By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry. Thank you for joining me today as we outline some of the prophetic fulfillments of our time. Today’s message, I hope, will inspire you to get ready for the coming of Christ. We are living in the last days. It is vitally important that we know and understand our Bibles. We must also take time to commune with God.
Big changes are taking place in this world and it is not without concern that we watch the current developments that are marshalling the nations for the last great conflict. The enemy is working to bring them all under one “umbrella,” one roof, so to speak, so that all of them will be under the control of one supranational government, one core overruling system that will control the nations. The enemy is doing all he can to prepare for a universal worship law that will require “all that dwell upon the earth to worship him” Revelation 13:8, through worshipping the end-time beast power, or church-state power that is seeking to change God’s law.
But before we begin, I want to welcome all of our new subscribers that have joined our free, end-time monthly subscriptions while at General Conference in San Antonio. There are over 5,500 of you. In adding you to our existing 13,000 subscribers, you are joining a group of people keenly interested in the end times and who want to understand the Bible and prepare for the crisis and the second coming of Jesus. You are going to find that Keep the Faith will help you stay informed on current events with deep analysis of the big prophetic issues that are leading our planet into the end-time conflict. Many people have told me, in so many words, that they are surprised at the depth and breadth of our coverage, and the clear links to scripture.
We also have a second subscription that brings you news about prophetic developments on a daily basis. We publish our Prophetic Intelligence Briefings up to five times a week. These are fascinating news items you might have missed cast in their prophetic context. Sometimes, they are headline news that simply needs a connection to Bible prophecy. At other times, they need some analysis and explanation. These Prophetic Intelligence Briefings are greatly beloved by our long-term subscribers. We send these out by email and social media each day they are released. So, if you haven’t registered your email with us, please do so by going on our website, or send us an email requesting our Prophetic Intelligence Briefings and we’ll be glad to put you on the list. Like us on Facebook and you’ll get our feed. You can also follow us on Twitter. Like all of our subscriptions, they are free of charge. If you have started to receive our daily briefings, then you need do nothing. But if you haven’t, be sure and sign up on our website or contact us directly.
Today, most people aren’t really thinking prophetically. However, month after month, week after week, Keep the Faith subscribers, are developing their prophetic eye, and they look for the prophetic implications in the news. Many of them send us links with prophetic information that they find themselves. We appreciate this because it often alerts us to issues on which we need to report. You are welcome to do the same.
Keep the Faith is one of the most credible sources for prophetic insight, analysis and information on the planet today. We intend to keep our good reputation strong. Please remember that we do not publish that which we cannot verify from credible sources. So, if you want to be sure of something you see or read, check our website, or write us an email and ask. We are glad to provide you with as much up-to-date information as we can. For instance, recently there was a so-called “real news” item going around saying that the Pope had been given instructions by God to change the Ten Commandments. Instead of asking Keep the Faith about it, some just forwarded what they had received, and many, unfortunately thought it was really true. But we had checked and discovered that it was sourced from a satire website. No credible sources for the story could be found, so we did not report on it. There are a number of satire websites out there that make fun of things, or make political or social statements by satire. Satire in the news is a false, or partly false story, often with a relevant point to make, something like a cartoon in text form. But some times it is just poking fun at someone or something. Charlie Hebdo, the magazine in Paris, France whose editorial offices and editors were attacked by Islamic Extremists not long ago is a satire magazine. Be careful.
As we begin our important subject today, let us pray. Our Father in heaven, we are in such need of Your Holy Spirit. We hunger to know Your word and live by Your principles. We know we are in the end times, but we often miss the important prophetic markers that You have revealed to us in Your word. The Bible gives us so much detail about our times. But we need to have Your Holy Spirit to teach us how to understand them in light of Your word. Thank you for being with us today as we study, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
I would like to lay a little foundation for our new subscribers. It will also be a good reminder for our long-term subscribers as well. First, the Bible does not name end-time entities like nations or churches. It describes them. That’s very simple, but very important to understand.
Second, when you study the Bible, you have to think about what it is saying and what it isn’t saying. Carefully analyze the scripture. For instance, when the Bible says in Revelation 13:8 that “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,” it is talking about globalization; globalized worship. It does not use the modern term, but it describes precisely what will happen. And today we look at the headline news and it is patently clear that globalization is being constructed just as the Bible predicted.
