The Overcomers, by Witness Lee


A. A Woman Having Leavened the “Three Measures of Meal” (the Entire Teaching concerning the Element of Christ in His Person and in His Work)

In Matthew 13:33 Catholicism is typified by a woman who leavened the “three measures of meal,” the entire teaching concerning the element of Christ in His person and in His work. The Catholic Church accepted the New Testament teaching, but they leavened it. Bread without leaven is hard to take. Leavened bread is soft and easy for people to eat. This is the reasoning of the Catholic Church. The Catholic people have so-called pictures of Jesus, and many of them believe that this is Jesus. If you ask the priests in the Catholic Church why they do this, they will say that Jesus is spiritual, mysterious, and hard for people to apprehend, so they need something physical like pictures or statues in order to apprehend Him. Our natural being likes to use certain things to make spiritual matters easier to assimilate. This is what the Bible calls leaven.

The so-called pictures of Jesus are of a handsome man, but Isaiah tells us that He had no comeliness or outward beauty (Isa. 53:2) and that His visage was marred more than that of any man (52:14). There is one Catholic cathedral in Manila with a statue of Jesus, and all the worshippers entering into the cathedral touch the feet of this statue. What a superstition this is! One brother who was brought up as a Catholic came into the Lord’s recovery and began to see that Jesus lived in him, so he went back home to tell his relative. The relative responded that she also had Jesus, and she pointed to a picture of Jesus hanging on her wall. Such pictures and statues are idols.

In 1937 when I was traveling in North China, a case of demon possession was brought to my attention. A certain sister had become possessed. I checked with the saints concerning whether there were any idols in her home. Eventually, I learned that on the wall there was a picture of the so-called Jesus, and I told her to burn it. A number of Catholics kneel down, worship, and pray to this picture. When she burned that picture, the demon departed. Idols, including pictures and statues, are the means used by the demons to hide themselves. The so-called picture of Jesus is an idol. By this we can see that the Catholic Church is altogether superstitious.

At a Catholic cathedral in Manila, I saw many people purchasing candles and placing them before the images and idols on the walls. Some of these idols have inscriptions under them which say that if you pray a certain prayer every day for a period of time, you will reduce your dead relatives’ time in purgatory. Purgatory in Roman Catholicism is a place where those who have died go to be purged of their sins through suffering.

Catholicism has taken in many pagan, idolatrous things. G. H. Pember pointed out in his book The Great Prophecies that Buddha is actually a saint in the Roman Catholic Calendar under the name of Saint Josaphat (see Life-study of Revelation, p. 585). This is why Revelation 2:24 says the Catholic Church has the deep things of Satan. The Roman Catholic Church has many satanic mysteries. Even the architecture of the Catholic cathedrals with their stained-glass windows and high ceilings makes them very dark. In addition to this, they are full of idols. In the Roman Catholic Church, the worship of idols is taught. Idol worship is a kind of witchcraft for contacting the demons.

The Catholic Church does not keep the pure truth but has leavened the truths of the Bible with evil, heretical, and pagan things. Once the meal is leavened there is no way to purify it. Today the entire Catholic Church is a mixture of truth with leaven. They admit that Christ is God, but they call Mary the mother of God and say that she has no sin. This shows again the heresy and superstition of the Roman Catholic Church.

B. The Woman Jezebel Calling Herself a Prophetess

Catholicism is portrayed as the woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess, teaching and leading the people of God, even with “the deep things of Satan” (Rev. 2:20, 24). Catholics do not say, “The Bible says.…” Instead, they say, “The church says.…” The church here is signified by Jezebel. The Catholic Church today is the woman concerning whom the Lord prophesied in Matthew 13, and she is also the Jezebel spoken of in Revelation 2. Jezebel was the pagan wife of Ahab, an evil king (1 Kings 16:30-31), and she did many evil things (2 Kings 9:7). The Catholic Church in the eyes of God is like that evil Jezebel, teaching heresies. This apostate church is a self- appointed prophetess, one who presumes to be authorized by God to speak for God.

The Catholic Church leads people into spiritual as well as physical fornication (Rev. 2:20). One writer spoke of a certain place near a monastery being full of the bones of babies. Thus, we can see that the Roman Catholic Church propagates fornication and promotes idolatry.

(The Overcomers, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)