Note: You may want to have a look at this video prior to reading Walid’s column below:
By Walid Shoebat
As a follow-up to my article Mystery Babylon is Mecca not Vatican, someone asked:
“I’m curious now if you see any sinister role played by the Vatican in end time prophecy.”
Answer: Considering that Jews, Catholics, Protestants and humanity in general will be persecuted during the Tribulation, the answer is No. I do not see any role in end-times written in my Bible about the Vatican playing any evil role. Many who believed Martin Luther’s idea that the Catholic Church was the “Whore of Babylon” should also examine his mad conclusion that the “synagogue” also was a “whore and an evil slut”.
To say that Vatican is the Harlot because Rome sits on seven hills or that priests dress in scarlet red is not an acceptable method hermeneutically. Citing a similarity does not constitute proof; there must be a legitimate connection and a literal geographic location mentioned in Scripture.
Ralph Woodrow, who authored a book paralleling “The Two Babylons” by Alexander Hislop is an excellent case-in-point. Both Hislop and Woodrow – amongst many others like Dave Hunt – wrote some of the most influential books that supported such a myth, which was etched into the minds of millions of Protestant and Evangelical Christians. While Hunt’s book “Woman Rides the Beast” is so easily refuted, Woodrow’s confession should shed light on how these over-hyped, half-baked books are flawed.
“As a young evangelist, I began to preach on the mixture of paganism with Christianity, and eventually I wrote a book based on Hislop, titled Babylon Mystery Religion (Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assn., 1966). In time, my book became quite popular, went through many printings, and was translated into Korean, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and several other languages. Hundreds quoted from it. Some regarded me as an authority on the subject of ‘pagan mixture’. Even the noted Roman Catholic writer Karl Keating said, ‘Its best-known proponent is Ralph Woodrow, author of Babylon Mystery Religion.’ … As time went on, however, I began to hear rumblings that Hislop was not a reliable historian… As a result, I realized I needed to go back through Hislop’s work, my basic source, and prayerfully check it out.
As I did this, it became clear: Hislop’s ‘history’ was often only an arbitrary piecing together of ancient myths … The subtitle for Hislop’s book is ‘The Papal Worship Proved to Be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife’. Yet when I went to reference works such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, The Americana, The Jewish Encyclopedia, The Catholic Encyclopedia, The Worldbook Encyclopedia – carefully reading their articles on ‘Nimrod’ and ‘Semiramis’ — not one said anything about Nimrod and Semiramis being husband and wife. They did not even live in the same century. Nor is there any basis for Semiramis being the mother of Tammuz. I realized these ideas were all Hislop’s inventions … While seeking to condemn the paganism of Roman Catholicism, Hislop produced his own myths … Take enough names, enough stories, and enough centuries; translate from one language to another; and a careless writer of the future might pass on all kinds of misinformation … Building on similarities while ignoring differences is an unsound practice. Atheists have long used this method in an attempt to discredit Christianity altogether, citing examples of pagans who had similar beliefs about universal floods, slain and risen saviors, virgin mothers, heavenly ascensions, holy books, and so on.
As Christians, we don’t reject prayer just because pagans pray to their gods. We don’t reject water baptism just because ancient tribes plunged into water as a religious ritual. We don’t reject the Bible just because pagans believe their writings are holy or sacred.
…If finding a pagan parallel provides proof of paganism, the Lord Himself would be pagan. The woman called Mystery Babylon had a cup in her hand; the Lord has a cup in His hand (Ps. 75:8). Pagan kings sat on thrones and wore crowns; the Lord sits on a throne and wears a crown (Rev. 1:4; 14:14). Pagans worshiped the sun; the Lord is the “Sun of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2). Pagan gods were likened to stars; the Lord is called “the bright and Morning star” (Rev. 22:16). Pagan gods had temples dedicated to them; the Lord has a temple (Rev. 7:15). Pagans built a high tower in Babylon; the Lord is a high tower (2 Sam. 22:3). Pagans worshiped idolatrous pillars; the Lord appeared as a pillar of fire (Exod. 13: 21–22). Pagan gods were pictured with wings; the Lord is pictured with wings (Ps. 91:4).
I realized that citing a similarity does not provide proof. There must be a legitimate connection … Hislop says, for example, that the “round” wafer used in the Roman Catholic mass came from Egyptian paganism. For this he cites a statement in Wilkinson’s Ancient Egyptians (vol. 5, 353, 365) about the use of thin round cakes on their altars. When I checked Wilkinson’s work, however, he also said the Egyptians used oval and triangular cakes; folded cakes; cakes shaped like leaves, animals, and a crocodile’s head; and so on. Hislop failed to even mention this.
