By Jim Simmons
Focal Point Publications
A one-world religion is developing rapidly, and it will be an all-encompassing religion. Satan will energize this one-world religion and work through the lawless one, better known as the Antichrist. He has two purposes:
1. To play the role of God and have people worship him. He will sit “in the temple of God displaying himself as being God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
2. To kill the true Christians and Jews. “… and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Revelation 13:15).
My last article, posted on 1-31-09, was titled The Last Generation. The purpose of that article was to illustrate the acceleration of world developments during the last generation beginning with the birth of Israel in 1948. That article helps set the stage for this article.
The Last Generation briefly covered all three pillars of a united world system that will need to be in place by or immediately following the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period. The three pillars are:
- One World Government
- One World Economy
- One World Religion
The focus of this article is to expand on the pillar of the coming One World Religion. I personally believe that the pillar of a global religion is the foundation for both of the other two pillars—government and economy. What a group of people believe will determine their actions, such as economic and political decisions. The world economic system gives the fuel needed to activate a complete world governmental control. This could be illustrated by the following diagram:
Belief System [One World Religion] + Money [One World Economy] = Political Decisions [One World Government].
It has been said that politics and religion don’t mix. They don’t in the long run. But during most of the seven-year tribulation period, politics and religion will go hand in hand. One current example of mixing religion and politics is the government of Iran. It is primarily run by the religious clerics.
During the great tribulation (the last 3.5 years of the 7 year tribulation period) this buddy system of Antichrist (Political Ruler) and False Prophet (Ruler of World Religion) will break down. The One World Government, led by the Antichrist, will destroy the One World Religion, led by the False Prophet. The “beast” destroys the “harlot” (see Revelation 17:16-17).
This article was taken mainly from my recent book titled, The Last Generation: Prophecy, Current World Events, and the End Times. Ordering information for this book will be given at the conclusion of the article.
Today, in this generation, we have seen the foundation being laid for a one-world religion. This world religion is symbolized in Scripture by “… the great harlot who sits on many waters” (Revelation 17:1) and by the “… woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names …” (Revelation 17:3).
Hallmarks of a False Religious System
In order to determine the validity of a religious belief system, it will prove helpful to look at some of the hallmarks of a false religious system.
The hallmarks of a false religious system include, but are not limited to, the following four characteristics:
1. Compromise of Doctrine: One of the key phrases used in the European Union, as well as in the United States, is “Unity in Diversity.” This sounds good on the surface. It means we are a unified but diverse group of people—all of the hallmarks of tolerance. This kind of unity in a world religion necessitates a compromise of doctrine.
This great tolerance is promoted in almost every area. The major exceptions are biblical Christianity and Judaism. The world religion will be tolerant of everything but the TRUTH.
2. Experience Based: “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You” (Matthew 12:38). There is an escalating trend worldwide toward an experience-based religion and an experienced-based Christianity. More people are traveling to many places where they say God is manifesting Himself through signs and wonders. These manifestations are, in many cases, apparitions of Mary, the mother of Jesus, or of angels, but rarely of Jesus. It is important for us to remind ourselves that biblically based Christianity is always founded on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Paul warned the Galatians not to be fooled by people distorting the gospel of Jesus Christ. He states:
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).In many cases, there are reported apparitions of Mary witnessed by Christians, unbelievers, and Muslims. The messages are oftentimes contrary to God’s Word. One of the tests of the validity of a reported vision and the credibility of the messenger (in recent years these visions are usually apparitions of Mary) involves:
- The content of the message given. If the message contradicts God’s Word, the Bible, the message is not valid.
- The credibility of the messenger. If the message is not valid, this takes away from the credibility of the messenger. It is important to remember that “… Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
“… I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).This “all roads lead to Rome” belief is very common today. It runs against the grain of unbelievers and, in many cases, Christians don’t believe or want to believe what Jesus said (there is only one way). It is probably not the best way to begin sharing the gospel with an unbeliever unless you really believe that God is leading you in that direction.
4. Counterfeit Miracles: Miracles are powerful! A miracle will convince an individual of the validity of a particular belief system faster than anything else. Consider the False Prophet found in the Book of Revelation (16:13; 20:10). He is the Antichrist’s right hand man. He is symbolized as the second “beast” (Revelation 13:11-12). The first “beast” is the Antichrist (described in Revelation 16:1-10). The False Prophet “… performs great signs [miracles] … he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs …” (Revelation 13:13-14) [brackets added].
Satan has the ability to perform miracles, but his tendency is to counterfeit God’s miracles. One example of Satan counterfeiting miracles can be found in Exodus, Chapter Seven. Moses and Aaron confront Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. Through God’s power Moses and Aaron perform miracles, i.e., Aaron’s staff turns into a serpent. The magicians of Egypt “did the same with their secret arts” (Exodus 7:11). The Lord tells Moses to direct Aaron to stretch out his staff, and he turns the rivers, streams, and pools into blood. The False Prophet “performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men” (Revelation 13:13).
Over the last ten to fifteen years, there has been a greater orientation toward the supernatural. This can be good in some cases. Unfortunately, it also opens the door to Satan to perform visions and apparitions that appear to come from God. The Marian apparitions are appearing worldwide and the message is peace, unity, and tolerance. The impact of these apparitions has been so powerful that they have cut across religious denominations worldwide, INCLUDING ISLAM.