So what does globalized worship mean in a practical sense? There is no way for anyone to establish a global system of worship without a global system of governance, including a global political system, a global economic system, a global educational system and a global enforcement mechanism. All of this is being developed right now, much of it in the name of fighting terrorism. But globalization is absolutely essential for global worship laws. Thirty years ago this was the stuff of conspiracy theories and those who talked about these things were relegated to the fringes of lunacy. But the Bible predicted it and now it is so obvious that it is hard to miss.
Globalization is the stuff of the news. And internationalists, as globalists like to be called, aren’t hiding it any more. They are openly shaping the future world on every front. Globalization is front and center. If you want to understand the movements and actions of President Obama, or any American president for that matter, you must understand the trajectory of globalization in the Bible. If you want to understand why Germany is re-arming and restoring her political and military muscle, you need to understand globalism and where the Bible says it is headed. If you want to understand why we at Keep the Faith could confidently and accurately predict in September of 2010 that Greece will not leave the Euro zone, you need to understand the Bible. Once you do, many of the strange things you see in the news will make much more sense.
Number three: The Bible clearly and prophetically details everything you need to know about coming events in ways that most of us have never realized before. And amazingly there is an enormous amount of detail. Please go back and study the story of Nimrod in Genesis 10 and 11. Please go back and rethink the story of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapters 1-3 and chapter 6. And if you really want a study on end time events as it relates to God’s people, go back and study the story of Esther. Even the secret deals behind the scenes that are designed to bring God’s people into deep trouble in the last days are all revealed there. And if you are paying attention, money and the economy is at the center of it. If you want our sermons on these topics go to our website, search for the key words and you’ll find fascinating material to expand your mind on prophetic things that will help you understand our times.
I’m going to read a statement now from Fundamentals of Education, page 126. This is so important to understand. Please listen carefully.
“The Bible is the only rule of faith and doctrine. And there is nothing more calculated to energize the mind, and strengthen the intellect, than the study of the word of God. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God’s word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose, that is rarely seen in these times. Thousands of men who minister in the pulpit are lacking in essential qualities of mind and character, because they do not apply themselves to the study of the Scriptures. They are content with a superficial knowledge of the truths that are full of rich depths of meaning; and they prefer to go on, losing much in every way, rather than to search diligently for the hidden treasure.” Fundamentals of Education, page 126
No wonder we have so many compromising and weak-kneed Christians today. They don’t study the Bible as it should be studied. My friends, I have found that when I mine the great truths from scripture and dig into it, the Holy Spirit gives me so much that I can, at times, hardly contain myself. We don’t often comprehend the treasure we have in scripture. One of our key aims at Keep the Faith is to increase your confidence and reliance on scripture as your guide in navigating the future. There is no better source of information and counsel.
So, turn with me in your Bibles to Romans 8:22, 23. The Bible tells us what is going to happen to nature as we near the end of time. As increasing pressure is placed on the sensitive ecosystems of our planet, it is increasingly difficult for them to recover from abuse. Everything is intertwined. One thing often affects many other things. Listen to what Paul says. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”
The gradual destruction of the ecosystems of creation also affects humanity. We are utterly dependent on them for survival. As these resources are being undermined in various ways, human beings, particularly those living in the big cities will be greatly stressed.
Sometimes, nature responds and there are massive die-offs of birds, fish and insects. At other times, nature reacts with a vengeance, which threatens our food sources and water resources. We end up with drought and famine and other natural disasters. And while there is debate about the human contribution to the collapse of ecosystems, there are other forces in play as well.
Listen to this amazing statement from The Great Controversy, page 589. “Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows… It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord will do just what he has declared that He would—He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law and teaching and forcing others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favor and prosper some in order to further his own designs, and he will bring trouble upon others and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.
