The ancient Babylonian “mystery religions” never really died. They had their beginnings in the Book of Genesis, which gives the account of the building of the Tower of Babel under the leadership of Nimrod. It reaches both its zenith and its destruction in the Book of Revelation.
The False Prophet, referred to as “another beast,” “… exercises all the authority of the first beast [Antichrist] in his presence, and he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast …” (Revelation 13:11-15 brackets added). The False Prophet will head the coming One World Religion under the authority of the Antichrist. The Babylonian “mystery religions,” in a disguised form, will comprise this false religious system. These mystery religions are the alpha and omega of paganism and idolatry. Babylon of the Old Testament and Babylon of the New Testament are related and can be linked and traced.
The following historical information includes elements of mythology in some of the accounts. It is important to remember that mythology is usually a distortion of actual facts or events.
ORIGIN OF MYSTERY RELIGIONS OF BABYLON
The following information is drawn from both the Bible and accounts outside of biblical sources. As a brief overview, the key characters will be listed with a short explanation showing their connections to certain pagan deities, along with some common denominators that run through the different cultures.
The three original key characters are: Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz. The chart below indicates the spread of the Mother-Child Babylonian cult throughout other locales with the names of the gods and goddesses that originate from these three characters.
These were the original names of the Mother-Child cult. Semiramis was Nimrod’s wife, and Tammuz was their son.
We know that Nimrod was the founder of Babylon (Genesis 10:9-10). It was Nimrod’s wife, Semiramis, who founded the secret religious rites of the Babylonian mystery religions. Semiramis claimed that she conceived, through an alleged miraculous conception, a virgin-born son who would be the salvation of mankind. She named him Tammuz [see Ezekiel 8:14]. In effect, this was a false fulfillment of the promise of the Seed that was given to Eve in Genesis 3:15.
The Two Babylons, authored by Alexander Hislop, chronicles the spread of the ancient Babylonian cult of the “queen of heaven.” Jeremiah warned the Israelites against offering sacrifices to the queen of heaven (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:17-19, 25).
THE “MOTHER AND CHILD” AS GOD CULT
As strange as this seems to the Western mind, the son of the mother oftentimes plays a dual role. He is son of the mother, and he can also be husband of the mother.
The Babylonians worshiped Semiramis, the wife, as Rhea, “The Mother Goddess.” Her connections with her husband, under the name of Ninus, or “The Son,” originated the peculiar worship of the “Mother and Son.” Ninus is sometimes called the husband and sometimes the son of Semiramis. The same confusion can be seen between Isis and Osiris, the mother and child of the EGYPTIANS. One of Osiris’ titles of honor and dignity was the name, “Husband of the Mother.” This leads to the question, “What does this have to do with early Christianity or the One World Religion?”
THE PAGANIZATION OF CHRISTIANITY
After the Persians took over Babylonia in 539 B.C., they discouraged the continuation of the mystery religions of Babylon. As a result, the Babylonian cultists moved to Pergamum (or Pergamos) where one of the seven churches of Asia Minor was later located.
The chief priests of the Babylonian cult honored the fish god by wearing crowns in the shape of a fish head. The crowns bore the words, “Keeper of the Bridge.” This was symbolic of the “bridge” between man and Satan.
The Roman Emperors adopted the Latin title Pontifex Maximus, which means “Major Keeper of the Bridge.” The bishop of Rome later used the same title. The pope today is called “pontiff,” which means pontifex. Even today the term Pontifex Maximus can be found throughout the Vatican and numerous cathedrals in Rome.
PAGANIZED CHRISTIANITY TAKES ROOT IN ROME
When the teachers of the Babylonian mystery religions later moved to Rome, they were influential in paganizing Christianity. The Roman Empire included the geographical area known today as the European Union.
In the early Christian Church there was no confusion between Christians and Pagans. Christians were burned at the stake for entertainment. The problem came when there was a joining of Church and State.
Constantine legalized the practice of Christianity. Emperor Theodosius went on to make it the state religion in the year A.D. 381. Constantine converted to Christianity, which also included a loyalty to paganism. He had granted the “Freedom of Worship” for citizens of the Roman Empire.
