Goodnews Christian Ministry
"On him was conferred sovereignty, glory and kingship, and men of all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. His sovereignty is an eternal sovereignty which shall never pass away, nor will his empire ever be destroyed." ---Daniel 7:14
"Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.
You are not being sent to big nations that speak difficult foreign languages...
if I sent you to them, they would listen to you; but the House of Israel will not listen to you because it will not listen to me."
It did not take great clairvoyance for John to pen this passage in scipture: "He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him." (Jn.1:11). As everyone knows, the Jewish elders rejected Jesus. The leaders and priests of Jerusalem wanted nothing to do with Him from the opening days of His appearance.
When Jesus was preached to the people of Babylon (the people of the 'difficult foreign languages' outside the borders of Israel), however, the reaction was just the opposite.
So many people came to believe in Him across the planet that it seemed the entire world would embrace what He had to say, bringing to fulfillment this prophecy by Paul: "He was made visible in the flesh...proclaimed to the pagans, and believed in by the world..." (1 Tim.3:16).
Hearing the word of Jesus, the vast empire of Rome abandoned its hedonistic past and converted to His faith, bringing a mammoth segment of the pagan world under the rule of God.
We can see evidence of the immensity of this conversion in the World Almanac which shows that even today Christianity is almost twice as large as any other religion on earth. (See Graph 1)
Current world statistics show that Christian believers far outnumber Muslims or Buddhists or Hindu's -- or even atheists and non-believers for that matter.
Worldwide, Christians outnumber Muslims and Hindu's 2 to 1, Buddhists 6 to 1, Jews 100 to 1 and Confucianist's 3000 to 1. In fact, over 33% of the entire world population is Christian.
This 33% figure also appears in the prophesy of Zechariah who long ago declared, "And it will happen throughout this territory -- it is God who speaks -- that two thirds in it will be cut off and the remaining third will be left. I will lead that third into the fire, and refine them as silver is refined, test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name and I shall listen; and I shall say: These are my people; and each will say, 'The Lord is my God!" (Zech.8-9).
Within 300 years of His birth in Bethlehem, Jesus had quietly divided and conquered the entire Roman empire, instituting a vast spiritual revolution in the hearts of its former pagan citizens that is still without equal in the history of the world.
Because Rome ruled the world when Jesus appeared, this empire's conversion into Christ made manifest the conversion of the world which Paul's letter to Timothy had predicted in scripture.
Conversion to Christ gave new life to Rome, just as it would have brought new life to Jerusalem had that city made a similar conversion.
History speaks to us about Rome's rise and fall, but unlike Capernaum, despite its legendary collapse, a significant aspect of the Roman empire failed to disappear into historic oblivion.
On the contrary, the remnant of Babylon blossomed in its conversion to Christ to become a key component of the City of David in exile. Choosing to abandon its idols and worship Jesus, Rome was reborn into a new spiritual nation that continues in existance to this very day.
It does not exist in the way that it used to, of course. The nation's pagan military government tumbled very quickly, but, as we showed in the last chapter, when the people of Rome converted into the words of Jesus Christ, they transformed their empire into the ruling spiritual power of the western world -- the largest Christian nation on earth.
Despite centuries of assault, it is a role that has never been usurped by its contenders. In sheer population numbers alone, the Roman Church is easily the most mammoth of all spiritual nations ever to grace the planet. Moreover, virtually every Christian church on earth today has spawned itself out of the Roman nucleus.
What fell, then, was paganism, not Rome.
God had delivered by the hand of Christ a mortal wound to Babylon, destroying the sixth head of the beast by putting an end to paganism in every land under its control. The proclamation of Theodosus made this execution official. Every pagan house of worship was ordered sealed shut. Christianity was declared the official state religion of the entire world -- by proclamation of the Roman emperor.
By converting to faith in Jesus Christ, Rome changed its export from violence to peace, becoming the most powerful instrument of Christian evangelism in the history of the world.
In this capacity -- and because it still houses the central office of the most dominant Christian nation on earth -- Rome has remained the focal city of the Christian faith ever since. Prophecy has locked it in this role. Mortally wounded and fallen on its face, Babylon gave way to the rule of Christ.
Rome survived because it did exactly what Jerusalem had failed to do -- it laid down its earthly weapons and took up the cross of Christ.