“While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. “The earth mourneth and fadeth away,” “the haughty people… do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 23:4, 5
Friends, based on these verses of scripture and from the book Great Controversy, it is patently clear that nature and creation will take a very big hit in the last days. We are seeing that now as we see how stressed nature is. Scientists, especially those that do not acknowledge God the creator of nature, cannot discern how to control creation or limit her destruction. Yet Satan knows the secrets of the natural world. He is always ahead of science. He organizes natural problems that science can only begin to understand.
And friends, it is not science that should have to tell us this. Science only confirms what scripture says will happen. It cannot counteract it. What was revealed in the ancient scriptures about our time is now being validated by science. Scientists can ring their hands all they want, but it will not change the course of prophecy. Climate summit after climate summit can bring the focus onto the problem of the degradation of nature, but creation’s gradual decline will continually increase the pressure. Notice that the cause of nature’s degradation is a result of man’s rejection of God’s law. Yet men will think they are doing right. Scientists are often foremost in rejecting the biblical account of creation and the root cause of environmental problems.
No amount of political resolve, even on a global scale will ever bring nature back into alignment. The United Nations can call on nations to make laws to protect nature. But it will not change the trajectory of the effect of rejecting the law of God. Human efforts to protect nature can only do so much.
The pope has now called on Christians and all people all over the world to take serious action to protect nature through his new encyclical. But it is actually the Papacy that is leading the world in rejection of God’s law and thereby increasing the withdrawal of God’s blessings and protection. Rome’s pious appeals for the protection of creation just masks Satan’s aims to eventually blame God’s people for the disasters. In the name of God, rejection of His holy law will become universal under Rome’s leadership. Satan will be given permission to greatly increase the damage caused by the destruction of nature and Rome and others will say that it is God’s judgments that are being poured out. They will point to God’s people who keep His law, especially His seventh-day Sabbath, as the cause of God’s displeasure.
Pope Francis is a radical. And he’s potent. He is so radical that he says and does things that are very surprising to many. He says them in such a positive way that millions are charmed by his style, especially his calls to upset the social and political status quo. He’s continually surprising the world with statements that reflect his sheer determination to get the entire world to align with Rome in collaboration if not in worship, at least for now.
His new encyclical, Laudato Si’ is an extraordinarily frank document in which the pope lambasts rich countries for “looting” the world and takes aim at bankers and climate skeptics for accelerating its decline. Sounding like an apocalyptic preacher warning of crop failure, economic ruin, mass migration and the destruction of entire eco-systems he says, “If the current trend continues this century we could witness climate change unlike anything seen before and the unprecedented destruction of eco-systems, with serious consequences for all of us.”
Is he reading the Bible? The Bible tells us that these sorts of things will happen. Instead of warning his flock to get ready for the end times, he is telling them that they have to find ways to stop the deterioration of nature and establish a global collaboration on the environment.
The encyclical is also withering about what the pope sees as economic injustice and takes aim at the global financial system. “The economic powers shall continue to justify the current world system,” he wrote, “in which speculation and the aim for financial returns to prevail that tend to ignore… the effects on the environment and on human dignity. So clearly it reveals that environmental, human and ethical degradation are intimately connected.”
Francis took aim at developed countries in particular. “The warming caused by the enormous consumption of some rich countries,” he wrote, “has repercussions in the poorest places on earth, especially in Africa, where the increase in temperature, combined with drought, has had disastrous effects on the performance of crops.”
He reams political stagnation and calls for a global political authority to address abuse of the environment. “It is remarkable how weak international political responses have been,” he said. “The most one can expect [from the political system] is superficial rhetoric, sporadic acts of philanthropy and perfunctory expressions of concern for the environment, whereas any genuine attempt by groups within society to introduce change is viewed as a nuisance… or an obstacle to be circumvented.
“To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis,” he continued, “to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority…”
Friends, this is classic globalism. The bottom line is that the pope wants to influence the debate on climate change and essentially guide the outcome. He hopes the encyclical through “people pressure,” will raise the ambition of political leaders to agree to unite on environmental protection.
The principles of Rome are socialistic. Rome is perhaps the most centralized government in the world. But, it is deeper than that. If Rome is ever going to sit as a queen, as the Bible says she will, she must urge the nations to adopt socialism, or central planning, and promote regionalization and globalism. Rome will never be able to impose Sunday worship on the whole world, for instance, without these key elements in place.
