Summary: Greater and greater grows the power of "Christendom" under the Popes of the darkened ages. Lesser and lesser grows the prospects of the descendants of Abraham. And what is the Islamic connection to Babylon?
TWENTY-FIVE: THE FIRST "REAL" POPES?
Some claim that Leo I was the first pope (440-461).
"He claimed that he was, by Divine appointment, Primate of all Bishops...that resistance to His authority was a sure way to Hell...advocated the death penalty for heresy..." (Halley, p. 770)
Again it is necessary to stop. Early in this history we see men taking it upon themselves to judge sin. How was it in the first church? Was there ever a death penalty? Yes, in the case of Ananias and his wife. Both of them lied to the apostles, and to the Holy Spirit in the apostles. They were soundly cursed, but death came through the direct intervention of God. (Acts 5)
Later we see Paul delivering someone to Satan by the Word of the Lord. That is, the offending brother was disfellowshipped. Later it would seem he was restored. In any case, God was given His needed time to do the work in the man.
The mongrel child of Rome and Christianity shows both of its roots in its handling of discipline through these dark years. There is the attempt to restore, in many cases (Christ). But upon failure to restore, excommunication (sometimes Christ). Then the unrepentant one is delivered to the "secular" arm, the military, the executioner. (Satan)
Note here the division between the true and the almost true.
c. 600 A.D.
Another candidate for first "real" pope is Gregory I (590-604). You will, I hope, forgive the ambiguity of the historians. The papacy slowly evolved. Snowballing through the history of the church, it picks up various elements on the way. Some see the finished product long before others, all know where it is heading.
Gregory does not claim jurisdiction over the growing Eastern "leg" of the church, centered in Constantinople. The leader of that church, though, called Patriarch (a fancier word which also means "father"), was calling himself the "universal bishop." Gregory was a bit perturbed at such arrogance, calling the title "vicious and haughty." He will not wear such a title himself, but he certainly behaves as though it were his!
Two things about this entry:
1) Gregory is a "good" man. Not as daring in his claims as future popes will be, and as pure and holy a man as ever sat on the chair. Be it known here that we do not decry the Papacy because of its later immorality alone, but because of its origin. That origin is the planning room of Satan, who began his world domination by building the original Babylon. The Papacy and its hierarchy are wrong because they were not given their commission by Jesus. It is necessary to understand this here, lest we are faced with the obvious argument about Protestants who have lapsed morally. Smear campaigns can be waged on either side. The fact remains that Jesus has initiated a fellowship, and Satan, a world power.
2) Concerning the Eastern Church. If Rome can be called the mother of all harlots, certainly her sister organization, now known as "orthodox," can be called the aunt. A study of her history, which cannot be covered here, reveals that she is a close relative of Rome in more ways than one. Recall that for the first 500 years of the Papacy, the two, though in conflict, were united. Only in 1054 does the inevitable separation, purely political, take place. But they remain one in kind, riding the backs of world powers to security, transforming the lowly faith of Jesus into secular dominion. The "east" practices most of the same inventions of the original, adding even more in the way of idolatry. She helps make Russia and Eastern Europe so bad that communism is a decided improvement!
TWENTY-SIX: ISLAM'S RELATION TO BABYLON
It is important that we stop again. Walk with me down this side trail a moment. As we are covering this story chronologically, it is necessary to examine the beginnings of another great religion, to see if there is any connection between her and Babylon.
It is hard to know exactly what to believe about the birth of the one we have come to know as Muhammad. We know it happened in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 6th century. It is said that miracles attended his birth and growth.( The reader is directed to the works of Sir John Glubb, The Life and Times of Mohammed, and Martin Lings,Muhammad:His Life Based On the Earliest Sources )
There is fairly strong evidence that there was a specific link between Muhammad and the Roman Church of his day. Augustine's work of bringing Arabs to Christ had been effective, though not totally so by any measurement.
The tradition is that when Muhammad was 9, a Roman Catholic monk confirmed that he was to be a prophet. Later, more reliable sources add that one named Waraquah, his wife's Roman Catholic cousin, endorses and encourages Muhammad's "visions."