By Pastor Hal Mayer
(the above message can be downloaded by clicking the down arrow in the top right corner)
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry. And thank you for joining me today as we study prophecy once more and learn about the momentous events that are unfolding in the world around us. If ever there was an entity that involves prophecy it would be the papacy. Its new champion will certainly have a large role to play in fulfilling the predictions of scripture and leading the world toward its ultimate prophetic destiny. As the population of the world is generally getting poorer and poorer, the “slum pope,” or the “pope of the poor,” as he is now often referred to, is going to make a significant impact from a prophetic point of view.
First however, let me remind you that you can become a subscriber to our Keep the Faith Insider Report. Our monthly report comes to you by email and is full of inspiring stories and progress of how God is changing lives through the work of our monthly sermons, website, and Keep the Faith’s health ministry in Australia, Highwood Health Retreat. It will come to you each month. You won’t want to miss it. If you are already receiving the Keep the Faith Insider, you don’t need to do anything. But if you aren’t, you can simply send us your email and we will start your free subscription.
Also, let me remind you that on our website you will find the links to our sources for our prophetic analysis of current events. We don’t say anything that we cannot document, so if you want to know our sources, just go online and you will find them throughout the articles, sermons and Prophetic Intelligence Briefings.
We are also on Facebook and Twitter. If you friend us, you’ll be updated every day with the latest briefings, events and sermons.
Highwood Health Retreat in Australia is seeing big changes at this time. There is a lot of remodeling going on as well as redecorating of the Health Retreat. If there are those who are interested in volunteering in Australia for a few weeks or months, let me know and we’ll work with you so far as possible.
For just over 24 hours in mid-March, the world was focused on the events in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome, as the Roman Catholic cardinals met to elect a new Pontifex Maximus, or pope to lead the church. Some people think that a papal election has little relevance. But in fact, it is one of the most important events geopolitically and especially prophetically. The pope is much more than a pastor. He is a political leader and power broker whose influence extends far beyond the hundreds of thousands of cathedrals, churches and chapels scattered in every country of the world. Papal influence is felt also in legislative halls, courts of justice, academic institutions, business interests, economic cabals, and secret societies.
The pre-conclave politicking is all about who is the greatest, which is the very antithesis of Jesus words “he that is greatest among you, let him be your servant.”
Before we go any further however, let us bow our heads in prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our Father in heaven, today we pray that we may understand our times. We ask that You will send Your Holy Spirit to enlighten us that we may see the real issues playing out behind the scenes. Give us an understanding of the Bible as we study today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Turn in your Bibles to the 17th chapter of Revelation. There we will read the true nature of the false system of worship that is going to lead the whole world in rebellion to Christ and His holy law. Beginning with verse one we read, “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
Who is the great whore? A woman is a church in Bible prophecy. Therefore a whore is a profligate church. This is a false system of worship. Waters represent multitudes of people, and many waters would represent the people of many nations. So this false system of religion controls the people of many nations. It also manipulates and controls the leaders of those nations. Would that not be a prophetic representation of the papacy today? Verse three says that she is sitting on an evil beast, which represents a civil power. This really says something. It reveals that she is uniting church and state on a global scale and this creates an evil monster. This religious and civil power based in Rome has a leader, or pope who wields enormous power. When one pope dies or abnegates the papal throne, another is chosen to take his place.
The drama in the Sistine Chapel during the mere 24 hours of conclave for the papal election of 2013 resulted in the choice of a man who is sure to lead the Catholic Church toward her prophetic destiny. In just a little over a day, which is pretty surprising for a Catholic conclave, the Roman Catholic cardinals elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the first Jesuit in all of history to assume the papal mantle at a very difficult moment for the Catholic Church. The church is in ruins in terms of its credibility with millions of people, both Catholics and non-Catholics. The continually unfolding priestly sex abuse scandal, the Vatican money laundering scandal, and nasty political infighting among the curia, have all damaged the image of the Vatican in recent times. If anyone could restore the perception, at least, of papal purity, it would be a Jesuit in the papal see. But the fact that the cardinals chose a Jesuit, suggests that the Jesuits have gained so much influence at the highest levels of the church, that they now have their man at the helm of the global church.
The political maneuvering during the secret pre-conclave meetings had made it clear that there were two factions among the cardinals. Some wanted a pope from Latin America because of the shift in the population of the church to that region and because there needed to be someone in the papal chair who could restore the image of the Catholic Church after the rolling series of scandals. On the other side, there were those who wanted someone to defend the curia, whose evil deeds were becoming much too well known. These were joined by the majority of Italian cardinals who wanted a European or even an Italian to rule from the papal throne. This was not to be, at least not exactly.
