Benedict Lights A Fuse
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Christian greetings to you this month. Thank God that we have His word to guide us during these very uncertain times. Thank you too for your prayers and support. It means so much to us. We also appreciate your emails and letters with your testimony of how Keep The Faith Ministry, by the grace of God, has made a big difference in your life.
Enclosed in your packet this month is a very special DVD from Hartland College. It is a moving account of the dedicated young people who have attended there. I don’t suppose there is any place that is more dedicated to training missionaries for God’s cause than Hartland College. Hartland College is a calling, and young people who really want to serve God with all their hearts should certainly consider attending there. I hope you can watch this DVD. Keep in mind that it is not a CD, but a DVD that you can play on your computer or TV (if you have a DVD player). If you don’t, find someone who does and watch it with them. You will be greatly blessed. Please share the DVD with young people who have a spiritual commitment and want to learn to be missionary soul-winners in these last days.
Recently, during his trip to Bavaria, Germany, Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech in which he commented about Islam. His comments were like a grenade, creating a firestorm of violent protest from Muslims around the world. Some burned the Pope in effigy, others called for the assassination of Benedict XVI, a nun in Africa was killed, churches were burned, and other violent acts were committed.
Most western commentators remarked at length on the superficial issues, such as the truth of his comments about Islam’s violence, what he really meant to say, or his response to the violence. Most however, missed the deeper significance and the real intent of what Benedict did in Regensburg, Bavaria. Why did Benedict XVI do what he did and say what he said? This question was largely overlooked because most commentators don’t have a clue about prophecy.
This month’s eye-opening message is packed with amazing information about recent developments in fulfilling prophecy especially in Europe. I will share with you some arresting statements by powerful “kings and merchants of the earth” who are cooperating with Rome to develop a European superstate with the Vatican at the head of it all – in essence they are resurrecting the Holy Roman Empire.
But before I do, let us bow our heads in prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your living word. Thank you for revealing to your humble followers the truth concerning our salvation and the future, and how to prepare for the coming of Jesus. Our lives are so busy and so full of things to do, but we are satisfied that in your word we can find peace in this chaotic world, and that we can find assurance that your word will be fulfilled. Now teach us today, through your Holy Spirit as we open our study of prophecy. In Jesus’ precious name, amen.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Revelation 13:1-9. “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. 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. If any man have an ear, let him hear.”
This sacred passage tells us of the great apostate power that once ruled the world, particularly the western European Empire, known as the Holy Roman Empire. Do you think Islam can make war with Rome? I don’t think so. The Vatican and the Pope are too shrewd and they have the mastery of politics and economics. Islam doesn’t have a hope to overcome the Vatican. But there is a larger issue. Rome is quickly becoming the mistress of the world – again. The Roman Catholic Church persecuted those who did not agree with her dogmas and doctrines. Millions upon millions of people lost their lives during the Inquisition under her rule. And the Bible declares that she will rule again, and that all the world shall wonder after the beast. Please note verse seven: “and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Do you think the Bible means what it says? Roman Catholicism is going to rise to world-wide power to control all kindreds, tongues and nations, and will become a persecuting power again.
In order for Rome to rule the world and force all people to worship her, she has to have the cooperation, the conspiratorial cooperation, of many rulers both political or economic. There are many who spend a lot of time looking into the secret conspiracies of this world – and there are plenty. They like to know about Free Masonry, the Bilderbergers, the Tri-lateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many others. But the Bible puts them into perspective. These are the “merchants” and “kings of the earth” found in Revelation 18. They work with world rulers and with Rome to make themselves rich and powerful.
Revelation 18:3 tells us that “the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” Those who control nations, and those who control the economy are the ones unquestionably spoken of here. The political rulers unite with Rome to enforce her dogmas.
The Bible points us to Rome, Roman Catholicism, as the conspiracy behind all these other conspiracies. They work together to bring about the triumph that Rome has long sought, the control of the world and the persecution of God’s true people. The rulers of nations commit spiritual fornication with her through church and state alliances, while those who control the economy work with her so they can benefit from their connection with both the church and the state.
Rome is at the center of Bible prophecy, in conflict with Christ Himself. These other conspiracies have their place, but they are not the focus of prophecy. How is Rome going to become the most powerful ruler in the world? How is Rome going to regain the political control that she lost?
To understand this you have to understand a bit of history. The Middle East and Europe have been closely connected in history. When Islam invaded the West, it permanently connected the two regions. Though events in the Middle East dominate the press, we must watch something more important. For Rome to rise again to unprecedented power, she must revive the Holy Roman Empire! That involves Europe. Since the fall of the pagan Roman empire, Europe has been divided into small feuding states. But now, the rise of the European Union threatens to unite them all under one central government, controlled by Rome, through the largest economic and political government in Europe, the nation of Germany. While these nations “shall not cleave together” ultimately, there will be one last attempt to bring them all under one head to give their loyalty to the Catholic Church. For the scripture says “these have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Rev 17:13.
Now, as the world falls apart, and as the Middle East becomes embroiled in a serious crises, as terrorism threatens to force the unraveling of western culture and way of life, Europeans fear that large percentages of Muslims will form a destabilizing mass. Their political leaders see the need for strong action! They realize that they need to resurrect their Christian heritage, they need to go back to their roots.