While condemning round communion wafers as images of the sun-god Baal, Hislop fails to mention that the very manna given by the Lord was round. “Upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing….And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat” (Exod. 16:14–15, KJV, emphasis added). Round is not necessarily pagan.”
In addition, Hislop’s December 25th pagan holiday and his theories on Lent being of pagan origin were all proven false.
Similarly, when one examines carefully the Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn, his claims fit in the same category as Hislop since, “citing a similarity does not provide proof. There must be a legitimate connection”. Cahn claims that he has discovered an ancient mystery in Isaiah 9:10-11 that explains everything from 9/11 to the collapse of the global economy. He uses a fictional narrative as a framework, attributing it to biblical text to the history of 8th century B.C. and Israel using a mystical view of the prophetic Scriptures. While Cahn stated that he does not believe that America is the “New Israel”, his book contradicts this in his fictional line: “Those who laid America’s foundations saw it as the new Israel, an Israel of the New World” (P. 18-19).
To view America as an extension of Israel has zero support from the biblical narrative no matter how many times prophecy buffs try to gymnastically fit verses from Scripture. The only possible way to allude to anything regarding America in the Bible involves a couple of verses in Ezekiel 28 and Daniel 11 regarding the most powerful nations fighting against Antichrist and even defeating him (Ezekiel 28:7-8).
So when 9/11 happened – according to Cahn – it was a wow, here we have a parallel to God’s “removal of His hedge of protection” as it was in the prophecy of Isaiah regarding Israel. This is nonsense. The attack on Pearl Harbor then should also be this removal of “hedge of protection”. Yet, it wasn’t. America was awakened and came back to defeat the man who claimed to be god – the emperor of Japan. The U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the war. The Bible says nothing about 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. People can write tons of Harbingers with fanciful claims, which amount to nothing but such unsubstantiated similarities, typically found in half-baked books.
When Isaiah proclaimed:
“The bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with hewn stones; The sycamores have been cut down…”
…it is referring to the destruction of the entire northern kingdom of Israel including all buildings, cities and agriculture, not a couple of buildings in Manhattan and one sycamore tree. Finding the word “sycamore” in the Bible and applying it to one sycamore in Manhattan is exactly the type of nonsense Hislop did. Hislop even had far more parallels than Cahn’s “cedar” and “sycamore” trees, yet he was wrong.
Click here for a sound analysis of The Harbinger.
Likewise, history will prove Cahn’s simplistic and infinitesimal arguments false. I have met both Cahn (I’ve have spoken at his synagogue) and Dave Hunt on a few occasions before he passed away. We had several discussions. I once asked him to provide the best Scriptural evidence to show that Vatican is the Harlot.
“Walid, it’s a woman dressed in scarlet red, no one else matches this better than the Vatican.”
I responded with…
“False, Israel was also called a woman and the Temple priests in the Bible also dressed in scarlet red (Ex. 28:4–8, 15, 33, 39:1–8, 24, 29). Is Israel then the ‘harlot’?”
He was speechless.
In America today, and it’s most unfortunate, the number of book sales has become the yardstick for measuring inspiration. If anything, this is idolatry. For a plain-Jane Christian like myself, and I not a fan of some of what comes out of both Catholic and the Protestant institutions, but with Protestant and Evangelical ‘Sola-Scripturists’, Bible Prophecy is more about being a business, caring less when they deceive the most vulnerable to believing in conjecture-artists over the plain literal references in the Bible.
The Bible is strict in that it clearly says in several passages not to go beyond what is written in the book—the Bible. So when people presume that the Vatican in end time prophecy must play a sinister role, they need to ask first, “Where is the Vatican in the Bible?” And for that matter, where is “Russia”, “China” and even “Europe” mentioned in any negative way?
Russia is not “Magog”, “Meshech and Tubal” are not Moscow and Tobolsk in Russia, just examine any Bible encyclopedia made by real historians. Putin is not Gog; he is an Orthodox Christian and has an anti-Homosexual agenda. Let’s face it, he would make a better president even for the U.S. than our current Obama. Russia rejects homosexuality while many mainstream evangelical leaders in America play the whore when it comes to that subject. Does anyone expect me to believe that the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic Church are the spiritual legs of the Daniel Statue in Daniel chapter 2?
Please present your case and I can show the lunacy of such arguments.
However, as usual, readers of such material make idols of authors and books. And while they claim they love the Word of God, they only end up hating us for smashing their idols. If indeed they loved the Bible, why are they so easily deceived and why do the authors rarely, if ever, repent?