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The Vatican and Benedict XVI

By Pastor Hal Mayer

The Vatican and Benedict XVI [1]

This is Pastor Hal Mayer bringing you vital messages to help you understand the times in which we live so you can prepare for the coming of Jesus.

Greetings my dear friends. I am so thankful for our Lord Jesus who is taking care of everything. With the events of the last few weeks, I can see that we are so very near to the second coming of Jesus. I pray that you are daily growing in grace and in victory over sin, the world and the devil.

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Now let us turn our attention to our message for today. The recent election of Benedict XVI to the papal chair has riveted the world’s attention once again as the Vatican moves her agenda forward to build an empire that will one day soon be revealed as the harlot of Revelation. The two or three weeks surrounding the time between the death of John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI to take his place, has been one long media commercial for the Roman Catholic Church. This message is as much about the prophetic position of the Catholic church as it is about Benedict XVI.

Turn with me in your bibles to the seventeenth chapter of Revelation. I’m going to read from the first verse. “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:”

Now who is the great whore? There is only one possible answer. The scripture is not addressing a really bad woman here. The Revelator is speaking of the spiritual whore, the church that has left the truth and is committing spiritual adultery. This is none other than the Roman Catholic Church. I’m not referring to the people when I say that. I am referring to the hierarchy, the Vatican or the Papacy, and all of its teachings, structure and political intrigues. Verse 15 tells us that she is sitting on many waters which refers to multitudes of people. Truly Rome rules over multitudes. In fact there are over a billion adherents to the Roman Catholic Church world wide.

Notice the relationship between this church and the kings of the earth in verse two. “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.”

What is being said here is that the rulers or leaders of the world have been involved with Rome in and unholy and immoral alliance, thereby increasing its spiritual adultery. In fact, the unholy alliance itself is spiritual adultery. God is a god of freedom and liberty, and the mixing of church and state has always led to persecution of those that follow the Bible rather than tradition. But in reality, Rome is seeking to remove liberty by bringing kindreds, tongues and nations under her dominion. For the scripture says in Revelation 13:7 that “it was given unto him (the beast) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” This means that Rome is yet to rise higher in power, both spiritual and temporal.

It is important to know this because this power is going to use the arm of the state to force all in the whole world to worship the Pope. For the next verse says (vs. 8), “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Now coming back to chapter 17 verses 3 and 4, “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:”

When you watched the papal funeral and the papal installation ceremony, did you see all the scarlet and purple? Did you see all the gold draped around Benedict XVI? Did you see the golden cup used in the Mass with the wine? A woman represents a church in the Bible, and these that this wicked woman has, are things that a church has and uses to teach false doctrine and practice spiritual fornication. God wants to make it very clear to those who are spiritually listening who this wicked church is, so He gives us much detail.

Let me read on from verse 5. “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. This woman is the most amazing woman in scripture. Here is a church that claims to be Christ’s church on earth, but they are doing the very opposite of what Christ commands or wishes for His people. In fact, this church cuts off the people from Christ and leads them to place their confidence in man for forgiveness of sin and salvation. The Priest and Pope have taken the place of Christ, all in the name of Christ.

The amazing thing is that Rome and the Papacy are enormously popular. Think about the late Pope John Paul II for a minute. As we noted in the sermon last month, John Paul II was perhaps the most popular pope in history. Yet it greatly interested me that flags around the world were flown at half mast. Usually this is done to honor a national dignitary or an important national figure at his death, but not a foreigner or the head of state of another nation. The nations that do this are in essence recognizing Rome as a superior entity. They don’t lower their flags memorializing the death of the leaders of other nations. By lowering their flags, these nations revealed that they don’t view the Vatican as just another nation. The only symbolism possible in lowering a nation’s flags on behalf of the Pope, the head of another nation state is to symbolically recognize the superiority of the Papacy and the Pope over their own nation or people.