That was the message Pope John Paul II brought. He worked tirelessly to revive the Holy Roman Empire. Early in his pontificate, in Spain, on Nov. 9, 1982, he said this: “[I]t can be said that the European identity is not understandable without Christianity and that precisely in Christianity are found those common roots by which the Continent has seen its civilization mature: its culture, its dynamism, its activity, its capacity for constructive expansion in other continents as well; in a word, all that makes up its glory… Find yourself again. Be yourself. Discover your origins, revive your roots. Return to those authentic values which made your history a glorious one and your presence so beneficent in the other continents.”
While there is certainly dispute about the historical correctness of John Paul’s statements, what exactly are those roots? Charlemagne, the forefather of the Holy Roman Empire, waded through seas of blood to convert people to his empire and to Roman Catholicism. During the Inquisition, over 50 million innocent people were killed in the name of “Christianity”! And you can add many millions more through the crusades. Those “origins” and “roots” and that “history” to which John Paul referred caused many millions of people to die! It was not glorious and it was not beneficent.
Pope Benedict has been repeating that same message: When he visited his native Bavaria in September, according to the Christian Science Monitor, September 15, his message was, “Europe needs to rethink the thesis that secularism and economic progress go hand in hand” Benedict wants Europeans to reject secularism and embrace religion as the means of economic progress. He is speaking right to the heart of the issue with the Europeans – particularly the Germans who lead the economic development of Europe.
And Europeans are listening. Roman Catholicism is taking on a new life in Europe. Politicians, for example, are supporting the pope’s movement. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to insert a reference to Europe’s Catholic Christian heritage into the EU constitution.
Foremost German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, a self-professed secularist, recently left the that viewpoint. In 2004 he made a surprising statement: “Christianity,” he wrote (meaning Catholicism), “and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization.” He added, “To this day, we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.” While his statement is certainly false, more and more Germans are identifying Catholic Christianity as the foundation of the West. Benedict XVI is trying to build a philosophical basis for the populations of Europe to believe it anyway.
Germany’s Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Bernd Neumann recently made a shocking statement. He said the “Europe-wide German Reich of the Middle Ages can… serve ‘as a valid model of the functioning… superstate” (Germany-Foreign-Policy.com, August 8, 2006). In discussing the founding and steady expansion of the modern European Union, this German politician is talking about reviving the Holy Roman Empire which he sees as having historical consistency!
Benedict XVI is “a committed supporter of the ‘Imperial Ideal‘…” and said “the origins of today’s EU should acknowledge ‘a common imperial idea.’” Benedict has been invited to speak in Berlin in 2007 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which established the European Economic Community in the first place. “According to George McGhee, former US ambassador to West Germany, the treaty was nurtured at Bilderberg meetings” (Wikipedia, article: Treaty of Rome). Note that it was a conspiracy of the Bilderbergers that worked with Rome to start the process of European Unity and now the power elites, in conjunction with Benedict XVI, are moving to finish it. “The German press” reported German-Foreign-Policy.com, already reports that the religious consecration (that is, the speech of Benedict XVI in Berlin), will validate the European Economic Community and will be dedicated to ‘the spiritual foundations of Europe’s political unification. The invitation legitimates the ‘Reich’ concept of a stable co-operation of church and state.”
“The explicit aim of the organizers” of the exhibition, according to German-Foreign-Policy.com, August 8, 2006, is “to examine the past of Old Europe in a time of fundamental inner and external reorientation.” What is that reorientation? Many political leaders see the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, or the Holy European Empire if you will, in the offing, but much beyond its original borders. Accordingly, the organizers are saying that they have traced the historical “structures and developmental processes” which will help in the construction of the modern version of the Empire which would include, in Germany’s view, the nations that border her on the east which she aims to control as they come into the EU.
But anyone who knows history should be able to see how events in the Middle East will make a huge impact on Europe. Europe is poised for a dramatic increase in Muslim influence both from within its own citizen base and from without. European leaders realize that they must act. So in response to last summer’s war between Hezbollah and Israel, Germany and Italy sent troops to Lebanon to keep the peace. Italy is there with ground troops and Germany is there with its naval force and soldiers. These two nations largely comprise what once was known, since the 6th century, as the Holy Roman Empire. It is the influence of the Middle East that is actually the catalyst for the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. Europe must address the issue of Islam, and Benedict is positioning the Vatican to take advantage of the situation.
The fact that Germany and other European nations are so involved in peacekeeping operations shows a dramatic shift taking place. Regarding Europe’s involvement in the Lebanon/Israel crisis, EUbusiness.com (September 1, 2006) reported, “It was a new step in moving the Union away from simply being the region’s biggest provider of aid, to an honest broker increasingly accepted by all sides, with growing political leverage.”
Europe is seeing what’s happening in the Middle East and, led by Germany, is rising to meet the challenge. Israel and Jerusalem are surrounded by Islamist enemies. Now Europe, including Germany, has been invited to Lebanon to defend Israel. Germany is becoming a global leader and chief peacekeeper.
As Iran and its radical allies continue to destabilize the Middle East and bring it to a crisis, watch for Europe to become more involved with Israel. This rising Holy Roman Empire has already gotten involved and will likely get even more involved. History repeats itself, of which this is a classic example, as a final crusade brings the world to the third and final world war.
For the first part of Revelation 13 to be fulfilled, there has to be a revival of the old world, the Holy Roman Empire. Listen to what Ellen White has to say about this. This is from Great Controversy, pg. 616. “Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the new will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts.”
