Before I resume my effort to unravel the role that the counterfeit Virgin Mary will play in deceiving the whole world, there are a few other characteristics about the "beast" or "little horn" that I would like to address. The Bible says that he would not only "make war with the saints" and "reign for 1260 years," but that he would also "blaspheme God," "think to change times and laws," and influence "all that dwell upon the earth" to "worship him." (See Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13:6-8).
The Bible tells us that the papal power "opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name" (Rev.13:6). The title of pope is actually derived from the word papa, which means father. In fact, many nations of the world now recognize the pope as the "Holy Father." He is also known as "Pontifex Maximus," which means "the Greatest Bridge Builder," signifying that he claims the position of Christ the true "ladder" (or "bridge") who would span the gulf sin had made between Heaven and earth. (See Gen. 28:12 and John 1:51). He also is known by the name of "Vicarius Filii Dei" (the vicar, or official ruling representative, of the Son of God on earth). Thus, he claims to hold the title, position, and authority of God the Father (il papa), God the Son (Pontifex Maximus), and God the Holy Spirit (Vicarius Filii Dei [These texts show the Holy Spirit is Christ's true-vicar on earth: John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26; 16:7, 8, 13, 14]) Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown [the tiara], as king of heaven, and earth, and the lower regions.
Ecclesiastical literature is replete with exhibits of the arrogant, blasphemous claims of the papacy. Typical examples are the following extracts from a large encyclopedic work written by a Roman Catholic divine of the 18th century, plus other examples of more recent times:
"The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God...."
"The Pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief of kings, having plenitude of power, to whom has been intrusted by the omnipotent God direction not only of the earthly but also of the heavenly kingdom...."
"The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws...."
"The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth with most ample power of binding and loosing sheep." (Translated from Lucius Ferraris, "Papa II," Prompts Bibliotheca, Vol. VI, pp. 25-29).
"The Pope is infallible....[He] cannot err when, as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals, to be held by the whole church." (A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, p. 16).
"People who see him - and countless millions have - do not forget him. His appearances generate electricity unmatched by anyone else on earth. That explains, for instance, why in rural Kenyan villages thousands of children, plus many cats and roosters and even hotels, are named John Paul. Charisma is the only conceivable reason why a CD featuring him saying the rosary--in Latin--against a backdrop of Bach and Handel is currently ascending the charts in Europe. It accounts for the dazed reaction of a young woman who found herself, along with thousands around her in a sports stadium in Denver, cheering and applauding him: 'I don't react that way to rock groups. What is it that he has?'
"...When he talks, it is not only to his flock of over a billion; he expects the world to listen. And the flock and the world listen."
"...John Paul can also impose his will, and there was no more formidable and controversial example of this than the Vatican's intervention at the U.N.'s International Conference on population and development in Cairo in September. There the Pope's emissaries defeated a U.S.-backed proposition John Paul feared would encourage abortions worldwide. The consequences may be global and - critics predict - catastrophic, particularly in the teeming Third World, where John Paul is so admired.
"....John Paul's impact on the world has already been enormous, ranging from the global to the personal. He has covered more than half a million miles of travels....He is an army of one....'He'll go down in history as the greatest of modem Popes,' says the Rev. Billy Graham. 'He's been the strong conscience of the whole Christian world.' " (Time, Dec.26, 1994 / Jan. 2, 1995, pp.53, 54). Didn't the prophecy of Revelation 13:3 say that "all the world wondered [admired or marveled] after the beast"! And this includes the youth, for the Stockton Record, as well as many other major newspapers, featured the following article from the Associated Press: "1 million youths rally to pope's call. The huge crowd, gathered for a Mass at Poland's holiest shrine during the sixth annual Vatican-sponsored World Youth Day, interrupted John Paul for nearly 10 minutes with applause, singing, and chants of 'Long live the pope!' "
Another interesting note is that John Paul is not the only one interested in World Youth Day. "The 'Mary of the New Advent' to whom the pope referred in Denver is particularly associated with World Youth Day, which John Paul II has been promoting for some years. She was displayed at the all-night prayer vigil of pilgrims who walked to Cherry Creek Park (near Denver) to meet the pope, who came in a helicopter. A journalist who was present writes: 'It is well past 9 PM. when the icon, the official one of World Youth Day, is presented. This part of the vigil is referred to as 'Veneration [worship] of the image of the Virgin Mary: Our Lady of the New Advent.'
