Pope Francis and the Spirit of Anti-Christ
Certainly of late, the news has been aflutter with reports of Islamic Extremism and horrifying-violent acts of Jihadi assertiveness spreading throughout the European theater; and the members of these European nations seemingly incapable, and more and more apparently, seemingly unwilling to do anything to take control and contain this growing threat to each nation’s sovereignty and security. And if this situation were not disturbing and unsettling enough, we come upon stories in the non-conforming media of Pope Francis—Jorge Mario Bergoglio, indirectly equating these violent, aggressive acts against the citizens of many European countries with the Great Commission that our Master Yahoshua put before us as he concluded His time here on earth with us. (Matthew 28:18-20) And when I first came across these articles, I had a difficult time believing what I was reading and we’ll get more into the crux of these articles in just a second. But I want you first to bear in mind who the Pope—or better, the Papacy—is supposed to be and represent to the world and to the Catholic Church that he is suppose to oversee. According to Wikipedia, Pope is defined and described as follows:
“The Pope (Latin: papa from Greek: πάππας pappas, a child’s word for “father”) is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. The primacy of the Roman bishop is largely derived from his role as the traditional successor to Saint Peter, to whom Jesus is supposed to have given the keys of Heaven and the powers of “binding and loosing”, naming him as the “rock” upon which the church would be built.”
Furthermore, the Catholic Church has placed an additional title upon the man holding the office of pope as the so-called “Vicar of Christ,” that according to Wikipedia: “a vicar is an “earthly representative of God or Christ” and the title is now used in Catholicism to refer to the bishops and more specifically to the Bishop of Rome (the pope).”
Keeping in mind that the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church have virtually nothing in common with Hebrew Roots and the true Faith once delivered to the first century saints, it still boggles the mind that a man who is revered throughout the world as the “end all to be all”—the absolute leader and teacher of the Roman Catholic Church, would make such an outrageous analogy. His very title—the Vicar of Christ, allegedly places him in Jesus Christ’s stead here on earth. In other words, He is Christ here on earth while Christ Himself resides in heaven. What comes with that is the infallibility of the pope and his office in terms of creating and pushing down to the masses Catholic doctrines, teachings and traditions. It’s quite a narcissistic thing when you think about it. Here you have a man who places himself on an equal plane with the Savior and in so doing, he is able to rewrite and even replace the primacy of the bible as it relates to the lives of the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today. (BBC census) Thus one would naturally think that the Vicar of Christ would get things like the Great Commission of Matthew 28 right, or at least place the concept of the Great Commission within a perspective of spreading the message of Yeshua around the world. Certainly, the Great Commission—the true commission, could not be even remotely compared to the Islamic movement that is currently happening in our world today.
And let me just say before we go any further: as it relates to the Great Commission, the true purpose of the so-called Great Commission was and continues to be for the true followers of Messiah to go to the nations of the world and make disciples and teach those new disciples what Yeshua taught us—His faithful followers. The Catholic Church sees the Great Commission, which they’ve termed “ad gentes” or literally “to the nations,” from a standpoint of missionary work—be that what they call stationary or foreign missionaries. In either case, it is that missionary’s duty (applying to the Church as a whole) to “continue the mission of Jesus.” (Catechetical Sunday, 9/22/09, “The Great Commission: Ad Gentes”) Is the Catholic Church’s understanding of the Great Commission consistent with the Bible’s explanation of the Great Commission? I’d say, ideally yes. But from a practical standpoint and looking back at history, the Catholic Church’s handling or practice of the Great Commission—or in the Church’s parlance, ad gentes—has swayed greatly from the true Biblical standard. We all are aware of the Catholic Church’s bloody history and the way she carried out the ad gentes—which was to conform or die. In a broad sense, it was all about conquest, which is exactly what Pope Francis referred to when he contrasted Islam and the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. So I’m led to believe, off the cuff, that Francis was referring to the Catholic Church’s version of the Great Commission and not the true, biblical concept of the Great Commission.
So what exactly did Francis say regarding the Great Commission and the spreading of Christianity throughout the world? Francis’ comments are recorded in an article written by Kit Daniels, dated 05/19/2016, entitled: “Pope Francis Likens Jesus to ISIS: Says Muslims Must Breed with Europeans—Francis claims ISIS similar to Jesus sending His disciples to all nations.” Mr. Daniel’s article is actually a reiteration of an article in La Croix, a French newspaper. Francis is quoted as saying: “Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam, however, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends His disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.”
