Antichrist Unity Agenda

Antichrist Unity Agenda

Date: 01/12/2015 
The spiritual and political worlds are changing rapidly, just as the Bible predicted. Here is a review of the changes in 2014.
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Hello, friends. This is Pastor Doug Batchelor. I want to welcome you to a special edition of The Amazing Facts news flash. There has been an awful lot happening in this last year dealing with historic prophetic headlines. We thought it was very important to get this information out to share with you, and we hope that you'll share it with others.

As I was reflecting on everything that was happening in the news over the last year, I was making notes.

In considering and reviewing the notes, it is astonishing to me how busy Pope Francis has been in trying to build a confederacy of world religions and world leaders that really are setting the stage for the final events of prophecy. In fact, I don't think it would be an overstatement to say that this year has been one of the most significant years in the history of the Catholic Church in centuries.

Our presentation today is "Dealing with Benchmarks of the Beast: A Year of Historic Headlines." For hundreds of years, Protestants have all agreed that the little horn spoken of in the prophecies of Daniel, and the anti-Christ spoken of in the book of Revelation, is really identified as the papacy. Just so you'll know that I'm not the only one that feels this way, take a look at some of the founders of the Protestant Reformation and how they view the office of the papacy.

For instance, take Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church and father of the Protestant Reformation. He wrote, “We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real anti-Christ.” It can't be any more plain than that. Take, for instance, John Calvin, one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church. He wrote, “I deny him to be the Vicar of Christ who, in furiously persecuting the gospel, demonstrates by his conduct that he is the anti-Christ.”

Why don't we jump to John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church? Here's what he said. “He it is that exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worship, claiming the highest power and the highest honor, claiming the prerogative is what's belong to God alone.” I could go on and on talking about these different characters, from Wycliffe to Tyndale, Kramer, John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress, the translators of the King James Bible, the men who published the Westminister and Baptist confessions, Sir Isaac Newton, George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon.

These men, among countless others, all saw the office of the papacy as the anti-Christ. How different are the sentiments in the Christian churches today? The evangelical world seems to be boldly embracing the Catholic Church and saying, "We're all one." They don't understand the very unique differences between Protestant Christianity and Catholicism.

They've forgotten their history.

You see, this is important to us because it tells us in Revelation 13:15, “He has power to give life unto the image of the beast, and that the image of the beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. The whole world is going to get involved in a united form of worship.” There's a polarizing that is happening now.

Goes on to say in Revelation 13:16, “He causes all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bound, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead that no man might buy or sell, save he that has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Please remember, friends, that it's talking about something economic as well because it's going to control buying and selling.

Many people have forgot many of the vast differences between the Protestant Christians, biblical Christianity, and what the Catholic Church teaches. For instance, the Bible teaches very clearly we're not to pray to idols, we're not to pray to statues. Catholic Church endorses that. Mary is not a God that should be prayed to. Nowhere are we told to pray to the saints or that the saints are floating around up there for us to communicate with.

The idea that we must confess our sins to a priest or the idea of calling a priest "father" are all forbidden in the New Testament. Now, there are many dear Christians in the Catholic Church, and there will be millions of Catholics in heaven, I want to make that clear. I expect to see Mother Teresa in the kingdom of God. We're not talking about Catholic individuals.

We're talking about an institution that Bible prophecies were told would radically drift from the foundation of God's word and that this institution would be instrumental in the last days and compelling the world to worship in a way that the Bible forbids.

True Christians are going to have to choose whether to follow the beast or whether to follow Christ and the Bible. That's why this presentation is very important. With that in mind, let's review some of the things that happened with the Catholic Church and Pope Francis in 2014 and see if you don't get excited realizing we're living near the end of time. I think we all remember how stunned we were when we heard this personal video message delivered with such heartfelt emotion and appeal from Pope Francis to a Kenneth Copeland Evangelical Leadership Conference.

