Today as I came to prepare my blog about the new pope, I re-opened a note I’d made a week or so previously, and had never finished. Now, it seems even more relevant, so I will start off with what I wrote then:
Fatal Attraction of the Man of Sin
The Man of Sin [2 Thess 2:3] (or Antichrist as he’s become known) is often portrayed in movies as devilishly evil, vile, bloodthirsty, murderous, totally depraved and abhorrent.
In other words, all that people imagine the devil to be. Yet this isn’t the biblical appearance of the False Christ.
Movies set out to deceive. This portrayal of the antichrist is incorrect, persuading people that the coming master of the world is like a figure from a medieval painting, with glowing red eyes, pitchfork and horns.
Instead, the devil comes as an “angel of light”. [2 Cor 11:14]
Many think that love can only come from God. Yet there are some forms of love that are demonic, and appeal strongly to the worldly and soulish, those who are moved mostly by their needs and drives and emotions.
We’ve already seen thousands falling over themselves (literally) to “receive the spirit” at church meetings, a spirit that makes them feel blissfully happy and loved.
This is but a softening-up process, and a drop in the ocean compared to the feelings this angelic god-man will arouse.
When he comes, his power to deceive, his supposed goodness, lovingkindness and wisdom, will be so very appealing that men will fall down and worship at his feet!
Indeed, I believe his power to draw men to himself in adoration and obedience could even be a snare for unwary or backslidden Christians who think they are immune to the wiles of the devil.
We need to understand this, to avoid being dragged along with the crowd.
What could possibly cause most of this world to worship a man? How could all religions, and none, line up behind a man to the extent of adoration, obedience and worship? What could he say or do that would be so attractive?
Hitler is a TYPE
You have only to consider the rise of Hitler before the war. Germany was desperate, humiliated after losing the first world war, economically bankrupt, and in search of anyone who knew how to dig them out of their national hole.
Hitler did not really take over by force. He was elected (albeit deceitfully) by a people who NEEDED him, or so they thought. Hitler had the knack of preaching exactly what the crowds wanted to hear and so they followed him, in their millions.
In a world of sin and disorder, people are fed up with their Governments, but there’s nobody else to turn to. They desperately want strong and bold leadership that will unite the world into a new expression of hope – strength that can overcome conflicts, remove evil dictators, heal national wounds, and above all, provide mankind with security! Peace and stability! Personal empowerment! Respect and dignity for ALL!
These are not ungodly aims when they are sought in the Lord. However, mankind does not want to bow the knee to Almighty God in order to be blessed. Surely the “other-christ” will speak words that will be music to the ears of a weary and fearful human race, and will open the door to a new kind of world.
NOW READ ON…
I wrote those words two weeks ago. Today we know there is a new pope, one who appears to be everything a pope should be, gentle, wise, caring, friendly, accessible and godly. He washes the feet of the poor. He lives simply. He takes the lower place, and even cracks jokes.
He doesn’t support abortion or the gay agenda. His doctrine is very traditional and conservative. And he is on very good terms with Israel, too.
So far so good. What could go wrong?
Well, bearing in mind what I began to write last week, please read this report from Israel National News:
During a meeting with the leaders of the Catholic Church in Poland at his Jerusalem residence Thursday, President Shimon Peres congratulated the new pope on being chosen for the office. “The newly elected Pope represents devotion, the love of G-d, the love of peace, a modesty, and a new continent which is now awakening,” Peres said.
“We need, more than ever, ***a spiritual leadership and not just a political one***. Where political leaders may divide, spiritual leaders may UNITE. Unite around a vision, unite around values, unite around a FAITH (a JEWISH Prime Minister says we need to have a faith, but what IS that faith…?) …a faith that ***we can make the world a better place to live***.”
Peres invited the new Pope to visit Israel and said,
“I would like to take this opportunity to invite the newly elected Pope to pay a visit to the Holy Land at the earliest possibility. He’ll be a welcome guest in the Holy Land, as a man of inspiration that can add to the attempt to ***bring peace*** in a stormy area. All people here, without exception, ***without difference of religion or nationality*** will welcome the newly elected Pope.”
