Nearing
Midnight

Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.




September 5, 2016

Pope Francis and the One-World Religion

The Roman Catholic Church has led the global Ecumenical Movement since soon after its inception. By heading the largest religious organization on the planet (which consists of 1.27 billion people), the Pope has a huge advantage in winning a contest for the leader of all religions.

Protestant denominations have more than 900 million adherents, but they are fractured into thousands of organizations. The Southern Baptist Convention is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the United States. But it only has 15 million members.

Pope John Paul II did much to bring unity to world religions. But his efforts were limited because he believed that Catholicism is superior to other faiths. John Paul II’s successor, Pope Benedict XVI was a set back the Ecumenical Movement. He started off by correctly condemning Islam for its evil traits. Benedict said in one speech:

“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” Pope Benedict later apologized for any offense he had caused and made a point of visiting Turkey and praying in its Blue Mosque.

The surprise resignation of Pope Benedict resulted in the rise of Pope Francis. With this new pope, the ecumenical bandwagon was back on track. Pope Francis has reached out to the heads of nearly every major religion.

Just this year alone, he has met with the Patriarch Kirill of Russia for the first time since the 1054 East-West schism. He met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Archbishop of Constantinople. Also in May, Francis met with Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, who is considered the head of Sunni Islam.

Pope Francis has been able to become chummy with all these other religions because he has capitulated to the spirit of the age. He is the one who said “Who am I to judge?” when asked about his view on homosexuality.

Pope Francis has also said “Even the atheists” can go to heaven. It is a total compromise for a Christian leader to go into a mosque and offer prayers to the god of Islam.

The pontiff has been so active in fitting the role of the False Prophet, rumors have been making the rounds in the conspiracy theory blogosphere. One source claims Pope Francis will soon make a UFO and alien disclosure that will end with a call for a global religion. Another site says that next month, “POPE FRANCIS to PROCLAIM LUCIFER as God of One World Religion” at an ecumenical gathering of the world’s three monotheist faiths that will take place September 4-23, 2016, in Jerusalem.

I think the strongest indication that we are in the home stretch of the creation of the one-world religion is the Pope’s reaction to all the terror acts in Europe. When the 86-year-old Father Jacques Hamel had his throat slit at a church altar by Muslim attackers, Pope Francis said this on a trip to Poland: “When I speak of war I speak of wars over interests, money, resources, not religion. All religions want peace, it’s the others who want war.

In any other time period, all these atrocities carried out in the name of Allah would cause people to hit the pause button. Pope Francis sees dialogue as the solution to Islamic terror. It seems the more blood that is shed, the more eager he is to embrace the enemy.

I recently watched a documentary about Madame Helena Petrova Blavatsky. She was a Russian occultist who is widely seen as the grandmother of the New Age movement. Blavatsky taught that most faiths of mankind are derived from a universal religion.

She said that Islam, Catholicism, and the Eastern religions had redeemable values, but she thought that Protestant Christian faiths were too corrupted to be of any good. This is no surprise coming from someone who received much of her doctrinal views from a demon guide. We can consider this quite a compliment when we consider the source.

It is possible that Pope Francis could be the False Prophet who will cause the world to worship the Antichrist. If the Tribulation is near, he will likely get the job. Since Putin has decided to be the perpetual leader of Russia, death is the only thing that would prevent him from being the head of the Ezekiel 38 and 39 invasion.

It is well enough to see warning signs in nature as an indication of the Rapture’s close proximity. When you see actors who will be part of the Tribulation starting to assemble just off stage, you really know time is short.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

--Todd


War with the Beast

A time is coming, according to Bible prophecy, when the world will experience the most powerful leader to have ever lived upon the planet. He will far surpass in military capability any president of the United States of America who has yet held the reins of power.

The people of planet earth will literally become awestruck as they witness his exploits. The prophecy regarding the amazement over this future military man-marvel is seen in the following:

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (Revelation 13: 4)

We have looked many times at this future tyrant John calls through Holy Spirit Inspiration "the beast."

He is the first of two beasts that John, through his Revelation vision, sees coming into world history. This beast will make his appearance during the period Daniel the prophet indicated will be the seventieth week that will wrap up premillennial human history. That will be the last seven years leading up to the return of Christ at Armageddon (Revelation 19:11). We know him better, perhaps, as Antichrist.

It is good to think for a bit on that Scripture about this man-beast. The Bible says the question will be asked by the populations of the world--who will actually worship him: Who is able to make war with him?”

In other words, it will look to everyone who witnesses Antichrist's military exploits and other miraculous accomplishments that he is a god. It will appear, the prophecy says immediately preceding the question, that he is killed by a wound in his head and comes back to life. This is obviously, from our understanding and perspective today, a false resurrection. However, the world at that time of great delusion won't see it that way.