During the first ballot, Bergoglio’s name drew a surprising number of votes. “Cardinal Bergoglio would not have become pope in the fifth ballot if he had not been a really strong contender for the papacy from the beginning,” said Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. Though the front runner, Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, seemed to be the favorite in pre-conclave speculation, his candidacy began to fade away from the very first, thanks to “ancient envies and rivalries,” like a “giant with clay feet.” None of the other leading contenders fared well on the first vote either.
Strangely, the Italian Bishops Conference was so certain that the new pontiff would be Cardinal Scola that they embarrassingly sent out a public congratulation to Cardinal Scola as soon as the white smoke appeared over the Sistine Chapel.
On the fifth ballot Cardinal Bergoglio from Argentina gained the 77 votes to become pope of 1.2 billion Catholics, and the vicar who claims the rulership of the world as his own.
Seventy-six year old Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J. is an Argentinean of Italian extraction and was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina before his election to the papal office. So, in a way, he does represent Italy. He comes from, by far, the most densely populated Catholic region of the world, which represents 432 million people. Latin America is approximately 73 percent Roman Catholic and its Catholic population is in decline. It is interesting that his father was from Portacomaro in the province of Asti, east of Torino, which is in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. This is the region that the Waldenses called their home before they were persecuted by the papal power. Under persecution they had to leave their homes and begin anew in the Waldensian valleys near the town of Torre Pellice a short distance to the west.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio had a lot of training in preparation to become a Jesuit priest, and for many years was a professor in various universities. In 1973 he pronounced his perpetual vows to the Jesuit order. He eventually became the Jesuit provincial, or the head of the Jesuits in Argentina, his native land, for about six years shortly thereafter.
He is an intellectual and an academic who has spent a good deal of time in Jesuit schools as a professor. He became professor of literature and psychology at two consecutive high schools. Eventually, he became professor of theology at an Argentinean Catholic seminary. He studied for a while in Frankfurt, Germany, and finally became the confessor and spiritual director for the Jesuits at Cordoba, where he was responsible for the spiritual formation of novices and for the Jesuit society in general. Remember, spiritual formation is the central feature of Jesuit spirituality, and guides everything they do. It is through spiritual formation that the Jesuits gain control of their subordinates so that they will do their bidding without question, like a corpse. They have been very successful at infiltrating many protestant churches with this practice of spiritual formation, sometimes in a disguised and watered down way.
In 1992 Bergoglio was appointed titular Bishop of Auca and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires. In 2001 he was elevated to cardinal by John Paul II. He also became a member of the curia (the administrative bureaucracy of the Vatican) with a seat on various committees. For six years, until nearly the end of 2011 he was the President of the Bishop’s Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This man has a lot of experience in matters of both church and state. He also has the Jesuit intellect.
As Buenos Aires’ long-time archbishop, Bergoglio is well-known for his simplicity and has an outward reputation for humility. He shunned the usual papal opulence and luxury of previous archbishops. Instead of living in the papal palace at Buenos Aires, he chose to live in a simple apartment. He cooked his own meals, wore regular priest’s robes, and took the bus and other public transportation to get around Buenos Aires instead of using a chauffeured limousine. He regularly visited the slums around the perimeter of Buenos Aires, giving him the reputation of being with the people and advocating for the poor. He even washed and kissed the feet of aids patients in a hospice. These qualities will make the papacy appear to be much more in tune with the common people than it has in the past. All of these humble-appearing acts helped create his image of sanctity.
Cardinal Bergoglio was widely perceived as a champion of the poor. Catholics are still talking about a speech he gave last year “accusing fellow church officials of hypocrisy for forgetting that Jesus Christ bathed lepers and ate with prostitutes.” Pope Francis definitely has the potential to become a media sensation, and powerfully elevate perceptions of the Roman Catholic Church.
At a time when the church is struggling with its public image and credibility, the resignation of Benedict XVI was well coordinated. The church needs a distraction from the intractable wreaking scandals and public humiliation. And a new pope provides that diversion, particularly one who is acclaimed for his humble virtues. Many hope that he will clean up the Vatican and the church at large. More likely, the new pope will give an air of sanctity and piety, which will disguise the scandals under an appearance of religiosity and humility. The fact that the new pope is a Jesuit, makes this even more significant, for Jesuits have a history of acting one way on the surface and another way behind the scenes.
Being president of the Bishop’s Conference in the capital city of Argentina means that Cardinal Bergoglio was very close to the political action in that nation. This may not seem unusual except that he was at the highest levels of the church in Buenos Aires during a brutal military dictatorship that murdered up to 30,000 people perceived as opponents. Usually the offices of the bishop’s conference in any nation are in the capital city, and they are not far from the offices of political leaders like presidents, prime ministers, and legislative bodies, so that the bishops have easy access to the leaders of the country and can lobby them concerning matters of importance to the Catholic Church. The bishop’s conference tracks every bill that winds its way through the legislative process. They also keep in touch with political leaders and try to influence them to work in harmony with the beliefs and aims of the Catholic Church. They also report back to Rome any important information about events or matters that might arise. Those employed by the bishop’s conference are trained in working with political leaders. As they get more experience, they become more effective. They lobby for laws that the church wants to implement. They organize information about political developments to provide to the local parishes, so that the faithful members can put pressure on their political leaders in order to achieve the goals of the hierarchy.
