Revelation 4 – The Heavenly Worship & The History of the Catholic Church

Finger Pointing UpThe four men that I think did the most to spread the word of Jesus Christ are:

The Apostle Paul
Martin Luther
John Bunyan
George Muller.

We are finished with the Catholic Church, for now.  Tomorrow we’re going to take another look at the United States and the problem with…

Revelation 4
The Heavenly Worship

1 This chapter
This chapter begins a new phase in the book of Revelation.
The church plays a prominent role in the first three chapters, mentioned over 18 times.

After chapter 3, the church is not referred to again until chapter 22:16.

In chapter 4, John the Apostle, called up to heaven, reports to the reader what he sees and hears.
John is the eyes and ears of the believer.

Chapter 4 presents the reader with the throne of God and events taking place in Heaven.

This begins a chain of events leading to the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who Rev 19 pictures as conquering King.

From chapter 4, we see God’s throne and the events surrounding it.

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

4:1-5:14 – these two chapters constitute an introduction to chapters 6-20.  In the throne room of heaven, the Lamb assumes the responsibility of initiating the great final conflict with the forces of evil, the end of which will see the Lamb triumphant and the devil consigned to the lake of fire.

“Things which must be hereafter” – indicates events that are yet to come.

2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

“Jasper…sardine…emerald” – since God dwells in “the Light which no man can approach” and is one “whom no man hath seen, nor can see” (1 Tim 6:16).

He is described in terms of the reflected brilliance of precious stones – an emerald rainbow around the throne (cf. Eze 1:26:28).  In the Old Testament the rainbows a symbol of divine hope and a promise for the future (Gen 9:13-15).

4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

“Four and twenty elders” – representative of either the whole company of believers in heaven or an exalted angelic order worshiping the serving God there.

The number 24 is often understood to reflect the 12 Israelite tribes of the Old Testament and the 12 apostles of the New Testament.

5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

“Lightnings…thunderings…burning” – symbolic of the awesome majesty and power of God (cf. the manifestation of God at Sinai, Ex 19:16-19).

2 The throne
The throne of God exists in the clouds.
It is the “cloud of witnesses” where people are gathered together with one true pure heart, and in one name to adore and worship God.

When the true saints of God gather to worship this way, from the very throne of their hearts there proceeds a testimony and a sounding out of the true message that has the effect of “lightnings and thunderings” upon both the saved and unsaved.

Lightning is the bright and powerful light of Almighty God and his Gospel when it is first received!
When the Apostle Paul was converted on the road to Damascus, he was blinded by the light of Jesus Christ from heaven! (Acts 9:1-6).

In Revelation, thunder and lightening always mark an important event connected with the heavenly temple (8:5, 11:19, 16:18).

6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

“Four beasts” – an exalted order of angelic beings whose task is to guard the heavenly throne and lead in worship and adoration of God.

“Full of eyes” – nothing escapes their attention.

7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

Ezekiel in a vision also saw four living creatures, each of which had four faces – human in front, lion on the right, ox on the left, and eagle behind (Eze 1:6, 10).

8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

9 And when those beasts give glory and honor and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever,

10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

3 Cast their crowns“Cast their crowns” – acknowledgment that God alone is worthy of ultimate praise and worship.

11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

The History of the Catholic Church

I have no literature/books about the history of the Catholic Church and I’ve searched over a dozen different sites. 

4 Pieter Brueghel’s
Pieter Brueghel’s painting of the Tower of Babel
Mystery Babylon and the EU

Our world is witnessing the spirit of Babylon rising once again, where man is seeking to glorify himself at the expense of God.

The modern word which describes this phenomenon is “humanism”. Yet the idea is anything but modern.

The manifestations of humanism, and its prideful path can be traced all the way back to ancient Babylon.

There, on the banks of the Euphrates River, Nimrod, the King of Babylon, and his seductive Queen, Semiramis, oversaw the building of a huge and unholy architectural monstrosity, the Tower of Babel.

This story, out of Gen 11:1-9, has delivered into the English language the word “babble” which reflects the confusion of speech that God imposed on the world at that time.

I am not certain about the term “Babble” this is the first time I have heard of this, but I’m not saying it isn’t possible.

The Scripture tells us that “the whole earth had one language and one speech.”

