The Origin of the False Worship Today

It does not take too wise a student of the Bible to conclude that there is much false worship in the churches today. But where did it all begin? Can we point to a time of origin of it all? If we study the prophecies of the Bible closely, we will soon see the false worship today was foretold long before it ever came to pass.

God knew what man was going to do, so He inspired His writers to write it all down so we would not be deceived today. “...I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done…” (Isaiah 46:9-10). Study this lesson carefully, for it is a very important lesson. This is one lesson you need to know.

1. Paul spoke of a falling away. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

Paul spoke of a falling away. Falling away from what? The only answer to this would be “the truth.” Then as you read verse 7, you will notice that Paul says, “…the mystery of iniquity doth already work….” Paul could see that evil spirit beginning to work in his day, and he knew it would not be many years before that falling away would take place. But yet this was prophesied many years before Paul. Paul was the first one to see the prophecy beginning to come to pass but he was not the first to speak of it. Notice the following references.

2. Daniel’s dream.

As we consider the dream of Daniel, we find that God revealed to him events that would transpire concerning world kingdoms. The animals in this dream represent kingdoms that would arise to rule the world.

The first was a lion, which refers to the Babylonian empire; the second a bear, which answers to Media-Persia; the third, a leopard that was Greece, and the fourth, a horrible beast that he could not describe, but we know, according to history, refers to Rome.

Now, as you notice this fourth beast, it had ten horns. But then another horn came up and plucked up three as it came up. Now, in prophecy, horns represent kings or rulers.

3. What was this little horn to do?

As you notice verse 25, you will see he would think to change times and laws. This prophecy was fulfilled exactly as Daniel saw it in his dream. We do not have to speculate as to what happened, for the Catholic Church claims that she was invested with the authority to change times and laws. What were the times and laws which she claims to have changed?

  1. The Bible says a day is to be reckoned from sunset to sunset. Yet the pope says it is to be reckoned from midnight to midnight.
  2. The Bible says the new year is to begin in the spring. Yet the pope says the new year is to begin in the midst of the winter, January 1st.
  3. The Ten Commandments say we should keep “the seventh day (Saturday) holy.” The pope says we should keep the first day of the week (Sunday) holy.
  4. The Bible says a person should be buried in water (completely covered) when baptized.

Did God give the Catholic Church the power to change these times and laws? Yet she herself admits it was she that changed these things. It is written in her books, she openly admits it, and we find the religious world accepts these changes, not fully realizing their way of worship has no biblical foundation but comes from the Catholic Church.

Note: In the first quotation below, the Catholic church admits the church changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. The following Protestant churches admit the day has not been changed.

Catholic Church

Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957), p. 50.

Question: "Which is the Sabbath day?"

Answer: "Saturday is the Sabbath day."

Question: "Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?"

Answer. "We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."

The Catholic Mirror of September 23, 1894, puts it this way: “The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.” Constantine named himself Bishop of the Catholic Church and enacted the first civil law regarding Sunday observance in A.D. 321.

Schaff’s History of the Christian Church, vol. III, chap. 75.

Baptist Church

Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers’ conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner, Nov. 16, 1893.

"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week... Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.

To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question... never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.

"Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history...

But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"

Disciples of Christ

First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19.

"The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change."


John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp. 15-16.

"But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel... These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect."


T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp. 474-475.

"The Sabbath is a part of the Decalogue - the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution... Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand... The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath."

4. The false church mentioned in the New Testament. Revelation 17:1, 15

A woman in prophecy refers to a church. If it is a pure woman, it refers to the true church. If it is an immoral woman, it refers to a false church. So in the above reference, it is an immoral woman, thus it refers to a false church.

The woman in verse 1 “sitteth (sits) upon many waters.” Now, what does this refer to? If you will read verse 15, the Bible tells you what the “waters” are. They are “…peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

Now, which church has ever gathered such a vast multitude, peoples, nations and tongues? Why none other than the Catholic Church. So this woman here could be none other than that evil power that Daniel spoke about that would rule the Roman Empire for 1,260 years. Church and state united and became a great ruling power.