It is Romanism in the old world that is going to bring about a new euro-persecution against those who don’t go along with Europe’s soon coming Sunday laws, while it will be the image of the beast, or apostate Protestantism in North America – the new world, that will oppress God’s people who refuse to join the coalition enforcing Sunday worship.
There is one more interesting set of facts relating to the resurrection of the old Holy Roman Empire. How is Rome going to gain economic control of the European Union? Listen carefully.
In the last 10 years or so, there has been a dramatic economic convergence in Germany. Germany is positioning itself to politically manipulate the revived empire through its economic strategy.
On March 16, 2006, the International Herald Tribune reported that “German companies have stepped on the gas in the past 12 months… They’re in conquering mode, and we’ve not hit the peak yet.”
According to German-Foreign-Policy.com, August 9, 2006, in the first quarter of 2006 alone, German companies agreed to spend a record $99.5 billion on takeovers – more than all of 2005.
Germany has the largest economy in Europe, accounting for 20 percent of all the EU’s economic activity. It has also become the world’s third-largest economy and the EU’s largest exporter. German business enterprises have expanded their European market share by over 25%, more than double the French and 2.5 times the Italians. 2004 and 2005 were record setting years for German companies in foreign sales, and in 2005 more than 130 companies listed on Germany’s four leading stock exchanges increased their net profits by an average of 30 percent.
The New York Times (January 17, 2006) said that a reinvigorated Germany has “far-reaching implications” for Europe and the world. “German industry, ‘back in fighting trim…’ has begun flexing its muscles overseas.”
The most obvious manifestation of this German corporate muscle-flexing has been the recent flood of German corporate takeovers. Business Week said that the corporate leaders of German hunter companies like Siemens, the engineering group Linde, and energy conglomerate E.On, are like “young lions” that are “quick to pounce.”
When these kinds of terms, “young lions” and “conquering mode” are used to describe Germany’s corporate presence, you should take notice. These are enormous companies who have been eating up smaller companies like bars of candy. They have positioned themselves to become the largest companies in their business sector in all of Europe.
But other German companies are taking over strategic industries too. The German stock exchange Deutsche Borse has been battling for control of Euronext, another stock exchange. If this merger succeeds, it will create the first truly pan-European exchange organization, representing a “significant step forward in the integration of European financial markets,” said Agence France Presse, on May 22, 2006. If this merger succeeds, Europe’s major financial markets in Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon will all fall under German control. That is dramatic.
German companies such as Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, Allianz Group, RWE and many others have all actively bought out foreign competitors, extending their reach and influence throughout Europe.
Here is how this relates to prophecy. Across Europe, major power, gas, water, manufacturing, telecommunications, finance and media corporations have fallen to German buyers. These are industries no nation would want to be in the hands of an enemy during a crisis. Even in good times, it opens a nation up to coercion – in bad times, blackmail or worse. Rome gains when there is consolidation of power and economy. Control of the economy provides political power. German financiers and businessmen are turning their nation into the kind of power that Rome needs to gain control of the whole European Union. And its not over yet…
Now, Rome knows that German religious roots are Catholic, even though for a time, the Reformation removed Germany from its fold. But if Germany gains the economic control of the EU, all Rome has to do is control the leaders of German politics and economy and she will be master of Europe. Can you see why Rome wanted the Berlin wall to come down and was willing to conspire with President Reagan to accomplish it? Rome needs a united Germany with a powerful economic engine. This is worth noting because there is no way that the Holy Roman Empire can ever be revived if German power is limited. The fall of the Berlin wall was strategic and with far-reaching results.
Interestingly many of these very companies or their predecessors marched in step with the German military prior to and during World Wars I and II. In order to be able to provide support for the military, there was a lot of consolidation within the various industries before the war began. Many of them provided the military technology and hardware for the German Reich that gave it the muscle it needed to wage war on its neighbors.
For example, I.G. Farben, a notorious industrial and Chemical conglomerate that manufactured the poison gas Zyklon B for the gas chambers of Auschwitz and other concentration camps, went through a period of consolidation before World War II like many other companies. I.G. Farben bought up BASF, Bayer, Hoechst, AGFA and other chemical industry interests and doubled in size. It became the largest chemical manufacturer in Europe, famous for its innovations, and monopolized the chemical industry. It was one of the largest corporations in the world at the time. I.G. Farben was so big that it controlled an enormous segment of the economy of Germany prior to the war, so that without it, it is said, the Nazi’s could not have gone to war. IG Farben supported the murderous Nazis wholeheartedly during the war and made a lot of profit in manufacturing synthetic fuels and synthetic rubber among other things that the Nazi’s needed. They even built factories near Auschwitz to take advantage of the free slave labor provided by the concentration camps, and in 1942 they even built their own concentration camp – Monowitz – under supervision of the Nazis, to improve their productivity. After World War II, I.G. Farben executives were prosecuted for war crimes and were sent to prison for their rather enthusiastic cooperation with the Nazis.
I.G. Farben was broken up into its constituent companies after the war, some of which are still in business today, including Bayer AG the manufacturer of Bayer Aspirin. In order to provide the necessary resources for the third world war, there must be an industrial basis that is large enough and consolidated enough, so that the coming Holy Roman Empire will be able to sustain their side of it. Like I.G. Farben and the companies that prepared for war then, mega-corporations in Germany are now consolidating the industries of Europe under German companies to position themselves for huge profits when the inevitable war arrives.
