The Papacy, as a result of the dark ages, lost great influence over the kings of the earth when the power of the gospel began to shine through the Word of God upon humble men. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit working on the hearts of men that the papacy lost it’s power. What power was it that the Holy Spirit counteracted? It was the power of kingly oppression and priestly intolerance, which for 1260 years filled the whole earth. Both religious and temporal influence were greatly diminished. The Scripture speaks of this loss of power:
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death…” yet if this were the end of the matter, we might begin to shout victoriously, for the beast’s power is finished. Yet it isn’t the end of the matter. The rest of the verse reads thus: “and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”
These words describe the reversal of the deadly wound. Both religious and temporal influence is revived, with a new element: “All the world wondered” after the Papacy. Is what we see in the Papacy anything less than the fulfillment of those very words? All the world indeed is wondering after the beast. If, by the gospel of salvation, the world was made free from the power of the Papacy, it is equally true that, if the world wonders after the beast, the power of the gospel is no longer holding in check the power of apostasy.
In 1929, a treaty was signed between Mussolini and the Catholic church granting the Papacy to become a state power in Italy, it also granted them a certain space of church/state privileges. The results were several. (1) The Papacy, in a series of meetings, made demands of Mussolini, even having men of other faiths imprisoned, until Italy opted to allow them to remain a state, but not Italy’s state religion. (2) The state power gave the Papacy diplomatic rights, through which, over the course of almost 100 years has brought her into close connection with the various governments of the world. (3) The blending of both church and state in the Vatican has blurred the line in the governments of the world to the manner of relationship with the Vatican, as they begin to recognize her as a spiritual authority. Thus the diplomatic ties have merely served as a bridge for old wounds to be healed.
Now what? Having the added advantage of the diplomatic mantle, she (the Papacy) is now more aggressive in her approach to issues that the entire world is involved in. She is quickly becoming regarded as a voice for the people, and a voice for peace and security. As noted in a previous update, Pope Francis will be addressing the United States Congress. Notice what Pope Leo XIII said regarding society because of separation of church and state: “We said that the most powerful cause of all this ruin lies in the proclaimed separation and the attempted apostasy of present-day society from Christ and from His Church, in which alone there resides a virtue sufficient to make good all the disastrous social losses.” Also, in Pope Pius IX’s Quanta Cura (1864):
“And from this wholly false idea of social organisation they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, especially fatal to the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls,…namely that the liberty of conscience and worship is the proper right of every man, and should be proclaimed by law in every correctly established society.
“From this infected source of “indifferentism” flows that absurd and erroneous maxim, or rather this delirium, that it is necessary to grant everyone “freedom of conscience.” This most pernicious error has its way prepared by a full and immoderate freedom of opinion that is widely spread for the ruin of religious and civil society.”
Have her sentiments changed? Reflecting on the collaborative relationship between the Vatican and the Italian state, as defined by the Lateran Pacts and the Italian Constitution, Pope Francis said that the orderly development of “a civil, pluralistic society requires” that the “authentic spirit of religion” not be “confined” to “personal conscience but that its significant role in the construction of society is recognized”. It is evident that according to Papal doctrine, where it best suits her ends, individual conscience should not be the primary factor in the shaping of societal formation. Rather, society ought to be imbued with a religious social structure.
Recently, Vatican Advisor Jeffery Sachs said in a Jesuit publication, America, that when Pope Francis visits the United States in September, he will directly challenge the “American idea” of God-given rights embodied in the Declaration of Independence. How this will look however is still yet to be seen. It is evident that it will be bold and beautiful on the surface, and poisonous in it’s implications. The Pope, addressing Congress, is not merely a cultural shift in the tone of the United States, but is a practical declaration that the people have forgotten that America’s liberty of conscience was founded upon Protestant principles; the principles wholly at odds with the teachings of the Catholic church, and the Vatican state. Moreover, Sachs commented on the Papal address to the United Nations also, in New York, the following day: “Pope Francis will come to the United States and the United Nations in New York …when the world’s 193 governments are resolved to take a step in solidarity toward a better world. On Sept. 25, Pope Francis will speak to the world leaders—most likely the largest number of assembled heads of state and government in history—as these leaders deliberate to adopt new Sustainable Development Goals for the coming generation. These goals will be a new worldwide commitment to build a world that aims to harmonize the pursuit of economic prosperity with the commitments to social inclusion and environmental sustainability.” “The pope’s leadership will play a very important role in raising public awareness as well as the global moral commitment to take decisive steps towards climate safety in Paris,”
What exactly will these “new Sustainable Development Goals” be?
Satish Kumar from the news syndicate The Guardian put forth a sugguestion some time ago: “Not long ago Sunday used to be a day of rest, a day of spiritual renewal, a day for families to come together, but we have changed Sunday from a day of rest to a day of shopping, flying and driving. However, in the context of excessive carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, which are bringing catastrophic upheavals, we can and should restore Sunday to a day for Gaia, a day for the Earth.”
Regardless of what these goals shall be, it is evident that the Papacy is quickly regaining her imfluence, and a great spiritual shift has occurred in the world that has left them wondering after the beast. Most notably, the visit of the Pope to the United States will be on the Day of Atonement, and into the Feast of Tabernacles of this year. It has ever been true that when people reject God’s appointed blessings found in the gospel, the curses of sin are the inevitable result. To be classed amongst the lost world wondering, Congress, as well as the majority of the world’s leaders are not in the position of the blessing.
Here is laid out our sign to get ready for Christ’s return, for it is a sign to us that His Spirit, which had restrained the hearts of rulers from oppression and put in place the constitution, is now being withdrawn from the earth. This sign is a call to sanctify yourself in the Lord, to take up your cross, and follow Him wholly. A sign to leave the large cities, for in them with be the center of the greatest desolations. The end of the days are at hand.