New Pope - Old Prophecy

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

I’d like to begin by taking you to the book of 2 Peter. In 2 Peter Chapter 1:12, ‘Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know them and are established in the present truth.’ Yes, I think it’s right as long as I’m in this tabernacle, this body, to stir you up by reminding you. So God willing this morning I can stir you up a little bit.

When I go to the Book of Jude, I read in Jude 3, ‘Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you to exhort you, to contend to earnestly for the faith that was once delivered to the Saints.’ Verse 5, ‘But I want to remind you though you once knew this.’ You know, there’s a time when the Lord impresses on a pastor’s heart to remind people of certain very important basics and today I’d like to say is falling in that category.

The sermon today probably doesn’t surprise you with the title; New Pope, Old Prophecy. I think it’s significant when you have seven billion people in the world when a new both religious and political leader for those 1.2 billion comes into power and they don’t come into power for a four-year term, it could be 20 years, you don’t know. That’s significant. And I think we all know that all the world was wondering and waiting there in the courtyard of St. Peters for the wisps of white smoke to come and announce who would be the new pope. We’ve seen some unprecedented things that have transpired in the last month or so beginning in February with the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict.

Now, he has cited, and I’m sure that’s part of it, that his age has made it difficult for him to carry out his office. Probably a lot of us were thinking that with Pope John Paul II. As a person gets into the very feeble states of their life, it’s hard to manage 1.2 billion people and all that goes with that. So I wouldn’t think that that would surprise us if you were a CEO, but because of the nature of the papacy in that office it’s very unusual.

Matter of fact first time in six hundred years and the pope that resigned 600 years ago only did it because there were two popes that were contending for office. So it really is unprecedented for a pope with no contenders to simply resign. And some have wondered if there maybe is a little more to the story than just frailty and poor health.

In going back a few years, it seems that the Vatican and the papacy have been rocked by a number of scandals. Some of you remember that in 2005 there was a triple murder. Well, there were three people, two were shot, one was a suicide, in the Vatican and when the Italian authorities asked to investigate, the Vatican said we are an independent country, we have our own police. The Italian police are not welcome on the premises; we’ll handle the matter. And the families of the Swiss guards and the woman that were shot were not very satisfied with that answer and I’m not sure they ever did get that resolved.

And then of course there’s almost global scandals connected with priests and the pedophilia and some of the apparent cover-ups that have happened with those things, those various abuses. And then even more recently the pope’s butler leaked, what do they call it, papal leaks or Vatican leaks; I’m not sure, but they leaked some very sensitive Vatican documents that I guess created a lot of consternation in the Office of the Holy. And so see, some have wondered if that was part of it.

I thought it was very interesting that the day that Pope Benedict made his announcement, not long after thunder clouds moved over St. Peter’s Cathedral and a photographer was taking pictures and he clearly took a picture of a lightning bolt that struck the chapel. And first I saw this going around the internet and I thought, oh, that’s Photoshopped, that didn’t really happen. But no, it did happen, it was reported on BBC. Isn’t that interesting? I don’t know what means. I’m not one for signs and wonders, but kind of makes you wonder if it’s some kind of an ominous harbinger that we’re entering a new era. I’m not sure, but it is unusual that within a couple of hours of the pope first time in hundreds of years resigning and searching for a new pope lightning strikes St. Peter’s.

Now, before I go any farther, I’m going to tell you I’m going to say some difficult things today and I know that we have a lot of people here who are guests and visitors. At every service I can almost guarantee we have friends that are from the Roman Catholic persuasion. I know we have a lot of people here that grew up on the Roman Catholic Church and I don’t want anyone to interpret anything I’m saying as trying to be ungracious or unkind to our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters.

I believe that some of the most wonderful people in the world are the Catholic people. I believe that. They do wonderful work, the mission work, and, you know, Seventh Day Adventists are second only to the Catholics when it comes to international schools. They’ve got schools around the world and again the Seventh Day Adventist are only second to the Catholics when it comes to hospitals as far as Christians.