Points 2 and 4 above are both experientially based. In essence, both points say that a person’s experience dictates their theology. This is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. A person’s theology should be the criteria for evaluating their experience. When this is reversed, every imaginable heresy will be the outcome. We are living in an experience-based society. This society determines their beliefs based on their experience. This has been a characteristic of this last generation.
The Muslim Connection: The Missing Link
One of the common questions concerning a one-world religion is this: “If the coming one-world false religion is characterized by tolerance and diversity (exceptions: Christians and Jews) how will the Muslims integrate into this system?” [I realize that I briefly covered this in my first article on January 31. My purpose in this article is to go a little deeper into this topic.]
The answer: There needs to be a common denominator between Muslims and the one-world religion. This common denominator may very well be Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Koran exalts Mary, not Jesus. The Roman Catholics also exalts Mary. This along with the numerous alleged apparitions of Mary witnessed by both Muslims and Catholics creates a link between the two religions. These two religions together take in a sizeable portion of the human race.
The Marian apparitions, including the ones in Egypt and Africa, have an underlying message. According to Mary, this message is, “All religions are the same. We are the ones causing division.” This message is easily identified under the third hallmark of a false religion, namely, “Provides a Broad Road to Salvation.” Mary’s message is proven invalid because it contradicts Scripture. The only way to God is through Jesus (John 14:6). Since it is clearly demonstrated to be a false message, we can conclude that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not the one delivering the message. Mary would never contradict her Son.
According to a British-Catholic magazine, “A Marian revival is spreading throughout Africa with alleged apparitions of Mary, finding a following among the Muslims.” Although African Muslims are supposedly seeing apparitions of the Virgin Mary, they “are not required to become Christians to follow her.”
Most of the spectators who witnessed the Marian apparitions in Zeitoun, Egypt, were Muslim. This apparition of Mary appeared for several nights each week for years and was viewed by millions of Muslims.
Mary appears to be the missing link that helps answer the previous question about how the Muslims could ever integrate into a one-world religion.
The Mary/Fatima Connection
Bishop Fulton Sheen, back in the 1950s, was the first Catholic on television [with his own religious talk show]. He wrote a book predicting that Islam would be converted to Christianity. In the same era, the 1950s, Bishop Sheen also wrote a book titled The World’s First Love. He stated in his book:
“But after the death of Fatima (Muhammad’s daughter), Muhammad wrote,This connection with the Muslims through Mary was predicted about fifty years ago. Bishop Sheen was ahead of his time, at least as it relates to the future of Islam. The Muslims will be included in the coming One World Religion, but it will not be Christianity.‘Thou shall be the most blessed of all women in paradise after Mary.’”
Key Players and Locations: Mary/Fatima Scenario
The key players are: Mary, the mother of Jesus; Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad; and Pope John Paul II. The key locations include Fatima, Portugal, and St. Peter’s Square, Rome.
The Portuguese Village of Fatima is named after Muhammad’s daughter. Bishop Sheen mentioned how remarkable it was that our Lady had the foresight to appear in the Portuguese Village of Fatima, named after Muhammad’s daughter, and thus became known as Our Lady of Fatima.
In October of 2000, Pope John Paul II ordered the actual statue of Our Lady of Fatima to be moved from Fatima, Portugal, to St. Peter’s Square in Rome. His purpose was to signify “his great devotion to Mary.” He credits her with saving his life in an assassination attempt on May 13, 1981. This story is recounted in chapter six of The Last Generation: Prophecy, Current World Events, and the End Times.
Also in the year 2000, Pope John Paul II gathered 1,500 bishops from around the world, the largest group to assemble since Vatican II. They were there to entrust the world and the millennium to “Our Lady of Fatima,” not to Jesus, not even to God, but to Mary.
What Are Some of the Implications?
1. There appears to be a clear connection between the Catholic Church and the Muslim faith.
2. The Doctrine of Compromise is apparent. Examples: Pope John Paul took a compromising approach to other religions, which included Shamans, witch doctors, Hindu gurus, and voodoo. This sounds very familiar to the Catholic evangelists in the early days of Christianity.
3. The Broad Road to Salvation is emphasized. Examples: The underlying message, according to Mary, i.e., through the alleged Marian apparitions, is “all religions are the same.”
4. Counterfeit Miracles, i.e., Marian apparitions are rampant. These so-called miraculous apparitions of Mary, the mother of Jesus, fail the validity test. If the visions are not really Mary, we can conclude that Satan is disguising himself as an angel of light. He has an agenda, which includes leading humanity into a One World False Religion of his making where he will be worshipped.
5. Experience-based Miracles and apparitions seem to be the motivating factor and key decision-making factor for most people.
The above article is primarily taken from my recent book, The Last Generation: Prophecy, Current World Events, and the End Times. Part 2 of this article will be posted within 7-10 days. Included are topics such as: the paganization of Christianity, the final popes, and the connection between ancient Babylon and modern Babylon. Any facts that originated from other sources are footnoted in my book. Ordering information can be found at: http://www.focalpointpublications.com/, or at Amazon.com