Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Pope, Papacy and Prophecy

The Pope, Papacy and

The death of Pope John Paul II and the funeral of this

much honored Pope electrified the world. Millions

journeyed to Rome to be a part of the historical event.

But what lies ahead for the Catholic Church? How

many more popes will there be? What does the future

hold? Here is a new look at the Vatican, the papacy,

and cryptic ancient prophecies for the End Time!



William F. Dankenbring





Authorities estimated that more than 5,000,000 people came to witness the funeral of Pope John Paul II. People walked around his coffin at the rate of about 300 per minute, a rather rapid pace. The line stretched for miles. An estimated two billion or more people viewed the proceedings on worldwide television!



The massive and elaborate funeral had the masses spell-bound. Potentates, priests, and common people all paid their grave respects and sought to be a part of one of the profound moments of history.



No one of this generation has seen anything like it!



Surely, the Roman Catholic Church has been reborn as a force to be reckoned with in human society and around the globe.



What kind of pope will replace John Paul II? How many more popes will there be till the “End” of the age?



This final pope is designated as “the Roman.” The Romans were noted for their tightly knit administrative prowess, as well as their cruelty and bestial character.



Will this pope be the cohort of the “Beast” – and hold the office of the “second beast” of Revelation, during the end of this age?



Calling him “Peter the Roman” may imply that he will be like a Roman Caesar, reaffirming the city of Rome and the Vatican as the SUPREME AUTHORITY in the religious world community! He may require ALL to acknowledge the pontiff of Rome and the Vatican as the supreme religious authority. As the council of Vatican I states, he may require all to acknowledge “the holy, Catholic, and apostolic Roman Church as the mother and teacher of all churches.”



If so, then watch out! The fur will fly furiously, and the Next Inquisition will be right around the corner!



As the apostle John wrote of it: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony which they had given; they cried out with a loud voice, ‘Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?’ They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow servants and of their brothers and sisters, who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed” (Rev.6:9-11, NRSV).


The Great Whore



This diabolical persecuting power of the end time is described vividly in Revelation, chapter 17. This chapter describes the great persecuting Church of the end of days, led by the supreme apostate Church of Rome.



The apostle John declares: “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the GREAT WHORE who is seated on many waters [many nations], with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the inhabitants of the earth have become [spiritually] drunk.’



“So he carried me away in the spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a WOMAN [symbol of a church] sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name, a mystery: ‘BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF WHORES and of earth’s abominations.’ And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the witnesses to Jesus” (Rev.17:1-6).



John was very amazed when he saw this vision and the power of the great whore. The angel told him, “Why are you so amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her.” He goes on to describe the “Beast,” and then says, “This calls for a mind that has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated” (Rev.17:9).



Seven mountains? Rome is the city of “seven hills”! Alexander Hislop writes, “No other city in the world has been celebrated as the city of Rome has, for its situation on seven hills. Pagan poets and orators, who had no thought of elucidating prophecy, have alike characterized it as ‘the seven hilled city.’ Thus Virgil refers to it: ‘Rome has both become the most beautiful (city) in the world, and alone has surrounded for herself seven heights with a wall.’ Propertius, in the same strain, speaks of it (only adding another trait, which complete the Apocalyptic picture) as ‘The lofty city on seven hills, which governs the whole world.’ Its ‘governing the whole world’ is just the counterpart of the Divine statement – ‘which reigneth over the kings of the earth’ (Rev.17:18)” (Hislop, The Two Babylons, p.2).



Hislop continues, explaining, “Now, while this characteristic of Rome has ever been well marked and defined, it has always been easy to show, that the Church which has its seat and headquarters on the seven hills of Rome might most appropriately be called ‘Babylon,’ inasmuch as it is the chief seat of idolatry under the New Testament, as the ancient Babylon was the chief seat of idolatry under the Old.”



In fact, says Hislop, “It has been known all along that Popery was baptized Paganism; but God is now making it manifest, that the Paganism which Rome has baptized is, in all its essential elements, the very paganism which prevailed in the ancient literal Babylon” (ibid.).


God Is Fed Up!



Almighty God is fed up with this idolatrous system of worship. He holds it in contempt as an abomination. Even the world itself will get fed up with the witchcraft, sexual abuse, idolatry, and wickedness of this apostate organization.



The angel tells John, “The waters that you saw, where the whore is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And the ten horns that you saw, and they and the beast will hate the whore; they will make her desolate and naked; they will devour her flesh [her treasuries] and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled. The woman that you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:15-18).



Why would the nation-states of the end-time beast power turn on the whore, and ravage and destroy her? The horrendous stench of her wickedness and wantonness makes even their hearts twinge and ache. Could it be the failed prophecies of this great whore, promising them victory and triumph in their march to greatness, only to lead to a massive invasion by the armies of the East and North – China, Russia, and their numerous allies – will cause them to see the whore as she really is?



Whatever the case, they will turn on the great whore, and destroy her churches, seize the wealth of the Vatican, and burn the Vatican with the fury of fire.



God says, “Come down and sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon! Sit on the ground without a throne, daughter Chaldea! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal, remove your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen. I will take vengeance, and I will spare no one. . .



“Sit in silence, and go into darkness, daughter Chaldea! For you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms. . . Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one beside me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children’ – both these things shall come upon you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments” (Isaiah 47:1-9, NRSV).


God’s Warning and Call



Almighty God abhors this wicked, evil, serpentine system of idolatry and false worship, claiming to be the “only true church” and “true religion.” It is an utterly corrupt and filthy abomination in His sight.



God thunders to His people, around the world, “Come out of her, my people, so that you do not partake in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, so give her a like measure of torment and grief. Since in her heart she says, ‘I rule as a queen; I am no widow, and I will never see grief,’ therefore her plagues will come in a single day – pestilence and mourning and famine – and she will be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her” (Rev.18:4-8).



God thunders to us of this present generation, which will see these things happen, “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Beliar [a term for Satan the Devil]? Or what does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will live in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore COME OUT from them, and be SEPARATE from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (II Cor.6:14-18, NRSV).



Terrible days lie ahead. Great changes are soon to occur to the nations and governments on planet earth. A great dark religious apostasy will rise up like a dark, shadowy monster, enslaving the minds and lives of billions. What path will you take? The Messiah warned: “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).



It is high time to seek the Lord, and return to Him, before all these things come to pass. Pray fervently, imploring God to lead you safely and securely in the coming days!

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