Author: L.D. Pruitt
(Rev. 16:14) Since the dawn of creation warfare has been in progress between good and evil, God and the devil. Each is in conquest of the affections of the human heart or soul.
In the beginning God created man holy in nature like Himself. Then the devil appeared on the scene, and tempted and persuaded mankind to turn his love and loyalty away from God. Man transgressed God’s law, and his posterity followed the road of sin and spiritual death as the servants of Satan.
The Apostle Paul clearly states that “death reigned from Adam to Moses.” Rom. 5 :14. This death was a spiritual separation from God as a result of sin.
Through all the weary centuries the devil held sway over the lives of most all the human family. In due time, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, appeared on the scene and began preaching a way of deliverance from sin and Satan. Jesus sent His disciples out to preach the way of salvation, and the devil was dethroned in the hearts of all who believed the gospel.
Jesus, Himself, testified: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” John 12 :31. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil in the human heart. Through Christ’s atoning death and triumphant resurrection, he was victorious over death, hell, and the grave. The binding chains of sin were broken, and the universal invitation went out that every guilty soul could, if he willed to do so, be saved from sin and be brought back in favor and fellowship with His Creator.
Jesus set up His kingdom, built His church, and placed it in full operation by the agency of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, in opposition to the devil’s kingdom.
The devil’s first agent against the infant church was pagan Rome, which instituted a reign of physical persecution. Thousands of Christians were martyred, but Jesus and his army increased and prevailed. Eventually pagan Rome crumbled and fell before the power of Christianity. Yet the devil was not through. His next agent took the cloak of Christianity under the name of papal Rome, which was also a persecuting power, and millions of saints sealed their testimony with their blood.
Though God still had a church which preserved the gospel, yet for a long period its visibility on the earth was largely obscured. Catholicism and Protestantism have been and are continuing to wage unrelenting opposition to true Christianity. The lines of demarcation between the true and the false are being drawn more distinctly as time moves closer to the end.
The Prophet Zechariah foretold: “. . . that at evening time it shall be light,” with reference to the Church of God in the evening time of the gospel day.
In fulfillment of this prophesy, in about 1880 A. D., the “evening light” began to shine forth on Bible holiness and the one true Church, free from the creeds of men.
The three-fold message of this reformation is that of the first three angels of Rev. 14: 6-13. Read them. The second angel declared that “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city.” Read also Rev. 18 :2. Then in Rev. 18:4 we read, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her (Babylon) my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
Just as God’s people, the Jews, were taken captive into ancient Babylon, even so God’s people during “the cloudy and dark day” were scattered in spiritual Babylon, which is Protestant confusion. Even as ancient literal Israel returned to Jerusalem, the city of God, so in this evening time God is calling and leading His people out of spiritual Babylon to “their own land” on the heights of Mount Zion. The gathering of God’s people (a small remnant in comparison to the multitude of opposing forces) is in preparation for that great and final battle of Armageddon-a present conflict between good and evil, right and wrong. The New Testament Church, the saints of God, do not fight with carnal weapons. The Apostle Paul says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” 2 Cor. 10:4. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Eph. 6:12. Read of the Christian’s armor in Eph. 6 :13-18. The armor is spiritual, so the battle is spiritual.
Not only is God gathering His people into one true fold, but the devil is also gathering and marshalling his forces of false religions in opposition to the true.
Perhaps more steps have been made in that direction in the recent past than ever before. Nominal Christianity is hailing the mergers of the various denominations as fulfilling Christian unity, looking toward that golden day of one world church. In reality, this is not the nature of the unity for which Jesus prayed. The union or an amalgamation of all religions is not Christian unity in any sense of its meaning. The move is merely increasing the size of the false systems‹ a movement spearheaded by the World Council of Churches.
Even Pope Paul aided the ecumenical union movement by continuing the work of the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church to promote Christian unity, so-called.
In its closing session, he spoke of its efforts of “finding ways and expressions capable of closing the gap between our separated brethren and ourselves.” A meeting of the World Council of Churches adopted a message affirming that the ecumenical movement is advancing “faster than we can understand or express it.”
It was announced that a Roman Catholic edition of the Protestant Revised Standard Version of the Bible would be published in England. This was a major step in the movement for a common Catholic Protestant Bible as a spur to so-called Christian unity.
Many ecumenical contacts at the grassroots level were reported in the United States, as Catholic theologians spoke at Protestant gatherings, and vice versa. Leaders of both faiths appeared together on radio and television programs, and even exchanged pulpits to expound and support the cause of unity.
By taking a realistic look at the religious world in the light of the Scriptures and a bit of spiritual discernment, one cannot fail to see the “signs of the times,” and the “handwriting on the world’s wall,” that its days are numbered.
Let John the Revelator describe in symbolic language the momentous events which are unfolding before our eyes, and those which are yet to come.
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Rev. 16 :13, 14.
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” Revelations 20:7, 8, 9.
In that final battle, Christ and His army will be victorious. Are you in the camp of the saints, clothed in that white raiment which shall shine before God’s throne?