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and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, 'BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF HARLOTS ...' and I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus ..." (Rev 17.3-6) There is a great deal of description here, enabling clear identification of the woman: From Rev 17, historical records and present day events (see opposite), it is clear to many in the Protestant and Orthodox churches that the woman is the Roman Catholic Church.The symbol of a woman riding a beast is particularly common in the European Union.The Bible gives a clear warning of an end time apostasy.In the context of the revealing of the 'man of lawlessness', Paul writes: "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first ..." (2 Thes 2.3) Here, 'apostasy' means a 'falling away from the true faith'. Apostate Christianity can be seen as a departure from true biblical Christianity, a departure from true doctrine: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ...'Laodicea' means 'men's opinions ruling in place of God'.This is how Christ sees such a church: "You say 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing', and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked ..." (Rev 3.17) We can readily identify such a church today!
The word 'ecumenical' literally means 'the inhabited earth' or 'the whole world', so here we have the birth of a 'world church'.
It is a sad fact that much of Christendom (Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic) can be claimed to be apostate.
Scholars also see the letters as depicting the historical progression of the church, with the Laodicean church being the end time church.
Of all the seven types of church, the Laodicean church is the only one not to be commended in some form by Christ.
It is the only one not indwelt by Christ; He stands outside, waiting to be asked in by any in that church who repent and ask Him in (Rev 3.20).