The visit by Pope Francis to the U.S. was a major event in current history and in the unfolding of the End Times scenario.
He was seen, heard, and honored by the President and Congress of our nation, by the United Nations, and by a spell-bound media, which broadcast his every move to the whole earth, reaching nearly two billion people!
Perhaps coincidentally, on his departure from our shores nearly the whole world was able to view what might be the most spectacular blood moon of our generation.
So, who is this phenomenal Pope? Shortly after he was chosen to be Pope, he was named as Time’s Person of the Year and Twitter’s #bestpopeever.
Here is a summary of evidence about who Pope Francis really is. For documentation and more detail, visit the links at the end of this article.
At this point I need to explain that I am not anti-Catholic. Catholic means “universal,” and for the first few centuries after Christ there was only one main “trunk” for the family tree of Christianity. It was just “The Church.” From that point of view, all of our denominations had their origins in this same universal church.
As time went on, there were many corruptions of the belief and practices in the Church. These eventually led to a series of “branches” from the main trunk. The two main departures were the Eastern Orthodox Church, and later, the Protestant Reformation.
I am also not anti-Catholic because of my personal experience with Catholic people. In my first pastorate in East Los Angeles, most of the people I met in the community were Catholics. I was eager to share the Gospel with them, and they were surprisingly open to listening! We used the “Four Spiritual Laws” in those days, and because we were quoting God’s Word, there was almost always a willingness to hear and trust the Bible. Many of them had never heard the simple Gospel message, but they were open to it. They might not have known what was in the Bible, but they had a reverence for it. Over the years I have become close friends with numerous Catholics, including some priests, who are dedicated followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. In our church home in Alta Loma the highest percentage of converts from other faiths has come from the Catholic Church.
It is right, however, to oppose teaching that can be shown to be unbiblical, whether it is in the Catholic Church or any other denomination. From that point of view there are many serious problems in Catholic history, theology, and current directions.
But what about Pope Francis himself? Why is he so popular? And what role might he play in the fulfillment of prophecy?
He is “The People’s Pope.”
The most obvious reason for Pope Francis’ amazing popularity is his life-long commitment to human rights and care for the poor and downtrodden of the world. He immediately refused to live the luxurious life-style of earlier Popes, and constantly goes out of his way to visit the less-fortunate. When he was in Washington D.C., he shunned dinner with lawmakers and chose to eat with the homeless, the mentally ill and immigrants. He took time out of an incredible schedule to visit inmates in prison.
There are endless illustrations about his refreshing life-style. He is, in short, a heroic role model for the whole world.
However, to see the big picture, we must consider many other aspects of Pope Francis’ beliefs and actions.
He is a Socialist.
It is just a fact that Pope Francis subscribes to Socialism. His whole history illustrates his disdain for capitalism and the privilege of the wealthy in an overwhelmingly-poor world.
He signaled his socialistic beliefs by first visiting Cuba, before coming to the United States.
Socialism does not mix well with democracy because it generally requires dictatorial leadership to enforce it. It does, however—in theory– appeal to the masses, who cannot be blamed for wanting a share of the “good life” that the rich enjoy.
He is Morally More Liberal than His Predecessors.
Many commentators lamented the fact that the Pope missed the opportunity to stand against growing immorality in the United States. While the Catholic Church is still firmly behind traditional marriage, he wasted the opportunity to rebuke the audience that included the Supreme Court for rejecting God’s standards and redefining marriage.
Two years ago Pope Francis had set the stage for this failure. When he was asked about gays in the church, he said “Who am I to judge?” Some observers think that those five little words could change the course of the Catholic Church.
He has made progress in the decades-long scandal of child molestation by American Catholic clergy. He acknowledged the problem when he addressed U.S. bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. However, he seemed to comfort the bishops more than he did the sex abuse survivors. He extolled the bishops “courage” and “self-criticism.
Even in the matter of abortion, he is opposed, but not sufficiently outraged to voice his condemnation of Planned Parenthood’s horrific practices of selling body parts of aborted babies.
He is an Ecumenist – Thus, NOT an Evangelist
Instead of proclaiming the unique soul-saving message of Christianity, Pope Francis told the crowd on the South Lawn of the White House that the names “Jesus Christ, Jehovah and Allah” all describe the same entity. He also said that the Koran is just as valid as the Bible. He expressed hope that we can all respect each other’s beliefs in order to bring about an unprecedented age of peace. He said, “We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths, and the time for such a movement is now. No longer shall we slaughter our neighbors over differences in reference to their God.”
During his visit to the U.S., with unprecedented media attention beaming his every word to nearly two billion people worldwide, he missed the opportunity to call sinners to repentance and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He could have invited people to be born again, but that would be counter-productive to his agenda of merging world religions.
He wants a One-World Government
In June Pope Francis issued a papal encyclical proposing a new global political authority that would find a way to reduce pollution and develop poor countries and regions. This was not surprising since previous popes, including his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, advocated a world government to deal with economic problems and injustices.
