The Deadly Wound Healed? Pope Francis Calls for Unity

Scripture: Revelation 13:1-18
Date: 06/07/2015 
I thought it was important to come back in the studio and give a little prophecy update because there have been some new recent developments. You may have heard that on May 23 this year, this is 2015, that there was a special group called the John 17 Movement that gathered in Phoenix.
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Doug Batchelor: Hi, friends, Doug Batchelor here. I thought it was important to come back in the studio and give a little prophecy update because there have been some new recent developments. You may have heard that on May 23 this year, this is 2015, that there was a special group called the John 17 Movement that gathered in Phoenix. Religious leaders from the Catholic Church, evangelical churches, apostolic churches, and they received another personal message from the Pope encouraging Christian unity.

Now, I'd like for you to hear, we can't play the whole eight minutes of the message, but I want to just give you a couple of excerpts of the message that the pope sent to evangelical and Catholic Christians in North America.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: Okay. You notice right away he begins to talk about that the division that exists among Christians is a wound in the body of Christ. Very specifically notice that he says the division that exists among Christians is a wound. This reminds me of the verses you find in Revelation 13 regarding the beast. Revelation 13:3, "I saw one of the heads as it had been mortally wounded and its deadly wound was healed, and all the world marveled or wondered after the beast."

Revelation 13:12, "He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and he causes the earth," this is the second beast of the US, "he causes the earth and those that dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." Then you go to verse 14, "He deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword, and he lived." Here, it talks about this wound.

It caught my attention when you have the leader of the Catholic Church, a Jesuit Pope, appealing to evangelical and Catholic Christians in North America to unite, saying that this division between our churches is a wound in the body of Christ that needs to be healed. Well, the Bible says that wound was caused by the sword. The Bible is very clear. It says in Ephesians 6 that the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 4, "The Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, and that sword divides."

Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace but I came to send a sword." The message of Christ will sometimes bring division in a family and this is what happened to Christianity. We know that in prophecy, in the last days, there's going to be an appeal that we disregard, that we downplay the teachings of the Word in preference for unity. There's going to be a crisis that is going to make a lot of these divided churches want to come together.

I don't think anybody's left to wonder who is going to be the central figure that will be the cheerleader for this unity. It's going to be the Pope. He's easily recognized right now as the spiritual leader of the Christian church by both Protestants and Catholics. I'm going to play a little more of this video for you.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: Here, he's saying that this division that separates the two is from the devil. Well, in a sense, I agree. I think it's the falsehoods, it's the false doctrines, it's the lies that have come in. The Bible talks about doctrines of devils that has brought in this discord. It's also very convenient to say that the separation is of the devil and let's just unite for the sake of unity, at the expense of truth.

That's the message we're going to be hearing more of in the last days. It's the devil that's dividing us. If there's a group that stands up and says, "We cannot unite in spite of the crises that we see in the world today," we're going to be called diabolical.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: I'm going to stop that right there. For me, I'm just looking at a global picture. The Pope is sitting in his office in the Vatican, leader of the first power in Revelation 13. He's saying I am now addressing you over there, speaking to a group of mostly Protestant, with some Catholic leaders, in North America. It just seems like a fulfillment of that prediction that there would be a reaching across the abyss between these two powers. He says, "I here in Rome, you there in America, we need to unite." It sounds to me like echoes of prophecy.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: As you listen to this, you're going to find this is the strongest appeal for unity that I've heard coming from the Vatican thus far.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: I don't know about you, friends, but when I hear the Pope say in advance, "I'm about to say something that might be controversial or perhaps even heretical," I usually sit up. I want to know what is the Pope going to say that even he admits might be heretical.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: Here, he's saying there's someone who knows we're one and he's persecuting us. It's the devil who's causing this persecution. Now, the pope is beginning to allude to Christians that are being killed simply because they're Christians, most of which is happening because of the conflict with Islam and ISIS in particular. These things may be accelerating, probably will, in the days ahead.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: Again, the Pope is saying here that the devil is anointing Christians with martyrdom. I think as you see terrorism increase in incidence of Christians being persecuted and killed and beheaded by the growing and mounting controversy between Islam, at least radical Islam, and Christianity, this is going to have a polarizing influence for Christians. The pope is setting himself at the middle of that right now, calling Christians to unite under the banner of Catholicism to resist this persecution of Christians globally.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: You notice this is really amazing that the Pope is saying, it doesn't matter whether you're Orthodox, Apostolic, Lutheran, evangelical, Catholic, that the devil views all Christians as just one enemy. Since he views it that way, we need to just come together and to set aside our doctrinal differences and be united, since we're going to be baptized by this common baptism of persecution and martyrdom. This paints a picture of what we can expect in the future.