So, you see, the Roman Catholic Bishops, through the government relations arm of the bishop’s conference, are very involved in the political life of a nation. This has always been Rome’s aim.
Listen to this very clear statement about Rome’s political agenda. “God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.” That is from The Great Controversy, page 581.
How does this happen stealthily and unsuspectedly? It happens because the Church appears to be pious and godly on the surface and most people don’t even suspect that this is the beast of Revelation. This veneer of godliness reduces resistance to her dogmas, political influence and infiltration. The undiscerning masses of people in the world cannot perceive the intent in the purposes of Rome because she clothes herself in the garments of sanctity. But in reality the whole system is a deception of the grandest magnitude.
Here is another statement that is worth considering. “Men may have their names upon the church-book; but that does not make them children of light. They may hold honorable positions and receive the praise of men; but that does not make them children of light. They may shut themselves in monasteries, and clothe themselves in garments of sanctity, and yet not be the children of light. All this will not help them to shun or to overcome temptation.” The Signs of the Times, August 18, 1887.
In other words, the public proclamations or appearance of purity and holiness is not a characteristic of a godly person. In fact, it is just the opposite. To claim holiness, or accept homage as if one is holy, is one of the surest indicators of the exact opposite character. If Cardinal Bergoglio was a true follower of Christ, his first act would have been to abolish the office of pope, and papal priesthood and the rest of the Roman Catholic system. No matter what pleasing words may be spoken by Pope Francis I, no matter how friendly his themes may sound, the truth is that his very willingness to bear the title and office of ‘Vicar of Christ’ in the Roman Church; to dare to allow himself to be revered and worshipped as the head of the church, means that he is in rebellion to Christ, for Christ is head of the church. See Ephesians 4:15.
Cardinal Bergoglio may look good on the surface, and as pope he may give the papacy a new image of sanctity, but it does not change the nature of the institution. The papacy is still as corrupt as it was before. You may not see the corruption or read about the dark deeds of Rome in the press as much, but you can be sure that the papal office is merely a cover for some of the darkest deeds on earth.
The Bible very clearly portrays this in Revelation 18:1-5 so that we would not be deceived by the outward show of piety. “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.”
This is a description of the great spiritual Babylon and its great sin in the eyes of God. This is the fourth angel that reveals fully the principles of the papacy and exposes her iniquity to the masses of the earth.
I hope you are not revering religious leaders, my friends. They can be respected as all Christians, but they must not be slavishly followed. You have to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” Philippians 2:12. You are not to turn it over to anyone else, whether priest, or pastor, teacher or spiritual director. You owe the highest obedience to Christ and Christ alone. If a religious leader counsels you to do something that is in opposition to the word of God, you are to disobey and not follow that counsel. The trouble is that many people today don’t know the word of God, so they are willing to trust their religious opinions to their pastors instead of studying the Bible for themselves.
There is an important reason why the Vatican is going to be exposed for all her iniquities and sins. There is a reason why the press is full of her scandals and immoralities even now, and my guess is that it only scratches the surface. It is very important that the world see the corruptions of the Roman Church. It is similar to the way Satan was exposed in heaven to all the angels. Satan was waging a deceptive war against Christ and God’s law as quietly and imperceptively as possible. As he became bolder, the angels began to see the issues at stake more clearly. When Satan could no longer hide his plans and his rebellion, open war erupted, and ultimately he was cast out.
The angels from the highest to the lowest had to make a choice. They could remain loyal to God and His law, or they could rebel and join Satan’s forces in opposition to God’s law and to Christ Himself.
The Bible says that when Lucifer’s deceptive plans were revealed “there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:7-9
Satan has done the same today. He has boldly clothed himself with Christ like garments. He intends to deceive the whole world if he possibly can into worshiping him rather than Christ. In order to do this, he has to develop a religious system that looks to almost all people like it is the religion of Christ. But in fact, it is actually the anti-Christ’s religion. It is a counterfeit. He has to work through a religious system because that is the easiest way to deceive. That is why the Roman Catholic system exists. That’s why the pope exists. The principles of the Catholic Church reveal the true principles of Satan himself, the dragon. It is the dragon that gives him his power. See Revelation 13:2 and 4.
Rome does not follow the Bible, nor does it uphold the law of God. Tradition has become the controlling force in its religious principles, not the Holy Scriptures.