This is very important to understand about the Vatican from a prophetic point of view. Their influence is toward more socialism – a soft glove kind of socialism, of course, but with religion at the center of it. Perhaps we can call it a “religious socialism.”
That’s why when Francis visited Evo Morales, the Bolivian President, a few weeks ago Morales gifted the pope a wooden crucifix carved into a worker’s hammer over a sickle facing downward—a symbol of communism. Though the unexpected gift took Pope Francis and the Vatican by surprise, what may have really shocked him was what Morales said. Morales told the pope that his “push to create a world where nobody is excluded makes him a fellow socialist.”
The Vatican quickly tried to play down the idea of Francis being a socialist, and especially the idea of the merging of communism and religion. But the fact of the matter is, that is what popes preach and teach, a form of socialism, or a strong centralized government that provides social welfare to almost everyone and where the church plays a pivotal role in the political institutions of the state.
Sometimes, there are people who bring hidden realities to the surface. Morales’ politically incorrect statement was essentially taking a hidden fact and putting it up on the table where everyone could see it. He was pointing out a reality that most people miss because it is hidden behind all the papal piety, charisma and charm. But it is nevertheless a fact that is obvious to all who are paying attention.
Morales was not the only one to pick up the socialism of Pope Francis. Steve Moore, chief economist of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, said, “Pope Francis — and I say this as a Catholic — is a complete disaster when it comes to his public policy pronouncements. On the economy, and even more so on the environment, the pope has allied himself with the far left and has embraced an ideology that would make people poorer and less free.”
Now that’s socialism. Apparently, Steve Moore recognizes it for what it is, even though he doesn’t understand the Bible or its prophecies about the end times. If ever there is going to be a universal or global worship law, there has to be less freedom and more poor that are dependent on government handouts that can be controlled by the threat of losing them, and forced, if possible, into the worship of the beast. Getting rid of the middle class, a key globalist aim, also removes most independent thinkers and more government dependence.
Popes, like Francis, urge nations to do nearly all the things that socialism and communism claim to do. They appeal to the poor working class and try to give them more political influence. This gives them influence with elected officials in democratic countries and it keeps dictators mindful of papal influence on the masses of their citizens.
The crucifix on the communist hammer and sickle is a rather precise and fitting symbol of the aims of the Vatican, to place the church over the socialist state. But it is not just developing nations that the Vatican aims to manipulate. Western nations are taking on big government and social programs like never before. They are becoming increasingly socialist in their policies and practices. Rome’s influence on them is telling. No wonder the middle class is gradually being stripped out of the developed countries. The underlying principle is to make the nations socialist while people blindly carry on, seemingly unaware that the nations are being re-aligned with papal principles and consolidating under world leaders on a trajectory that is taking them directly into the fulfillment of long-held Bible prophecy.
Here is something that all of us need to understand. The Bible tells us that the future belongs to socialism. Keep in mind that Revelation 13 reveals a socialized or collective religion in which all that dwell upon the earth shall worship the beast or his image. That church/state mixture is a satanic brew that will isolate God’s people and pin them into a corner so that they will have to make a choice between God’s law and man’s law.
Pope Francis has continually promoted “radical” economic change. And so did Benedict XVI, so did John Paul II as did previous popes. They are not opposed to socialism. They promote it. They are only opposed to socialism that excludes the Vatican from political engagement.
While the pope is pushing the world toward a new economic model which highlights papal philosophy, he is linking that model to another socialist agenda, climate protection and environmentalism. In his new encyclical Laudito Si Pope Francis pushes for a new world order in which humanity takes care of nature.
Though this is ultimately impossible, so long as man rejects God’s law, when the pope speaks out on an issue it is difficult for the nations to ignore him, particularly nations that are closely tied to the Vatican like the United States, Europe and even Latin America.
Pope Francis has been pushing protection of the climate for quite some time now. A year before the encyclical was released, he said that the destruction of nature is “our sin.”
Here are his words. “This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation,” he told students and farmers while speaking at a university. “When I look at America, also my own homeland (South America), so many forests, all cut, that have become land … that can [no] longer give life. This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to her give us what she has within her.”