I think that there's more in prophecy than we may have understood, regarding a conflict between Christianity and Islam in the days ahead, and that this is going to have a polarizing influence on Christians. That along with other natural or financial disasters, the world is going to be shaken and everybody's going to run to the leader of the Catholic Church as the spiritual leader.

Pope Francis: [Spanish language]

Doug: He speaks here now about an ecumenism of blood. The video actually goes eight minutes, we've just taken a section. You can go look for yourself at the John 17 Movement site where they've got the entire video. I just wanted to highlight what I thought were some very thought-provoking points that are being made. I think much of the Christian world is just missing this, is just going by and they don't realize the language that the Pope is using, his language drawn right out of Revelation.

Not only the pope, where he's referencing the wound, but if you look in the material that's at the John 17 Movement website, they say the church which is described as the family of God remains divided. The attitudes and harsh judgments among professed Christians have caused deep wounds and centuries of conflict. Yes, that was called the Protestant Reformation. It's just been suggested we should roll all of that back, forget what the doctrinal issues are that brought the separation and just unite as one loving family. It sounds good, it sounds appealing.

I know I'll probably get some criticism for taking the approach that not all unity is good. With the backdrop of what we see happening soon, the Pope is going to be making a historic visit to the United States. Here, he is directly appealing for unity among Christians, Catholics, and Protestants in the US. He's scheduled to be meeting with the president. He is going to address the United Nations. I bet something will be said about Islam and some of these battles with ISIS.

He's been invited to address the joint session of Congress. The Speaker of the House John Boehner could barely contain his enthusiasm when he realized his holiness the Pope was going to come and address the political machine of the United States. They would not invite any other pastor to do that. Obviously, the Pope is more than just a pastor, he is a political-religious dynamo in the world today.

The central reason that he was coming was to go to Philadelphia and meet with religious leaders from all denominations on the importance of the family, the special conference on the family. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if in the context of that meeting, they don't talk about how important it is for families to come together on Sunday to worship and to develop relationships.

Friends, you might be wondering why does Amazing Facts do these prophecy updates? Is knowing the day and the hour of the Lord going to save anybody? No. There's lots of things that are happening, we can see prophecy being fulfilled all the time. We're getting very close to the Lord's coming. What are you waiting for? Are you waiting to know a little more? Are you waiting until you can time it to the very end like filing your taxes at the last moment?

If you've not made a complete surrender to Jesus, there's no better time than right now. If you're waiting for that to be convenient, there's just some obstacle and when your family life gets easier, then you're going to make a complete surrender. Friends, I can tell you the devil will see to it that it is never convenient, he'll always have some better time in the future so you can procrastinate.

I'd like to appeal to you that if you do believe Jesus is coming and you have not yet made a complete surrender, do that right now. Today is the time, now is the appointed time of salvation. Just invite Jesus into your heart and say, "Lord, I don't even know how I'm going to do it, but I'm going to trust you with my life. Please, forgive my sins, give me a new heart, give me the gift of the Holy Spirit." Would you like to do that right now, friends? That's how you get ready for the final events.

Could I pray with you as we close this segment? Father in heaven, I don't know what's happening in the lives and hearts of those who may be watching, but we do see we're living on the threshold of eternity. Prophetic events are fulfilling around us, and I just pray that we can completely surrender our lives to you. If there is some sin or obstacle that's kept us chained to the enemy, break those chains and set us free. Help us to invite Jesus in our hearts and as his light comes in that he might dispel the darkness.

Give us peace that when we come to you and surrender that you will then give us power to be new creatures. Bless every person with that gift of eternal life, and then help us to consecrate our time and our lives and our means to serving you and be ready for that day because we pray in Jesus name. Amen. With that friends, we'd like to just encourage you to stay connected to Amazing Facts and keep tuned in. As often as necessary, we'll try and give you updates. Let's all be praying together, we can work for Jesus and represent him.

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