House of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus

Grace and peace, Saints.

I have always wondered exactly how the Antichrist would unite all the world’s religions in his one-world church.  This is an important question, because the greatest of the world religions: Christianity, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Buddhism are all monotheistic, meaning they worship only one god instead of many gods. How would the Antichrist manage to get the adherents of these religions to worship him and his god?

In that the Antichrist is a Roman Catholic and worships an idol, I especially wondered how he would get Muslims to bend the knee to his idol without using force.  The Bible tells us that all the world, including Muslims, will worship the Antichrist (Pope Benedict XVI) and the Abomination of Desolation (The Virgin Mary).  But how could this be, given Muslims’ devotion to the Prophet Mohammed and Allah?  It would appear that the only way would be through force, which would mean war.  Such a war would be global in scale, for the Muslims are many, powerful, and determined.

And even if they were to lose such a war, it is still difficult to believe that the Muslims would ever willingly submit to worshipping an idol, for their Koran expressly forbids the worship of any other god but Allah.  Yet, the Bible says that this very thing will happen:

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of Life” (Revelation 13:8). 

And the Bible is never wrong.  

This should be of great interest to every thinking Christian.  The Antichrist, a Roman Catholic, will succeed in obtaining the worship of Muslims, known the world over for their devotion to their god, Allah.  A devotion so extreme, that many have been and are willing to even blow themselves up for him, if so ordered.  Yet, according to the Bible, all Muslims will one day worship the Antichrist and his idol–either exclusively or additionally.  How can this be?

Well, all things are possible with God, and the Bible tells us that it is God who will ensure that the whole world worships the beast and his image.  You see, Roman Catholicism is the “strong delusion” spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:11.  It is Mystery Babylon, the “golden cup in the Lord’s hand” (Jeremiah 51:7), and its purpose is to deceive and condemn those “who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”  That truth is that Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).  Most of the world denies that Truth.  

In that all of the world’s great religions are said to be waiting for a spiritual leader to emerge or return, it is my belief that the Antichrist will claim to be that person.  And I believe that when the Antichrist is publicly killed and publicly “resurrected,” then “all the world will wonder (be awestruck)” after him (Revelation 13:3), and willingly follow him. They will believe his claim to be the One for whom all the world’s great religions are waiting, and he will command the world’s religions to unite under him and his idol.  This will be the official birth of the one-world church.

And yet, anyone who knows anything about Islam (and everyone in the world knows something about Islam) knows that their devotion to Allah and to their Prophet Mohammed makes it inconceivable that they would willingly worship an idol.  Yet, again, the Bible says everyone but those who are washed in the blood of Jesus will worship the Antichrist and his image.  I believe the Bible, yet, I still wondered how God will do this.

Then I discovered that in Turkey there is a shrine that is sacred to both Roman Catholics and Muslims.  Located on Mount Koressos, near Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary or the House of Mother Mary (as she is known to Muslims), is said to be recognized by the Vatican as the official resting place of the Virgin Mary.  Roman Catholic legend apparently holds that following the death of Jesus, the Apostle John moved to Ephesus with the mother of Jesus, and the two took up residence there.  This house is said to be where the mother of Jesus spent her final years.  They believe that a certain invalid nun had a vision wherein she was shown the location of the house, which Vatican authorities later verified.  Since that time, the shrine is said to be visited by thousands of Roman Catholics and Muslims each year.

As for the authenticity of the House of the Virgin Mary, it is said that its foundation is estimated to be first century A.D., although the structure itself is said to be from the sixth century A.D.  They explain this discrepancy by saying that the building has been renovated since its construction.  

Though the Vatican has reportedly “not pronounced in favour or against the authenticity of the house” (Wikipedia), several popes have reportedly made a pilgrimage to the site, including Benedict XVI, in 2006.  Additionally, Anne Catherine Emmerich, the nun who is said to have received the vision of the house, was beatified (an important step toward sainthood) by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 2004.  It would seem, therefore, that an official Vatican pronouncement of the shrine will occur at some point.

A common practice at the shrine is to write prayer requests on scraps of paper, cloth, and even leaves and leave them at a wall at the site designated for that purpose.  One Roman Catholic devotee even wrote that many Roman Catholic and Muslim women who visit the shrine share a common prayer: that they should bear a child.  

This would make the House of the Virgin Mary one of the few, if not the only, truly ecumenical holy sites in the world.  Isn’t this amazing?  Isn’t it amazing that Roman Catholics, who are supposedly Christians, and Muslims, who are the enemies of Christianity, would share a holy site?  This could only mean one of two things:

1.  Roman Catholics are not really Christians (because Muslims don’t hate them)

2.  Muslims aren’t really the enemies of Christianity (and history disproves this)

It is very significant that Roman Catholics and Muslims would share a holy shrine.  For even though Roman Catholics, Muslims, and Jews live at Jerusalem, Muslims, to my knowledge, don’t pray at the Wailing Wall, Jews don’t enter the Dome of the Rock, and neither attend Roman Catholic mass.  Yet, in the House of the Virgin Mary, we see Roman Catholics and Muslims united in their common reverence for the “Blessed Virgin.” 

Mary, therefore, is the key.

It is in the reverence of “Mother Mary” that Muslims, and, in fact, the whole world will be beguiled to worship the Abomination of Desolation, The Virgin Mary.  Can you now see why the entire world will hate Christians?  For true, Bible-believing Christians will be the only ones in the world who will not bow down to and worship the idol known as Mary (Revelation 13:8).

The House of the Virgin Mary helped me to further understand why it is that Roman Catholics and Muslims, especially Turkish Muslims, get along so well in Germany, as well as in the United Kingdom, and even America, while the media reports that Muslims are persecuting Roman Catholics in other parts of the world.  They share a common bond in their reverence for the Virgin Mary.  The Antichrist may orchestrate some incident between the Roman Catholics and Muslims in the West in order to further pull the wool over the eyes of those who may be seeing this inconsistency.  But at the end of the day, Roman Catholics and Muslims are united in the Virgin Mary.  Former Jesuit priest, Alberto Rivera, according to Jack Chick, stated that the Roman Catholic church actually created Islam.  

Another writer, attempting to authenticate the age of the shrine, writes that when Paul got to Ephesus, he found that the people had already been evangelized.  But the Bible tells us that when Paul got to Ephesus and preached against their idolatry, he caused an uproar among the people that jeopardized his safety.  For the Ephesians were “worshippers of the great goddess Diana” (Acts 19:35).  

Perhaps what the writer meant by “evangelized” was that the Ephesians were already worshippers of the goddess.  They just called her Diana, instead of Mary.

Roman Catholicism and Islam are reconciled in the Virgin Mary.

Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.

The Still Man

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