Today, far-seeing German companies, under a unified Europe, no doubt recognize that their time to prepare and position themselves for the third world war is now, and that it is short. And they are doing it with abandon. Far seeing Rome, is positioning herself to be the master of Germany. In the coming world war, Germany will probably again play a significant role. Europe will find itself under German control long before the war starts. These conditions will help to coerce the other nations that might be more resistive to being controlled by the EU in Brussels and by the Vatican in Rome. Rome will certainly use this political and economic power to her advantage in the coming years.
Now, having said all that, let us look again at the comments of Benedict XVI in Regensburg. To the casual observer, the Pope’s many speeches during the six-day visit to Germany in September were a group of homilies from a well-intentioned, but aging religious leader. But to the careful observer of history and to any student of prophecy, Benedict’s remarks spell out an agenda. He used the occasion to powerfully clarify the future of the Papacy on matters that will have a significant global impact on religion and the international political order.
While in Bavaria the Pope had audiences with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s president Horst Kohler to discuss matters relating to German society. The Pope expressed support for Germany’s concerns about the impact of Islamic penetration into German society.
During his visit the Pope covered many topics including ecumenism, pan-Islamism, the traditional connection between Germany and Rome, religion vs. secularism, and the need for Europe to return to its Roman Catholic roots.
But nothing was more passionately pressed from his Bavarian pulpit than his pet theme of exhorting Europe to return to its religious roots, and the burning issue of Islamic extremism!
The powerful speech at Regensburg University addressed the challenges that both secularism and Islamism pose to the church. That speech, with its reference to the statement of Emperor Manuel II Paleologus that attacked Islam and the “holy war” concept, ignited a world-wide Islamic reaction. In it he quoted the emperor as saying, “Show me just what Mohammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
These words ignited a reaction that will be felt for some time to come, perhaps until the close of probation. The Pope’s words were taken out of context and the shouting began.
Most commentators in the media and press expressed opinions that the Pope was ill-advised to use such inflammatory language, or that he did not really mean what he actually said. While many pointed out that it was an accurate statement of Islam’s way, a few went a little deeper and pointed out that Rome was historically guilty of doing the same thing. But hardly any at all caught the real significance of what he said.
The fact is that the Vatican is very careful with what is said in every setting. Their intelligence gathering and information about the political state of the world is top notch. Benedict’s words were certainly chosen specifically for that occasion and were no doubt reviewed by top Vatican officials. There is no escaping the conclusion that these words were deliberately chosen and calculated to create a certain type of response.
Benedict’s nearly 4000 word speech was in reality, throwing down the gauntlet to Islamists. He said that “violence is incompatible with the nature of God… God is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature… Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats…. To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death.”
The key point here was that “violent conversion is not reasonable and is contrary to God’s nature.” This is in essence saying that Catholicism is reasonable and that Islam is an irrational faith. Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is not a rational being in his view, for example. Only Benedict’s god is rational.
It is interesting to note Benedict’s choice of words, and the logic behind them. Those who are “reasonable” don’t need threats to convince them, and since Catholicism is the only “reasonable faith,” they will naturally come to Romanism in his view. But historically, those who are not “reasonable” and who refuse the “reasonableness of Catholicism,” can be threatened, strong armed, punished for obstinacy, and even killed, as Rome actually did for centuries against anyone that she defined as “unreasonable,” that is; those who disagreed with her and would not come under her supposedly reasonable authority. In other words, Rome can go to war, or get her client states to go to war against an unreasonable Islam; Rome can torture, maim and otherwise persecute individuals whom she defines as heretics, but no Christian or Christian nation under Rome’s authority should ever be the target of Islam’s jihad. Its just not reasonable.
Benedict certainly knew that these words were bound to ignite a strong reaction. Benedict is known for his brilliant intellect. His speech was well thought out and prepared in advance. These remarks were not off-the-cuff or accidental. The choice of Emperor Manuel’s words was both deliberate and calculated – calculated to get a reaction! There were many other examples by which to illustrate the reason of faith that he could have used.
Islamists demanded an apology. But the Pope carefully responded by regretting the reaction his speech caused, and avoided an apology for the choice of the emperor’s words.
The Pope is more than a scholar. He is a very good politician, otherwise he would not likely be pope. He is no stranger to geo-politics. Popes know how to play power politics.
But that leads us to the larger question. Why would Benedict XVI choose this moment, in his home state of Bavaria, the very heartland of Catholicism in Europe to use these inflammatory words to his audience of mainly Catholics?
The Pope knows that if Rome is to return to its former glory in the Old World, he must somehow unite his more than 1 billion faithful world-wide. He also knows that the best way to do this is to unite Catholics at their historical and cultural base, the European continent. Islam poses the greatest threat to Catholicism in Europe. Therefore Benedict knows that the struggle between Christianity and Islamism will center in Europe. There is no better way to rally Europeans than by providing them with a single common cause that overrides all else and counteracts all tendencies for division? A fight that they cannot ignore.
Germans are concerned about the influx of Islam into Europe. They see the chaos that militant Islam is stirring and they are very worried that they will lose their way of life. Benedict’s comments were a rallying call for Eurocentric Catholics to rise up to the challenge and confront Islam. The Pope is calling for another crusade. He is actually, in the name of peace, calling for war.