Addressing relations with the Vatican, Peres said that,
“relations between the Vatican and the Jewish people are now at their best in the last 2,000 years and I hope they will grow in content and depths.”
(Think about that last statement. The Vatican did not exist two thousand years ago! The Jewish people at that time crucified their Messiah! Their relationship with the early Christians was one of hatred, persecution, and martyrdom. Their relationship with Rome was a precarious servility at a time of great oppression, which led them eventually to revolution, and destruction, and exile. What then could Peres mean by his statement?)
Also, the references to religious and national unity and a new hope for peace in the Middle East are equally troubling on a biblical level.
Opus Dei Connections
There were early rumours that Pope Francis is a member of the secretive and cultic Opus Dei organisation. However, Matthew Fox, veteran Catholic commentator, said this :
“He belongs to this group called Communion and Liberation, which is a very right-wing group in Italy. It’s been compared to Opus Dei. They call it the Italian Opus Dei. And it claims to be lay-based, just like Opus Dei claims, but in fact it’s run by clerics…. Opus Dei represents the far right of the Catholic Church in alliance with the far right of various ruling elites in different countries, and it’s a kind of secret, conspiratorial [group]… they are so prominent in the Catholic Church today.
They’re appointing Opus Dei cardinals and bishops all over South America, and now in North America as well. Pope Francis is [not] a member of Opus Dei. He was close to the Communion and Liberation [Group]. And they are another version that’s close to Opus–. Opus Dei began in Spain. Communion and Liberation is a more recent group. They began in Italy. And they are less secretive than Opus Dei. That’s one reason we know he was part of it, because Opus Dei tends to be very secretive about who is in and who isn’t.”
The Mortal Wound That Was Healed?
Oh, and this just in [BUT PROBABLY A JOKE]: “Allegedly he was **mortally injured** as a child when a woodcutter accidentally struck the **back of his skull** with an axe. It was thought **he had died** at one point but they **revived him and he recovered**. The experience was one reason he decided to join the church.” (source)
But let me stress, I have NOT yet found supporting evidence of this, and this forum post is completely uncorroborated. I haven’t found anything to support it – I suspect it’s a joke, but please tell me if you know better.
The New Pope
Some rather strange dates and times emerged during the election process, most of which could not have been arranged in advance.
Here you can see screenshots of the actual announcement of the name of the new pope at exactly 3.13 Eastern Standard Time, on the date 13th March 2013.
You can also see the curious timing of the white smoke that was seen just as the clock showed 7.06 in Rome, which is 66 minutes past 6, or 666. Interesting!
13 is his number
So, on the date 13-3-13 a new and unique pope was elected. He is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Buenos Aires, Argentine (however, his parents were Italian immigrants, and as far as some are concerned this keeps the Malachy prophecies of ‘Petrus Romanus’ in play for he is Italian and therefore “Romanus” See HERE ).
However, such so-called prophecies are extremely unreliable and possibly fake. Their only use is to give a heads-up to the forward planning of the devil as he seeks to prepare worshippers for his arrival on earth.
I will shortly take a look at one or two of the better-known visions and prophecies, to give an example.
The new pope took the name “Francis”. Never before has there been a Jesuit pope, and never before has there been a Francis.
One Catholic commentator called it a cosmic shift in thinking at the Vatican.
“It’s a pope from Latin America, which is huge in terms of a whole theological perspective,” Father Rich Perry said. “No one has ever taken the name Francis before, and it says something about his connection to St. Francis of Assisi, who stood for simplicity, working with the poor and rebuilding the church.”
Although it is reported that the new pope says the name Francis is “in honour of Francis of Assisi” because of his desire to promote simplicity and environmentalism, some believed it was also a side-reference to Francis Xavier, co-founder with Ignatius of Loyola of the Society of Jesus, aka the JESUITS of which the pope is a leading member.
Instead of spending time exposing the Jesuits for what they are, I refer you to a very useful article HERE.
The Catholic church and Pope Francis have been accused of a complicit silence and worse during the “dirty war” of murders and abductions carried out by the junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983.
