1Timothy 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
The church (Greek ekklesia – congregation) as originally established by the apostles was indeed the pillar and ground of the truth but each ekklesia was autonomous, governed solely by scripture. The Catholic Church would like all to believe that she stands as established without change or variation from the apostles’ gospel and doctrine and has central control over all.
History, however, tells a different story. The changes in doctrine and the evil done in the name of Christ bear unmistakeable witness to the apostasy of the Catholic Church. This is the church that became the State Church of the Roman Empire. That introduced a triune God and immortal souls. That invented a ‘Priesthood’ and separated the one body into ‘clergy’ and ‘laity’. That brought in statues and pictures of ‘saints’ to be kissed, venerated and prayed to. That makes merchandise from ‘relics’ producing ‘miracles’ and ‘pilgrimage’ to ‘holy places’. That invented ‘transubstantiation’, ‘purgatory’, ‘penance’ and ‘prayers for the dead’. That became rich by the ‘tithing’ the poor and the selling of ‘indulgences’. That was responsible for the Crusades and the murder of untold millions of ‘heretics’ down the centuries in the name of Christ. That devised the ‘inquisition’. That imprisoned, tortured and burnt men for translating the Bible into English. That bought and burnt Bibles to prevent men reading the word of God for themselves. In the line of Popes have been some of the most depraved men in history. There is little in the history of the Catholic Church that reflects the teachings of Christ.
The falling away was prophesied:
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This is not a latter-day antichrist, the system has been with us for centuries.
The Catholic Church is shown in Revelation for what she is:
Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. 15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
There is no institution in history that fits this prophecy other than the Catholic Church.
Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
The Catholic Church reigned over the kings of the earth in the days of the 'Holy Roman Empire'. She was figuratively made desolate and burned with fire at the 'reformation'; a process completed by Napoleon.
From the 'reformation' her daughter churches were born, all clinging to false doctrines of the ‘mother’ church. Though rejecting some of the more outlandish doctrines, they all accept the trinity and the immortality of the soul, heaven-going and eternal torment in hell, Holy Spirit ordination of ministers etc.
The Catholic Church began its rise again with Mussolini. Today, having formal diplomatic relations with some 178 sovereign states and involvement in the EU, she clearly thinks ‘I sit a queen, and am no widow’.
Her doctrines and gospel will not be found in the Bible, for she is not restricted to it. She holds the decisions of the 'Church Fathers' to be on a par with scripture.
Those who would understand and believe the true gospel will find it in the Bible, not in the 'Church Fathers'.
Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The advice in Revelation is sound advice
Revelation 18:4... Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,