Until Pope Francis’ encyclical many people, particularly in western nations, were uncertain about the relevance of the environment to their personal lives. Some are indifferent and nonchalant, perhaps because of the lack of traction at climate change summit after climate change summit. People intuitively know that implementing a climate agenda will cost them dearly. Some think that technical solutions will emerge to solve the problem, so they are waiting for that.
Obviously, the Papacy sees the climate issue as a key opportunity to influence the nations and strengthen her political stature in the minds of people around the world. The promotion of the encyclical in the lead-up to its release was very telling of the papal plan to insert religion into political debates over climate change. The pope hopes to spark another revolution. It also reveals how the Vatican intends to use climate change to its advantage as it integrates concern for the climate and its appeal to have the world respect papal guidance.
For instance, Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gave a speech in which he described the broad implications of the upcoming encyclical. Turkson, who helped the pope develop the first draft of the encyclical, stressed that religion plays a vital role in dealing with the effect of climate change. He also tied the environment into the economy by saying that global inequality and the destruction of the environment “are the greatest threats we face as a human family today.” Saying that the year 2015 is a critical year for humanity, he described an “integral ecology” that involves creation, human development and concern for the poor.
Turkson also said the pope “has echoed the sense of crisis that many in the scientific and development communities convey” about the state of the planet and the poor.
Notice what is happening here. Most scientists have stridently called for protection of the environment and have urged nations to take action. UN leaders have also called for international multilateral agreements that would stem the effects of the deterioration of nature because of human pollution and other activities. Now the pope weights in, saying that there is a moral dimension to climate change.
Do you think the papal encyclical will help align scientists with the Papacy and build papal credibility in the scientific community? Of course it will. As papal pressure increases international collaboration, scientists will certainly be more open to working with Catholic scholars and scientists. Rome aims to be in the middle of that dialogue
Scientists are atheists and they ridicule religion in various ways. But the Vatican is positioning itself to be a credible “Christian” voice to the scientific community. Already the Catholic Church supports deistic evolution, an evolution with God involved. And though no one expects the Catholic Church to throw out the divine in its “evolutionary” ideas, scientists can now find common cause with the Catholic Church, and instead of ridicule, there is likely to be much more respect. The pope is aiming to radically redefine the way the scientific community views the church. It is kind of an ecumenical approach to the scientific community. And just as the ecumenical movement has silenced or neutered most of Rome’s opposing voices in Christian circles, Rome is now taking aim at secular minds and seeking to neuter them too.
Take note of that, my friends. That is prophetic. When the Bible says that all the world wondered after the beast in Revelation 13:3, do you think it means what it says? I do. You may remember that the pope made friendly comments about atheists being redeemed. While some were quick to say that the pope’s words didn’t imply that they would be saved if they did not believe, they were nevertheless the subject of much discussion and favorable impressions.
“We are called to protect and care for both creation and the human person,” Turkson said. “These concepts are reciprocal and, together, they make for authentic and sustainable human development.”
The pope, Turkson said, “is pointing to the ominous signs in nature that suggest that humanity may now have tilled too much and kept too little, that our relationship with the Creator, with our neighbour, especially the poor, and with the environment has become fundamentally ‘un-kept,’ and that we are now at serious risk of a concomitant human, environmental and relational degradation.”
That’s quite a profound argument really. Environmentalism is a perfect match for papal claims over humanity. It provides the pope with an opportunity to tie Rome’s larger agenda to an issue that clearly affects every living human being. He is taking it beyond the level of debate and elevating it to the next level where none but Rome’s ethical and moral voice can be inserted into the discussion. After all, no one can argue that we should not protect the environment. While that has its challenges, political, social and even ethical challenges, it is nevertheless true. The pope knows that it is true, so he has seized the opportunity to talk to the whole world about it and insert papal influence into the discussion and placing the Vatican right in the center of it.
The encyclical will give the issue of environmental protection considerable prominence and will give the pope significant influence in the upcoming climate conference in December in Paris, France. The UN hopes that a new set of sustainable development goals will be signed. Pope Francis’ encyclical, he hopes, will have significant moral influence on the negotiators in Paris that will give the matter a sense of urgency and improve the odds of reaching a final agreement.