The clear dividing line between Christianity and paganism became blurred [this dividing line is becoming more blurred in our day, but it will be clear again in the tribulation period]. The glorification of Mary as “Queen of Heaven” and the worship of the Mother/Child religion had entered the Christian Church from the mystery religions of Babylon.
The evangelistic zeal to spread Catholicism to the heathen lands resulted in a compromise with paganism. Christianity became interwoven with the Babylonian mystery religions. This new form of paganized Christianity was now endorsed as the official state religion.
CATHOLICS EVANGELIZE PAGAN WORLD
The Roman Catholic Church declared Mary the “queen of heaven” as a result of the miraculous birth of Christ. The Old Testament clearly condemns the worship of the queen
of heaven (Jeremiah 7:18).
Statues of Mary with the baby Jesus became very popular within Roman Catholicism. More emphasis was put on these statues than statues of Jesus or the cross. The mother-child cult preceded the birth of Jesus by centuries. It did not originate with Roman Catholicism.
The Catholic evangelists began evangelizing the pagan world. In the process, they kept encountering statues of pagan deities and Madonna figures. The Catholic evangelists let them keep their pagan figures of goddess and child, but merely renamed the mother/child statues “Mary and Jesus.” Instead of pagans they were renamed Catholics.
The Roman Catholic Church is moving toward an ecumenical world religion. This one-world religion will be based on compromise and experiences, such as the Marian apparitions.
POPES IN THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
As discussed in the previous article, there are two key figures that will come to power in the end times. The Bible refers to these key figures as two beasts (Revelation 13:11-15). The first one is the Antichrist who will be the political and economic messiah. The second one will be the False Prophet who will be a religious leader and miracle worker. For many years prophecy scholars have taught that the False Prophet would be a final apostate pope.
The pope, also considered the “bishop of Rome,” is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Only the pope would have the power and influence necessary to bring all the religions together. No other major world religion (or any religion) has a religious leader with the authority, influence, and power combined with a worldwide influence that even comes close to the pope. He has the authority to make doctrinal changes in the Catholic Church even if it is contrary to the Bible. His authority is placed above biblical revelation. It would make sense for the False Prophet, the global religious leader, to have this authority and power.
POPE JOHN PAUL II
Pope John Paul II was briefly reviewed in part one of The Coming One World Religion. We saw his connection to Mary, Fatima, Our Lady of Fatima, and the dedication entrusting the world and millennium to Mary [see part 1 for more details]. Two central themes characterize his time in office:
1. His role in elevating Mary to a much higher position than previously recognized. Pope John Paul II, without a doubt, was the most Marianistic pope of all time. His devotion to Mary is made evident by his motto, Totus Tuus. In Latin this means, “totally yours.” This is not a reference to Christ but to Mary. His consecration to Mary was an established fact. He had the letter “M” embroidered on all his garments, showing his devotion to Mary.
2. His role as the great unifier. He attempted to bring all religions and faiths together [see part 1]. He was also known as the “great unifier.” As mentioned previously, Pope John Paul II took a compromising approach to other religions, which included Shamans, witch doctors, Hindu gurus, Buddhist monks, and voodoo. This sounds very similar to the approach of the Catholic evangelists in the early days of Christianity. The pagans were allowed to keep their statues of Isis and Horus, or other Mary/Child statues, and simply rename them Mary and Jesus. History is repeating itself in the end times of the last generation.
POPE BENEDICT XVI
Prior to becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was head of the Roman Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrines of the Faith (CDF) back in 1984. During this time, he made the following statement: “One of the signs of our times is that the announcements of ‘Marian apparitions’ are multiplying all over the world.”
Benedict XVI made it clear that he wanted to follow the trajectory of his predecessor Pope John Paul II. His pledge was to work to unify all Christians and all religions. He continued in Pope John Paul’s footsteps toward a One World (False) Religion.
Jewish leaders were encouraged by the prospect of Benedict continuing to build relations between Christians and the Jewish nation. Given the fact that anti-Semitism is at an all time high, especially in Europe, this would be very appealing to Jews. They would be open to such a pope. This would also fit the prophetic picture.
When Cardinal Ratzinger became pope, he modeled his name after Benedict XV (1914-1922). He chose this name to honor him. Benedict XV embraced the Muslims, which was an unprecedented choice for his time. Benedict XVI likewise embraced the Muslims. He is seeking world peace and is destined to bring the Roman Catholic Church and Muslims together.