So we believe in education, we believe in medical work. They do a lot of wonderful things in charities around the world and I’m going to talk a little bit about the new pope. I want to stress he may be an absolutely wonderful individual. Seems like a very humble man. That impresses me. I probably share a number of his conservative views based on what I’ve read on things like marriage and abortion and other things. And so not speaking about an individual here, but prophecy does talk about organizations and offices as they relate to the bible and what is Christian teaching in truth and what is not Christian teaching in truth.

And so I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick review for you of what Protestants have historically believed. Now here in our church we are traditionally a Protestant Church as are Baptists and Methodists and Lutherans and Presbyterians and a long list of churches I might name. There was a big historic split about 500 years ago between the principal church in Rome, the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation. There were reasons, biblical reasons, for that split and I think it’s important for us to remember what those reasons are.

Now first of all, I hope I’m not shocking anybody today when I tell you that it was the common universal belief among Protestants, at least 50 years ago, virtually all Protestants believed that the beast of Revelation 13, the first beast was the Roman Catholic Church and that the pope was antichrist. That’s what they believed. I’m not trying to be unkind.

The word beast there does not mean monster. All of the government powers were identified as beasts in prophecy. Daniel in Revelation, lots of beasts. Babylon’s a beast and Roman’s a beast and Greece is a beast and Medo-Persia’s a beast; they’re all depicted as different beasts. And we even think of the bear, what country do you think of? Russia. And when you think of the eagle you think of? U.S. Or Rome also had the eagle too; did you know that? So today when you think of the dragon you think of what country? China.

Biblically the dragon was Rome and the devil, but with that in mind turning your bibles to Revelations 17 and see if you can keep up with me. I’m going to do a quick review of what this chapter is saying about this beast power and then I’m going to get to something more specifically that affects what we’re dealing with right now.

In Revelation 17:1, I’m just going to read verses 1-6. John is in prison and it says ‘Then one of the seven angels who had the seven golden bowls came and he talked with me saying, come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication. And the inhabitance of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her I marveled, I wondered with great amazement.’

All right, let’s pause right here. Let’s identify who is this character, this individual, this woman sitting on this beast that we find in prophecy. And I’ll have some of these pictures up on the screen. So to start with, you’ve got that woman that is depicted, says she’s riding that beast with seven heads and ten horns.

Notice in Revelation 12 you’ve got a similar beast, this is the dragon-like beast with seven heads and ten horns that wants to devour the man-child as soon as it is born from the other woman. The other woman we all understand is God’s bride. His church was bringing forth the Messiah to the world and the devil, the dragon, wanted to destroy Baby Jesus when he was born so the dragon, the devil, working through the Roman Empire -- the dragon is what country? Roman Empire, the devil is working through the power of Rome that persecuted Christ, ultimately crucified Christ and you see this, I mean you know, if I see a black cat and you say, you know, I saw a black cat once, it would be crazy for me to say, you know, we probably saw the same black cat. There’s lots of black cats out there. Who knows, right?

But if I see a beast with seven heads and ten horns and you say you last year I saw one too, I can almost guarantee you we saw the same beast. Do you see what I’m saying? And so the fact that you see the same beast in Revelation 12, Revelation 13, Mark of the Beast Territory, Revelation 17, now a woman is sitting on this beast. What does a woman represent in bible prophecy? A church. That bride of Christ, clothed with the sun, moon and stars is the good church. A woman who has got a tattoo that says Babylon harlot, false church or compromised church. She is sitting on the Roman power.

So right away what principal religious church is sitting in Rome? That ought to narrow down right away who we’re talking about in this woman, but let’s keep going here. Seven heads and ten horns. What do those things represent? Let’s go on to the next slide and it will give us an illustration. Seven hills, it says that this woman sits among seven hills.

Rome is historically known as the City of Seven Hills and you can look in the encyclopedia, a lot of history books, it’s always been known as the City of Seven Hills. And it says in Revelation 17:9, ‘Here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads with seven mountains in which the woman sits.’ Even back in antiquity Rome was called the City of Seven Hills.