The prelude to that message was where his friend, the Anglican Bishop, Tony Palmer, said three times in his presentation that the Protestant Reformation was over. Matter of fact, he said, “Maybe we're all Catholics now.” Then, there was such an exuberant response from that room filled with charismatic Christians that were praying and speaking in tongues blessing the Pope. He was appealing for Protestants to unite, quoting John 17, with the Catholic Church.

There was no misunderstanding what this was all about. Our next historic headline came March 13, when Pope Francis was invited to address a joint session of Congress. A special letter was written by House Speaker John Boehner, also endorsed by Nancy Pelosi, giving a formal invitation to the pope to come and address the most powerful political leaders in the most powerful country of the world.

It's extremely significant when the pope receives an official invitation to address the joint sessions of Congress. It's generally accepted that this event is going to be happening sometime in September 2015, when the pope makes a special trip to Philadelphia. Another historic headline took place March 27, when the President of the United States, Barack Obama, went to visit Pope Francis at the Vatican. They spoke together privately for an hour.

During that time, the pope gave the president a medallion symbolizing the need of peace and solidarity between the two hemispheres, and the President gave the pope a seedbox where the wood of the box was made from the first Catholic Cathedral in North America. This reminds me of those scriptures that say that the US is going to be that second beast that will make an image to the first beast that had the deadly wound that was healed.

The next news flash and historic headline was when the pope announced that he would be canonizing two former Popes. It said in the newspaper copy, “In a brilliant PR move, Pope Francis made history again during this event in Vatican City elevating to sainthood Pope John the 23rd and Pope John Paul the II, two of his most famous papal predecessors.” Many Catholic analysts believe that this was done partly to unify the world's one billion Roman Catholics that had been somewhat fragmented.

Following the service, Pope Francis gently embraced the former Pope, Benedict the 16th, who also attended the occasion. Two living popes, they're honoring two dead ones. Even more importantly, this act is seen as an effort to greatly elevate the status of Pope Francis, who evidently has enough power to declare the other popes saints. What does it mean when a living Pope has enough clout and authority to declare dead pope saints that can be prayed to?

This event was seen as something that would greatly exalt and elevate the status and power of Pope Francis. This epic spectacle that was attended by thousands of bishops and priests was beamed by satellite all around the world. Friends, the Bible is very clear. We don't need to pray to dead popes in order to get God's attention. We can go directly through Jesus. Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

Wait, friends, there's more. Now, for another important headline. May 9th, the pope advises the United Nations on economics, calling for legitimate redistribution of wealth to the poor. Here, you have the pope. He's a church leader and he is meeting at the Vatican with the leader of the United Nations, giving the United Nations the economic mandates, friendly advice I should say.

It says here Vatican City, AP, “Pope Francis called Friday for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the economy of exclusion that's taking hold today.”

Translator: Regarding the global economical and political organization, there is still a lot to do. The important part of humanity continues being excluded from the benefits of progress and, in fact, set aside as second class human beings. Future sustainable development goals should be formulated and executed with magnanimity and courage for them to reach and have an impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger.

Pastor Doug: Francis made the appeal during a speech to UN Secretary-General

Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major UN agencies who are meeting in Rome this week. Latin America's first Pope has frequently lashed out at the injustice of capitalism on the global economic systems that excludes so much of humanity. On Friday, Francis call for the United Nations to promote a worldwide ethical mobilization of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity.

All of this may seem to be just very innocuous and fine, but what gets my attention is look at the power of the Pope that the leaders of the United Nations are in the Vatican and the Pope is talking about economic policy. Doesn't Revelation tells us that the time is coming when this beast power is going to declare who can buy and sell? It's all leading in that direction, Friends. Another headline. On May 25, Pope Francis made his first visit to the Holy Land and he called for peace.

Pope Francis: [foreign language]

[applause]

Pastor Doug: This was the first time Pope Francis made a visit to the most important holy sites for Jews, Muslims, Protestants, and Catholics. This represents a very significant photo op for the leader of the Catholic Church, showing that here he is hugging and embracing Jews, Muslims, and Protestants all on this holy site. This reminds me of that verse in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, "And the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshiped so that he is God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."