“Few individuals wield a megaphone as big as the pope’s,” said Elliot Diringer, who tracks the negotiations as executive vice president for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. “He can introduce a genuine moral dimension into a debate that otherwise is far too ideologically driven. We typically make the case based on science,” Diringer added, “but when science and religion are pointing in the same direction, that can be a powerful signal.”
Again, U.S. Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said, “His standing throughout Europe is such that he could be a real presence in Paris.”
“Sustainable development” is a key word of the climate change industry. It is also a key word that globalists use to insist on supranational control over the way natural resources are used. It involves every mineshaft, every stream, lake and pond. It involves the use of the sea, including fishing and recreation. It involves the crops we cultivate on our land and the very air we breathe. It means international collaboration in creating a future that is ecologically stable and sustainable on every front. It is so broad and all encompassing that we wonder why the Papacy hasn’t inserted itself into the conversation before now. Rome insists that its moral influence is needed in whatever decisions and international agreements may arise.
It also means supranational oversight and control of nations under UN leadership, in other words, more globalism. Nations have to give up some of their sovereignty and yield to international pressure especially pressure from the Vatican. And the Vatican is positioning itself to lead the world by publishing an encyclical of this type.
Pope Francis is a master at shaping opinions on a global scale. While John Paul was as skilled as Francis and was a pope for his time, including the orchestration of the collapse of atheistic communism, Pope Francis is just as much a pope for his time as well, particularly with the maturing of the ecumenical movement, the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire and now the capture and restructuring of the climate debate.
The intentions of the pope go way beyond the usual debate concerning whether climate change is the result of earth’s natural cycle of warming and cooling or whether human activity has had something to do with it. He elevates the discussion to the moral plane saying that the Christian, and for that matter, humanity in general, has the moral obligation to care for God’s ongoing work of creation.
By implication, he is speaking for all Christians, not just Catholic ones. But by further implication, he is placing the Christian above all others who do not have as much concern for the environment including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. But it runs deeper than that. The pope wants these other non-Christian religions to join with Christians in the protection of the environment, in a new level of the ecumenical movement. “Mother Earth,” or Gaia, as it is often called is a new age, and formerly pagan concept in which the earth is the mother of all living, the source, the genesis of all things animate and inanimate. Pope Francis even mentions “Mother Earth” in the encyclical, in a reference to these new age religious views.
In the propaganda war, Pope Francis is suggesting that Christians unite with all those who are concerned about sustainable development and by implication he is calling on all others, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., to join with Christians in the work of protecting the earth. By doing this he is seizing the climate discussion and inserting the Catholic Church at its head. From now on, no discussion can really take place about climate change, without acknowledging the Catholic Church and its own scientific community.
Cardinal Turkson said that “leaving faith outside such conversation, undermines a vital and powerful source of meaning and action in the common effort to address both climate change and sustainable development.”
In other words, major issues on our planet such as climate change must involve faith, as in papal guidance and its religious voice.
My friends, we are seeing the centralization of global papal influence through the use of environmentalism. The encyclical was inspired by a report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released last November. It said that climate change is happening and that it is almost entirely man’s fault. Though here is debate and some disagreement on the report, Pope Francis has accepted it in principle and sided with it. He is not in that debate. He is aiming to use Genesis 2:15 to bring the Christian world into political alignment with him in protecting creation.
There is another level that the pope is no doubt thinking about. He knows that creation and worship of the creator go together. He could have even used Revelation 14:7 to argue that true concern for nature involves submission and worship of the creator. Here is what it says. “Fear God, and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment has come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Those that understand the Bible recognize that the reference to worship in this verse is referring to the seventh-day Sabbath, which is the only day of worship authorized in scripture.
By the fact that creation and the Sabbath are linked together, the pope knows that protecting creation will lead to the protection of the papal sabbath, which popes have always assigned to Sunday.
Francis pointed out that Pope John Paul II connected human development and care for the environment and emphasized the need for a “global ecological conversion” and that efforts need to be made to “safeguard the moral conditions for an authentic human ecology.” He also called on the world to make profound changes in “lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies.”