Furthermore, it tells us about -- go to the next slide, who this woman is. You go to the very end of chapter 17, if you had any doubts about who the woman is, it says the woman that you saw is that great city that reigns over the kings of the earth. When John was in prison on the Isle of Patmos, what great city was ruling over the kings of the earth? Rome. So here we’ve got again, a church, a woman in Rome, no question about who it is. Let’s move on a little further and you see if you don’t agree.

It says the woman is -- what is she wearing? Says she’s arrayed in purple and scarlet. The two principal colors that are used -- the cardinals. And we saw this during the recent conclave. The cardinals are always wearing scarlet and the bishops are wearing purple. And there’s a dramatic picture that helps to illustrate that.

And then it tells us about the wealth of this organization. That it lives in a palatial style of wealth. A little different than what Jesus had when he walked the earth. It says she is adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls. The Catholic Church is fabulously wealthy. I read once and I believe it that the Catholic church is the largest holder of silver in the world and they have more, nobody can contest that that Catholic church owns more priceless relics and items than any other institution. And that’s in Revelation 17:4.

This is another big giveaway and this was a point of controversy in the reformation is the golden cup. It tells us that she’s got a golden cup in her hand that is full of abominations and the kings of the earth have been made drunk with it.

Now during the communion service Jesus gave the disciples grape juice. Jesus called it new wine. New wine in the bible means unfermented. The bread was unleavened, unleavened bread, the pure body of Christ, the grape juice unfermented, the pure blood of Christ that washes away our sin, but within the Roman Catholic Church it was fermented.

And not only that, the priest when he conducts a Mass says that through the incantations and prayers he is transferring this grape juice, this fermented grape juice, into the actual blood of Jesus. And I’ve actually been at services before where the priest had to conduct two or three masses and he drank from the wine several times and he was obviously tipsy before the day was over from doing this, so I don’t think that that’s good for any minister. But the golden cup; do you see a golden cup? It’s considered the most sacred vessel in dispensing the Mass in the Catholic Church and you find it there in Revelation 17 as well.

And then it says that this woman was full of names of blasphemy. Blasphemy means when you put yourself in the place of God. Well, here’s some quotes from history and these are just a few friends. I’m giving you just a very quick overview of prophecy. These are old things I’m sharing with you that the reformers all believed. Some of the titles of the pope. We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty. Well, that is -- blasphemy is putting yourself in the place of God and that would seem to me to fit that category. Pope Pius XI said, ‘You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on the earth, the vicar of Christ, which means I am God on the earth.

Well, that’s in this last century that that was said. That’s not that old so they have never renounced their teaching. Matter of fact, the Catholic Church claims infallibility, which would lead us to believe they still believe that. And so when a new pope comes into power we wonder how he’s going to press forward the ultimate agenda, which is to call back wandering Christians to the fold, Protestants.

And then another slide it tells us that ‘Sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God’ and you’ll find this in 2nd Thessalonians, this next verse, chapter 2:4. ‘Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worship so that he sits in the Temple of God showing himself that he is God.’

Seems to be an object of worship. When you have a person and you bow before them and kiss their hand and they are carried around on a throne, it’s not exactly what Jesus called the Apostles to do when they were on earth. There’s been some kind of change there with this kind of adoration that a person is receiving. So that just kind of gives you an overview.

I think it’s also important to understand prophecy tells us that this power is an independent government and a religion. You realize of course that the Vatican is classified as one of the smallest countries in the world. It is an independent country. Did you know that? On those 109 acres in 1929 under the terms of the Lateran Treaty Vatican City was established as an independent state, population of about 1000. They’ve got their own postal system, their own little choo-choo train, and they’ve got their own magazine, their printing press, their own police force, their own currency and the pope is of course the supreme leader in every area of the Vatican.

And millions of people and ambassadors from around the world flocked to the Vatican. Isn’t it interesting that governments like the U.S., many governments of the world have ambassadors he gathers together and speaks to the United Nations. They don’t get the United Nations together to listen to Joel Osteen or Billy Graham do they? But there’s something different about the pope. He is a political power, they acknowledge that.

And it says, ‘This woman receives her seat and authority from the Roman Empire as the Roman Caesars lost their power and as Rome fell, in its place the Roman Church came into power.