The reason God intervened to confuse speech and scatter them over the face of the earth was to prevent mankind fulfilling its immediate aim – to establish a One World Order and unite all nations and peoples in the worship of Lucifer, the deity recognized by the ancients under such names as Baal, Marduk, and Nebo.

Today, our planet is experiencing a great revival of the style of government and worship that was the norm in Nimrod’s Babylon.

This was prophesied to occur in Reve 17 & 18 (we will talk about the Whore of Babylon at that time) where we find that this End Times phenomenon is described as the rising of Mystery Babylon.

All but one of them, which include Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica, says that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church, but I know that it is not true.

NOTE: I find Wikipedia good for the purpose of finding others sites that have factual proof. Anyone can say whatever they choose for Wikipedia, so be careful. 

I know it’s not true because for one thing, “All good things come from God”:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas 1:17).

There is nothing good about the Catholics.  Of course, God made us too and we are not good, but we were when He created us and we have the potential to be good.  The Catholic Church did not come from heaven, it came from hell, and there is no good in it.

Of course, the Catholics tell people that the Catholic Church was established in 1 A.D., because they say that Jesus founded the church when He said:

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18).

It’s sad that so many people believe that lie.  The church Jesus was talking about was His church, i.e., people that believe in Him.  There is not a religion or a building for God’s Church; Jesus’ Church is those that accept Him as their Lord and Savior.

But I can see it back then, after the Pharisees and Sadducees crucified Jesus then they tried to butter up Peter and make him the Pope of their wicked religion.  But Peter told them:

“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock” (I Pet 5:3).

There was no way Peter was going to try and run rickshaw over Jesus, only fools do that.  That would be like running head on against a Mack Truck.

One site that I found said that the Catholics came in existence in 742 by Pepin the Younger, also known as Pepin the Short, who was the king of the Franks from 752-768 when he died.

Some suggest that the Catholics came into existence during the Hellenistic Period, which was shortly after Alexander the Great died (323 B.C.). 

After Alexander the Great’s ventures in the Persian Empire, Hellenistic kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia (Seleucid Empire, Kingdom of Pergamon) and north-east Africa (Ptolemaic Kingdom). 

This resulted in the export of Greek culture and language to these new realms, and moreover Greek colonists themselves.

Equally, however, these new kingdoms were influenced by the indigenous cultures, adopting local practices where beneficial, necessary, or convenient.

Hellenistic culture thus represents a fusion of the Ancient Greek world with that of the Near East, Middle East, and Southwest Asia, and a departure from earlier Greek attitudes towards “barbarian” cultures.

I somewhat, but not fully, agree with the above statement.  I believe that the Catholic Church is an offshoot from Judaism.

Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in the ancient world that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture.

5 EU Building
EU Building in Strasbourg
Nearly 500 years later, the concept and architecture of that which Pieter Brueghel’s imagined has been reproduced in real life by none other than the European Union.

The EU building in Strasbourg is modeled on the original Tower of Babel as painted by Brueghel (image directly above).

The logic behind this symbolism is the EU says it is seeking to “build up the house of Europe”- a task yet to be completed.

The building is complete and in use, but is designed to look unfinished, and even has ringed platforms to represent scaffolding.

Here is the scary part.
A reporter questioning “Why the Tower of Babel” as a design concept, was answered in an astounding way by an EU official.

He said, “What they failed to complete 3000 years ago – we in Europe will finish now!”

Here we see the staggering proof of this New One World Order (this leads to a different site then the one mentioned above) in its formative, yet rapidly advancing stages.

Until the fall of the Roman Empire and the Muslim conquests of the Eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria (Egypt) and Antioch (Northern Syria—now Turkey), the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa area, both founded at the end of the 4th century BCE in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great.

Hellenistic Judaism also existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists (sometimes called Judaizers).

The decline of Hellenistic Judaism started in the 2nd century CE, and its causes are still not fully understood.

It may be that it was eventually marginalized by, partially absorbed into or became progressively the Koiné-speaking core of “Early Christianity” centered on Antioch and its “universalist” tradition.

There are disagreements between scholars about the Apostle Paul and his religion:

The relationship between Paul the Apostle and Second Temple Judaism continues to be the subject of much scholarly research, as it is thought that Paul played an important role in the relationship between Christianity and Judaism as a whole.