The popes have always been interested in reformulating the structures of power that govern society and align them with papal philosophy and guidance.
Pope Benedict linked the economy with the environment too, Francis wrote. He proposed “eliminating the structural causes of the dysfunctions of the world economy and correcting models of growth which have proved incapable of ensuring respect for the environment.” He also linked ecology to society and the family. “the book of nature is one and indivisible”, and includes the environment, life, sexuality, the family, social relations, and so forth. It follows that “the deterioration of nature is closely connected to the culture which shapes human coexistence,” with each other and with nature. He said that it was important to acknowledge that the natural environment has been gravely damaged by our irresponsible self-centered behavior.
Pope Francis was more blunt than his predecessors. Before the release of his encyclical, he said, “I don’t know if [human activity] is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face.”
Francis wrote that Mother Earth “now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.
“Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet… In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.”
Francis continually speaks of the need for the solidarity of the human family to collectively address the environmental dangers he enumerated at great length in the encyclical. “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change…
Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.”
What does it mean to bring the whole human family together? That’s papal speak for globalization, supranational governance and its leading directly to its final destination; worship of the beast.
“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet,” Francis wrote. “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. We require a new and universal solidarity…”
Like the fight against terrorism and Muslim extremism has permitted students of Bible prophesy to see how the predictions of the Bible will be fulfilled in the name of a “good cause,” now climate change helps us begin to see how the fight against climate change will lead to global solidarity or supranational government. And the pope has argued piously and powerfully to that end. No one can credibly argue with his appeal, yet that appeal is leading us in a trajectory that will eventually take us to a universal worship law aimed especially at those who love God supremely and keep his Sabbath law found in the Bible.
Listen to what Pope Francis says about the Sabbath. “Rest on the seventh day is meant not only for human beings, but also so “that your ox and your donkey may have rest” (Ex 23:12)… The biblical tradition clearly shows that this renewal entails recovering and respecting the rhythms inscribed in nature by the hand of the Creator. We see this, for example, in the law of the Sabbath. On the seventh day, God rested from all his work. He commanded Israel to set aside each seventh day as a day of rest, a Sabbath, (cf. Gen 2:2-3; Ex 16:23; 20:10).
Late in the encyclical Pope Francis, as expected, brings up the subject of the papal Mass. He cannot avoid it because it is so essential to Catholic teaching and faith. It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation…” Speaking of the Eucharist as the “living centre of the universe,” he says, “the whole cosmos gives thanks to God… The Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it embraces and penetrates all creation… Thus, the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.”
Of course, the Eucharist and the Mass are celebrated on Sunday, the papal alternative to the Bible Sabbath. “On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance,” he writes. “Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the “first day” of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality. It also proclaims “man’s eternal rest in God. In this way, Christian spirituality incorporates the value of relaxation and festivity.”
Tying rest in with work, he says, “We tend to demean contemplative rest as something unproductive and unnecessary, but this is to do away with the very thing which is most important about work: its meaning. We are called to include in our work a dimension of receptivity and gratuity [or thankfulness], which is quite different from mere inactivity. Rather, it is another way of working, which forms part of our very essence. It protects human action from becoming empty activism; it also prevents that unfettered greed and sense of isolation which make us seek personal gain to the detriment of all else. The law of weekly rest forbade work on the seventh day, “so that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your maidservant, and the stranger, may be refreshed” (Ex 23:12). Rest opens our eyes to the larger picture and gives us renewed sensitivity to the rights of others. And so the day of rest, centered on the Eucharist, sheds it light on the whole week, and motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor.
What an argument! Francis skillfully weaves Catholic worship into environmentalism. But that should not surprise the student of the Bible. The constant aim of the Papacy is to advocate Sunday rest.
Lastly, Pope Francis masterfully points to the heavenly sabbath of rest. “Even now,” he writes, “we are journeying towards the sabbath of eternity, the new Jerusalem, towards our common home in heaven. Jesus says: “I make all things new” (Rev 21:5). Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all.”
