholicism. They are endorsing this.

Tony Palmer also quoted an Elijah prophecy and indicated that ecumenism was what the final Elijah would endorse, and then he said:

I have come in the Spirit of Elijah...to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers...to prepare the way of the Lord...

Elijah will come before the Second Coming...

The spirit of Elijah is the spirit of reconciliation…We know for a thousand years, there was one church called the catholic church... Catholic does not mean Rome...

Redeem what belongs to you…We are Catholic…Division destroys our unity…Fear keeps us divided…most of that fear is based upon propaganda…Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protests are over…The protests have been over for 15 years…If there is no more protests, how can there be a Protestant church…We now teach the same gospel, we now teach the same faith…The protest is over, the protest is over.

The gospel that these groups teach is one that the Apostle Paul warned against. It needs to be understood that the Greco-Roman church was NOT Christ's church for the first 1000 years, there was a split no later than the second century (see some details in the free pdf booklet Continuing History of the Church of God). Tony Palmer is NOT here in the Spirit of Elijah (see also Elijah: Past and Prophesied and The Elijah Heresies). 

Tony Palmer mentioned that there was an agreement between the Church of Rome and Lutherans in 1999 that ended the primary disagreements between those groups.  That is why he declared that the protests were over and told people that they were once again Catholic.  But as those of us in the Continuing Church of God are not Protestant, nor do we trace our history through that movement, he was referring to Protestants such as himself.

After Tony Palmer spoke, a mainly translated message from Pope Francis was shown in which Francis said the following:

God is working all over the world… We are separated… We all share the blame… And let us pray to the Lord that He unites us all… Let God complete the job He has done... He will complete this miracle of unity.

Improper unity with those who do not teach the true gospel is NOT the work of God!

It also should be noted that the  ‘miracles’ associated with ecumenical unity are all warned against in the Bible (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 13:11-18).  As far as blame, yes the Church of Rome and the Protestants have a lot of blame, but the biggest blame is perhaps their failure to misunderstand the following:

3…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3)

Because they do not understand original and real Christianity, many falsely think that the Church of Rome had it before and has it now.  This is outrageous, but sadly what many think, including apparently Kenneth Copeland and the late Tony Palmer (he died July 20, 2014 as a result of a motorcycle accident).

Kenneth Copeland, after the papal message was shown, said the following related to Pope Francis and his message:

Glory, glory, glory…Father…we agree with him in his quest…for the unity of the body of faith.

After this, Kenneth Copeland began to speak gibberish (he would suggest he was speaking in tongues).  Kenneth Copeland then said, again mainly addressing the Pope (he was separately videoed then to send a message directly back to the Pope):

My dear sir… Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart… We love you… Our desire sir, is in the fourth chapter of the Book of the Ephesians…unity…

Thank you sir, we do bless and receive your blessing…We thank God for you…Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen, amen…

I'm telling you. I'm telling you right now. Heaven is thrilled over this.  Thank  you Lord.

Heaven, meaning God, is not thrilled by this.  Pope Francis not not God’s leader.

Notice that false leaders are warned against:

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.  (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.   (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

Kenneth Copeland, the late Bishop Palmer, and Pope Francis are false leaders.  Protestants, who have CLAIMED to believe in sola Scriptura (which Martin Luther did not really believe; see Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?), are already being deceived.  How much worse will it be when there are more false miracles?

Ecumenical unity is getting closer.  The Bible warns against it, but more and more Protestants are embracing it.  Do not embrace a false gospel, even if it might appear to have supernatural support (Galatians 1:6-9).  I have warned from the beginning of his pontificate that Pope Francis was ecumenical and needed to be watched.  He continues to take dangerous ecumenical steps, while some think he looks like a lamb, he actually speaks like a dragon (Revelation 13:11)–and so, to a degree, do his Protestant supporters.

A related video would be Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!

Pope Francis, himself, took another step towards the Pentecostals:

The Pope’s presence at a charismatic event in Rome’s Olympic stadium on Sunday was a Papal first and a widely anticipated event.

Fifty-two thousand people from 55 countries gathered for the 37th Annual National Convocation of “Renewal in the Spirit”. They welcomed Pope Francis' entry with loud applause and sang in Spanish “Vive Jesus, el Senor,” a hymn the Pope said he enjoyed greatly when he celebrated Mass in the cathedral of Buenos Aires with members of this movement.