Friends, it wasn't a mistake speaking to the general Evangelical Christians that are waiting for the temple to be rebuilt and that are campaigning for the freedom of Israel, that the Pope would go to that location to show that he can pull together the world's religions. Reminds me of that passage there in Thessalonians that talks about, "He sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God," in the context of a religious leader.

I don't think any of us can miss that the Pope is framing himself as the spiritual leader for the religions of the world. You can see, this is a picture that really says it all, friends. Here, you have the Pope standing by the Wailing Wall, this holy site, and he's flanked by the Muslims, Orthodox, and regular Jews. Let's not misunderstand the significance of what happens when the Pope comes to the convergent point of the religions of the world, the Middle East, and he embraces the Muslims, the Jews, and the Christians and places himself in the middle of it all.

Our next historic headline took place June 1st when the Pope attended a charismatic convocation for the first time. Says it right here in the copy. Pope Francis speaks to almost 53,000 charismatics gathered in the Olympic Stadium in Rome for the 37th National Convention for the Renewal of the Spirit Conference. As the Pope knelt there, right on the ground, they all prayed over the Pope in tongues, reminding us of that other video we saw when Kenneth Copeland in the Leadership Conference, they all prayed in tongues over the Pope.

Almost seems like the Pope now, that the Catholic Church is endorsing this doctrine of speaking in tongues. In fact, it said here in the newspaper report that during the event, the Pope acknowledged he had once been uncomfortable with the charismatic movement, but he said he is evidently feeling much better now. In fact, the Vatican declare this is the first time in history in which a Pope has visited an international Charismatic renewal convocation.

We have another historic headline. Joel Osteen observe Francis in action when the Pope met with those 53,000 charismatic Roman Catholics during the worship service at Rome's Olympic Stadium. Friends, this, I thought, was something. When Joel Osteen said Friday, "It was a great honor to represent the pastors of America in meeting with the pontiff," who he described as, "a warm and personable person, full of joy," and he represents the church, one of the largest Protestant churches in North America, but he doesn't represent me and he doesn't represent a lot of other Protestant pastors in North America.

Joel Osteen: I think the Pope is fantastic. I just think his tone, his humility, his-- I loved it when he said the other day. It's our view too. We're not trying to make this a little bitty narrow thing. Anybody is welcome. We may not agree 100% on doctrine and theology, but you know what? The Catholic Church, our church is open for everybody. I like his tongue.

Pastor Doug: I think those are some fascinating comments from Pastor Osteen. You're such a widely respected figure in North America. Pope Francis invited these Protestant leaders to the Vatican, including members of the Latter-Day Saints to discuss the question, "Can we find common ground in order to advance the life and ministry of Jesus so people can experience the joy of the Christian faith?" All sounds so beautiful, friends, but it's all leading towards a dangerous kind of unity.

The next historic headline took place on June 8, when the Pope inserts himself in the Middle East peace process. Of course, earlier this year, there was a terrible war going on between Palestine and Israel, bombs flying back and forth, and so it's very important that there were peace talks. During the Pope's first visit to the Middle East, that's when he talked to the President of Palestine and the President of Israel, Shimon Peres.

He invited them to the Vatican where he said, "Come to our headquarters. We'll pray for peace there, we'll talk about peace there." Another thing I thought was very interesting is during this meeting, in the Vatican for the first time, the Quran was read and Muslim prayers were offered here in their holiest place. It's amazing, you'll see later in the presentation how the Pope is being turned to to negotiate peace.

These peace talks remind me of a passage in the Bible where Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4, he's talking about the second coming, "But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you for you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord will so come as a thief in the night, for when they say peace and safety, then sudden destruction will come upon them as a labor pains upon a pregnant wife and they shall not escape."