Paul’s influence on Christian thinking is said to be more significant than any other New Testament author.

Some scholars see Paul (or Saul) as completely in line with 1st century Judaism (a “Pharisee” and student of Gamaliel or as part of Hellenistic Judaism), others see him as opposed to 1st century Judaism, while the majority see him as somewhere in between these extremes, opposed to “Ritual Laws,” but in full agreement on “Divine Law”.

I don’t understand the confusion or the purpose of finding an answer here because the Bible makes it very clear.

Prior to Paul’s meeting with Jesus his name was Saul and a Pharisee, and he was nothing more than a snake.  I’m sure he was a Judaist or a Catholic or some other pagan religion.

The Book of Acts, in my opinion, shows that Saul was an ego-maniac and a “legal” murderer (the United States government certainly would have hired him).

Yet, once he had the “meeting of the minds” with Jesus he became the number one servant to Christ.  He butted heads with anyone that stood against Jesus.  What more is there to say?

Here’s an interesting read about the Catholics, Hellenism and Hitler:

Nazis, Catholics & Alexander’s Hellenists:
Symbols, Beliefs & Gods

6 If Hellenization
If Hellenization is a process, it must have at one extreme the purely Greek culture, religion and all.
At the other extreme was a stubborn adherence to the rules imposed by Ezra.

Judaist Palestinian Jews, “the Hebrews”, had reason for concern when they saw their temple taken over by “the Greeks”—Hellenized Jews.

Judaist It was only a question of time before Yehouah became Zeus, and surely that is the point about the “Abomination of Desolation”.

Judaist It is simplistic to say that “Jews were unique and did not lose their identity”.

Judaist The early success of Christianity was precisely because it appealed to those Hellenized Jews that were crossing the boundary from Judaism.

Those (hidden from most historical accounts) deviant sexual habits running rampant in Germany during the Catholic rule of the Nazi era actually connect that reign to ancient Greek Hellions paganism, continuing from Alexander’s Empire.

Hellenism’s multi-god, sexual “freedom” types of worship spread from Alexander’s Empire into the succeeding Roman Empire.  Many of those worship practices envelope into The Catholic Church of the Holy Roman Empire.

Usually when historians discuss the Nazi swastika, they relate it to American Indian symbols.  Seldom is its relationship to the Hellenistic Thracian-pin well-known throughout Alexander’s kingdom. 

However, this symbolism correctly relates Hitler’s reign to Hellenistic paganism.

Moreover, Hitler’s strict rearing in Catholicism, particularly the Jesuits, harken back to Hellenism.  Another important symbol connecting Catholicism to Hellenism is pagan multi-god worship at home altars or shrines.

Consider John Henry’s article, ‘The Domestic Church: 7 Steps to a Proper Catholic Home,’ which makes this strange statement: “The true head of the Catholic home is Christ, just as the Head of the Church is the Supreme Pontiff, His Holiness.”  Hmmm. Strange, God’s Word says Christ is the Head of the Church:

“. . . as the church is subject unto Christ” (Eph 5: 24).

“He is the Head of the Body, the Church” (Col 1: 24).

“And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church” (Eph 1: 22).

If you are interested in seeing how close the Catholics and Hitler were, aside from what I had said yesterday, go here. 

As I had said before, I think the Catholics is a by-product of Judaism and I believe its original home – where the evilness that we see today began – was in Babylon.

Babylon is a very old city:

The earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2334- 2279 BC), dating back to the 23rd century BC.  But it didn’t become an empire until around 612 B.C.

The Catholics are pagans and are the number one idolaters of the world, e.g., the rosary, the Virgin Mary, the Pope, etc.

7 Priest wand
Priest wand, or Thracian pin.
Notice the Swastika symbol in the center.

According to Madgearu these bird-head/ring-bottom sticks are likely distaffs for spinning thread, though they may be a form of hair pin.

The bird at top is usually thought to be a dove.

They have been found all along the Rhine and Danube Limes, in Spain, in Switzerland and in the Near East.

In many old works they were usually dated to the 5th-6th A.D.

However, Madgearu reports on one which has been contextually dated to the mid-3rd c A.D. – buried in a Romanian site destroyed in A.D. 245.

It is thought that they are the later Christian version of earlier sticks, often in bone, with Venus at the top.

