WE HAVE A PROPHECY IN REVELATION 17; IT IS ABOUT A GREAT WHORE - A WOMAN BABYLON BEAST, THAT SITS ON MANY WATERS [verse 1].
The kings of the earth have committed fornication [political sins] with her. The inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk by her wine of fornication [her spiritual theological teachings that have deceived the nations - verse 2].
This woman is arrayed in purple and scarlet; she is decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls; she has a cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication [she is very wealthy, with splendor and riches, above any of her kind, and indeed she has brought abominations and filthiness, spiritually and politically, to the people of earth - verse 4].
She is in many ways "mysterious" a mystery in her ways of life, her spirituality and political ways are cunning, deceptive, cloaked in mystery many times, as she works with the kings and inhabitants of the earth. She also gave rise to daughters; from her came harlots, dressed in many of her ways, though as daughters they could all be slightly different one from the other. But they have the same mother [verse 5].
This woman is also drunk with the blood of the true saints of God; with those that directly or in-directly, were martyrs under the power of her hands [verse 6].
The woman sits on seven hills [verse 8] and from the literal sense, as nearly ALL the old Bible Commentators will tell you, this woman is ROME, and the Roman Catholic church.
A woman in Bible prophecy stands either for the true church of God or the false church of Satan the Devil.
From Rome came a church that over time conquered most of Europe; it finally, about 1100 A.D. stamped out the true church of God, in the British Isles. This church of Rome was mightily powerful in Spain and Portugal in the 14 hundreds A.D.
The new world of the Americas was finally found by the empires of Spain and Portugal.
WE SHALL START HERE THE LECTURE BY PROFESSOR MARSHALL C. EAKIN CALLED "THE SWORD AND THE CROSS" TAKEN FROM HIS 24 LECTURES ENTITLES THE CONQUEST OF THE AMERICAS, from the Teaching Company, the Great Courses #888 .
IN THIS LECTURE WE TURN FROM THE MILITARY CONQUEST TO THE SPIRITUAL CONQUEST OF THE AMERICAS. MILITARY CONQUEST AND SPIRITUAL CONQUEST WENT HAND IN HAND IN THE AMERICAS; BUT IN MANY DIFFERENT FORMS.
THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF TEACHING ABOUT RELIGION IN THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURY FROM MY PERSPECTIVE IS TO RE-CAPTURE THE MIND-SET OF THE PEOPLES OF THAT ERA.
THIS IS A WORLD OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO NOTION OF THE SECULAR AND THE SACRED. IT WAS ALL ONE THING TO THEM. IT IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR US IN THE 20TH CENTURY AND EARLY 21ST CENTURY TO RECAPTURE THIS SORT OF MENTALITY, WITH OUR RELATIVISM AND CYNICISM. IT'S ONLY THOSE IN OUR SOCIETY TODAY WHO ARE THE MOST DEEPLY RELIGIOUS WHO DO NOT MAKE DISTINCTION BETWEEN RELIGION AND THE REST OF LIFE.
THE CLOSEST THAT WE CAN GET TO THIS TODAY IN THIS WORLD, IN FACT THE BEST EXAMPLE I CAN GIVE ARE THE MUSLIM REGIMES LIKE IN PLACES LIKE AFGHANISTAN AND IRAN, WHERE THERE IS NO SENSE OF SEPARATION BETWEEN THE SACRED AND THE SECULAR.
FOR THE SPANISH AND THE PORTUGUESE THE CONQUEST OF THE AMERICAS WAS AN EXTENSION OF THE IBERIAN PENINSULAR, THAT HAD BEEN GOING ON FOR CENTURIES, IN 1492 THEY COMPLETE THE CONQUEST OF THE PENINSULAR, AND THEN EXTEND THE CONQUEST ACROSS THE ATLANTIC. IT WAS BOTH A MILITARY AND SPIRITUAL ADVENTURE THAT PITTED THE TRUE BELIEVER AGAINST THE INFIDEL.
THERE WAS SIMPLY NO DOUBT IN THE MINDS OF THE SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE THAT THEY WERE DOING GOD'S WORK, AND THAT THE INDIANS AND AFRICANS WERE ENGAGED IN THE WORK OF THE DEVIL.
CHRISTIANITY BY ITS VERY NATURE IS AN AGGRESSIVE AND MILITANT RELIGION, THAT HAS ALWAYS SORT TO TO MAKE NEW CONVERTS. CHRISTIANITY FROM ITS VERY BEGINNING HAS BEEN BUILT UPON THE NOTION OF CONTINUALLY SPREADING THE WORD TO OTHER PEOPLES, AND THE IBERIANS TOOK THIS VERY SERIOUSLY. THEY LIVED IN AN ERA OF UNYIELDING CERTAINTY ABOUT TRUTH AND RIGHTEOUSNESS; THEY TOOK SERIOUSLY THE WORDS OF LUKE "GO OUT INTO THE HIGHWAYS AND HEDGES AND COMPEL THEM TO COME IN."