Inaugurating the two-day event, which featured participation and addresses by senior Vatican officials and world leaders of the Renewal, Francis called upon the Renewal participants to “remember that the Church was born to go forth that morning of Pentecost, so go forth onto the streets and evangelize, proclaim the Gospel."

“Do not cage the Holy Spirit!,” he said. “Evangelization, spiritual ecumenism, attention to the poor and needy, and welcome to the marginalized,” is where their future efforts should be concentrated, he said.

Earlier, he surprisingly extended an invitation to the charismatics of the world to celebrate their 2017 Jubilee at the Vatican. (Invites Movement to Celebrate Jubilee at the Vatican in 2017. Zenit, June 2, 2014. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/francis-celebrates-charismatic-movement-at-rome-s-olympic-stadium)

The ecumenical movement is gaining traction and this will not end well for the Catholics or the Protestants.

And then Ken Copeland and others met with the Pope (the original report is in Italian, with the machine-translated English version below it):

Francesco si è incontrato con degli importanti ‘leaders evangelici’ per pianificare l’alleanza tra la Chiesa Cattolica Romana e gli Evangelici, o meglio sancire una «unità nella diversità». L’incontro si è tenuto il 24 giugno 2014 in Vaticano presso il Palazzo Santa Marta. Ecco i nomi di coloro che si sono incontrati con lui: John e Carol Arnott (fondatori di Catch The Fire), Kenneth Copeland (fondatore di KCM Ministries), James Robison (fondatore di Life Outreach Int.), Geoff Tunnicliffe (Capo della Worldwide Evangelical Alliance ossia l’Alleanza Evangelica Mondiale). C’era anche Tony Palmer (Vescovo della Communion Evangelical Episcopal Churches)...

USCITE E SEPARATEVI DALL’AEI. Guardatevi e ritiratevi da tutti coloro che promuovono questa diabolica alleanza o unità nella diversità.

Chi ha orecchi da udire, oda (http://giacintobutindaro.org/2014/06/26/francesco-incontra-predicatori-pentecostali/)

June 26, 2014

Francis met with the important 'evangelical leaders' plan for the alliance between the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical, or rather establish a "unity in diversity". The meeting was held at the Vatican June 24, 2014 at the Palace of Santa Marta. Here are the names of those who met with him: John and Carol Arnott (founder of Catch The Fire), Kenneth Copeland (founder of KCM Ministries), James Robison (founder of Life Outreach Int), Geoff Tunnicliffe (Head of Worldwide Evangelical Alliance that is the World Evangelical Alliance). There was also Tony Palmer (Bishop Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches)...

Shameful and scandalous.

LEAVE AND SEPARATE FROM THE AEI { l’Alleanza Evangelica Italiana}. Look and turn away from all those who promote this unholy alliance or unity in diversity.

The ecumenical movement is going forward, though some few are realizing some of the dangers of it.

Joel Osteen Meets the Pope and Endores His Message

In addition to Lutherans, Pentecostals, and Charismatics, Joel Osteen met with Pope Francis in 2014 (in his case, June 5th) and is pleased with the Pope's ecumenical agenda:

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Houston's Lakewood Church, was meeting Thursday with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Osteen said Friday it was a great honor to represent the pastors of America in the meeting with the pontiff, whom he described as warm, personable and full of joy.

"I like the fact that this pope is trying to make the church larger, not smaller," Osteen said. "He's not pushing people out but making the church more inclusive. That resonated with me."

The unofficial meeting also included Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; former U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne; Tim Timmons, a pastor and author based in Newport Beach, Calif.; and Gayle D. Beebe, president of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., according to the Deseret News of Salt Lake City. (Christian C. Osteen meets with Pope Francis at Vatican. June 6, 2014. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Osteen-meets-with-Pope-Francis-at-Vatican-5533805.php viewed 06/008/14)

Joel Osteen has a widely viewed television program and is a best selling author. He mainly preaches self-improvement on his telecast. Yet he is among the more influential Protestant leaders in the USA. More and more Protestants are supporting the Vatican's ecumenical agenda.

What Do Catholics Teach Will Happen to Protestants?

Catholics believe and teach that Protestants will eventually be eliminated and those who once were Protestant will become in unity with the Church of Rome.