Did you get that? “…it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel (I’m thinking he’s referring to the Great Commission passage found in Matthew 28:19) where Jesus sends His disciples to all nations in terms of the same idea of conquest.” So here it seems that Pope Francis is saying that the Great Commission of our Master is synonymous to the Islamists’ purpose and goal of total conquest through forced—violent usurpation and assiimilation that has and continues to be exercised without the slightest bit of remorse or hesitation by Muslim Extremists throughout the world. If this analogous examination of the Great Commission by Francis doesn’t make you fume with disgust, I don’t know what will. Nowhere in all of the New Testament did our Master instruct us to launch a “turn or burn” movement in order to force the citizens of this world over to Christianity. Father, who instituted the Great Commission from the beginning of time, through His Son, has and will always maintain that man has the right to choose which path he or she will go. He would never have us treat the Great Commission as some kind of conquering crusade, the way that Francis’ predecessors have done over the centuries. And given the influence that this man has on the religious world stage, I fear that he stands to lead many astray by his remarks. It is clear that Pope Francis is not speaking from a position of ignorance. That would be an impossibility in my opinion. What I believe, however, is that Francis is speaking from a position—or more accurately, a spirit of “Anti-Christ,” or more accurately, “Anti-Messiah.” And there’s more to this story that further solidifies my claim here.
Pope Francis recently outlined a few other troubling contrasts between Islam and Christianity: (1) He doesn’t like to hear anything about Europe’s Christian roots because they loudly trumpet the call of “colonialism” that has overshadowed much of the world over the centuries. (2) He believes and strongly advocates that the Muslims who have migrated into all parts of the European Union “integrate” with the European citizenry. This would seem an innocent and altruistic comment if it were not for a recent sermon that was delivered by a high-ranking Islamic Imam by the name of Sheikh Muhammed Ayed. The Sheikh is quoted as saying: “Europe has become old and decrepit and needs human reinforcement…they are not motivated by compassion for the Levant (that is, a large swath of land in the eastern Mediterranean), its people and its refugees…soon, we will trample them underfoot, Allah willing. Throughout Europe, all the hearts are enthused with hatred toward Muslims. They wish that we were dead, but they have lost their fertility, so they look for fertility in our midst. We will give them fertility! We will breed children with them, because we shall conquer their countries!” Sure sounds like a call for total conquest to me. But wait, there’s more.
In an article written by Eric Snyder entitled “The One World religion Cometh: Pope Francis Warmly Welcomes Top Islamic Cleric to the Vatican—So precisely what kind of “message” was Pope Francis attempting to convey?,” this in the “End of the American Dream” dated 05/24/2016, Pope Francis is reported to have met with a Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, who is described as “the highest figure in Sunni Islam.” Francis is quoted as saying that this meeting represents dialogue between the two churches of Islam and Christianity.
If Francis is a believer in Jesus Christ (the key word here is “if” and let’s just be open and transparent, Pope Francis is not a true believer of Messiah since he and the members of the Catholic Church do not keep the commandments of the Father nor have they the testimony of Messiah—the proof positives of true believers in Messiah—Revelation 12:17)—but let’s just assume for the sake of discussion here that he is a true believer in Christ; then it would stand to reason that the tenets of his Faith would prevent him from hooking up with Islam in anyway. Right?
The Apostle Paul, taught: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14, KJV) Paul furthermore tells the Ephesian Assembly of Believers in Messiah: “Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light…And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:7-13, KJV) Sadly, I don’t see no reproving going on here, do you?
Moving on: (3) Pope Francis is quoted as saying: “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters.” Again, how can this man make such an outrageous statement unless there is a spirit of Anti-Christ or Anti-Messiah at work here.
(4) Early on in his papacy, Pope Francis authorized “Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran’ at the Vatican for the first time ever.” Hey, since the Jihadists are our brothers and sisters, why not.