Could it be, that the Roman Catholic Church recognized back in the late 1980s that the coming conflict with Islam would necessitate a reunited Germany as the foundation for the new Holy Roman Empire and to support the final crusades? Could it be that Rome orchestrated the collapse of the Berlin wall and the communist controlled east Germany with U.S. president Ronald Reagan, in order to give German companies the time and the elbow room to develop their strength again and make Germany strong? Remember that the kings and merchants of the earth give their power and strength to the beast. Rome has been masterfully manipulating Europe since at least the 1980s and probably way before then, to control its destiny all through the pontificate of John Paul II. Now Benedict XVI is benefiting from it and taking it much farther.
While German companies are consolidating, Benedict XVI is working very hard to place the church as the political power broker of Europe. Linking with Germany is a very strategic move.
Germany was the core of Rome’s former glory. It was Germany that provided the most support for the crusades (though not exclusively), prior to the Reformation. German industry as well as its government, has a history of supporting world wars I and II, and is ideally situated, now that it is no longer divided between East and West, to again support the final war against Islam, along with the United States. If Rome is going to regain control of the old world, Germany is certainly going to play a very important part in it. But more importantly, if Rome is going to successfully confront Islam, it will need the resources that Germany has to offer, politically, militarily and economically. That is why it is significant that Benedict is a German. He understands the German mindset and its desire for order. Benedict’s comments were designed to remind Germany that order can come when they unite under the leadership of Rome.
When Romania and Bulgaria came into the EU this January, it significantly changed the political relationships within the EU. Because of the way the EU is structured, Germany and France could dominate the politics according to their wishes when the EU was small. Other nations had to swallow whatever these two countries gave them. Once it grew to 25 countries however, Germany and France could no longer dominate EU policy, but could still vote together to block anything they truly didn’t like. But now with 27 members, the EU no longer belongs to Germany and France. The other countries can outvote them if they wish. Germany and France realize that with Romania and Bulgaria now in the European Union, their political vote and voice in the European parliament is considerably diminished. So Germany has been angling to move political power into the economic realm by its massive industrial consolidation, and rapidly increasing market share. This will help Germany retain much of its political clout, though indirectly through its economic power, rather than by direct control of parliament.
The Vatican meanwhile, is aware that the political shift also has a religious shift because the two newest countries are predominantly Orthodox. Therefore Benedict XVI is working very hard to continue maturing ecumenical ties with Orthodoxy for obvious reasons. But politically speaking, the Vatican knows that regardless of the balance of political power, most of the nations of Europe are either officially Roman Catholic such as Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal, or have large, if nominal Roman Catholic populations, such as Germany, France and Switzerland. The Vatican knows that when a crisis develops, these nations will look to Rome for guidance and will swing with Rome’s agenda on things that really matter to Rome. Benedict XVI is an imperialist and must court Germany with an eye to its future usefulness in the coming struggle for its own world dominance. Benedict is skillfully bringing Germany into partnership with Rome in global politics.
Just a word now about the transatlantic relationship between the United States and Europe, especially Germany. The Atlantic Monthly of December 2006, published an article pointing out that “Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, has gone out of her way to restore transatlantic ties and to call for a strong United States-Europe partnership.” The magazine also pointed out that in spite of “anti-American” sentiment in Europe, the Europeans and Americans see world affairs much the same way. When it comes to Islam and Iran in particular, “Europeans are more hawkish… than are American democrats,” said the Atlantic Monthly. That places them somewhere between the democrats and the Republicans in geopolitical opinion, which is essentially the same as Americans in general. They have the same goals. This is one indication of how the United States will reach across the gulf and unite with the new Holy Roman Empire to force the world to worship the beast. America and Germany must work together.
Most people think that the crusades are a thing of the past and that they will not happen again. But this is not the case. There is going to be one final, bloody crusade.
Dr. Friedman, of Stratfor, a large, well-known geopolitical intelligence consulting firm, on Sept. 19, made a very insightful point, perhaps the most insightful of all the commentators. And for a person who does not understand prophecy it may be the clearest of all. “From an intellectual and political standpoint… said Dr. Friedman. “Benedict’s statement was an elegant move. He has strengthened his political base and perhaps legitimized a stronger response to anti-Catholic rhetoric in the Muslim world. And he has done it with superb misdirection…” meaning that what seemed like a mistake, was really on purpose.
According to Randomhouse.com, “Pope Urban II in 1095 called for the knights of Europe to stop fighting each other and make common cause against these enemies of God,” meaning Muslims. Urban referred to the Ottoman Islamists as “a race… which has neither directed its heart nor entrusted its spirit to God,” and declared that it was “a Christian duty to exterminate this vile race from our lands,” (Randomhouse.com, art. Holy War, The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World.)
Benedict is attempting to do essentially the same thing as Urban. Radical Islam is providing the catalyst Benedict needs to unite the squabbling nations of the European Union, and he wants to rally the leaders of these nations to make common cause against the tide of Islam that threatens to overwhelm the Christian roots of Europe. By finding a common cause to unite Europe around Rome and Christianity, the Pope is calling for a new Christian crusade against the jihad of Islamist nations. Of course it is very subtle, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But the process has begun. Speaking of the Pope’s speech, George Friedman in Stratfor, said “That move increases his political strength… and could cause [Europeans] to rally around the church.”