Our next headline took place July 7th when it tells us the Pope met with US televangelists. You can read from the actual article where it says, "Two prominent Texas-based ministries with Tony Palmer led a delegation of Evangelical Christian Leaders to Rome to meet privately with Pope Francis. James and Betty Robison, co-host of Life Today television program, and Kenneth Copeland, host of Believers' Voice of Victory, met the Roman pontiff at the Vatican on Thursday.

The meeting lasted almost three hours and included a private luncheon where they propose," listen to this, friends, "signing on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses in 2017, a joint declaration of faith in unity for a mission. Wow. Here, you've got leaders of the Protestant church going to the Vatican, meeting with the Pope in a private three-hour meeting and saying, "We need to sign a declaration of unity in mission," on the anniversary of Martin Luther's protest no less.

I read in one article that the combined viewers of these televangelists that came to the Vatican, they represent 800 million people. Our next headline took place July 22. A lot happened in July? The Pope picks a council to promote global Christian unity. There you have it, friends, that's a slam dunk headline. If you're wondering what the intentions of the Pope are, he wants this Christian unity.

He wants to have all the religions of the world, as well as the Christians of the world, to unite and recognize the Pope as the central figure, the leader, and he's achieving his goal.

This was a very significant event that escaped most headlines, when Pope Francis named an international list of eight individuals to serve on an elite council to promote Christian unity worldwide. The search for a full Christian unity remains a priority for the Catholic Church and it is one of the Pope's principal daily concerns.

That was the message that Pope Francis shared on Thursday with members of the Pontifical Council of promoting Christian unity who are taking part in a plenary session in the Vatican this week. That document marked the start of a new era in the Catholic churches' relations with Christians of all different denominations. Some of you remember those passages in the Bible that talk about the healing of the wound. Notice the wording of this statement.

"Earlier hostility and indifference that cause such deep wounds between Christians," the Pope said, "has given way to a process of healing that allows us to welcome others as brothers and sisters united in our common baptism." Another headline I thought I should include, perhaps not historic but significant nonetheless. August 22nd. The Pope approves the use of military force.

Here's how that was reported. During a news conference aboard a plane on his way home from Seoul, Korea, on Monday, Francis was asked explicitly, "Do you approve of the Americans bombing?" Talking about the bombing of ISIS, Pope Francis responded, "[foreign language]." Now, this was not really a new position for the Pope. The Vatican, of course, has launched many crusades and endorsed a lot of military action throughout history, but I thought it was important to understand where does Pope Francis stand on these issues.

Our next historic headline, September 4. Pope asked to head United Religions Organization. "Former Israeli President Shimon Peres elevated the Catholic leader as a central figure for world peace. Traditionally, Jewish leaders have felt the papacy has been compliant with anti-Semitic movements. Shimon Peres called the pope 'a more powerful piece advocate than the United Nations.'" Then, as if that wasn't enough, it tells us that US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jerry White, he called for a global covenant of religions with the Pope as the head.

Jerry White: What would a global covenant or agreement look like to renounce violence in the name of religion, in the name of God? What type of parchment is needed for such a thing? What type of gathering to take the fullness of work as well and go even higher with the invitations of the Vatican and Pope Francis.

Pastor Doug: Everybody's turning to the Pope. One other thing that happened is Fox commentator, judge Jeanine, she said the pope is the one that ought to lead out in solving the problem of the war in the Middle East.

Jeanine Pirro: Tonight, Christians in the Middle East marked for death because of their faith and no one is fighting for them. As Christians are slaughtered, churches torched, and families forced from their homeland, the mass murder of Christians is underway. Who should be defending Christians? Who? The leader of the Catholic Church, the Pope, the man who shepherds the faithful.

Pastor Doug: That's pretty significant coming from judge Jeanine who is a very popular commentator on Fox News. Next historic headline, we go to October 27. Pope declares faith in the Big Bang and evolution. Well, this really isn't a historic headline because the Catholic Church has said for a long time that they believed in evolution and then the potential of the Big Bang Theory, but it tells us where Pope Francis stands. What you find in the article, it says, "The Big Bang, which scientists believe led to the formation of the universe some 13.8 billion years ago was all part of God's plan."