And they started out as a purely Christian institution. But in their effort to reach the Romans they said let’s make some compromises and so they began to compromise some of the teachings with the Roman Pagan teachings to try to reach the Roman Empire, but what happened is the Roman Empire and Paganism infiltrated the church and so what you largely have today in the Catholic Church is the co-mingling of Christianity and a dose of paganism.

And I’ve seen as I’ve traveled around the world as you go from country to country you’ll find that different parts of the pagan religion, for instance, you go down to Central America and Mexico; what do they call that, Dia del Muerto; Day of the Dead? Did I say that correctly, the Day of the Dead? That’s a big festival in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Churches all celebrate the Day of the Dead. Now where’s that in the bible? Well, they got that from the pagans in Mexico and the Indians and they said well, you know, we could mix this in. And you’ll find they do a little bit of adopting and morphing in all these different countries to assimilate these things.

Now, I’m going to read to you a list. I should post this on Central if you want to look at it later, ten points. These are not all the points; these are just ten points that are prominent differences that led to the reformation. Differences between what the bible says and what the Catholic Church was teaching and doing. And by the way, the Protestant reformers, Martin Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Knox, these were all devoted, dedicated Catholic priests that were reading the bible and they told the church we need to get back to the bible and the church says, we’re not changing and so they left. So the reformation was started by Catholics in the church that said we need to get back to the scriptures. Okay.

Let me read what some of these points are. This is a very short list.

One, the bible teaches that we should not bow down to statues. Exodus 20:4-5 and you’ve got it right there on the stones behind me, I’m sure you can read that in Hebrew. The Roman Catholic Church says that we should bow down to statues, not ancient tradition, but it’s a medieval tradition. And I don’t think anyone here will contest that you’ve all seen devoted Catholics praying before a statue of Mary or one of the saints. And by the way, I have Catholic friends that will say well Doug, I’m not really praying to the statue, I know that’s just a statue, but it makes me think of Mary or it makes me think of St. Joseph or whatever the saint is. Well, that’s what every idolater says. When people pray to Buddha do you think that any Buddhist just bowing before a statue of Buddha really believes that that statue is Buddha? No, they’re tell you no, it makes me think of Buddha. But that’s what idolatry is all about.

Two, the bible teaches that all have sinned except Jesus. By the way, that’s Romans 3:10-12, Hebrews 4:15, the Roman Catholic Churches teaches that also Mary was sinless.

Three, the bible says that Jesus is the only mediator between God and Man, 1 Timothy 2:5. Catholic Church says that Mary is co-mediator with Christ.

Four, the bible teaches that Christ offered his sacrifice on the cross once and for all. Hebrew 7:27 and 10:10. The Roman Church teaches that the priests perpetually sacrifices Christ on the alter at Mass. The bible teaches that all Christians are saints and priests, Ephesians 1, 1st Peter 2; the Roman Catholic Church says that saints and priests are a special cast within the Christian community.

Six, the bible teaches that all Christians should know that they have eternal life. 1 John 5:13. Roman Catholic Church teaches that all Christians cannot and should not know that they have eternal life.

Seven, the bible teaches that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath of the Lord. Exodus 20:8-10. The Roman Catholic Church openly admits that they have substituted the first day of the week for the seventh day of the week claiming the church has authority to alter the law of God.

Number eight, the bible teaches we should call no religious leader father. Jesus said call no man your father, that’s Matthew 23:9, you have one Father in heaven. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that we may and should call priests and pope father.

Nine, the bible teaches not to pray in vain repetition. Jesus said do not do that, Matthew 6:7. The Roman Catholic Church says that we should say the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary or other prayers repetitively. The bible teaches us to confess our sins to God for God only can forgive your sins. Isaiah 43, Luke 5:24. The Roman Catholic Church says that you must confess your sins to the priest for forgiveness. The teachings of purgatory, limbo, prayers for the dead are nowhere found in scriptures; they’re relics of the papacy. This is where you apply the words of Jesus where He said ‘In vein they do worship me teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ Mark 7:7.