For example, when President Bush ordered the flags of the United States government to fly at half mast for Pope John Paul II, he did something that the United States does for no other foreign leader. This symbolically suggested that the United States views the Vatican as a superior state. It is impossible that the United States views the Vatican as part of itself, because it simply isn’t. Nor would the United States view the Vatican as an equal because it never lowers flags for the death of leaders of other “equal” nation states. Could it really be true that the United States now views itself as subordinate to Rome since a national directive from the president required the government to fly its flags at half mast? This is the only possible answer. And I’m sure that Roman curia loves to see the United States and other nations honoring the Pope, its dead head of state, suggesting that the Vatican is a superior entity. In the emotions of the moment, I doubt most people even thought about this.

The President’s executive order was not about private entities, only flags on government property were required to fly at half mast. What could be the symbolism, or the statement being made by private institutions that flew their flags half mast? This could only mean that they too recognize the Pope as a superior entity in much the same way as the government did. Therefore I was shocked when I learned that there were Seventh-day Adventist institutions that were flying their flags half mast. It left me cold when I learned that Atlantic Union College in Massachusetts lowered its flag. Quite probably there were many other SDA institutions, schools, hospitals, etc that lowered their flags. Why are Seventh-day Adventists so eager to memorialize the death of the Pope, a foreign dignitary and a man who has moved America and the world much closer to the fulfillment of prophecy? Why would Seventh-day Adventists be so ready to honor the Pope who represents everything that Seventh-day Adventists oppose? No doubt Satan was very pleased at this.

Certainly some would try to excuse it on the basis that our institutions are just being respectful. But I doubt that is the way Rome views it. By lowering Adventist Institution flags to half mast, we are telling the world that we have the same respect for the Vatican and the Pope that the government has, which is committing spiritual fornication with her. When the television cameras focus on our President kneeling before the dead pope, and our nation’s flags lowered half mast, and then they see flags lowered half mast at Adventist institutions, they very easily understand us to mean that if we were at the papal funeral, we too would have knelt before the dead pope.

But as I read the reports of the words that were said about John Paul II, I was truly shocked at the strides that have been made by Rome in winning the whole world, including some people that you might not expect.
Here are the comments from congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who is a democrat to the US House of Representatives from Texas. I’m quoting directly from her website. “He was a great humanitarian,” she said, as she expressed her “profound sorrow” at the passing of Pope John Paul II. “The Pope… is deserving of the great outpouring of love he has received,” she continued.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is a well known Seventh-day Adventist. Imagine that! A Seventh-day Adventist eulogizing the Pope in such glowing terms. She went on to say that Pope John Paul II “chose to move into a more abundant life, not from a hospital bed, but from his home in Vatican City.”

What does our Seventh-day Adventist congresswoman from Texas believe about life after death? John Paul II is not in the bliss of heaven or any “more abundant life.” He is in his grave, and he’s dead, according to scripture. He is neither in heaven or hell. He is waiting for the judgment where his deeds, whether they be good or evil, will be judged. Inspiration declares the teaching that there is immediate life after death, to be one of the two principle falsehoods in the last days. Listen to what God’s prophet has to say in the book Great Controversy on page 588. “Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions.” What Congresswoman Jackson Lee believes is spiritualism. And this Adventist congresswoman is actually teaching and affirming it by her statement on her website about John Paul II going to a more abundant life.

Still further, Congresswoman Jackson Lee reaffirmed her shocking testimony a second time by saying, “Today I, along with so many Americans, continue to pray for Pope John Paul II.” Why would a Seventh-day Adventist pray for a dead pope? There is no point in praying for a dead man. What good can prayers do for the dead? His probation is over. His eternal destiny is certain, one way or the other. Vain prayers will do nothing for him now or in eternity. Does our Congresswoman think that by prayers for John Paul II, she can do anything for his soul? This is amazing. Praying for the dead originated with paganism and came over into the Catholic Church. I wonder what religion she really is.

Then I read a statement on the web by an Adventist hospital administrator who praised the Pope by quoting some of his writings over and over again.

Then I read another Adventist Congressman’s comments about the dead pope. Rosco Bartlett, from Maryland said, “Pope John Paul II was an extraordinary man, and inspiring witness of faith in God, and an influential world leader. He expanded peace and freedom for millions of people…”

Was John Paul II really an “inspiring witness of faith in God?” I think he was more likely an inspiring witness of faith in Mary. While we can grant him whatever sincerity he is due, I can’t hardly imagine that he can really be an inspiring witness of faith in God when he reaffirmed the most diabolical and unbiblical doctrines of Rome during his pontificate, including indulgences, the punishment of heretics, and veneration of Mary.