The Pope said, "The scientific account of the beginning of the universe and the development of life through evolution are compatible with the Catholic Church's vision of creation." Of course, friends, if evolution is true, then you can't take the Genesis' account of creation as being literally true, but Jesus said they are. You see, Christ said, "If you don't believe Moses, you don't believe me." Now, we have another historic headline the following month, November 18.

Pastor Rick Warren meets with the pope at the Vatican and he's invited to speak at the Vatican. Rick Warren, leading American Protestant minister after meeting with Pope Francis said, "Up close, you can feel the humanity and the compassion that others see from afar." Warren went on to say, "As long as Catholics and Protestants love Jesus, we're all on the same team."

Friends, I tell you, that troubles me because I think there are deep vast differences between what Protestants believe and what Catholics believe, and all of this love language, it's being used to build a false unity that's going to work against us in the last days. Participants at the conference that included Southern Baptists as well as Muslims, Jewish, and Latter-Day Saint representatives considered topics such as traditional marriage, cohabitation, and same-sex marriage.

You can see the unity is all being based upon things that are very important to these various religions, but that unity is going to end up backfiring. Everybody recognizes that Rick Warren, who is probably one of the most influential American authors and pastors, for him to go and represent evangelicals of North America, speaks volumes.

Interviewer: Why did you want to be part of this Vatican meeting, this international colloquy on marriage? Why did you consider it important that you be there and offer a message?

Rick Warren: Well, when the pope invites you, you go [laughs].

Pastor Doug: Rick Warren goes on to say, "As long as Catholics and Protestants love Jesus, we're really all just on the same team. On to the next historic headline. News flash. November 30. Pope calls for all Christians to unite. Well, he's not beating around the bush. He's inviting Christians everywhere to unite. Listen to this. "Speaking from Istanbul, Turkey, Pope Francis joined by Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians. He's encouraging all the faithful to join them in praying that all may be one, that the world may believe. The two leaders also signed a document declaring the same.

In addition, the Pope and the patriarch also called on the world to foster solidarity and greater dialogue with Islam that is based on friendship and respect." You ever wondered how the Islamic religion was going to fit into the final scenario of the book of Revelation? They're all pushing for a "love one another" unity here. Again, you find the language healing the wound. Notice. "Bartholomew I says, in a meeting with Pope Francis, 'With help, the move of the two churches closer to ending their nearly 1,000-year divide.'

Francis was urging participants to speak out boldly and listen humbly, but also healing the wounds of Christian division." That comes from the Boston Globe. Do you remember that verse, friends? Revelation 13:12? "And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed." There's really no way to misunderstand the Pope's message when he's inviting all of the separated Protestant brethren to come home and unite.

Our next historic headline, December 2, Pope joins world leaders to condemn slavery. That's a cause I think we would all support, but just notice that he calls together the religious leaders of the world and they come to Rome. It says, "For the first time in history, major Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox Christian authorities, along with leaders of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim religions," that covers about everybody, "met to sign a shared commitment against modern slavery which is considered a crime against humanity."

I agree with the cause of what brought them together, but I think people are missing the very subtle message that has been sent, that these religious leaders all continue to come to Rome to have an impact, recognizing the Pope as the supreme religious leader of even the other world religions. Friends, moving on to our next historic headline, December 11. Pope Francis takes the world by storm. This comes from a report released by the Pew Research Center, and it shows that the Pope has broad support across much of the world.

60% of the 43 nations polled have a positive view of the pontiff, and Americans, in particular, have shown their fondness for Pope Francis, often extolling his simplistic style." According to the same pew research study, 78% of Americans view the Pope favorably. Our president would love ratings like that. Friends, do you realize that means that Pope Francis has the highest ratings of any politician or religious leader in the world?