Most people don’t even begin to comprehend the struggle that is now building in the Middle East and how that will effect Europe. In the West, Islam is portrayed as evil while the Christian West is painted as good. The struggle is portrayed in the opposite way in Islamist countries. The natural conclusion will be that a war between the West and Middle East would be a religious war of good vs. evil by both sides, when in reality it is a war that will lead to the final crisis for those who love and keep all of God’s commandments. It may also give God’s people a little more time to give the final warning, under the developing and more public questions that will inevitably be raised to them as the chaos increases.
Keep in mind that the crusades were one of the key elements the angels of heaven used to distract the “Holy Roman Empire,” as it was called, from dismembering and destroying the Reformation in the time of Luther, so that it could grow and mature. Today, the angels may well use Islam again to provide the same kind of cover for God’s last remnant people giving the last warning message of Revelation 18. But keep watching the circumstances in Europe because these very same issues may well accelerate the development of Sunday laws as tensions grow more intense.
A war with Islam would also awaken the interest of the general public concerning what the Bible has to say about end-time events. There would certainly be many and numerous interpretations in the religious world, but the circumstances would inevitably give God’s people a hearing as the crisis nears.
The Pope’s purposeful and deliberate Regensburg speech greatly increased the tensions between Islam and the Christian West. Pay attention to the Middle East, but also pay attention to Europe.
My friends, the Holy Roman Empire is on the rise, just like prophecy said it would be. It carries with it the same principles of the old Holy Roman Empire. We are living in the time just before the final struggle for control of the world, and the final world war of Armageddon.
The Bible tells us that Rome will work with the United States to bring about the image of the beast and impose the no-buy, no-sell decree on God’s faithful people. We can also see that she will work with the nations of Europe to build her power and former “glory.” The “noon of the Papacy” will be the “midnight of the world” once again.
We have spent a lot of time studying the American side of the struggle in prophecy, but now I hope you can see another side to this same struggle for world power. Rome is trying to rebuild Europe’s loyalties under her banner. She is using the United States to help her. But ultimately, the European Union will bow to her authority alone. As the confrontation with Islam grows, watch Europe carefully.
Benedict is now trying to reach out to Muslims. This has a strong political side to it. But it is worth noting that he criticized them, and then reached out to them. This is a strategic tactic used to place the Vatican in the midst of the conflict as the major player and peace broker.
Just after the centralization of political and spiritual power under Rome, the fourth angel of Revelation 18 will give the last and final warning. Listen to the words of God’s prophet John as he writes concerning what he saw in vision.
Revelation 18:1-5 says, “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 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. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”
My friends, don’t you want to be part of the loud cry? I do. This is at the same time as the beast is exposed and just before her punishment is meted out to her. There will be thousands upon thousands of people who will have spiritual questions as these huge developments unfold. Now is the preparation time. Now is the time to fortify your mind with the truth of God. Now is the time to awaken from our sleep, and leave our old selfish ways, and turn to Jesus Christ. He died for your sins, and wants to free you from all of them. He wants to give you the power to overcome them all. Please don’t delay the preparation. Learn now to have victory in your life so that you will be ready for the crisis and you will be able to trust God fully.
Let us pray. Dear Father in Heaven, we see the movements leading to the last crisis. Rome is on the march, and it is time for us to be serious about our relationship with Christ in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. Please teach us how to surrender our souls to your power. Please teach us how to have overcoming power so that we may leave our sins behind and become holy like Jesus so that we can be protected during the chaos that is coming on the human race. Please send us your Holy Spirit to accomplish this in us. In Jesus name, Amen.
We hope you have received a great blessing from this month’s message. Your prayers and gifts mean much to us. Thank you for your support. The song you have just heard entitled “People Need the Lord” is from a CD entitled On Our Journey Home. If you would like a copy of this CD please send $16 post paid to Keep The Faith Ministry, Locust Dale, VA 22948. Please mention it by name.
The following is a current events update of interest to those who love the appearing of Jesus Christ and are watching the fulfilling prophecies. We can see the signs of the times telling us that we are nearing the world’s great crisis. May the Lord find us faithful.
Our first item this month: The Furor over ‘Terror Scores’ for Airline Travelers.
The Christian Science Monitor, Dec 6, 2006 reported that The Department of Homeland Security has been “quietly assigning travelers, both American and foreign, on international flights a score that’s designed to identify high-risk travelers. It’s derived from a set of criteria, such as where you’re from and whether you have a habit of buying one-way tickets and paying with cash.”
“Customs and Border Protection officials” said the Monitor, “call the program, which was implemented with little public notice and no congressional approval, a crucial tool to protect the nation. They describe it as a kind of extra electronic border that has the potential to catch terrorists and criminals before they get to an actual border crossing…”
“But some congressional leaders, privacy advocates, and travel executives believe it’s an unparalleled use of data-mining to invade individuals’ privacy. Some European leaders also object, claiming the program – called the Automated Targeting System (ATS) – violates a privacy agreement worked out between the U.S. and European Union… There’s no way for [an] individual to determine that he or she has been flagged…”
“For the first time, a dossier is being built on me and every other innocent citizen, that tracks information on them,” says Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition… “To add insult to injury… they say they are keeping the data for 40 years – just in case Kevin Mitchell – whose profile is not threatening at the moment – has some kind of ties to a terrorist organization in the future.”