Perhaps the clearest principle that displays the hostility of the Roman Catholic church to the Bible and particularly to the law of God is the fact that Rome promotes Sunday worship instead of God’s holy Sabbath day, and she is intently working to elevate Sunday as the day of rest rather than God’s seventh day of the week. Keep in mind that Sunday worship comes from sun-worship, the vile and licentious principles of pagan religion that were established by Nimrod shortly after the flood. Immorality in the pagan system was a classic feature of its worship. The Papacy follows in these principles, but hides this fact so far as possible. She works with rulers and mighty men of the earth so that she can control and manipulate the masses. No wonder the Bible describes this interaction with the kings and merchants of the earth as fornication. No wonder there is such immorality in the papal system. You don’t need to obey God; you just need to get absolution from the priest if ever you happen to feel a little guilty for your sins.
Now, the same principle of choice must be played out in the world today just as it was in heaven. Everyone must be able to choose which side of the controversy they will be on. Will they be loyal to the God of heaven, and his immutable law? Or will they join the opposition and oppose and persecute those who do keep God’s holy law. Perhaps the exposure in the public secular press of scandal after scandal in morals, finances, “Vatileaks,” and other things, is especially God’s way of revealing to the masses of people in this world the true nature of the papal system, and the true principles hidden by the appearance of sanctity. As they see these things, they are given the opportunity to choose whether they are going to continue to follow in her way, or live for Jesus and come completely under the banner of prince Emanuel.
This process is going on right now, my friends. God gives you a glimpse, merely a glimpse, of the systemic corruption and the massive deception that is perpetrated behind the scenes throughout the papal system. But it is enough so that you can make the choice based on clear evidence. Incidentally, those churches that join in ecumenical alliances with the Catholic Church are complicit in her sins and will receive of her plagues. The final call to all of God’s true people involved with Rome in one way or another is to come out of her and follow the law of God, keep His Sabbath, and live a truly righteous life.
Listen to this from the Signs of the Times, November 19, 1894. “The Papacy, claiming to be the vicegerent of the Son of God, is in truth the vicegerent of another power. She points to the Sunday institution as the sign of her authority; but in the change of the law and time of God, she is only doing that which Satan tried to do in heaven,—prove the law of God faulty, and the Lawgiver fallible. In boasting of her power above the law of God, she is but echoing the sentiments of the great deceiver. God instituted the Sabbath as a sign of his authority and power, and the Papacy, acting for the prince of evil, points to the Sunday as a sign of her power and jurisdiction. The day of the sun, Sunday, was a day devoted to the most vile of the heathen worship, for it was celebrated in connection with sun-worship. This Sunday-sabbath has been accepted by many who know it to be the foundling of heathenism, which has been cherished and nourished by the Church of Rome, and by her clothed in the garments of sanctity. But while many are now aware of its origin, there are true Christians in every church who do not know the origin of the Sunday-sabbath, and believe that they are keeping the day, which God sanctified and blest. This is true of worshipers even in the Catholic Church; and while this ignorance and integrity remain, God accepts of their sincerity; but when light shall fall upon their pathway, God requires them to come into harmony with his law, and to observe the Sabbath of his appointing.”
So there are good people in the Catholic Church, and Christ loves them. We are to love them too. We are not to turn our backs on them or speak unkindly of them. We are to gently lead them to Christ. If we speak harsh terms or sharp thrusts about the papacy to them, they may not hear anything else you say. While we have a clear understanding of the truth underlying the deceptive power and voice of Rome, we must also sincerely love all those who are in that church because some of them might be sincerely searching for light and truth.
The new pope especially has the qualities that give him the appearance of sanctity. But he is not clean. Francis I is very familiar with the political realm and knows how to work with global leaders as well as national leaders. This is what the Bible describes as fornication, or the illicit relationship between church and state. Though there are those who claim that he has no Vatican experience, meaning that he has never lived in Rome and worked at the Vatican, Francis has been steeped in Vatican politics and political action and understands how to manage himself with leaders of nations and other elites. As a Jesuit, he no doubt, understands the way to handle world leaders better than most. These credentials would make him a very effective pope. He will continue the “fornication” with world leaders or the “kings of the earth,” the “merchants of the earth,” and other “mighty men of the earth” just as the Bible describes. Perhaps the fact that he is a rather charismatic Jesuit will give him unusual popularity.
Francis I is a pope that represents many firsts. He is the first pope from outside of Europe in more than 1600 years from what I can gather. He is the first Bishop of Rome from the southern hemisphere. He is the first pope from the Americas. He is also the first Jesuit and has chosen the name Francis for the first time in papal history.
When he was introduced to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, his charisma created an immediate rapport with the people. “Buona Sera (good evening),” he said from the balcony over the square. “As you know, cardinals were picking a bishop from Rome,” he said. “It seems like my brother cardinals have picked him from the end of the world, but here we are.”
