Summary: Rome-Babylon has been with us for many centuries now. From giddy power over empires to its present place of "holding on", Babylon promises to be with us until her program is fulfilled (Revelation 18).
The "Golden Age" of the Papacy.
c. 1000 A.D.
As the new millennium dawns over Europe and the world, Rome tightens its grip. It seems every Pope is trying to outdo the last in wickedness and power plays.
Benedict VIII buys the office of Pope in 1012, as does his successor in 1024. The latter Pope passes through all the necessary clerical degrees in one day, according to Halley. (p. 774 ff)
"Benedict IX committed murders and adulteries in broad daylight; robbed pilgrims on the graves of martyrs; a hideous criminal, the people drove him out of Rome. Some call him the worst..."
Finally, cries for change are heard, and Hildebrand, a monk, is elevated to the Papacy. Elevation it was! Gregory VII, as he calls himself now, is the first Roman bishop who claims the dual title of Pope and Supreme Pontiff, the nomenclature of Pagan Rome.
He needs the extra authority, it would seem, to deal with one Henry the Fourth. Now, Henry has picked up a bad habit from the church: buying and selling church positions. He doesn't care much for Hildebrand, who turns out to be a reformer, of sorts. Hildebrand -Gregory - tries to do away with the practice, and other of the most odious of the papacy's immoralities.
So the king and the pope are at odds. The king deposes the pope. Then the pope excommunicates the king. Then repentance, by the king at least, and for 3 days and 3 nights Henry, in bitter cold, climbs a castle wall, viewed with joy by the gloating pontiff at the top, to beg the pope's pardon.
He gets his pardon, but war breaks out. Later, Gregory is put out of Rome and dies in exile, but not before he has planted the "seed" of papal dominion in the hearts of the empire's leaders. To them, later popes will be considered overlord of kings and princes. Definitely not to be messed with.
Some other "seeds":
"The Pope alone offers his foot to be kissed by princes."
"The Pope alone has the right to depose emperors and kings."
"The Pope can be judged by no one."
How sad. I think of the trial of Jesus, and the Roman courtrooms that witnessed Paul's pleas, the dungeons that housed the first pope. A trail of humility not followed by the papacy.
It is in this 11th century, in 1054, that the "church" divides, or more properly, officializes the division begun in 869.Halley explains:
"Up to 869 all Ecumenical Councils had been held in or near Constantinople, and in the Greek language. But now at last the Pope's insistent claim of being Lord of Christendom had become unbearable, and the East definitely separated itself..."
If there has been any doubt about the political nature of the church, the constant power struggle, the constant opposition of others claiming their own supremacy over the church, let it end here.
THIRTY-TWO: THE CRUSADES AND "INNOCENT" III
c. 1100 A.D.
"Babylon" greatly desires to control the Middle East. Her attempts to go back to her supposed origins will continue to the end. It is a way of deceiving the world into thinking that this is the institution which began in Jerusalem.
Her original attempts are staged from 1095-1272, during the summit of papal power. In fact, this stress on foreign conquests is part of the strengthening of the papacy, as U.S. Presidents in our day can become viewed with awe by their away-from-home exploits, even when domestically they may not be in the best shape. (I said "can.")