The evidence is sketchy and contested. Documents have been destroyed and many of those who were victims or perpetrators have died in the years that followed. The moral argument is clear, but the reality of life at that time put many people in a grey position. It was dangerous at that time to speak out and risk being labelled a subversive. But many, including priests and bishops, did so and subsequently disappeared. Those who stayed silent have subsequently had to live with their consciences – and sometimes the risk of a trial.
Its behaviour during that dark period in Argentine history was so unsaintly that in 2000 the Argentine Catholic church itself made a public apology for its failure to take a stand against the generals. “We want to confess before God everything we have done badly,” Argentina’s Episcopal Conference said at that time.
In February, a court noted during the sentencing of three former military men to life imprisonment for the killings of two priests that the church hierarchy had “closed its eyes” to the killing of progressive priests.
As head of the Jesuit order from 1973 to 1979, Jorge Bergoglio – as the new pope was known until yesterday – was a member of the hierarchy during the period when the wider Catholic church backed the military government and called for their followers to be patriotic.
Bergoglio twice refused to testify in court about his role as head of the Jesuit order. When he eventually appeared in front of a judge in 2010, he was accused by lawyers of being evasive.
The main charge against Bergoglio involves the kidnapping of two Jesuit priests, Orland Yorio and Francisco Jalics, who were taken by Navy officers in May 1976 and held under inhumane conditions for the missionary work they conducted in the country’s slums, a politically risky activity at the time.
Signs and Portents Galore
The resignation of the previous pope in February, forcing the election of Francis, was immediately followed by several dramatic events:
- a lightning strike on the Dome of St Peter’s in Rome
- four days later, a minor earthquake rattled Rome and neighbouring precincts.
- an asteroid passed closer to the earth than ever before, at about 17,100 miles.
- a meteor struck Russia injuring over 1,200 people, some seriously.
In the week of the papal election there was another comet, this time bright enough to be seen in the daytime.
Comet PANSTARRS reached perihelion on 10 March, 45 million km from the Sun and 166 million km from the Earth. Europe’s earliest sight of Comet PANSTARRS came on 12 March, the day before the new pope was announced.
[There is yet another and a more spectacular comet to come later this year. I am going to look at that comet and its path through the skies in another post, because I believe it does rank as a “sign on the heavens”.]
Visions and Prophecies – what use are they?
In all our reading of, and interpretation of, various religious visions and prophecies, we have to remember that Roman Catholic eschatology is NOT the same as the evangelical protestant church.
The differences are crucial.
Catholics have always believed that the Jews are eternally damned, and have forfeited their biblical promises. Therefore, the inheritance both spiritual and temporal is given to the RC Church as the New Israel. The kingdoms of earth and heaven belong to Rome, according to their creed!
The head of that church, as the ‘vicar’ or stand-in for Jesus Christ, holds the keys of the kingdom. Only through the RC church, in obedience to the pope, can one enter heaven!
For Catholics, there is little to no understanding of the book of Revelation or biblical eschatology, all of which arose after the Reformation. Medieval and ancient prophecies of the End in the Roman Catholic church have to be read in that context.
Thus we can read the prophecies as the devil’s propaganda. It helps us understand the agenda of the antichrist. Perhaps it will also give light to events this year.
For example, Tomasuccio de Foligno (1319-1377 A.D.) gave a word that he dated to “about 12 years after the millennium”:
“One from beyond the mountains shall become the Vicar of God. … By about twelve years shall the millennium have passed when the resplendent mantle of legitimate power shall emerge from the shadows where it was being kept by the schism. And beyond harm from the one who is blocking the door of salvation, for his deceitful schism shall have come to an end. And the Mass of the faithful shall attach itself to the worthy Shepherd, who shall extricate each one from error and restore to the Church its beauty. He shall renew it.”
Here we have the theme of a noble and worthy pope coming to restore and renew the Church after its tribulations and divisions. Instead, we know the believing Church will be taken OUT of the “wrath to come”.
A very notable apparition and prophecy was given at Fatima (approved by the RC Church as ‘worthy of belief’) and this also speaks of a time of trouble, followed by reformation.