TWO POPES FROM JUDGMENT DAY
The following prophetic account is not a biblically based account. The content, however, and the predictions, are not contrary to the Bible. The fulfillment of the predictions has a high success rate; they are too accurate to be ignored and are, therefore, worth our consideration. For the sake of time and space, I will give a brief overview of this account. [For a more detailed account, see chapter 6 of my book, The Last Generation: Prophecy, Current World Events, and the End Times.]
In 1139, a Catholic named St. Malachy set out from Ireland on a pilgrimage to Rome. John Hogue, author of The Last Pope: The Decline and Fall of the Church of Rome, gave the following account. “On sighting the eternal city, he fell to the ground and began murmuring Latin verses, each signifying the future destiny of the popes. His words were suppressed for over three hundred years by the Vatican, yet, to this day, ninety percent of the saint’s prophecies have come true, unfolding in chronological sequence … for Malachy foresaw an end to the Roman Catholic Church and predicted the fates of the popes until Judgment day.”
St. Malachy worked all night by candlelight until he concluded the 111 Latin phrases. He explained that God had given him a vision of every pope to reign after the current pontiff, which was Innocent II, until the end of time when God would judge the world.
If his assertion is true, the papal succession is finite … we are but two popes away from Judgment Day. That was written while Pope John Paul II was still alive. If this prediction is true, we are now only one pope away from Judgment Day.
THREE FINAL POPES
According to St. Malachy, there are three final popes. All 111 prophecies make one small identifying statement. Each can be validated through the years in regard to the successive popes. John Paul II was the 110th pope. He is referred to as “the Marian Pontiff.” His devotion to Mary is legendary. Pope Benedict XVI is the 111th pope. He is referred to as “The Glory of the Olive.” As Cardinal Ratzinger, he wrote a book called, God in the World. This, along with Hogue’s book, The Last Pope, illustrates that he has a special interest in Israel as symbolized by the olive branch. [See chapter 6 for quotes from both books showing his interest in Israel.] “The olive branch is a symbol for Israel … the motto might imply that this pope will champion the cause of the Jews” (John Hogue).
After St. Malachy’s 111 Latin phrases, each giving clues to the reign of each pope, he gives a final prophetic declaration naming an apostate pope (the 112th pope) and calling him “Peter of Rome.”
Pope number 111, Benedict XVI, will probably not live long due to his advanced age (81). This means that the final pope, “Peter of Rome,” the 112th pope, will be the final one before judgment day at the end of the tribulation period.
RESPONSE OF ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
The Roman Catholic Church’s official position is that there could be many popes
between 111 and the final one. Given the fact that St. Malachy has been right on 111 popes in a chronological sequence, why would there be “many popes” between the 111th and the 112th pope? It would make sense that the Catholic Church would not want to place their stamp of approval upon any declaration that says their church is soon to end.
St. Malachy’s final declaration states: “During the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there shall sit Petros Romanos (Peter of Rome), who shall feed the sheep amidst many tribulations” [he will likely be the tribulation pope], “and when these things have passed, the city of seven hills shall be destroyed” (John Hogue).
Is it possible that the False Prophet (Coming One World leader) will be the next pope following Benedict XVI? If so, this is one more reason to believe that we are living in the last generation, which began with the birth of Israel (May 14, 1948). Israel is currently in its 60th year as a nation. How long is a generation?
WHEN IS THE RAPTURE?
No one can give the day, the hour, or the year of the rapture, but we are given a season (a general time frame). This season runs from 1948 to the Second Coming of Christ (not the rapture which is at least 7 years sooner) or the last generation. In my first article, The Last Generation and the last two articles titled, The Coming One World Religion (Parts 1 and 2), I have listed a sequence of events that have occurred since 1948 as evidence that the rapture is near. These different events, treaties, and current world events that I have listed are the tip of the iceberg. Given the evidence presented, it would be difficult to deny that the rapture may be a lot sooner than we think.
This article was extracted, for the most part, from my recent book titled, The Last Generation: Prophecy, Current World Events, and the End Times. All facts presented that originated from other sources are footnoted in the book. This book can be ordered from: http://focalpointpublications.com or Amazon.com.