"....The next day, Sunday, the pope returned in his helicopter. The pilgrims...greeted him again with renewed excitement. There he celebrated Mass and 3000 priests took several hours to minister the wafers to the crowd of 375,000. Addressing Mary in heaven personally at times during his talk, the pope began: 'With my heart full of praise for the Queen of Heaven, the sign of hope and source of comfort on our pilgrimage of faith to the heavenly Jerusalem, I greet all of you who are present at this solemn liturgy....This liturgy presents you, Mary, as the woman clothed with the sun... O woman clothed with the sun...the youth of the world greet you with so much love.... In Mary the final victory of life over death is already a reality.' " (A Woman Rides the Beast, pp.442, 443). Obviously, the pope of Rome is a major player in selling the counterfeit Mary to the world, youth included.
Daniel the Prophet, in further describing the characteristics of the "little horn," which he saw in vision coming out of Rome, said that "in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things" (Dan. 7:8). And Jesus Christ further warned us through His servant John of the following: "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threeseore and six " (Rev.13:18). You have no idea how amazed I was the day I learned that if you take the pope's title, "Vicarius Filii Dei," which is on his miter, and assign the appropriate value for each Roman numeral (such as V=5, 1=1(6 times), C=100, U=5, L=50, and D=500), the total comes to 666! That means that every pope that has ever lived and every pope that is to come has the number 666--the title of the Antichrist--and the prophecy is then applicable to the present pope!
Not only is the pope of Rome revered as the great moral leader of the world, he is also, according to Roman Catholic belief, a direct successor of St. Peter, whom Rome refers to as the first pope--the rock on whom Jesus Christ built His church. Friends, this is an untrue conclusion, since Peter was never referred to as the "the rock" by Jesus. The Scripture the Catholic Church uses to support its claim that Peter was the "rock" is Matthew 16:18: "And I [Jesus] say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." But, if you take this verse using the original Creek, it actually says: Thou art Peter [Christ called the Apostle by his first name, which in the Creek is Petros--a (piece of) rock, (Strong's Concordance)], and upon this rock [Christ now refers to Himself as the Rock, which in the Greek is an entirely different word with a different gender--namely, Petra, a (mass of rock, (Strong's Concordance)]. In effect, this is like a mountain compared to a pebble, as Divinity rightfully is when compared to humanity. In fact, just a few verses later, when Christ said "that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day," Peter began "to rebuke Him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee." Peter was actually saying, "No way, Lord, You will not diet." Friends, without the death of Christ as the Lamb of God, sacrificed for the sins of the world, salvation would be impossible. Peter didn't understand Christ's true mission at this time and, therefore, responded emotionally. To this response, Christ "said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense to me" (Verses 21-23). Remember that Matthew 16:18 said that the "gates of hell shall not prevail" against the "Rock." Well, Satan had just prevailed against Peter, so he could not be the Rock, but the devil certainly will never prevail against the "Rock of Ages" - Jesus Christ!
The Bible says in 1.Corinthians 10:4 that "that Rock was Christ." In fact, Peter himself, when referring to Jesus in the Bible, called Him the "chief corner stone...the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner" (1.Pet. 2:6, 7). "In infinite wisdom, God chose the foundation stone and laid it Himself. He called it 'a sure foundation.' The entire world may lay upon it their burdens and griefs; it can endure them all. With perfect safety they may build upon it. Christ is a 'tried stone.' Those who trust in Him, He never disappoints. He has borne every test. He has endured the pressure of Adam's guilt and the guilt of his posterity, and has come off more than conqueror of the powers of evil. He has borne the burdens cast upon Him by every repenting sinner. In Christ the guilty heart has found relief. He is the sure foundation. All who make Him their dependence rest in perfect security." (The Desire of Ages, pp. 588). Christ is the true foundation, the "chief comer stone," on which the Christian church is built; and by His dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit, we become living stones in His spiritual temple, for we are "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Eph. 2:20-22). But since the Roman Catholic Church uses the argument that Peter was the rock, the first pope, it concludes that its popes, as descendants of Peter, along with its bishops and priests, have the power to forgive sins, which the Bible declares is blasphemy. (See Matt. 9:1-6).
I remember kneeling, many times, in a confessional and telling my sins to a priest who sat behind a dark screen. Little did I know at that time, that the confessional had its origin with the pagan priests of Babylon (to be addressed later). After hearing my confession, the priest would give me a number of prayers to recite for my penance. On one occasion, I was given a whole rosary [a string of beads of pagan origin] to say for my penance, which included fifty three Hail Marys: "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking" (Matt. 6:7). Since I was young and ignorant of the Scriptures, I did not know that the Bible gives the following instructions in regard to the confession of sin: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." And "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1.John 2:1, 2; 1:9).
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