THE SPANISH AND THE PORTUGUESE WERE PERHAPS THE MOST MILITANT IN THE RELIGIOSITY OF ALL THE CHRISTIANS IN EUROPE. THEIR CENTURY LONG EXPERIENCE WITH THE MUSLIMS AND THE RE-CONQUESTS FORCING THEM ACROSS THE STRAIGHTS OF GIBRALTAR, EVENTUALLY FORGES A DEEPLY MILITANT MENTALITY AND A DEEPLY MILITANT RELIGIOSITY. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN UN-FAMILIAR TERRAIN FOR MOST EUROPEANS, CERTAINLY FOR NORTHERN EUROPEANS IN THE 15TH CENTURY. THE CLOSEST PARALLEL TO THAT TIME WAS IN FACT SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE, ANOTHER REGION OF EUROPE THAT FACED THE MUSLIMS, THAT FACED ISLAMIC INVASIONS, THAT WAS ENGAGED IN THE STRUGGLE THAT WAS BOTH MILITANT AND RELIGIOUS. AND THE ROOTS OF THIS PROBLEM, THE PROBLEM WE SEE TODAY IN SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE GO BACK TO THIS PERIOD.
FOR THE IBERIANS THE SWORD AND THE CROSS CONQUERED NEW PEOPLE TOGETHER, HAND IN HAND, FOR THE ONE TRUE GOD, AND THE ONE TRUE KING. IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL THE CHURCH AND STATE WERE INTERMITTENTLY TWINED. THE CONQUEST FORGED THIS LINKAGE, THE KING ULTIMATELY RECEIVED HIS BLESSING, HIS AUTHORITY FROM GOD, AND DESPITE THE MANY DISAGREEMENTS BETWEEN THE VATICAN AND THE IBERIAN MONARCHS, THEY DEEPLY NEEDED AND WANTED THE BLESSING OF THE POPE.
IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL, THE SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE MONARCHS FORGE A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE VATICAN. THE POPE HAS NO TROOPS, THE POPES LACKED FINANCIAL RESOURCES. SPAIN AND PORTUGAL HAD THE RESOURCES. SO IN THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY BOTH THE SPANISH MONARCHY AND THE PORTUGUESE MONARCHY FORGE A SPECIAL AGREEMENT WITH THE VATICAN WHICH IS KNOWN TODAY AS "THE ROYAL PATRONAGE."
IN EXCHANGE FOR FINANCIAL AND MILITARY SUPPORT FOR ROME, THE POPE GRANTED THESE TWO MONARCHIES THE RIGHT TO NAME HIGH CHURCH OFFICIALS. THE RIGHT TO APPROVE THESE OFFICIALS. SO IN A SERIES OF PAPAL AGREEMENTS THE SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE CROWNS RECEIVE THE AUTHORITY TO ADMINISTER CHURCH JURISDICTION TO APPOINT CHURCH OFFICIALS, THE COLLECTION OF THE TITHE, AND CHURCH REVENUES, AND THE PAYMENT OF THE SALARIES OF THE PRIESTS. IN EFFECT WHAT HAPPENS IS THE CHURCH BECOMES AN ARM OF THE STATE, THE CLERGY ARE IN EFFECT SERVANTS, CIVIL SERVANTS.
THIS PLACES THE CLERGY IN A VERY DIFFICULT POSITION, ESPECIALLY IF A BISHOP OR ARCH-BISHOP. YOU OWE YOUR APPOINTMENT AND ADVANCEMENT TO THE KING. WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU ARE IS HINGED ON HIS FAVOR, BUT IN THE END YOU MUST ANSWER TO THE VATICAN.
AND SO IN THIS SENSE, THE PRIESTS, AND ESPECIALLY PRIESTS IN POSITIONS OF POWER, HAD DUAL LOYALTIES, AND OFTEN PUT THEM IN A VERY DIFFICULT POSITION.
WHEN THE REFORMATION BREAKS OUT IN CENTRAL EUROPE IN THE 16TH CENTURY, IT DOES NOT CROSS THE PYRENEES. THE GERMAN PRINCES IN CENTRAL AND NORTHERN EUROPE ARE FIGHTING A POLITICAL AND THEOLOGICAL BATTLE WITH ROME.
BUT CHALLENGING THE VATICAN AND RELIGIOUS BELIEF AT THE SAME TIME THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEIZE THE RESOURCES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THEIR DOMAINS, TO ESTABLISH CONTROL OF PARALLEL ADMINISTRATIONS.
IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL THE IBERIAN MONARCHS HAVE IN EFFECT ALREADY ATTAINED CONTROL OVER THIS PARALLEL BUREAUCRACY, AND THEY DO NOT CHALLENGE ROME ON POLITICAL OR THEOLOGICAL GROUNDS.
TO BE CONTINUED