But why all the praise from some Seventh-day Adventists? John Paul II certainly made an impact on the world, but was he somehow more venerable than any other human being because he held the office of pope? Perhaps we have not done a good enough job in training God’s people concerning the teachings of scripture about the “man of sin.”

But it goes much farther. Let me read you a shocking statement from a newspaper at a Adventist Christian college. Here is the quote.

“Perhaps we, too, can gain by looking to Pope John Paul II as a good example of what it means to be a Christian. I find it ironic that we criticize Catholics for looking to one man who they consider appointed by God to be a leader in their church. Do we not do the same with Ellen White? Were they not both godly individuals [Ellen White and John Paul II] whom God used in a powerful way to lead His people [Adventists and Catholics] through hard times. I imagine if they met each other and looked back at their respective churches, they might both shake their heads and say with a sigh. ‘Oh, those rowdy kids.’ May we live in such a manner as to meet them both someday.” Campus newspaper, Walla Walla College in the April 14, 2005 edition of The Collegian.

What does the writer mean by suggesting that John Paul II and Ellen White are on the same level? What blasphemy! Ellen White is a prophet God to the Last Generation who upheld God’s law. John Paul II represents the antichrist and leads a church steeped in the tradition of changing God’s laws and persecuting those that do them. There is no comparison! They are complete opposites.

Now, how can John Paul be a good example of what it means to be a Christian? Here is a man devoted to Mary, not Jesus. Here is a man that believes in Sunday worship and advocates Sunday laws in opposition to the law of God. How could he be an example of a good Christian?

How can the writer say that the Pope was used by God to lead His people…? The Pope is not leading God’s people to truth. He may be leading them to darkness, but not truth.

The Collegian is the official weekly newspaper of Walla Walla College, which is read by all the students. The writer concluded that paragraph by saying “if we make it to heaven, we will be sure to meet John Paul II there.”

This shocking statement in such a newspaper in one of our liberal colleges is over the edge. How can God-fearing, three angels message believing parents send their children to that school? Who is responsible for permitting this kind of writing at Walla Walla College?

Let us now come back to Revelation 17. I’m reading from verse 6 and onward. “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” The world is truly wondering! This is the same Rome that murdered those that opposed her doctrines. This is the same Rome that used the rack, the thumbscrew and the stake to torture and maim those who stood for Bible truth. Rome is indeed drunk with the blood of the saints – the true saints of God.

But many argue that Rome has changed. Has Rome really changed? Does a dead pope really deserve praise and flattery? Certainly not, in spite of the outward appearances, Rome has not changed. Remember that Satan comes as an angel of light so that he can deceive the people into believing that he is of God. So we should expect that his agents will do the same. They will come in popularity and in the best form, so that the people will think that they are working for God when in reality they are working for Satan.

Great Controversy, page 571, plainly tells us that “The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent.”

Some time I would like to do a sermon on the encyclicals and declarations of John Paul II and the doctrines that he upheld during his pontificate. But for now, let us remember that Revelation 13:3 tell us that “all the world wondered after the beast.” As I have read the news reports, I was amazed at how literally this prophecy is being fulfilled.

Let us read Revelation 17:12 and 13, “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

Do you realize that the world is being divided up into ten regions? The rulers of these ten regions no doubt work in conjunction with the UN for global control. The scripture says these rulers or whatever rulers will be ruling, will help Rome achieve her goal, the spiritual control of the world.

Rome is not able to control the world by military force. Rome doesn’t have one tank, one jet bomber, or one machine gun. The Vatican only has a few Swiss guards. But the scripture says that Rome is going to wage war with the Lamb! How can that be when Rome has no tools of war? It is because Rome is popular. The Vatican is popular. The Pope is popular. This draws the leaders of the world to unite with Rome to fulfill their objectives. By public interaction with Rome the world leaders get support from their Catholic constituencies. The Vatican builds credibility with the people, giving it substantial political power. She will then use those nations to work her will and oppress God’s faithful people.