While the world views cities and nations only in terms of military strength and defined geographic boundaries, the message of Christ has created a vast community of spiritual nations with invisible borders living side by side with the others.
These are nations of pilgrims -- nations of refugees making their way from this world to the kingdom of God.
Some of these Christian nations have greater populations than the largest political countries on earth. The Roman church alone for instance has a population of almost a billion people.
This figure represents a population almost four times the size of the United States of America. In fact, it represents more people than the entire earth held in the 19th century!
These are incredible numbers, and they clearly illustrate the mammoth impact that Rome's early conversion to faith in Jesus Christ had on the world's future.
While the Roman church currently claims a population greater than any political country in the world, this church today represents only one half (the western half) of the original Roman empire.
The jurisdiction of Rome was so vast and philosophically divided, that two emperor's began to be appointed to govern it simultaneously. Constantine sealed the developing schism by creating a new Rome in the ancient city of Byantium, naming it after himself (Constantinople, the city of Constantine). The move intensified the natural division between the Roman west and the Roman (Greek) east, quickly separating the two into separate empires.
The churches of the empire followed the political schism. Headquarted at the seat of a second imperial city, the eastern churches became more and more independent of Rome's rule and eventually broke away completely, forming what we now know as the Eastern Church. Based in Constantinople, this union of Greek and Russian Orthodox believers today sports a population that numbers more people than currently live in the entire continent of North America.
Together, these two churches (the Roman East and the Roman West) claim more than 70% of all Christians on earth. And they are joined by many others whose size is lesser, but still impressive by any political standard: Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Coptic, Baptist, and hundreds of others -- a spectacular array of spiritual nations aligned to Jesus.
It is no wonder, then, given the incredible size of the populations now involved in Christ's churches, that the Holy Spirit had the prophets refer to these Christian communities as 'nations'. "Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion; for I am coming to dwell in the middle of you -- it is God who speaks. Many nations will join the Lord on that day; they will become his people." (Zech.2:15).
"...I am now going to summon all the kingdoms of the North -- it is God who speaks. They are going to come, and each will set his throne in front of the gates of Jerusalem, all round outside its walls, and outside all the towns of Judah." (Jer.1:15).
"When that time comes, Jerusalem shall be called: The Throne of God; all the nations will gather there in the name of the Lord and will no longer follow the dictates of their own stubborn hearts." (Jer.3:17).
While the political break was deeply in progress at the time of Constantine, the eastern and western churches, themselves, did not fully separate until 1000 A.D., when a seemingly minor theological difference in the interpretation of the Trinity severed their alliance abruptly.
As we saw in the last chapter, Rome's conversion had great metaphoric significance. The image it portrayed was the victory of the Word of God over the seat of Satan -- a victory which caused the death of the rule on earth of secularism and blasphemy.
Replaced were the pagan emperors who had demanded that the people worship them as gods, and who had bestowed upon themselves titles of invincible omnipotence.
The only royal title to survive this imperial claim to celestial power was Pontifex Maximus (head of the colleges of priests). It was relinquished by the emperor at the time of Constantine and bestowed upon the presiding Christian bishop of Rome as a sign of Babylon's subservience to the rule of Christ.
It was this title (Pontif) that created the Papal office. In removing this title from himself and awarding it in perpetuity to the first priest of the church, the Roman emperor proved the commanding position Christ had suddenly been accorded in the pagan world. Just 300 years after His crucifixion, Jesus was given spiritual rule over the entire empire.
The Holy Spirit engineered these images to make obvious the massive conversion of the global populace to the religion of Jesus Christ. In this change, Rome's pagan rule over the world was destroyed and replaced by a world-rule dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This transformation created in the world a period of time in which the Gospel of righteousness reigned powerfully over Satan's empire; and it launched across the earth an incredible spiritual war -- spearheaded by missionaries who had taken spiritual control of the two pagan capitol's of the world.
Christ's 'Day of Atonement' had come to full 'Sonlight'. Following in the footsteps of Rome's conversion, spiritual nations all over the earth began to rise up and overthrow the satanic forces that had held them in bondage to sin.