Some commentators said he was “nothing short of a hit.” While one of the primary roles of a pope is to promote the papal image of sanctity and friendliness, Francis’ warm and magnetic personality may well win him popularity by making people feel that he is approachable and humble.
His first message reflected an ecumenical emphasis. “Let’s start this path of brotherhood, love and faith among us. Let’s always pray for each other, and for the whole world, for it to have a great brotherhood.” An ecumenical brotherhood is one of the keys to understanding the Jesuits. They know that the ecumenical movement will weaken opposition to Rome’s false doctrines and to papal power plays on the world stage.
The new pope chose the name Francis in honor of the Catholic missionary St. Francis of Assisi who is beloved by Catholics of all backgrounds. St. Francis, to Roman Catholics, symbolizes poverty and humility and reform. The Franciscans, a religious order named after the patron are very popular in Italy. Choosing a name like Francis in commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi is another way in which the pope can identify with Italy. This was St. Francis’ homeland, and also the homeland of all the popes for the last few centuries until 1978 when Pope John Paul II, from Poland was elected pope.
And just as John Paul II was a crucial choice for the Vatican just at the time when the Communist bloc in Europe needed to be overthrown, so today, the new pope’s Jesuit credentials may well signal another major development that will unfold on the planet. After all, his election will give the Jesuits a much higher profile. Many people now want to know more about the Jesuits and are asking questions. Could it be time for the Jesuits to take a much more open policy toward the geopolitical landscape of the globe. Just as globalism is rising to new heights, with which the Jesuits have had a lot to do, will they now become the respected masters of the global political order? Already the pope has a lot of powerful influence. But will the Jesuit order itself become more publically involved in politics and the economy, and other aspects of social life?
Perhaps there are those who vainly hope that the Vatican, particularly the curia, can be reformed of its evil habits. Though this is an impossible task, the appearance of humility and sanctity will go a long way toward making it look like the Vatican is being cleaned up. It will certainly take the attention away from the current scandals and mask a lot of corruption that goes on behind the scenes.
And don’t forget that Francis is also the name of Francis Xavier who was a co-founder of the Jesuits with Ignatius Loyola. His ambition and zeal are well known. His was especially zealous to establish the Catholic faith, even if it required much blood to be shed. Perhaps Frances I has this in mind too, as his own history suggests.
World leaders, as is their custom, congratulated Francis on his election. They do this because they want to continue their relationships with the Vatican. It is beneficial for them to be seen in a positive way with the pope. Leaders from democratic countries especially build credibility with their voters by good relations with the pope and the Church gains more influence and power by being openly in contact with the leaders of the various nations. Notice how many of them plan to commit fornication with him by working together toward their mutual objectives.
Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez directed a message to Pope Francis on Twitter. “In my name, in the name of the Government of Argentina, and on behalf of the people of our country, I want to greet you and congratulate you on having been elected as the new Roman Pontiff of the Universal Church,” she said. “I send to you his Holiness, my consideration and respect,” she wrote. Within days of his election, she flew to Rome and had an audience with him. She even asked him to intervene in the Falkland Islands dispute with Great Britain.
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed Pope Francis too. “His Holiness will play a critical role as the leader of the Catholic Church as it faces the challenges of the 21st century,” Harper said.
U.S. President Barack Obama offered the pope “warm wishes” and “prayers.” In a statement, President Obama said; “On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy… President Obama added, “Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith. We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world.”
Joe Biden, the first Roman Catholic U.S. Vice-president, said, “Jill and I want to offer our congratulations to His Holiness Pope Francis, and extend our prayers as he takes on this holy responsibility. I am happy to have the chance to personally relay my well wishes, and those of the American people, when I travel to Rome for his Inaugural Mass. The Catholic Church plays an essential role in my life and the lives of more than a billion people in America and around the world, not just in matters of our faith, but in pursuit of peace and human dignity for all faiths. I look forward to our work together in the coming years on many important issues.”
It is important for the American leaders to acknowledge the papal election. After all, popes these days are all very pro-American. And while that helps to fulfill Bible prophecy in an important way, it is nevertheless a principle of Rome to work with the “mighty men of the earth” and especially the men who lead the mighty nations of the earth. The Vatican and the United States, including the CIA, have developed a very close cooperation ever since the Carter Administration. The CIA and the Vatican regularly communicate on matters of intelligence.
Also, keep in mind that there are about 75 – 80 million Catholics in the United States, a key political constituency. Catholic voters are the largest single denomination in the United States. President Obama also specifically noted the growing political influence of Hispanic Roman Catholics in the U.S. During the last election, he took the votes of three-quarters of them. “As the first pope from the Americas,” President Obama said, “his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.” That would have warmed the pope’s Hispanic heart.