(5) Pope Francis is quoted as saying that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Many of us have heard such foolishness before by the more liberal and rogue members of the Christian Faith. But we know that the one true God; the Creator of the Universe; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—who gave us His Word and His Son, is nothing like—whatsoever—Allah. The Pope is quoted as follows: “I would like to express 2-sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness, my sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca. In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to Almighty God, all merciful.“
Friends, do you see the spirit of Anti-Messiah at work here? When you stand and pose as a child of light as this Pope pretends to do, but you blaspheme some of the most fundamental aspects of the Christian Faith, you can be nothing more than a child of the devil. Now I’m not saying that Pope Francis is THE Anti-Christ that so many people believe will bring about a one-world religion in the end times. Well, let me restate: I don’t know if Pope Francis is THE Anti-Christ of the end times; I seriously doubt it. But Pope Francis seems to be a good example of a precursor of what we’d imagine to be THE anti-Christ or anti-Messiah; in that he clearly seems to show forth for all the world to see, the spirit of Anti-Christ.
Along that same line of Francis saying that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, he is quoted yet again spouting a similar message: “I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions: first of all the Muslim, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity. The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions. I wish repeat this: promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions.—it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue performs.”
Besides the obvious folks, there’s something just not right about this Pope. He’s up to something and he’s up to something big. We need to be on our best behavior and guard. As Children of the Creator, we are commanded to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Creator (Deuteronomy 8:3). Since our Master is the one and only mediator between the Creator and men, we must likewise live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of our Master. Matthew records a key admonishment and commandment of our Master in response to questions posed to Him by His disciples regarding the prophecies He’d made to them about the end times. Master responded: “Take heed that no man deceives you! Many will come in my name (e.g., the Vicar of Christ; the Bishop of Rome; Pope Francis)—many will come in my name, acknowledging that I am Messiah, yet they will deceive many…Many false teachers shall rise up among the believers and they will mislead many. Because those who are without the Word of the Almighty will multiply, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:4-12; cf. Mark 13:3-13; Luke 21:7-19, Rood’s CKJV)
It’s not just Islam that this Pope has made unifying gestures towards during his relatively short tenure: he’s also reached across one of the greatest schisms known in the history of religion: the schism between the Catholic Church and Protestantism. It was on January 21, 2014, that Pope Francis employed the services of one of his Evangelical Episcopal friends, a bishop by the name of Anthony Joseph “Tony” Palmer, to stretch forth an olive branch to fundamental Christianity, urging them to return to their Mother, the Roman Catholic Church. (You can pull up the YouTube video on this amazing event by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtXiOzp43Yw). Bishop Palmer believed himself to be some type of reincarnation (my words mind you) of Elijah, who was sent to unite Christian evangelicals with the Roman Catholic Church. It was at a well-attended event hosted by a number of well known charismatic preachers, the most notable being Kenneth Copeland, that Palmer dropped the bomb regarding the Vatican’s call to Protestant-Catholic reconciliation. Palmer stood before the crowd of hundreds and in the most polished, articulate and charismatic of orations that I’ve heard in quite some time, urging Christians to place themselves under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis made a video appearance at this conference where he urged the Christian evangelicals to unite with the Catholic Church. Palmer declared to the over joyous crowd: “the “Martin Luther protest to be over”” and “it was time for “Christians to come home to Rome.””
But this story does not end here saints. Palmer was further used by Pope Francis to prime the skids for a future reunion of Catholics and Protestants. Palmer was ordained a bishop in a sect of the Episcopal Church that sees itself, according to Austen Ivereigh of the Boston Globe—in an article he wrote entitled “Pope’s Protestant friend dies, but push for unity lives” dated 08/07/2014, as “part of a “convergence” movement, seeking to combine evangelical Christianity with the liturgy and sacraments typical of Catholicism.” Palmer told Ivereigh that this “is a precursor to full unity between the Protestant and Catholic Churches.” It was back in 2006 when Palmer journeyed to Buenos Ares and met with then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and collaborated on a joint Catholic—Protestant gathering of 6,000. At that time, Cardinal Bergoglio had thoughts favorable to a potential reuniting of the two faiths. According to Ivereigh, Palmer confided to Cardinal Bergoglio that he was tired of living outside of Catholicism and wanted to fully convert to Catholicism. However, Cardinal Bergoglio counseled Palmer to stay the course in his self-imposed mission to unite the two faiths. Bergoglio believed Palmer would be more effective in his mission if he remained as he was in his religion and that this was all about “bridge building.”