This is also consistent with Catholic prophecies:

Father Laurence Ricci, S.J. (died 1775): ... a valiant duke will arise from the ancient German house which was humiliated by the French monarch. This great ruler will restore stolen Church property. Protestantism will cease... This duke will be the most powerful monarch on earth. At a gathering of men noted for piety and wisdom he will, with the aid of the Pope, introduce new rules, and ban the spirit of confusion. Everywhere there will be one fold and one shepherd." (Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p.37)

Anna-Katarina Emmerick (October 1, 1820): The Church is in great danger…The Protestant doctrine and that of the schismatic Greeks are to spread everywhere.  I now see that in this place (Rome) the (Catholic) Church is being so cleverly undermined, that there hardly remain a hundred or so priests who have not been deceived.  They all work for the destruction, even the clergy.  A great destruction is now at hand...

(April 22, 1823): I saw that many pastors allowed themselves to be taken up with ideas that were dangerous to the Church.  They were building a great, strange, and extravagant Church.  Everyone was admitted in it in order to be united and to have equal rights: Evangelicals, Catholics, sects of every description.  Such was to be the new Church (Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973, pp. 66, 71).

Bernhardt Rembordt (18th century). "Cologne will be the site of a terrible battle...At that time France will be divided. The German Empire will choose a simple man as the Emperor, who will rule for a short time. His successor will be the man for whom the world has longed. He will be called a "Roman Emperor," and he will give peace to the world. A good and happy era will follow. God will be praised on earth, and war will be no more." (Dupont, pp.34-35)

Werdin d' Otrante (13th century): "The Great Monarch and the Great Pope will precede Antichrist...All the sects will vanish. The capital of the world will fall...The Great Monarch will come and restore peace and the Pope will share in the victory." (Connor, p. 33).

According to an Eastern Orthodox, Byzantine prophet, the final (the Eastern Orthodox recognize seven previous ones) ecumenical synod council satisfies what “heretics” want:

Saint Nelios the Myrrh-Gusher (died 1592): During that time the Eighth and last Ecumenical Synod will take place, which will satisfy the contentions of the heretics…(Tzima Otto, H.  The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Scriptural Prophecies.  Verenikia Press, Rock Hill (SC), 2000, pp. 5-6, p. 111).

By satisfying “heretics”, clearly this council compromises and changes the religion, which will be called “Catholic.”  If heretics are truly heretics, should their complaints be satisfied? Protestants need to be concerned that some meetings may attempt to accept some of their doctrines, but accepting unity with Rome will be a mistake.

The Bible warns about a leader who “he shall think himself able to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25, Douay-Rheims). The Catholic saint Jerome wrote that this leader was the King of the North (in his commentary on Daniel 11) and Antichrist (in his commentary on Daniel 7 as he, like many, confused the two):

". . .And he shall crush the saints of the Most High, and will suppose himself to be able to alter times and laws." The Antichrist will wage war against the saints and will overcome them; and he shall exalt himself to such a height of arrogance as to attempt changing the very laws of God and the sacred rites as well..." (Jerome. Commentary on Daniel, Chapter 7. Translated by Gleason L. Archer. (1958). http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/jerome_daniel_02_text.htm viewed 07/30/11)

(The Beast/King of the North is primarily a political-military leader who will persecute the saints, per Daniel 11:30-35, while the final Antichrist is primarily a religious leader per 1 John 4:1-3 who will support that Beast per Revelation 13:12.)

But if an antipope convened/attended an ecumenical synod that satisfied heretics, would he not also be supportive of changing laws? Many Catholic prophecies warn about an antipope who will arise and who could be the final Antichrist (see the book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect as well as the one The Last Pope for details).

One Catholic nun foretold of a time when some agreement would deceive many:

Jeanne le Royer (died 1798):  One day I heard a voice which said, ‘The new Constitution will appear to many other than what it really is.  They will bless it as a gift from heaven; whereas it is really a gift from {haydes} and permitted by God in His just wrath.  It will only be by its effects that people will be led to recognize the Dragon who wanted to destroy all and devour all (Dupont, p. 53).  

Whether this is a reference to some type of power agreement with the Beast (Revelation 17:12-13) or the ecumenical council (cf. Revelation 13:1-4), notice that it is expected to be satanic (Satan is the Dragon, per Revelation 12:9).