It is this nearly 2000-year epoch of Christian world rule and spiritual warfare that is the essence of all the symbolism. It is to this momentous Christian victory that all the metaphores surrounding the 'Day of Atonement' in scripture had been pointing. A window had been opened through which the world's people could finally make their escape from mortal captivity in the pagan dungeons of Babylon.
The call had been made. Ezekiel's 'tau' prophecy was fulfilled (Ez.9:3-6). Those who deplored the world's violence were given a mark of baptism that separated them from all others around them.
This mark was the sign of the cross -- a sign which began in Jerusalem and was sent from there to the farthest outposts of Babylon.
"The glory of God called to the man in white and said, 'Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who deplore and disapprove of the filth practiced in it."
"To the others I heard him say, 'Follow him through the city, and strike...but do not touch anyone with a cross on his forehead. Begin at my sanctuary." (Ez.9:3-6).
When the man in white had finished carrying out God's orders in the city of Jerusalem, he returned to God and made his report, "I have carried out your orders". (Ez.9:11).
At that point the glory of God left the Temple and abandoned Jerusalem, and, with the entire retinue of heaven in accompaniment went off to Babylon to rescue the exiles. (Ez.10 & 11).
Within a few hundred years of the crucifixion, most of the population of Rome had converted from paganism to the Christian faith.
Because it ruled the world at the time, whatever Rome did, the world did automatically. And that is why the conversion of Rome was so important -- it imaged what was to follow -- the conversion of the world which Paul's letter to Timothy had predicted. (1 Tim.3:16).
Beginning with Constantine's imperial decree (the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D), and completed by the proclamation of emperor Theodosus 78 years later, the world's leadership gave official acknowledgment that the heathen planet had been transformed from spiritual paganism into the Christian faith.
Billions of people, most unborn when these momentous circumstances first took place, were allowed by God's victory to be conceived in the grace of Christ as this world conversion perpetuated itself over the next seventeen hundred years.
The edict of Theodosus outlawed all pagan practices in the Roman empire and made Christianity the state religion of the world by legal decree.
In its sweeping renunciation of paganism, all Greek and Roman temples were permanently closed, and their activities banned.
This ban was highlighted by the termination of the enormously popular Olympic games which were held on Mt. Olympus in Greece at the site of the temple of Zeus in association with pagan festival and worship practices.
In its official acknowledgment and zealous promotion of Christianity, Babylon had accepted the faith that the Jews had rejected.
In so doing, the rule of the pagan world passed from Satan to the Church. Paganism stumbled to its deathbed, mortally wounded.
Driven like a nail into a firm place, Peter's presence in Rome became a throne of glory for the God of Israel. (Is.22:23).
Like cups and saucers hanging on a single peg, out of this Christian victory grew not only the Roman and Greek churches, but all the other Christian churches as well. Every church in the faith of Jesus Christ.
Each of them defining holy nations rising up in the service of God.
With this conversion, the world's new master became the Christian Gospel. Satan's reign in the world had been overturned.
In the centuries that followed, a large part of what was once pagan Babylon became Christianized, surrendering itself to the dominion of God by placing itself under the authority of the Church and Gospel of Jesus Christ. The music, literature, poetry and paintings of the time proclaimed the fervor for God that had suddenly swept across the earth.
This period of passion for Christ by the people of the world is a key symbol as far as the future is concerned, because satanic processes which have already started are destined to reverse the world's conversion, and send it all back to what it was before.
Certainly a signal that this reversal has come of age, the Olympic Games, symbol of pagan worship in the days of the Caesar's, were reopened in 1896. More than that, the title 'Caesar', itself, has reappeared twice in the current century -- as 'Kaiser' in Germany and 'Czar' in Russia. These signs gave early warning that Babylon was beginning to stir on its deathbed. The mortal wound was healing.
Since scripture has defined Rome (the accepted symbol of Babylon) as the capitol of this world, its relationship to Christ is crucial to the prophecies. The renunciation of Christ in Rome is a pivotal symbolic element in the re-emergence of a pagan Babylon.
This is why an understanding of Rome's role in Christian history is so vital to our comprehension of climactic events still destined to unfold there. Especially that fateful day approaching when future Persian forces are destined to conquer and take command of the Italian capitol and put an end to Christian worship in the city.