Revelation 17:14 says “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Are you called, chosen and faithful? Are you with the lamb? If so, you will be assaulted by the forces of evil. You will become the target of the Vatican.

Having said all that, let us study about Benedict XVI. The world was still highly emotional about John Paul II when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in papal conclave. Born in Bavaria, Germany Cardinal Ratzinger was seen as the most likely candidate before the conclave. He had been the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a close confidant of Pope John Paul II. He had a very powerful position in the Vatican and was an intimate insider with all the Vatican secrets and agendas.

Conclave is when all the cardinals gather together in the Sistine Chapel and elect a new pope. All are sworn to secrecy about the deliberations. Even the nuns who attend the cardinals have to take an oath of secrecy. The cardinals elect the leader of the church and the head of the Vatican state. Outside influences are minimized. They are accountable to no one. The cardinals are not subject to political influences, nor is the new pope accountable to anyone but himself. All must be accountable to him. The new pope and world leader is then to be revered and respected as the Holy Father by all faithful Catholics. At the same time, the new pope is respected by most national leaders world wide. But they do not respect him merely as one on a level with themselves. They respect him as one who is above them. They respect him as the one who is the moral voice of the world. This gives him an authority that is way beyond the average world leader. He is also respected by religious leaders from nearly all religions. This adds still more to his authority and moral voice. The position of pope has become, especially under the leadership of John Paul II, the most powerful position in the world. It is even more powerful than the Secretary General of the United Nations or the president of the United States.

Never before has there been so many of the people in the world so interested in all that is happening at the Vatican. Never before has there been such a reservoir of popular support world-wide for the position held by a single man. Never before has a pope been elected in such a climate.

Benedict the XVI has a good deal of papal experience and is very familiar with the halls of power, but what makes this man so respected? The answer lies in scripture. “And his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered…” Revelation 13:3. It is the popularity of his position that gives him power.

Benedict XVI has already met many of the world leaders during his 24 Vatican years. He knows world politics very well and has a close eye on all that affects the church. He also knows the discussions and agreements between his church and other churches, between his nation state and other nation states.

When Cardinal Ratzinger was elevated to the position of pope, he gained the title “Holy Father,” I wondered what made him more holy than before his election? How does human election to a human position make one holy? Holiness is a matter of the heart, not of position. Herein is one of the greatest blasphemies of the Roman Catholic Faith. It is taught that the church structure and the positions within that structure are holy and therefore the men (and women) in those positions are also holy. “There is none good but one,” Jesus said, “that is, God.” Matt. 19:17. How then can a man be holy? The term “Holy Father” is blasphemous because it separates the people from true holiness, the holiness that comes when the heart is pure. It also implies that the Pope is to be worshipped as holy.

Furthermore, Cardinal Ratzinger and all the popes, prelates and priests use the term “father” to refer to themselves even though Jesus deliberately said in Matt 23:9 to “call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” Again this term as applied to a priest is blasphemous.

Cardinal Ratzinger chose the name Benedict XVI. The term Benedict comes from the same word as benediction meaning blessing. A benediction is the last word, a fitting name for the one in charge of disciplining those who disagree with Rome. But Benedict is not going to have the last word. The one with the last word is Jesus. For it is the lamb that overcomes the beast according to Revelation 17:14.

Cardinal Ratzinger, who turned 78 years of age three days before his election, is the first German Pope in nearly a millennia. He was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1981 when John Paul II appointed him to that position. This position, called the “prefect,” or “chief magistrate,” is responsible for the department formerly known up to 1965 as the Holy Office, and before 1542 as the Holy Inquisition, the Vatican engine of terror. In fact, in former times Cardinal Ratzinger would have been known as Grand Inquisitor. It was Ratzinger’s responsibility to protect the doctrine of the church. He was known as the “enforcer of the faith” reported MSNBC (April 19, 2005), because “he disciplined church dissidents and upheld church policy.”

Since the Ronald Reagan years in the US White House, Cardinal Ratzinger has been close to the action and the cultivation of a US-Vatican alliance which has helped the United States to reach across the Atlantic Ocean; across the political and spiritual gulf, in large public steps toward Rome. John Paul II, with Ratzinger and other key Vatican curia have worked very hard in forging other political alliances as well. Benedict XVI knows very well how to carry on the work of John Paul II in both the political and religious arenas.