The apparition at Fatima called amongst other things for the “public dissemination of the Third Secret Text” and “the consecration of Russia (and Russia alone) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. ONLY a Pope can take action to fulfill these requests.
Benedict XVI was the only pope with full knowledge of the Third Secret of Fatima! Some claim that its contents contributed to his decision to resign.
Antonio Socci – a well-respected author of the Italian Catholic mainstream media, well-acquainted with Cardinal Ratzinger and Cardinal Bertone, decided to fully investigate the debate on the Third Secret of Fatima.
His research led him to conclude that “the words of the Madonna pre-announce an apocalyptic crisis of the faith in the Church starting from the top.”
In his blog post (in Italian) on February 12, 2013 he states his opinion that Benedict XVI (now Pope Emeritus) decided to resign/abdicate based on what the Third Secret Text fully reveals. He considers it likely that Benedict XVI felt that, if the Third Secret Text was released during his papacy, the world would ridicule it.
Other Prophecies of the End
I have mentioned the Malachy prophecy that some claim is an indication this could be the “Last Pope” before the return of Jesus Christ.
The version often quoted relating to Petrus Romanus is this: “In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people.”
However in an older version, as provided by Fr. Culleton in 1941: “During the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit upon the throne Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep amid great tribulations, and when these are passed, the City of the Seven Hills will be utterly destroyed, and the awful Judge will then judge the people.”
The difference relates to the Tribulation. In the earlier version the last pope’s reign is said to be during the “last persecution of the Church”, rather than an unspecified time of trouble not necessarily the biblical End.
In both versions however, this pope is seen as a powerful leading light to his flock. And in both versions the sequence of events suggest the Roman Church are the good-guys who will be saved and restored, while the evil apostates will be judged. (Including all non-Catholic believers.)
Why then does the Malachy prophecy say that the “seven-hilled city” will be destroyed?
This is an underhanded and ambiguous clue to Catholic eschatology, in which ISRAEL are the “christ-killers” the apostates and persecutors, fit only for damnation, for the “seven-hilled city” applies as much, or more, to JERUSALEM as to Rome! (And this page lists the other possibilities, including Constantinople in modern-day Islamic Turkey – interesting! )
There are a number of similar prophecies circulating in the Roman Catholic church. (See this page for full versions.)
5th Century, writer unknown:
“…I see the king of Rome with his Cross and his tiara, shaking the dust off his shoes, and hastening in his flight to other shores. Thy Church, O Lord, is torn apart by her own children. One camp is faithful to the fleeing Pontiff, the other is subject to the new government of Rome which has broken the Tiara. But almighty God will, in His mercy, put an end to this confusion and a new age will begin. Then, said the Spirit, this is the beginning of the End of Time.”
Abbot Werdin of Otranto (died 1279 A.D.)
“The great monarch and the great Pope will precede the Antichrist. The nations will be at war for four years and a great part of the world will be destroyed. The Pope will go over the sea carrying the sign of Redemption on his forehead. The great Monarch will come to restore peace and the Pope will share in the victory.”
Brother John of the Cleft Rock (1340 A.D.)
“Toward the end of the world… God will raise a holy Pope over whom the Angels will rejoice. Enlightened by God, this man will reconstruct almost the entire world through his holiness.”
John Capestran (died in 1456 A.D.)
“There shall be signs of the sun and moon when there shall be created a man stronger than any prince, and he shall renew the face of the Church. At this time, Anti-Christ shall have been trodden under foot and all the world shall enjoy the faith and peace of the Most High.” (Supposedly refers to “Peter the Roman”)
Nicholas of Fluh (died in 1487 A.D.)
“The Church will sink still deeper until she will at last seem to be extinguished, and the succession of Peter and the other Apostles to have expired. After that, she will be victoriously exalted in the sight of all doubters.”
Anna Katerina Emmerich (1774 A.D. – 1824 A.D.)