No wonder the Vatican opposes measures to stop illegal immigration in the U.S. These illegal immigrants have babies, which eventually become voters. And as some of the immigrants become citizens, they also can vote. But their influence is more than just the votes. They can apply strong political pressure when necessary to achieve results that favor the church. Their sheer numbers can make a huge difference to a politicians thinking.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President, François Holland, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all had congratulations for the new pope.
The German Chancellor wished him well “wholeheartedly.” “Millions of believers in Germany and the world have waited for this moment,” she said. “Their hopes now lie with the new pope,” she added, suggesting that they had lost faith in the previous pope. She also said that “Catholics and non-Catholics alike would be looking to the new pope for guidance not just in questions of faith but in matters of peace, justice and protecting creation [the environment].”
Meanwhile, Jesuit trained European Union leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso who are both deeply involved in resurrecting the Holy Roman Empire and putting the pope back in power in Europe, wished the new Catholic leader “a long and blessed pontificate.” “We are convinced that your Holiness will continue to further with determination and strength the work of your predecessors by bringing the world’s people and religions closer together,” they said.
Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto wrote “We respectfully and affectionately greet Pope Francis I, head of the Vatican State, with whom we wish to establish a friendly and close relationship.”
And good wishes were expressed by the leaders of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Singapore, China, Russia, The President of the European Parliament, and many other countries as well.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the other world leaders to congratulate the new pope. Speaking of the new pope Ban said he looked forward to cooperation with the Holy See under the “wise leadership” of the new pope. “We share many common goals – from the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights, to the eradication of poverty and hunger – all core elements of sustainable development,” he said. He also expressed hope that the new pope will continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI in “promoting inter-faith dialogue, which is at the heart of the [UN] Alliance of Civilizations initiative,” Ban said.
The UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser also congratulated Pope Francis. He commended the humanitarian work of the new pope in supporting the poor, and his messages of compassion and love. Al-Nasser also said he looks forward to the future cooperation between the Vatican and the UN Alliance of Civilizations in promoting the vision of inter-religious dialogue and the principles of peace, tolerance and co-existence. He noted that through mutual cooperation between the UN Alliance of Civilizations and the Vatican, they can advance the cause of peace and build bridges of understanding and dialogue instead of divisiveness and hatred.
The congratulations also included a senior Palestinian official, Saeb Erekat, who also extended an invitation to visit the holy land from Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. “President Abbas,” he said, “is determined to continue exerting every possible effort in order to foster [improved] relations between Palestine and the city of Vatican.”
Israeli President Shimon Peres wrote, “The holy pope is a meaningful leader for all of us, not just for the Catholic community.” Imagine the pope becoming a leader for Jews.
Ecumenical religious leaders also wished him well.
Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the world’s Anglicans, wished “every blessing” to the new pope and said he looked forward to meeting him.
“Welcome Pope Francis, cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Habemus Papam,” [which means “we have a pope”], tweeted Rick Warren, Then he added “You have our prayers.” Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California, and of “Purpose-Driven” fame has more than 950,000 Twitter followers. Rick Warren has become something of a promoter of an evangelical version of Jesuit spiritual formation and is very ecumenical. Perhaps his use of the words “Habemus Papam” has more significance than what appears on the surface.
Other religious leaders congratulated the pope on his election. They include the Saudi Arabia-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 57 countries, said Thursday “it hopes the election of a new pope will signal improved relations between Islam and Christianity.”
In Moscow, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Father Kirill Gorbunov said relations with the new pope would be close.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder praised the new pope as “an experienced man, someone who is known for his open-mindedness… a man of dialogue, a man who is able to build bridges with other faiths.” He also said the pope “is no stranger to us,” and had attended many interfaith events that the Congress had organized over the years in Latin America.
The World Evangelical Alliance also sent their congratulations.
Before we close, let us look more closely at the fact that the new pope is the first ever member of the Jesuit order to be elevated to reign as pope. While that may be a surprise to some, the Jesuits typically avoid higher offices that involve high-level politics. The media mantra about the Jesuit pope, however, has made this fact a very big deal in the minds of the masses. And actually it is an important matter, because it represents the influence the Jesuits have over the church in addition to their influence on the nation states of the world. This election places the Jesuits in control of the Papacy to a large extent and puts the Jesuits in the spotlight. Everyone, it seems, is talking about the Jesuits now. The press can hardly contain themselves. And the Jesuit websites are brimming with self-congratulations.