My friends, the implications of this “big brother” surveillance tactic is ominous to those who understand prophecy. When the definition of terrorism is expanded, or new “crimes of religion” such as one’s beliefs or practices, are added to the list of offences that can be flagged, it may be very difficult to travel to proclaim God’s last message of warning.
Incidentally this is not the same system called “Secure Flight” that was attempted by the Transportation Security Administration several years ago, but was tabled because of privacy concerns. The system secretly being used by the Customs and Border Protection agency was originally planned for tracking cargo and containers of cargo, not passengers. Apparently when strong opposition arose to “Secure Flight,” the Department of Homeland Security, switched to using the same program the Customs agency had been using for cargo without congressional approval.
Next: Motorists to Give Fingerprints
On November 22, 2006, the BBC reported that “a hand-held device being tested by 10 forces in England and Wales is linked to a database of 6.5m prints. Police say they will save time because people will no longer have to go to the station to prove their identity… Officers can scan a vehicle’s number plates using a special camera that checks if the car is subject to an offence, like being uninsured.”
“The device,” said the BBC “sends encrypted data to the national ID system using GPRS – a wireless system used by many mobile phones. More than 6.5 million fingerprints are cross-referenced and [the results are] sent back to the officer.
“Mark Wallace, who represents the civil liberties group the Freedom Association, told BBC Radio Five Live that he had “concerns” about the scheme. ‘I don’t think we should be reassured by the fact that at the moment it’s voluntary and at the moment they won’t be recorded,” he said. ‘Both of those things are actually only happening in the trial because the laws haven’t been passed to do this on a national basis compulsorily and with recording.”
Britain is advancing along the surveillance path like America, Australia and other nations. Databases are being kept on citizens for much longer periods of time and in the name of crime prevention or terrorism prevention, even innocent citizens are entangled in privacy intrusion.
Next: Anti-Smoking taken to a New Level.
Anti-tobacco forces are opening a new front in the war against smoking by banning it in private places such as homes and cars when children are present,” said USA Today on November 28, 2006. “Starting Jan. 1, Texas will restrict smoking in foster parents’ homes at all times and in cars when children are present, says Darrell Azar of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
“Vermont, Washington and other states and counties already prohibit foster parents from smoking around children in their homes and cars. Arkansas and Louisiana passed laws this year forbidding anyone from smoking in cars carrying young children. Courts are ordering smoke-free environments in custody and visitation disputes.”
“‘We are very rapidly moving to protect children from secondhand smoke,’ say John Banzhaf, executive director of Action on Smoking and Health. ‘Even from their own parents and grandparents.’”
While 2nd hand smoke is dangerous and should be banned in places where young children are present, there is a much larger issue involved. Listen to this incredible statement. “‘There are times when it’s appropriate to regulate what people can do in their home,’” says Kathleen Dachille, director of the Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy at the University of Maryland School of Law, “‘The state is responsible for that child.’” She is not just talking about foster parents.
Notice that the claims of the state regarding responsibility for the child are asserted for a good purpose. But will this strengthen the argument that the state is responsible for other aspects of child development including discipline, dietary practices, religious preferences and other aspects of training? Will this argument also be used to support state’s interest in divorce cases and other child custody issues between parents? Even more ominously, will the state one day claim responsibility for children in normal homes with one mother and one father, in conscience matters not related to smoking? Those who wish to raise their children in harmony with God’s principles will not likely have the state to support them, making it very difficult in some circumstances to train them to love and obey God. In some places, this is already the case.
Next: Top Secret Torture
The Washington Post on November 21, 2006 reported that “buried within a recent government brief in the case of Guantanamo Bay inmate Majiid Khan is one of the more disturbing arguments that the Bush Administration has advanced in the legal struggles surrounding the war on terrorism.
Mr Kahn was one of the al-Qaida suspects who was detained in a secret prison of the CIA and subjected to ‘alternative’ interrogation tactics – the administration’s chilling phrase for methods most people regard as torture. Now the government is arguing that by subjecting detainees to such treatment, the CIA gives them “top secret” classified information – and the government can then take extraordinary measures to keep them quiet about it. If this argument carries the day, it will make virtually impossible any accountability for the administration’s treatment of top al-Qaida detainees” the paper said, “and it will also ensure that key parts of any military trials get litigated in secrecy.”
Getting this through the legal challenges would give the U.S. government the freedom to torture any suspect, whether foreign or citizen, who is designated as an illegal enemy combatant. This argument, if successfully established as a legal practice, would buttress the inquisitorial principles that the White House has been trying to impose on the United States for at least 5 years now, since September 11, 2001.
“Mr. Kahn is one of 14 people transferred to Guantanamo earlier this year from the CIA’s secret prison program,” continued the Post. “…at least some of the secrets the government is trying to protect are the very techniques used against people such as Mr. Khan – and its means of protecting them is to muzzle him about what the CIA did to him. CIA official Marilyn A. Dorn said in an affidavit that Mr. Khan might reveal ‘the conditions of detention and specific alternative interrogation procedures.’ In other words, grossly mistreating a detainee now justifies keeping him quiet,” said the Post.