The dove was a representation of Venus that was then retained as a representation of the Holy Ghost in Christian times.

Madgearu then lists 25 different archaeological finds of these sticks.

These are dated, when known, to the 4th – 6th c A.D.

Thus you have a woman’s distaff or hair pin used from the 3rd to the 6th century A.D. throughout much of the Roman Empire and the post-Roman Byzantine and neighboring worlds.

Martin Luther Against the Catholic Church

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany, in 1483, and went on to become one of Western history’s most significant figures.

Luther spent his early years in relative anonymity as a monk and scholar. But in 1517 Luther penned a document attacking the Catholic Church’s corrupt practice of selling “indulgences” to absolve sin.

His “95 Theses,” which propounded two central beliefs:

1. The Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds.

2. Sparking the Protestant Reformation. Although these ideas had been advanced before, Martin Luther codified them at a moment in history ripe for religious reformation.

The Catholic Church was ever after divided, and the Protestantism that soon emerged was shaped by Luther’s ideas. His writings changed the course of religious and cultural history in the West.

Martin Luther’s career plan, or at least his father’s plan for him, was to become a lawyer, but one night, but…

In July of that 1505, Luther got caught in a violent thunderstorm, in which a bolt of lightning nearly struck him down.

He considered the incident a sign from God and vowed to become a monk if he survived the storm. The storm subsided, Luther emerged unscathed and, true to his promise, Luther turned his back on his study of the law days later on July 17, 1505. Instead, he entered an Augustinian monastery.

You do not have to promise God anything, but if you do He’ll hold you to it:

“But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee” (Deut 23:22).

“When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee” (Deut 23:21).

“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed” (Ecc 5:4).

Martin Luther
Questions the
Catholic Church

In early 16th-century Europe, some theologians and scholars was beginning to question the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

It was also around this time that translations of original texts—namely, the Bible and the writings of the early church philosopher Augustine—became more widely available.

8 This statue of
This statue of Martin Luther stands near the restored Frauenkirche in Dresden, Germany.
The Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.

Its religious aspects were supplemented by ambitious political rulers who wanted to extend their power and control at the expense of the Church.

The Reformation ended the unity imposed by medieval Christianity and, in the eyes of many historians, signaled the beginning of the modern era.

In 1517, in one of the signal events of western history, Martin Luther posted 95 theses on a church door in the university town of Wittenberg.

That act was common academic practice of the day and served as an invitation to debate.

Luther’s propositions challenged some portions of Roman Catholic doctrine and a number of specific practices.

The movement quickly gained adherents in the German states, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Scotland and portions of France.

Support came from sincere religious reformers, while others manipulated the movement to gain control of valuable church property.

“The term Protestant was not initially applied to the reformers, but later was used to describe all groups protesting Roman Catholic orthodoxy.”

As the hope of reforming the Roman church faded, the “protestants” were forced to separate from Roman Catholicism resulting in Lutheran churches in Germany, Scandinavia and some eastern European countries, the Reformed churches in Switzerland and the Netherlands, Presbyterian churches in Scotland, and the Anglican church in England, and other diverse elements all of which have evolved into the Protestant denominations of today.

Augustine (340–430) had emphasized the primacy of the Bible rather than Church officials as the ultimate religious authority.

He also believed that humans could not reach salvation by their own acts, but that only God could bestow salvation by his divine grace. In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church taught that salvation was possible through “good works,” or works of righteousness, that pleased God.

Luther came to share Augustine’s two central beliefs, which would later form the basis of Protestantism.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church’s practice of granting “indulgences” to provide absolution to sinners became increasingly corrupt.

Indulgence-selling had been banned in Germany, but the practice continued unabated. In 1517, a friar named Johann Tetzel began to sell indulgences in Germany to raise funds to renovate St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Luther the Heretic

On November 9, 1518 the pope condemned Luther’s writings as conflicting with the teachings of the Church. One year later a series of commissions were convened to examine Luther’s teachings.

The first papal commission found them to be heretical, but the second merely stated that Luther’s writings were “scandalous and offensive to pious ears.”

Finally, in July 1520, Pope Leo X issued a papal bull (public decree) that concluded that Luther’s propositions were heretical and gave Luther 120 days to recant in Rome.

