This question may be answered by the following Scriptures: "And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." (Rev. 17:6.) This could truly be said of the Roman church, for, she persecuted the Christians and martyred them. Therefore, she is "drunk" with their blood. True, the Roman church has had unlawful connection with the "woman"; was, and is drunk with the wine of her fornication.
The "woman" did not originate with the Roman church, but rather she produced that church. Therefore, we must trace her existence beyond the beginning of the papacy. Revelation 18:24, throws light upon the subject: "And in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." The holy Word of God declares that the "woman"
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is guilty of the blood of the martyrs in all ages. Therefore, the "woman" is drunk with the blood of Abel, and thus the blood of "all" the martyrs is found in her; proving that Cain was her first client by presenting a counterfeit sacrifice (false doctrine), and by slaying his brother.
There are many so-called Christians, who like Cain, say, "It makes no difference; one thing is as good as another." But God accepts no substitute and no man's religion. That which human wisdom has devised, is man's righteousness, and not the righteousness of Christ. Therefore, it is an abomination in God's sight. The human fiber of obedience to divine requirements being weakened, and the sinful inclinations strengthened from generation to generation, the nature of man cannot be better at this Present time than when the disciples asked Jesus: "Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?" So-called Christians, like the Pharisees, become offended when told of their errors, and rebuked for their sins. "But He answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Matt. 15:12-14.)
"And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth." (Rev. 17:5.) The woman riding on the beast is the mother. The seven heads on the beast are the symbols of her daughters (harlots). Catholicism is her first daughter in this symbol, and as Protestantism sprang from Catholicism, then, apostate Protestantism in the multiplicity of sects, are her daughters also. Or it may be said, the woman" is the mother of Catholicism, and Catholicism is the mother of Protestantism. Says the Revelator: "I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy." (Rev. 17:3.) Thus the number of "heads," and "full of names," include all the offshoots from Protestantism and Catholicism. Had there been no mention made of being "full of names," more than seven, and "scarlet," which denotes that God's people have been called out of it, therefore, "scarlet" -- skimmed -- under curse ready to perish, the Biblical number "seven heads," would have included those who are carrying God's message as in the period of the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1, at the time his deadly wound was healed. Therefore, it would have made no allowance for the church which "keep the commandments of God, and the Faith of Jesus," and thus it would have contradicted the following Scripture: "And the dragon was wroth with the woman [God's church], and went to make war with the remnant of her
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seed [Israel the true -- the 144,000], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17.)
God has never had more than one movement in existence at a time and it could not be otherwise now, for Christ cannot be divided. (See 1 Cor. 1:13.) God's church is well marked in every generation by obedience to present truth. The fact itself proves the claim true as there is only one church in the period of the beast which has the "Spirit of Prophecy" and all of the commandments as written by the finger of God. Said Jesus: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19.) It is this divine principle that shall divide the world into two classes -- the commandments of God and the traditions of men. "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left." (Matt. 25:32, 33.)
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