“If the courts accept [this argument],” continued the Post, “it would have vast practical implications. The integrity of any military trials of the high-value detainees will depend on their excluding evidence obtained by unduly coercive means… Accepting this theory would mean that no claim of torture could be resolved in a transparent and accountable fashion. Given the importance of open trials for the high value detainees, it’s hard to imagine a principle that would more thwart the effort to bring them credibly to justice.” Remember the treatment of prisoners secret was a key element of the inquisition.
America, my friends, is preparing for the final conflict between good and evil. It is preparing to become the persecuting power predicted in Revelation 13. For now, the reasons for instituting the Inquisition as part of American justice are seemingly noble – confronting an evil enemy – terrorism. But once the new principles are in place and accepted, how easy would it be to expand the use of such justice to those who don’t obey laws designed to restrict religious liberty of a small group of Christians that are determined to obey all of God’s law at all costs.
Next: Methodists Try to Mend Bridges with Catholics
On July 24, 2006, the Religion News Service reported that: Methodist churches took a key step toward mending relations with the Vatican, adding their approval to an interfaith accord that aims to repair divisions dating back to the 16th century Protestant Reformation.
On Sunday (July 23), the World Council of Methodists, a body representing more than 65 million faithful, met in Seoul, South Korea, and signed the “Joint Declaration on Justification.” That document, signed by the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999, aimed to settle disagreements over “justification” — the issue of whether salvation is God-given or earned through good works.
That question was at the center of a 16th-century debate that eventually sparked the Protestant Reformation. The joint declaration attempted to heal the rift by stating that salvation was a gift from God that reflected good works. A statement from World Methodist Council on Sunday said the group welcomed the agreement with “great joy.”
“It is our deep hope that in the near future, we shall also be able to enter into closer relationships with Lutherans and the Roman Catholic Church,” the statement said.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s head of ecumenical relations, said Sunday’s agreement was “one of the most significant dates in the history of our churches.”
It seems, my friends that the Methodist churches have lost their spiritual bearings. John and Charles Wesley would be horrified to think that their sacrifice and biblical loyalty would be sabotaged by a future generation of leaders that would come to an agreement with Rome. It seems that capitulation to Rome is in the air as many churches are yielding to the pressure. It is important to recognize that without a strong effort at re-unification, there is no way that Rome can gain the political support of the people and thereby have political power within the nation.
Next: The Vatican Enters Muslim Veil Debate
On November 11, 2006, the BBC reported that “A senior Vatican Cardinal has expressed concern over the use of some Muslim veils by Islamic immigrants in Europe. This is the first time that the Vatican has joined in the Europe-wide debate on how women who insist on wearing the veil affect the integration of Muslims. Cardinal Renato Martino said immigrants must respect the traditions, culture and religion of the nations they go to. They ought to abide by local laws banning the wearing of certain types of Muslim veils, he added.
This is ironic. Is the Vatican going to recommend that Christians in Muslim countries that ban Christian symbols, follow their laws? Or are they going to say that their religious freedom is being compromised.
“Another Vatican expert on immigration,” continued the BBC, “Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, said it was important in the course of dialogue with Muslims to make them understand that the consequences of some of their religious traditions might not be positive in the societies in which they now find themselves.”
Is the Vatican suggesting that religious traditions should change because of a new set of circumstances? For example, is the Vatican going to say that Sabbath-keepers should respect Sunday laws in “Christian” countries because circumstances have changed?
It is obvious that the Vatican is not willing to offer true religious liberty to everyone, only those that are within the mainstream of Christian thought and practice – dominated by Roman Catholicism of course.
Next: More Violence Against Iraqi Catholics because of the Pope’s Comments
On October 17, 2006, the New York Times reported that “in the Northern city of Mosul (Iraq), a priest from the Syriac Orthodox Church was kidnapped last week. His church complied with his captors’ demands and put up posters denouncing recent comments made by the Pope about Islam, but he was killed anyway. The police found his beheaded body on Wednesday.
“Muslim fury over Pope Benedict XVI’s public reflections on Islam in Germany a month ago – when he quoted a 14th century emperor as calling Islam “evil and inhuman” – has subsided elsewhere, but repercussions continue to reverberate in Iraq, bringing a new level of threat to an already shrinking Christian population.
“Several extremist groups threatened to kill all Christians unless the Pope apologized. Sunni and Shiite clerics united in the condemnation, calling the comments an insult to Islam and the prophet Muhammad. In Baghdad, many churches canceled their services after receiving threats. Some have not met since.
“After the Pope’s statement, people began to fear much more than before,” said the Rev. Zayya Edward Khossaba, the pastor of the church of the virgin Mary. “The actions by fanatics have increased against Christians….
“Over the past three and a half years, Christians have been subjected to a steady stream of church bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and threatening letters slipped under their doors. Estimates of the resulting Christian exodus vary from the tens of thousands to more than 100,000, with most heading for Syria, Jordan and Turkey.
The number of Christians who remain is also uncertain. The last Iraqi census, in 1987 counted 1.4 million Christians, but many left during the 1990s when sanctions squeezed the country. Yonadam Kanna, the lone Christian member of the Iraqi parliament, estimated the current Christian population at roughly 800,000, or about 3 percent of the population. A Chaldean Catholic auxiliary bishop, Andreos Abouna, told a British charity over the summer that there were just 600,000 Christians left, according to the Catholic News Service.
Well, our time has run out… Until next time, may God bless and keep you and your family in His loving and protecting care as we near the end. Keep the faith!
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