John Paul II was able to accomplish much in ecumenical lines, but Benedict XVI intends to take it much farther assuming he lives long enough. He is calling for the unity of all churches. But it is not a unity built on equality of all. It is a unity under one head, the Pope of Rome. This will bring the ultimate spiritual compromise and complete the work of undoing the Reformation.

For a great new book on this subject, get a copy of the “Perils of Ecumenism” by Colin and Russell Standish from Hartland Publications. This enlightening book goes into the background of the current developments in preparing the world churches for unity.

How is the work of the Reformation going to be undone? Let me read it to you from scripture. Turn to Revelation chapter 2, verse 20. Speaking to the church of Thyatira, Jesus says; “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.”

This scripture is not referring to the literal woman Jezebel that lived in the time of Ahab and Elijah, but spiritual Jezebel, who is all decked out with Jewelry and is a spiritual whore. This is none other than Rome. Thyatira represents the period of time when the true churches were descending into apostasy and compromise. It was the time when imposters were usurping the authority of the Bible and replacing it with the authority of tradition. It was a horrible time in history when God’s servants were seduced and taught how to commit spiritual fornication through compromise with pagan doctrines that Rome brought into the church like a flood. They were taught how to mix politics and religion, to usurp temporal power and thereby control the bodies and minds of the multitudes. They adopted the practices and teachings of Rome and the whole of the western empire became enslaved to the spiritualism, superstition and seduction of Catholicism. But it also represents some aspects of the time of the end, as do all of the seven churches of Revelation, when again the Vatican is seducing the servants of God, the ministers and religious leaders and even some rather overtly religious political leaders. Again the Vatican is teaching for commandments the doctrines of men and gathering the support of religious leaders.

Jezebel represents the Papacy today. How does the Papacy seduce the churches, even those that arose out of the Reformation when men and women gave their lives for their spiritual and temporal freedom? She does this by adopting a kindly, peaceful attitude toward those that have opposed her. She asks forgiveness for the things that her sons and daughters have done in the name of the church. She “presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged.” That’s from Great Controversy, page 571.

The reformers would not recognize the Pope as head of the church. They would not recognize her customs, many of her rituals and many of her ceremonies. But now the Reformation is over. Now those very churches that arose during that powerful moment in history, have muted their voice of protest. They have left their mission, and are actually helping Rome regain her supremacy. Benedict XVI, like his predecessor John Paul II, has come out and said plainly that Rome (and the Pope) is to be the head of all the churches again.

Listen to what some religious leaders have to say about Benedict XVI…

Rowan Williams, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury said, “I look forward to meeting him and working together to build on the legacy of his predecessor, as we seek to promote shared understanding between our churches in the service of the gospel and the goal of Christian unity.”

Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee said, “Cardinal Ratziner already has shown a profound commitment to advancing Catholic-Jewish relations and we look forward to continuing our close working relationship with the church.”

Masduki Baidlowi, senior figure of the largest Muslim group in Indonesia said, “I hope the new pope would carry the same spirit of peace and inter-religious harmony as Pope John Paul II.”

But world leaders were more enthusiastic about Benedict XVI. The following comments are from CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), April 20, 2005.

“I think he will be a worthy successor to Pope John Paul II,” said German President Horst Koehler. “I congratulate him on behalf of the government and all Germans.”

Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General said, “His Holiness brings a wealth of experience to this exalted office.” Did you understand that? He spoke of the papal office as exalted. This strongly implies how all nations represented at the UN view the Papacy. It is indeed exalted, to the point where even the UN looks to Rome for moral leadership. He continued, ”The United Nations and the Holy See share a strong commitment to peace, social justice, human dignity, religious freedom and mutual respect among the world’s religions.”

George W. Bush, President of the United States described him as “a man of great wisdom and knowledge. He’s a man that serves the Lord… We join our fellow citizens and millions around the world who pray for continued strength and wisdom as His Holiness leads the Catholic Church.” Amazing words from a US president.