The Jesuits, known formally as the Society of Jesus, are a male religious order within the Catholic Church. The order was founded in the 16th century by Ignatius of Loyola specifically to overthrow the influence of Protestantism, which had taken the Holy Roman Empire by storm and had nearly toppled the papal tiara from off the head of the pope. Consequently, they have maintained a relentless war on the Bible and its authority. They have been called “God’s Marines,” and “religious storm troopers.” Even the Catholic Encyclopedia refers to them in similar terms. “From the beginning,” it says, “the Jesuits have been aggressively evangelistic; they were the shock troops in the church’s resistance to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and among the first missionaries to set up shop in such far-flung locales as India, Asia, and Central and South America…
“One of its main objectives is to spread the Catholic faith through missionary work and education,” commentators claim. The Holy See Press Office says, “Jesuits are focused on social outreach.” While the Jesuits do a lot of charitable and social work that does benefit some people, this is only the visible focus of the Jesuits. They do works of charity so that they can be seen in the best light, while behind the scenes they are working to bring power into the hands of the Roman Catholic Church.
“Jesuits have run schools almost since their inception in the middle of the 16th century, and now teach 2.5 million students through 3,730 educational institutions around the globe. According to Rev. Kevin O’Brien, Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Georgetown, Jesuits “control the largest (religious) system of education in the world today.”
But there are other main objectives as well. One of them is to rise to the level of influential advisors to kings, rulers, presidents and prime ministers.
Listen to this important statement from history. It is from Great Controversy, page 235. “When appearing as members of their order, they wore a garb of sanctity, visiting prisons and hospitals, ministering to the sick and the poor, professing to have renounced the world, and bearing the sacred name of Jesus, who went about doing good. But under this blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were often concealed.”
So, under the veneer of charity and good works there is a sinister side of the Jesuits. There is no getting around it. Today, if you talk to most people, they are either very positive about the Jesuits or they want to learn more about them. They do not recognize that underneath all the deceptive piety there is a hidden hand that is working to destroy liberty in general and religious freedom in particular.
Often the way it is accomplished is for the Jesuits to work both sides of any political struggle. That way they are still close to those who win the struggle. In a recent commentary, David Collins, a history professor at the oldest Jesuit university in America, Georgetown in Washington DC, said, “Since their founding, Jesuits have consistently offended people… But if there’s a barricade in the street, there’s going to be a Jesuit on both sides of that barricade.”
He is saying that wherever there is a problem, the Jesuits are close to the solution no matter what that solution might be. They can influence the outcome. And they can influence those who manage the process, whether it is a president, a legislator or some sort of government bureaucrat. And the more Jesuit-trained men there are in government, the more effective will be their influence.
Though they would have hoped to have accomplished the overthrow of Protestantism a long time ago, Protestantism was so very deeply rooted, that it has taken the Jesuits almost 600 years to get to the place where Protestantism is no longer a threat to the Catholic Church.
At one time, after the massacre of St. Bartholomew, which decimated the country of France of its talented and productive Huguenots and prior to the French Revolution, the Jesuits became so scheming, despotic and evil that their reputation caused a public outcry. Many countries banned them, from France and Portugal to the Philippines. A few years before the French Revolution, Pope Clement XIV, in an effort to quell the public outcry, in 1773 made a show of suppressing them, and the Jesuit order made a show of disappearing. But they never went away. They continued and were active all through the suppression period. In fact, during the revolution itself, the Jesuits were still very active. “The Jesuits alone flourished in the decaying nation, and ruled with dreadful tyranny over churches and schools, the prisons and the galleys,” says Great Controversy, page 279. Their work continued the ruin of the nation, until the brutal revolution, especially against the Christian religion broke out in France, with its astonishing chaos and bloodshed.
As soon as the Napoleonic wars wound down, Pope Pius VII restored the Jesuits. Though the Jesuits were banned from some countries again in the 19th century, they persistently continued their work. And they are back! And they are back in full force, so much so in 2013 that the cardinals chose a Jesuit to be their pope. They have infiltrated every government that they can. They have become the educators of the elites of society as well as the poorer masses. They are very influential in global politics, economics and religions. They teach the young how to think and shape their worldview as they climb the ladders of power and influence. The Jesuits keep close to them and uphold friendly relations, so that when these leaders might have a dilemma, they will be on hand to offer guidance and instruction.
Listen to what else we are told. This is continuing from the statement that I read to you a moment ago. “It was a fundamental principle of the order that the end justifies the means. By this code, lying, theft, perjury, assassination, were not only pardonable but commendable, when they served the interests of the church.”
And Pope Francis is no exception. Shortly after his election to the papal chair, the press was full of stories about his involvement in the “dirty war” of the military junta in Argentina in the mid and late 1970s, in which thousands were tortured and murdered. Remember, Jesuits work both sides of any political problem. Perhaps in a future message we can examine more closing Francis’ collaboration with the vicious military junta.
But documents have come to light that have confirmed his efforts to undermine the safety of some of his own priests, and collaboration with the CIA supported dictatorship.