When that happens, like long shadows, the Bible's prophecies will reach into a dark future and manifest themselves in all the circumstances for which they were originally voiced. The mortal wound will seem to heal completely.
Rome will then image a world which has turned its back on Christ and returned, full throttle, to paganism. And just as the world followed suit in the first image, it will do so again in the second, but in reverse.
When that happens, the peg will be sheared off from its firm place and be cut down, "and all the lesser vessels, the cups and saucers hanging on it, will fall with it". (Is.22:25). The 'peg' in Isaiah's prophecy is the church of Rome. Symbolic of Christ's victory over Babylon, when St. Peters in Rome falls, all of Christianity will come down as well.
"I tell you most solemnly, (Peter), when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go." (John 21:18).
"And at the end of their reign, when the measure of their sins is full, a king will arise, a proud-faced ingenious-minded man. His power will gather strength -- but not through power of his own -- he will plot incredible schemes, he will succeed in what he undertakes, he will destroy powerful men and the people of the saints." (Dan.8:23-24).
These images are all symbols prophetically described in the Bible. God will use them because He has placed them there for this purpose so that the whole world will know whose word came true, His or theirs.
Because pagansim and Christianity will appear in reverse of one another, the marks which confirm these two ages will also come in reverse. That is why we see the mark of God beginning the era, and the mark of the beast bringing it to an end.
There is a great deal of conversation about the 'mark of the beast', but no one talks about its opposing corollary -- the 'mark of God', which is baptism -- the spiritual 'tau' placed on the foreheads of those who deplore wickedness by Ezekiel's 'man in white'.
The two are opposites.
In God we are marked by water, by fire, and again by the Holy Spirit. Since we are marked three times by God in baptism, once for each part of the Holy Trinity, we may assume that there are three parts to the mark of the beast as well.
In the Book of Revelation it is shown that Satan has mimicked God in parody, producing a trilogy of beast, false prophet and dragon. The mark of the beast seems likely to follow this formula.
Since two parts of God's mark are invisible and only one part is visible, we can assume that the same applies to the mark of the beast as well.
This means that the mark of the beast has been with us for centuries (reaching back even before the time of Christ), but in a spiritual form. And only at the end of time will that mark become physical.
Since the mark of the beast is the reverse of God's mark, it must play itself out in reverse. Thus we see the physical mark of God (baptism by water) leading Christ's religion, but in the case of the beast, the physical aspect of his mark comes at the end.
The invisible part of the beast's mark has been in place since the beginning and has been marking everyone who has ever rejected the righteousness of God proclaimed by Jesus and His Gospel.
A great paranoia has arisen concerning the beast's mark. Like a snowball rolling downhill, tradition has created a growing momentum of fixation, independent of the scriptures, over this brand. People now see images of this mark in every instrument of identification which society employs, including credit cards and computers.
Paranoia is not what God intended to convey into our minds with His messages to us. Jesus wants us to have faith, not fear.
The wickedness associated with the beast's mark will not stem from the fact that it is a mark of identification per se, but from the fact that it will signify a force that countervails Christian baptism.
Therefore it can only present itself in the form of a legal affirmation of one's opposition to Jesus Christ.
Computers and quickly decreasing chip sizes have already made it possible for governmental authorities to implant electronic identifiers into the skin. But an identifier, while stripping away privacy, has no impact on God unless it is used against Him.
The Rebel will institute the physical manifestation of this marking process as a part of his declaration of war on the Christian Church.
Therefore it will appear in the world in accompaniment with his decree canceling Christ's treaty -- an act which will release the Church from its captivity to Babylon. For it to do that, Babylon will have to reappear in its pagan form. And that is the meaning of the mortal wound healing.
The relationship between the world and Christ's Gospel will change.
We can already see evidence of this change. Isaiah prophesied of Jesus that the world 'would be on his shoulder'. This is an obvious reference to the close harmony between the leadership of the world and the religion of Christ -- a relationship that, until this century, remained a constant in western civilization from the moment Theodosus issued his proclamation.
In our own time, a secular revolt is now in progress, the purpose of which is to effect the divorce of this relationship. As a result, no nation today stands in Christ. Even Rome severed its affiliation to the church in 1984. Jeremiah declared in prophecy that this could not happen "until its dying day" (Jer.52:34).