Now, did you know that the first individual on record to accuse the pope of being the office of antichrist was a pope? It’s true. Pope Gregory the Great lived from 540 to 604 but became the last of four original doctors of the church. He became known as St. Gregory. At the end to the ancient church period he said that such a church teaching came from the spirit of antichrist. Here’s his quote, ‘I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself the universal bishop or desires to be so called is in his pride a forerunner of antichrist. Well, they ended up calling the Bishop of Rome the pope, the Supreme Bishop and he said you should not do that, that’s antichrist.

Antichrist means a teaching that is against the teachings of Christ. It does not mean a person is a half-breed devil human. Some people look at this Rosemary’s baby idea in their head that the word antichrist means that somehow the devil or demons had intimate relations with a human and the baby is the antichrist, part fallen angel, part human. That’s fairytales. Antichrist means the teachings or the office that they hold or the institution is against the teachings of Christ. And I tried to illustrate that.

All of the great reformers, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Huss, people like great preachers like Spurgeon, Dwight Moody, and I could go on and on. They all believed that the beast of Revelation 12:13-17 was the Catholic Church and the pope held the office of antichrist. Now that’s only the first beast in Revelation 13. I don’t know if I’m going to have time to tell you about the second beast, but that was the refresher right there. That was a quick refresher.

Now with that in mind, oh by the way, let me give you a couple of quotes here. Here’s a quote from Martin Luther. ‘We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real antichrist. Personally I declare I owe the pope no other obedience than I owe to antichrist.’ That’s from his sermon on August 18, 1520.

Zwingli said, ‘I know that in its works might empower the devil.’ That is of antichrist speaking of the Catholic Church.

In Calvin, in his institutes he did not even use the word pope. Wherever Calvin used the word pope you know what he said? Antichrist. Calvin had been a Catholic priest.

And the thing that stands out this week that’s unusual, it’s not that we had a new pope. Popes come and popes go. Right? Time moves on. But a lot of unprecedented things happened. Not only was it the first pope from the Americas, but a lot of unprecedented things happened. Not only was it the first pope from the Americas, that’s significant, first pope from the Western hemisphere shows a shift in where the power is, he also is the first pope who is named Francis.

And the main thing I think you should sit up and pay attention to is this is the first Jesuit pope. Now when you say the word Jesuit different things pop into peoples’ minds. First of all, the Jesuits never established themselves as the order of Jesuits. That was a name that sort of stuck later and they embraced it. It’s like Mormons did not call themselves Mormons, they called themselves Latter Day Saints, but everyone else called them Mormons because the Book of Mormon and it’s a name they finally acknowledged.

Well, that’s sort of what happened with the title Jesuits. These were people -- it was a special order within the Catholic Church that was established by Ignatius of Loyola in 1540 and they were to be a militia within the Catholic Church that were specially trained, that took special vows to defend the church.

Now the church at that time people were leaving by thousands, hundreds of thousands and joining the Protestant reformation. And so they established this and some of the vows that they took to be part of the Jesuit society were pretty serious and even a little bit sinister. You won’t hear much about that today because everything has been toned down in the rhetoric between Protestants and Catholics, but to my knowledge they haven’t changed the vow and the allegiant and the purpose is still the same.

Let me read a couple of little -- matter of fact, if you want to see it for yourself, you can just go on line and you’ll find some websites that will -- they’ve reprinted this. It’s something that they don’t publish. It’s been kind of spirited out from some of these secret meetings. It’s long; I’m not going to read it all to you.

There are different levels in the Jesuit order and this is a vow taken at the final level. A lot of dear, lovely people that are very innocent and unassuming are teaching in Jesuit schools, they’re very big on education. Part of the reason for that was they established their institutions to become -- when you control the education, you control the thinking don’t you? America was established as a Protestant country and they realized that in order for us to forward the church’s agenda in this country we need to be teaching their children. We must be very patient, we need to be farsighted in what our plans are.

The candidate would kneel before the superiors on a red cross clutching a black crucifix with a dagger in the other hand. It was a blood vow they’d finally seal by signing with their own blood. And they’d make a number of promises.

