Augustine And The Roman Catholic Church

Augustine, was the Bishop of Hippo (354-425) and greatly influenced the Roman Catholic Church. His use of the allegorical method to interpret portions of the Holy Scriptures led to false interpretations, including the view of eschatology (the doctrine of last things). Augustine started out believing in pre-millennialism as had almost all the earliest Church fathers. The teaching that Christ’s 2nd coming will occur prior to His millennial kingdom, and that the millennial kingdom is a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. Later, as he began to view much of the Bible as allegory, Augustine abandoned premillenialism and became an amillennialist. According to amillennialists, there will be no literal millennium in which Christ will reign as Israel’s king on earth. They interpret the “millennium” figuratively or allegorically as our present age. In other words, we are living in the millennium now (although it’s been some 2,000 years since Jesus was crucified) and that it began when the apostle Peter founded the Catholic Church at Pentecost.

According to the Roman Catholic Church, Christ has already bound satan through his death on the Cross and all who come to Him through faith and (water) baptism have already risen to new life in the “first Resurrection,” and now await the judgment and the final Resurrection at the 2nd coming. So, for Catholics, the next event in the prophetic timeline is the Judgment of Christ. No rapture of believers beforehand. Yet the apostle Paul believed he would be raptured and told his readers to comfort one another with this doctrine. But Catholics follow Peter and seem not to understand that Peter went to the Jews only with a gospel that was different from what is to be preached today which we learn from Paul. We Christians do not have a kingdom gospel as Peter taught, because our kingdom is heavenly. The Jews know nothing about dying and going to heaven to live with God forever. Theirs is an earthly kingdom with Christ. They are a kingdom of priests. There are no priests in the Church (body of Christ).

The teaching that the Church has replaced Israel began in the 2nd century. It enabled the Roman Catholic Church to claim that it is the new Israel, replacing the old Israel composed of the Jewish people. They believe that the Jews were dismissed as a people divorced by God and their kingdom promises have now been inherited by the true Israel, the Catholic Church. These promises, however, were not to be fulfilled literally, but figuratively.

Thanks to Augustine, the Catholic Church was able to claim that it was the fulfillment of all the kingdom promises in the Bible, and therefore it had the right to rule over all the nations of the earth. But they have forgotten something: God chose Israel to have preeminence over the nations. Israel is the one that will preach the gospel of the kingdom (which Jesus and the apostles taught) during the tribulation. The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church at that time won’t mean anything. Salvation will focus upon the identity of Christ, not His work. Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. The gospel of the kingdom was “Repent and be baptized.” It has nothing to do with believing that Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the 3rd day. Israel’s repentance will result from the Tribulation. All the false religions over the millennia have been proxies of Satanic worship. When Christ returns, Israel will assume her rightful place as the nation among nations.

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