A Catholic prophecy shows that after its church is changed (reformed below), the Orthodox will come back:

Roger Bacon (died 1294): There shall arise a…priest to reform the Church.  The Greeks will return (to the Church)…there will be one fold, one shepherd (Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times, p. 149).

Catholics have long considered Protestantism as false and dangerous:

Priest P. Kramer (21st century): Pope St. Pius V teaches in his Catechism, the Roman Catechism — also known as the Catechism of the Council of Trent — that all of the Protestant religions are false religions, they’re inspired by the devil; and therefore their fruits are evil…The Protestant religions, as such, are inspired by the devil, as Pope St. Pius V teaches in his catechism. (Kramer P. The Imminent Chastisement for Not Fulfilling Our Lady’s Request. An edited transcript of a speech given at the Ambassadors of Jesus and Mary Seminar in Glendale, California, September 24, 2004. THE FATIMA CRUSADER Issue 80, Summer 2005, pp. 32-45 http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr80/cr80pg32.asp viewed 4/15/08 )

Frederick William Faber (died 1863): Protestantism {is} an anticipation of Antichrist… All its sects unite against the Church. (Connor, p. 88)

Pope Pius V’s late 16th century Catechism says only the Catholic church is faithful and has salvation, with others (like Protestants) part of the “false Church”:

The third mark of the Church is that she is Catholic…To this Church, “built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets”, belong all the faithful who have existed from Adam to the present day, or who shall exist…She is, also, called universal, because all who desire eternal salvation must cling to and embrace her, like those who entered the ark, to escape perishing in the flood…This, therefore, is to be taught as a most reliable criterion, by which to distinguish the true from a false Church…

The true Church is also to be recognised from her origin, which can be traced back under the law of grace to the Apostles; for her doctrines are neither novel nor of recent origin, but were delivered, of old, by the Apostles, and disseminated throughout the world. Hence, no one can, for a moment, doubt that the impious opinions which heresy invents, opposed, as they are, to the doctrines taught by the Church from the days of the Apostles to the present time, are very different from the faith of the true Church…But as this one Church, because governed by the Holy Ghost, cannot err in faith or morals, it necessarily follows, that all other societies arrogating to themselves the name of Church, because guided by the spirit of darkness, are sunk in the most pernicious errors both doctrinal and moral. (The Catechism of the Council of Trent: published by command of Pope Pius the fifth , pp. 77-78)

Related to that last paragraph above, it needs to be understood that by making those claims, Pope Pius V seems to be saying that the true Church should not have changed the doctrines of the Apostles.  And while that is true of the most faithful of the Church of God, it cannot be said of the Church of Rome (see Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?) or the Protestants (see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants).

All (Church of God, Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise) should be careful, compare their teachings with the Bible, pray to God, and not accept doctrines that are unbiblical for the sake of this coming ecumenical unity.

Perhaps, I should add here, that the Eastern Orthodox believe that the Church of Rome will compromise and change to accept their doctrinal differences--and based upon discussions I have had with them, I believe a lot of that is true.. For details, and additonal information, please check out the article Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? and watch the video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?

Does the Bible Warn Against This?

The Bible warns about a leader who will have worldwide support, including religious leaders that will support him:

4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world…

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:4-8, 11-18)

36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. (Daniel 11:36-39)

The foundational steps for this are taking place now.  Between Anglicans and Charistmatics now, and what Pope Francis, along with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is doing, this antichrist movement is moving forward.

Now that the Bible clearly warns against the Babylonian system:

2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury."

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:2-5)

That is the system that the ecumenical movement trying to prop up.

Rome Considers Itself to Be the Mother Church

Nearly all familiar with the Book of Revelation realize that it contains the following statements:

3 And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.

18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:3-6, 9, 18).

Even Catholic scholars admit that Rome has seven mountains/hills (Tertullian even called it that in the early part of the third century when he wrote “I appeal to the inhabitants of Rome themselves, to the native population of the seven hills“) and that it seems to fit the description in the Book of Revelation (which they normally call the Apocalpyse):

…the Apocalypse was an inexhaustible quarry where to dig for invectives that they might hurl then against the Roman hierarchy. The seven hills of Rome, the scarlet robes of the cardinals, and the unfortunate abuses of the papal court made the application easy and tempting (Van den Biesen, Christian. “Apocalypse.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 27 Feb. 20145 Oct. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01594b.htm>).