The superior would say ‘You’ve been taught that it’s your duty as a spy to gather all statistics, facts and information in your power from every source; to ingratiate yourself into the confidence of the family, circle of Protestants and heretics of every class and character, as well as the merchant, the banker, the lawyer, among the schools and universities, in parliaments, and legislatures and judiciaries and councils of state and to be all things to all men for the pope’s sake, whose servants were are unto death.’

In other words, part of what their purpose was as a militia; isn’t it a military’s job to kind of infiltrate and gather intelligence and through subversion to spread information? ‘My son, therefore you have been taught to act as a dissembler. Among the Roman Catholics be a Catholic.’ It goes on to say and ‘Among the Protestants be a Protestant.’

This is part of the vow. ‘I do now denounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or state named Protestant or liberal or obedience to any of their laws, magistrates or offers. The name of Protestant be damnable and they themselves be damned if they will not forsake the same.’ Again, this is long and I’m not going to read it. Matter of fact, there’s some of it that is actually pretty disturbing. I won’t read it to you because I don’t know if it would be appropriate in a church.

‘I do further promise and declare that I will, when opportunity presents itself, make and wage relentless war secretly and openly against all heretics, Protestants,’ and so forth, ‘that I will provide myself with arms and ammunition, that I might be in readiness when the word is passed that I am commanded to defend the church either as an individual or with a militia of the pope and then the superior would finally declare go ye then into all the world, take possession of all lands in the name of the pope. He who will not accept Him as the vicar of Jesus Christ and His Vice-regent on earth let him be accursed and exterminated.’

That’s pretty strong language, I mean I don’t remember Jesus saying go teach all nations and those that don’t go along with you, exterminate.

So, it’s a very militant branch of the Catholic Church. Matter of fact for years the Catholic Church itself would not entertain or support the Jesuits because they were considered to be a fanatical fringe because of these vows, but that’s changed obviously. That’s why I think it’s extremely significant that we know that the first Jesuit pope has been chosen. We must assume that in the early ages of his life, he took these vows and felt this way.

And if you think I’m making all this up, let me read something to you from the book Great Controversy, a great book I recommend. This is from page 234. ‘The first triumphs of the Reformation passed, Rome summoned new forces hoping to accomplish its destruction. At this time the order of the Jesuits was created. The most cruel unscrupulous and powerful of the champions of popery cutoff from earthy ties and human interests, dead to the claims of natural affection, reason and conscious, wholly silenced, they knew no rule, no tie, but that of their order. And no duty but to extend its power.’

Matter of fact, I think I have another quote in here, yeah, here it is. This is from Great Controversy, page 235. ‘Under various disguises, the Jesuits worked their way into offices of state climbing up to be counselors of kings and shaping the policy of nations. They became servants to act as spies upon their masters. They established colleges for the sons, princes and nobles and schools for the common people and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rights. All the outward pomp and display of the Romish worship was brought to bear to confuse the minds and dazzle and captivate the imagination and thus the liberty for which the fathers had toiled and bled was betrayed by the sons. The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves all over Europe and the Americas and wherever they went, they followed a revival of popery.’ There are other quotes. I’m just giving you a couple of samples of that.

So just understand, as nice as this person might be, what is a Jesuit? New pope, new name. You’ll be hearing that he picked the name Francis because of St. Francis of Assisi, but actually others are saying that that’s an assumption that they’re making. It’s probably more likely he took the name Francis in the name of St. Francis Xavier, one of the founders of the Jesuits.

Catholicism in the New World. This is just a little trivia I thought I’d put in here to give you an idea of how things have changed. I read that when Columbus first landed in the Western Hemisphere in 1492, scholars now estimate, you know, at first they thought they thought there was just a few people here, but when they look at the ruins of the civilizations that they see there may have been as many as 60 million indigenous people living in the Americas, none of them were Catholic at that time.

One of the first things the Europeans did is they sent very -- you know, one thing I’ll say about the Jesuits. They were willing to die for what they believed in. A lot of Jesuit missionaries died. A lot of them were tortured by the natives in different countries, but they were committed to make Catholics wherever they go. And now approximately -- started 60 million people, none of them Catholics, now 568 million Catholics live in North and South America, the largest religious group in that territory. That’s pretty remarkable expansion. Things have changed since that time.