The question "Who can make war with him?" will be one asked with mesmerized stares of eyes more glazed and glistening than were those as recorded on the black-and-white films of Hitler's worshipers during the 1930s.

There is no such leader with that kind of power anywhere in view today. There are many, many military leaders and their armies who can and do make war with anyone and everyone in this present geopolitical climate. That future beast will be indeed an animal of unprecedented military capability and authority.

Besides the United States military--still the most feared on the planet despite the current president's efforts to, in my view, greatly diminish its strength--Russia and China continue to build tremendous war-making machines. Iran, Turkey, and others constantly aspire to more powerful militaries. There will have to occur massive changes in the military power structures of the world to bring about this singular most monstrous war-making leader, against whom no one is thought to be able to fight.

We often conjecture about what happens to the United States. Why isn't it in Bible prophecy? If there, it certainly is in a greatly changed configuration, because its military is nowhere in sight, prophetically speaking. We believe that the militaries of Russia, China, and many others, such as Iran and Turkey, are in prophetic view. We believe we see many of these within the Gog-Magog assault into the Middle East toward Israel as given in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.

Our own view within the pre-Trib camp concerning the Rapture holds that the great changes needed to reconfigure things in alignment with end times Bible prophecy will unfold during the post-Rapture era. At least, that is my understanding at this point in time.

After that great Rapture event, the United States might fit into being aligned with those nation-entities that stand on the sideline as the Gog-Magog attack begins and simply make a diplomatic protest.

Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? Have you come to take a great spoil? (Ezekiel 38:13)

At any rate, the coalition that assaults into the Holy Land environs will be powerful, and unopposed--by human agencies, that is. God, of course, will completely destroy all but one-sixth of that Gog-Magog army in that future attack. After that destruction, only the great "kings of the East" juggernaut will remain as a force with which to be reckoned.

So, how does the great beast of Revelation 13 accumulate such awesome strength as to have the whole world ask: "Who is able to make war with him?"

In my own cogitations upon the matter--and it is supposition to be sure--there is somehow a dividing line set between the occidental and oriental worlds. This is true to this point in history, I think. But, in that day there seems to be a supernatural demarcation--the Euphrates River or thereabouts. When it is "dried up" as given in Revelation chapter 16, the kings of the East--led no doubt by China--will invade at the time of Armageddon, it seems. At that time the demons appointed especially for that moment will be released from their holding places and will supernaturally indwell those hordes from the orient. These will kill one-third of earth's inhabitants, the prophecy tells us. However, all of this will happen later, at the very end of the Tribulation--Daniel's seventieth week.

At that earlier time of the Gog-Magog attack, I believe that Antichrist, resident within the nations who will send a note of protest (Ezekiel 38:13), will understand Bible prophecy to the point that he will think slyly to let the Gog-Magog forces go to their destruction by the God of Heaven. He will then move into the military power vacuum and build his mighty army--an army supernaturally enhanced by the dark powers of Satan. Again, it is the view of most who hold to the pre-Trib view of the Rapture and to pre-Millennialism that this beast--Antichrist--is to come out of the geographical area now known as the European Union. He will come from the people who were at the heart of the ancient Roman Empire -the people who destroyed Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple in AD 70. I do not believe the beast will be a Muslim, although I do believe his ethnic make-up will be from the area of ancient Assyria. He will, nonetheless, I'm convinced, have been born and raised in the area of Europe, likely somewhere near Rome.

Today there is movement toward beginning a military establishment in that very region. The following excerpt is interesting in that regard.

The leaders of the Czech Republic and Hungary say a "joint European army" is needed to bolster security in the EU. They were speaking ahead of talks in Warsaw with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They dislike her welcome for Muslim migrants from outside the EU. Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban said "we must give priority to security, so let's start setting up a joint European army". The UK government has strongly opposed any such moves outside Nato's scope. The Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak leaders are coordinating their foreign policy as the "Visegrad Group." ("Czechs and Hungarians call for EU army amid security worries," BBC News, 8/27/16)

With the UK (Britain, possibly "the merchants of Tarsish") leaving the EU in the so-called Brexit, the way might be clear to generate great interest in such a powerful military--absent NATO--as the beast can one day build upon. One thing sure, such a military monster will one day be constructed.

It will take the Lord Himself, returning from Heaven with the saints of glory, to bring Antichrist's ability to make war to an end. Thankfully, Jesus Christ will do so. I believe our Lord will end the beast's war-making capability with the same words He used that day on the stormy Sea of Galilee."Peace. Be still."

Even so, come Lord Jesus.  

--Terry