He is the First-ever Jesuit Pope
Most Christians have heard of the Jesuits but don’t know much about them. This is especially interesting in the light of the fact that they are now the largest order in the Catholic Church, and Pope Francis, who was recently enthroned as Pope is the first Jesuit ever to become Pope.
Their story began with the dramatic life of Ignatius of Loyola (1491 to 1556), an aristocratic young man who became a Spanish knight, but was seriously wounded in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521 when he was struck by a cannonball. The injury left him partially disabled, but during his long recovery he devoted himself to serve God with a zeal that was equal to his former military discipline. He had spiritual visions and developed an intense devotional life, from which he conceived and published “Spiritual Exercises” that would eventually be required of all who would follow him.
Ignatius travelled to the Holy Land, and some believe he received secret information about the practices of the Knights Templar, which had been disbanded in 1312.
He studied theology during the early days of the Spanish Inquisition and the Protestant Reformation. He became a priest, and then, with a few disciplined followers, including Francis Xavier, who would become a missionary the to the Far East, formed the “Society of Jesus” in 1539. This organization was recognized by Pope Paul III in 1540 as a new Catholic order. Their purpose was to “do battle in the Lord God’s service under the banner of the Cross
Loyola was appointed the first Superior General, with dictatorial powers over the members of the order.
The emphasis of the Reformation was to return to the Bible, and to allow common people to read and study it in their own languages. This raised serious questions about all of the un-biblical concepts that had been adopted by the Catholic Church during the thousand-plus years of the Middle Ages. From the beginning, the Society of Jesus, which began to be called “Jesuits,” sought to counter biblical truth with other kinds of knowledge. They became the champions of science and education. Their members, who were actually monks, were encouraged to wear normal clothing and assume positions in all areas of influence. In essence, they became undercover agents for the Catholic Church to discredit Protestants and bring them back into the fold of the Catholic Church.
The statue of Ignatius of Loyola in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome portrays him stepping on the neck of a Protestant (presumably Martin Luther).
By the 1700’s Jesuits were viewed as foreign agents in some countries. They were banned in France and Spain, and then, in 1773, Pope Clement XIV dissolved the order. They were restored however in 1814,.
They have now grown from a small band of dedicated soldiers to the largest men’s single religious order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church with approximately 18,000 members world-wide. They are constantly infiltrating governments, businesses, the arts, and especially education. There are now 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and some 189 Jesuit institutions of higher learning worldwide! Their students are not taught to know and revere the Bible, which would advance the Protestant agenda, but to trust humanism, psychology, and philosophy instead.
He is Anti-Israel
In May a treaty to recognize the “State of Palestine” was finalized in Rome. Jerusalem Post commentator Michael Freund said this is “the latest salvo in its 2,000-year-old struggle to disenfranchise the Jewish people.”
Freund said that the Vatican is effectively seeking to deny the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people, to whom this land was promised long ago. He wonders what Bible the Vatican is reading.
He could be “The Last Pope.”
Much has been written in recent years about the possibility that Francis could be the “last Pope” in St. Malachy’s list going back hundreds of years.
St. Malachy was an Irish Catholic bishop in the 12th century. According to his biographer, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, (Life of Saint Malachy) the bishop was known to have the gift of prophecy and even predicted the exact day and hour of his own death. He was canonized in 1190 by Pope Clement III.
St. Malachy was visiting Rome in 1139 when he went into a trance and received a vision. Malachy wrote down this extraordinary vision in which he claims to have foreseen all of the popes from the death of Innocent II until the destruction of the church and the return of Christ. He named exactly 112 popes from that time until the end.
St. Malachy wrote a few prophetically descriptive words in Latin about each one of the popes. He then gave the manuscript to Pope Innocent II and it was deposited in the Vatican Archives where it was forgotten for several centuries. Then in 1590, it was rediscovered and published.
The interesting thing is that scholars have matched the 112 brief descriptive predictions with each of the 112 popes and anti-popes that there have been since Innocent II. Though they are a bit obscure, they have fit the general profile of each of the popes.
This is the translation of the description of the final Pope in the list:
“In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are all finished, the City of Seven Hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.”
Extra-biblical prophecies do not have the same weight that Bible prophecies do, but this whole story is at the least, very interesting!
He is a Foreshadowing of the False Prophet.
We must be very clear here: we are NOT saying that Pope Francis is the False Prophet predicted in Revelation Chapter 13, but his popularity and his agenda are like those that the eventual False Prophet will have.
During the Reformation many Protestant leaders thought that the Pope of their day was Antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 indicates that Antichrist (and the False Prophet) will not be identified until the Tribulation period.
However, the popularity of this Pope Illustrates how the world could be lured into adopting a universal religion that has great influence over the government.
Stay tuned. This is just the beginning of a fascinating story!
Our Website: Prophecy Central
Our online commentary: Rejoicing in Revelation,
The Roman Empire and The First Official Pope (Revelation 2:14-15)
Jesuits and the Counter-Reformation (Revelation 3:1)