5. The influence of this false church. Revelation 17:2-4

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Revelation 17:2-4

It says that kings committed fornication with her. Kings had spiritual relations with this woman (church). The Catholic Church still carries a great influence through kings (rulers) of nations today. Then in verse 2, it also says, “…the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

The “wine” here refers to her false doctrines. So the inhabitants are made drunk by her false doctrines. Again what could this mean? Anyone who has had any dealings with an individual who is under the influence of intoxication knows that they are people who are hard to reason with. They are right and everyone else is wrong. Also, a person who is drunk feels secure. He has no worries; everything is wonderful.

So it is with one who is drunk with the false doctrines of this woman. It is hard to reason with them and they feel they are secure in those doctrines. They feel those doctrines are going to save them, when it is just a false security, as the Bible speaks of them as “doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).

6. What else is this false church? Revelation 17:5

Revelation 17:5

This verse says that she is a “mother”. Now, to be a mother, you have to have daughters or sons, don’t you? So this harlot woman gave birth to some daughters (or other churches). Now, when did this happen? It took place during the Reformation, when the Protestant churches started coming out of the Catholic Church. This began in the 1700s.

But reread this verse again very carefully. It says she is a mother of harlots. Those daughters (Protestant churches) that came out of her are also called harlots. They too are false churches. This is something we must admit, for the Bible says so.

Many times when a daughter is born, she will look just like her mother. So as you look at the Protestant churches, they look very familiar to the mother. They all worship on Sunday (the first day of the week). They all believe in going to heaven. Almost everyone believes in a burning hell. Some believe in sprinkling for baptism. So in one form or another, they look like the mother. That is why the Bible speaks of them as harlots, for they too are false churches.

7. The world wondered after the beast. Revelation 13:1-3

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Revelation 13:1-3

This is the very same beast that Daniel saw in Daniel 7:8. It was the fourth beast after it had come down through the other kingdoms (beasts). This fourth beast in some ways looked like the other four beasts. In what way was this? It was in the way they worshiped. The Roman church had adopted doctrines that went clear back to the Babylon empire. The word Babylon means confusion, and that is where the confusion began in reference to false teachings.

Then in verse 3, it says, “…and all the world wondered after the beast.” Even though the Catholic Church lost her hold on the nations as a ruling power, yet the nations had been under her rule for so long, they continued to go in that way, either through the Catholic Church or the Protestant churches (those that came out of her).

8. How many will worship this false religion? Revelation 13:4-8

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:4-8

Verse 8 is the reference we especially want to comment on. It says, “All shall worship Him, whose names are NOT in the book of life.”

So all those who worship the mother or through the daughters will not be written in the “book of life.” Now, I did not say this but God did. God is telling us the danger of worshiping through either of these two. Now, if you want to continue to ignore this warning, you certainly will not be without guilt on the Day of Judgment.

9. What is God asking? Revelation 18:4

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Revelation 18:4

God is giving us the warning, to “Come out of her.” The warning is to come out of the mother and the daughters. If we do not, we will suffer the plagues along with them.

10. The same warning. Revelation 14:8-10

And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of HIS indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Revelation 14:8-10

If we worship the Papal Beast or its image (the Catholic church), we will drink of the wrath of God. So is sincerity enough then? Certainly not. Many Catholics and Protestants are sincere, dedicated people. But that will not save them. (See James 2:17, 20.) Paul was sincere and dedicated when he was putting to death the saints, but if he hadn’t changed, he would have been lost.

11. In vain they worship. Matthew 15:9

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Matthew 15:9

Vain means “without value.” Their worship is without value to God. It is vain because it is not the way He told us to worship. These people are worshiping God through the doctrines of man. And God does not accept it.

12. Who are the saints?

The saints have been born again of the truth, keep the commandments, and have the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12).

13. Why did John know his prayers would be answered? 1 John 3:22

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of HIM, because we KEEP HIS commandments, and DO those things that are pleasing in HIS sight.
1 John 3:22

14. A blessing is promised us. Revelation 22:14

Blessed are they that do HIS commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Revelation 22:14

Obedience is the only way we will have a part to that tree and enter into the city.


It does make a difference what we believe and the way we worship. We cannot be partakers with the woman or her daughters, for the Bible says they all are false in their worship of God. Come out of her now is the warning.

Material from the book Answers to Your Bible Questions by Wesley Walker.

More info:

Answers to Your Bible Questions