Here is another important point to think about. The adoption of more open and liberal views and teachings by the Papacy over the last several decades has been very appealing to Protestants and Protestant America, in particular. The ecumenical movement, which is all embracing, now has traction and is drawing all Protestant churches into Rome’s embrace. This makes Rome’s teachings less and less offensive and more politically acceptable as well. So, now environmentalists hope that U.S. Christians and others will take note of the problems with nature and get in harmony with it. The encyclical is likely to increase ecumenical collaboration.
Listen to this from Last Day Events, page 130, “How the Roman church can clear herself from the charge of idolatry we cannot see… And this is the religion which Protestants are beginning to look upon with so much favor, and which will eventually be united with Protestantism. This union will not, however, be effected by a change in Catholicism, for Rome never changes. She claims infallibility. It is Protestantism that will change. The adoption of liberal ideas on its part will bring it where it can clasp the hand of Catholicism.”
Do you think we are at the time when Protestantism is almost united with Roman Catholicism? We’re watching the fulfillment of this specific prophecy being fulfilled right now.
From the same book and page, we read the following, “The professed Protestant world will form a confederacy with the man of sin, and the church and the world will be in corrupt harmony.”
And friends, it will be a harmony built on pious sounding principles. It will be a harmony in favor of good ideas and projects. Do think that the sinister work of the man of sin is going to appear in garments of corruption? It appears in garments of enlightened humanity. It will be positive. It will be encouraging. It will be embracing and welcoming. But it will also be deadly.
I suspect strongly that because the ecumenical movement has reached such a high state of collaboration with Rome that it is now time for Rome to take on other aspects of social concern, such as the environment, to bring Protestants, scientists, perhaps even Muslims and other religions closer to Rome as the unite together in environmentalism.
Rome sees many advantages through using the environment to improve her stature. And the time is now. Combined with the promotion of socialism, which is taking Latin America by storm, Rome will use environmentalism to appeal to the masses. They, in turn, put pressure on their leaders. Their leaders know that they have to negotiate with Rome. Thus Rome gains stature and power.
The ecumenical movement has another dimension in light of the pope’s encyclical. Being a religious document, it will have special weight among Rome’s ecumenical partners, including evangelicals, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans and others who share the pope’s concerns. This will give them a new rallying point around which to unite more closely. But it could easily involve other religions such as Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. New age religions are also susceptible to it as well since they have a concern for nature’s harmony. The encyclical appeals to all religious ideals.
Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said about the encyclical that, “It will have a pretty big impact.” And then he said, “If [the parties to the Paris negotiations are] able to do something across faiths, that would also be very powerful.”
Keep in mind that the pope’s views will take center stage as he visits the United States in late September, when he will speak to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. And it is hard to imagine that he would not bring it into his speech there.
“I think the encyclical is potentially historic,” said U.S. Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I think his speech to the joint session of Congress in September could be a tipping point.”
No doubt there are many things on his mind, which may well include pressing for action on climate change. He will also speak to a joint session of the United Nations in New York. This should also be significant.
If the pope could orchestrate an international agreement on climate change would that not elevate papal credibility to an all time high. Pope Francis already has a history of orchestrating deals. For instance, he was intimately involved in the rapprochement between the United States and Cuba and helped to resolve the 50-year standoff. A climate change deal would be an even grander project.
Friends, the times we are living in are compelling. We are on a front row seat as we watch the unfolding drama of fulfilling prophecy. You don’t want to miss it. As world leaders work to gradually bring about global changes that will make all people less free, particularly less free to follow their conscience, we must be making every effort to come into line with Jesus Christ. We must be making every effort to live his love through obedience to His law. May God’s peace be with you my friends, as we seek to know and do His will.
Let us pray. Our Father in heaven, it is in Jesus name that we come to You today seeking Your blessing. We must get ready for the last moments of earth’s history when every conviction we hold will be tested by fire. We pray that You will uphold and strengthen us through all the trials of life. But we especially pray that You will give us Your strength to withstand the temptations of the enemy whose aim is to destroy our faith. Please put Your Holy Spirit into us to empower, strengthen and enlighten us to the wiles of the enemy. We are told that he comes as an angel of light. It looks good to the untrained eye. But to those who understand the Bible, I pray that Your grace will give us a certainty of the future You have planned for us. Keep us faithful we pray, in Jesus name, Amen.