Note: some Protestant scholars falsely teach that this is referring to Babylon in Iraq–this is wrong because the Iraqi Babylon is located on a flat plain and not seven hills or mountains like Rome is).

Are you aware that the Church of Rome has made statements indicating that it is the Mother of the World’s Churches and that those groups that came out of her (like the Protestants and somewhat according to the Romans, the Orthodox ) are her daughters?

Catholic Church Claims to Be Mother
Inscription in the Basilica of St. John Lateran

Notice the above inscription, which I have personally seen on at least two trips to Rome on the outside of what, in certain respects, is the most important Cathedral for Rome. Below it is translated from the Latin:

Sacred Lateran Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World

That inscription is in Latin in the Basilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, that contains its papal throne (Cathedra Romana) and is the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope (it ranks above all other churches in the Roman Catholic Church, even above St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican).

So it is clear that the Vatican claims to be the Mother of the World’s Churches.  And Babylon certainly is the Mother of the WORLD’s churches.  However, it is NOT the mother of the Church of God which preceded the formation of the Church of Rome (see The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 and Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome) and did not come from the Church of Rome.

Notice what the Church of Rome considers those in other churches to be:

The Dominus Iesus declaration, which has been written by a close aide of Pope John Paul II, says that the Roman Catholic church is the “mother” of all Christian denominations and that it is incorrect to refer to the Church of England and other Protestant churches as “sister” organisations on a par with Rome. (Vatican declaration provokes churches.  BBC, September 5, 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/910612.stm)

Perhaps I should add here that since the Church of Rome so highly condemns the beliefs of the Continuing Church of God as essentially apostate, it does not really consider itself to be its mother–which of course it is not.

Hence while the Bible is clear that there will be a false church, based out of the city of seven hills (Rome), who will somehow be a mother of abominations, the Church of Rome itself acknowledges that Rome is the city of seven hills, is the mother of worldly churches, and considers other churches to be its daughters.

Since most Protestant scholars admit that their religion sprang out of Rome, this should give them pause.

And for those Protestants who do not believe that their religion came out of the Greco-Romans, they should look into the beliefs and practices of the early faithful church and compare what they believe now to what the early true church believed (see The History of Early Christianity).  For if they do that, they will find that they have a lot more in common with the Greco-Roman religion than the true religion of Jesus Christ and His immediate followers.

A Warning to Evangelicals from Two and Another from an Eastern Orthodox Supporter

Some act like the Church of Rome is a true Christian church. Yet, notice what a former Catholic, now a type of evangelical wrote:

Christians are called to walk according to the truth which means, as they become more and more passionate for the truth, they will turn away from any falsehood that stands opposed to God's Word.

One of Catholicism's false practices is described as a doctrine of demons in the Bible. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote that some will "depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons through the insincerity of liars whose consciences have been seared who forbid people to marry" (1 Tim. 4:1-4). Catholicism is the only religion that names the name of Christ and forbids its clergy to marry, thus proving that some of its teachings are directly opposed to Scripture.

Another reason true converts must leave Catholicism is that it demands submission of every person's will and intellect to the bishops' teachings. Catholic bishops are said to be the only authentic instructors and teachers of the faith, and Catholics are bound to adhere to their teaching with a religious submission of the mind (Canon Law, 753). 

A third reason to leave is that the Word of God condemns the Catholic clergy for preaching another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). The Catholic plan of salvation nullifies God's saving grace by adding works, sacraments, purgatory and law-keeping to the Gospel. (Gendron M. Why Can't Born Again Christians Remain in the Catholic Church? Proclaiming the Gospel, July 1, 2014)

There are other issues, but the above should give people pause.

While some may think that all of this ecumenical unity between the Greco-Roman-Protestant churches is not possible or really happening, the reality is that it is.