Interestingly enough, on June 24, 2014, Palmer led a delegation of evangelical Christians—the delegation composed of the likes of Kenneth Copeland, James Robison and Geoff Tunnicliffe—on a meet and greet luncheon at the Vatican with Pope Francis. Now, if you aren’t familiar with these three evangelical church leaders, simply Google them at your next opportunity and you’ll see that just these three gentleman alone possess eye-popping influence in the Evangelical Christian realm; some estimates place their influence at 600 million followers. So there was a lot of horsepower going into this meeting that I would guess most of the Christian world has likely never heard about. It appears that these evangelical leaders were in principled agreement that some form of unity be sought between the two great world faiths. Crazy huh? And here’s another shocker: Palmer at some point after that luncheon turned over to Pope Francis a proposed “Declaration of Faith in Unity for Mission” that these three “jack-legged preachers” drafted up, with the intention of having not just the Pope sign off on a reunion of the centuries old, two warring faiths, but also to be signed off by the leaders of the major Protestant Churches of the world in Rome in 2017, at the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Oh how lovely! Can it get any worse?
A month after this historic meeting, Bishop Tony Palmer died in a tragic motorcycle accident—I’m not entirely certain the location—but he was interred in fine fashion in a full-Catholic Mass in Bath, UK.
Now, some would say that all that I’ve just reflected upon should have absolutely no bearing upon us true believers—we have no relationship with the Catholic Church and we are all about obedience to the Father and the like–right?. And in a broad sense, I would say those folks would be right. But then, weren’t we admonished by our Master to take heed and not allow any man deceive us? How many of us in our fold are ill-prepared to understand all that is currently going on around us and all that will take place in the future and the end times? Master taught that “…there shall arise false Christs (i.e., false Messiahs) and false prophets and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24, KJV) I can’t help but think that if this Pope is able to pull off such a reunion with the Protestants and then some form of union with the Islamists, the world will herald him as some type of Messiah. And given what we know about and what we’ve seen of this pope, he ain’t no messiah; for that matter, he ain’t even no believer in Yahoshua Messiah. In fact, it is my conviction that this man is operating in a spirit of Anti-Christ (aka, anti-Messiah) and either him or his successor(s) will fulfill the position of THE Anti-Christ (aka, the anti-Messiah)—assuming there will be such an individual.
John, Paul and Peter address this issue of anti-Messiah in their various epistles:
- In 1 John 2:18, John speaks of there being many anti-Christs through the ages, somewhat alluding to more of a spirit of anti-Christ than a single individual. Clearly, human history has produced world leaders who would fit the bill for an anti-Christ: Nimrod, Alexander the Great, Antiochus Epiphanies, Nero, Charlemagne, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, and certain segments of fundamental Christianity have always had suspicions that the Papacy would harbor THE anti-Christ at the end times. Bear in mind that this thoughts and reflections is more about the spirit of anti-Christ than about identifying who the anti-Christ(s) were and will be.
- In 1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:7, John writes to the identifying character of an anti-Christ and that is one that does not confess the Master as being of the Father would qualify one being considered as coming in the spirit of anti-Christ/Messiah. Does Pope Francis fall within this realm? I would say yes, for in all his unity talks, he never brings up or puts forth the significance of the Master as being the One individual through whom everyone must go in order to receive the gift of life and to be counted as one of the Father’s chosen ones. Allah is certainly not an option for true spiritual restoration with the One True God—the Creator of the Universe, who’s name is Yahovah.
- The former publican Matthew, also known as Levi, in Matthew 24:5 and 24, writes about Yeshua warning us that false teachers and leaders will lead many of us astray with their false teachings. Does the Pope meet this criteria for an anti-Christ—I’d have to say absolutely. When you, as the so-called “Vicar of Christ,” the leader and teacher of 1.2 billion adherents around the globe, put forth an infallible edict (which the Catholic Church has certified that the Pope is infallible)—when you put forth an edict that says that Allah and the One whom we call Yahovah are one in the same; when you put out an edict that says that Muslims and Christians are brothers and sisters; when you allow Islamic prayers and teachings to take place on Vatican property, you are full-on anti-Christ if you ask me.