Luther refused to recant, and on January 3, 1521 Pope Leo excommunicated Martin Luther from the Catholic Church.

On April 17, 1521 Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms in Germany. Refusing again to recant, Luther concluded his testimony with the defiant statement: “Here I stand.

God help me. I can do no other.” On May 25, the Holy Roman emperor Charles V signed an edict against Luther, ordering his writings to be burned.

Luther hid in the town of Eisenach for the next year, where he began work on one of his major life projects, the translation of the New Testament into German, which took him 10 years to complete.

Martin Luther’s
Later Years

Luther returned to Wittenberg in 1521, where the reform movement initiated by his writings had grown beyond his influence. It was no longer a purely theological cause; it had become political.

Other leaders stepped up to lead the reform, and concurrently, the rebellion known as the Peasants’ War was making its way across Germany.

Luther had previously written against the Church’s adherence to clerical celibacy, and in 1525 he married Katherine of Bora, a former nun. They had five children.

Although Luther’s early writings had sparked the Reformation, he was hardly involved in it during his later years.

At the end of his life, Luther turned strident in his views, and pronounced the pope the Antichrist, advocated for the expulsion of Jews from the empire and condoned polygamy based on the practice of the patriarchs in the Old Testament.  Luther died on February 18, 1546.

Significance of Martin Luther’s Work

Although Luther was critical of the Catholic Church, he distanced himself from the radical successors who took up his mantle.

9 The apocalyptic
The apocalyptic genre had been present in Judaism for centuries before the Hellenistic period.
Within the traditional apocalyptic stories, the enemies of the Jewish people had always been the Babylonians, Persians, and Assyrians. Greeks, however, took their place as the “eschatological enemies of the people of God ” in the Jewish writings of the Hellenistic period.

The unfavorable notion of Greeks in apocalyptic literature can be primarily attributed to the suffering they caused the Israelites during the Greek expansions of the Hellenistic era.

Much Jewish apocalyptic literature conveys a picture in which the Jews violently opposed the imposition of Hellenistic culture.

It is ironic that a positive Greek influence is seen in the changing Jewish religious beliefs.

Prior to the Hellenistic period the Jewish concept of the afterlife had been drastically different from what it became during that time.

Through the Jewish apocalyptic literature written during that period, we see the introduction of the concepts of the immortality of the soul, stellar immortality, and resurrection after death.

It was the Greek influence of the Hellenistic age that gave impetus to the emergence of the Jewish eschatological salvation.

10 A 1533 painting
A 1533 painting of Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach.
Martin Luther was born with the surname “Luder” or “Ludher.”

His given name was for St. Martin of Tours.

The family spelled its last name several different ways, but in 1512 Martin chose the current spelling of Luther, which is pronounced LOO-TAIR in German.
The “Reformator”

A former Augustinian monk and theology professor, began the Protestant Reformation by nailing his “Ninety-Five Theses” to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517.

His original intent was only to reform the Roman Catholic Church, Luther’s actions led to a split in the Church, dividing it into the Protestant and Catholic branches.

Today’s Lutheran Church (of which there are now several divisions, or “synods”) bears the name of the great Reformer (Reformator in German).

Most of the countries of northern Europe soon became Protestant.

Germany itself is today about evenly divided between Catholics and Protestants.

Luther is remembered as a controversial figure, not only because his writings led to significant religious reform and division, but also because in later life he took on radical positions on other questions.

These included his pronouncements against Jews, which some have said may have portended German anti-Semitism; others dismiss them as just one man’s vitriol that did not gain a following.

Some of Luther’s most significant contributions to theological history, however, such as his insistence that as the sole source of religious authority the Bible be translated and made available to everyone, were truly revolutionary in his day.

Aside from that, Martin Luther was the first person to translate and publish the Bible in the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people.

He used the recent 1516 critical Greek edition of Erasmus, a text which was later called textus receptus.

The Luther German New Testament translation was first published in September of 1522. The translation of the Old Testament followed, yielding an entire German language Bible in 1534.

Luther is also known to have befriended William Tyndale, and given him safe haven and assistance in using the same 1516 Erasmus Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament that had been the source text for his German New Testament of 1522, as the trustworthy source text for Tyndale’s English New Testament of 1525-26.

…Woe Unto America.

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