One more thing, even in America things are changing if you haven’t noticed. I think I mentioned this, I mentioned this once before, but I want to put it back up on the screen again. One of the most important things a president does is he picks Supreme Court justices. That is probably the most lasting thing he does because what the Supreme Court does really defines who we are as a people. We need to pray because our Supreme Court is going to be talking about gay marriage soon. And I tell you, it’s going to be a tight call. No one knows exactly how this is going to play out. If you have the right judges in there we wouldn’t be ringing our hands right now, but things have changed.

Did you know if you go back about -- well first of all, when America was founded and the Supreme Court was established, every single Supreme Court justice was a Protestant. Now you might think well that’s not fair, that’s because people wanted to pick judges that would protect the Protestant principles of freedom of religion and liberty.

But look what’s happened in the past 50 years or so. Green would represent Protestant, red would represent Catholic and the blue is Hebrew or Jewish. Things have radically changed and now since the retirement of John Paul Stevens in 2010, there are no longer any Protestants, zero, on the Supreme Court. The majority of the Supreme Court is now Catholic and here you have their religious affiliation that they freely advertise. But can you see it’s radically changed?

What I’m concerned about is what I’m going to call Protestant amnesia. I started out telling you that it’s possible for us to forget our history and you realize nobody is saved by understanding the things that I am telling you today, but I think it’s important we don’t forget our history; we don’t forget what’s happening politically in the country.

Let me read a quote to you from the book Great Controversy, page 564. ‘Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years.’ If that was true when she wrote it I wonder what she would think today. ‘In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence.’ Well, they’re just about now in the ascendency here.

Do you know right now there are slightly more Protestants in North America than Catholics, but that’s quickly changing. ‘The Papists are taking a more conciliatory course in order to gain influence. There’s an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines.’

This is the thing that concerns me, friends. There’s an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy. Why is that important to me? Because the truth sets you free. The reason people join churches I hope is because of what it stands for, what it embraces as the truth. But now people are saying let’s join this church because I like the building, it’s close to the house, it’s where grandma went, they’ve got all these other reasons for joining a church other than what do they teach.

What’s the truth? Jesus said, I’m the truth. Truth is something worth dying for. ‘The opinions gaining ground after all. We don’t differ so widely on vital points as been supposed and that a little concession on our part will bring us in to better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value on the liberty of conscious which has been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to arbor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God,’ but how widely different are the sentiments now expressed?

I was kind of stunned. Oh, I guess I wasn’t stunned, but I sure heard a lot of it listening to the news. You know, the big news once they announce the pope, it just flooded all the airwaves. And I heard a lot of announcers. They were interviewing Protestant leaders and they thought oh, wonderful man, humble man. And I’m going they’re just all fawning over a Jesuit pope. And I thought do they know why they are Protestant? I venture to say that a lot of Protestants have amnesia and we have no idea why so many laid down their lives and even came to this country.

We didn’t come to this country because we were great mountain men and explores. Most of us didn’t know what we were doing, the pilgrims, they died the first year because they weren’t wilderness people. They were looking for religious freedom. And a lot of them were willing to die to get religious freedom.

So how would we go about losing that freedom? Would it happen overnight or little by little? It’s happening now. ‘The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been misunderstood and the Protestant world is inclined to accept this statement. Many urge that it’s unjust to judge the church of today,’ listen to this. ‘Many urge that it’s unjust to judge the church today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as a result of the barbarianism of the times and they plead that the influence of a modern civilization has changed her sentiment.’ Oh, where has that change been published? I’d like to see the published statement that we no longer believe the things that we once believed. No, I don’t believe so.

Page 566, that was page 564, let me read one more quote. This is a quote from Great Controversy. ‘The Protestant churches are in great darkness or they would discern the signs of the times. The Roman Church is far reaching in her plans and mode of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to reestablish persecution and undo all that Protestantism has done.’ This is what’s happening.

