A Persecuting Church

Also, this "woman" is a great persecuting church. The Apostle John was inspired to write: "I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement" (v. 6). Please think about that.

Who is this great fallen woman—a powerful church—which has and which will again be "drunk with the blood of the saints"? Obviously, she persecutes the true Christians—the true "saints" of God. They are described in Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."

In contrast to the commandment-keeping Church of God, this great apostate church and her "daughter" churches reject the need to keep the Ten Commandments as a way of life! Somehow, in their spiritual drunkenness, they manage to reason around the plain and clear teachings of Jesus: "If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17).

Historically, do we read about a great church that did persecute millions of people during the Middle Ages? Did such a church actually exist?

In his well-documented book, A Woman Rides the Beast (pp. 243-244), author Dave Hunt describes what the "woman" did for hundreds of years during the Middle Ages:

"Thus Roman Catholicism became 'the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen... [commanding] the throne to impose the Christian [Catholic] religion on all its subjects. Innocent III murdered far more Christians in one afternoon... than any Roman emperor did in his entire reign.' Will Durant writes candidly: 'Compared with the persecution of heresy in Europe from 1227 to 1492, the persecution of Christians by Romans in the first three centuries after Christ was a mild and humane procedure.

Making every allowance required by an historian and permitted to a Christian, we must rank the Inquisition, along with the wars and persecutions of our time, as among the darkest blots on the record of mankind, revealing a ferocity unknown in any beast.'"

So when John saw this "woman" or apostate church "drunk with the blood of the saints," he was certainly not exaggerating. Even scores of Catholic writers have been mightily embarrassed about what their church practiced for hundreds of years. With the vast record now known—of priests sodomizing young men, of many popes openly maintaining mistresses and fathering illegitimate children all over Italy and high offices in the church being offered and bought for money—it has seemed to many objective historians that this powerful church was the veritable embodiment of evil in nearly every aspect.

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