While many of us would like to see ourselves as independent of Christianity's beginnings, the Holy Spirit has bound us all together as a single people.
Because Rome ruled the world when the treaties of Constantine and Theodosus were announced, their declarations impacted every nation on earth. They gave Christianity world rule the instant they were promulgated.
These edicts (together with a third issued by Galerius in the east) commanded world veneration of Jesus Christ. In doing so, these edicts fulfilled Jeremiah's prophecy detailing the relationship between Jesus and Babylon:
"The king of Babylon pardoned the king of the Jews and released him from prison. He treated him kindly and allotted him a seat above those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So the king of of the Jews laid aside his prisoner's garb, and for the rest of his life always ate at the king's table." (Jer.52:31-33).
This passage clearly alludes to the intimate alliance that has perpetually marked relations between the ruling governmental powers, particularly of the western world, and the Christian Church since these treaties were first decreed.
It is an alliance that extends from the government of ancient Rome to the presidents of the United States.
The treaty of Theodosus had the net effect of making Christianity the state religion of the civilized world -- a post it held until the beginning of our own century despite protracted opposition by eastern forces.
From that time to this, virtually all the nations of Babylon and their leaders actively promoted Jesus and bowed, some low and others high, to the authority of His churches on earth.
This secular submission to God bears certain witness that Satan's earth (a foreign outpost to God, and called in the Book of Revelation 'the city of Babylon') had truly been overthrown by the forces of Jesus and temporarily subjugated.
Like an occupying army of God, the Christian Church has spent the last seventeen hundred years administering the law in this evil city -- ruling Satan's throne in the name of Jesus Christ, so that those who have been held captive here against their will, might be rescued.
Jesus said that not everyone in the world belongs to God. "A child of God listens to the words of God; if you refuse to listen, it is because you are not God's children." (Jn.8:47).
There is a mystery here, and it reveals that a part of this world will never come to God through Jesus Christ.
Paul said that faith was not given to everyone.
Jesus, in a parable, said that evil exists in this world because an enemy came in the night and sowed tares among the wheat. (Mt.13:24-30). That is why he said, "Any plant my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots" (Mt.15:13).
This world is divided between the children of God and the children of Satan. That is why there is so much evil on earth. In fact, it is into this wickedness that the Gospel is constantly preached. The people of God are scattered around the globe in captivity to a world deeply exercising itself in sin.
Christ came to rescue those who would listen to him (those who would leave their participation in the wickedness of this world behind them). Essentially He came to convert paganism into Christianity.
He promised that no one who came to Him would be turned away.
This conversion and its moment is what God has called 'His harvest', and like an agricultural harvest there is a time when it is ripe and full and another time when it approaches completion and good fruit becomes increasingly scarce.
This, latter, seems to be the case today.
As the world spirals away from God, the ending of God's harvest can be seen in the diminishing yield. And as that yeild falls, we can see much more clearly the cleft of Christ which has split Babylon into its two spiritual parts -- those for Jesus and those against him.
We can see this same division in the two cities which divide Rome -- the pagan city of Rome and the Christian city inside it.
God does nothing by chance. The Holy Spirit has put a Christian city in the heart of Rome -- in the heart of Babylon and at the center stage of Christianity -- for a purpose.
Vatican City divides Rome into two parts -- into two cities -- with one dedicated to Christ living inside another dedicated to the secular world.
This split does not intefere with the symbolism surrounding Babylon and Jerusalem. Jerusalem, remember, is a city itself divided into two cities. There is Jerusalem and within it's walls stands a second city -- the City of David. These are images in metaphore and they point to Jesus.
Jerusalem and its City of David are united in the physical land of Palestine, but they are not yet united spiritually. One is being rebuilt in Palestine and the other still lives in exile. Headquartered in Rome -- the symbol city of its exile -- Christianity in all its forms and facets is still bound by Christ's treaty to the directives of scripture: "To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; there the Lord will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).
Symbolically, The City of David and the city of Jerusalem represent the two Houses of Israel, and scripture points to a coming unity between them -- a day when Jews and Christians will stand as one people under God.
The people of God have been called out of Babylon, but physically they must live within its cities and nations until the day that the command for return is given. It is the beast who will make this command -- by a proclamation canceling the treaty between Christ and Babylon. Until then, we must remain physically in the world.