Next headline, December 15. Pope leads the most progressive year for the Catholic Church. This is actually from an article written by Paul Moses, Professor at Brooklyn College in New York. It reads that, "Pope Francis has initiated a revolution in the Catholic Church in 2014, a revolution of common sense rather than ideological or doctrine." Our next historic headline, December 16. The US asks the Vatican to help close Guantanamo Bay, according to Russia Today.

We might have thought that that was just a scandalous conspiracy headline until you read what happens in the next headline the next day, December 17. The pope mediates peace between the US and Cuba in secret talks, and who says he doesn't have political clout. This comes from the New York Times, friends. "In a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks, hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted the final meeting at the Vatican, Mr. Obama and President Raul Castro of Cuba agreed in a telephone call to put aside decades of hostility and find a new relationship between the United States and the island nation just 90 miles off the coast."

In spite a 50 years of communism, friends, the Catholic Church is still the largest church in Cuba. This was not an accident. Why does this remind me of Revelation chapter 17 where it says, "Come, I'll show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication"? It tells us this woman is involved in the negotiations and the intrigue of political powers. That's exactly what the Catholic Church is doing.

That's why the Vatican has ambassadors coming from around the world. Going on to our next headline. December 18. Under Francis, a bolder vision of Vatican diplomacy emerges. Again, New York Times. "Perhaps, the timing was purely accidental, but a day after he was credited with helping the broker the historic diplomacy breakthrough between Cuba and the United States, Pope Francis begin his Thursday morning by greeting a new crop of envoys to the Vatican and offering some advice."

The work of the ambassador lies in small steps, small things, but they always end in making peace, bringing closer to the hearts of the people, sowing brotherhood among the people." He said, "This is your job with little things, with tiny things." The writer goes on to say, "What has changed with Francis or what has been restored is a vision of diplomatic boldness, willingness to take risks, and to insert the Vatican into diplomatic disputes, especially work and act as an independent broker."

Right there, they admit that the Vatican is an international broker in diplomacy between nations. Just as John Paul, the first Polish Pope, had a unique credibility and a voice against Communism, so too does Francis, the first Latin-American Pope, now benefit from a unique credibility in the Western Hemisphere, the developing world. Friends, we've just been considering a few things that are seen in the headlines.

God only knows what's really happening behind the curtain right now, but we can see, we can observe that there have been very significant bold movements forward for this anti-Christ power that ought to excite Christians. Now, I don't say these things to cause unnecessary sensation. I just really believe that prophecy is true. I think Christians ought to be excited that means Jesus is coming soon. This also ought to be a mobilizing influence for the church so that we can do everything we can to get the message out.

We're not going to have forever. Friends, when we consider all of these historic headlines, I need to just ask you, what do you think would happen right now if there is a financial international meltdown? Or if some rogue nation detonates a nuclear weapon? Or if there was some catastrophic natural disaster? After looking at these headlines, where do you think the people and leaders of the world are going to turn for help?

Is there any question that they're going to be turning to the Vatican, they're going to be turning to Pope Francis? Now, I don't know whether this Pope is the one that is going to implement all of the final events, but I don't think anyone can deny that this first Jesuit Pope is doing more than anyone before him to set the stage for the final events, and we ought to be praying and getting ready. Friends, I should also mention at this point that Amazing Facts has a special DVD called Revelation: The Bride, the Beast in Babylon.

It explains a lot of these things that we're talking about. You need to be able to share that with other people, help them understand who is the anti-Christ power that Protestants recognize in the last days? If there's anything you can do to help us get these DVDs out, friends, we would deeply appreciate it. We really need your help right now. We're developing a new study lesson that goes along with our Revelation DVD.

We're trying to create a version that will make it easy to mass mail this product all over communities and get it around the world, to translate it into other languages. Time is running out, people need to know the truth. God bless you. Let's all pray together. We can be ready for that day when Jesus comes very soon.

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