Listen now to Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister, “I… state the willingness of the government of Spain to sustain the historic relations between Spain and the Holy See and to cooperate with Your Holiness during your mandate. I take this opportunity, Your Holiness, to send you the testimony of my highest consideration and esteem.” Do you know what the historic relationship is between Spain and the Vatican? Spain was the center of the Inquisition. It was the most Catholic of all nation states during the middle ages. Spain brutally punished supposed “heretics” mercilessly. Does he really mean what he said? Is Spain going to help Rome re-establish her former persecutions? Remember, Cardinal Ratzinger was the most recent head of the Holy Office of the Inquisition.

Bill Frist, US Senate Majority Leader said, “I’m confident that pope Benedict XVI is blessed with the same compassion and vision that made Pope John Paul II one of the world’s most revered and respected voices.”

“We want to congratulate him and tell him we’re on his side,” said the President of Mexico, Vicente Fox. “We want to build and keep growing this magnificent extraordinary relationship that has been built between our country and the Vatican…” Extraordinary relationship? What does that mean? It means that the relationship between Mexico and the Vatican is far more important to him than this relationship with the United States or any other nation.

Now listen to Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister. “I certainly express the feelings of all Italians, and am particularly delighted, when I present Your Holiness with the warm and respectful homage of the Italian government.” Did you hear that? He gives the Pope the HOMAGE of the Italian government. What does the word homage mean? It means submission and reverential regard. It also means that the entity giving homage is a vassal. Imagine that, the Italian government giving the Pope assurance that they are under his control.

These amazing statements tell us that Revelation 13 is being fulfilled. At his inaugural address Benedict XVI made obvious overtures to the worlds religions reaching out to Christians and Jews. He called Jews his “brothers and sisters” in a “shared spiritual heritage.” He also several times called for the full communion of Christians, reported the Sacramento Union. At his inauguration he told ecumenical leaders, “Your presence, dear brothers in Christ, beyond that which divides us and casts a shadow over our full and visible communion, is a sign of sharing and support for the bishop or Rome, which can count on you…”

Can Benedict count on you to work for full visible communion with Rome? I hope not. But that is what Benedict is pursuing. Cardinal Ratzinger was the one who issued the document Dominus Jesus in 2000 in which he declared that the only way to salvation is the Roman Catholic Church. This doctrine is the basis for the teaching that ecumenical unity is only possible through full visible communion with the church of Rome. Benedict stated in Dominus Jesus that non-Catholic Christian churches have “defects” and are not “churches” at all in the proper sense. Full, visible unity is the only option in his mind, and the only purpose for ecumenical dialog.

Many world leaders also attended his inauguration including nearly 40 heads of state, and representatives of royal houses. During Sunday mass, Muslims, Buddhists, and representatives of most of the world’s religions were in attendance.

It is patently obvious that we are in a new day in world relations with the Vatican. It is also obvious that in the years leading up to the third millennium there has been much behind-the-scenes activity to prepare for this time of popularity and public profile for the Vatican. Think about it. This did not happen by chance.

My friends, Jesus is coming very soon. We need His power in our lives to overcome and live for Him. Your eternal destiny is at stake. As we see events unfolding and as we think about their implications, surely we can see that we cannot delay to prepare. I urge you to put away anything unlike Christ. I urge you to put away anything that you know is not part of God’s will. We don’t have to be afraid of the future, but we must prepare. That means that we must study our bibles, and the Spirit of Prophecy with diligence and with prayer that the Holy Spirit will awaken us to anything that needs His refinement.

The reign of Benedict XVI is likely to be rather short. He could also be the last pope this world will ever have. If so, he will be a key player in the final oppression of God’s faithful people. Either way we can see that Jesus’ coming is very near.

Let us pray. Our Father in Heaven, you are the only one we can call our father. We see that the events of recent weeks have stirred our souls. We see that there are those that are not living, acting or believing as they should, even among those claiming to be part of the remnant, and it grieves our hearts. We see that our own lives are not what they should be. Please Father, help us to overcome. We want to be saved, and we want your Holy Spirit and the angels to protect us during the coming crisis. We know that your word tells us that if we search for you with all our hearts, we will find you, and you will save us. Keep us in your care, and keep us faithful we pray, in Jesus’ name, Amen.