- Paul wrote to the young evangelist Timothy, in 2 Timothy 4:3, that there would come a time or come times when men would not endure sound doctrine. When the true Faith once delivered has not penetrated the thick skulls and dead hearts of the fundamental Christian Church and the fundamental Christian Church is not satisfied with the direction that it’s going, to such a degree that they would entertain uniting with Rome, this prophecy of Paul seems to have come to fruition right before our very eyes. I reported to you that in 2017, world Protestant Christian Leaders are planning to meet in Rome and sign a “Declaration of Faith in Unity for Mission” with the Vatican. Now why would the mission of the Christian Church take such a detour and support such a heretical idea as reuniting with Rome, apart from the fact that Christianity is not interested in hearing; not interested in learning; not interested in turning from their pagan-based traditions and doctrines for the true Faith once delivered? These are not interested in obeying the commandments of our Father and of our Master and holding fast the testimony of our Master. Why is that? Because they are not interested in fully giving their lives over to Father. They are only interested in giving themselves over to men—giving themselves over to a religion that men have made and that men staff and run. Furthermore, these individuals, when they speak, as we’ve clearly seen in these articles, deliver destructive heresies that lead many astray and down the broad path to annihilation, as we find mentioned in 2 Peter 2:1.
- Going back to John, we are encouraged to test the spirits at work in our world in order to determine if those spirits are of Yahovah or not. John writes: “My beloved, do not believe all spirits; but discriminate among spirits whether they are of Elohim: for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this the Spirit of Elohim is known: every spirit that confesses that Y’shua the Mashiyach has come in the flesh is of Elohim. And every spirit which does not confess that Y’shua the Mashiyach has come in the flesh is not of Elohim, but he is of false Messiah of whom you have heard that he comes and now is he already in the world.” (I John 4:1-3, Roth’s Aramaic) And I tend to agree with Roth’s commentary on this passage whereby he downplays the common understanding that all one has to do is confess that our Master once existed here on earth in a human, physical form and that person is validated as a true believer. We know there is more to simply having a cognitive and confessing knowledge that the Master once existed. What is it? Anyone does well by understanding that Yahovah is one as the demons also believe this doctrine and shudder. (James 2:19) No, what John seems to be trying to get across here is that we who are true followers have a firm foundation of who our Master is and what He stands for in the light of Torah. It is the Spirit of the Creator in us that will aid us in discerning which teachers and preachers and scholars His. And certainly, all of the spiritual bells, whistles and lights in our being should be going off within being over this Pope and his position on Islam and Christianity. It would clearly seem that this man is a false teacher and leader. But as I said earlier, by virtue of this man simply being the Pope and given all that he and his religion stands for, he can be nothing other than a false teacher.
Lastly, and I’ve just barely scratched the surface on this issue in this “thoughts and reflections”: the reason why this sort of thing must matter to us is that it serves as a wake-up call to each of us in this Faith community. In fact, I would suggest that this is the focal point of this “Sabbath Thoughts and Reflections”—that being our time is running short.
Shaul wrote about this to the Assembly of Believers in Rome. He wrote: “And this also know you, that it is the time and the hour that we should therefore awaken from our sleep. For now our life has come nearer to us than when we believed.” (In most English translations, it is our salvation that is nearer to us than when we first came to trust our Master.) Shaul continues: “The night now passes away and the day draws near. Let us therefore cast from us the works of darkness; and let us put on the armor of light. And let us walk decorously (that is, “honestly” in most English translations), as in daylight; not in merriment nor in drunkenness, nor in impurity of the bed, nor in envy and strife. But clothe yourselves with our Master Y’shua the Mashiyach: and pay no concern about your flesh for the indulgence of appetites.” (Roth’s Aramaic, Romans 13:11-14) In other words, the antics of this Pope should serve as a wake-up call to each us; that we take our Natsarim calling beyond seriously; that we get studied up, fasted up, prayed up and ready for the battle ahead us.
Saints, it’s time to stop playing religion. It’s time to stop playing church. It’s time to stop compromising our Faith and start once again to earnestly contend for the true Faith once delivered.
If you are searching for truth–not the truth of 30,000 Christian denominations–but the true Faith that was once delivered to the first century saints, you’ve arrived at the right place. We would be happy to point you in the proper direction to receive that one true Faith. The way of this true Faith is not at all easy. In fact, it is exactly the way our Master revealed to us that it would be–narrow and rough that few will ever find. Now is the time my friend. Don’t let another day go by and not do the best thing you will ever do for you and your relationship with the Creator of the Universe–fire your pastor and walk out the door of your church forever and come over to the true Faith once delivered. Simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be most blessed fellow Saints in Training.