Furthermore, some have warned about this for years. Years ago (in 2009), in my book, 2012 and the Rise of the Secret, I had the following related mainly to Protestants:

While some Catholics are concerned that a change to their faith will occur, even atheists, Protestants, Orthodox, and others should also be concerned about this…

Notice that one evangelical Protestant has predicted that there will be a collapse of evangelicals within a decade because of compromise and limited biblical confidence—and that many will join the Catholics and/or Orthodox:

Michael Spencer (2009): We are on the verge—within 10 years—of a major collapse of evangelical Christianity. This breakdown will follow the deterioration of the mainline Protestant world and it will fundamentally alter the religious and cultural environment in the West… Millions of Evangelicals will quit…massive majorities of Evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence…Even in areas where Evangelicals imagine themselves strong (like the Bible Belt), we will find a great inability to pass on to our children a vital evangelical confidence in the Bible and the importance of the faith… Two of the beneficiaries will be the Roman Catholic and Orthodox communions. Evangelicals have been entering these churches in recent decades and that trend will continue, with more efforts aimed at the “conversion” of Evangelicals to the Catholic and Orthodox traditions… (Spencer M.  The coming evangelical collapse. The Christian Science Monitor, from the March 10, 2009 edition.  http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0310/p09s01-coop.html viewed 03/13/09)

And the above is not even including the fact that those “Catholic and Orthodox communions” will themselves likely come together and change under the guise of the ecumenical movement that will strengthen in Europe—an ecumenical movement that news events show is occurring…

Since Vatican II (a major Catholic ecumenical council that ran from 1962–1965), many Catholics have been justifiably concerned that doctrinal compromise for the sake of ecumenical unity with those outside of fellowship of Rome was inevitable. (Thiel B. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret. Nazarene Books, Arroyo Grande, 2009)

And that was not the only warning I published from others. Notice also in my book, 2012 and the Rise of the Secret, this time from an Eastern Orthodox writer:

Even some Eastern Orthodox writers have been concerned that apparitions of “Mary” will be used as an ecumenical symbol for a false unity for Catholics, Muslims, and others that will lead people to follow the final Antichrist:

Peter Jackson  (20th century): To which Mary are Muslims and Protestants being drawn?... Rome began to see her more and more as a "goddess," a fourth Hypostasis of the Trinity…Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a "One World Church," the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apparently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the "new Christ" with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.

(Thiel B. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret. Nazarene Books, Arroyo Grande, 2009)

Notice something else from a book published in 2012 called Fatima Shock!:

Bishop Kennedy of the Celtic Orthodox Church wrote:

The great deceiver of Fatima promises salvation to those who embrace devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary… We can be very certain that God did not send Mary to earth to change God's eternal plan of salvation. It is just this kind of deceit that leads to other false statements about Mary; Mediatrix of all graces etc. The devil's deceit is felt far and wide within the Church as is evidenced in the number of well meaning but deceived souls proclaiming Mary is Mediatrix of all graces. How would have such a statement sounded to the Apostles? This salvation we enjoy is from God in Christ; “The man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as ransom for all". (1 Timothy 2:1, 3-6 NAB)… We should STOP THE DEVIL in his tracks and proclaim the vision of Fatima to be a fraud, a work of the devil and an abomination to God, Mary and to the Church.

Yet, many who believe that she saw Mary of the Bible in Fatima seem to overlook the fact that Lúcia continually promoted positions contrary to the Bible and the early church. Thiel B. Fatima Shock! Nazarene Books, Arroyo Grande, 2012)

Pope Francis continues to try to turn people to his version of Mary (see Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?) and this will sadly, also impact Protestants. What is astounding is that many Protestants are turning to Rome now, even without seeing signs and lying wonders, but with Pope Francis reaching out so much to 'Mary.' Many more will once those signs and wonders become more prevalent, including, likely apparitions that people will claim to be Mary (see also and/or get the book Fatima Shock!).

The Bible Warns Against the Expected Unity

Jesus did come to bring worldwide unity in this age:

51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. (Luke 12:51)

The Bible shows that a false ecumenical unity will come (Revelation 13:4-8).

Notice also:

6 "Up, up! Flee from the land of the north," says the Lord; "for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven," says the Lord. 7 "Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon." (Zechariah 2:6-7)

Notice that even true believers are warned to get away from this.

While the true Christian faith will continue (Matthew 16:18), Protestantism as most understand it is doomed. Please, if you are Protestant, believe what the Bible actually teaches, turn to God, and resist the coming, more powerful, ecumenical appeals which will deceive all but the very elect (Matthew 24:24).

It is after Babylon falls and Jesus returns that true Christian unity will occur (Zechariah 2:10-11). Do not be deceived by the Babylonian ecumenical movement. The Bible warns that nearly all on the earth in the final end times will (2 Thessalonian 2:9-12).

Thiel B. Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! http://www.cogwriter.com/protestant-ecumenism.htm (c) 2014 0728

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