Being the top Jesuit in Argentina during most of that chaotic time in which the junta government tried to purge all opposition to its power, he would have been familiar with many of the atrocities conducted. He claims ignorance, and the Vatican denies any involvement. But the recently revealed documents expose his false witness.
Jesuits are shrewd. They work both sides of a problem in order to get the results they want. They are masters of calculated intrigue; creating a problem and presenting themselves as the solution. The Jesuits gain access to power, and use it for their own ends. They use power to strengthen themselves and also to strengthen the Catholic Church, and in the 500 years since the founding of the Society of Jesus, they have worked very diligently to increase the power of the church.
One commentator said the “Jesuits know how to tap into the powers that be for financial and political support for their endeavors but use that access to money and power to serve the needs of the poor, the disadvantaged, and the world at large.”
The media have made the popes work for the poor another one of their mantras about the new pope. But that is only part of the story. They also use that access to power and money to control and manipulate the nations and the people to support Romanism.
Another commentator noted the simplicity of Francis, but also said “that simplicity hides a steely determination to advance Jesuit principles…” Though he was referring to the protection of the poor and the oppressed, and the importance of traditional Catholic teaching, his remark can be taken more broadly. The Jesuits have larger goals, which are served by their outward works and good deeds. No doubt, Pope Francis I will advance Jesuit principles.
Friends, the new pope of Rome is likely to be very charismatic, giving the Papacy a new face, one that can be perceived to be cleaning up the corruption, while at the same time continues to uphold the principles of the papal plan to become queen of the world.
Whether this pope is the last pope or not is immaterial. He will have a large impact on the world and will advance its progress toward the final challenge to Christ and His law.
Remember, Rome is determined to establish false worship in the name of Christ. You cannot escape the coming worship crisis. Revelation 13 clearly portrays the struggle, and mentions the worship crisis at least five times. Rome is aiming to set up its religious principles for the whole world. In verse three it tells us that “all the world wondered after the beast.” The world are those who are willing to disobey Christ and follow after the beast, which sets up a global false religion. This beast is the Papacy, and it is in league with Satan who gives it power (verse 2). There is no other political power combined with religion that has a global hierarchical control mechanism, than the Vatican.
In verse four we are told that the inhabitants of the world who are not willing to be faithful to Christ will “worship the dragon” or Satan, and “worship the beast” to whom Satan gives his power.
In verse seven we are told that the Papacy makes war with God’s people, or the saints; those who respect the worship required in God’s holy and unalterable law.
Verse eight says that all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him if their names are not written in the book of life.
Then in verse twelve, the second beast, or the United States, forces the inhabitants of the earth to worship the first beast, or the Papacy, who recovers from the “deadly wound” inflicted on her power.
And lastly, verse fifteen tells us that the United States will establish an image to the beast. That means that they will create a similar system based on the same principles of worship and will enforce the worship of this image. This verse actually predicts that those who refuse to worship in Satan’s way will be killed.
What is this worship? The only worship required by Rome is Sunday worship. This is the sign of her authority and her supremacy over the law of God. God allows the Church to wield her power so that all the inhabitants of the world can make a decision to follow Jesus and keep his Sabbath law, or follow the beast and keep his alternative day of worship. While there are many teachings of Rome that are in opposition to the scripture, Sunday worship is her hallmark, her identity. Popes and prelates have continually advocated Sunday worship for many centuries. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to students of Bible prophecy that in the last days, Rome, which never changes will seek to enforce the same old principles one last time. The test is coming, my friends, and you will have to make the choice. There are many Sabbath keepers today who do not know Jesus. They will collapse under the pressure and turn their backs on God’s truth for these last days. I hope you aren’t one of them. I hope you are establishing yourself on the unalterable word of God, and that you are praying for the Holy Spirit in your life so that you can experience the best walk with Christ that you have ever had. This is your only hope in the coming conflict. If you have Jesus close by your side, you will love and obey his law, and gain heaven through the faith of Jesus. If you don’t, you will worship the beast or his image and get his mark in your right hand or in your forehead. Revelation 13:16
The new Jesuit pope is very significant, and will certainly strengthen Rome. As the Vatican works through the various crises to clean them up, Rome is also preparing for the final assault on God’s law. Therefore, you and I must also prepare for it, by building a lasting and solid walk with God. The election of the new Jesuit pope is, in a certain sense, God’s call for you to turn your back on sin and live for Jesus. You cannot delay.
I want to be faithful to Jesus Christ, don’t you? Let us seek Him earnestly, every day.
Let us pray. Our Father in heaven, we are grateful for the study we have had today. We are awed by the movements taking place in the religious world. We cannot hide from the conflict ahead. We can only get ready. We need a strong and unbreakable bond with Jesus Christ. We pray that Your presence will come into our lives and give us the conviction we need to live according to the law of God and keep God’s day of rest instead of the enemy’s. This I pray in Jesus name, amen.