So, what’s next? Well, we already know that the beast power has international influence. Like I said, I’m waiting now to see when this new pope will speak to the United Nations and when the next president, our president will meet with the new pope. Because it’s just -- it’s one of those connections, like every president makes a trip to Israel, invites the leader of Israel to our country. It’s just a very important bond because of the loyalty of the Jewish people around the world. They also need to do that with the leader of the Catholic world. And you’ll see, I think, a lot more happening and this man seems to be a very loving, charismatic, humble man that he’s not as much the theologian and the bookworm as Benedict was. Little more a man of the people. And so I think you’re going to see rapid things happen quickly. How do they say, final movements may be rapid ones.

So friends, what do we do? Go to Revelation 13. Yeah, we’ll pray. Revelation 13:11. In Revelation 13:11, ‘Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth and it had two horns like a lamb and it 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.’

Now, I think I’ve got a picture of the Vatican and the Capital. Have you ever noticed some of the similarities between the design in Rome? Do you know why there’s so much Roman architecture in Washington, D.C.? Our founding fathers actually they meant well. They were trying to break away from the Monarchies of Europe and they said we want a republic.

Rome started out before it turned into a dictatorship; it started out like a republic where it was run by the people. We want to return to the Great Republic of Rome and so they put all this Roman architecture up, but it ended up looking an awful lot like what you would find in Vatican City. And we began to make an image to the beast.

Do you know that when America was building the Washington Monument that the papacy trying to reconcile with the Protestants in America sent a marble stone and said I’d like to donate this block for you to include. America was struggling financially to finish the monument. You know, it took them like 40 years to finish the Washington Monument, stopped during the Civil War among other things. So the Catholic Church said, here, we’ll help. They sent a marble block.

Still, at that point the sentiments in America were so strong they took the marble block and they tumbled it off in the Potomac River and they said we don’t want anything from the beast.

But things have changed. Who can forget that vivid picture when Pope Paul John, II died and you see three or four American presidents on their knees before the corpse of the pope? I’m sure they didn’t mean that they were worshiping, they were just being respectful, but it still is a stirring image. And then when, like I said, our president goes to visit the pope and he’s probably going to plan a visit before too long. Either he’ll come -- I’ll wager that before the pope comes to the U.S. that the president will go to Rome. I could be wrong. Oh, I’m not wagering, I’m sorry, we don’t gamble in church. I don’t play the lottery, no. Just figure of speech, forgive me.

But typically the one who goes to the location of the other is showing deference to the authority. And so I’m suspecting that you’re going to see our president planning a trip to Rome maybe even before the year is up and that they’ll be building that relationship.

But Babylon still exists. There are two beasts in Revelation. It’s not one beast. When we talk about the mark of the beast, there are two beasts. You’ve got apostate Christianity in Europe with the seat there in Rome and you’ve got apostate Christianity that’s happened now in North America with evangelicals that are compromising scripture. And the two of them are going to get together. Protestants will be foremost in stretching their hands across the abyss to clasp the hand of Romanism. And then joining hands with spiritualism under the three-fold union of those powers the final events are going to happen rapidly.

I don’t have a deadline or date that I’m going to share with you. The wheel of prophecy sometimes seems to turn slowly, but I’ll promise you friends, it turns. And everything that God said in His word is going to happen; indeed it’s happening before your eyes. And I just did not want this significant prophetic event to go unnoticed or unidentified in our church so people will at least be aware of what’s happening.

You’re probably not going to see the world collapse around you tomorrow, but I want you to be wise, I want you to be praying. And what it really means to you, we can all have Babylon in our hearts. You may be a member of a Protestant Church, but you can be apostate in your heart. If you’re not following the teachings of Christ, it doesn’t matter where your membership is. There are going to be a lot of Roman Catholics in heaven. Might even find some bishops of Rome that will make it to the Kingdom. I don’t know mans’ hearts. God judges people according to the light they have. And you’ve got people in my church that may not be there just because their names are on the church roles doesn’t mean we’re going to be in the Kingdom.

Are we following the truth, the teachings of Jesus? Have we forgotten what our fathers and mothers died for and fought for or are we willing to stand up for the same? It’s the truth that will set you free.



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