"...I am not asking you to remove them from the world but to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world." (John 17:15-16).
This foreign incarceration is not only an image of our dwelling place on earth, but of our own body as well. We have been freed from our secular (worldy) nature by baptism, and now live an entirely new nature in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Even though we currently carry within us, invisibly, a perfect spiritual body in the nature of God's new kingdom, we must still dwell in our imperfect human body until God has deemed our stay on earth complete.
So, in the same way, the nations of God must live among the nations of this world until the last day. This is the fundamental meaning of the 'dispersion to Babylon' so widely chronicled in the pages of scripture. Until the day when the exile formally ends, our return to the Jerusalem of God embarks us on a journey that is entirely spiritual in nature.
The physical return (for all except the Jews) must await the day the emperor of Persia issues his proclamation canceling Christ's treaty with Babylon.
What we can see in Rome, then, is simply the nucleus of an image that has been repeated spiritually in every city and country throughout the world -- an image which involves every church on earth which proclaims the faith of Jesus Christ -- an image that incorporates even our own body in its symbolism.
These are images for us to take serious note of today because the opposition to God is now coming out of the underground where it has lain hidden for so many centuries. (2 Thes.2:7).
For over a thousand years the conversion of the western world was almost total so these dual images were not necessary. Since almost nobody rejected Christian conversion, there was no need for two cities.
The spectacular rise of paganism over the last two centuries has seen that need change drastically.
In 1870 Italy began separating itself from church control, and in 1929, Mussolini responded to these changes by isolating the rule of the Roman church, confining it to a separate city within Rome, returning the rest of Italy to pagan (secular) jursidiction.
The attachment between church and state remained intact, however, because Rome honored a legal mandate to support the Church financially. That mandate was overturned in 1984, however, when Italy officially divorced itself from any Christian affiliation whatsoever. As a result, political Rome has become Babylon once again.
The move is ominous, because God has made whatever happens in Rome a symbol for the rest of Babylon. And sure enough, these actions have been repeated over and over, country by country throughout the Christian world.
In this country, we call Mussolini's kind of compromise, 'separation of church and state'.
It is a separation that defines the new battle lines in the world's continuing war against God's Church. On our own front in that new war, the U.S. Supreme Court is systematically dissassembling every attachment that ever existed between God and the American government.
As the capitol city of Babylon, Rome has led the way for these actions of nullity. It's abandonment of Christ is a certain sign that the end of the treaty is close at hand.
Of the reign of Christ in Babylon, Jeremiah wrote:"...And his upkeep was permanently ensured by the king (of Babylon) for the rest of his life, day after day until his dying day." (Jer.52:34). Jeremiah's words, "...until his dying day", show the terminal effects these maneuvers of separation will have on the millenium of Christ.
Faith in Jesus is the power that has given the western world dominion and authority on earth. Because it suited His purpose and fulfilled the prophecies, God, for almost 2000 years, has placed political dominion in the hands of those who have promoted and encouraged belief in His Son.
"He reminds his people of the power that he wields by giving them the inheritance of the nations." (Ps.111:6). History has confirmed this passage of scripture. Political dominion of the world has remained in western hands -- in hands tied to Christian subservience -- since the days of the Caesars.
However, the intense assaults against the west by eastern forces antagonistic to Jesus throughout the history of the Church, and the near success of these invasions argues that it is not military superiority that God has given the west, but divine protection against disaster.
Scripture indicates that when faith in Christ among the western nations starts to dissolve -- something that we have shown is happening now -- this divine protection will evaporate as well, and that is why the east will be able to ascend to world dominion in the last days.
The real power of the western world is Jesus Christ. Without Jesus in command of its heart, the west will lose its power.
For this reason, just as the occupation of Rome by the Christian Church has perpetually signaled the world's conversion to Jesus, the collapse of the Church and the occupation of Rome by the Antichrist and his Persian forces will, in their turn, signal the world's fall from conversion. It will represent the fall of a once-Christian world from grace.
This will not be a fall from grace by any church, but of the world itself rejecting the message of Jesus and thereby ignoring all the churches. And it will quickly bring the world to the end that scripture has predicted.
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