On May 13, 1820 “I saw also the relationship between the two popes – I saw how baleful would be the consequences of this false church. [two popes? This has only happened a couple of times in all RC history, but is true today!] … I saw a great darkness – then, the vision seemed to extend on every side. Whole Catholic communities were oppressed, harassed, confined, and deprived of their freedom. I saw many churches close down, great miseries everywhere, wars and bloodshed. A wild and ignorant mob took to violent action. But it did not last long. Once more, I saw the Church of Peter was undermined by a plan evolved by the secret sect, while storms were damaging it. But I saw also that help was coming when distress had reached its peak. I saw again the Blessed Virgin ascend on the Church and spread her mantle. I saw a Pope who was at once gentle, and very firm – I saw a great renewal, and the Church rose high in the sky.”
Anna Marie Taigi (19th century mystic)
“Religion shall be persecuted, and priests will be massacred. Churches will be closed, but only for a short time. The Holy Father shall be obliged to leave Rome….His Holiness himself shall nominate a most Christian King for the government of France….After the three days of darkness, St. Peter and St. Paul, having come down from Heaven, will preach in the whole world and designate a new Pope. A great light will flash from their bodies and will settle upon the cardinal who is to become Pope. Christianity then will spread throughout the world. He is the Holy Pontiff, chosen by God to withstand the storm. ***At the end, he will have the gift of miracles, and his name shall be praised over the whole earth***.”
Compare this last statement to scripture:
- 2 Thess 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders;
- Rev 13:13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men;
- Rev 13:3 And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying,”Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
(I find it interesting that two of these scriptures have the same numbers seen in the election of pope Francis (13:13 and 13:3))
Now, we understand the agenda behind these supposed visions and prophecies, to prepare Catholics, at the least, for the arrival of antichrist, whom they will believe is their great and holy leader, destined to raise them to greatness. This same mystic went on to say:
“Whole nations will come back to the Church and the face of the earth will be renewed. Russia, England, and China will come into the Church.”
Since this is not the biblical course of events, we see the deception behind the words. I have listed these prophecies in order to illustrate the lateness of the hour, our need for alertness and right thinking, and the significance of current events, including the new pope.
Pope Pius X (died 1914 A.D.)
In 1909: “What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests!”
In 1914, he again had a vision:
“I saw one of my successors by name fleeing over the corpses of his brethren. He will flee to a place for a short respite where he is unknown; but he himself will die a cruel death.”
Reforming The Church
The most deceptive thing to the nations is not somebody wicked and manipulative, but a pure, good, honest and gentle man. The false prophet who wields the power of the political leader, the Antichrist, has the “horns of a lamb” the authority of The Lamb (Jesus Christ) although he speaks with the mouth of the dragon (Satan).
Rev 13:11-12 “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”
The new pope seems, by present accounts to be a “reformer”.
Perhaps many Catholics see him as the fulfilment of their prophecies. After the intrigues, scandals and public humiliation of the Catholic church recently, most cardinals presumably sought for a genuinely spiritual and humble man who would use his authority to reform the Church from within as well as present Catholicism as a viable alternative to other religions and humanism, who would be, in their words “evangelical” about spreading the Catholic message worldwide.
Reform in a sense is more dangerous than rebellion. Traditional values are more enticing to today’s Catholics than the kind of modernism they had thrust on them in recent years. However, this does not make the Catholic doctrines any more biblical or less damaging to people’s souls than before!
Reform drives underground the essential problems with unbiblical doctrine, and reassures people who are hungry for morality and reliable leadership.
In the bible version of events, there will indeed come a time of great trouble and disaster. But this will not be against the visible Church consisting of those who have already fallen away from the truth, rather, the persecution will stem FROM them.
Rather than a Great Monarch and a Great Pope arising to renew the faith, they will actually try to overthrow it. The only result of a new missionary effort by this loving, caring, humble pope will be thousands more falling into a soul-destroying deception.
What then are all these signs signalling?
Instead of a restoration of the true Church on earth, led by a holy Pastor, they are actually describing the rise of apostasy and globalism under the disguise of peace and unity, led by the Man of Sin, about whom I began to write two weeks ago.
I am not saying that Pope Francis is that man, because neither God nor the bible have informed us of those precise facts.
Nonetheless, it’s another signal to “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.” (Mark 13:33)